Friday, February 12, 2010

I've found my inner fat kid

And here he is:

I love him!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

C is for skillet cookie, that's good enough for me!

Monday was a Mama Needs Cookie kind of day. My friend Jennie recently linked to Ezra Poundcake's version of Martha Stewart's skillet cookie (say that three times fast). I am always looking for new ways to use my trusty Lodge cast-iron skillet, so I was immediately interested. I have to confess that I had some trouble with the, uh, wording of the instructions. The last item on the original ingredient list goes like this: 1 1/2 cups mixed milk and semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces). For a good thirty minutes I pondered this. How does one mix milk and chocolate chips? How do you know how much of each to use? How do you combine a liquid measurement and a dry measurement? I even took to Twitter to beg for help. After which I soon realized that it was calling for milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips. DUH. Can you tell I'd had a LONG day? Which was WHY I needed a cookie in the first place?

You'd think it would be smooth sailing after that little episode. I assure you, it was not.

This cookie dough is not to be trifled with. I snapped my spatula in half while trying to fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips (I chose to boycott the milk chocolate chips for making a fool of me. Also, I didn't have any on hand). RIP blue spatula. We had a good run.

Once I got past the recipe tomfoolery and the spatula injury, this cookie was impressive. I also accidentally added 1/4 cup too much white sugar (I make the Toll House recipe so much it's imprinted on my brain) and it turned out delicious. AMAZING, actually. It was gone by last night. How sad.


Here's the recipe with my modifications in bold. Best of luck!

Serves 8
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used less, let's say "scant")
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I used salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used dark)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes (I used a hand mixer).
4. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until they are fully incorporated.
5. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.
6. Stir in chocolate chips (Beware, flimsy spatula!)
7. Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, and press to flatten, covering the bottom of the pan. Bake until the edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve each with a scoop of ice cream or a large glass of milk.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Easy stuffed peppers

I recently re-organized my cookbook (basically a three-ring binder with clear plastic pages into which I stuff recipes that I find and like), and happened back upon my mom's recipe for stuffed peppers. I made it for dinner tonight ... so easy and really yummy! I threw this together while Syd munched on her dinner in the high chair.

Here's my mom's recipe with some tweaks (I ended up with 6 peppers, her recipe called for 4).

6 bell peppers, green or red
1.5 pounds ground beef
medium-large diced onion
~1 T minced garlic (to taste)
2 small cans diced tomatoes
shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend I had on hand, but you can use whatever you like)
salt and pepper
chili powder
1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 T. sugar

Cut the tops off the peppers and clean out the insides. Par boil the peppers by dropping them in boiling water for about 7 mins. Remove and place in a rectangular baking dish with high sides (I used two glass loaf pans).

Meanwhile sautee the ground beef with the onion and garlic (add more garlic if you like). When the meat is cooked add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper, and a few dashes of chili powder (optional). You really can season this however you like ... you could add red pepper flakes if you like it spicier, or substitute a can of RoTel for one can of tomatoes ... the possibilities are endless. Stir everything together and then add the rice. Cover and cook until the rice is done.  Taste the meat filling and adjust your seasonings as needed.

Place a small amount of the meat mixture in the bottom of each pepper, then place some cheese on top of that. Then fill the peppers to the top with the rest of the meat mixture and then top with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

I enjoyed my pepper with corn tortilla chips (as I do most things).

Bon apetit!!