Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chewy molasses spice cookies

These are so stinkin' good.  Even Charlotte says so.  (Side note-- maybe I should reconsider the phrases I use because they sound pretty weird parroted back to me by a four-year-old.)  I made the rookie mistake of running out of chocolate chips (my go-to baking ingredient and main bribery tool for the kids) so I had to resort to a non-chocolate chip-based cookie for this afternoon's baking activity.  I set the kids up playing "car wash" . . .

. . . and whipped up the dough.  I was ALMOST done with them before Charlotte finally wandered over and demanded to help roll the balls in the sugar.  Curses, foiled again.  Yes, I think it's important to let her help in the kitchen, but it sure does muck up the works sometimes.  Anyway, we finished the cookies without incident and both kids actually like them (which is huge, because they usually don't like anything other than chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies drowning in frosting).

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butted, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl and set it aside for later.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3.  Beat the butter and 1 cup of sugar with a mixer until combined.  Beat in egg and then molasses until combined.  Gradually add the dry ingredients until a dough forms.

4.  Roll the dough into balls the size of a rounded tablespoon.  Roll each ball in the reserved sugar to coat.

5.  Place balls three inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake (one sheet at a time -- this is important according to the original recipe) 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are firm.  The middles will look totally undone, but don't bake them any longer or else they will taste burnt.  Cool 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring the cookies to racks to cool completely.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lindy's Hobbit Eggs

I recently reconnected with my BFF from middle school, Lindy, via facebook. She claims she isn't a chef, but I suspect she actually is. I made four of these the same day she posted it, intending to eat one and save the others for Zoey's breakfasts. I ate two and had to restrain myself from eating a third. SO GOOD. I didn't add the cream because we didn't have any and it still was amazing. 

To make, spray a muffin tin or a 1 cup ramekin with cooking spray, line with a slice of your favorite kind of ham, crack an egg or two into it, top with a bit o cream, some cheese and maybe some veggies if you have room. S/P and bake at 350 for 20 min (muffin tin) or 30 min (ramekin). Finish with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg and serve with brioche or buttered toast.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Carrie's Stupendous Spinach Stuffed Shells

1 box Jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente, cooled
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, broccoli or kale (10 oz), thawed and drained
1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. each of oregano & basil, dried
¾ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. flour
¾ c. milk
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 jar of tomato sauce

Heat butter or oil in large skillet. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms, basil, oregano & salt. Saute until onion is soft & then add spinach. Stir to blend. Sprinkle with flour. Add milk; stir and heat to boiling. Cook until mixture thickens. Stir in shredded moz. Cheese and ¼ c. parmesan.

Fill pasta shells with rounded tsp. of mixture. Spread a spoonful or two of tomato sauce over bottom of 9x13 glass or metal pan. Place shells in pan in a single layer. Spoon sauce over shells and sprinkle remaining parmesan over them.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Also good for freezing.