Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday....

No words can say how much we love our crazy dog....

Happy 8th Birthday Tucker!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

For the Chocoholic in You!

It's another rainy day in New England. And when it rains a girls gotta bake. I love these cookies and so does my family. I'll make a double batch and they will be gone by tomorrow! They are bendable, delicious, and chocolaty. They seem real wet when scooping out the batter. But, believe me when I tell you they come out fine. Just don't over bake....

Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

* Melt butter and stir together with the cocoa powder to a thick paste, set aside.

* Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
* Cream sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Add in Cocoa/butter mixture, keep mixing.

* Fold in dry ingredients to mix. add in chocolate chips.
* Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, about 12 minutes.Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Helpful Hint
These rich cookies will be real soft when they come out of the oven. They will crisp up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Best Cookies Ever....

These are the best cookies ever. Each week I try to make 14 dozen or more cookies for snacks and lunches. I have the usual standbys, and then try to make something new. I always try to keep oatmeal in one or two different kinds, so that they will be healthy. So after a couple of tries, I now have a keeper.

So try them out, and just make sure not to over bake them. They are so de-lish!!! They'll be gone before you know it.

Cranberry-Oatmeal Delights

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; in a bowl mix together the following:

1 c. butter, 1/2 c. white sugar, 1 c. brown sugar; cream together , Add in 2 eggs

Add in 1 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix; Add in 2 c. flour, 2 c. quick oats, 1/2 c. coconut, 1 c. white chips, and 1/2 c. dried, cranberries, could can also add in 1/2 c. chopped almonds (optional)

Place 3 x 4 on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 -12 min at 375 degrees. Do not overbake...

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Ever You Call Them ...Mini Calzones? Stuffed Bread?

Whatever you may call these, they are delicious. They make a great lunch alternative or snack treat. And if your really ambitious, you can make them smaller for appetizers. For the filling: for one I did taco seasoned beef with shredded cheddar cheese. And for the second: I used pepperoni, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. You can really put anything into them that you like such as lunch meat, cooked chicken/broccoli or just cheese. For the dough: I used the Pizza dough recipe from the "Martha Stewart Baking Book". It is a very easy dough, and I like the fact that you make it in a food processor.

Pizza Dough Recipe :Makes two round pizzas, 12 to 14 inches in diameter
1 cup warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast
2 3/4 cups to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 T. Olive Oil

**Pour warm water into a small bowl. Add sugar, and sprinkle in yeast. Using a fork, stir the mixture until yeast is dissolved and water has turned a tan color. Let yeast stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

**In a food processor, use blade to combine the 2 3/4 cups flour and salt, and pulse three to four times. Add yeast mixture and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until the dough comes together, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth, not tacky, when squeezed. Transfer to clean surface; knead four or five turns, then shape into a ball. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

I then take each ball and divide it into 8 pieces each. Then cover and let stand again for another 30 to 40 minutes.

While the dough is rising I fry up my lean ground beef with chopped onions, and then add taco seasoning, such as those that come in the small packets in the grocery store 2/$1. Then I allow it to cool.

I then, flatten each ball, so that I can place the filling in the middle.

For the pepperoni, I place them down first , then add cheese and sauce. For the beef, I put down a good spoonful, then place cheese on top. I then fold all the sides in, and press together the seams. Then place the now filled balls, seam side down, on a parchment papered sheetpan.

At this point, you can add any toppers like: poppy seed, sesame seed, or soaked dried onion. You will need to brush each with water before sprinkling it on. Then bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes. They will be just a real light golden color. Let them cool and then wrap them separately.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Where do you spend Labor Day?

We will be spending our Labor Day in our beautiful semi-new back yard. BBQ will be on the menu, along with a possible Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Yum-mo!

So what plans have you made for this weekend? I remember when I was younger, I could not wait for the Jerry Lewis Telethon each year at this time. He would have so many celebs and entertainers. Now it seems to have changed over the years, where it has been a little boring. They actually have decided not to use Jerry this year and cut the telethon down to 6 hours.........(strange) He said he would comment on that on a later date.

And with the telethons that they have now once or twice a year for 4 hours or so on every channel, like the "Cure Cancer" one that is next week. They bring more celebs than ever, so I will be sure to watch that one.

This is also the Last Hurrah Weekend before school starts. So if there was anything you needed to get done before school starts this is the time. I've spent my time organizing closets and checking for out of sized clothes, to make list of what the kids needed to start school. Then I was off to my favorite place on Wednesdays, the S & A Boutique, where everything is half off. You wouldn't believe the Abercrombie , Gap, Old Navy, and Hollister, that I was able to find. Such a rush when you find great things, hardly worn at great prices!!!!! It is also my way of saving the planet by recycling. It is also great for those on a budget!