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Monday Recipe Club: Lemon Snaps & Chocolate Chip Cookies

January 27th, 2020

Sky and ocean

(Photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

The holidays seem like forever ago now, but we had fun. Hope you did, too.

I did a lot of baking to share with friends, co-workers and us, the cookie monsters. I baked a spiral-cut ham, thank you Winco, homemade mac and cheese, meatballs, more meatballs, and lots and lots of cookies. I was watching the Sopranos (for the dozenth time. My version of the 12 Days of Christmas) and Carmela… with the ziti. With the sweet sausage. With the lasagna with the layer of fresh basil. With the espresso and the Lemon Snaps for the church bake sale. I love that girl, I love that character.

These are my two new/old favorite recipes.

Lemon Snaps

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon zest
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. (Wait. I didn’t have lemons so I used satsumas and oh yes. Great idea.)

Pour in the oil, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls into the powdered sugar, then transfer to cookie sheet. Bake for 7 to 12 mins or until browned.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips (I like a mix of white and milk chocolate)

Cream together butter and sugars, add eggs and vanilla. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding chocolate chips last. Drop by teaspoonsful onto greased cookie sheets, bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I prefer these as a bar cookie. Spread the dough into a greased 9×13 pan, bake about 15-20 minutes.

Bon appetit, babes. Happy Year of the Rat.

Smashed Potatoes a la my friend Kay

July 23rd, 2019

Keep Fucking Going

(“A Few of My Favorite Things,” photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

SMASHED POTATOES a la my friend Kay

* Yukon potatoes, sliced up to 1″ thick
* 6 tablespoons melted butter
* Fresh thyme

Mix spuds, butter and herbs in a cast iron skillet or metal pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; flip; bake another 15 minutes.

Add some smashed garlic and some chicken or vegetable broth to the pan; put back into the oven for 15 minutes more.

(Adjust the temp/time as you see fit, cuz I freestyle this one, as always.)

Bon appetit, babies!

WM

Monday Book Review: “Natural Disaster,” by Ginger Zee; “Fresh Off the Boat,” edited by Larry Smith; and “Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters,” by Susanna Fogel

December 18th, 2017

Fastest book review ever:

“Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I Am One,” by Ginger Zee. (Kingswell, 2017, 282 pages, $26.99.) Sweet, tart, sad, beautiful, funny memoir from ABC News Chief Meteorologist, one Ms. Ginger Zee.

“Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America,” edited by Larry Smith (Kingswell, 2017, $15.99). This is one from the six-word memoirs series, and I thought that would be the format throughout, but was pleased to find essays and photos included, too. Beautiful, touching book. Everyone, especially our President and his staff, needs to read it.

My favorite quote:

“But where are you really from?” Suki Kim

“Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters,” by Susanna Fogel (Henry Holt, 2017, 199 pages, $16). I picked up this book at somewhere I never shop anymore: the library. Weird, I know. Good God, it’s funny. I mean, like hilarious funny. Crying and wiping tears from my eyes and reading pages out loud to my boyfriend funny, funny-as-David-Sedaris funny. So read it, already.

And in parting, in the words of my late, great Granny: “Even Jesus had to knock a few heads together in the pool hall sometimes.”

Happy Holidays from our house to yours.

Ambrosia, My Granny’s Recipe

Slice three or four oranges into a bowl, sprinkle with shredded coconut, add some maraschino cherries. If you want to get fancy like me, add pineapple chunks, drizzle the whole thing with honey, top with whipped cream. Bon appetit, babies!

Sunday Recipe Club: New, Improved Tortellini Soup

October 29th, 2017

You can make this one in 20 minutes, if you’re good at chopping. If you’re bad at chopping? Slow down.

Bon appetit, babies!

WM

Tortellini Soup

Chop and saute until it’s carmelized a little:

One onion
6-8 cloves of garlic
2 stalks celery
1 red pepper

(I didn’t put in any carrots, because I forgot, but they would be nice)

Saute, saute. Add fresh or dried basil and parsley, salt and pepper, to taste.

Add one chopped fresh tomato.

Stir in one jar basil pesto.

Add broth (I used chicken stock).

Slice two smoked sausages; add one package frozen broccoli, one can corn, and some cooked chicken (I used the shelf-stable kind in an envelope — that’s my go-to for everything now from chicken to tuna to salmon)…

…and… one package frozen cheese tortellini.

Add more broth, if needed (my gauge is about two inches of liquid above the ingredients). Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until done.

Sprinkle bowls of soup with parmesan cheese, serve with cornbread and a green salad.

Really nice, easy dish for a cold, rainy day like today.

Sunday Recipe Club: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread; love & marriage & bread

March 12th, 2017

Locked myself out of my blog, but here I am, back in. The breadmaker broke. Everything breaks at once (“when it rains/it pours”) — the fence, the breadmaker, the thermostat outside that tells us inside how cold/hot it is, the carpets are trashed, the puppy ate the entire irrigation system in the backyard, which didn’t work all that well, anyway, truth be told, and on and on.

I thought I’d use Steve’s recipe for homemade bread, couldn’t find it, then I remembered we wrote this cookbook and there it was. Only it’s too hard, I hadn’t remembered that until I saw it again.

But right next to it… my bread recipe. That I don’t even remember at all. I don’t remember baking it, writing it down, including it in the cookbook, nothing. But there it was, here it is, it’s simple and rises fast and the 2 loaves I baked turned out awesome.

So my kid, who only loves only homemade bread, and always has, is happy. I’m happy about that, and other stuff. Spring. Our crazy puppy. My other kid is happy, too. One kid is out walking the dog right now, the other is playing video games. Later, we’ll go for dinner with friends.

Things will settle down someday. In the meantime, I write, and bake bread.

Some things don’t change.

xo wm

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

Dissolve 2 tablespoons yeast in 2 cups warm water; leave for five minutes
Stir in 1/2 cup sugar or honey
Add one cup oats
Add 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix in 2 eggs
Add 2 cups white flour & 3 cups whole wheat flour, stirring in as you go. Depending on the weather, you might need a little more or a little less flour
Add in 2 teaspoons salt as you stir

Turn onto floured bread board. Knead nine or ten times.

Put into greased bowl, cover with towel, put it somewhere that’s not too cold, not too hot, not too drafty, and let rise until double in size.

Grease pans or cooking sheets, form dough into 2 loaves of bread or 24 rolls.
Leave again and let rise until doubled.
Bake at 375 degrees until nice and brown and yummy. Brush with butter when done.

Bon appetit, babies!
wm

Friday Recipe Club! Tortellini Soup & Pumpkin Bars

December 16th, 2016

Tortellini Soup a la Nancy

This was a crockpot recipe that I modified. It’s easy to put together in a hurry, and it stretches if needed. I cooked it on the stove.

* Celery, carrots, onion, garlic

Dice & saute in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

* Add one can (small or large) diced tomatoes. Fry them up a little with the veggies.

* Add herbs (I used oregano, basil, chives, red & black pepper & salt) & vegetable (or chicken or beef) bouillon

* Add water.

* Let simmer awhile.

* Add one or two packages of cheese tortellini, until pasta is cooked but not mushy.

* Let simmer awhile longer.

* Add one package spinach, let it wilt.

* Turn off heat, then add one or two cans evaporated milk, plus some heavy cream or regular milk.

* Add lots of parmesan cheese. Serve it up!

Pumpkin Bars a la Paula Deen

Bars:
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15 -ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing:
8 -ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Bon appetit, babies.

love,

wm

Tuesday Book Review: “The Mermaid’s Purse” and “Clangers: Looking for a Lullaby”

November 1st, 2016

Patricia Polacco, I love you so dearly. I love you like an auntie, a friend, a sweet neighbor. And one of my favorite children’s authors ever. Even though we’ve never met, I know you. Thanks for that! This newest book, “The Mermaid’s Purse,” is going on my list of top five Polacco favorites (others are “Thank You, Mr. Falker,” “Chicken Sunday,” “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” and “Mr. Lincoln’s Way.” For reals, everything she’s written and illustrated is great. How cool — and unusual — is that?)

“The Mermaid’s Purse” (Viking, 2016, $16.99, ages 3-5, according to press release, but I’d like to change that to “all ages”) is, as many of Polacco’s stories are, based on a story from her family. This is her grandmother’s story, about her love of books, her community, and the love of her life. Just so cool. Keep it in mind when shopping for holiday gifts this year.

“Clangers” is a sweet and funny little book based on the U.K. television show. The copy I received for review includes a CD. (“Clangers” was written by Janet Lawler and audio book is read by the one and only William Shatner, Grosset & Dunlap, 2016, $18.99, ages 3-5.) Stop-motion is cool because it’s not only fun to watch, visually, but it transfers well to the page. The book is bright, colorful, and includes froglets, bed caves and an Iron Chicken. What more could a kid want?

ps I made this Potato Leek Soup for dinner a couple weeks ago. Perfecto. And this? Callaloo? Looks super yummy.

— wm

Friday Recipe Club: Black Beans & Polenta

March 25th, 2016

The day afer

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Denver, when it’s snowing. Crazy, cuz it’s almost April, dudes.

This one is from my friend Kimi, because the girl knows how to cook!

Black Beans & Polenta, a la Kimi

“Cheap, healthy, fast and easy. Always organic.”

Black beans, fresh squeezed orange, chopped jalapeno and onion over polenta, topped with avocado, vegan sour cream and Secret Aardvark habanero sauce (made in Portland, Oregon!). Mixed greens on side with balsamic vinegar & garlic dressing.”

oh, yum.

Sunday Recipe Club: Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Pancakes

March 20th, 2016

azalea

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Bon appetit, babies!

— wm

Lemon Ricotta Poppyseed Pancakes

This is a great one, borrowed from Martha Stewart. Perfect for spring brunch.

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, plus more for serving
3/4 cup milk
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Unsalted butter, softened, for cooking
Honey Syrup, for serving

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, milk,
egg yolks, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the cheese mixture and mix until batter is just combined. Stir in
lemon zest and poppy seeds.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold egg whites
into batter.
3. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium­high heat; brush surface with butter. Working in batches, ladle
1/3 cup batter for each pancake on griddle, leaving space as they will spread. Cook until golden and top begins to
bubble, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently turn and continue cooking until bottoms are light brown, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve
immediately with ricotta and honey syrup.

Tuesday Recipe Club: Best Banana-Coconut Bread Ever. Also, Best Blueberry-Coconut Bread Ever, and My Sister’s Coconut Cookies

March 15th, 2016

P1050313

Pretty picture of Mt. Hood for you, by one Steve Rawley

Best Banana-Coconut Bread Ever

1 3/4 cups flour
a little less than 2/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
1/4-1/2 milk
2 eggs
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas and stir in lemon juice. Add honey; beat in eggs; add oil. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Drizzle in milk until batter is almost consistency of cake batter. (It should be a little thicker than that.) Stir in coconut last; stir all ingredients until blended. Don’t overbeat.

Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool thoroughly on wire racks. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers (if you have any leftovers).

This recipe turned out great! Well, it’s hard to go wrong with banana bread, but still! I recreated it the next day, with 2 cups of frozen blueberries and the rest of the coconut and baked it as a cake in a 9×13 dish.

Baking temps: Start baking at 350, cake or loves, then turn down to 325 about halfway through baking. I used soy milk with the banana bread; rice milk with the blueberry cake. Both were fine. Bon appetit, babies :)

Coconut Cookies (my sissy’s recipe) (because we are cuckoo for coconut)

(Leave out the raisins and add chia seeds and coconut instead)

Ingredients:
¾ cup coconut oil, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¾ cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins, golden and regular

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In large bowl, cream together coconut oil and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture.

Stir in oats and raisins (chia seeds and coconut). Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack.

xo me, wacky mommy)

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