Sunday, May 15, 2016

Super Oatmeal Chip Spring Cleaning Cookies

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Clean it all out!!!


  
Chewy, hearty and delicious!


I am super organized.  I keep everything in canning and working glass, I tape labels to it all, but I still seem to accumulate an assortment of baking supplies.  So as my spring cleaning headed to the kitchen, I decided to pull it all out and see what we could do with it.  There was coconut, butterscotch chips, a variety of chocolate chips, including white and even some christmas M&Ms!  

I love the surprise of a butterscotch chip

I also added oatmeal, my secret fiber ingredient. (Don't tell Mr. Preppy!) These cookies can handle about anything.  I made dozens, about 9 dozen, and froze them on trays and then tossed the balls in a freezer container.  So when the kids came home, or we needed a sweet, or I wanted to take a small, sweet happy to a friend, there were amazing cookies just minutes away from being ready. 

Freeze on a tray
Then fill a freezer container.  Try not to eat one!
Super Oatmeal Chip Spring Cleaning Cookies

2 cup butter, room temp
2 2/3 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
3  teaspoons vanilla
3 cups  flour
3 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
4 1/2 cups of stuff...raisins, chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, nuts, anything

A heavy duty mixer is a must!

Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer bowl until fluffy and no brown sugar lumps are visible.  Add the eggs and mix just until incorporated.  Add all dry ingredients up to the oats and mix well.  Fold in the oats and stuff.  Cover and chill the dough an hour or overnight.  It is easier to handle cold and the cookies won't spread as much.

Preheat oven to 340F on convection, 350F regular.  Make uniform mounds on Silpat or parchment lined pans and bake about 12 minutes, but check at 8 minutes.  The colder the dough the closer to 12 minutes, later batches will bake faster.  Rotate halfway through cooking time.  Cool on pan, then rack, when they are firm enough to move.  Make coffee and give me a ring...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sugar Cookies For Everyone!

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There's been a whole lot of baking going on! Here's a little peek at some of my cookies.


A baby boy shower, she wanted elephants and chevrons....check!


If you read my blog, you know I am addicted to Pure Barre.  I have made cookies a number of times, but these were special.  My back barre buddy tucked off her 1000th class.  That's a lot of Pure Barre.  25 hours in plank and 38 days (24 hrs a day) of class!  Any way you slice it, it's an accomplishment to impress.


A one year old's birthday party favors.  I even made my own sprinkle mixture, that was fun!



So my Facebook friend had a birthday and someone posted this cool cupcake, so I whipped out some icing and made this cookie on the fly. I need to do another one, maybe more detail, and make it my FB signature pic for a birthday.


These are for the local children's hospital, LeBonheur.  They're special.


 An unconventional baby name, but some fun baby cookies for a shower.




A bridal shower in Tiffany Blue.  I saved a Tiffany box especially for this kind of request.  It matches!  Sweet Sugarbelle was my lifesaver.  Again.  Her bows are so dang perfect!
That's all for now.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vegetarian Lasagna

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Good time to clean out the crisper!



Lots of layers and flavor..no meat.

Meat is a side dish around here, and often, I am sneaking a meal in with no meat at all.  This lasagna is hearty and delicious and no one will say, "Gosh, I wish there had been meat in there!"  I promise.  I am using jarred pasta sauce, it just didn't justify homemade sauce.  This meal needed to be prepped ahead, quick and easy.

The day you plan on baking the lasagna, or perhaps a day early is the best for making.  I like the herbs and garlic to introduce themselves before baking.  It also freezes beautifully, just make sure your baking dish can handle going from freezer to oven.

Vegetarian Lasagna

1 box no boil lasagna noodles (or your preference, you won't use them all)
1 jar pasta sauce (no meat if that's your goal)
1 8 oz container whole milk ricotta (you can use skim, but yuck)
1 package frozen, chopped spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (I like Penzey's Tuscan Sunset)
1 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella
1 zucchini, sliced thin
1 8oz package mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2  of a 6.7 oz jar of prepared pesto



After a side by side taste of skim and whole milk ricotta, whole milk won!

Lasagna should be easy!
Thaw spinach in a colander under running water and squeeze dry.  Add the spinach, garlic, eggs and seasoning to the ricotta cheese.  Mix well and set aside.

The spinach mixture covered by thin sliced zucchini.


No cook noodles need lots of sauce!


Coat bottom of 8X8 pan with some pasta sauce to cover.  Cover with a layer of noodles, half the ricotta/spinach mixture, half the zucchini, half the mushrooms, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and sauce to cover. Next, another layer of noodles, ricotta/spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, 1/2 cup mozzarella and then top with another layer of noodles.  On the top cover with the remaining pasta sauce, the pesto and the remaining mozzarella cheese.

The pesto on top adds flavor, aroma and zip!


Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray, or smear olive oil all over it before covering the lasagna.
Can be frozen at this point,  or chill until about 2 hours prior to serving time.

Ready to mingle...


About 45 minutes prior to baking, remove from fridge and preheat oven to 350ยบ.  Bake the lasagna for about 40 minutes covered, and remove foil for the last 20 minutes until the top is browned and bubbly.  Let it rest about 15 minutes before cutting.  Serves 6

Delicious!