Monday, July 27, 2009

Cracklin' Crazy Cookies

These are a fun switch up from the usual, they have a great crackly texture and lots of complimentary flavors.

Cracklin' Crazy Cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. Honey Bunches of Oats cereal (or replace with Corn flakes + 2 T. sugar)
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 c. butterscotch chips

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg and mix extremely well, scrape down the bowl and mix some more. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stir slightly, add the rest of your ingredients and mix until all is incorporated evenly. Do not over mix! Form into 2 inch balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet (or silicone pad) for 8-9 minutes @ 350.

Monday, July 20, 2009

tortellini and garden vegetables with pesto

Yes - once again I am so glad that I made pesto last summer from my excess basil in the garden!!
What a quick and delicious lunch it made me today - just sauteed some yellow squash and peas from the garden while the tortellini boiled and tossed it with thawed pesto and Parmesan cheese. Yum!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pizza Dough

At home, from scratch and easier than you may think!

approx. 1 c. Warm water
2 t. yeast
2 t. sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. salt (I use Real Salt)
approx 1 1/2 - 2 c. Unbleached Flour or Whole Wheat Pastry flour

First proof your yeast by adding it too the warm water with a pinch of the sugar (this will just help it proof a little faster) watch it for a bit and if the yeast begins to bubble up and expand it is good to go.

In a kitchen aid mixer (or a big bowl) add the water and yeast to the remaining sugar, olive oil and salt. Mix in one cup of the flour and mix very well for a minute or so. This will help to develop the gluten (something you would not want to do with a lighter crumb bread like pancakes or cookies). At this point either put on the bread kneading attachment (if using a mixer) or dump your mixture to a floured surface for kneading. Gradually knead in as much flour as needed to form a dough soft, subtle dough.
For mixer - one that clings to the kneading hook and forms a ball, but if you turn the mixer off will slowly slump and loose it's shape.
If kneading by hand - a dough that you can bring together into a ball, but if you let it rest will slowly slump and loose it's shape.
Either way the dough should be kneaded until it is consistent in texture and elastic.
Now take your ball of dough and put it into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise someplace warm until double in bulk. Raising times will vary depending on the temperature of the room you set the dough in - in the summer my dough raises so quickly on our back porch!
When you are ready to make your crust dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to your desired shape. Pizza should be baked at around 400 degrees and baking times vary from 15 - 20 minutes depending on the toppings you choose. Get creative!
helpful hints:
if you will be using a pizza stone be sure to let it preheat with the oven.
for a crisper crust remove your pizza from your baking sheet just before it is finished and let it cook it's last few minutes directly on the oven rack.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Dave's" Salad

I like to call this Dave's salad because he is the first one to make it for me, but I know it is not uniquely his. It is in fact a very traditional Argentinean salad and it is scrumptious! The tomatoes and avocados are sliced so thick that it gives them an almost "meaty" and very satisfying quality.
This recipe could feed two as a side dish - or as I do it - one with crusty bread for lunch.

1 perfectly ripe avocado
1 large, ripe, but firm, tomato
chopped parsley (approx 2 T.)
finely sliced red onion (approx 2 T.)
fresh lime juice
salt & pepper
olive oil

Slice the tomato and avocado into wedges and place in a bowl. Squeeze with approx half the juice of a small lime. Drizzle with olive oil. Throw in the chopped parsley and red onion. Toss together, let it sit a few minutes to soak in the flavor, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. The avocado, if perfectly ripe, will lend itself a bit to the olive oil and coat the tomatoes. It is lovely.