A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: September 2015

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Steve was home for two nights in a row so I got to cook two real meals. I had a chicken from Barham Cattle Co and wonderful potatoes from FairShare Farm CSA.  Chicken dinner it was! This is the easiest possible roast chicken ever.  I […]

Grilling Season isn’t done yet! – Grilled Lemon/Oregano Marinated PorkChops

Grilling Season isn’t done yet! – Grilled Lemon/Oregano Marinated PorkChops

We are having beautiful September weather and we need to take advantage of it–gardening, golfing, and grilling.  Oh look!  3G!  Also, my herb pot could be in its last days at any time, so any herbs I can use up, I’m going to.  So I […]

MMMMMM Cookies. Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies to be precise

MMMMMM Cookies. Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies to be precise

People who love these cookies really really love these cookies.  Steve has been known to hide them if people are coming over. He’s bad at sharing.  I’ve made them as rewards for good tennis.  I send separate batches to Steve’s brothers and sisters so they each have their own container.  Again, they don’t share.

It’s a family recipe and I haven’t seen these anywhere else.  Someone somewhere probably makes a version, but it seems rare.  These are not just any cookie.  They are not just a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe with bananas added in.  They are more like little tea cakes.
Talk about hating to share
 
I actually don’t like sharing this recipe, but it’s not because I am trying to keep it secret.  It’s because if you don’t follow my instructions, the cookies won’t be good.  And sometimes people are just bad at following direction.  So, if you want to make these cookies, and ignore anything in my instructions, don’t blame the recipe.  Really, it’s not the recipe, it’s you.
Gathering up the ingredients
 
Steve was headed for Texas for 10 days and I wanted him to miss me.  So along with a nice dinner, I made him a batch of cookies to take with him.  First up was grabbing all the ingredients.
I’m not sure why that container of Cream of Tartar is in there except I must have been thinking of Snickerdoodles.  But that’s another post.
Overripe Bananas
 
What I am not showing you here are the overripe bananas.  These cookies depend on being moist, so you want to use the ripest, mushiest bananas you can find.  So I use a trick my sister taught me which is to throw overripe bananas into the freezer.
Then when you are ready to bake let them thaw, cut off one end, and squeeze out the contents into a flat dish to mash them.  It won’t be pretty.  The bananas will turn black, and they are really really gushy.  But they will be the best addition to your banana baked goods that you have ever used.
I use a potato masher to mash mine.  About 2 1/2 bananas for a cup–a mounded cup.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
 
Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Sift the flour over the measuring cups and level off to get your 2 1/2 cups.  Add the sifted flour back into the sifter.  Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the flour in the sifter and sift again.  Do not skip this step (i.e., don’t just stir in the baking powder, soda and salt–sometimes lumps occur and trust me you do not want to bite into any of that unsifted).  Set aside.
Wet Ingredients:
1 Cup sugar
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 mounded cup mashed ripe bananas
Here I like to have everything measured out and ready to go so that I can smoothly add each ingredient to the running mixing bowl.  Especially the eggs so there is no chance of getting egg shell in the batter. They should be in separate bowls or ramekins.
Cream the shortening.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Now add the vanilla, then the bananas and sifted ingredients alternating between the two.  I usually add by thirds.
Add in about 1 cup of chocolate chips or a little more if you wish and mix into the batter.
Drop onto the cookie sheet.  The best kitchen gadget tip I ever got out of a magazine was to buy these  small scoops to scoop and drop out dough.  So much easier than trying to use two teaspoons!
Tip:
Here is the first tip you should not ignore.  Use Airbake cookie sheets.  These cookies can overbrown far too easily.  That layer of insulation will keep the bottom of the cookie from over cooking and browning too much.
Bake the cookies at 400 F for 8-10 minutes.  My oven runs fast so I check and usually take them out at 8 minutes.
Tip
 
They tend not to look done and this is the first place most people make their mistake and overcook them.  You do NOT want them lightly browned.  They will be pale.  Lightly touch the top of the cookie and if it is dry and doesn’t make an impression, take them out.
Let them cool a minute or two on the cookie sheet before removing to paper towels on the counter to cool completely.
Tip
 
As SOON as they are cooled put them into an airtight container.  And keep them there.  Never ever ever let them just sit out.  Keep that container sealed.  I don’t even know how to emphasize this enough.  A dry cookie is a terrible cookie.
There is a little bit of fuss to these cookies but they are so good it is worth it.  Similar to baked goods like banana bread, these taste even better the next day.
I can show you what was happening in my kitchen Saturday, but I can’ttell you the details.

I can show you what was happening in my kitchen Saturday, but I can’ttell you the details.

Seriously, I promised.  So I can show you some pictures, but I strategically didn’t show the right amounts of ingredients, and just won’t even tell you the spices or the times involved.  What I can tell you it was delicious.  Also a couple of things […]

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – So good!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – So good!

We are having a bumper crop of potatoes from our CSA so I’ve been cooking them all sorts of different ways.  I had a bag of fingerling potatoes, and after looking through Yummly I did a sort of combo of different recipes. Kept it simple […]

What’s for dinner? Tri-tip roast on the grill and mashed potatoes

What’s for dinner? Tri-tip roast on the grill and mashed potatoes

Steve was unexpectedly home for dinner tonight and I had just enough time to thaw out a tri-tip roast and grill it for dinner.  I also had some Purple Viking potatoes and there had been some hints that I hadn’t made mashed potatoes for awhile.

A while back I found these directions for grilling tri-tips and they come out perfect every time:  http://www.grillingcompanion.com/recipe/tri-tip-roast-on-the-grill/
After trimming the fat off the roast I rubbed it with the mixture of 1 Tablespoon each of Kosher salt and garlic powder, and 1 tsp ground pepper.  Set it aside to rest for 45 minutes.
At about 35 minutes I turned on the grill.  At 45 minutes I seared the roast about 3 minutes on each side, then turned off one side of the grill and moved the roast over to that side for indirect heat.
It looked great after it came off the grill.
I then covered the meat with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
While the meat was resting I peeled and cubed the potatoes.
After boiling for about 20 minutes, it was time to mash them up!  I always mash the drained potatoes first with a little bit of salt.
Then I add a cube of butter and mash again.  Yes a cube,  one of the reasons I haven’t made them in awhile.
Once the butter is completely mashed in, add milk, a little at a time, until it is creamy as you like it.
Slice the roast against the grain, and it’s dinnertime.
Meat from #barhamcattlecompany and potatoes from #fairsharefarmcsa
Here fishy fishy

Here fishy fishy

Merri’s kitchen is a little light on the ground this weekend.  Everything was all about getting the garage cleaned up and organized so we can put the cars back in the garage this winter. So dinner was light, fast, and used what was in the […]