Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peanut butter cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

I would never have considered making peanut butter cookies, but my tasting partner has been eating a lot of peanut butter lately, all natural, just peanuts and a little salt.  I was trying to think of ways to incorporate peanut butter into our diet and naturally thought of cookies.  These cookies are crisp on the outside and smooth on the inside, almost creamy.  My tasting partner and I both agree that these cookies are outstanding, and self control is needed in order not to over indulge. 

A side note.  When ever I make cookies, I always scoop them onto a silpat lined cookie sheet and then put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and usually over night, to ‘set back up’.  I have all the cookie dough balls on one sheet, and then, when I am going to bake them off, I preheat the oven and move the cookie dough balls around, using at least 2 cookie sheets, to space them out for cooking.

recipe after the jump

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup

Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup

It has been pretty chilly here in SoCal, and we have been eating more soups as a result.  I wanted to make a potato leek soup for dinner one night, but knew my tasting partner would look at a potato soup despairingly wondering where the vegetables were.  On a side note, I am of the opinion, given my Irish Scottish background, that the potato is a complete food and no meal is complete without potatoes.  However, in order to keep the peace at our dinner table, I added cauliflower to the soup mixture and was thrilled with the results.  I hope you are too.

Recipe after the jump

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Black-eyed Pea Salad

Black Eyed Peas salad

When I was growing up, my mother, who is from Virginia, always cooked black eyed peas on New Year’s Day, for good luck, and she still does to this day.  This is a Southern tradition dating back to the Civil War: In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity in the New Year.  The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.  I personally never liked them because as far as I could tell, she merely boiled a bag of frozen black eyed peas and served them on New Year’s Day.  They tasted gummy and starchy.  After I married and moved to Southern California with my tasting partner, I realized I did not have any black eyed peas for the New Year.  I ran around looking for black eyed peas to serve in order to keep the tradition going and in case they did bring good luck, I certainly did not want to miss out.  I found only a bag of frozen peas, and of course, the peas tasted gummy and starchy.  It took a number of years before I found a good black eyed pea recipe, but I finally found one and modified it and have used every year since.  It tastes better the next day, so I try to make it on December 31 for the best flavor.

recipe after the jump