Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies Stuffed with Oreos

Cookie

Last week, I stumbled up on this creation, Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. I was both horrified and intrigued. After reading about these cookies in a few different places, I decided that I had to try my hand at them. You see, I have a desert hound for a friend who is also a Roller Derby Girl. Her first bout was last night and I decided to make Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies just for her.

Renee Roller Derby2
Hit O Honey is in the middle in purple with all the stickers on her helmet.


I started with Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies and then wrapped Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough around them.

Cookie4

The recipe says to use a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop and that is good advice as you need just enough cookie dough to wrap around the Oreos but not too much that your dough spreads.

Cookie2

The recipe supplies a great recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies which I did not follow as I was being lazy. I used the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.

Cookie3

I think it worked out. My cookies spread a lot but in the end it worked. I gave a cookie to Scott to try and grabbed one for myself.

Cookie7

I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat not from excitement but more out of fear that I would eat another of these cookies. They are very sweet, so sweet that my teeth ached. I honestly couldn't eat more than one. AND I LOVE COOKIES!

Cookie8

I bet Hit O Honey liked these though. She loves that uber sweet taste. I do know that she played her heart out at the bout and even though she appeared to spend more time in the penalty box than out on the floor, she had fun. We had fun watching her.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Wednesday Links from Around The Web 2.23.11 Edition

Nigella Lawson and the Home Kitchen

How to get the most out of your Netflix subscription

Hooray for Life Lists! I think it might be time for me to make my own life list.

Clementine Pound Cake! Perfect for when you buy a HUGE box of clementines and then realize you are the only one who eats them in your house.

The world's cutest owl

Lavender! Chocolate! Oh My!

In case of death... Such good information!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup Close-up

I have a weakness for Mexican food but one can not live on tacos alone so I'm often on the hunt for a delicious, easy and spicy Mexican dish to add to my repertoire.

Making Tortilla Soup

I recently spotted this great tortilla soup over at The Cooking Photographer's site. I made quite a few changes to her recipe to suit my own tastes but this is one fantastic soup! It's quick to make and delivers a wonderful punch of flavor.

Tortilla Soup

Spicy Tortilla Soup

Ingredients
2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons cayenne chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil + more for frying
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can diced mild green chiles, drained
1 (23 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (32 ounce) containers Vegetable Broth

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of one lime
4 corn tortillas

Directions

1. Mix together cumin, sweet paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, coriander, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the spices and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the green chile peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, corn and vegetable broth. Cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add the black beans and cook for 3 minutes before serving. Squeeze in lime juice.

4. Cut the corn tortillas into four triangles. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Drop the tortillas into the oil and fry until crisp. Drain and cool over clean paper towels. Use as garnish in your soup.

5. Serve the soup in large bowls and garnish as desired. I topped our bowls with sour cream, avocado, chips, scallions and cheddar cheese.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From dingy to Saffron gold

Entryway closeup

I've been searching for the perfect entryway table for a few months. We don't have a large entryway but we needed something for our keys and the mail, a landing station if you will.

With my very particular parameters and measurements in hand, I dragged Scott all over town from consignment store to thrift store to high-end furniture store. I finally found the perfect vanity at a consignment store by my house. The price was also perfect at $40. The finish on the vanity was not so perfect which was great! I wanted to paint whatever we found and since the finish wasn't in the best shape, I didn't have any guilt painting over it.

Entryway Vanity Before

Of course, once we purchased the entryway vanity, the debate over what color to paint it began. I suggested green. Scott wasn't in love with it. I said RED! He said Nope. I chanted blue, he mumbled ehhh.

photo(26)

Finally we settled on this wonderful Saffron Mustard color. I did get some of my blue though. I painted the inside blue which meant that when the doors are closed there is this tiny sliver of blue that shows. The two colors together make me so happy.

Entryway Vanity

Now I just need to repaint the entryway, hang a photo above the vanity and another "room" will be complete!

 Entry Way Vanity Open

*Please excuse some of the grain-er before photos. I used my iPhone in the dark basement to capture the images.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tartine Starter Day 3

Starter Day 3

As my Tartine Bread obsession continues, I've been diligently feeding my starter. Day 3 brought the stinky smell that Chad Roberts describes in his book. Somehow though, that stinky smell did not keep the kitten away as I attempted to photograph the starter.

Kitten Starter

I removed 80% of the starter and added equal amounts of the flour mixture and lukewarm water. I gently mixed them all together by hand until the lumps were gone.

Starter Remixed Day 3

The starter is back resting, growing and forming. At this point, you start feeding the starter everyday around the same time. I've been feeding my starter in the morning.

Starter Resting

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lemon Stacked Monkey Bread

Baked Lemon Bread Slices

I've been baking a lot lately. Baking comforts me and it is something that warms the kitchen as the weather takes on a bitter chill. It's been quite cold here in Seattle the last few days!

Baked Lemon Bread3

I found this wonderful recipe for Lemon Coffee Cake on one of my favorite blogs. If you haven't discovered, "17 & Baking" then take the time now to read all of Elissa's words. She's in college now and working toward a journalism degree. I feel that she's going to succeed in the tough world of journalism.

I love Elissa's work so much that I once sent her a bunch of baking supplies from my work. (I worked with bloggers at my old company to help build up the brand's name). She was so thankful for the gift that she baked me the most delicious treat.

Baked Lemon Bread2

But back to the recipe at hand! I started making this in the morning and due to the two rises, didn't enjoy the bread until the afternoon. I'm glad I had to wait though as this dish does not last long and if I had finished baking this in the morning, I doubt I would have had any nutrition in my diet that day.

Lemon Bread

You start by making the sweet yeast dough and gently kneading it into a ball. Then you sit back and let the yeast do its' work.

Sugared Lemon Dough

Next you sprinkle the lemon scented sugar over the rolled dough and cut it into rectangles. This is where the fun comes in.

Stacked Lemon Dough

You stack the rectangle dough pieces on place them in a loaf pan. Don't worry if they don't fit tightly. Once the dough rises (for the second time), they will be snug.

Lemon Dough before Baking

Baked Lemon Bread
Once the dough has risen for the second time, it will be ready for the oven. Once it is baked and smelling delicious, it is frosted with lemony cream cheese frosting. Eat up quickly! This bread won't last long.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tartine Obsession

I recently picked up a copy of Tartine Bread and have discovered a new obsession.

Tartine Starter

After carefully reading a majority of the book, I decided to make my own starter. I mixed the lukewarm water with the 50/50 white and whole wheat flour. I mixed it with my fingers until I couldn't feel any lumps.

Mixing the Tartine Starter

The starter now sits in my kitchen growing and forming. In a few days, I'll feed it and in a few weeks, I'll be able to bake with it. This new obsession is also teaching me patience.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taco Tuesday

Taco Yum

Every Tuesday at my house is Taco Tuesday.  I love making Tacos. It's the same simple dish every Tuesday night but each time, with a switch of the protein, it's a completely different meal.


Taco Mushrooms

One of our favorite proteins is to fry up sausage with firm tofu and mushrooms. Add a bit of taco seasoning with olive oil and allow to warm until the sausage is cooked through. 


Taco Protein

The sides can also make or break Taco Night. We always have really good sour cream, avocado, cheddar cheese and veggies. I like to switch up the veggies. Some nights, it's spinach with caramelized onions and other nights, it's lettuce with scallions. 

Taco Fixin

Fill a corn or flour tortilla with the protein, veggies and cheese for a delightful Taco Tuesday meal.


Tacos for eating

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day My Love

Hat Excitement
Happy Valentines's Day Scott! I'm so happy to be married to you. Here's to a  lifetime of smooshy-ness.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baking Day

Floured Spoon

I baked today and before cleaning up, I took some photos. I love baking. I love the richness of my red rolling pin. I love the feeling of flour in my hands and how it covers the counter top.  

Red Rolling Pin

I love the smell of baking bread. I love the watching bread rise. I love baking.

Baking

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wednesday Web Links

Penny Makes Beautiful Photos and she's pretty darn rad.

Blog like a Pro , you know you want to.

Beautiful Cookbook Design makes my heart swoon

This video made me finally buy the book Tartine and I'm pretty sure you'll be buying it after watching this.

Portland, Food and People's Love for Portlandia

A new life for a barn

Adventures in Renovating! I like renovation. I'm not sure I like all the hard work but I like the thought of it.

Live the Language - Paris Paris is this place that you really must visit more than once. You just can't get it in one visit. It requires a few and I think that is why people are so full of wanderlust for it. This video makes me want to go back again. But then this video about London makes me want to go there instead. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE England more than words can say. It's been almost 4 years since my last visit which means, I need to go back. I need to visit my friends.

Sometimes you find a new blog and it causes you to fall in love. I might have become a bit stalker-ish and obsessive when I found Joy the Baker but this blog does that to you. You want to read every single post and then find Joy the Baker and make her become your friend. Joy! I like to bake! We could be awesome friends. I'd try all your treats. I'd make a good friend!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pinwheel Quilt Progress

Supervision

Under the careful supervision of Mel-B, I worked on the Pinwheel Quilt this weekend. I have four more blocks to complete and I all I want to do is work on these quilt blocks!

SewingMistake

My progress was slowed this weekend by a bone-head sewing mistake. I sewed all my HST's together wrong side out and had to spend the next few hours ripping out my mistake!

PinwheelProgress

I'm quite excited about this blanket. It's looking super good!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Banana Stuffed French Toast

French Toast Delight

Last week while sick and convalescing in bed, I flipped through some catalogs and cookbooks dreaming of cooking. I spotted this recipe for Banana Stuffed French Toast and knew I had to make it. As soon as I felt better, I ran to the kitchen and fired up the grill (ok, the panini press) and started making Banana Stuffed French Toast. We had (as we usually do) some bananas that were just almost too ripe and I had picked up some Challah bread a few days before which meant it was just the perfect kind of stale for french toast.

Carmelized Bananas

This recipe is a bit of a time-suck but the carmelized bananas and soggy yet crisp bread is so perfect. It's worth the effort. It's funny, I used to hate french toast. I worked in a cafeteria in college and made a lot of french toast which I never tried. I did not like it. I was told many times though that I made really good french toast which I did not believe because for me, there was no such thing. I have to say this recipe makes REALLY GOOD FRENCH TOAST! It's really that good.

Stuffed French Toast

There is magic in how you stuff the Challah bread with the bananas. It makes them plump and look a bit pita-like. I mean, look at those carmelized bananas peeking out of that bread. It's delicious looking.

Soaking French Toast

The recipe says to use an immersion blender for the egg soak which I originally scoffed at and used my trusty whisk. While you could use your trusty whisk to make this, I do have to recommend the immersion blender. It really mixed up the egg soak, making it just the right consistency once I ditched the whisk.

Cooking French Toast

Again, this recipe recommended using a panini grill to cook the french toast and since I had one, I used one. It's a great time-saver as it cooks both sides of the bread at once. However, I think a grill or a saucepan would work just fine. Just remember to flip!

Creme Fraiche French Toast