Our little Lucy turned 6 months last week! We started her on solids last weekend using the Baby Led Weaning method. So far I don't think she's actually swallowed any of the food that's gone into her mouth, but we'll keep trying and hope that one day soon it will click for her. Right now she's happy to grab at the food and chomp on it a bit (no teeth yet) before pushing it out with her tongue.
Foods she's tried: - steamed broccoli
- round crackers
- animal crackers
Tonight we're having breakfast for dinner, so Lucy will get toast fingers and some banana!
It isn't often that my husband makes special requests for baked goodies; he's more of an "I'll eat whatever you make" kind of guy. So on the rare occasion that he makes a suggestion, I'm all ears. Recently he asked for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (one of my favorites!), and of course I obliged. The recipe I chose is from the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. It's the White Chocolate Chip variation of their Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Don't make the mistake I did and over bake them! Even when a recipe explicitly says "Don't overbake," I have a hard time following directions. I'm a notrious cookie over-baker because I don't like gooey cookies...but sometimes that backfires and my cookies end up too dry!
Thick and Chewy Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookies From the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book Makes about 24 cookies Ingredients 2 cups (10 ⅔ oz) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 12 tbsp/1½ sticks/170g unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1 cup packed (7 oz) light brown sugar ½ cup (3½ oz) granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 tsp vanilla extract 1½ cup (9 oz) white chocolate chips 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
Adjust the oven racks to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the melted butter and sugars together with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chips and nuts until incorporated. Working with 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
We're not very adventurous when it comes to Indian cuisine in our household. When we've gone out for Indian food, I almost always get butter chicken or saag paneer while the Mister prefers chicken tikka masala. Since we're making a conscious effort to reduce the number of times we dine out each month, I thought I'd try my hand at making chicken tikka masala at home. The recipe I seem to come across the most when searching online is the one from Pioneer Woman's website. On the first try, I made it pretty much as written (minus the ginger, because I could not find any decent specimens at the grocer). It was good, but we found it to be a bit much with all that cream. When I made it again I switched from diced tomatoes to crushed and reduced the amount of cream by half. I also had a hard time getting the chicken to char as well as she did with the broiler (this is one of those times I wish we had a gas oven!), so I used a Foreman-type grill and got better results. Give it a try!
3-4 whole chicken breasts (I used 6 large tenderloins) kosher salt ground coriander cumin 1/2 cup plain yogurt 2 Tbl. butter 1 large onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp. granulated) 3 Tbl. Garam Masala 1 Tbl. paprika (optional, for color) 1 Tbl. sugar 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes 1 cup heavy cream
Season the chicken breasts with kosher salt, coriander, and cumin. Coat with plain yogurt. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for about 2 hours. Broil chicken for 5-7 minutes per side, until chicken has some charred, slightly blackened edges. (You can also cook the chicken for about 7 minutes in a George Foremen grill) Remove from oven and set aside. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet and saute the onions over medium-high heat until slightly browned. Add garlic, 1 Tablespoon salt, Garam Masala seasoning, paprika, sugar, and crushed tomatoes. Stir well and let simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the cooked chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add heavy cream and chicken pieces to the pan. Stir and allow to heat. Serve over basmati rice.
It's that time again! This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge theme is...CHEESECAKE! The rules have changed for this month's challenge, so recipes we select no longer have to come from a blog. Recipes can come from anywhere, so the possibilities are nearly endless. I selected Cookies and Cream Mini Cheesecakes from the May 2007 issue of First for Women magazine. They were delicious! Like many cheesecakes, these freeze really well. We stashed most of the batch in the freezer and popped them out to defrost while we had supper. You won't be disappointed with this recipe. Be sure to visit the other challenge participants for more yummy cheesecake recipes!
Heat oven to 325°F. In bowl, combine ground chocolate sandwich cookies with sugar and melted butter. Divide mixture evenly among 12 paper-lined muffin cups; press to form crusts.
In bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each. Stir in 8 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped, and vanilla extract. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups.
Bake 20 minutes, or until center is almost set. Cool completely and chill before serving.
If you're looking to incorporate more oats into your diet but don't like the taste/texture of oatmeal, why not try some granola? Here's an easy recipe for granola that you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! I like my granola with dried fruits and sometimes nuts, but they're not included in the recipe because in my experience the granola stays crunchier longer if it's stored "plain". Just add your favorite mix-ins before serving. I like a small bowl of this (it's really hearty!) with milk for breakfast, but it's also great with yogurt.
7 cups old fashioned oats 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut 1 Tbl. cinnamon 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup oil 1/2 cup honey 1 Tbl. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper (can also use two 9x13" pans). In large bowl combine oats, coconut, and cinnamon. Stir to evenly distribute, and set bowl aside. Combine brown sugar, sugar, oil, and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract (careful, the mixture may bubble up a bit). Pour over oat mixture and stir thoroughly. Spread into the lined sheet pan.
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Stir granola, then return to oven. Turn the oven off and leave the granola in there for 3-4 hours. (I do 4 hours) The heat left in the oven will finish cooking this. Once 3-4 hours have passed, remove from the oven (it will probably be slightly warm) and break into small pieces. Let cool completely and store in an air tight container.
Here's a recipe for classic oatmeal raisin cookies that I think you'll really enjoy. It comes from Cooks Illustrated, so you know it has to be good! While most oatmeal raisin cookies tend toward the cinnamony side (my favorite!), these don't have any cinnamon at all. The recipe calls for freshly grated nutmeg, which brings out the "oaty-ness" of the cookies better. Not a fan of raisins? No problem! Feel free to swap them out with chocolate chips!
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and
nutmeg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,
cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and
fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well
combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients,
beating just until combined. Mix in the oats and chocolate chunks until
evenly distributed in the dough.
Divide the dough into 2 tablespoon balls and place on the prepared
baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Bake for about 20-22
minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown (the centers
will still be pale - don't overbake). Transfer the baking sheet to a
wire rack and let the cookies cool a few minutes before removing them to
the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough (be sure to
let the baking sheet cool in between batches).
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.