Monday, August 22, 2016

Glutten Free Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kary’s version of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips

Last week we were preparing to head over to Myrtle Beach to visit Doug’s parents and celebrate my birthday. Of course I cannot show up at Duano and Nan’s casa without some special treat. So I pulled out a bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats, 100% Whole Grain Oats, Gluten Free and noticed there was a recipe for Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies. After I read the recipe I thought I would give it a go and in my usual way made a few changes to the recipe. I had never made a gluten free desert, fortunately none of us has a gluten allergy.
Duano said this was my best cookie yet! And I have heard that so many gluten free cookies are not really that tasty, so I thought I would share it with you since we all know someone with a gluten allergy.
I have found that I can reduce the amount of sugar in baking and not affect the consistency and I like a little less sweetness, also reduced the amount of chocolate chips. And my best bud Karin suggested I use miniature chocolate chips next time. Stay tuned for the next batch.
Here’s my take and the original recipe.
Here’s Kary’s take:                        Trader Joes Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
¼ cup of butter                             ¼ cup of butter
½ cup of Brown Sugar                    ¾ cup of Brown Sugar
½ cup of Sugar                              ¾ cup of sugar
2 eggs                                          2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla                                  1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ tsp baking soda                       1/ ¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter                       1 cup peanut butter
3 cups of Rolled Oats                    3 cups Rolled Oats
4 oz. chocolate chips                      6 oz. chocolate chips
No nuts                                        ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 305 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, soft enough to mix with the brown sugar and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat u
ntil creamy. Mix in peanut butter. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and nuts, if adding.

I place a Silpat on a cookie sheet or you can lightly grease the cookie sheet or use parchment paper to line the cookie sheet to bake the cookies on.

Place each teaspoon of cookie dough on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. I have a Kenmore Pro with a Confection Bake setting and it takes 9 to 10 minutes to bake the perfect cookie.

Depending on the size of your cookie the recipe can make approximately 48 cookies.
Everyone loved these! Next time I might add sunflower seeds to some of the cookies just to see if we like them.

Do you have a tasty Gluten Free cookie recipe that is yummy?
Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Carrot, Raisin and Apple Salad No Mayo

Just the thought of carrot and raisin salad can transport me back to sitting in our
Carrot Raisin and Apple Salad
kitchen, seeing Mom with the peeler and shredder in hand trying to get us to help.  I don’t remember my sissies, brother or me ever fighting over who was going to help Mom peel and shred the carrots. Now I find the process of dicing, chopping and shredding kind of therapeutic and I usually have a yummy home made meal for us to enjoy, oh and free therapy, sort of…
As you know I am not a big kitchen gadget type, I love to use a good knife to chop and dice when cooking. Also easier to clean than a food processor, although I do have a Osterizerblender that comes in handy when needed. Hmm and my old fashioned stainlesssteel shredder is not always easy to clean, oh well it’s what I use when I am making carrot cake or carrot salad it just makes any recipe better, in my mind.
So with shredder in hand and a bunch of organic carrots I thought I would shred up a salad.
If you have ever been to a buffet carrot salad is usually right, there front and center on salad table. Usually Carrot Raisin Salad is dressed with mayonnaise and I was trying to think of a lighter healthier alternative. I also had a medium sized apple that needed to be eaten soon.

Here’s what I had:
8 medium organic carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium apple, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
¼ cup of raisins
1 Tablespoon Organic Vinaigrette Dressing- Or you can use a little balsamic & olive oil blend. The apples add a little extra sweetness.

 In a large bowl I mix together the shredded carrots, diced apple, raisins and dressing.

Yes, it is that easy! Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~ 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Recipes for hot days

Fourth of July is just a memory and now we are enjoying the hot, humid days of summer here in the Carolina’s. 

I thought I would share some of my favorite chicken recipes using my slow cooker, a great way to keep the house cool and avoid turning on the oven.

What are your favorite summer meals?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken Salad with Red Grapes and Pecans

Happy Independence Day! 

I wanted to something light for lunch today, in anticipation of pulled pork sandwiches for dinner for 4th of July, with a side of corn on the cob of course! 
I had red grapes on hand, pecans and chicken, Chicken Salad would be perfect! I think roasted or chicken in the slow cooker works best for Chicken Salad.
Saturday I tossed four large chicken breasts in the slow cooker so I would have cooked chicken on hand to pull together some quick meals over the 4th of July holiday. Sometimes I pick up a roasted chicken at my local market, which is great for so many quick meals.
Here’s what I made today:
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 teaspoon of mayonnaise, add more if needed
About 10 red grapes cut in half
1 tablespoon of pecans
Just mix together and you have a quick simple lunch, snack or dinner. I had Trader Joes Bite Size Everything Crackers on hand, these really are yummy.  Oh and this is great with greens, but of course! 

Now I am off to the pool and some 4th of July fun. What are cooking up today or maybe not cooking?

Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Green Beans with Sausage and Sesame seeds

Last week I picked up fresh green beans from our local Farmers Market in Waxhaw, NC. Last night I was cooking up some organic ground sausage that I had left over from the weekend to use in a frittata and I decided to sauté the fresh green beans with the left over sausage.

In a large skillet I cooked up ½ pound of ground sausage and removed all but about 1 tablespoon of the cooked sausage. You can always add more sausage, however I like to use just a small amount to add flavor and keep it a healthy as I can…Hey I am using organic ground pork.

Here’s what I had on hand:

      1 lb fresh green beans, tips cut off, rinse and dry
      1 teaspoon of olive oil if needed
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      1 tablespoon sesame seeds
How to Prepare:

      I like to steam my vegetables in my microwave, so I place the cleaned green beans in a microwaveable dish, covered and cooked.  I have a Kenmore Elite microwave which has a setting to cook fresh vegetables, it works great and does not overcook the beans!  
      Or you can boil: Fill a large cooking pot about ½ full and bring to a boil
      Add the green beans and cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, until tender ~ I like a little crunch in my green beans, no mushy green beans for me
      Drain the green beans then add to the skillet with the cooked sausage
      Add in the garlic and sesame seeds,
      Over medium heat I added the olive oil and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes
      Basically heating them up and letting the sesame seeds toast a bit, careful not to burn

This is a yummy side dish or great as an appetizer!

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

Enjoy ~

What is your favorite Green Bean Recipe? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mac and Cheese, Bacon, Onion and Toasted Panko Crumbs

Kary’s take on Chocolate Moosey’s French Onion Macaroni and Cheese

Kary's take Mac and Cheese
Last week a Facebook post by Carla over at Chocolate Moosey caught my eye. Not only did the picture make me hungry but any recipe that mentions French Onions catches my interest, so of course I had to make this recipe.
If you don’t already know this I am inspired by recipes and usually substitute ingredients with what I have in my pantry or fridge. Also what I can find at my local markets. So here is my take on Carla’s yummy recipe. Thank you Carla for sharing!

First I have to admit that I have never made Macaroni and Cheese from scratch, so this is a first for me and thought I would try it for my grandsons last Saturday. We had planned a swim at our Casa and firing up the grill, lamb burgers were on the menu. 

I thought the boys 7 and 9 would love the Mac and cheese; as it turned out the adults, including me devoured this dish; so to say it was a success is putting it mildly. The boys were more interested in the corn on the cob.

A bite of Mac and cheese, bacon, toasted bread crumbs and caramelized onion, Oh my gosh a blending of flavors so delicious…You have to try this! 

I doubled the recipe and we had enough to send home some with Jake and Kitt. Also some left for two lunches this week and I tossed in grilled chicken breast…what can I say yummy!
In preparation for Saturday I stopped by my local Trader Joe’s and as I was staring at the pasta trying to figure out which pasta to buy one of the staff offered to help. I love this store everyone is always happy to help and oh so joyful!
Here’s my take on Carla’s French Onion Macaroni and Cheese, with a dash of bacon!
4 slices of Black Forest Bacon, All Natural Dry Rubbed Bacon (from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup of butter
1 small sweet yellow onion, sliced
8 ounces Trader Joe’s Italian Pennette
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 2 % milk – My cheese mixture was really thick as I cooked it so I added about an additional ¼ cup of milk
1 cup Gruyere and white Cheddar cheese blend, also found at Trader Joe’s. Shred the cheese
Dash of Salt
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Cut the bacon into bite size pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon from the skillet and retain about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook on medium on the stove top for about 20 minutes until caramelized to a golden brown, use a spatula to turn the onion every couple of minutes. Slow cooking the onions really brings out the sweetness of the onions. When the onions are golden brown set aside and keep warm.
Add the remaining bacon fat to the skillet, should be around a tablespoon, melt and stir in the bread crumbs, cook until brown. Watch closely and make sure you don’t burn the bread crumbs. Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package, use a colander to drain the pasta when done.
While the pasta is cooking add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet you have been using and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted stir in the flour, slowly stir in the milk (I warm the milk for about 15 seconds in the microwave, cold milk will cause the warm butter and flour to be lumpy). Bring to a boil and continue to stir for about 3 to 4 minutes then stir in the cheese. Continue to stir until the cheese is melted and blended in.
In a large serving dish add the drained pasta and stir in the cheese and milk mixture. Top with the bacon and breadcrumbs. I did not have any parsley which was in the original recipe so I omitted it. 
We served the macaroni and cheese and left it to each of us to top with the cooked onions.
I will be making this again and again. My book club buddies are going to love this!
Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~
Do you have a favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe? I would love to hear about it. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Rogue Lawyer, Quiche, Spinach Salad and Book Club

The Rogue Lawyer, John Grisham
This month Lynn was our host and we were greeted with a hug and the heartwarming aroma of something baking in the oven…hmm what it could be…
Lynn’s oh so delicious Quiche!
Menu~Scroll down for the recipes
Hummus with roasted peppers and bagel chips - Purchased

Spinach Salad and Quiche with spinach or broccoli
Lemon cake for desert compliments of Lynn’s favorite bakery

Laughs, fun, great food, a good book and wonderful friends, what more can you ask
for? Elaine and Lynn we are looking forward to your next installment of “Neighborhood Walking Adventures” or maybe”sleuths are us?”

I have to admit I have not read a Grisham novel in awhile. Like many of you I was drawn into Grisham’s world with “The Firm”. After that wild ride I found a copy of his first book “A Time to Kill” which was equally fascinating and disturbing. With every new novel I waited impatiently for the next adventure and was not disappointed. However I have to admit I have not read a Grisham novel in awhile. 

So when Lynn recommend Grisham’s new book “The Rogue Lawyer” I thought ok let’s give it a go. Grisham’s main character Sebastian Rudd is a defense lawyer who takes the cases know one else will take and in typical Grisham style we were all drawn into the story and the dark underworld of the law.

It is a fascinating trip into the underside of the law, law enforcement, cage fighting, serial killers, kidnapping and a world where everyone seems to want Sebastian dead. To borrow a quote from Maureen Corrigan in her book review “he is the defense attorney you want sitting beside you in the courtroom when something unpleasant hits the fan.”

We all recommend “The Rogue Lawyer” with a side of Quiche and maybe bourbon or at least a nice Cabernet. And of course lots of laughs!

Now here’s Lynn’s’ Quiche and Spinach Salad recipe:

Spinach Quiche
1 Premade pie crust
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 medium size sweet yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 lb of fresh spinach, cleaned, dried and chopped
6 eggs
½ cup of milk
Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 cups shredded Swiss, Cheddar, or Gruyere ~ mix in some feta ~ your choice
Lynn does not pre-cook the pie crust and the crust was flaky, not soggy at all

Pre-heat oven 375 to bake the Quiche
Place the pre made pie crust in a pie pan
In a large sauté pan melt the butter, sauté the onions and garlic just until they soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 or 2 minutes then add the spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just to start the cooking process

Spoon the onion, garlic, mushrooms and spinach mixture into the pie crust
Sprinkle the cheese over the filling
In a large bowl whisk the eggs then whisk in the milk, salt and pepper

Pour the egg and milk mixture over the filling and cheese

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes than check the quiche; it should be firm with a little movement. Remember to use your oven mitts!!!

The Quiche will continue to cook when you remove from it from the oven

Spinach Salad
½ cup sugar
½ cup red vinegar
1 cup oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup catsup ~ yes Lynn adds and it is delicious!
Use a mason jar to mix, just shake until well blended~ oh and put the lid on before mixing…

1 lb fresh spinach, cleaned and chopped
1 pound of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small red or sweet yellow onion sliced
4 hard boiled eggs chopped
6 to 8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

In a large bowl add the spinach, mushrooms, onion, eggs and bacon
Toss with dressing and serve!

Keep it Simple and Fresh~

What are you reading? Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~