I’m a wee bit late with my weekly round-up, but it’s never too late to learn about great new recipes and foodie goodies:
What were some of your favorite posts from the last week(ish)?
Coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…whew! That’s a mouthful, huh? It’s all good, though. I have a friend who needed a pick-me-up, cookie-style, so I decided to try the coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats. Who doesn’t love chocolate chips? Or coconut? Or oatmeal cookies?
I mixed together 1.5 cups of old-fashioned oats, .75 cup of all-purpose flour, .5 teaspoon of baking soda, .5 teaspoon of baking powder, a pinch of kosher salt, and .5 teaspoon of Vietnamese cinnamon. (Have I mentioned how awesome that stuff is? Yes, I have, but I’m gonna do it again. It’s awesome.)
Next, I set up my KitchenAid stand mixer and creamed together .5 cup of softened, unsalted butter with .75 cup of brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar). I mixed in 1 egg.
Then, I slowly poured the dry mixture into the mixer bowl, mixing the ingredients on low speed until they were combined.
Then it was time for the good stuff! I folded in roughly 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and .25 cup of coconut.
Finally, I scooped the cookie batter onto a baking sheet and baked the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
After the cookies cooled on a rack, I packaged some of them to give to my friend. Yum, yum, yum indeed.
Pros: Pretty easy to make and quick, too–only about 30 minutes start to finish. Tasty. I like the chewy oatmeal paired with the light sweetness of the semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut.
Cons: I wish I could eat cookies for every meal. Does that count as a con?
Verdict: Yes, I will make these again. Head over to Joyful Healthy Eats for the recipe.
I don’t know how much stock to put into the “power foods” movement, but I do believe it’s a good idea to have a mix of fruits and vegetables in your diet. (Plus cupcakes. In moderation. But also cupcakes. Very important.) I got my hands on a copy of Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients and decided to try their recipe for black bean salsa with baked chips.
I started by cubing and sautéing 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, then set it aside. Then, I drained and rinsed a can of black beans.
Next, I seeded and diced 1 tomato. The recipe called for 2 scallions, but I finely chopped 1 shallot instead. Instead of using a jalepeño pepper like the recipe directed, I choose 2 mini sweet peppers and diced them.
I roughly chopped about .5 cup of cilantro.
I quartered 2 limes.
Using my stick blender and its chopper/grinder attachment, I pulsed .25 cup of the black beans until coarsely chopped, then dumped the chopped beans into a big bowl. I added the remaining beans, chicken, tomato, about .75 of the shallot, sweet peppers, cilantro, and a couple dashes of salt. I squeezed 3 of the lime quarters over the salsa, then stirred everything to combine.
Next, I cut 2 whole-wheat tortillas into 8 pieces each, spread them on a baking sheet, brushed them with olive oil, and popped them in the broiler. After 2 minutes, I turned the chips and put them back in the broiler for 1 minute. (By the way, those suckers kept sliding off the sheet. It was like herding cats.)
Finally, I placed a handful of baby arugula leaves on two plates, spread the salsa on the arugula, and lined the plates with the chips. The original recipe didn’t call for arugula or chicken, but I wanted to make the salsa more of a meal than an appetizer. I added a few dollops of guacamole to my plate, and Angus added a few dollops of sour cream to his plate.
Pros: It was tasty. The shallot wasn’t as onion-y as I anticipated (a good thing for a person like me who doesn’t like strong, raw onion tastes). I liked the contrast of the crunchy tortilla chips against the tomatoes and beans, and I liked the bright flavors of the cilantro and lime.
Cons: It was physically difficult to scoop up the arugula and the chicken and the salsa onto the chips. This frustrated Angus.
Verdict: I would make it again, but I might skip the chips and let it be a salad, or I might skip the arugula and chicken to make it an easily-scoopable appetizer.
It’s that time of the week–time to round up my favorite foodie links from around the web this past week(ish):
Share your favorite links in the comments.
Foodie Penpal is a fun exchange started by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean. Every month, she matches up people from around the United States and Canada. You send your penpal a small box of foodie goodies, and you receive a box from your penpal, too. This month was my first time trying the foodie penpal program, and I’m glad I did.
I got matched with Shannon in California. Shannon lives near a Chinatown in her city, so she sent me a box full of Chinatown delights, plus a few other goodies:
Nice, huh? Angus and I are looking forward to trying the pepper sauce on our next meat adventure, or maybe we’ll finally make pho at home and use it in that. (It’s been pho weather around here, as in pho-reezing.) I don’t think I’ve ever made kasha at home before. Hmm, suggestions on how to serve it?
The chopsticks and journal are beautiful:
And, omg, Justin’s almond butter! I LOVE Justin’s products. Have you tried them? Delicious and all-natural. They also make a hazelnut spread (a la Nutella) and a “classic” almond butter.
Finally, some tiny treats and…honey?….liquid pixie stix?….I can’t wait to find out.
I hope Shannon enjoyed her box from me. I certainly like the goodies she shipped cross-country. I’m looking forward to the next Foodie Penpal exchange!
[Time for another guest post from my sweetheart, Angus! We collaborated on the following recipe....Well, okay, I prepped some of the ingredients, but he directed the show. He's going to tell you all about it.]
Angus here. With all this cold weather here, we developed a hankerin’ for tasty soup. Wanting to go simple, but flavorful, we went with chicken soup.
Step one for us was to pick up a rotisserie chicken (and a few other ingredients) at the grocery. We bought one that was already refrigerated and I untrussed it and began to joint it. No need to be fancy, just take that bird apart, put the meat and skin aside, but toss the bones and any delicious gelatin you see in the container or on the bottom of the bird into a reasonably sized pot.
Cut any of the larger portions of the carcass up so it won’t take up as much room (I cut through the ribs on both sides of the keelbone), then cover it with water (about a gallon.) You can go ahead and turn on the heat now while you run off and cut up the veggies.
Cut the top off of an onion and then cut it into four parts; don’t sweat peeling it. A few baby carrots cut lengthwise can go in there, and a rib of celery cut lengthwise and then into 3″ lengths or so.
Toss in three or four peppercorns and a sprinkling of thyme. A shake or two of rosemary wouldn’t go amiss, either. Now take a steamer basket and invert it over all the goodies in there to keep it all nicely submerged and just let it simmer for four hours or so. This will get all the delicious stock out of the carcass and make your house smell awesome. Skim the scum that forms on the top (if there is any) every half hour or so.
Now, the lady and I aren’t fans of the too-crunchy white onion, so about three and a half hours into the process we sweated (versus a sautee) it a little bit beforehand in some chicken fat. Where did we get chicken fat, you ask? Why, from that skin we set aside earlier. I just heated it up in the pan to render the fat off of it and then put maybe a teaspoon of butter in there to bulk it out. After the onions were nice and soft and a little caramelized (oh that sweet, sweet Maillard-y goodness), I tossed in the celery for a minute or so to settle down its crunchiness a bit, too.
Into another pot, I put a strainer and poured the still-boiling stock through it to get all the solids out. What I was left with was a delicious soup base. Now, if I were serious about serving the result to company, I’d have left the stock in the fridge overnight and pulled the big chunks of chicken fat off of the top and made soup the next day. I wasn’t, so I just went with it and resigned myself to deliciously fattening and rich chicken soup. Your call.
Next up, put all of your delicious ingredients in there. Carrots, a cup and a half of leftover rice, the onions and celery you just cooked, as much chicken from that rotisserie chicken as you want (we kept back about two-thirds of it and made chicken pot pie two nights later.) I also began salting and peppering. Probably a teaspoon of pepper and something like a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of salt. I also chiffonnaded three or four celery leaves and tossed them in for a nice green touch and a little more flavor.
I boiled that on medium-high until I was happy with the texture of the carrots, which I wanted to be a little softer, but still with that nice zippy fresh carroty taste. Then we ate it.
This is good stuff, and I love reusing something that normally gets tossed. The rotisserie chicken takes away some prep time and also provides more than enough of a basis for two or three meals.
Pros: Delicious, savory, perfect for cold weather. Pretty darned cheap, all told.
Cons: Lots of chopping and prep work, then you need to babysit the stock a little bit. Toward the end, there’s a lot going on on your stove, so you need to be comfortable managing a few things at once.
Verdict: Oh yes. Will make again.
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