Oatmeal Cookies


I rediscovered a recipe that I’d downloaded in 2002. It was from Cooks Illustrated, a magazine that I love. They had experimented using the recipe on the back of the Quacker Oats box as their starting point. They were going for chewier, crisper, less dense. I made these today & think they’re now my favorite, go to recipe.

I halved their recipe. Made cookies a bit smaller, except the last 4, and yielded 2 dozen cookies.

I made some with pecans, some with pecans and chocolate chips, and the last four added raisins to the pecans and chips. All delicious.

Note: don’t over bake. Edges will be brown but rest of cookie light. I used parchment paper on baking sheets and removed cookies to cooling racks. If not using parchment, let cool on baking sheets for two minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.

Oven 350F

1 stick butter

½ C light brown sugar

½ C granulated sugar

1 egg

¾ C flour

½ t salt

½ t baking powder

Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg

1 ½ C rolled oats

Pecan pieces, raisins, chocolate chips. Optional

Beat butter til fluffy, add sugars. Beat about 3 minutes then add egg. Beat together.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, & spices if using.

Add to butter mix. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula. Stir on oats and optional items.

Form into 2” balls(mine were smaller) and place on baking sheet.

Bake til edges brown. Recipe says 22-25 min. But I did 10 min. for smaller ones and last batch of four bigger ones, I did 12 minutes.

Cool 30 minutes on Rack.

Taste tested by my honey, who gave them two thumbs up.

Let me know if you try this recipe, and how it went for you.


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Baked Tofu sesame

This is a recipe from a cook book that has been used a lot, and I never thought it would be ’cause it has no photographs in it! hah!

1 pound of firm tofu, drained   (I freeze my tofu first, then defrost, and drain, as I like the texture created)

2 T tamari soy sauce

1 T water

1 T freshly grated ginger (I never have any, so I use a dash of ground ginger)

2 t minced garlic

1 T sesame seeds

1/4 t ground star anise (recommended but optional, I never use this)

  1. Cut the tofu across the short end into slices about 1/4″ thick. Cut into triangles, if you like.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet or a baking dish, combine the remaining ingredients. Place the tofu in the pan in one layer, cutting some pieces smaller to fit in, if necessary. Turn the pieces over once or twice in the marinade to coat.
  3. Bake uncovered in a 375F oven for 15 minutes. Turn over pieces and bake until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes more.  Scrape up the sesame seeds stuck to the bottom and place on top when serving the tofu.

I first made this in Jan. of 1998 according to a note on the recipe page, and the words “very good.” And it is. Simple but tasty. Serve with rice, or in a wrap, or whatever you like. I eat it as a healthy snack, too.

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Simple Muffins

So the other day there was a nice, simple recipe for muffins in our local newspaper (Richmond Times Dispatch – Holly Prestidge),which I cut out. Yesterday, I decided to make them for my book club – all three of us reading a book in Spanish at my house, weekly!

muffins - minemuffins - newspaperThe image on the left is of MY muffins, what’s left of the dozen large and dozen small ones. The image on the right, is the photo from the newspaper. Hmmm, What made the difference. I’m not sure but perhaps because I used brown sugar or because I beat the eggs too much?  I’m going to try the recipe again and see what happens. The club members and my husband really liked them. Try the recipe and let me know how it goes for you.

Muffins – makes about 1 1/2 to 2 dozen

2 t baking powder, 1 t salt, 1/2 t baking soda, 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 C of sugar (I used light brown sugar loosely packed), 1/4 C vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 1/3 C milk (I used almond milk, recipe called for 2 % cows milk)

Heat oven to 350° and line muffin tins with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine baking powder, salt, baking soda, flour and sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, egg, and mill, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Do NOT overmix (I might have done this.)

Fill muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm. Which I didn’t. I served with butter and strawberry preserves.

Add ins – dried cranberries, chopped up nuts, coconut flakes



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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Autumn Soup

Autumn Soup2

Adapted from a recipe by Clare Osdene Schapiro, which she adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Makes 8 to 10 main course servings.

2 large cloves garlic
2 T olive oil (divided)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded,  and cut up into cubes. About 4 cups.

8 C veggie stock
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C finely shredded green cabbage
1 – 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, including liquid.                                                              I actually found this type of tomato in Muir Glen brand. Very surprising.
1 T finely shopped fresh sage (optional)
1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
Coarsely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for topping
Freshly ground black pepper
Add more Salt if desired

In large, really large, soup pot, over moderate heat, cook garlic in 1 T oil, stir frequently
Do Not let burn.
Once garlic is golden brown, add the squash, stock, beans, cabbage, tomatoes and liquid, and sage. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, over moderately low heat cook the pumpkin seeds in the remaining 1 T oil, stirring constantly, until seeds are puffed and lightly toasted, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl lined with a paper towel and season with sea salt.

Mash some of the squash against the sides of the pot (or as we did, use an immersion blender and blend a bit) to thicken the soup. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 C of cheese, salt and pepper to taste. We forgot to stir in the cheese and added it on top at the table.
Place in individual bowls, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

This soup can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator, the recipe stated. We ended up with three jars to keep for additional lunch or dinner meals. This soup is really delicious and filling.

Sorry for the “breaks” in the list of ingredients. I don’t know how that happened and I couldn’t change it.

Posted in Autumn, beans, Soup, squash, vegetables | 1 Comment

Pimiento Cheese Spread – Southern USA goodness!

pimento cheese
A good old southern tradition from the pages of Southern Living Magazine 1986.
This is the very basic recipe. People change it up a bit and put in some Worcester sauce or onion flakes or other seasonings to their own taste. We like this very plain version.

16 oz of sharp cheddar cheese, grated finely (I use my food processor grating blade)
4 oz chopped pimientos (from a jar) drained
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1 C mayonnaise  ( I use Duke’s, it’s a southern tradition made right here in Richmond,         VA, USA)
1 T sugar
1/8 t ground pepper

Mix the pimientos with the cream cheese.
Then add all the remaining ingredients and mix it all up until it’s blended.
( I use my clean hands to do it. It’s much more efficient and I learned to do that from an old cafeteria lady when I was in collage working the lunch line at the student union, only we were mixing up a huge batch of cole slaw, but you get the idea.)

Chill a couple hours or overnight for the flavors to meld. Let come to room temperature to serve with some nice crackers of your choice OR use to make yummy grilled cheese sandwiches.

If you make this, let me know how you like it!

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Notice: this is not about food!

bicycleBeachI wanted to share with my food-interest readers that I’m having a Mail Art call about bicycles. Yes, bicycles, not food, although food eating while on bicycles is good, and riding a bicycle to a picnic is good, it’s all good.

If you’d like to participate, and I hope you will, send me a standard sized postcard with a bicycle theme. It’ll be displayed in a venue during the UCI World Bicycle Races here in my city, Richmond, VA, USA.

Here are the details: http://bicyclesrva2015.blogspot.com/2015_03_01_archive.html

Thanks! Mim

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Soda Crackers


Since my grand-girl isn’t yet eating cookies or sugary things, I was looking for some kind of recipe we could use for her to roll dough. Crackers! That’s it! Sure enough, I found a recipe using old school method – I looked in one of my cookbooks! More-with-Less Cookbook, put out by the Mennonite Central Committee in 1976, which I got in 1980 according to my note inside. It’s full of recipes from all over the world, and some basic ones, like crackers.

Soda Crackers (with my variations)
Makes about 1/2 lb
375°f oven, 10-12 minutes
Preheat oven.

Combine in a bowl:
2 cups flour (I used regular white)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda

cut in – 2 T cold margarine (I used butter)

Stir in 2/3 Cup sour milk or buttermilk (I used buttermilk, available dried in the baking section of most grocery stores. However, I think one can substitute plain yogurt for this, or a nut milk) I added a dash of worcestershire sauce to the liquid. I think some hot sauce would be nice, if one likes spicy.

I added a cup of grated cheddar cheese, too.

Round dough into a ball and knead a few strokes. (I used my food processor for all of the above, gently and not over-doing it, I hope)

Divide dough into several pieces and roll out very thin on a floured board. (I’m not sure I rolled it thin enough but was unsure of what I was doing. Next time, I won’t be so afraid and will roll it thinner.)

Lay sheets on un-greased flat baking pan. Sprinkle with alt and prick with a fork.
Cut into 1 1/2″ pieces using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. (I wasn’t so precise with squares.)

Bake 10 – 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These puffed up! I liked the crispy edge ones, but my honey liked the middle pieces which were soft in the middle (not thin enough!) I was pleased with the results and think this will be a good recipe to make with the grand.

Try it and let me know what you think. It’s so basic and lends itself to personal touches.

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Our Aunt Elna’s Apple Pie

photo 3-3

Preheat oven to 450 F

2 Cups flour
1/2 pound of cold butter (2 sticks)
1 beaten egg

3 pounds or more apples (assorted varieties)
1/2 C sugar (or a bit less)
2 T flour
1 t cinnamon

1/4 C brown sugar
3T room temperature butter
1/4 C lemon juice
additional sugar for sprinkling on top

– peel and cut apples into slices and put into a large bowl. Mix with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
-Blend the flour and butter until crumbs are formed ( I use a food processor to do this) After crumbs are made, add the beaten egg and process to form a dough ball.
DO NOT over process.
-Pat 1/2 of this mixture into the bottom of a large pie pan or a 13″ x 9″ pan.
DO NOT handle this dough too much.or the butter will get warm. We don’t want that to happen. Reserve remaining dough for top crust.
-Put the apples in the pan. On top of apples, put the brown sugar, bits of the butter, and the lemon juice.
-Take remaining dough and form into flattened pieces and place all over the top of the apples. There’ll be some empty spaces, which is okay. Sprinkle some sugar on the top.
-Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until apples test soft. If the crust is browning to much, cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil.

Let me know if you make this! Enjoy!

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Passover Dessert – Matzahmisu!


A cousin brought us two boxes of chocolate covered matzah for Passover. It was decided that we should make a dessert with them and as a group came up with this idea. Maybe it’s already been done, but we’re pretty pleased with what we concocted.

Two boxes of chocolate covered matzah

A can of dulce de leche

amaretto liqueur

whipping cream

slivered or sliced blanched almonds

Put some amaretto and some dulce de leche drizzle in the bottom of a baking pan. Break up some boards of matzah and put the pieces on top, saving the broken off bits of chocolate. spread some dulce de leche on this then another layer of matzah. Cover with some dulce de leche, some broken up chocolate pieces, saving a few for garnish on top.

Whip up whipped cream with some amaretto until it’s stiff. No need to add sugar to this. Cover top of matzah with whipped cream, sprinkle on remaining chocolate crumbs and slivered toasted almonds.

We put ours in the freezer for a couple hours, but putting it in the refrigerator might work as well. It was a hit. It was even better day 2, yes we had some left over but not for long. Next year, we’re going to add a shot of expresso on the bottom as well as the amaretto. We think that’ll be delish.

We might not wait until next Passover to make this again. It was sooo good. Hardly the “bread of affliction!”

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