Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, Farmers Wife Original

For years I have been in the search of the "Perfect" oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. It is probably safe to say that oatmeal raisin is my absolute favorite cookie ever, but it has to meet specific requirements to be good in my book! First off they must be soft and chewy, no hard and flat cookies for this Momma! Yuck! Second they must have an abundance of raisins, lots and lots of raisins, otherwise it's just too oatey. Third they must have a really good cinnamon/spice flavor to them. Yes I realize I am very picky about my cookie, but you know you feel the same! (and if you don't you will after you try these!)

With my pregnancy I've been craving these cookies something awful, honestly for months. I tried a few things, but nothing was really what I was searching for. Then finally one Saturday towards the very end of my pregnancy I decided that enough was enough and I WAS going to find the perfect recipe... And I did!!! I wish y'all could've seen my big ole pregnant self dance around the kitchen when the first batch came out of the oven... I was beyond happy with the results. Not only did they produce the smell I was hoping for while baking, but they were puffy and chewy and totally delicious. I fell in love! My son woke up from his nap smelling these fresh out of the oven and the look on his face at that first bite so perfectly mirrored my own that I just knew I had done it, I found the perfect recipe. But that wasn't enough, I then proceeded to make every person that came to my house for the next few days also try these so I could get their opinion in hopes that my pregnant taste buds weren't being wonky. And sure enough they all agreed, it was the perfect balance for an oatmeal raisin cookie!! I was so happy with this success, and I'm so glad to share it with you now!!

Ingredients: makes roughly 16 cookies
1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 Cup Raisins

In your mixer blend the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla til smooth. Then in a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low-medium speed until combined. Then add the oats and raisins and mix well. At this point chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. Once mixture is chilled, spray your cookie sheets with non stick cooking spray, and using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop drop scoops of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on your sheets. Bake at 350F degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and slightly golden on top. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

These were so super easy, the dough came together so quickly I couldn't believe it! The key to keeping these fluffy and chewy is the chilling time though, so do not skip this part! You can also scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet and freeze them before baking, and once frozen place the rounds into a ziploc bag so that you always have cookies ready to go that just need baked! We give these a 5 star rating, they were just that good!

Happy Baking!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Italian Chicken Tenders

Italian Chicken Tenders, Farmers Wife Original

As most of you know I have a son, a very silly, picky, food obsessed son. He is affectionately called my Sous Chef, and he loves this title. He will go around telling people "I'm the Sous Chef, and Mommy is the Head Chef!" He has this adorable John Deere apron that he wears when he helps me in the kitchen, and he is always full of ideas for new dishes. Well not too long ago my little Sous Chef asked me to make him some crispy chicken tenders for dinner. Now I have my go to recipe that I always make, but this particular night I was running low on ingredients to make them and was really tired. So together my little Sous Chef and I came up with this recipe, Italian Chicken Tenders.

Now I don't know if I'd really go so far as to say they are Italian... But we used Italian breadcrumbs to bread them and add flavor and my son deemed them Italian. lol! These came together pretty quickly once we decided what we wanted to do, and we all really enjoyed them that night. We made a special honey mustard sauce to go with as that is our dipping sauce of choice and sat down to a delicious meal as a family, a meal that came from the mind of my *almost* 4 year old!

1 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders (or about 4 breasts cut into tenders)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
Salt and Pepper
Non Stick Cooking Spray

Preheat your oven to 400F degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray. Then in a bowl combine the eggs and milk, set aside. In another deep dish combine the breadcrumbs, and spices. Dip each tender into the egg mixture making sure to evenly coat, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until fully coated. Place on your baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders. Once all the tenders are coated, spray them with the cooking spray (this will help seal in the crumbs). And bake for about 15 minutes, carefully flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes depending on your oven, until golden brown and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve warm with you favorite dipping sauce.

These came together so fast and really were full of flavor and very juicy. My son gobbled them up and so did my Hubby! I added the extra spices because my breadcrumbs seemed fairly bland and we like extra garlic, but you can leave them out if you want. 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hot Fudge Pudding

Hot Fudge Pudding, Grandma's Recipe

Growing up there were certain recipes that were staples in our house. Grandma's Buttermilk Chicken was one, another was Buttermilk Pancakes with Apple Syrup, Chocolate Chip Bars, and my all time favorite Hot Fudge Pudding. Man this stuff was always gone as fast as it came out of the oven, we drooled over it, acted like hungry monkeys waiting for it to finish cooking, and were completely intoxicated with the smell of it. It really is THAT good!

This recipe is another of my Grandma's recipes that I feel so blessed to be able to share with you all. I love my Grandma's cooking, she really always was the best and I think I take after her with my love of cooking and creating recipes. This hot fudge pudding is an old fashioned recipe, it's not pudding like you buy in a box at the store. It's a cake, that is baked and creates a sauce that when you pour the hot sauce over the cake it makes this pudding like texture. And let me tell you folks it is to die for! Death by Chocolate would be another good name for this recipe, as it is full of chocolaty goodness and will make the die hard chocolate lover fall in love with chocolate all over again! I don't make this recipe very often as I really like the fast desserts that don't heat up my house, but a few weeks ago I got a craving and nothing but making this right that second would fulfill my craving. So... I made it. Sure it was hot already, probably about 90 degrees outside, yes our house was really warm by the time it was done... But man was it ever worth it! I hope y'all will give this a try sometime when you want a warm and decadent chocolate treat!

1 Cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Melted Shortening
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 3/4 Cups HOT Water

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa. Then add the milk and melted shortening creating a batter. Spread in a 9" square pan. Mix together the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of cocoa, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Pour the hot water over the top of the cake. Then bake at 350F degrees for 45 minutes. The cake will rise to the top and the sauce settles on the bottom. Let cool a few minutes, then serve by spooning cake into a bowl and topping with the sauce from the bottom, serve it warm by itself or with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

This delicious dish really is quite easy to put together, but requires patience in waiting for it to cook. We just love this dessert and let me tell you it is a crowd pleaser! You can easily double this recipe and cook it in a 9x13" pan for a delicious dessert for your next dinner party! 5 stars.

Happy Baking!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Easy Chicken Quesadilla

Easy Chicken Quesadilla's, Farmers Wife Original

When my Hubby and I were married we were given a Quesadilla maker. I know sounds kinda silly right? Well to be honest it is. I have used it a few times over the years, but it never gave me that authentic perfectly browned and crispy quesadilla that I longed for. Living in the Southwest it's not hard to get real Mexican food, and one of my favorite restaurants here seriously serves the BEST quesadilla's I've ever had. And recently after meeting a friend for lunch there I ordered those fantastic quesadilla's and decided I was finally going to figure out how to make them myself. And I did!

To be honest my favorite quesadilla has steak in it, because it's just so darn good... lol! But I don't typically keep steak around my house so when I make these I usually use chicken which is still yummy. The great thing about these is you can really make them to order based on each member of your families preferences. For instance my son likes the standard chicken and cheese only, but my hubby and I like them more loaded with tomatoes and green chilies and onion... Yum! Man I'm getting hungry... lol! I hope you'll give these a try sometime soon, they are so simple for a lazy weeknight but are also so very tasty!

Ingredients: this makes 1 quesadilla
2 10 in. Flour Tortillas
2/3-3/4 cup Shredded Cheese of choice (I typically use Cheddar but you can use whatever you prefer)
1/2 Cooked Chicken Breast, chopped into pieces (for a pinch I use pre-cooked grilled chicken strips to make it easy)
Diced Tomatoes
Diced Green Chillies
Diced Onion, (I liked using Green Onion)
Diced Jalapeno's

Prep all your ingredients, chop all the veggies you want and chicken and set aside. Then heat a 12+ inch skillet  on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Once hot place one tortilla down and start adding your fillings half the cheese first, then chicken and your choice of toppings, then top with the remaining cheese and top with second tortilla. Using your spatula press the top tortilla down a bit then cover the pan with a lid or foil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and the bottom side is browned and crunchy. Then very carefully flip over and cook the other side another 2-3 minutes. Once your cheese is all melted (covering with a lid helps melt the cheese faster) and the top and bottom are browned and crunchy remove from pan and let sit for a minute before cutting into wedges. Serve warm with your choice of sides, sour cream, salsa, guacamole etc.

I know this isn't an overly impressive recipe, or difficult by any means. But sometimes I think the simplest recipes are the best to have in your arsenal! We love these and I make them often as they are easy to throw together and taste so very good! 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dairy Free Baked French Toast

Dairy Free Baked French Toast, Farmers Wife Original

As a kid one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant for breakfast was French Toast. I loved the big giant thick slices, with the huge glob of butter and powdered sugar on top, and your choice of syrups... That was seriously one of my favorite things as a kid. Now that I'm all grown up I rarely order the french toast anymore because I can't justify letting myself eat that many calories... haha!! So I make it at home and try to make it as "healthy" as possible. But recently with my pregnancy dairy has become an issue for me, and that meant no more french toast as one of the main ingredients in the batter was Milk. Then a good friend introduced my Hubby and I to Almond Milk and all my problems were solved, I can drink it by the glass, use it in cereal, just about anything and it doesn't make me sick!! I LOVE IT!! 

I tried other kinds of "milk" before finally finding the Almond, I tried soy and that wouldn't stay down. Tried rice milk, and it worked for a few days then halfway through the carton it also made me sick. Never did try the coconut milk because honestly I am not a coconut fan. But almond worked and I have been a very happy Momma ever since. I actually really like it, probably more so than regular milk I must say. So when I finally decided to attempt making French Toast with it I was so pleasantly surprised by the results. It added such a nice flavor to my regular french toast, my son gobbled it up, and even my Hubby approved! It was a hit, and to make it even better I got to indulge in my craving! You can use whatever milk you prefer in this recipe, but I highly recommend if you haven't given almond milk a try you should. It is so very tasty!

8-10 Slices of Bread
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

Pre-heat your oven to 350F degrees and spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. In a deep dish beat the eggs, and add in the remaining ingredients. Dip your bread in the batter and evenly coat both sides. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes flip each slice over and bake another 5 minutes until both sides are golden brown. Serve warm with your choice of syrups.

We really loved this french toast, and I'm actually contemplating making this for dinner tonight! You can use your standard griddle method of cooking this but I really love baking it in the oven, it adds an extra crunch to it and then you can cook all the pieces at once which makes my life a little easier! 4 stars.

Happy Cooking!

Print Friendly and PDF