Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies - NYR - YYYYY

1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2½ c. quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 c. (10 oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’®S Cinnamon Chips
¾ c. raisins (I used golden raisins)

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins. (Batter will be stiff.)
Drop by heaping teaspoons (I use small cookie scoop-1 T.) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes 6 dozen.

BAR VARIATION: Spread batter into lightly greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars. About 3 dozen bars.

I was going through the pantry area in our basement and came across some Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. I wasn't sure how long I had had them, and was pretty sure I had bought them just because I had never seen them before and I love cinnamon. So there was this cookie recipe on the back that sounded pretty darn good, so I decided it was time to make a new cookie. I took them to our Emmaus Reunion Group that evening and everyone there said they really liked them. Our friend, Howard, suggested I enter these in the State Fair this year. I think that may be a good idea, now that I have found the Hershey's Cinnamon Chips at Meijer. I had first looked for them at Kroger and Walmart and did not find them at either, so I began to wonder if I had bought the ones I had on clearance or at Big Lots! So, I'll try to remember to let you know how these do in the "My Favorite Oatmeal Cookie" category in August.
This make a really nice basic oatmeal cookie. Some variations I think would be great would be using white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, or chocolate chips and dried cherries.
(Reminder, NYR = New Year Resolution to try new recipe per week (already have blown that) and YYYYY rates high on the Yummy Rating.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shrimp Creole - NYR - YYYYY

2 medium-size onions
1 green pepper
2-3 ribs of celery (to make 1½ c. chopped)
4 T. bacon drippings
1 large can (4 cups) plum tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
4 T. tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste (or Creole or Cajun seasoning)
3 cups cooked shrimp

Coarsely chop onions, green pepper, and celery and sauté in bacon drippings until translucent. Coarsely chop tomatoes (or you can use petite diced tomatoes). Add tomatoes, sugar, and tomato paste to sautéed mixture. Let this mixture simmer slowly to a thick consistency for 30 – 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Five minutes before serving add cooked shrimp to warm.

This should be served over cooked long-grain white rice. Serves 6 – 8. (I think it’s more like 4 – 6.)

I came across this recipe yesterday, quite by accident. We had some cooked shrimp left from the shrimp cocktail we took to Elizabeth's Super Bowl Party on Sunday. I told Gary we must eat that tonight. I didn't know what I would do with it, figured we would just eat it as Shrimp Cocktail with a salad, but it's freezing around here, so that didn't appeal to him. He suggested stir-fry, but for some reason that did not appeal to me. Later I decided to read a book I had picked up at the library, A Christmas Pearl, by Dorothea Benton Frank. It was a delightful story set in Charleston, South Carolina. At the end of the book I discovered she had shared several of the recipes for foods served in the book, one of which was Shrimp Creole. Upon checking out the ingredients, I found I had everything on hand to make a half of the recipe. I will tell you that Gary and I both enjoyed the dish very much, in fact, we both had seconds, so what should have fed 3 - 4 fed the two of us. Had I made anything else to accompany the shrimp creole, I don't think we would have eaten all of it. But we figured it had plenty of veggies in it and served over the rice, it was a pretty much all in one meal.

(NYR=New Year's Resolution. Yummy rating: YYYYY = fabulous!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ham, Swiss and Poppy Seed Sandwiches

1½ c. butter or margarine at room temperature
¼ c. prepared yellow mustard
¼ c. + 1 T. poppy seeds
1 pkg. (24 count) small sandwich buns (dinner buns can be used, just have to slice with serrated knife)
3 – 3½ pounds thinly sliced ham
1½ - 1¾ pounds sliced Swiss cheese

Combine butter, mustard and poppy seeds. Spread on both sides of buns. Layer about 1 ounce ham and ½ ounce cheese on each bun. Close sandwiches and wrap in foil, 2 to a package. Refrigerate or freeze. When ready to serve, heat in 350º oven for 20 – 25 minutes, if refrigerated, 30 – 35 minutes if frozen. Make 12 servings, 2 sandwiches per serving.
Note: If you have some of the spread mixture left – this depends on how generously you spread it on the buns – it can be frozen to use the next time you make these.

The original recipe came from my Aunt Mary, Mom's sister. Mom used to make these for parties. She liked them because they were make ahead and just had to be heated at party time. Also, because they were wrapped in foil, she would pile them in a bowl or basket and they would stay warm for a long time. Actually the original recipe had 2-3 T. grated onion in the poppy seed mixture, but we kids didn't like that, so she'd make some up for us before she added the onion. I probably ought to try them with some onion sometime, but it's like fixing something that's not broken.

These also became quite a favorite with the folks who came to our W.O.W. (What's On Wednesdays) dinner that preceded other Wednesday activities at Morton Memorial UMC. I was in charge of the kitchen for 5 years. The rest of the menu when these were served: raw veggies (usually carrots, celery sticks, green peppers, and grape tomatoes), chips, and fruit salad. The W.O.W. kitchen crew liked this dinner for ease of preparation and clean up!

Thanks, Michelle, for requesting the recipe. Hope the folks you fix these for enjoy them!