Friday, November 4, 2011

The Cookie Request

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Once a month my family and I try and volunteer at an amazing program for rehabilitating men coming from addictions at the beautiful Double R Ranch in Warner Springs. Pat and Melanie run this place and basically teach the men life skills and how much God can help their lives so they can get back out into the world and to their families or jobs. They are all essentially cowboys after their stay, learning to take care of goats, horses, chickens and many other farm life. 

On our first time we went there with a group from church and our family was really drawn to the family that has been committed to these men rebuilding their lives. One guy in particular that I first thought of to be rough around the edges, became an sweet chatter box when we would visit. He dropped a hint the last time we went up there that if we liked to bake (hint,hint) he loved a good white chocolate peanut butter cookie. I had to treat him to one the next time so I found a great recipe and doubled it to feed the volunteer crew and the men that would be there when we visited. They were so good and I will be on the hunt for another great recipe for the guys.

If you get a chance please visit the website and also try to come out to a volunteer work day, the whole family can come! PS They also feed you an amazing lunch by the cook that makes breakfast, lunch and dinner! This is their website:

Cowboy White Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie

8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted And Cooled
6 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter, Melted And Cooled
1-¼ cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats- not quick Oats
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 whole Egg
1  Egg Yolk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
½ cups Peanut Butter Chips

Mix the flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the cooled butter,peanut butter and sugar until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Fold in white chocolate and peanut butter chips. I used my cookie scoop to make perfect balls and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, they will spread a little so give room! Bake at 325 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until the center is almost done, DO NOT OVER BAKE! Pull them sooner than later, they will be weapons if not.

I Hope you know someone who is well deserving of these cookies and that you take time to build someone up and help them out a little. Little things done by many people can change the world!

God Speed

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Hard Days Work Dinner

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I am a huge fan of carbohydrates!!!! Yep, I said it. When the server at restaurants ask what type of rolls I would like, I let her know if it has carbohydrates just bring it!!!!! The way I look at it is if you put in a good day of work and eat a fair portion of the pasta and some veggies too, you're golden! With my husband working long days and going to school I know he deserves to come home to his family and a good meal. 

This was a Pioneer Woman recipe that I had to indulge in! I realized after I made it that I have been making this for years, just more ingredients and not as easy. 

If you have a dinner party that you want to impress and are in a pinch for time this would be great along with some bruschetta and wine for appetizers, and pair with a nice salad. Something simple with farmers market tomatoes and sliced veggies. It wouldn't take you more than an hour to put together.

I have been growing this cute little Basil plant that seems to produce just enough for my recipes, you can leave it out but I really think it makes the whole dish. I only left it off for the food snobs (my kids).
As usual we dove in and loved the recipe! Today I found ways to eat the homemade ranch dip because I can't let something so good sit all alone in the fridge, it was calling me!!!!!

Carbohydrates and Their Friends Chicken
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman
4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 stick Butter
3 whole Lemons, squeezed in a separate bowl
1 cup Heavy Cream
1-1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped

*keep about a cup of the hot pasta water just in case you need to thin out the sauce.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan until it melts then add the lemon juice. Wisk the cream in slowly and keep the heat on low-med heat. When the cream is all blended add the Parmesan in  and wisk continuously until its all melted in. Add your salt to pepper to your liking, watch out for the salt only because the Parmesan has a good amount of a salty flavor. Add your drained past to the pot and mix, if the sauce gets too thick add the reserved pasta water to it a little bit at a time until the right consistency. it should coat the pasta lightly, not a heavy cream sauce. Add the chopped basil to the top as you like! I grilled some chicken during with salt pepper and a squeeze of lemon on each chicken breast, keep it simple.

Not Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Adapted by The Pioneer Woman
1 clove  Garlic chopped and smash with the side of your knife almost to a paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley chopped fine
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives chopped fine
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Buttermilk or milk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)

Add all the ingredients together and lightly salt and pepper as you wish. I use a fork to get it all whipped in!  Devour as you wish!!!! I found lots of ways to eat it including in my tuna and on some celery!!!

Anything you do in life could be work, it's the passion you put into it that makes it worth it at the end of the day!!!! We are doing it one day at a time!

God Speed