Feb 27, 2010

Food Attitude

Just like anything in this world, there are as many attitudes about things as there are people to have attitudes. Everyone has an opinion. I certainly have one about food.

Let's be frank. I strongly dislike the "hoity-toity" attitude that all food must be refined, plated beautifully, and include a laundry list of ingredients. Sure, I like to eat food prepared in this way. Sometimes.

Here is my approach to food: all types of food should be presented in a way that is very non-threatening. I think food should be approachable. If you want to make something, do it! Granted, I am no culinary expert. I dabble with preparations that might be beyond me. But, so what? If I like something, I eat it. I feel like I'm rambling. Anyway, I never want to be pretentious. My goal in making food is for it to (of course) be delicious, but to bring people together. Gather around the table and enjoy the smells and tastes of a great dish or dessert.

My approach also dictates my use of recipes. I don't. Well...ok. I read them. I like to sit down and read a cookbook. Is that weird? I enjoy the photography, as well as seeing the ingredient list and the unique combo of flavors it might present. I like to glean. Gather ideas, get hungry for something, and then try my version of it. I'm not much for baking, simply because it is much more of a science than throwing some "stuff" together into a pot.

So, go throw some flavors together and see what happens. When your heart (and stomach) are in it, the results will probably be delicious.

Feb 23, 2010

Taste Memories

There is nothing I would rather write about more for my first food post than this: my Grandma Jo's monster cookies. Yeah, yeah, all grandmas rock at making cookies. It's true. But for some reason, when I make these cookies I am 5 years old all over again. I can clearly picture my grandma in her green capris and her long apron, working behind the counter and laying the fresh cookies out on wax paper. I can remember running into the kitchen with my cousins, ready to sample the fresh batch. The first bite was always the best...the wonderful warm combination of oats and crunchy peanut butter.

When I make them at home, I have to resist the urge to gobble them all up. The most recent time that I made them, my patience ran so thin that I burned my mouth on some hot melted chocolate. But boy was it worth it.

Are monster cookies a regional thing? For some reason I think they might be. Here in the midwest they are alive and well. It's a good thing. They should be alive and well in your kitchen too.

Without further ado, here is THE monster cookie recipe. My grandma's.

Grandma Jo's Monster Cookies
3 large eggs
1/2 lb. chunky peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp caro syrup
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
1/4 lb. plain M&M candies

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Mix the top section of ingredients together. If you melted the butter, make sure it isn't too hot or it might cook the eggs. When all of these ingredients are incorporated, add the second portion of ingredients. Mix well and form cookies on a greased sheet (or parchment paper). Press down slightly if using an ice cream scoop (which will give you the perfect size cookie...these are MONSTER cookies after all, they should be large). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Makes about 18 cookies.

Tip: I find that 12 minutes is just perfect in my oven. They do come out very soft, so let them rest on the pan before you move them to a cooling rack. As the peanut butter cools off, they will stay together much easier.

Feb 18, 2010

Hello, food world

Well, here I am. Ready to blog about what I love.


Oh, you love food too? Maybe you can join me in this journey of memories linked to the things I love to eat, and the discovery of things that I will soon love to eat.

I don't pretend to be any sort of expert on the topic, but my heart is in it. So, here we go.