Snowed in? Clementine’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies a Ghirardelli recipe!

What do you do when you’re snowed in? Temps are low and you live in a tropical state that isn’t accustomed to getting below freezing temps coupled with inches of snow (5″!!) – well… you go through your recipes and see what you can make with what you’ve got. As luck would have it, I found this recipe in my file that I last made a million years ago, I noted that it was EXCELLENT. I don’t say that too often.

Continue reading “Snowed in? Clementine’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies a Ghirardelli recipe!”

[recipe] – RHUBARB PIE! Ohhhh, best ever!

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Rhubarb. You either love it or you hate it. I happen to love it. Rhubarb makes the best pie ever. Some people mix it with strawberries… hmmmm, not me, I like it with just rhubarb. I’m funny that way…

Last month was my birthday, and my mother-in-law surprised me with a rhubarb pie, and it was delicious! I swore I was going to freeze some of it, but it was gone before I got around to doing it… Oops!

I was a weird kid… never wanted cake for my birthday, always wanted pie. So my mom would bake me a pie. I love a good pie! I showed you how to make an APPLE PIE on an earlier post… Easy as… you guessed it! Fruit pies are easy as pie to make. Sometimes they may be a bit juicy and make the bottom crust soggy, other times they won’t. Go with it, don’t worry about it, it’s good no matter how it ends up! My favorite are fruit pies (I refer to blueberry pie as ‘antioxidant pie’, hee… hmmm, sounding good right now!).

As I mentioned, I didn’t make the pie above… but I have made this pie before. I don’t usually put a lattice crust, just because it’s quicker to have a top crust and make a pretty design with a knife to let the steam escape. But if you have the time, the lattice really makes it pretty!

I use Pillsbury pie crust (red box in the refrigerator section of the grocery store). I never use any other. I’ve picked up a well known brand and it was horrible… that’s a lot of money down the drain if the crust is bad. So unless you know for a fact that the crust is good, either make one, or buy Pillsbury pie crust…

Here’s a video from the AllRecipes.com website, it shows how to make the “Fresh Rhubarb Pie” step by step…

Here is the link to the RHUBARB PIE recipe on the AllRecipe.com website, from that location you can click to print!

Best Rhubarb Pie Ever!
Best Rhubarb Pie Ever!

FRESH RHUBARB PIE    (recipe by Carol via AllRecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS

4 cups cut rhubarb

1 1/3 cups sugar (recipe says 1 1/3-2 cups sugar… I’ve never needed more than 1 1/3 cups, and it could probably be lowered to 1 cup)

6 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon butter

1 recipe pastry for 2 pie crusts (or Pillsbury pie crust in the red package located in the refrigerated section of your grocery store).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Open the pie crust package, it contains two crusts (follow directions on box).

Place one crust in the pie dish (roll it out if you need to). A regular pie dish works great, you don’t have to use a deep dish pie dish (like for an apple pie), although you can… I don’t have a regular pie dish, so I use a deep dish for everything…

Then mix up the filling… this takes a lot of skill… kidding! I said it’s easy as pie, right? Here’s what you do…

Combine the sugar and flour. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over the pastry in the pie plate. Then add the rhubarb to the pie dish, even it out with your hands. Sprinkle the remaining sugar/flour mixture over the rhubarb. Dot the rhubarb with small pieces of butter. Cover with a top crust and seal. Cut a few small vents in the center of the crust to allow steam to escape.

Place pie dish on cookie sheet and put in the oven. Bake at 450 for 15 MINUTES. Then REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE to 350 degrees, and continue to bake for 40-45 minutes.

This pie is fabulous warm or cold. It’s best served with vanilla ice cream!

Let me know how you like it! I’ve had this recipe since 2008… my dad found it online… good going dad!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

How to make dog cookies for Fido – couldn’t be easier!

I’ve been wanting to bake something. BUT, if I bake it I eat it… Oh, dilemma… I love to bake… then a **brilliant idea** happened upon me… Make CHARLIE cookies! Woot woot! No temptation to eat the dough OR the cookies! AND they’re so good for him. These cookies are a treat your dogs will love. The beauty of it is that you can make them as big/small as you like, so they fit your dog’s appetite. I found a recipe online and then I added some things and changed quantities on others. Also, I didn’t want to roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter, so I made them like human peanut butter cookies, rolling the dough into a ball and then using a fork dipped in a little water to press down on the cookie. They are adorable, and according to CHARLIE they are out of this world delicious! His little lips curled up into a smile after he ate it, I swear!

These are quick and easy, you will never buy treats again! Another plus, after I made the dough I cut it in half, shaped it into a disk, wrapped in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag. I put that in the fridge until it got nice and cold and then plopped it into the freezer. Don’t forget to label it!

So here’s the recipe, like I said E A S Y !

Oatmeal, Pumpkin, Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

I N G R E D I E N T S

2 eggs

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cups oatmeal (Old Fashioned Oats if possible)

D I R E C T I O N S

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With a whisk or mixer beat the pumpkin and eggs until combined. Add the cinnamon and peanut butter. Mix. Then add the flour and oats and mix until dough forms a ball. If it’s dry you can add another tablespoon or two of pumpkin and see if that whirls it into a ball, if not add a tablespoon (or two) of water. Remove from bowl and place on clean counter that’s been dusted with whole wheat flour. [If you want to save 1/2 the dough to bake at a later date now is the time to split it in half].

Pinch off about teaspoonful (small spoon) of dough, and roll into a ball, place on ungreased cookie sheet. (About the amount of dough as if you were making a small peanut butter cookie, make it bigger for bigger dogs and smaller for smaller dogs and adjust baking time accordingly). My cookies were about the size of a large malted milk ball… to give you a reference… doesn’t matter how big/small you make them, just keep an eye on them.

This is what they looked like before they got popped into the oven…

Once on the cookie sheet, dip a fork in water and make a fork mark, (just like you would as if you were making human peanut butter cookies) just don’t press too hard, leave them kind of thick.

Bake 30 minutes, check them occasionally, the bottoms shouldn’t get dark. You want them to bake for a good amount of time so that they harden. I baked for 30 minutes and then I turned off the oven and let them sit for another hour or so.

I also tried the roll-out-the-dough method and cut with a bone shaped cookie cutter… I rolled them thinner, so I kept my eye on them, just adjust the time, if you take them out and they’re still soft (try to break a piece off) put them back in, if they’re brown but not hard then put them in and turn off the oven, leave them for an hour or until oven cools… I had to do this, and at first I just cracked open the oven door for a few minutes so they wouldn’t  brown anymore… they turned out adorable. Bottom line… it doesn’t matter to Charlie which way he gets them, and I think they’re cute as little peanut butter cookies!

After you take them out of the oven let them cool thoroughly, then… surprise your dog! I was so excited I woke mine up from a nap… he loved it! Another added bonus is all the fiber… very good for your little beast!

See, I did find a way to bake and not eat it, ha! Catch you back here tomorrow!

"WOW, this is the best cookie EVER!" - C H A R L I E

Coconut Oil… what’s looking to be a very healthy oil that doesn’t get stored in the body as fat!

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Coconut Oil… have you heard the rave reviews about all the wonderful things it can do? From what I’ve read this past weekend it can aid in losing weight, help prevent or even help those with Alzheimer’s, moisturize skin and hair, increase HDL (good cholesterol), decrease LDL (bad cholesterol), decrease triglycerides, the list goes on and on. We’ll have to wait for long term studies, but for me, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, and taking 1 tablespoon a day. It can’t hurt. Let me know if you’ve tried it. WHY are YOU taking it?  HOW are you taking it? I tried eating it off the spoon (it’s like lard), that was a little difficult, so I heat it ever so slightly and swallow… a tablespoon is doable, I personally chase it with a Triple Ginger Cookie from Trader Joe’s 🙂 some people but it on toast, in coffee, in oatmeal, in smoothie’s, use it as oil and topping when making popcorn… AND the reason I bumped into the health benefits about coconut oil was because I saw a recipe for Double Coconut Muffins on the Smittin Kitchen website… whoa, they sounded good, and I had just spoken to my mom who told me about a video that someone just told her about (click HERE to see it) about how it’s helping Alzheimer’s Disease, and also helping to prevent. I’m sure long term studies are a ways off, but if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s you know how devastating it can be. I vowed to try this, it’s worth it to me… so now, I think everyone I know is taking this for one reason or another. I just didn’t want you to be left out of the loop!

Google Coconut Oil  and you will see so much information it will make your head spin. Try to read from reputable sources and realize that anyone can post anything to the Internet… From what I’ve read, you should buy VIRGIN coconut oil. Ideally Organic virgin (or extra virgin) coconut oil. UNREFINED, since they alter the makeup of the oil when it’s refined. Refined is good for using as a moisturizer for skin and hair. One more thing… you can often find it in the grocery store in the baking aisle, however, often times these are NOT the virgin organic varieties… those are mostly found in the health aisle… ask if you are unsure. Read HERE the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil by Charles Mattock, I got this from Dr. Oz’s website

Here is a blip from Nutiva (extracted from Amazon):

A deliciously healthy cooking oil. Better than butter. USDA organic. Unrefined & no trans fats. Rich in lauric acid. A soothing body oil. The coconut oil myth. Coconut oil has been mistakenly described as not healthy. The fact is, coconut oil is cholesterol-free and rich in medium-chain good fats that doctors recommend. Why is it that baby formulas often include coconut oil? Because coconut is one of the world’s most nourishing super foods. Nutritionists suggest enjoying up to 3 tbsp of extra-virgin coconut oil each day, so help yourself to this heavenly, creamy taste of the tropics. Nutiva’s cold-pressed Coconut Oil is: Extra-virgin & pure white: not refined, deodorized or bleached! Organic: so it’s free from pesticides, GMOs and hexane. Versatile: Ideal as high-heat cooking oil (up to 350 degrees), as a nutritious substitute in baking, a better-than-butter replacement on bread, vegetables or popcorn, and as a luscious oil for skin care, hair care, and massage. America needs an oil change. While doctors suggest we consume a 4:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, the average American diet provides a ratio of 20:1 or more – contributing to heart disease, skin disorders, and arterial inflammation. So avoid out of balance soy, corn, and canola oils with their trans fats, oxidation, and GMOs. Cook with coconut oil (with only 1% Omega-6), and use olive oil (also low in Omega-6), and hemp oil (with the perfect 3:1 Omega ratio) for unheated recipes. Nature’s ideal all-purpose cooking oil. No trans or hydrogenated fat; no cholesterol or hexane. Unlike other brands, we press our coconuts within 2 hours of chopping. No refrigeration required. Solid at room temperature and melts at 76 degrees. Any coconut husk fibers at the bottom of the jar are indigenous to the processing and harmless. Coconut oil contains medium-chain good fats with 50-55% lauric acid – a healthful nutrient that supports the metabolism. Certified organic by QAI. Product of the Philippines.

A disclaimer… I in no way am trying to provide medical advice, only passing along what many others have told me. Ask your doctor if you need to know if this is OK for you…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A granola recipe you will make for the rest of your life!

Years ago, well, 2002 to be exact my sister was telling me about this wonderful granola recipe she was addicted to. She sent me the recipe, and I made it several times, it was wonderful, I think she got it out of a magazine in a waiting room somewhere… since then I have made a few notes, sometimes I use less sugar, more cinnamon, different nuts, different dried fruit. It’s just granola, so add more of what you like and less of what you don’t! It’s wonderful on top of yogurt, in a bowl with milk (and fruit) or all by itself! I add more cinnamon if I think i’ll be eating it out of hand, less if I think I’ll be topping yogurt and fruit, but it’s up to you my friend, do what you like! This is what I do…

Hint… this is especially good… plain Greek yogurt, a swirl of honey, a few tablespoons of granola and a sliced banana… it will keep you going strong for hours!

INGREDIENTS

4 cups old fashioned oats (any brand will do, but old fashioned and not the quick cooking, it won’t be the same, I speak from experience!)

1 1/2 cups (or more) slivered almonds (this is key… the thicker crunch, the TASTE of the almond, oh yeah, SLIVERED, not SLICED)

1/2 cup (or less) LOOSELY packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon (or less) cinnamon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon (real) vanilla

1 1/2 cups (more or less depending on your taste) of dried tart cherries (you can use ANY DRIED FRUIT YOU LIKE, I find cherries to be especially scrumptious, decadent and GOOD FOR YOU!)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. If you’re using a dark pan, you might want to bump it down a bit, every oven is different, just keep an eye on it!

In a LARGE bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, sugar, salt and cinnamon with a wooden spoon. (This is the pre-stir together pic, go ahead and stir it up good, but gently, don’t want to break up the oatmeal).

HINT: when measuring this mixture, use the measuring cup to measure the OLIVE OIL first, then the honey, it will slide right out!

Warm the olive oil and honey mixture. You warm this mixture by placing it in a small pan on the stove (low), or in the microwave if you PROMISE not to walk away from it, you don’t want it HOT, you just want it warm enough to mix together… it doesn’t take long! Hmmm, sounds like I’ve repeated this step before, doesn’t it?

Once the olive oil and honey mixture is WARM (not hot), add the vanilla… PURE vanilla please.

Now you want to drizzle the warm honey/olive oil/vanilla mixture over the dry oat mixture. You want to drizzle and not pour like I did in this photo… Do what I say, not what I do… ha. I was trying to take a photo and pour, apparently I don’t have those skills down pat… yet! Give me time! Good grief, what part of DRIZZLE didn’t I get?? It’s all good, some quick subtle stirring is needed to coat the oat mixture with the oil mixture… gentle, remember you don’t want it to be the consistency of flour when you’re done…

Ready for the oven!

I know, I know! This looks a tad pale… trust me, after it basks in the warm glow of the oven it will turn a magical color… Now pour this mixture onto an ungreased 9 x 13 cookie sheet. It’s ready for the oven! Bake it at 300 degrees for 40 minutes total… STIR IT AROUND EVERY TEN MINUTES!

After it’s done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled, go ahead and add the dried fruit. In my batch, I’m adding dried tart cherries.

Store the granola in an airtight container and it will last for 7-10 days, or freeze it and it will last 3 months!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

THE world’s best Christmas cookies (and most beautiful!)

I don’t lie when I say these are the best tasting cookies ever! These have been a ‘tradition’ in our family since we were little kids… and we make them every year… they make beautiful cookies to hand out as gifts to neighbors and friends. If you’re going to do that then you need to (at least) double the recipe, this makes a fair amount depending upon the size of your cookie cutters…

I featured this recipe back in February as Valentine’s Day cookies… but the recipe came out of a magazine many years ago (1960’s) in an article about the best Christmas cookies… Here’s the recipe…

CHRISTMAS BUTTER COOKIES

Sift 2 3/4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

In mixer bowl add 3/4 cup soft butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Beat until fluffy and light. Slowly beat in flour mixture. CHILL ONE HOUR.

Flour your work surface and roll out dough. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

YIELD: 4 dozen (IF you don’t eat the dough… good luck to ya!)

FROSTING

Mix 1/4 cup butter, 4 cups (1 box) confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup scalded cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend until smooth. Scoop into separate bowls and add food coloring (hint: yellow and blue mixed makes an awesome ‘grinch’ green). Scoop colored frosting into Ziplock bag (I use freezer) and snip a little off the corner. Squeeze onto cookie to decorate! If you need the frosting thinned a bit more, I have great luck just using light cream, add a little at a time until it will easily come out of the bag to decorate.

Fred's end of the cookie lineup, LOTS of frosting, his are the ones everyone wants to eat!
The fun part is the decorating!

Catch you back here tomorrow!!

Quick, easy and delicious! KEY LIME PIE, perfect for a hot summer day!

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Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice… it makes a tasty and tart Key Lime pie. What’s more perfect for dessert when the weather makes you want to melt?? I was making dessert to take to some friends who were having us over for dinner… I needed something nice and cold and refreshing… Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Pie recipe is a hit on all counts… It couldn’t be quicker to put together and toss in the oven for 15 minutes, let cool and refrigerate. Then serve topped with whipped cream (or meringue) which you need to cut some of the sweetness. It looks a little flat in the graham cracker crust, but it’s leaving room for the whipped cream, so before you serve it, pile it high, then add a little lime zest/lime slices! Ok, here’s the recipe, it’s also on the back of the Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice bottle! You can find their key lime juice in most grocery stores, usually with the bottles of drink mixers (margarita mix, etc.) OR in the juice section… photo of pie served on friends pretty green plates is below the recipe…

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Oh and don’t do like I did… DO NOT USE THE EGG WHITES. I separated the eggs and tossed the yolks, that’s right… apparently I’m in a caffeine deficit right now, heavy sigh! Luckily I hadn’t yet poured it into the crust… so I just needed to go back to the store for another can of sweetened condensed milk…

Oh no, now I’ve got keylimepieonthebrain…ugh! Catch you back here tomorrow!