Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So part of my job entails lifting 50lb bags from a pallet that is usually stacked above my head and eventually putting them back. This is difficult. What's a girl to do but make friends with the guys who work at this storage facility so they'll do it for me? How did I do that, you ask? I made cookies. And not just any cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.

I discovered how wonderful these cookies are at Potbelly's. A former coworker brought some back for lunch one day and we were all left sitting with our mouths watering for more.

I'm not sure these are as good but they'll do. Thank you Betty Crocker for the recipe. I changed it a little based on some reviews I read. I was a little surprised when I started putting the batter together because there's only brown sugar used but they're amazing. They're chewy but crunchy. I have no idea how that works out but I'll take it. Here's the recipe!
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 c butter/margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 c quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
12oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until fluffy. Add the oats, baking soda and salt, mix. Add the flour a little at a time until incorporated. Add the chocolate chips. Cook at 350 for 9-11 minutes. I actually cooked mine about 13 minutes each time but ovens vary. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer time fun

Grilling might be my favorite thing about summer. I know many grill fanatics will cookout all year round but I am a wimp in the cold and will not do that. We bought our first grill on our first anniversary (insert "Aww" as you will). It's pretty. Call me old fashioned, but if I'm going to cook out I want to do it on charcoal. I love the smokey flavor that infuses into the food. I have plans to experiment with wood chips this summer, I'll let you know how it turns out.
We've actually cooked out several times already this summer. Not everything is blog worthy. I'm sure no one wants to read about the delicious hot dogs we made. I bought some Caribbean Jerk marinade and soaked some chicken quarters in it all day. I let them cook about 15 minutes per side right over the coals to get a crispness started and then moved them to the side to cook for another 45 minutes. If you didn't know, chicken quarters have quite a bit of fat on them and dripping fat over hot charcoal is not smart (unless you like your food on fire!) Needless to say, by the time they were ready they had a sticky glaze on them from the marinade and they were fabulous. Moist on the inside but crispy on the outside. Try it!

My favorite thing on the grill is steaks. Obviously, you have to have a good cut or you'll end up with a tough piece of meat that's no good. What I like to do is rub some olive oil into the meat and season with a Montreal steak seasoning. I generally just buy McCormick's seasoning but it's relatively easy to make on your own. The key to a good steak is how it's cooked. I like my steak pink still. Josiah prefers his mostly done but a little pink is okay. The lovely things about cooking on the grill is you can custom cook food with very little hassle! My rule of thumb is that the steaks only get flipped once. I put them on for 4-5 minutes on one side and flip them over and repeat. That gets me a perfect brown on the outside and a beautiful pink on the inside. These steaks were melt in your mouth good. I also chopped some potatoes and an onion. I mixed those up and separated them out into foil. I seasoned with seasoned salt and pepper and put a dollop of butter in each one. Close up the foil and stick them right over the coals. Depending on your fire, the potatoes should be finished after about 30 minutes. Have I mentioned I love summer?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriotic Trifle

Look at how pretty that is! Very easy too!
White cake, blueberries, whipped cream and strawberries. You can brush the cake with a syrup to keep it from being dry; I made a lemon/almond syrup, it was really light and suited the rest of the flavors nicely.