Monster Cookies

In addition to the six-in-one oatmeal cookies I made a few days ago, I found this monster batch of monster cookies and it seemed like a great way to use up a lot of things in my house — brown sugar, eggs, m & ms, etc. — and it seemed like a great recipe to keep ready to bake.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a monster cookie — unless they have a peanut allergy.  This monster batch of monster cookies also came from the Moss Heaven cookbook.

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

2 lbs brown sugar
4 c sugar
1 lb butter or margarine
12 eggs
8 tsp baking soda
1/4 c vanilla

Cream the above together in a large roaster pan.

Add:
1 lb M&Ms
1 lb chocolate chips
3 lb peanut butter

Mix in, with a wooden spoon.  Add:

18 c oatmeal

Mix in with your hands.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees.  To make monster cookies, drop with an ice cream scoop and bake for 15-20 minutes.  To make normal size cookies, drop from a tablespoon and bake 10-12 minutes.

 

Six-in-One Oatmeal Cookie

When I was in graduate school in Fort Collins, my colleague and friend Sara and I would find moments to go and spread joy within our department, to our friends and colleagues, and to encourage delighting in the little things.  I took this into my first job after grad school and would, on occasion, walk around or drop off treats for folks.  Over the course of the last ten years, this has continued to evolve, and on my current campus, we often use the phrase “Make people matter.”  It seems a little cheesy sometimes, and in this times of higher education, there certainly is not a budget for this, but when it’s easy to become frustrated by the day-to-day or be reminded of the frustrations, one of my goals for the last eight weeks of the academic year is to do a better job of demonstrating to people that they matter and thank them for doing the parts of their job that are not always fun, but need doing.  And, while it’s nice to do things to acknowledge the work other people are doing because it helps them to know I see their work, it also helps me to maintain a positive attitude when I am intentionally recognizing the hard work of others across the campus.

In order to achieve this goal, I spent some time over spring break mixing up different cookie doughs and freezing cookies so that I could then bake a dozen cookies and bring them to someone when I see them doing something great.  When I came across this six-in-one oatmeal cookie recipe from the Moss Heaven cookbook, I thought it looked worth trying out.  For the batch photographed below, I incorporated a raisin, golden raisin, craisin mix from Trader Joe’s and grated orange peel into the recipe.

Six in One Oatmeal Cookies

Six-in-One Oatmeal Cookie

1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
3 c quick-cooking oatmeal

Variations (mix in one of these):
1 c coconut
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 c cut up gum drops
2 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 c raisins
1 c cut-up dates

Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Maple Mustard Pecans

I was bringing some snacks into work for one of the departmenst that met a goal they’d been working on.  I knew that at least one of the individuals in the department didn’t eat carbs and ate a mostly paleo diet, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was a great opportunity to make these pecans and make sure that this person also had a snack they could enjoy.  I found this in the Catholic Daughters Cookbook.

Maple Mustard Pecans

Maple Mustard Pecans

2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/8 c maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 1/2 c pecans

Mix together all ingredients except pecans.  Stir in pecans to coat evenly.  Spread on a lightly-buttered baking sheet.  Bake approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring often.  Cool and break apart.

Easy Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

This was another recipe I had written down on a piece of paper that I came across a few weeks ago and decided to put together.  And, in the process of doing so, I learned that my slow cooker had a crack in it, so slow cooker recipes will be put on the back burner for a bit as I figure out how to do the instant pot slow cooker function.  This recipe is fine.  It’s not an amazing you-must-rush-out-and-make-it recipe, but if you’re looking for a little peanut-flavored chicken, this is a really easy recipe to put together and it meets expectations.

Easy Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

 

Easy Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (appx. 4-6)
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup low-fat peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
1 tsp. dried or fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. lime juice
salt and pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker or crockpot.  Combine salsa, cornstarch, peanut butter, soy sauce and ginger–mix well and pour over chicken.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Stir in lime juice and serve over steamed white or brown rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Kit Kat Bars

A few weeks ago, we had a number of different issues (a steam pipe burst, electrical outage, among other items) arise on campus on a weekend.  To have a series of issues during a normal workday is not very exciting, but when we need to bring the entire facilities and maintenance staff in on a weekend to work on these issues, and they do it with smiles on their faces, it becomes a different kind of adventure.  I wanted to make sure our staff knows how much we appreciate when they take on these concerns, so I decided to make some snacks for them.  I made the crusher cookies that I posted about last fall, but also found a recipe for Kit Kat bars in the Moss Heaven A Taste of Iowa cookbook and wanted to bring it together.  Note: I only had chocolate graham crackers at my house, so that’s what I used — hence the really dark brown filling layers.

Kit Kat Bars.jpg

Kit Kat Bars

2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 c margarine
1 c brown sugar
Waverly crackers

Mix the first five ingredients well.  Bring to a boil and boil five minutes, stirring constantly.  Place a layer of the Waverly crackers in an unbuttered 9×13 pan.  Pour half of the boiled mixture over crackers.  Arrange a second layer of crackers over the top of this.  Pour rest of the boiled mixture over crackers.  Add a third layer of crackers.  Melt together:

1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c butterscotch chips
2/3 c peanut butter

Spread over top of cracker layer.  Cool and cut into bars.  Makes 48 bars.

Brussels Sprout, Bacon, and Gruyere Frittata

Sometimes, breakfast for dinner sounds delicious.  And, sometimes I want to figure out how to incorporate my favorite brussels sprouts into breakfast.  This frittata accomplishes either in a fantastic way.  It’s the right balance of all the tastes.  I really don’t have anything else to say, except this is perfection in a skillet.  Recipe is from 2015 Food and Wine Annual Cookbook.

brussels-sprouts-bacon-and-gruyere-frittata

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Gruyere Frittata

1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup snipped chives

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. In a 12-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese and snipped chives. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until the eggs start to set and the bottom is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil the frittata for about 3 minutes, until the center is just set. Run a rubber spatula around the edge of the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate, then cut it into 6 pieces and serve.

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Finding a salad that will hold up for a day that doesn’t involve pasta or other grains can sometimes be a challenge.  For one of the funerals we had this month, I wanted to bring a salad that would hold up, but also be a little outside the box.  This recipe came from the August 2016 Cooking Light magazine and I’m so glad I made it.  It’s a nice change from the usual broccoli salad with mayonnaise and sunflower seeds.

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw.jpg

Shaved Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw

12 oz broccoli stalks
8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c seedless red grapes, halved
2 Tbsp pine nuts

Thinly slice broccoli and Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt; toss to coat.

Combine remaining salt , oil, and next 5 ingredients (through cheese) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add dressing, grapes, and pine nuts to broccoli mixture; toss.