Saturday, September 24, 2011

A productive food day

Yesterday was a very productive food day.

Not only did I get dinner on the table in a reasonable time, I also managed to make cookies.  Brown Sugar Cookies to be exact.

About a month ago, I joined a website called If you have never heard of it, you must go to their website and check it out.

Heres an idea of how it works...... It costs $5 a week for 7 meals, you can choose what grocery store is your favorite to shop at and then they will send you a weekly menu and shopping list based on the sales flyer at your favorite store. I do the one for a family of five and all the ingredients for our 7 meals has never totaled more than $85.

My favorite store is Publix and since their sales flyer starts on Thursday, I print off my menu and shopping list on Wednesday then head to the grocery on Thursday morning. I buy all the ingredients I will need for the next week (plus a few extra things). It's great knowing that when I go to make dinner at night, I will have all the ingredients needed. I don't have to spend 30 minutes trying to decide what to make then crossing my fingers hoping that I have all the ingredients.

I have been able to get dinner on the table in about 30-45 minutes, most of the time its faster than that.

So last night our menu item was Simple Garlic Ziti. It was delicious and super easy.

I even made a salad to go along with it.

It was a big hit with the family.

I also made Brown Sugar Cookies. They were rich and soft and rich and just delicious. There the kind of cookies you definately need a glass of milk with to wash down.

I enjoy baking and trying new recipes.

You always need to start with good measuring spoons, and a No. 2 plate just because it's cool. I know some people don't measure but I have to measure everything. I can't 'eyeball' it.

You also need ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Sounds good already.

To that you add butter (can't go wrong there) and brown sugar.

Enough said!

Mix it all together, bake in the oven for about 14 minutes and this is what you get.

So, here are the recipes. Hope you enjoy them.

Simple Garlic Ziti
2 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves - crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
28 oz can Italian-style tomatoes
8-12 oz ziti, cooked
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add basil, salt, peppers and tomatoes. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Serve over cooked pasta and top with cheese.

Brown Sugar Cookies
(makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies; from Epicurious September 2011)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside.

Place butter and brown sugar in bowl and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Stop mixing and scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for one more minute.

Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low speed until the dough begins to come together and the flour disappears. Finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*. Drop tablespoon size balls of dough onto baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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