Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

My sister and brother-in-law have declared that these are my best cookies to date. I'm not so sure, but the flavor combination is really tasty. Once again, I started with my very easy to remember and make cookie recipe; then I stirred in what was in the pantry. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 bag peanut butter chips

1. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Add in vanilla.
2. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Scoop onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
3. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until done.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Black Bean Salad

This is great as a salad and even better served as a dip with homemade tortilla chips. It comes together in a snap. Enjoy!

Black Bean Salad
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 avocado, chopped
Juice and zest from 1 orange
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1. Place tomatoes and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Combine orange juice and zest and remaining ingredients. Pour lime juice mixture over tomato mixture.

Baba Ghanoush

I love eggplant! However Andy doesn't share this love, which means I have to find other avenues besides dinnertime to enjoy it. Tonight I was invited to scrapbook at a friend's house. We were all contributing food to share, so I decided to make this version of a yummy Middle Eastern dip from The Pioneer Woman's blog. The eggplant came in this week's market basket. Tahini is the investment ingredient; you can find it on the international aisle of the grocery store. It comes in a big can, so I have plenty to share. Roasting the eggplant is simple; once it cools, you peel off the skin and mash the pulp (don't be intimidated—it's easy). I highly recommend this dip. Enjoy!

Baba Ghanoush
3 eggplants
4 Tbsp. tahini
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley

1. Prick eggplants with a fork on all sides. Place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for 25 minutes; rotate eggplants, and broil for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
2. Peel eggplants, and mash pulp. Stir in tahini and next 3 ingredients. Stir in parsley. Serve with bagel chips or baguette slices.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mini Blackberry Buttermilk Pound Cakes

Fresh blackberries stirred into pound cake batter, what could be better? This recipe is my version of one from Alton Brown. The buttermilk adds a nice tang. Vanilla and lemon zest subtly enhance the cake's flavor. I made these cakes in my baby cake pan and smaller ones in a muffin pan. This batter comes together in a snap and is just right with ice cream. Enjoy!

Mini Blackberry Buttermilk Pound Cakes
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk

1. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add in vanilla and lemon zest.
2. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scoop batter into a lightly greased baby cakes pan.
3. Bake at 375° for 25 to 35 minutes or until cake is done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tomato Sandwich

Nothing says summer to me like a tomato sandwich! We had them for lunch today. For me, the necessary ingredients are ripe tomatoes, lightly toasted sourdough bread, mayo, salt, and pepper—perfection! If you haven't eaten one yet this season, I highly recommend it. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zucchini Fries

I had lunch yesterday with some friends a fancy burger restaurant called Flip and enjoyed a shrimp burger with zucchini fries, which inspired me to come up with this version. Because of my market basket, we have an abundance of zucchini. For the coating, I dredged the zucchini wedges in seasoned flour, buttermilk, and Homemade Breadcrumbs. The next step was to fry the zucchini. (Yes, I have been frying a lot lately. What can I say—I'm a Southerner and we love fried veggies!) I served the fries with Easy Rémoulade. These were the perfect complement to the Rib-Eye Steaks and Risotto we had. Enjoy!

Zucchini Fries
4 zucchini, cut into small wedges
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
2 cups Homemade Breadcrumbs
Peanut oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Place buttermilk and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes. Dredge zucchini wedges in flour, buttermilk, and breadcrumbs.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Fry zucchini, in batches, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese while still warm. Serve immediately.

Rib-Eye Steaks

Andy and I have decided that rib-eyes are our favorite, so we planned to have them for dinner tonight. However it's been so hot outside, the idea of grilling them was unappealing. So I came up with this technique: sear the steak in a hot cast-iron skillet and then bake it in the oven until perfectly medium. These steaks were pretty thick; if yours are thin, adjust the oven temperature accordingly. This was definitely an experiment and it worked well. Andy declared that he preferred this approach to grilling. Enjoy!

Rib-Eye Steaks
Rib-Eye Steaks
Montreal steak seasoning
Olive oil

1. Sprinkle steaks on both sides with steak seasoning. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Sear steaks on both sides. Remove skillet to oven, and bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or to desired degree of doneness.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fresh Produce

Our new neighborhood has a weekly farmers market during the summer. Through the market, you can purchase a subscription to receive a basket of fresh produce throughout the season. This has been something I have been interested in doing, so once we moved we purchased a subscription. The one pictured here is the first one. With the contents, I have made Peach-Blackberry Crisp, Zucchini-and-Squash Gratin, Zucchini Fries, and Slow-Cooker Green Beans. I look forward to being challenged to try new recipes each week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fried Okra and Green Tomatoes

Our friend Jason taught me how to make this recipe. It's an easier way to enjoy fried green tomatoes. Simply chop a green tomato at the same time you slice the okra. Toss the veggies in a cornmeal-flour mixture, and then fry until crispy. I served this dish with Mashed Potatoes and corn on the cob as a veggie plate. Enjoy!

Fried Okra and Green Tomatoes
Fresh okra, sliced
1 or 2 green tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cornmeal
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil

1. Combine okra and chopped green tomato. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Toss flour mixture with vegetables.
2. Pour oil to cover the bottom of a Dutch oven, and heat. Add in vegetable mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 14, 2010


My computer decided that the move didn't agree with it, so my blogging hiatus has been longer than expected. But during this blackout period, I have been cooking and taking pictures. So as soon as I get help from a genius at the Apple Store, I have several recipes to post. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's Time for a Change

Andy and I are in the process of moving. Because of all the boxes (and the fact that all my pans are at the new house), zero cooking will be going on. But I'll be back in the kitchen next week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes were another of my farmers market purchases on Saturday. Tonight I served them to my in-laws for dinner with hamburgers. I have made this dish several times, but these were the best yet. I think the key is to not touch them once you drop them in the oil. I used homemade breadcrumbs, but panko would work as well. On the side, we had Easy Rémoulade. Enjoy!

Fried Green Tomatoes
Sliced green tomatoes
All-purpose flour
Homemade Breadcrumbs
Peanut oil

1. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt. Place flour, buttermilk, and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes. Sprinkle salt and pepper into flour. Dredge tomatoes in flour, buttermilk, and then breadcrumbs.
2. Fry tomatoes, in batches, in hot oil in Dutch oven for about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.