Wednesday, January 18, 2012

World Peace Cookies

World Peace Cookies

I’m so excited I can feel my heart pounding. Something I have wanted to do for so, so long is finally happening. Thanks to two parents that decided to give me an especially nice, very meaningful, most awesome, generous and loving birthday/Hanukah gift rolled into one I am going to be taking a trip far, far away. (I like those double adjectives, don’t I?)  I bought this very adorable nightgown for the occasion.  Don’t you think it is perfect? I’m going to call it my travel nightie and hope that it takes me many places.  It is so soft and I sleep very well in it. I bought it at Target, a very favorite store of mine.

My cute nightie
I have never been away from home for this long as an adult. It is kind of scary. Who will feed my dogs? Who will cook? Who will answer when the kids call home? I know; once I’m gone I’ll be OK. I know my husband is capable and I know he’ll appreciate me more when I return. (Well, he better.)  This is actually very liberating. I’m ready to feel free for awhile and lose my head and not worry. I need to believe that everything will still be here when I return. I need to believe that everything will even be better when I return. It damn well better be.

Over the ocean I am going to see friends who are really family that I haven’t seen for thirty years. (That is a scary number.) I never thought it would have been this long but life often gets in the way of the things you want most. And I’ve missed them for a long, long time. I’m still thinking they are little kids and forgetting that I’m not a little kid either. And now they have kids too. A lot of kids; 21 to be exact.Thirty years ago it was 5 with one on the way. My how time flies. I’m going to have to learn a lot of new names. I hope my brain can still keep up now that I’m old. Well, not that old.?

I’ll be gone for three weeks without a computer. That means no email. No blogging. And I’m kind of liking this blogging thing. Blogging means I can talk to myself and people won’t think I’m crazy. It lets me get my words out when I have no one to talk to and lets me think that maybe someone is really listening. I will have a phone so I can stay in touch. Thirty years ago I didn’t have a phone and was gone for over three months. My how times have changed. I actually used to write letters and send them airmail.

Before I leave I am going to give you this recipe for World Peace Cookies. They were given this name when Dorie Greenspan (the person that created them) gave them to a friend who commented that they were so good and if everyone gave them to each other maybe it would create world peace. I vote for this and for these cookies. They are similar to a shortbread cookie only with lots of chocolate. My husband can remember me and eat them when I’m gone. Maybe it will remind him to feed the dogs.

Oh, I didn’t tell you where I’m going. But I promise I’ll take lots of pictures and tell you many good stories when I return. OK I can’t hold back. I’m going to Israel. While I’m gone make lots of cookies and pass them out. Eat one for each country you wish peace for. Actually eat all of them and wish for world peace. God knows the world could use some and especially in that neck of the woods. Dang, I’m so excited my cheeks hurt from smiling to much. And as my son says when he hangs up the phone, “Peace, man.”

World Peace Cookies (with a name like this you know you’re going to love them)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I ran out of chips over the holiday baking frenzy so I used toffee chips.)

Makes about 36 cookies.

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

Have a cookie, a glass of milk, and pray for world peace.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Tim Tebow's Onion Dip

Tim Tebow's Onion Dip
Tim Tebow’s Onion Dip

The time has come. It’s now or never. You’ve shown us over and over how to succeed. I’ll admit it. I’m not really into the falling on one knee thing, but hey if it’s working, no need to stop on my behalf. Jews are happy to pray standing up. We take care of our knees. But it is up to you. By all means you just concentrate on the game. I’m sure there are a lot of good Jewish orthopaedics out there that can help you as they age.

Anyway, last weekend my daughter watched your game with her father. He was very happy and I think she was, too. It was good to see them together happy. Now tomorrow night is my daughter’s last night home before she heads back to school and then to her first real job. They, again, are going to watch the game and that makes me happy.

 And Tim, well you have a big part in that. I have to tell you, I’m really not into football. But thank God (Oh my God, did I say that?) you excel and get the job done. Well, last weekend she was at Walgreen’s with her Dad before the game  and she found this t-shirt. She said it was a classic. I’m not exactly  sure what she meant but now it has real meaning. So, Tim she’s going to wear it again this weekend. I hope it has the same charm as last week.  But Tim, I have to ask you- how could you ever have agreed to let someone license this t-shirt?

Tim, this is not pretty.
I have never seen one uglier. I mean Tim, it’s really kind of b-tt ugly. I just want to know how you got so tan.

I'm also wondering how I can get it autographed for her. And does she have to be sick or dying to get you to come see her. No offense to the sick or dying please! But don’t worry. You just concentrate on the game. And fall to your knees all you want. Whatever you are doing, it seems to be working. Like I said; don’t stop on my behalf.

And this leads me to this onion dip. It is time to share. See you bring out the best in me, Tim. I’m dedicating this to you. Now it will only be yours, well, as long as you keep up the magic. But don’t take that as a threat. You will like it. I promise. It is a simple thing. One that is best eaten with Ruffles with ridges or any potato chip for that matter. (I guess because there are no bad potato chips.) And it saves you putting all those processed onion dips into your most awesome tummy with those to die for abs. Now why don’t you put those on a t-shirt?

So Tim… Just make your namesake dip before the big game. It has magical powers from up above. And if you like it - well, perchance an autographed t shirt for my most awesome daughter would suffice in exchange for the recipe for this most powerful, delicious, winning onion dip. After all, it’s not like I’m asking for tickets to the Super Bowl.

Throw it in the food processor.

Tim Tebow’s Onion Dip

8oz cream cheese – light or not
1/3c sour cream – light or not
4 green onions
¼ of a large onion
¼ of a large onion diced
1 good dash Worcestershire sauce
1 good squeeze anchovy paste
1-2T mayo if you want this creamier

Throw first 4 ingredients into food processor. Process like you are killing New England. Stir in diced onion, Worcestershire, anchovy paste and mayo (if you want).

Note: The anchovy paste gives it a little salty flavor and the worcestershire gives it zing. They are not necessary but you can sure tell the difference if you don’t use them. And keep in mind you could serve with veggies but, well, it’s just not the same as Ruffles with ridges.

Anchovy paste looks like poo. Sorry.

Make your own individual serving then you don't have to share. But I guess that's not in the spirit of things now is it?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Green Chile Poached Eggs with Bacon and Cheddar

Green Chile Poached Eggs
He came, he ate, he left. He was here 13 nights and this is what he had.

  1. Sage Roasted Chicken with Arugula Bread Salad
  2. Chipotle
  3. Tomato Soup with Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
  4. Sauteed Lemon Almondine Fish
  5. Italian Meat Loaf
  6. Chili
  7. Brisket
  8. Smoked Turkey
  9. Fettucine Alfredo with Lemon Roasted Shrimp
  10. Jack n’Grill Burger
  11. Vietnamese
  12. Dinner at a friend’s for Hanukah
  13. I can’t remember
This was filled in with 7 Layer Bars, Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites, Triple Chocolate Mocha Macadamia Bars, Chocolate Mint Loaf Cake, Chocolate Cake, Ilse’s Cake and other things to numerous to remember. Except beer.

I am tired of going to the grocery store. I am tired of cooking. I am tired of laundry and cleaning. But I am never tired when I look at the smiling faces of my children. It goes too fast. Even when the two of them aren’t getting along, which is usually. But this trip is over for him. He is now on another journey and I miss him.

He left me with lots of pictures. Some beautiful.

Flowers at Harper's Ferry

Some funny.

Think about it.
Makes Me Hungry.
Some artistic.

Eiffel Tower

And he left me with this stuff on his bed to send to him. I think I still miss him.

Waiting to be Sent
He also built me this snow thing? along with his father and sister. It made me smile with a tear in my eye.

He is studying biology and Chinese and philosophy. He is feeding his mind. He is finding his path. It is definitely one less traveled. And that is good.

A Beautiful Path
He is a fantastic and accomplished guitarist. I miss the sounds coming from his room.

I miss him. He will come home again with more pictures to feed my mind. And he will smile at me, which I love. It erases all the reasons he makes me mad. And I think of him, my deep thinker of a son. Yes, a mother knows.

Could it be a scorpion?
A mother knows what feeds her son. A mother also knows that he will stay well fed.

Safe Travels

Green Chile Poached Eggs with  Bacon  and Cheddar – This is what his tummy was filled with when he departed.

3 T flour
3 T Butter
2 c Milk
1/2c onions
1 chopped chipotle
1 can green chilies drained or Hatch chilies
1/2t cumin
Dash of garlic powder
8 slices crisp bacon
8 poached eggs (I add a dash of chipotle sauce to the poaching water)
4 toasted english muffins with butter
Cheddar Cheese
Chopped Tomatoes

Saute onions in butter. Add flour to cook for a minute. Stir and do not let it burn. Slowly whisk in milk. You should have a good gravy coming together. After all milk is added and the gravy starts to thicken stir in green chiles and chipotle. Add seasonings including salt and pepper. If this stands and starts to thicken to much add water or chicken broth while whisking in.

Poach your eggs. Toast your muffins. Cook your bacon crisp.

To serve take your muffins and top with bacon and then poached eggs. Ladle green chile gravy over eggs and garnish with cheese, tomatoes and cilantro. These are man sized portions for those special men in your life.

Green Chile Poached Eggs