Saturday, August 29, 2009

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had some bananas on the kitchen counter that were quickly turning brown. I remembered a recipe that I had saved from Cooking Light magazine for these cookies. They were easy to make and delicious - not much butter or sugar, so I didn't feel bad about having two!

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 medium)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients, beat until smooth. Add egg, beat well. Mix flour, oats, soda and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart on greased or non-stick cooking sheets. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden (mine took a little less time).

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer's Best Burgers

I love cooking in the summer. It's so simple. Throw something on the grill and dinner's ready. We've found a few burger recipes this summer that we love. Both have been crowd pleasers - even with the kids.

Bacon and Gorgonzola-Stuffed Burgers
(adapted by Mary Carlson from the Spokesman-Review)

1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup Gorgonzola cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked to crispy
1 large cooking apple (granny smith or rome), cored and cut into ½ inch slices
Salt, pepper
Canola oil
4 hamburger buns, small red onion and mayo

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly, but do not overwork. Shape the mixture into eight ½ inch thick patties. Set aside. Form Gorgonzola cheese into 4 small patties. Set them on top of 4 of the beef patties, and then set the remaining 4 beef patties on top, pressing edges firmly together to seal. Place patties between sheets of waxed paper. (If desired, you may place patties in freezer bag and freeze. Freeze flat and do not stack too many on top of each other.)

If patties are frozen, thaw completely. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush the apple slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the burgers until they reach 160 degrees or until they are no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, on a cooler part of the grill, cook the apple slices until browned and tender. Toast the buns on the edge of the grill. Assemble the burgers, top with grilled apple, bacon slice, and red onion. A bit of mayo on the bun also tastes good. Makes 4 burgers.

Turkey Burgers with Grilled Red Peppers and Smoked Paprika Aoili
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit magazine. The burgers are moist with a delicious smokey flavor. Even my 4 year old likes them - peppers, sauce - the works!

1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt

Mix the above ingredients to make the aioli. Cover and refrigerate. (can be made ahead)

1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 large red bell pepper
4 slices white cheddar
4 hamburger buns

Place turkey in a bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons aoili. Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs or a little more so when formed into patties the burgers aren't excessively soft.

Form into 4 equal patties. Cover and chill. Prepare the BBQ (medium-high heat). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Cut red pepper in quarters or flat wide slices, removing seeds. Brush with olive oil. Grill until soft and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side.

Grill turkey burgers for 5 minutes per side. Top with cheddar cheese, a dollop of aioli and slice of red pepper. Place on bun and serve with salad and corn chips.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What to do with all of the zucchini?

I heard a joke somewhere that you shouldn't leave your car unlocked in the summertime. The neighbors might sneak in and fill it with zucchini.

I actually like zucchini and have found many uses for it. Here is one for zucchini cookies that even kids like. According to my 5 year old, they taste like gingerbread.

1 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Cream together butter and sugars

add 2 eggs and 2 cups of grated zucchini (not peeled)

Sift together:
4 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour - or use a combination)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add sifted ingredients to zucchini mixture.

Stir in 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.