Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chocolate Chip and Rolled Oat Cookies

It seems like I'm always playing with cookie recipes involving the use of rolled oats. But this recipe seems a lot more like a traditional chocolate chip cookie. Only, I think it's a little better because rolled oats give a cookie such great chewy texture.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milled flax
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, sugars, baking soda and baking powder. Add butter, vanilla and egg; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough into balls, placed on baking sheets,and bake for 11 to 13 minutes.

Chi-town Inspired, Deep Dish Pizza

Back in 2007, my husband and I (along with my mother and oldest son, who was still an only child at the time) went to Chicago for my cousin's wedding. Foodies that we are, we had to indulge in some of the famous local cuisine. We had the most amazing deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Due. They had Sam Adam's Summer Ale on draft. It was really a spectacular lunch, followed up with a trip to The Field Museum, a place I had not been to since I was probably ten-years-old.

But enough about the trip! The pizza was amazing (like I already said), but there was something about the crust that seemed different. It was almost like there was some cornmeal in it. It's been a few years since I've eaten it, so maybe some of this is just imagined, but I thought that if I made a pie crust using some cornmeal, I might be able to replicate the flavor. That's what I did, and I made it like a butter pastry crust, not a yeast-dough crust. My husband and I loved it! Here's what I did...

For the 9in crust:
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup ice water

6 to 8oz cooked sausage
1 sliced, sauteed onion
2 cups pizza cheese, a mozzarella and provolone mix
1 can diced, herbed tomatoes, slightly drained
1 small can tomato paste

Make the pie crust and refrigerate at least an hour before use. In a food processor, combine cornmeal, flour and salt; pulse to mix. Then, add cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a crumble. Slowly add ice water while pulsing. It will only take about half a minute. Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and work into a flat disk, wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough and place in a 9in round, deep baking pan. Layer the filling and sauce. Start with a thin layer of cheese, followed by toppings and sauce. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: You can use any sort of toppings or pizza sauce that you prefer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Easy Horchata Ice Cream (And Easy Horchata)

My husband and I recently became fans of horchata, the delightful agua fresca that I blogged about in April. I was thinking that horchata would make a perfect ice cream flavor; however, I did not want to take the wonderful homemade beverage and use it as anything other than a delicious drink. Instead, I decided to make an easy, semi-homemade horchata, which I would have no qualms about putting into an ice cream.

Easy Horchata: (note: rice milk and almond milk can be found in cartons in the cereal section of the super market.)
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate.

Easy Horchata Ice Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup easy horchata

Combine whipping cream and sugar in a large bowl; beat until stiff peaks form. Blend in easy horchata and place in a freezable container; keep in the freezer and serve once frozen to desired firmness.
Makes about 32oz.