Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tomato Sludge

When life gives you a glut of tomatoes (happening most summers here in Napa, but NOT this one), and you've run out of make Tomato Sludge!

1. Coat a rimmed cookie sheet generously with olive oil.

 2. Cut your tomatoes, red, green--it matters not, into halves or quarters. Sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper, basil, oregano (the usual suspects) and a splash of Balsamic vinegar. We are on a spicy food kick right now, so I added some hot chili powder.
 3. Oops, I forgot the garlic. 7-8 cloves, peeled. Toss them in there and bury under the tomatoes so they don't dry out or burn.

4. Cook at 300 degrees for, oh, forever. Probably 3 hours. I started these in the morning, turned the oven off to go to work, came home and turned it on again...they get very soupy. You will use a spatula and turn them every so often. As you turn them, mash the garlic once it's soft. If you run out of patience, crank the heat up to 350 till the sheet looks like this:
 ...not drippy, but still moist.
 5. Pack this into a jar and loll about in your happy smugness. This stuff is so good. It's the base of every pasta sauce, pot roast, bruchetta, pizza, etc. You can (and will) eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.
6. Ta Da! Keeps in the fridge about a month or two. Freezes also, but don't use a jar--it may crack.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Epic Cookies

The other day I made peanut butter cookies. And these my friends are epic.
They are not the crumbly, fork-hatched, greasy cookies of our youth. These bad boys are chewy. And that's my cookie preference. 

In my house, when the sweets get low, my kids will eat handfuls of chips. Chocolate chips, butterscotch chips...etc. As you might imagine, I have quite a supply on hand. So in these cookies besides peanut butter and chopped peanuts are chips. I like butterscotch and white chocolate, but I was out of the WC. So I just emptied all the little quarter and half bags that remained from the kids' foraging and they are, as always, terrific. 

The key is to take them out in time and NOT OVER BAKE. I am a terminal over-baker. So I lost 1.5 sheets of these and they are crunchy-crunchy. A good thing cause I now will not touch them. Much.
Here's how they go:

Peanut Butter Cookies adapted form the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

1 & 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 tsp baking Soda
1/2 tsp baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (one stick) soft butter
1 c peanut butter
3/4 c white sugar
1/2 packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
assorted chips to make 2 cups*
1/2-3/4 chopped peanuts

Oven at 350
Mix butter and peanut butter till light and fluffy. Add sugars and beat till smooth. Add egg, mix well. Add milk and vanilla.
Add flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix till smooth. Add chips and chopped nuts.
I like to use a scoop for uniform cookies, but you can use a set of spoons too. Drop into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar, roll to coat. Put on parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten a little.
Bake 10-12 minutes, do not over bake. Cookies will appear underdone but they are not. Cool on sheet for one minute then move to a rack.

* I think butterscotch is crucial and other parings might include chocolate, cinnamon or white chocolate. Peanut butter chips sound good but they get lost.

Make these and stand back. The last time I sent these off, my friend declared me a goddess on Facebook. No joking.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Christie, the Jennifer, the Kimberly

Just plugging a few more aprons for the Etsy shop.

If you want to look, follow the link there in the box on the right--->>> But click on jamjarboogie, not the word Etsy.

In other news, I have ONEHUNDREDANDFIFTYPOUNDS of grapes in my freezer. Give or take a few. If you are local and want to make jam---hit me up.

I'm inspired now to make a tile table for the Napa High fundraiser in November. If I can get the Iron people to donate a stand, I think I'm in business. Another thing that's making me crazy: Rag rugs. I've been saving and braiding my scraps all summer, but THEN I saw this:

I want to try this mighty bad. It's crochet! The hook must be as big as a turkey baster! All the more reason to do it!

Then....This! I don't know if I want to scream or roll my face all over it...these are exquisite!