Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I have an obsession with all things cinnamon. There, I said it. Cinnamon is good on everything and in liberal amounts. This is not some crazy pregnant lady thing, this is a fact. What is a crazy pregnant lady thing is that I have been having dreams about good oatmeal cookies for a few weeks now. I needed them. The baby needed them! That definitely sounds crazy (and like I'm trying to justify the 2 cookies I had after my cereal this morning), but when I've eaten these cookies, she gets very active and kicks the poo out of my rib cage. I think she's a fan too.

About the cookies: oh yum. Oh heaven. Oh deliciousness! Where have you been all my life? Soft, chewy, full of cinnamon, and amazing. This was an easy, simple recipe, and the addition of cinnamon chips (JOY!) takes them over the top. Hubby's co-worker stole the bag I sent to work with him. Good thing, or I'd be eating my body weight in cinnamon chip oatmeal cookies today. There is no moderation in the land of nine months pregnant!

Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies
*Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
1 cup cinnamon chips

Heat oven to 350º. Beat together butter and both sugars until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the batter and mix until just combined.

With a spoon, stir in the oats.

Add cinnamon chips and stir to combine.

*Side note: Cinnamon chips taste like the filling of a cinnamon roll. Heaven.

Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto a Silpat or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until golden. While waiting between batches, it's helpful to pop the batter into the fridge to keep it chilled. Cool about 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to the cooling racks.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Aunt Kathy's Chicken Tetrazzini

Update (Jan 2017): We have been making this for a long time and have changed it up to reflect our tastes. I've found that adding a whole lot of garlic makes this the best dish ever. Some add mushrooms and peas, which could certainly be delicious, but I like serving it with a simple salad and calling it good. We also only make it using penne, as it holds the sauce a lot better than spaghetti.

Now that I am nearing the end of my pregnancy (37 weeks on Monday!), my complete aversion to all things chicken has subsided somewhat. I'm not saying that if you put a medium rare filet mignon and a piece of chicken in front of me, I'm not going to choose the succulent piece of beef, but at least the thought of chicken doesn't make me gag anymore.

This recipe definitely doesn't make me gag. In fact, I ate most of the leftovers, which says a lot in this house! My mom started making this only a few years ago and I've always loved it, so when I got the recipe from her a few weeks ago, I couldn't wait to make it. It came from my amazing Aunt Kathy, so you know it's good. It's also very simple. The recipe requires a few pans, so you will make a bit of a mess (or, if you're like me, a huge mess), but it is so worth it. This makes a lot, so you can easily feed a crowd or freeze the leftovers. That was my plan, you know getting ready for baby and all, but I ended up eating the leftovers. Oh well. It was worth it!

Aunt Kathy's Chicken Tetrazzini
*Adapted from my Aunt Kathy's recipe

1 pound penne (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
2 cups hot milk
2 cups hot chicken broth
1/2 heaping teaspoon salt
1/2 heaping teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup sherry
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken (3 breasts)
1/2-2/3 cup parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400º. Cook pasta until just before al dente. Add milk and chicken broth to a large microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup and microwave until warm. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Whisk in flour. Cook for a minute or two and then stir in hot milk and chicken broth. Cook and stir until thick. Add more milk or broth if the mixture becomes too thick. 

Whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg, sherry, and heavy cream (or milk, if you want to lighten it up a little bit) and remove from heat. One delicious thing we've started to do here is to add about 1/3 cup or more of parmesan to the sauce. Completely optional, but very yummy.

Mix the sauce, noodles, and chicken together. 

Pour into a large greased baking dish. 

 Mix the parmesan or Romano cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top of the pasta. 

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mom's Apple Crisp

Well, Hubby and I have officially begun the countdown. Baby girl is due in about 4 weeks and we're hoping (praying, begging) that she is a little early because the end of this pregnancy has been far more difficult than the beginning. Of course, the sweltering heat this week doesn't make the swollen ankles and discomfort any better, but the end is in sight. I just have to keep telling myself that!

I made this recipe a long time ago and the photos have been sitting on my computer waiting to be put into a post. I confess that I haven't been all that inspired to write or do much of anything lately, but I have to share this one before fall is really upon us because this apple crisp begs to be made in the cool weather I know is just around the corner. This recipe is my mom's, but it's also in one of my Nana's old cookbooks, which is probably where Mom got it in the first place. Regardless, Mom's apple crisp is guaranteed to make you happy and make your house smell like heaven. It's very, very easy too and always a crowd pleaser. So, once you feel that bite in the air that signals fall, make this apple crisp! Your friends and family will thank you, I promise!

Mom's Apple Crisp
*From my mom

6 cups peeled, pared, and sliced apples (8-10 apples-use Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, or Cameos; we use all Granny Smith because I love the flavor contrast between tart and sweet)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
2/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

 Heat oven to 375º. Grease 9x13 pan. Place apples slices in the pan. 

Mix remaining ingredients thoroughly and sprinkle over the apples.

Bake 30-45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown. 

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and cinnamon. Enjoy!