Guest Submission: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a fun and simple recipe to follow for a delicious dessert that satisfies both the chocolate chip and peanut butter lovers.

Ingredients

1 cup sweet unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sweet creamy peanut butter (do not use reduced fat versions – I use Jiff or Peter Pan brands)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar or 1 cup light muscovado sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Wet Ingredients: Cream butter until smooth, then add peanut butter and both sugars. Beat until all ingredients are well combined.Next, add in egg and beat well. I always like to throw in a dash of vanilla to add a bit more depth, I usually throw in a teaspoon or so.

Dry Ingredients: Stir in flour and baking soda gradually until combined. Add in chocolate chips, apply liberally (I love chocolate).
Using a meatball scooper or a spoon, scoop out small portions of dough and drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Make sure to leave a two-inch gap between each cookie.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until cookies are firm around the edges. Make sure you don’t overbake them.  If you wait until they are brown on top, they will be too hard.

These will keep about 3 days stored in a cookie tin (for crisp cookies) or an airtight plastic container (for softer cookies). But if any of you are like me, they won’t last a day.

Guest Submission: Es’s Homemade Baked Cheese Crisps


Make awesome crunchy cheese crisps with just a few ingredients (or just one) and a few minutes.

Ingredients
Cheese
Optional – herbs or spices.
I sprinkled some dried parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a baking sheet with PARCHMENT paper (Do not try anything else)

I used Cracker Barrel Slices.
Cut sandwich slices into 4 equal sized pieces and place onto the parchment, a couple of inches apart.
I only placed 12 on a tray as they spread as they bake.
Bake ±7 minutes or until beginning to brown around the edges.
Leave them on the tray for ±5 minutes, to set a bit, before gently scooping it up with a plastic or metal egg-lifter and place on a cold surface or plate and allow to cool complete, to finish getting crispy.

Some additional info: Please note that as each oven differs, you may have to bake it a little bit longer to get it nice and crispy. Another factor would be the amount of fat/oil in your cheese. I ended up baking mine a bit longer (say in total about 10 minutes) but be careful not to burn them, to ensure it remains crisp. Today it’s still yummy and crispy like a chip.

Source: Saw this idea on the internet, and could not find the recipe again, so just winged it.  Made it from memory from way back then, so this will not resemble the original recipe in any way shape or form.

Guest Submission: Es’s Pork Stir-Fry with Baby Bok Choy



Ingredients
1 lb pork tenderloin
3 Tbs soy sauce
1½ Tbs teriyaki marinade
1½ tsp golden brown sugar
1½ tsp maiziena / cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Enough VOO (virgin olive oil) to lightly coat the wok
3-4 medium minced cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
4 medium white button mushrooms, chopped
3 medium heads baby bok choy (wash, cut off the white stalks and keep leaves separate)
½ cup unsalted cashews

 

Method:
Slice the meat in medallions of ±½-1 inch chunks.
Whisk the soy sauce, teriyaki marinade, brown sugar, cornstarch, and freshly ground pepper until the cornstarch and sugar are dissolved.
Add the pork, toss to coat, and marinate for 5-10 minutes. Flip and turn the meat after 5 minutes in the marinade in order to cover both sides.
Heat oil in a large wok (just enough to cover the bottom) until hot. Drain or wipe out the excess oil.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry, till nicely flavored.
Add the pork in a single layer and cook till medium done.
Drip the remainder of the sauce over the meat medallions.
Turn the heat down and stir-fry till the meat is nearly cooked through and keep aside.
Heat some more oil in the wok, add the bok choy stalks, as well as the mushrooms and stir-fry until crisp-tender.
We prefer our greens more crispy, so do not over cook.
Return the pork and add the bok choy leaves and cashews to the wok, and stir-fry until the leaves are wilted and serve immediately.


We served it with sweet glazed butternut. The flavors complimented each other very well.

All the above tweaked, prepared, tried and tested by: Esme Slabs

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Guest Submission: Grandmother’s Canned fruit

I’ll never forget sitting in my grandparent’s kitchen while family all around laughed and conversed with one another.

I sat, a young observer, watching life whirl around me. I sat with an empty bowl and spoon, waiting for grandma to notice. Of course she did.

She swooped down on me, earrings jangling, “Dear you have no food! What’s wrong?”

I looked up at her, trying to hide the sheepishness form my face. It didn’t work.

“I was hoping to have . . . To have some of your pears.”

She smiled and gave me a wink, “Of course you can!”

I watched her disappear into the cellar.

Enveloped by sights and sounds I waited.

“Here you are dear boy!” Grandma said, appearing at my side.

A trickle of clear juice and pear halves slid into my bowl with an aroma of mouthwatering sweetness.

The first bite was delicious, superb.

The second followed quickly by the third and fourth.

Grandma gave me a kiss and laughed her way into the party while I devoured her hard work.

-M.D.

Guest Submission: Nana’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Growing up, my mother made the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They were huge. Each one had to be the size of a grown man’s hand. And they were always soft, even when the outside layer crackled when you bit into it.

As an adult I’ve still got this childhood obsession with this cookie. I’ve gone through quite a few recipes, and they always turn out to be a bit more like nothing the cookies she made. That is until I pulled out my old standby: Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. In there is a classic recipe for that so coveted oatmeal cookies. If you follow it, you’ll find yourself owner of some wonderful cookies. But not the cookies.

So I played around with it. I don’t use eggs in my cookies so I played around with flax-seed, less liquified butter, and varying types of chocolate chips.

In the end I created something that roughly equates to my perfect cookie memories.

wp-1480140252537.jpeg

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened (not totally melted, it makes the cookie spread out too much)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (not optional, you have to)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (not optional, you can throw in a dash of cloves if you’re feeling spicy)
2 tbs of flax-seed/ 6 tbs of water mixed (or 2 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats

1 cup of chocolate chips

Now when it comes to chocolate, I love to have it balance out the sweetness of the cookie with a rich dark flavor. I use about a half cup of semi-sweet and a half cup of dark chocolate chips. Then I throw in a few more handfuls just to be safe.

*Important* To make these chocolate chip cookies, don’t forget to add the chocolate chips! I use a blend of semi sweet and dark chocolate flavors. I’m a kind of dark individual and really enjoy my chocolate to give me more than just fluff.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (It never fails that I forget this step and have to sit and watch the oven heat up.) Prep a 9×13 cookie sheet with parchment paper, silpat.

Cream butter and sugar until it’s fluffy. You’ll know when. Then add flax-seed mixture and vanilla to the bowl, mixing it until all combined. For me the best results come from mixing all the ingredients together with a large fork, or wooden spoon. But if you don’t want to work out your arm please use an appropriate hand or standing mixer.

Next add in dry ingredients, baking powder/soda, spices, and flour (you can just dump them into the same bowl, cut down on dishes). I wait to add the oats until everything comes together, seems to put less stress on your tools*. Add chocolate chips to desired level of goodness and mix until combined.

A trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen for bakery worthy cookies is this: Ball up dough to double the size of what you would normally do and then break the ball in half. Place both parts with broken side up. I usually fill a 9×13 cookie sheet with a baker’s dozen. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes and enjoy some beautiful cookies. This recipe should yeild about 48 cookies, depending on the size you like them to be . . . or how much cookie dough you eat.

*If you have a mixer, please please please please change the whisk paddles to cookie paddles. You and your bank account will thank you later.*

Guest Submission: Layers of Grief

About this time last year, I became very aware of a grief that I carried in my soul.  The central source of the grief was a lie about myself that had been engraved on my heart.  For months, I ignored any true feelings and lived my life in a state of denial.  Obviously, I wasn’t ready to work with the grief yet, but I knew that anger was around the corner and was going to be disastrous when it finally hit.

It was early July when the anger arrived, and with it, a list of 45 reasons of why.  Loss and pain in black ink on a lined white page.

Quickly, it became apparent that I needed a project to turn my grief into something productive.  I chose a recipe and got to work.

I measured, folded, smoothed, chilled.  Layer after layer.  Butter, dough, butter, dough.  Emotions escaped as I pounded and rolled cold pastry into a rectangle, wider and wider, my bamboo tapered rolling pin leaving rounded impressions on the dough as I transferred sad thought after sad thought to the dough mat.

Triangles of dough were carefully rolled, tucked within themselves, and baked until they were golden brown.  Once cooled, my fingers dug into their crust, breaking the glossy exterior into a million shards.  Exactly the way I felt.

-Anonymous

Sandwich Love

image

Bread hot from the oven, steaming with heat and perfuming the kitchen with its smell

Crisp lettuce leaves crunching between my fingers, shredding down to size

Meat and cheese, sliced thin as paper, placed with care between mayo and mustard

A dash of pepper on tomato makes the plate almost complete

Don’t forget to add the bacon

-Anonymous

Guest Submission: Es’s Vegan Orzo and Vegetable Salad


Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael from The Ink Owl for the incredible wonderful opportunity to be a Guest on his blog.  This is a huge honor and I hope you will enjoy the variety of dishes I am about to share.

I am Esmé (a foodie) and my blog consists of a compilation of home-made tried and tested recipes. Please visit, and if you like follow my Blog @ The Recipe Hunter!  How about joining and sharing your very own home-made tried and tested recipes with my Group on Facebook @ The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy).  More social links at the end of this post.


Es’s Vegan Orzo and Vegetable Salad

Simple roasted vegetables are tossed with orzo for a wonderful Thanksgiving Salad


Ingredients:
No measurements will be provided here; it will all depend on how many people you wish to feed.

Ingredients:
1½ cup Orzo
Vegetable Broth

Cook Orzo according to package directions.
Fry the following vegetables one by one in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and add to the orzo and mix.

Vegetables
Sliced Mushrooms
Chopped Red, Yellow, and Orange Peppers
Asparagus
Chopped spring onions
Mixed frozen vegetables of your choice

Add some
Pine Nuts
Fresh or roasted pepitas (Pumpkin seeds)
Capers
In fact, you can add whatever you have available. That’s what I usually do.
Chill the salad and mix with the dressing just before serving, and enjoy.

For the Dressing:
Follow link for recipe: Es’s Vegan Aquafaba (Chickpea Liquid) Mayo/Sauce

Have you ever used Chickpea Liquid (Aquafaba) to make Vegan Mayo/Sauce? Well I have!!

——————————————

Author bio:

I am originally from South Africa, but in Vancouver, Canada for the past 20 years
2. What started your blog? (Why do you like to write?)

I love to share my passion to cook, bake and experiment in the kitchen. This is my way of relaxing after a long and hard week in the office, and if you wish to call it my ‘retail therapy’, so please join me on this day to day journey, which I just ♥
If you love to cook, you will love this blog, and everyone is welcome to share and ‘hunt’for recipes as well as stories from many wonderful fellow bloggers which they so graciously share with us.

If you need more information, please see my blog here.

3. What is your motto for your writing?
My Motto: Sharing is Caring, and I would love to share home-made tried and tested recipes with my followers, readers around the world, and have to enjoy preparing simple and delicious meals for family and friends.

Guest Post: Peaches, A Requiem For Fall

imageLeaves were turning to gold as I opened the trunk of our car. Voices drifted over to me on the wind, discussing the cost of bushels and quality of produce. I smiled up the drive as my wife, Merideth, discussed our most recent purchase.

“They’re ready!” She called to me, waving her arm excitedly. Next to her two folding tables laden with fuzzy pink peaches sat, waiting to be paid for.

I patted the head of a black labrador that panted in the morning sun. He thumped his tail and smiled up at me with kind eyes.

“You guys have quite the haul this year,” I said to him. He ‘woofed’ with pride and rolled onto his belly. I smiled and tickled the dog’s belly.

“Honey come on! We’ve got to get going!” Merideth called. She was excited to get back home and get cooking. With 100 pounds of peaches, what else was one going to do?

“Better get a move on,” I said as the lab woofed his thanks. Standing up I walked up the front lawn and grabbed a cardboard box filled to the brim with fruit. A smell wafted into my nose, transporting me back through twenty different autumns.

I felt wreathed in memories as my childhood friends laughed over bowls of cobbler and ice cream, Grandma’s canned peaches and toast in their garden listening to the sounds of the coming evening, my first date with Merideth eating fresh peach ice cream and laughing.

Merideth laid a hand on my shoulder, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,’ I said with a sniff, “Just remembering.”

She smiled at me and picked up another box.

“Let’s go home and get baking.”

Nodding I headed for the car.

– Anonymous

November on The Ink Owl


Hello and welcome to November on the Ink Owl. This month’s theme for November is Food. And I have to admit, I love food. Who doesn’t? We’ve had a bit late of a start on the month, but have a nice variety of submissions, some stories from friends, anonymous submitters, and a few writers/bloggers from around the globe. I am ever so grateful to all who have submitted their work and I can’t wait to share what they have created! So without further ado, here’s to our guest writers on The Ink Owl. Happy reading!

-M.E. InkOwl