peanut butter cookies with choc chunks, anyone?

ingredients (makes 36--- so i halved it):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks (or choc chips, if you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two large baking sheets. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
*courtesy of the food librarian who got it from marthastewart.


roast with rosemary and veggies

prep time: 20 minutes
total time: 5 hours 20 minutes (includes 4 hours 15 minutes simmering time)
ingredients (serves 4-6):
1 (3 1/2 lb) boneless chuck roast
salt and pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped coarse
1 carrot, peeling and chopped coarse
1 rib celery, chopped coarse
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sugar
2 cups red wine (or 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup beef broth--- but if you can, use wine!!!)
1 sprig rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes (or just small potatoes)- about 9, halved
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced, 1/2 inch thick
1. adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. pat the roast dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper (rub the s&p into the roast). heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. brown the roast on all sides, reducing the heat if the fat begins to smoke, about 10 minutes. transfer the roast to a large place.
2. add the onion, chopped carrot, and celery to the fat left in the pot and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. stir in the garlic and the sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. stir in the wine and rosemary, scraping up any brown bits.
3. return the roast and any accumulated juice to the pot. add the water until it measures half-way up the sides of the roast (you may not need all of it). bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. cook, turning the roast over every 30 minutes, for 3 1/2 hours.
4. add the potatoes, sliced carrots, and parsnips, submerging them in the liquid, and continue to cook in the oven until the beef and vegetables are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. transfer the roast to a cutting board and carve as you like. season with salt and pepper to taste. enjoy. yummm.
*adapted from America's Test Kitchen cookbook


chicken fried rice with bok choy

ingredients (serves 4):
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound bok choy, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped (i used a purple onion, which was great for color and taste)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cooked rice (i used basmati) --- start before other prep
4 cooked chicken thighs, shredded*--- start before other prep
1 Tbs grated peeled fresh ginger
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add eggs; season with salt and pepper, and cook until set, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer cooked eggs to a cutting board (reserve skillet); let cool. Roll up, and thinly slice eggs crosswise; set aside.
In skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add bok choy, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper (skillet will be very full). Cook, stirring frequently, until bok choy is crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add rice, chicken, sliced eggs, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce. Cook, tossing, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

*I used chicken tenders (about 2 per person) and cooked them like so: place chicken on sheet pan and rub skin with olive oil. salt & pepper. Roast at 350 degrees – 30-35 minutes for boneless skinless. Let cool and shred chicken.

*courtesy of marthastewart

glazed lime mini cakes (or mini muffins)

my husband and i like limes. oh, sweet limes :)
so i replaced anything lemon with lime. but you can do as you like.
and my results don't always turn out as cute as the food librarian. but they tasted super yummy!

ingredients (makes 6):
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for muffin tin
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk mixture.
Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.
Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth. Pour over cakes, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set 30 minutes.

*courtesy of marthastewart.


shrimp pad thai

ingredients (serves 4):
10 oz. medium rice noodles
2 cups bean sprouts
1/3 cup ketchup
1 scant Tbs. black bean sauce
1 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
3 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
1 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
3 green onions, white parts minced and green tops thinly sliced
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1/3 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges

Cook the noodles and sprouts
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles, turn off the heat and let stand, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. When the noodles are nearly soft, stir in the bean sprouts. Drain the noodles and sprouts.

Stir-fry the shrimp and tofu*
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ketchup, black bean sauce, Sriracha sauce and fish sauce.
In a wok or deep fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the minced green onions and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes.

Make the sauce
Add the ketchup mixture to the wok and bring to a boil. Pour the egg into the middle of the sauce and stir just until scrambled. Immediately add the noodles and sprouts, toss to coat evenly with the sauce and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with ketchup or Sriracha.
Transfer to a serving platter, arranging the shrimp on top of the noodles. Garnish with the sliced green onions and the peanuts and serve immediately. Pass the lime wedges at the table to squeeze over the noodles.

*Tofu is a common addition to pad Thai. Cut 1/4 lb. tofu into small cubes and cook them along with the shrimp. Or, for a vegetarian version of this recipe, omit the shrimp and Asian fish sauce and add up to 1/2 lb. tofu. Add the tofu to the wok as directed for the shrimp.

*courtesy of williams-sonoma: "food made fast: seafood"


blood orange & chocolate bundt

*i halved the recipe because i didn't want so many leftovers.

ingredients for the cake:
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated blood orange zest (4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks

ingredients for the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice

ingredients for the ganache:
8 oz. good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.
3. Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
5. For the ganache, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
*courtesy of the food librarian and ina garten


veggie yummy: bok choy shiitake

this soup is really good for a veggie veggie craving. it's also just really good.

ingredients (serves 4):

-4 cups vegetable broth
-1 head bok choy halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (i used baby bok choy, so i used 1.5 heads)
-1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
-4 green onions, sliced
-1/4 lb snow peas, thinly sliced
-2 tsp. soy sauce
-1/4 tsp. asian sesame oil
in a large saucepan over medium high heat, bring vegi broth to a simmer. add all remaining ingredients. reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. season to taste with salt and pepper. ladle into bowls and serve.

*courtesy of williams-sonoma: "food made fast: soup"


blood orange juicy-juice

man, am i glad blood oranges are in season...

ingredients (makes about 1 liter):
juice of 6-8 blood oranges
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 liter of sparking water
1/4 cup simple syrup* (or to taste)

mix all together. drink. enjoy. yummm.

*simple syrup can be made using equal parts sugar and water. boil until sugar is dissolved. simple syrup is also sold at trader joe's... and probably other grocery stores too.

*courtesy of seattlest. by way of dcist. i love dcist. it gets me through my work day.


braised soy-ginger chicken & bok choy

i think bok choy is really pretty
ingredients (serves 4):
-1 1/2 cups water
-1 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry
-2 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
-1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
-2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
-3 green onions, thinly sliced
-2 lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs or breast halves (or chicken tenders, but make sure any chicken is well thawed before cooking)
-1/2 lb. bok choy, quartered lengthwise
-2 Tbs. honey
-1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
-Steamed rice for serving (we used basmati)
In a Dutch oven or deep fry pan over high heat, combine the water, soy sauce, wine, brown sugar, five-spice powder, ginger and green onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Submerge the chicken pieces, skin side up, in the liquid and simmer gently for 8 minutes. Turn the pieces over and continue to simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, about 8 minutes more.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Bring the braising liquid to a boil over medium heat, add the bok choy and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the bok choy to the platter, arranging it around the chicken.
Bring the braising liquid to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the honey and sesame oil. Pour over the chicken and bok choy and serve with steamed rice. Serves 4.

*courtesy of williams-sonoma "food made fast: asian"


zesty lime pie

crust ingredients:
7-8 whole graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar

pie filling ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup squeezed lime juice (4-5 limes)
2 tsp. grated lime skin (zest)
8 oz. cool whip or 1/2 pint (8 oz) whipped cream--- I
prefer whipped cream!! yummmm

crust directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter pie dish with nonstick spray. Blend graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in processor/blender until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture over bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 13-15 minutes.

pie filling directions:
beat yolks and 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk.
then blend other 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest all together. add cool whip or whipped cream.
pour in shell and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
let cool completely.
garnish however you like.


fried rice, thai basil concoction

this was way yummy, with a lot of flavor. not to mention really easy. and yummy.
serves 4
-2 Tbs. vegetable oil
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 small serrano chilies, seeded and chopped **(I substituted with some asian red chili sauce- we used 2 tsp and that was WAY TOO HOT. so, do as you like)
-1/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
-4 cups cold cooked long-grain white rice, crushed gently to break up any clumps **(we used basmati, which is traditionally indian rice... but really good!!!)
-1 to 2 Tbs. light soy sauce
-1 Tbs. fish sauce
-1/4 tsp. sugar
-2 green onions, including white and green portions, chopped
-1/2 cup firmly packed fresh Thai basil leaves
-1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional. we didn't use this to garnish.)

Heat a wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil, salt and garlic. Stir-fry until the garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add the chilies and shrimp and stir-fry until the shrimp just turn pink, about 30 seconds.
Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry to combine thoroughly. Add the green onions and basil leaves and stir-fry until the leaves begin to wilt, 25 to 30 seconds. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with the cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

*courtesy of williams-sonoma

O what a wonderful patriotic treat!

makes 24 (I made a 1/2 batch as to not have so many leftovers :))
1/2 cup dried cranberries (the RED)
Cherrios or Trader Joe's O's or any toasted oat cereal - 6 cups (the WHITE)
10 ounces of mini marshmallows (the WHITE)
1/2 cup dried blueberries (the BLUE)
1/4 stick of butter
1. Spray a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with waxed paper; spray paper with cooking spray, and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows; cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows have melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cereal, dried cranberries and dried blueberries.
3. Immediately transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula (or your fingers) coated with cooking spray, press in quickly and firmly. Let cool, about 1 hour; cut into 24 bars (3 rows lengthwise by 8 rows crosswise). Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

*courtesy of the food librarian and martha stewart


cranberry zucchini muffins

these are so yummmy!!!
ingredients (makes about 1 dozen):

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c finely shredded zucchini

1/2 cup cranberries, halved or quartered

Combine dry and then wet, then together--- and last: add cranberries. Mix until just combined. Top with some sanding sugar, if ya want. (I recommend adding the sugar.)
Bake them at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy.

*courtesy of the food librarian and martha stewart