Monday, September 27, 2010

Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies

Did I spell whoopie right? Whoopie pies were this years cupcake. It was the trendy thing to try to get creative with. So, when I saw this recipe on a blog I follow, Fat Girl Trapped In a Skinny Body, I had to give them a try. She is genius! These cookies are inspired! They are like homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies, but with Nutella instead of cream. They were soooooo good.

Oatmeal Nutella Whoopie Pies
Fat Girl Trapped In a Skinny Body


  • 1 stick butter, room temp

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup Evaporated Cane Juice (or regular sugar)

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cup quick cooking oats

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  • Nutella (about 1 tbsp per sandwich or more to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars. Beat them for about a minute, then add the egg and vanilla.
    Measure out the oats in a separate bowl, then sift in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mix as you are mixing it until blended.

  2. Scoop about 1-1.5 tbsp onto a lined baking sheet.

  3. Bake for 9-13 minutes depending on oven. The original recipe calle dor 11-13 minutes, but mine were fully done at 9.

  4. Cool on the pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cool the cookies completely before spread with Nutella and making the "pies".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Strawberry Freezer Jam

I have never had the desire to make my own jam or jelly or can or preserve anything. Well, maybe I've thought about it, but knowing my lack of patience, I have always known I would never make it through the whole process without ripping my hair out. I have had freezer jam in the past, but never realized it could be made so easily. The fact is that I like freezer jam better than regular jam, and had I realized it was so easy to make I would have been making it all the time. I think it tastes so much fresher and true to the flavor of the fruit you use than cooked jam. This was my first attempt at freezer jam and it went off without a hitch. I will definitely be making this again. I can't wait to try other fruits too!

Strawberry Freezer Jam - adapted from Sure-Jell recipe

  • 2 cups crushed strawberries (about 2 pints)
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 box of Sure-jell fruit pectin
  1. Wash and rinse 1-2 cup sized plastic containers with tight fitting lids.
  2. Crush the strawberries 1 cup at a time using a potato masher. Measure exactly 2 cups of crushed strawberries into a large bowl.
  3. Measure sugar and mix into fruit. The Sure-jell box suggests that using less than 4 cups of sugar will result in the jam not setting, but I decided to reduce the recipe to 3 ½ cups of sugar and it set just fine. Let sugar and fruit mixture sit for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally so that sugar dissolves.
  4. Stir box of pectin into ¾ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute while continuing to stir. Then remove from heat.
  5. Stir pectin mixture into fruit. Stir for about 3 minutes until all sugar is dissolved.
  6. Pour into prepared containers leaving ½ inch of space at the top for expansion in the freezer. Put lids on and let the jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
  7. Put the jam in the refrigerator or freezer. Jam will last in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and in the freezer for up to one year.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

College Football Kickoff Sugar Cookies

Football season is upon us. Yippee! For me and my husband that means providing tailgate food for about 6-10 people every weekend there is a home game for the Clemson Tigers! With my new mission to expand my cooking horizons in full force, I have decided to use my fellow tailgaters as guinea…I mean a taste testers for my some of my first attempt recipes. Muahahaha! This past weekend I made rolled sugar cookies for the first time (royal icing and all). What a pain in the tushy! It was way too time consuming of a task for my schedule last week and before it was over…wait…what am I talking about!? It’s not over! I still have 2 dozen un-iced football shaped sugar cookies in Tupperware on my counter Beware, this recipe makes a lot of cookies folks! (About 3-5 dozen depending on the size of your cookie cutter). I am not sure what to do with them. I’ll probably procrastinate doing anything with them until they’re stale and have to be thrown away. Anyway, I ended up taking a few short cuts with the icing on the 20 or so that I did ice that made the cookies look less than perfect, but I do think they tasted pretty good. So with out further ado, here is the recipe:

Rolled Sugar Cookies
From Jill Saunders


  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Royal Icing
From: Martha Stewart Living 2006


  • 1 lb box of confectioners sugar
  • 5tbsp meringue powder or 2 pasteurized egg whites (I used meringue powder because we had a pregnant lady attending the tailgate)


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle. Use gel food colors to create the desired color for your icing

I was quite surprised at how hard it was to get the cut cookie from the counter to the pan. As you can see these cookies did not all turn out the same size. I was thinking next time I might will try to roll the dough out on parchment paper and remove the excess dough from around the shapes so they don’t have to be picked up and moved. The whole parchment paper could just be moved to the pan. I am not sure how it would effect the baking of the cookies though. We’ll try one day!

So after these cookies are completely cool you must ice them. The cookies themselves are not very sweet and the icing really makes the cookie. You are supposed to use a piping bag to pipe around the out line of your shape and then when the out line dries you are supposed to then thin your icing and fill the middle. This is where I started to cheat. It was about 11:00pm at night when I started this process (like I said busy week) and I do not have a steady hand. So not wanting to completely destroy the cookies beyond recognition by attempting fine decorating techniques I’ve never tried in the last hour of the day, I used a short cut suggested to me by my mother-in-law (Thanks Colleen!). I made my icing according the recipe above, colored it to as close to football brown as I could get them and then dipped the cookies top side down straight in the bowl of icing to coat them. The icing really smoothes itself out evenly over the cookie on its own while it dries. I let them dry on sheets of wax paper overnight and then woke up at 4:00 am to finish them the day of the game (I told you I was cramming this project in to my already busy week). First I had to take a paring knife to cut the cookies loose from the wax paper. Due the unorthodox way I iced these cookies, there was a lot of excess icing dripping over the edges. However once cut free, most of the cookies looked pretty good. Then I had to make another batch of the icing with no color in it for the laces. It was at this time that I discovered I did not have enough powdered sugar to make even half a batch of the icing. Luckily it was 4:00 am so I didn’t care anymore. I made what I icing I could (which turned out to me too thin) and gave laces to as many football cookies as the small batch would allow. The icing came out too thin and the laces did not hold their shape at all. The laces looked more like amoebas. Oh well. I served them at a football game so I figured if people didn’t know what I intended them to be it wasn’t me who would be the dummy. I will try these again, but I’m going to take a break for a while. These are a lot of work and not a good idea to make when you’re in a rush.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Everything Salmon Burgers

My husband and I love everything bagels and when I saw this Recipe I knew I had to make it! It fit perfectly with my efforts to incorporate more fish in to our diets too!

everything Salmon Burger

Everything Salmon Burgers with Scallion Cream Cheese Sauce


  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup softened Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 3 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Green leaf lettuce, for topping
  • Sliced beefsteak or vine ripe tomato, for topping
  • Sliced red onion, for topping
  • Crusty kaiser rolls, split and toasted


Preheat outdoor grill if using to medium high. Prepare hot grill with cooking spray. Indoors, use a large skillet rather than a grill pan and preheat with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to medium-high heat.

Place salmon in food processor and pulse to coarse grind meat to form burgers. Transfer fish to a mixing bowl and season with grill seasoning, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and dill. Mix and form 4 patties. Drizzle the burgers with extra-virgin olive oil.

Cook burgers 3 minutes on each side for a pink center, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for fully cooked fish.

While burgers cook, combine in a bowl the cream cheese and the scallions and fold in sour cream and lemon juice.

Top the burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion and sauce on crusty, toasted buns.

Back On The Housekeeping Horse

No, I don't have a horse that I ride around my house when I clean. Come on people!

I have been a slack on my commitment to learn a new routine to make cleaning part of my everyday. This is a brief statement of intent to declare I am re-committing myself to the process. It's hard to get up so early and be immediately productive, but I really do feel it is important.

I will report back with any new and interesting discoveries I encounter along the way.

Now if I can just get my husband to help...hmmmm.