Monday, June 27, 2011

C is For Cookie - Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

In an attempt to keep my kids brains from turning into summertime mush, we are doing activities based on the letters of the alphabet over the break. We are focusing on a few letters each week. The little ones are practicing writing the letters, coming up with words that start with the letter and identifying the letter sounds. Ashley is picking a topic that starts with the letter, researching the topic and writing up a little report on it. I know it sounds dorky, but they are all really enjoying it and it is keeping us busy.

A few of the activities we have done has included cooking foods that start with our featured letter. We started with banana bread for b and last week we made Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies for C.  This was my favorite recipe for cookies back in the Deceptively Delicious craze. Normally I feel like if your going to make a cookie, go all out with the fat, but the chickpeas really make them even better. They kind of disintegrate and make the cookie even more moist and don't change the flavor at all.  These cookies are always big hit around here.

Alan and Rowan loved helping to make the cookies. They took turns adding the ingredients to the mixer.




The hardest part of cooking with your kids is dealing with the messes. Just be prepared for flour to be spilled all over!

My favorite part of making cookies is licking the beaters, but this time I decided to share with the kids.


Don't they look awesome! This kids loved them (so did I) and they got to practicing writing C words while they cooked.  You can't beat tasty education!


 For more ideas on getting your kids involved in cooking , check out
Chocolate Chip Cookies (with Chickpeas)

Recipe by Jessica Seinfeld
Deceptively Delicious

Nonstick Cooking Spray
1cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread
2 large egg whites
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat Oven to 350. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl or bowl of electric mixer beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful on the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes: do not over bake. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Meal plan

This week I am going to be busy getting ready for Alan's 6th birthday and trying out a few new recipes. Menus, Meals and More is also going to be doing a great smoked meats special as well as a breakfast special so I am going to be busy!

The heat is unreal in Central Texas right now, so most of this is going to be cooked outside to keep down the heat in the house. What are you cooking this week:?

Monday - Venison sliders on Hawaian buns with pineapple salsa
Tuesday -  Grilled stuffed pork loin
Wednesday -Falafel
Thursday - Tuscan Chicken Rolls
Friday - clean out the fridge soup.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Out of it

Hi everyone! Sorry that I have been a bit absent lately. Things have been  a bit rough around here and I have been having a hard time organizing my thoughts. We all spent a week working at Girl Scout camp and then a week recovering. Throw in some health problems and a few kids home for the summer and forming a complete sentence, let alone a blog post becomes nearly impossible.

But, no matter how busy I get,I have still been cooking and will post more detail on the recipes as soon as I can.  Some of the favorites we have made in recent weeks include:

Banana Bread Muffins
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies
Coconut Tomato Salad with Coconut lime sauce
Samboosak and Tabouleh - fried middle eastern meat pies!
Rustic herb chicken with tomato mustard sauce, herbed potatoes and artichoke

Look for posts on these delicious treats to come. See you all soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meals for the Week

Girl Scout Day Camp is over!! This week is going to be about relaxing, recovering and quick and easy meals.  Ashley is going to be away at resident camp for the week, so we are going to have a few of her least favorite meals while she is gone.

Monday-  Gorgonzola Cheese Burgers with grilled corn and tossed salad
Tuesday - Veggie  and Lamb Pot Pies
Wednesday - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Thursday - Smoked Brisket Potatoes
Friday - General Tao's Chicken with brown rice and egg rolls
Saturday - soup made with the leftovers from the week

What is on your menu?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Batch party Selections

These are the batch party selections that I am offering this month. Let me know if your interested in having a party!



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Boredom and a Smoker

Memorial Day weekend was the first weekend in awhile where we have had nothing big planned. We decided to pull out the smoker and have some fun.  There is nothing like a giant puff of smoke in your face to signal the holiday weekend!


First we started out with a couple briskets and 4 chickens.


Then moved on to some sausage a turkey breast and a pork loin.


After smoking up the traditional meats we decided to get creative. We added a loaf of wheat bread and a pan of mac and cheese . The bread was ok, but the macaroni and cheese was INCREDIBLE.

After spending about 20 minutes staring at the various cheeses available at my local HEB and listening to the increasing loud sighing of my 11 year old- I decided on 2 very different cheese. One was the Queso Fresco- it very mild flavor and creamy texture really made it perfect for picking up the smoke flavors. The other cheese was a nutty and gouda-like Ravenno cheese. I wanted to be sure that neither of the cheeses were already smoked because I wanted to be sure that the smoke flavor was mine.


It is so much easier to shred large amounts of cheese in the food processor that I didn't hesitate to pull it out for this.


I made a light roux of 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of flour
and then added 3 cups of milk.


After the milk started to thicken I added the shredded cheese
and stirred until it was all melted.


The cheese sauce was mixed in with 12 ozs of  cooked large elbow macaroni.

It was all poured into a 9*13 aluminum pan and topped with more shredded Raveno.


The pan was in the smoker with applewood chips for about 2 hours.


The end product was creamy, smokey and delicious. The kids weren't fans of the smokey flavor, but the adults loved it. I will be making this again and SOON. YUMMY!

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese

4 TB flour

4 TB butter
3C whole milk,
4 cups shredded cheese
12 oz of macaroni elbows

Cook macaroni according to package directions.

Melt butter and add flour. Stir constantly until the flour is fully coated and started to get just a hint of color. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. After the milk is incorporated add 3 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir and cook over medium heat until the cheese is melted. Mix the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni and pour into a 9*13 pan. Top with remaining cup of cheese.  Place in smoker for 2 hours. Let the pan sit for about 10 minutes before serving.