Saturday, May 31, 2014

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


My mother always made huge batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies when I was little. She'd make quadruple this recipe. Now you're wondering why this post is on oatmeal raisin cookies when I am remembering oatmeal chocolate chip cookies: my husband likes regular cookies to have chocolate chips and his oatmeal cookies to have raisins in them. He has an explanation about textures: oatmeal cookies are chewy just like raisins, while chocolate chip cookies are smooth just like cookies without oatmeal.
Personally, I love these cookies with either chocolate chips or raisins. It's an old family recipe.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Allergy Proofing the Bedroom

Photo Credit
The last time my husband and I moved we were both very busy. I was trying to pack quickly when he saw me and asked what was going on. I was really in a hurry--we were on a tight schedule--and I told him I was busy packing the bedroom things.
He insisted that I talk to him, so I stopped. He asked again, "What's going on? What is wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong. I just have a lot to get done."
"But you've been crying!" he said.
I looked at him, massively confused. "No I haven't."
And then the realization hit. My eyes were red and watering; my nose was running. All the dust that gets stirred up when you pack was irritating my allergies so much, I looked like I had been crying! How embarrassing, but it was very sweet of my husband to check that I was okay.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Turkey Hand Pies with a Buttery Wheat Crust


I first made this for March 14, but have worked on my recipe since then, and I am finally satisfied with it.
You do know what March 14th is, right? If you don't, hopefully someone will fill you in below in the comments section.

Pie Crust*

3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour (or use more white flour)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
4-6 tablespoons cold water

*Or use a prepared single pie crust. 

Pie Crust Directions

1) Stir together flours and salt. 

2) Using a pastry blender or 2 knives (or even your bare fingers) cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 

3) While stirring, add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, sprinkling over the dry parts. When the dough forms into a ball, cover well and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to a day.

Note: Refrigeration will help your crust be light and flaky and tender. It will also make it a lot easier to work with. This is my main reason to do it, but in a pinch, I have skipped this step. The real butter will also make your crust flaky and tender too.

Filling Ingredients

1 carrot, sliced
1/2 a potato, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a jumbo sweet yellow onion, diced
1/4 pound lean ground turkey or beef
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper
Bake at 400 for 10-15 min

Filling Directions

1) Steam or boil the carrot and potato pieces for about 10 minutes until tender. Lightly salt and pepper.

2) Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat cook onion in olive oil 4-6 minutes until clear. Add ground turkey or beef and lightly salt and pepper. Break into small pieces and add ketchup, cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce, stirring well. Cook for 6-7 minutes until browned through, stirring frequently.

Assembly

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

2) Cut prepared pie crusts into four 4 x 7 inch rectangles. I usually end up rolling out the dough, cutting three of them, then having to re-roll the scraps to get the fourth.

3) Place the cut dough on the baking sheet--they will be hard to move once they are filled, so fill on the sheet. Place a small amount of potatoes, carrots, meat, and onions in the lower half of the crust. Fold the top over and seal with your fingers or a fork. Repeat with the remaining crusts. 

4) Bake 10-15 minutes until crusts are slightly browned and firm from being cooked through. Serve with A1 Sauce.

Just a reminder of my question: Why would I make meat hand pies on March 14?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Zucchini Multigrain Muffins with Raisins

Zucchinis are back in season and one of my favorite muffin recipes uses them. These are about 50% whole grain, but are still really delicious without too much sugar or fat.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

Date Night Reese's Bar

Something about chocolate is just romantic, especially since this easy recipe only makes 4 servings.



Monday, May 5, 2014

Orange Banana Smoothie with Carrot


I had some leftover cooked carrots the other day and decided to use them with a smoothie. After some experimentation, I found a combination that tasted really good and the carrot gave it a really pretty orange color.
Inspired by a creamsicle, I decided to use some milk in this smoothie.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Orange Chicken

One of my favorite meals is orange chicken, whether made at home for a light version or going out to eat. This version is flavorful without being overly sweet.