Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Today is Sunday. I love and hate Sundays. I love going to church and then lazily baking all day but I hate knowing that Monday is right around the corner. My husband calls it my Sunday Frets. Does anyone else feel this way? So, today I will be baking oatmeal coconut cookies for me and my co-workers and apple crisp for my husband. I adapted a Paula Deen recipe for oatmeal cookies since I had some leftover coconut that I really wanted to use.
1 C butter at room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 C oats
1 C chopped walnut
1 1/2 C sweetened coconut
1/2-1 C chocolate chips depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Stir in the vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the oats, nuts, coconut and chocolate chips. Drop rounded tablespoons (I use a small ice cream scoop) 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

My blogging partner

This is my blogging partner Malone. He likes to sit in front of the monitor so I can't see the screen and stare at me with those "you would rather pet me than blog" eyes. Or he'll lay in front of the keyboard on this back and gaze at me with those "isn't it time for you to feed me eyes." Or if it's late at night he'll jump on my lap and look up at me with those "it's past our bed time and it's time to sleep" eyes. He's a great kitty and I'm so happy he's my blogging partner, even when he "accidentally" walks on the keyboard and types gibberish or deletes some of my hard blogging work. LOL

Black Bean Soup

This is such a quick and yummy soup. My husband is not a huge fan of black beans but I thought I'd try it anyway. Guess what? He really liked it. It only took me 20 minutes to make which is great because it's just about time to watch the Lakers game. I topped the soup with sour cream, shredded cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. The leftovers will be perfect for lunch tomorrow. Thank you to Baking to De-stress. I found the recipe on her blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken Vesuvio

Every time I take photos of meals that have chicken, potatoes, rice, etc... I always have the hardest time making them look appetizing. If you didn't know this was for a food blog and I just showed you the photo, you'd probably say"yuck, what is that?" like someone in my family did a few days ago when she was flipping through the photos on my camera. Some of you have the most beautiful, artistic photos and I'm trying to hone my skills but when the food is ready to eat and I'm starving, taking the perfect photo just isn't something I have the patience for. So, here is my photo and link for Chicken Vesuvio. It's completely delicious and just as good for leftovers the next day. Enjoy!

Chicken with Chile Cheese Rice by Taste of Home Cooking

I saw this recipe on a fellow blogger site and immediately thought about how much my husband would like it. I was able to buy all the ingredients at Trader Joes except for the jalapenos so I omitted those. Also, I already had roasted chicken in the fridge so I shredded some up for the chicken part of the recipe. It was super yummy and my husband had two helpings. That means he really liked it.

Here is the link

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snapper Jack's Taco Shack

My honey and I were out running errands on Sunday and had a Mexican food craving. We decided to stop at Snapper Jack's Taco Shack, which we hadn't been to in a long time. I had forgotten how good their food is. They have a really good salsa bar with lots of different choices. Chips & salsa is my favorite part of Mexican food so we ordered a plate of nachos to share. Sooo yummy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Muffins, muffins and more muffins.

My sister invited me over to bake muffins and snickerdoodles last weekend. She volunteered to provide snacks for the ministry team at our church that is hosting a conference which made me happy to see her tapping into her cooking gene. Since baking is one of my favorite things to do, I loaded up my supplies and headed over. We made about 90 muffins total and they were really yummy. It was so nice to have a full day of baking and chatting. We made several different kinds; blueberry, orange peel, oatmeal and one that tasted like Apple Jacks cereal. Yum!
What is your favorite kind of muffin? I love the huge chocolate chip muffins that you can get at donut shops and even though I feel super guilty after eating's worth it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blue Stove Restaurant in Thousand Oaks

Sweet potato french fries with aioli dipping sauce...yum!

Caramel clay pot chicken....boring.

Short ribs...dry and lacking in flavor.

Risotto cakes with mushrooms...again really dry and boring.

Raspberry chocolate cake...this was delicious.

Saturday night we had a date night with some friends and decided to try a new restaurant. It's called Blue Stove in Nordstroms at the Thousand Oaks mall. It's a small plates restaurant and it's designed for you to share each dish. The presentation of each dish was wonderful but unfortunately almost everything we ordered lacked flavor. It was as if the chef didn't put salt in anything. It' started off great with sweet potato fries and a wonderful dipping aioli and ended great with a raspberry chocolate cake but everything in between was plain and seemed as though it has originally been frozen and then reheated. We all agreed we won't be returning unless it is for dessert or a glass of wine.
On another note, the girls saw Valentine's Day, typical chick flick with a happy ending. The boys saw Wolfman and they were disappointed. Did you see any movies this weekend?

Valentine's Day

I absolutely love Valentine's Day. It's my favorite holiday after Christmas. It isn't just about you and your partner, it's about showing love to everyone in your life. I baked heart shaped cookies for my friends and sent sappy love cards to my family. Of course, I am very thankful to have my husband to love on and be romantic with. I think every woman wants to feel like she is adored and aside from your wedding day, Valentine's Day is the day you get to be the most romantic and be reminded how much you love and are loved. Yes, I will agree it has its greeting card moments and it has turned into a major marketing ploy, but I don't care. Any marketing ploy that compels my husband to be romantic is fine by me.
The couple times we have been out to dinner on Valentine's Day have not been successful. One year, the waitress spilled an entire glass of wine on my husband's suit, our food was cold when it got to us and the restaurant was so packed with people you could hardly breathe. Now, we always stay home. I make dinner, dessert and we watch movies. Which is what we did last night. I made Gordon Ramsay's beef wellington recipe with mashed potatoes and asparagus. For dessert, a chocolate mousse cake I found on a fellow bloggers site:
Everything was delicious and we ended the night with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and How I Met Your Mother on DVD (have you seen this show? It's really funny. We are working our way thru the seasons with Netflix)
I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. How did you spend your day?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fiesta Eats & Cribbage

Saturday night we had cribbage night with some friends and ate lots of yummy mexican food. I made yummy, chicken enchiladas, beans and snickerdoodles. Our friends brought chips, salsa, 7-layer dip and rice. If you've never played a group game of cribbage, you should try it out. It's so fun. We usually do girls vs guys and bet things like washing the car, doing the dishes for the week, laundy etc. Thankfully, the girls one most games on Saturday and I was served breakfast in bed Sunday morning. Awe victory is SWEET!

Exploding Potato

Ok, this has never ever happened to me before. I had planned my potatoes to be done baking at half-time so I could make potato skins. You can't have a Superbowl without potato skins. During a commercial I heard this load "puft" sound in the kitchen. Upon investigation I found an exploded potato in my oven. Cracked me up. I had pierced them as I always do but this little guy must have been feeling ornery cause he made a huge mess in my oven. It was too funny not to document. The remaining perfectly baked potatoes made fantastic potato skins. Yum!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts, Apples & Shallots

I love all things pasta related and this was sooo yummy. I used wholewheat 4 cheese ravioli for this dish. I sauteed apples, shallots and some fresh rosemary in a little EVOO and butter until the shallots were caramelized and the apples were soft. I toasted the walnuts in a separate dry pan. When the ravioli were cooked I added them to the pan along with the toasted walnuts and added salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese (and I admit...more butter). I served this with a side of roasted garlic which I spread all over some toasted sourdough doesn't get any yummier than that.