Monday, January 27, 2014

Those Cookies

I'm talking about Rollo Cookies.  Sweet, chocolate-y cookies with a rollo candy encased in each one, then rolled in sugar and chopped pecans.  I make them no more than once a year, usually at Christmas time.  Why?  Because they are B-A-D for you.  They're the kind of cookie that you can eat four in a sitting and die happy.  Dangerous, I tell ya.

I ran out of time at Christmas and didn't make them.  Friends of ours from Maine were originally supposed to visit the weekend after Christmas but postponed.  I had shelled the rollos out of their wrappers to make the cookies that weekend, so I just popped them in the freezer for their weekend visit in January.  

Maureen and Sky arrived in a surprise New England snowstorm last Saturday. These cookies were a perfect treat to end what is usually a two-hour drive to my house.  Maureen, a big fan of the Rollo cookie, was thrilled to hear that I was getting them in the oven.   As soon as they had cooled SLIGHTLY, we all attacked them like they were the last food on Earth.  And why not....they're best when they first come out of the oven, the still-warm cookie turns the rollo inside all smushy and delicious.  :)    Sky, new to the fold, soon became a quick convert. 

I guess we didn't go crazy on ALL of them....I just ate the last two in the plastic bowl at lunchtime a week after I made them.  And now there's no more til Christmastime.  I'm sad, but my waistline is elated!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Guac Talk

Hi, I'm Ginny and I'm a guacamole fan.  Make that a guacamole addict, and I'm roping my husband in on it, too.

Good LORD I love guacamole.  And if it's homemade, even better!  Actually, now that I've been making it myself for some time, I don't think I'll ever buy store-made again.  I don't even use a recipe.  Just a few avocados, a chopped tomato, finely-chopped onion (red is better but white will do in a pinch), fresh lime juice and salt, and fresh cilantro.  I mix 'em together and bring on the chips!

I didn't think my husband would ever eat avocado, but now we edge each other out at the bowl.  Funny how things change over the years!

I'm thinking now that the avocado could shine in other dishes.  Perhaps a salad with avocado and either grapefruit, orange or mango, and definitely the red onion.  My wheels are turning for this summer.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I've found something that appears to be a universal truth.  When someone is cooking tomato sauce from scratch but they call it "gravy," it is likely going to be incredible!

One of my residents (the same from the meatball post)  had a pot of "gravy" on her stove when I saw her today.  The pot was very heavy and looked like it had been with her for years.  Probably because it was, she likely made gravy in it every Sunday for her and her three kids for the years that they were growing up and beyond.  Now she makes it for herself, and sometimes shares with other residents on her floor.

Now, I'm not Italian.  "Gravy" to me is the brown flavorful sauce that one puts on their turkey and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving.  And only in the last few years have I condemned "canned gravy" in my house, now that I know how easy it is for Brian to make it.  (Yes, I could probably make it too.)  I live in a jarred spaghetti sauce household.  My mom made her own spaghetti sauce for years, which I miss.  Later on we switched to Prego jarred sauce due to time constraint and convenience.  Brian grew up in a Ragu household, with two parents working and four kids to feed.  Neither of us like the other's familial sauce choice so we compromise and buy Newman's Own.  I've said it before....I haven't ever had something bad from the Newman's Own line.  Paul Newman must've been one incredible cook!  I agree, jarred spaghetti sauce gets dinner on the table FAST and isn't terrible.   And honestly in my house, neither kid particularly cares for spaghetti sauce, opting for butter and parmesan cheese instead.  (So, please explain why they'll happily eat pizza??)

But from what I smelled upstairs today, I know that someday I  must make a "gravy" of my own.  One that would make this woman proud.  :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

First Dinner Post of 2014

First Dinner post of the year!  

 Apple Cider chicken with rice and broccoli.  We've had variations of this before, but this version from America's Test Kitchen was by far the best.  I loved sopping up the gravy with that rice.

Parmesan-Breaded Pork Chops with couscous and green beans.  We've made this recipe many times as well but usually serve over thin spaghetti.  This one dinner has made me decide that I like it over couscous better.  And the leftovers the next day are even better.     I can't believe I used to hate couscous!