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Monday Recipe: “Almost Ali’s Oatmeal Cookies” & the Pioneer Woman’s Mexican Macaroni Salad

July 6th, 2015

American mermaid

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

This mermaid says, When in doubt, bake. Or make a salad. Or just slice some vegetables and dip them in some kind of dunk. I wouldn’t mind a good recipe for Spinach Dunk, by the by, if anyone has one to share? The pre-made stuff is too salty.

This is my friend Helen’s recipe, and she borrowed it from the Oregonian, “with a few minor changes.”

Bon appetit, babies!

Almost Ali’s Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 -1/2 cups uncooked oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1 cup finely diced dried apricots
1 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat until well blended.

Stir in oats, nuts, apricots and white chocolate chips; mix until just blended.

Shape into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten balls slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to brown around edges and slightly moist in center.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

As for this delicious salad… we made this one for Mother’s Day? A party? Something, anyway, awhile back. It is so yummy.

Mexican Macaroni Salad
a la the Pioneer Woman

For the salad:
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked to package instructions, drained and rinsed with cold water
2 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1 can (15 oz.) black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped black olives
6 whole Roma tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes), chopped
3 whole green onions, sliced thin
1/2 whole red onion, finely diced
Chopped cilantro

For the dressing:

1 cup jarred salsa (spicy is best)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 limes, juiced (optional)

Preparation Instructions:
Grill the corn on a grill pan, or just place it in a hot skillet to brown some of the kernels. Remove from pan, allow to cool slightly, then use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Place the macaroni, corn, beans, olives, tomatoes, green onions, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the top and gently toss until all the ingredients are coated. Add the final 1/4 of the dressing if you think it needs it. Cover and allow salad to chill for 2 hours.
Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, and any other extra ingredients you have.

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