All posts by Jenny

Oatmeal Cookies


Oatmeal Cookies www.choppingsticks.com

Let me start by saying… the above picture… is TOTALLY an Iphone 6s pic… wowsers! I’m impressed. I finally updated my cell phone just for the new camera on it. And for the gigantic screen. Went for the PLUS! And I am so glad I did. Best decision…. well as far as fitting in my pocket not so much but the camera and the big screen is worth it. I love shooting with my big camera with my 50mm lens but it’s a bit cumbersome. So you may be seeing a mix of Iphone and Nikon in this blog.

I’m headed to a cookie/candy Christmas party tomorrow! I’m getting drunk on some sugar so I’ll skip breakfast so I can eat guilt free. I’ll bring some coffee to cut through the sugar so I can try everything! I hope nobody looks at me funny as I take pictures of all the goodies. I’ll want to share it with you with the attached recipes! I bet there’ll be so many treats that you can make for friends and family for Christmas.

At least that’s what I’m planning – my neighbors and friends are going to score big on sweets for the holiday!

I was trying to figure out what to make for the party. I LOVE seeing everything that Christina Tosi bakes and posts on Instagram. Even Starbucks loves to copy what she brilliantly creates! I tried this recipe tonight just to see if I could make a delicious cookie that is party worthy. SCORE! It’s on permanent rotation. I have a special request from the hubs. He wants some raisins in them… so that’s what I’ll do!

Oatmeal Cookies www.choppingsticks.com

You can mix everything in your mixer with the paddle attachment. Use a medium cookie scoop and roll in some powdered sugar.

Oatmeal Cookies www.choppingsticks.com

And bake for approximately 10 minutes. They come out of the oven so deliciously crunchy and soft inside… ridiculous!

Oatmeal Cookies www.choppingsticks.com

Oatmeal Cookies www.choppingsticks.com

So this recipe is totally 100% hers and not mine. Try it today!

Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened but you can use sweetened as well)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Beat the butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer. Mix until light in color, fluffy and all sugars are incorporated. About 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and the vanilla and mix on medium for another minute or two.
  4. Add the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and coconut. Mix on low until just mixed.
  5. Place confectioners sugar in a separate bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop and roll the dough mixture into a ball. Then roll in confections sugar to totally cover and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep cookie dough about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake cookies for approximately 10 minutes until the cookies are just lightly cracked and light brown.
  7. This recipe will make about 2 dozen cookies!
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Baked Apricot French Toast

Baked Apricot French Toast www.choppingsticks.com

If you are all about easy breakfasts – like I am – then you’ll love baked french toast.  You make this the night before.  The NIGHT BEFORE!  Which means you don’t have to do anything except sprinkle some sugar and pecans on top of the french toast and put it in the oven.  So simple, so easy, and so delicious!

Baked Apricot French Toast www.choppingsticks.comTrader Joe’s is a great place to find maple syrup and challah bread – I used both for this french toast.  Pecans are amazing! – I don’t use them often so Sprouts is a great place to buy your pecans.  You can buy exactly what you need for this there!  Fresh and delicious.

You can pretty much add any fruit or topping to this french toast.  In hindsight, I should have dusted this with some powdered sugar…. and add some whipped cream.  YUM!  Don’t be like me – add some good yummy toppings to yours!

Baked Apricot French Toast www.choppingsticks.com

And to be perfectly clear – maple syrup is a must!  Mmmmm…. hope you try this recipe and love it as much as we do!

Baked Apricot French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of challah bread, slice 1"
  • 1 jar of apricot preserves
  • Butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • Coarse sugar - raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or pecan halves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Butter a 9x13 pyrex baking dish. Be sure to butter well and get all of the edges.
  2. Cut challah bread into 1" slices. Spread apricot preserves to each side of the bread slices. Line the butter dish with bread slices - stack bread in layers. You'll have 2 layers of bread.
  3. In a separate bowl, add eggs, half and half, milk. brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk until eggs are mixed into mixture. Be sure not to over mix. Pour liquid all over the bread slices. Spoon mix over any top pieces that may look dry. Cover with aluminum foil or saran and store overnight in refrigerator.
  4. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Take the dish out approximately 20 minutes before baking. Sprinkle pecans and then the raw cane sugar (or any coarse sugar) all over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle another 1 tsp of cinnamon over the top as well.
  6. Bake the french toast uncovered for 40-45 minutes. The french toast should be fluffed up and golden brown.
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Ginger Soy Pork

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Isn’t it fun to run into a grocery store with absolutely nothing in mind?  I made the first step and bought a menu planning calendar but it’s blank.  Empty.  Not one idea written down for the week.  Oh well – guess I’ll start planning next week right?

This blog is dedicated to something with pork in it because it was on sale!  Nothing better than good organic farm raised meat that is on sale.  I’ve been brain storming all day thinking of what is in my cabinets that would pare well with some kind of pork.

You will love this – SO easy and incredibly tasty.  There are so many ways to prepare this pork!  I’ll work on the different ways you can serve this.  It’s definitely something that can be refrigerated and served another way the next day.  Leftovers!  YUM!

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Soy, ginger and star anise – have you had anything made with star anise?  If you like Chinese food, then I’m sure you’ve eaten something with it!  It’s the spice that looks like a star – literally…. as star.  In this dish, you just throw a few pods in and let the pork simmer.  If you love soy…. ginger…. good food…. and fall apart tender pork, then you HAVE to try this.  You will not be disappointed.

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Ginger Soy Pork

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Boneless Country Style Ribs with plenty of fat throughout
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 heaping TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled (keep whole)

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork into large pieces - about 1-2 inches.
  2. Add all ingredients into a dutch oven or heavy pot.
  3. Turn the heat on high and let boil. Then turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the pot.
  4. Let simmer for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the pork for tenderness.
  5. **I served the pork over rice and garnished with green onion. I chose a side of stir fried romaine with hoisin sauce.
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Beef Vegetable Soup

Beef and Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

When the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to turn to gold, you realize it’s time for some good hearty soup.  I cannot, for the life of me, eat hot soup in the summer.  It may be because it’s Alabama weather – hot, humid, and unbearable.  So eating hot soup in the summer is a no go for me.  I look forward to the cooler weather that September and October brings because it means football and beef vegetable soup.

This beef vegetable soup recipe makes a large pot – some for now… some for later!  We are a family of five so we don’t really have a lot for later – which is perfectly fine for me.  The first time I had this beef vegetable soup was at Nick’s mom and dad’s house (we call them Mem and Pop).  Mem usually makes this soup when she makes chili – that way we have a choice at dinner.  To be honest, we eat both.  It’s too good to pass up.  I typically make cornbread to eat with soup but today, I was lazzzzyyyyyyy.  The topping for lazy bones is oyster crackers.  You’re welcome family!

Beef Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Not sure if your family loves oyster crackers like my family does – they eat handfuls at a time!  I mean really!  Would you like some soup with your crackers?  I came home from work, hung up my purse, walked into the living room to cuddle Cash, and he was nowhere to be found.  He left behind evidence though…. an empty bag of oyster crackers with crumbles all over the couch.  ALL OVER!  Dude!  I found him under the dining room table with all that was left of the crackers in his tiny hand.

Beef and Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Satisfying dinner that makes everyone in the family happy!  Wellllllll – almost everyone happy.  My little picky guy who freaks out at the sight of SO MANY VEGGIES was unsure about this dinner.  I convinced him to eat some though…. you know… Santa is watching.  It kinda worked.  Enjoy!

Beef Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of lean hamburger meat
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 30 oz frozen soup veggies (my favorite has potatoes and okra included - Publix brand)
  • Parsley, handful chopped finely

Instructions

  1. Brown hamburger meat. Season the hamburger meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and chili powder. When cooked through, drain fat off of meat.
  2. In a large stock pot, add cooked and seasoned hamburger meat, hand crushed whole tomatoes with juice, onion slices, chopped garlic, beef broth and frozen vegetables.
  3. Add more water to cover vegetables if the broth is not enough. Add chopped parsley and stir together.
  4. Turn heat on high until soup boils, then turn to low heat to simmer for 30 minutes so the frozen vegetables can cook through. Taste the soup and then add salt and more pepper to taste. You don't want to over salt!
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Beef Tips and Polenta

Beef Tips www.choppingsticks.com

Ever since I started watching food shows on tv, I wanted to find some polenta and cook it up.  I know it’s like grits…. but different.  Polenta seems to be more finely ground corn while grits are more coarse.  You can feel the grain when you eat grits.  I’m not going to tell any stories here.  I did not make the polenta.  I found it in a tube!  At Trader Joe’s!  It was in the pasta section – Organic Polenta.  It was calling my name.  Had to grab some and then decide what the heck I would do with it. Continue reading

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