Friday, April 08, 2016

Confirmation Blessings


Fitzy can't have a proper celebration without Goldie's Heirloom Cake!  I love this sweet picture of him from his First Holy Communion.  Here he is on the right ready to celebrate his Confirmation.
God bless Joshua. (God Bless Fitzy & Jack, too!)
xo Goldie

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Baked Oatmeal


This is from Epicurious and technically is billed as being a "no-recipe needed" dish.  I still like to have measurements when I am baking so was glad to find that dry-to-wet ingredient proportions were included in their "recipe".  The idea of baked oatmeal sounds so inviting, doesn't it?  This recipe is more than perfect because it can be reheated and tastes just as great as when it first came out of the oven.  Baked oatmeal is a quick, delicious, and healthy way to start the day! Make this in advance and then scoop out a slice in the morning and reheat in the microwave (or in the oven) for breakfast.  You can serve alone or with additional milk and any other toppings that you prefer.  I recommend serving with a little sliced banana and milk on top.  The combination of textures and flavors from the chewy oatmeal & baked berries and the sliced banana & cold milk is scrumptions.

Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Epicurious

12-16 ounces fresh berries other fresh fruit (chopped apples or peaches would be very good)
2 cups old-fashioned or hearty rolled oats (not instant)
½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 to 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly (or use ¼ cup olive oil)
1 egg (beaten)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8-inch or similar size baking dish with butter.
Mix oats with salt and cinnamon in small bowl and set aside.  In large mixing cup or a bowl, stir together the milk, maple syrup, beaten egg, and melted butter.

Put berries in pan and distribute evenly so they cover the bottom of pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the berries.  Pour oat mixture over berries – evenly distribute.  Pour milk mixture over evenly and do not mix.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is golden.  

I didn't let my melted butter cool enough and it coagulated when it got mixed in with the cold milk --no problem, still turned out great!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my new favorite chocolate chip cookies.  I decided that I liked them better than my own chocolate chip cookie recipe.  My kids don't agree and tell me they still like mine best.  I love the crunch of this cookie - no chewy factor. It has a good dose of chocolate provided by a combination of chopped chocolate and chocolate chips.  The make-ahead slice & bake option is very nice.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
adapted from the Dining & Wine section of the New York Times, June 18, 2013

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla 
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle. Add sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.
Add egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15-30 seconds, or until they are fully incorporated. Do not over-beat. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.
On low speed, add sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add chocolate chunks and chocolate chips and mix in.
Heat oven to 350 degrees with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Spoon heaping teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. If not baking right away, remove small handfuls or spoonfuls of dough from mixer and plop them down on the middle of a sheet of parchment or wax paper, creating a log about 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Fold parchment over cookie log. Chill for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Using a serrated knife, slice chilled dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place them 2 inches apart, in staggered rows, on parchment-lined sheets and proceed. (Dough will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.)
Bake one sheet at a time, middle of the oven, for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through. Remove from heat and slide parchment off baking sheet and onto counter. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. They will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Black Bean Burgers (Gluten-Free Recipe!)

If you order veggie burgers then I am betting you have tried several and they were each very different in both texture and taste.  Have you tried to duplicate your favorite?  I have!  My family has a couple of favorite hamburger joints and we know how we like our hamburgers.  Veggie burgers have been more of a mystery.  We finally narrowed it down and our favorite type is black bean burgers.  After many variations with brown rice, oatmeal, bread crumbs, spices, and other fillers... we have a winner! This burger has mostly black beans and only a little bit of filler.  These are delicious, very easy to make, and they hold together.  They can be made several days in advance and reheated in a skillet, microwave, or in the oven.  I know they will freeze well and plan to make several batches to put in the freezer.  I know this is going to be another great option for school lunches, too.  My kids are very happy!  Another bonus --these are gluten free. :)

Claire's Black Bean Burgers

2 15-ounce cans of organic black beans (drained)
1 sweet potato (roasted and mashed)
½ cup of quinoa flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (for brushing tops of burgers)
one large bunch of chopped cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put quinoa flakes and one can of black beans into food processor.  Pulse until incorporated and mixed together (or mash by hand with a potato masher).   Add the the second can of black beans and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to pulse until mostly mashed but still some whole and partial beans remain.  Put mixture into a bowl and fold in the sweet potato until fully incorporated into the black beans and quinoa mixture.  If using, add cilantro and fold into the mixture.

Scoop 9 patties onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Flatten scoops lightly with figures.  Brush each patty with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip patties and return to oven for another 10 minutes.
Serve with fresh cilantro, avocado, & tomato ---or any fixins' of your choice!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Apple Snacking Bread: Two Ways!

This recipe comes together in a couple of minutes with only a little effort going into the peeling and chopping of the apples.  I followed the recipe the first go round and it was incredibly delicious.  The second time I made it with less sugar and also substituted part whole wheat flour.  Both ways were truly scrumptious! The key is to chop the apples in small slivers/chunks ---it is packed with apples and very moist.  I used all Granny Smith in one batch and then a combination of apples in the next.
Both worked well but I prefer the taste of all Granny Smith. :)  It also tastes best after it has cooled - flavors need time to mingle and will be more pronounced after bread has had time to cool.

Apple Snacking Cake
adapted from recipe in Washington Post Food Section, January 13, 2016

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¾ cups sugar (or just use 1 ¼ cups)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¾  cup canola or olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
4-5 medium apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced, then cut into pieces (4 cups packed)- I prefer Granny Smith but you can use any combination of firm apples.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter.
Whisk together the cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and oil in a mixing bowl until well incorporated. Stir in the flour just until no dry spots remain, to form a stiff batter, then fold in the apples.  Divide the batter evenly between the loaf pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. The tops will be firm and browned. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely before serving or storing.