Wednesday, January 28, 2009

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I served these cookies at Bridget's not-farewell in December. I've heard this is a copycat recipe for a Mrs. Field's cookie, but I've yet to see this cookie at any of her shops. It's good. If you just told me the name of the cookie I'd probably shrug my shoulders . . . you're just going to have to trust me on these. After the last guest left my house I had two extra large disposable turkey pans full of these cookies . . . I was EXCITED they were hanging around my house for the holidays. It's a good cookie, chewy and delicious. Try it.


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl using an electric mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well. Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips- making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

things nobody really cares about...

Have you seen Spectacle with Elvis Costello on the Sundance Channel? Awesome. Different guests each week like Norah Jones, James Taylor (LOVED this hour), Kris Kristofferson, The Police, Herbie Hancock and a bunch of other people I should know but don't (because I'm musically challenged). Set your DVR. It's good.

Have you ever tried a glass nail file? Do it. Splurge. You can file your nails and drag them along the finest fabric . . . no snag. Really.

Ina Garten made the February issue of Gentlemen's Quarterly and, I ask you, shouldn't this seal the deal re: Ina? Doesn't this mean she finally sits at the cool table?

I recently bought six orange dessert plates (bottom right hand corner) at Pottery Barn to match an orange table runner I'm crazy about. . . one of the plates broke before the price tag was even removed. I'm not saying who did it, but his name rhymes with Lavid. Turns out both Las Vegas Pottery Barns are sold out and now I have five lone dessert plates . . . that just doesn't work. If you see that orange plate at your local Pottery Barn would you pick that up for me? If I can't come up with that sixth plate someone I know isn't getting dessert at a little dinner party I'm having in February. I'm funny.

Hansen's diet ginger ale is yummy.

If you make a regular chocolate chip cookie but use those shiny Valrhona milk chocolate discs (feves). . . competely different story.

Jon Hamm dates Jennifer Westfeldt and although I think she's great looking, well, I'm disappointed. It's that 'she isn't good enough' thing. Bad actress. Really dislike her movies. And that reminds me . . . Jim from The Office. I can't support his choices right now. Emily Blunt? She wasn't good enough for Michael Buble (ever) and she isn't good enough for John Krasinski. Been dying to get that off my chest.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. Did you notice I recommend music programming and then explain I'm musically challenged?

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Post-its from the edge...

After a 20-day adventure Seamus came home last night, albeit missing some bits (uh huh)and sadder than ever (and that's really saying something). He was retrieved from the local shelter after his face showed up on their daily "breed report" email. I will never say another bad word about him. And I never say never. (I'm funny)

When my daughter left for her mission she specifically mentioned the family pet. "Mom, if Seamus dies it's okay to tell me. But if Jim and Pam break up and I find out in a letter from you . . . I WILL be mad."

Just because I'm thinking about her this morning let's play a game in her honor, shall we? This particular game really drove her crazy. It's the 'guess the sale price' game. Original price tag on this coat says $150.00.

Go for it.

P.S. Was the bits remark wrong?

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Friday, January 16, 2009

New Years Resolutions...

Last September a visit to Laguna Beach inspired me to make birthday crowns for my grandchildren. Attempt to make birthday crowns. I saw a birthday crown TO. DIE. FOR. in a quaint downtown gift shop. Covered in vintage paper, pastel colors and script everywhere, heavy laden with glitter, I wanted it. I walked around that shop holding onto it. That's when I had that thought. The one that tells you "I can make that. I can do it." uh huh. So I left that shop with a resolve. "We" will make those crowns for our grandchildren. That particular Laguna Beach birthday crown became my inspiration and made it onto my list of resolutions.

I should say, I'm not crafty. I could never BE a crafter. Here's why: The only way I can enjoy anything that even resembles a craft is if everything else in my house happens to be "done." And let's face it, is everything in your house ever "done?" Even right now all I can think about is all those blouses that need ironing. And those birthday presents that need to be wrapped. And that living room entertainment center that needs organization. Ugh...

I digress.

You are looking at my first attempt at 'the birthday crown.' Miss Isabel wore it well (7 is sweet) and although I'm certain she was less impressed with her crown than her grandparents, well, that's okay. I'm thinking by the time I get to Maggie's November birthday I might actually succeed in the look I'm going for. More to follow...expect crown updates.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Thanks Michael ...

Christmas morning I woke up to an email from Michael Colicchio with a re: line that read "A Christmas Gift". He read my blog post about Craftsteak and thought I'd get a kick out of a picture of the Top Chef himself at the Colicchio Family Christmas Eve dinner in his New York City apartment. I did.

Added for clarification
: Tom Colicchio is on Top Chef. Michael Colicchio . . . just a guess, but it seems fair to assume he's somehow related to Tom.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 so far...

I recently discovered Scrabble for MACs. This isn't good. I'm embarrassed. This game makes me feel incredibly manic . . . out of control. So I ask you:

Is 3 a.m. too late to be awake playing a computer game?

Should this experience provide me with some insight into the boys in my family?

Isn't this game different because I'm "learning something?" (Am I lying to myself?)

Did you know "QI" is a word?

How about "JO?"

And WHY isn't "quo" (status quo)in that dictionary reference? And "que", that single braid? Shouldn't that be allowed?

Bottom line, somebody help me.


I am still learning technique re: the most fun Christmas present ever, Le Creuset. I haven't mastered a single thing, but I'm having a good time trying. How about that Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic? I did manage to make Ina's Turkey Roulade again and it was just as good as Thanksgiving Day (but not as easy without you, Russ). Also, the pumpkin cheesecake . . . believe me when I tell you it's really THAT close to the Cheesecake Factory's version. I completely understand, however, why my significant other is begging for a pumpkin moratorium. You win.

No segue:

In 2009 I bought 1200 white Christmas lights for $11.88. Also 5 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for $4.50, which is probably enough for the next three Christmases. And all six of those Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (thank you, kids). YES. I own them now. Life is good...

um, my dog ran down the street in the wee hours of January 1 and never came home. Seamus, where are you? I take back everything I said. Ugh...

Yesterday I went out for my regular Tuesday lunch with my dad and a woman pointed to him (my father) sitting at our table and said to me, "Your husband looks like my vet's dad". Not good. I was sorry I'd already ordered my veggie burger from the "lighter fare" menu. If she said it before I ordered I would have gone for the really fattening pasta. What the heck?

Did you see that picture of the guy on the chair lift?

Once I went to the movies with three people I work with. This is something out of the ordinary for me because, well, I'm very anti-social. I paid for my ticket and realized the 16-year-old sold me a senior ticket (she said with disgust). That's when I started to cry. In front of the three of them. Tactically it was a bad move . . . they love to bring it up. "Hey, remember that day Patti started to cry at the movie theatre 'cause they thought she was old?" An important piece of this puzzle would be specifics about my place of employment. Think Survivor. Or shark tank. Either one will do.

Welcome 2009. The jury is still out. . .

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cook's Country Skillet Lasagna

Cooks's Country is my new favorite magazine right now, the perfect companion to my new French cookware.

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lb ground beef (or blend of beef and pork)
10 curly edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Pour tomatoes with their juices into 1 quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes snd cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground meat and cook, breaking apart meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Scatter pasta over meat but do not stir. pour diced tomatoes with juices and tomato sauce over pasta. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons ricotta, cover, and let stand off heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and remaining 3 tablespoons parmesan. Serve.

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