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Archive for the ‘Quick Meals’ Category

Oats

If my life were Top Chef and I was involved in last week’s Quickfire challenge involving Oats I totally would have won immunity. Stefan’s Banana Oatmeal Mousse with Almond Crisp and Oat-Almond Petit Four has nothing on my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Or my granola, for that matter. What started out as a cookie experimentation in my cupcake-dominated life has quickly turned into one of my trademark sweets. There is always a multitude of Quaker Oats in cuddlegan due to my and Nina’s obsession with their grainy goodness so I’m whipping up batches of cookies on a pretty regular basis. In fact, I’m chomping on one right now.

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1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together the butter and sugars then blend in the eggs, milk and vanilla. You’re supposed to mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl then slowly add it to the wet mixture but I don’t do this…I just throw everything but the oats and chips in the same bowl and blend away. I usually have to incorporate the oats and the chips into the mixture by hand because it gets so thick. I then use an icecream scoop to form the dough into balls and then space them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Wait a bit for the cookies to cool before removing them from the pan…or eat the cookies right from the pan being careful not to burn your tongue.

Now I have a few secrets to making my cookies top-notch that I probably shouldn’t share. But! I’ll give you one: I use 1 cup of “Old Fashion” oats and 1 1/2 cups of “Instant.” I like the juxtaposition of the bigger heartier oats with the smaller…use all big and your cookie doesn’t seem unified, use all small and the oats are almost lost! And another half-secret is that I like to do the same with chocolate chips.

And, since this post is oat-themed. I’ll take you through my granola as well. My mom and I made granola for the first time this summer and it was so good and so simple that I make it all the time. It’s yummy by itself or paired with yogurt or milk (or ice cream!)…put it in a container, tie it with a bow and you have yourself a nice little home-made thank you gift for old bosses!

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2 cups oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine the oats, almonds and coconut in a large bowl. Heat oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and toss with the dry ingredients. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes at 325F, stirring every ten minutes.

That’s the basic recipe. You can also add 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds to the oats and/or dried cranberries or other dried fruit after the baking.

-Amanda

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Io Sono Quinoa

During our most recent trip to Fairway we picked up a bunch of asparagus, some new potatoes (that’s what they were, google it if you don’t believe us), three white onions and a big purple box of Quinoa. Amanda had been dreaming of quinoa ever since her sister introduced her to the so-called “mother grain” of the Incas and had recently come across an amazing recipe for a Quinoa bowl that she couldn’t get out of her head. Our tummies rumbled as we sat in our last class of the day, Intensive Elementary Italian. Between the “io sono’s” and the “di dove sei’s” we plotted our quinoa feast. As the clock struck 8pm we raced home and promptly began to feverishly slice and dice. Twenty minutes later we had a steaming bowl of quinoa topped with steamed asparagus and sauteed potatoes and onion. Five minutes after that our tummies stopped rumbling.

2 cups quinoa

1 small white onion, diced

5-6 new potatoes, diced

1 cup asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch segments

salt, pepper and olive oil

Combine 4 cups of water with 2 cups of quinoa. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed the excess water and has opened up slightly. While the quinoa is simmering, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the tatoes so that they’re coated in olive oil then cover the pan for 4-5 minutes. Add the onions to the potatoes and leave the pan uncovered as they saute. Steam the asparagus spears and set aside. Once the quinoa has finished, spoon it into bowls and top with the asparagus, potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!Quinoa & Friends

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