Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘make ahead’

This is a tasty oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that’s simple to make.  It’s a nice combination of crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty.  If you prefer not to use the vegetable shortening, you can substitute with coconut oil.  Also, instead of bittersweet chocolate, you can use any chocolate you prefer (I use bittersweet or dark chocolate).  Enjoy!

Salted Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate

Recipe from Real Simple Magazine.

Salted Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoons flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

large egg

teaspoon pure vanilla extract

ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375° F with the rack in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat the butter, shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until lightly and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined (do not over mix). Stir in the chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Storage suggestion: Keep the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

 

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I know I can’t complain about all of the rain we’ve been getting in California, but this weather is gloomy and it puts me in the mood to bake!  I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade granola and when I read that the amazing restaurant Eleven Madison Park (NYC) hands it out to their patrons as a thank you, I thought that was such a nice touch … and I knew it had to be good!  A quick trip to the bulk section at Whole Foods supplied me with all of my healthy ingredients.  This granola is delicious — healthy, salty, sweet, crunchy, nutty, and well, addictive.  So good on top of plain yogurt (and maybe vanilla ice cream) or on its own!  This would make a nice gift in a mason jar too.

Granola

Recipe from Eleven Madison Park, published in the NYT Magazine

 

Eleven Madison Park Granola

Makes: 6 cups

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 3⁄4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1/3 cup pumpkinseeds
1 tablespoon salt
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup dried sour cherries

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and salt.

2. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the sugar, syrup and olive oil until the sugar has just dissolved, then remove from heat. Fold liquids into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.

3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and spread granola over it. Bake until dry and lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way.

4. Remove granola from oven, and mix into it the dried sour cherries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

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I love making pancakes for my family on the weekend, but have you ever noticed how much sugar is in a lot of the store-bought pancake mixes?  My friend Sarah told me about this super healthy pancake mix.  She has lots of little mouths to feed, so she makes a big batch of this dry mix ahead of time.  You’ll have to shop for some specialty ingredients at Whole Foods or a specialty store, but you’ll be glad you did.  I will be making this again and again for my family – my boys love it!  The pancakes are healthy, so you will need to top with a dab of butter, real Vermont maple syrup or molasses, and fresh fruit.  Note: the recipe makes a big batch of mix, which is great for storing in a container for future use.Goldie's Whole Grain Pancake Mix Recipe slightly adapted from “Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents

Goldie’s Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Makes 6 cups dry mix.

“This basic pancake mix comes from Goldie Caughlan, nutrition educator at Puget Consumers Co-op in Seattle.  There are many types of whole grain flours besides wheat that can be used to make baked goods.  This recipe utilizes a combination of several.  One perk of this mix is that it works equally well for waffles.”

Ingredients:

2 cups barley flour

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup blue cornmeal

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and store in air tight container.

Buttermilk Banana Pancakes

Recipe slightly adapted from “Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents

Makes ten 5-inch pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups Goldie’s Whole Grain Pancake Mix

1 cup buttermilk (can substitute with plain yogurt and a bit of water)

1/2 cup water

1 ripe banana, cut into thin slices

Vegetable Oil for griddle

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, water, and pancake mix.  Mix thoroughly with a whisk.  Add egg and banana to batter and gently fold in.  Heat griddle to medium high and coat surface with small amount of oil.  Pour enough batter onto griddle to form a 5-inch pancake.  When pancake has cooked on the bottom (tiny bubbles form on the top), flip with a spatula and cook the other side.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  Keep cooled pancakes in a warm oven until ready to serve.

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Oh, these muffins.  Don’t ask me how many I just ate!  The recipe was given to me over a year ago from my friend Jackie and I don’t know why it took me so long to try them myself.  She was 41 weeks pregnant at the time and anxiously awaiting her home birth.  She waddled over (sorry, Jackie — we all have that “waddle” in the final month!!) to my house with a basket of these warm from the oven.  She was panting and out-of-breath when I opened the door and I gasped, “Is it time?!”  I thought she was having contractions!  So, I secretly call these Jackie’s Contraction Muffins.  She was just winded from her walk, but I think she did go into labor the next day.  These are wonderful, earthy, sweet muffins from my Earthy Mama friend — I’m so glad she shared these with me!  Note: you can substitute raisins for any dried fruit that you like.  I made half of the recipe and it made a ton – about 10 regular muffins and 17 mini muffins, which I baked for 21 minutes.  Enjoy!

Morning Glory Muffins

Recipe from my friend Jackie who found it in The Gourmet Cookbook.

Ingredients:

4 cups white flour

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons salt

12 carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit like cherries or diced apricots)

1 cup unsweetened coconut (if you only have sweetened, just omit 1/4 cup of sugar)

1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

2 Granny Smith apples, grated

6 eggs

2 cups vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter muffin cups well.

Whisk together flour sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, raisins, pecans, coconut and apples. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling them to the top. Bake until muffins are springy to the touch, about 30 minutes (or 21 minutes for mini muffins). Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature.

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I’m always looking for a fresh, new salad dressing and when I learned how easy this one is to throw together, I was thrilled.  My mother-in-law Cille served this to us this summer and I’ve made it a handful of times since.  I tend to double the recipe so I have it in the fridge for the next night or two.  Great on a salad with toasted nuts/seeds, avocado, edamame, and/or chopped yellow peppers.  Enjoy!

Japanese Style Sesame Dressing

Recipe slightly adapted from La Tourangelle Artisan Oils.

 

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Blend ingredients thoroughly and enjoy.

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Think of this as an Americanized version of a Chinese stir fry — tasty and only takes 15 minutes to prepare.  What’s not to love?  Also a good excuse to use up any ground beef and/or pork in your freezer (before it sits in there for too long!)  Serve with brown rice and put a bottle of Sriracha at the table for those who want more heat.

Mapo Tofu

Recipe slightly adapted from Food and Wine; contributed by Chef Kuniko Yagi.

“This is totally my way of making this dish,” chef Kuniko Yagi says. “I’m sure Chinese people wouldn’t let me call this mapo tofu.” Yagi’s version has more meat than tofu, but she still relies on jarred toban djan, the chile­-bean paste that gives this Chinese takeout staple its signature heat and deeply savory flavor.”

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 pound ground beef chuck (85% lean)
1/2 pound ground pork
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chile-bean sauce, preferably toban djan (or 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce or tenmenjan (soybean paste)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
One 14-ounce package soft tofu, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 scallions, finely chopped
Brown rice, for serving

Directions:

1. Heat a large skillet until hot. Add the oil, followed by the beef and pork. Season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring and breaking up the meat, until crumbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the chile­-bean sauce, hoisin and soy sauce and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Gently fold in the tofu. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the water. Add to the skillet and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 minutes. Stir in the scallions and serve with brown rice.

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