8.09.2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I call these Everything But the Kitchen Sink cookies.

I cant even remember when my mother first made these cookies!  They became the standard in our family, more so than chocolate chip cookies.   They still are the standard and my sister Cyndi is the master cookie baker on these.  I can count on any family gathering (including my brother's wedding) where these cookies will be available!

I have made them as directed below.  They originally did NOT have raisins.  I added those, then changed it up to craisins.  I have added pecan pieces or walnut pieces as well.  (My sister and brother do not do nuts, so again, the original recipe my mother made did NOT have nuts in it as well).

You can change it up any way you like....just don't remove the peanut butter.  It messes with the fat content!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) of margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 t baking soda

½ t salt
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
12 oz chocolate chips
1 cup raisins, golden raisins, craisins (optional)

Cream together margarine and sugars till fluffy.   Add peanut butter.  Mix thoroughly.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.

In medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda.   Gradually beat in flour mixture to the butter/sugar cream mixture until thoroughly combined.

Stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Add raisins/craisins as desired. 

Spoon mix onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-14 minutes.  Cookies will look soft in the center.  They may seem not quite done, but that is when they are really done.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.   Will keep up to one week in an airtight container.  Can freeze when completely cooled!


8.07.2013

Pinterest, recipes and failures : Crispy Cheddar Chicken


I am a Pinterest lover.   I think it is a marvelous tool to garner inspiration and let your creativity run wild.  It’s like a virtual idea/inspiration board.   Back in the day, we clipped pics from magazines and newspapers, took photographs and pinned them to our walls, bulletin boards and even ceilings, so we could become inspired.   When I started using Pinterest a few years back, shortly after it’s inception, it was still just that….a space where designers and artists shared.  Now, it’s just crazy!   As a foodie, its been a good spot to see what people are making or interested in making.  I cant complain, it has increased traffic to our little blog here exponentially, so I will forever be grateful and adore the Pinterest community. 

Now for the HOWEVER….  Please foodies and friends of Plucky, take a look at the photos of what you have pinned and then check out the recipes…make sure they match and above all, make sure it makes sense!  It’s driving me crazy!

So every now and then, on our little Plucky Housewives blog, we are going to examine a few of the Pinterest Fails….yes folks, there are fails.   We wont be calling out anyone in particular, because most of these are posts of posts of posts and the original pinner or recipe owner is not around.  Many contain the “recipe” in the comment box of the pin (another oh my word moment for me).  

Why am I doing this?  Because I think folks out there tend to think that if they make a recipe that someone has posted online (myself included) and they followed the directions to the best of their ability and it failed, it reflects on them.  That is NOT the case with these recipes.  Somewhere in these recipes is an inherent FAIL and by pointing out what the problem is, we help to make you a better home cook and that really is what this blog is about, right? 

So here we go…

Pinterest Fail #1

Crispy Cheddar Chicken
 
The recipe has you dipping boneless chicken breasts into milk, then cheese, then cracker crumbs.  Then baking in the oven for 35 minutes until brown.

I can assure you, that dipping into shredded cheese, then into bread crumbs DOES NOT WORK!  It’s a fruitless effort.   Cheese falls off, breadcrumbs do not adhere to chicken dipped in milk, then shredded cheese.  Then try baking it?  It’s a colossal mess!

I researched the recipe and it was an ADAPTATION from an original recipe from What’s Cooking Chicago, which was an ADAPTION from RealSimple.   Search on Pinterest for Crispy Cheddar Chicken.  You will find a gazillion blogs who all post this recipe, using the same original pinners pictures, with the same recipes.  I wondered, did people actually try and make this?   By the way, what's the sauce on the chicken?  I checked at least 15 different versions of this recipe (only 1 paid hommage to where they got the recipe) and NONE mentioned anything about the sauce?  

Real Simple Cheddar Chicken Recipe

 So I trailed back to the original recipe, which came from Real Simple.  This recipe made sense!

Here we have an example of someone changing up a recipe that works, so they can publish it on their site and changed it to where it just doesn’t work.  

That’s all I will say.  I would like to pay homage to the original recipe, which really is a great recipe and deserves the credit it should get!  Pinners take notice!


Enjoy the real one.   

8.05.2013

Buffalo Chicken Casserole


I am always on the hunt for a good, quick casserole recipe.  I also am a buffalo chicken wing lover, so when I saw this recipe, I thought, what the heck, lets give it a try!  No fail today, this was success, through and through.

Of course, I have to change it up a bit, right?  Right.

So my tips for this one:

I use chicken thighs instead of breasts.  As a general rule of thumb, for that matter.  They have more flavor, cook quicker and on the cheaper side.

I tried it with both blue cheese and ranch dressing.  I prefer the blue cheese.   BUT, if you are NOT a blue cheese fan, use the ranch!

Use your favorite hot sauce.  I use Louisiana.

Celery salt is a great addition to this recipe.   However, it's not critical.   You will need a little salt and pepper when you serve.

PANKO bread crumbs really make the difference.  Moisten them with the butter.  Again, it adds flavor and helps to crisp up the bread crumbs for a nice crunch on the top!

All in all, it really does mimic that great Buffalo Chicken Wing flavor.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole


1-1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1” strips
1/3 c hot sauce
1 bag of hash browns with peppers and onions (frozen or fresh)
            or 4-5 c of yukon gold potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 c blue cheese dressing
            or Ranch dressing
1/2 t celery salt
1 - 10 oz can of cream of chicken soup

1 c shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby, cojack)
½ c panko bread crumbs
4 T butter, melted


Place chicken strips into a bowl.  Add hot sauce and mix.   Place strips into a 9 x 13 baking pan, prepared (I spray with Pam).   Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium sized bowl, mix the potatoes, dressing, soup and cheese.   Spoon mixture over top of the chicken.  Covering completely. 

Mix melted butter and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl.  Spoon bread crumb mixture over top of the casserole. 

Place into oven and cook for 50 minutes.  Watch carefully after about 25-30 minutes.  If bread crumbs begin to brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over top to prevent getting too brown. 

Remove and serve.  Letting it sit about 5 minutes will help to firm up the casserole

Printable Buffalo Chicken Casserole Recipe