Friday, March 30, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the perfect basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Adaptable. Simple. Yummy. And so many other qualities one should desire in a cookie of the sort.

This time walnuts and oatmeal were added. Although, I'll admit that I ALWAYS put oatmeal in my chocolate chip cookies. It's just the right thing to do, I feel. Somehow the cookies never seem right without oatmeal. It gives a softness and chewiness that I just love in a cookie.

Feel free to add what you want into the dough and I assure you, the cookies will turn out amazing! This recipe is just that good. And make sure to pull the cookies out of the oven JUST when they start to brown on the keeps them soft and prevents them from drying out. No overbaking, that's the key! 

Just perfect for a nice weekend snack. I hope everyone has a great weekend, as spring is upon us and Easter is just one week away. I love this time of year!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
1 cup oatmeal

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. 
  4. Stir in chocolate chips and oatmeal. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

We love a good day basking in the sunshine at the park. Luckily, Tallahassee has a wonderful park named Tom Brown where we can do this. On Sunday, Michael and I took our picnic blanket and various reading materials and found a prime spot by one of the lakes.

Please disregard the white pasty color of my skin. All that documenting inside at my internship doesn't exactly help me look sun-kissed.

For anybody who didn't know, Michael got his birthday present about a month early. A Kindle. Yep, his wife sure loves him!

 In addition to our relaxing Sunday afternoon, we had a very fulfilling and wholesome dinner that night. Something I plan to make again in the near future. 

 I forget how much I really love eggplant...until I actually cook with it. And sometimes I forget how much I love ricotta. Man, it's good. Don't skimp on the good stuff, makes a difference!

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini
(adapted from Real Simple)

4 tbs. olive oil
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2 large eggs
1 15 oz. container ricotta
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. rosemary
2 cups grated cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool. Reduce oven heat to 400° F.
  3. Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, parsley, rosemary, 1 cup of cheddar , and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.
  4. Place about 3 tbs. of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture.
  5. Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of cheddar. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  6. Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crawfish Reunited

 I had the blessing of being able to eat some crawfish while Michael and I were in Louisiana a couple weekends ago. Boy, did it taste good after not having any for just short of 7 years!

We were also able to stay with my dearest best friend from high school, Heather. She has a cute little apartment in downtown Alexandria and I loved being able to spend time catching up with her as usual. She tried her first crawfish that night. I know, she grew up in LA, but has never had the desire...until now ;) She actually liked it!

See that happy face? I love me some crawfish!

More pictures and info about our trip to come soon.