Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Ultimate Feel Good Food: Chicken Noodle Soup

Let’s face it – there’s something very primal and child-like that runs through all of us when we think about chicken noodle soup. Maybe our moms made some for us when we were sick as children, maybe we’ve given it to our own children for that same reason, or maybe it has been the kitchen classic to warm our bellies on a cold winter’s night.

It’s far from cold here, topping out at 80 degrees with 66% humidity today. Not sure what the heat index is, but the fact that my car is black makes my life miserable all summer long. When I was a dumb teenager and bought the thing thinking the black would make me look sleek and cool, I was..well, really dumb. Now I suffer from burned hands and hips (damn seat belt!) all summer long and swelter in the heat that emanates from the car when it’s first opened. And I can’t leave the windows cracked because this area is known for its afternoon thundershowers that pretty much dump a gallon or two in three to four minutes and then peace out for the day. I made that mistake in Colorado and ended up with a very musty front seat.

So why am I cooking soup if it’s so damn hot? Because I’m not feeling well, that’s why. And because it’s tasty. Alas, though, that is why I didn’t blog anything yesterday – I pretty much slept the entire day from a hyper super duper allergy attack that has left me with a sore throat, sore ears, a headache and that inevitable allergy itch all over my body. Benadryl works, but it also kicks my ass. So, soup it is.

I made this recipe up a few years ago at the nudging of my very first friend in Colorado, Brittney. Her aunt made a recipe similar to this one, and with some fiddling & experimenting, I was able to settle on a combination of ingredients and methodology that I like the best to produce a really good soup. And bonus: the overall per serving calorie count is quite good. The Ryan is pleased by this since he’s Mr. Calorie Counter, and he approves of being fed something delicious and healthy. I will admit, however, that I don’t own a stock pot and therefore don’t make my own stock. In an apartment the size of ours with both of us and two cats, we’ve sort of run out of room for a lot of my things, and I’ve been forced to leave them behind (which really just means they’re in a box in a closet at my mom’s until further notice). We’re working on fixing that, though. With any luck, we’ll be in a place of our own in the next year or so. 🙂 Until then, I can live with bouillon.

And let’s get dinner started!

First, the veggies. As all of you know, I am super anal about meat products touching the cutting board or my knife before the veggies do. In this particular case, I specifically cut and bagged chicken pieces for soup a few weeks ago, so all I had to do was take care of the veggies today. I chose three small white potatoes, an ear of corn, kernels removed (I don’t usually add it, but our store had 10 ears for $2…you might say I loaded up..), two stalks of celery, three carrots, and I cut about 1/3 of that white onion. I had the purple onion leftover from some guacamole I came home and made, so I figured I’d use the rest of it.

After peeling and cutting all the veggies (I sliced the carrots and celery, chopped the onion and cubed the potatoes), I went outside to shuck the corn, and Lestat joined me, doing what Lestat does best – he ate some grass.

Sam looked on in horror and curiosity from the safety of the indoors. I have never met a cat so afraid of outside than this one.

Back to the soup: I prepped all the veggies and put them in their respective bowls. If you are not already aware, you can put cut potatoes in a bowl with water to keep them from turning brown after being cut. If you don’t know how to get corn off a cob, watch this YouTube video.

Now for the broth. I know, I know, OH GOD, THE SODIUM!!! I am aware. Hence the “Better Than Bouillon” I have sitting there. It’s low sodium, and I use half the Goya powder and the other half is the Better Than Bouillon. 🙂 For spices, I have Paprika (1/2 tsp), Garlic Powder (1 tbls), Oregano (2 & 1/2 tsp), Bay Leaves (2), Pepper (1 & 1/2 tsp), Celery Salt (1 tsp), Thyme (2 & 1/2 tsp), and Dill Seed (2 tsp).

Fill your pot to about…there. It works out, generally, to be anywhere between 10-12 cups. The amount varies due to water evaporating, being absorbed by potatoes/noodles/veggies, etc. Sometimes you have too much, sometimes you have to add more.

When the water comes to a boil, add the appropriate amount of bouillon for your water (read the directions – I used 3 packets of Goya and 1 tbls of Better Than Bouillon. I also found some No Sodium granules in my pantry and tossed a couple tsp of that in too). Add the spices and the onions.

Add your chopped chicken (I always use chicken thighs because they, in my opinion, are much more rich in the soup, and the dark meat does not dry out. I had previously cut two thighs into cubes and sealed them with the food saver. ^_^) and let simmer for about 5 minutes (I keep my heat on medium).

After about 5 minutes, add the remaining veggies and continue to simmer for 10-12 minutes.

At this point, you may notice that your pot is quite full…like too full for noodles. I grab a bowl and ladle out some of the broth. Don’t dump it, though, the potatoes and noodles will absorb the water and you will likely have to put the liquid back in.

I don’t measure my noodles, I basically add handfuls until I think I’ve found a good noodle to soup ratio. This time I used about four and a half handfuls, which I believe would have measured out to about a cup and a half dry.  Once you’ve added the noodles, cook them until done (about 10-15 more minutes).

Voila – comfort in a bowl. Pardon the blur, it was still steaming. And it was ohhhhh sooooo delicious. I feel better already! 🙂

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Happy Long Weekend!

Greetings! It’s the official start of summer and a long weekend. I imagine that this weekend, everyone will be attending cookouts, flooding any local beaches or lakes, and just having a wonderful time in general. For the next few days my view is as follows:

And since I am on vacay with the Ryan and the remainder of my family, apart from the quiche I made everyone this morning (finally got the branch chief’s recipe, mwahahahaha!), I will be doing a minimal amount of cooking. Expect a blog on Tuesday once the Ryan and I have recovered from road tripping down the coast and back. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, everybody!!

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Chicken Pot Stickers: Make Your Belly Happy

Ever gone to a Japanese restaurant and ordered gyoza? Or even gone to TGIFridays and ordered pot stickers? I know they have them there, I’ve eaten them. I was also a cook/backwait/expediter at P.F. Chang’s for a good while when I first moved back to the eastern seaboard. After standing in my kitchen for the last two hours folding a grand total of 51 pot stickers, my heart goes out to Changs’ dim sum girl (my super awesome ex co-worker), Lisette, who spent her entire day making and hand folding the various kinds of dumplings Chang’s has on its menu.

For the last week or so, I have been craving pot stickers something fierce. I had to eat some – my body said so. And seeing as I’d made them once before, I knew the work and dedication involved…Pot stickers are a looooot of work…however, they’re completely worth it. The best part about making your own is that you control what goes into them. As you saw in my post on Saturday, I picked up a bunch of dumpling wrappers at the local Asian market, and I had it set in my mind that I would make pot stickers this week, so that is precisely what I did. Some friends are coming to watch our cats while the Ryan and I are out of town for Memorial Day, and since I always end up with TONS of pot stickers, I figured I’d feed them my remainders in gratitude for scooping kitty poop in our place.

A while back, I was having the same pot sticker craving and was extremely curious how to make them, and I found this blog with a recipe and a video. The video was a tremendous help in that I had no idea how to fold the wrappers. I’m still not the greatest at it, but I can get the job done. Aesthetics is important, but deliciousness trumps all. It is an authentic recipe and tastes delicious – the dipping sauce recipe she includes is to-die-for. The best part is that it requires only ingredients that most people who do a lot of stir-frying will already have in their house, so they’re convenient as well.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s make some pot stickers!

Ingredients: Dumpling Wrappers (1 pack), Ground Chicken (1 lb), Cabbage (1 cup, shredded; I bought cole slaw mix because I don’t like red cabbage and that was all they had available at my store pre-shredded. I also didn’t want to buy a head of cabbage since we’re leaving – it’d be bad before we got back 😦 ); Soy Sauce (1 tbls), Chinese Rice Wine (1 tsp), Ginger (2 tsp, peeled and grated), White Pepper (1/4 tsp), Chicken Bouillon Powder (2 tsp), Sugar (1 tsp), Sesame Oil (1 tsp), Vegetable Oil (I used Canola; 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp).

Since the dumplings are so small, I took my cole slaw cabbage and chopped it down to a very small size – shredded cabbage at normal size, I found last time I did this, was very hard to separate and fit properly into the dumpling wrappers.

In a pan, heat 2 tsp of your oil and saute the cabbage until it is tender.

Set aside and let cool.

In the mean time, in a medium bowl, add chicken, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, soy sauce and bouillon powder and mix thoroughly. Then stir in the cooled cabbage mix.

Make sure you have a small bowl of water available, as you will need to wet the outsides of the dumpling wrappers so they will stick together and close.

After you’ve wet the wrapper, place a teaspoon of your mix inside.

Gently fold the corner of your dumpling and pleat the edges to join both sides. Make sure not to get any of your chicken mixture into your seams otherwise the dumpling won’t close.

I chose to line mine up on my cookie sheet (yay, a new use!) to prep for cooking. The Ryan and I ate the first cookie sheet full. The second is in my freezer right now waiting for Thursday.

This is where I did it a bit different: The recipe I linked shows the cooking method to be steaming the pot stickers in oil and water until the water has evaporated and the oil has made them crispy. Last time I did that, I just ended up with very swollen, soggy pot stickers. At the restaurant, we steamed them and then pan fried them in a cast iron skillet. So I got out my vegetable steamer and steamed the pot stickers for about 6-7 minutes. Make sure to lightly oil your steamer, otherwise the dumplings will stick to the metal. Steam with the lid on, as you would with veggies.

In a small skillet, lightly oil it and once the dumplings are steamed, brown them in the pan until golden on the underside. I have an uneven stove (as you can see) and nonstick pans, so I had to pick them up and swirl the oil around to distribute it properly. One of these days we’ll have a cast iron skillet. 🙂

All done. Nice and golden. Serve with dipping sauce (I used the recipe on the blog, but there are TONS out there) and enjoy!! These are extremely time consuming, but totally worth it. And since you can freeze the ones you don’t eat, you are either getting multiple meals or just knowledge that you have a yummy snack easily accessible when you want it. Enjoy!

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4 Ways I Cheat..(Sometimes); Quick, Easy Dinner Ideas

Let’s face it, ladies and gents – sometimes you just don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Or you come home from work and go, “Oh god, what do I make for dinner?” Or, if you’re a student like I am, there are just some days when homework trumps everything else and you either have to a) come up with something quick at home or b) order takeout.

But, if you’re like me, you try to be good and watch what you eat. I am not always the most successful at this, but for the most part, I’ve got a good diet plan that I stick to and have a good grapple on portions between myself and the Ryan.

So what do you do? Below I will show you four of my go-to quick, easy and not-that-bad-for-you (yes, I obsessively read food labels) marinades or simmer sauces to make a delicious meal in half an hour or less.

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My first g0-to dinner cheat is this Thai Kitchen Red Curry Simmer Sauce. It’s quick, easy, tasty, and contains a nice list of ingredients that you can actually read and pronounce. It’s approximately a cup and a half of sauce per jar, and at 90 calories per half cup (so 3 servings per jar), it is definitely nothing to sneeze at if you’re the calorie-counting type. You can easily toss a breast or two of chicken into this sauce along with veggies, and served over rice, you’ve got a whole meal in about 20 minutes. Depending on how much chicken you add and how much sauce everyone likes, I’d estimate you could serve up to four people with one jar. The best part is that each jar is a little less than $4 (at least in my stores), so it works out nicely for a low cost meal.

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The next three cheats I have a love hate relationship with. I am a huge advocate of no HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in foods, and I try to make it a point not to eat anything with HFCS in it. That being said, the following three marinades do contain HFCS, but they are 10-30 calories per serving and taste DELICIOUS. If I make a dish with them once every other week, I can deal – especially since these marinades only take 30 minutes to sink in. Of course, if you let them sit longer, they taste even better. And sure, each “serving” is one tablespoon, but let’s be honest – how much of that marinade will actually get into your chicken (or steak, or pork), and how much of it will you toss out? The goods, to me, outweigh the icky HFCS – especially since they are literally one of the only things I have in my house that even contain it. And especially since the Ryan counts his calories (and I do too, since I cook for us both). Lawry’s makes tons of marinades, and one of the best things I have found about them is that grocery stores very often have them on sale for X amount for $Y dollars…so you can stock up when they’re cheap(er) and utilize them when you need them. Here, I am sharing my top three favorites:

My first go-to, especially for chicken, is their herb and garlic marinade with lemon juice. This marinade is savory, garlicy, and just all around yummy. It has a nice, sweet tang to it, and I promise you will enjoy every bite. I normally serve with rice or fresh, steamed veggies, but your sides and possibilities are endless, really. And you don’t have to use chicken, of course, I just find that I like chicken the best in this marinade. One thing I will caution – I find that if you leave your meat too long, the citrus will start to “cook” it – so be careful.

My next favorite is the Sesame Ginger marinade. It contains mandarin juice, so instead of 10, it is 30 calories per serving – but it is soooo delicious. It’s a quick way to give your dinner a bit of an Asian flare and sweeten up any meat you desire. My favorite things to marinade in it are pork and chicken. The Ryan likes chicken more in it, I like pork more, so we alternate. 🙂 Serve with broccoli and rice or over some Asian noodles and have a quick, 30 minute Asian night without the cost of takeout (and without all that oil!).

My final, and probably most favorite marinade, is their Teriyaki marinade with pineapple juice. This marinade is 20 calories per serving, and is just delicious. In my opinion, steak is the best meat to marinade in this, as it comes out tender, juicy, flavorful, and if you broil your steak, you’ll get a bit of a delicious caramelization, which I just love. The Ryan likes to throw rosemary on his steak because he’s weird, but I prefer it just the way it is on a nice medium rare piece of yummy beef. I’m sure elk and buffalo would be just as delicious in this, and I would love to give it a try. *sigh* If only I still lived in Colorado. But I digress. I generally serve my steak with a few roasted pieces of potato (or a small, baked one), and some asparagus or mixed veggies. It makes for a rich, satisfying meal, and you can sop up all the yummy juices with your side dishes. Who doesn’t love to do that?

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So, on that Monday night when work has been insane or you come home late with the kids from soccer practice, or you have homework to do, these 20-30 minute ideas can provide a full, hearty and flavorful meal with very little effort leaving you more time to take care of all of your other responsibilities, or just more time to spend with your family. Bon appetite!

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Yangzhou Slippery Shrimp

Mmmm, seafood. So good.

Have you ever come home to your apartment building and smelled what everyone was cooking? There is a cook on the floor above the Ryan and I that I would love to meet! I have no idea which of the four apartments up there it could be, but every time I walk in and start walking down the stairs, I can smell everything. The other day, she (or he?) was steaming Alaskan snow crab legs. I have smelled shrimp. I have smelled bacon. I have smelled roasts. And I somehow innately know that this person always cooks Southern comfort food. It just smells like hospitality. Call me crazy, but I swear it’s true.

Anyway, back to the crab legs and shrimp – all of those delectable smells have been giving me a hankering for shrimp and snow crab lately. Sadly, I try not to buy seafood (of the shellfish variety – normal fish is fine) that often because I will eat WAY too much of it. I mean way too much. I can eat a pound of snow crab legs, maybe two, by myself. And I’ll dip it in good ol’ melted butter – I know, right? So healthy (Hey, I’m a Marylander. We take crabs of all kinds seriously here – butter, Old Bay and beer, that’s all you need). If the Ryan and I had to incur that kind of grocery bill, we’d be begging for change on the streets. But I found a sweet deal on shrimp at the store the other day and I just couldn’t resist. To make the deal sweeter, the Ryan had casually mentioned that he’d like more shellfish/seafood variety in our diet, so this seemed perfect. 🙂

Because I’m lazy and enjoy doing other things on my weekends off (like shopping..and shopping..and sometimes I shop), I decided to break out all of the stir-fry books so I could cook the shrimp quickly, but do them in a fancy-schmancy flavorful way so it seemed like I put in effort. Let’s face it, sometimes you’re just not motivated to do the complicated stuff. I generally am (I just bought whole tamarind I am ambitiously going to make into juice, pulp, paste, etc.), but tonight I was just feeling “meh.” And we were supposed to go see The Avengers, so I had to make something yummy quickly so we could get out the door.

That’s where this little beauty stepped in:

I bought this book several years ago with my first wok. It is simple, has a lot of easily accessible ingredients, lovely pictures, and is written in a way that pretty much anyone can understand. Now that I have a bit more wok experience under my belt (I could tell you some serious stories of the stuff I screwed up while I was learning how to use it, though), I find that a lot of these recipes are pretty standard and not really unique. She changes up a lot of the veggies, but the basic components of rice wine, soy sauce, ginger and garlic pretty much grace every single recipe. I am on to more ambitious and complex ingredients, but for anyone looking to learn, this is definitely a good source. The thing I like the most about it, though, is that basic few staple ingredients – so if I haven’t been to the store in a while and only have a few things, I can still reliably throw together a decent tasting, quick meal in a pinch. And not all off the recipes are this way, so there is some variety. It helps people who are learning to be able to understand the basic components of building a legit stir-fry, and that is why I value it so much.

On to the shrimp! I had never de-veined shrimp before, so I had to Google it. This Simply Recipes guide was most helpful. I know what you’re thinking – “You grew up in Maryland and never de-veined a shrimp??” It’s true. My mom and brother hate shrimp and seafood, so I rarely got to eat it at home while I was growing up. It was mostly reserved for when we went out to eat, and I never had to worry about it then. I can peel them, though. Funny how that works sometimes, huh? If you need some tips on how to de-vein your own shrimp, check out that link, it won’t steer you wrong.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients! Peeled and Deveined Shrimp (1 lb), Corn Starch (5 & 1/2 tsp, divided), Salt (1/8 tsp), Ginger (1 tsp minced, peeled), Garlic (minced, 2 tsp), Tomato Paste (1 tbls – the recipe calls for ketchup, but we don’t keep ketchup in our house. I wasn’t about to go buy some just to use a tablespoon. So…yep, used paste), Cider Vinegar (1 tbls), Chinese Rice Wine (or dry Sherry – 1 tbls), Sugar (1 & 1/2 tbls), Canola Oil (1/2 cup), and Scallions (1 tbls).

In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with 4 teaspoons of cornstarch and the salt.

In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 & 1/2 tsp cornstarch with 2 tsp water.

In another small bowl, combine the ginger and garlic.

In a final small bowl, whisk together the paste (or ketchup), cider vinegar, wine, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.

One thing to remember about stir frying is that it is 95% prep – the cooking happens quickly at high heat, so you need everything prepped and ready to go.

In your wok, heat the oil over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Test the oil by dipping a spatula into the shrimp mixture and then into the oil. If it sizzles (as shown in the picture), it is ready to go.

Stir up the shrimp mixture and add it to the oil. Stir to keep the shrimp from sticking together. Cook until opaque and pink, approximately 1 minute.

Then remove the shrimp from the wok (the book says with a wire strainer, I used a slotted spoon :P) and drain on a paper towel.

Drain all but two of the tablespoons of oil and, over medium high heat, re-heat the oil. Then add the ginger and garlic.

Add the tomato mixture and stir a few times.

Re-add the shrimp and stir constantly until the mixture starts to boil.

Stir the cornstarch mixture up and add to the wok. Stir until the sauce is thickened.

Add the green onions and give a few big stirs to just cook the onions.

Serve over some rice or noodles and enjoy!! You’re done.

***One thing I would recommend if you use tomato paste as opposed to ketchup is a *bit* more sugar.***

All in all, it came out deeeeelish! 😀 The Ryan ate it and enjoyed it, and I got to feed us seafood. Win/win in my book!! And hey! It’s a pretty color and looks like you put in a bunch of effort. Enjoy!

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Brownies: The Real Deal

So today has been fun and eventful! The Ryan and I were supposed to go to an air show at the local Air Force base, but he decided at the last minute he’d rather stay around the house today – which is legit. Next weekend will be spent mostly in the car, driving to and fro seeing grandparents.

Instead, we got up early and after breakfast, we headed to the local Dutch market for a big score. 🙂 $76 for….19 meals worth of meat? That’s $4 a meal, and we can no longer fit any more meat into the freezer.

Righteous, yea? And yay Grey Goose!

We also ran next door at my request to the Asian market and picked up a few things. See those dumpling wrappers? Look for a blog on them next week. And I have to say – we picked up a flank steak today (all of the meat is locally grown, free range, with no hormones or steroids), and I have never had such a moment of respecting my food. I know it sounds weird, but you could literally see every muscle in this piece of flank steak, and suddenly as I stood there cutting the meat down to portion, I found myself thinking “This came from what was a strong, healthy and powerful animal.” I deeply respect and appreciate that – and how much it means that that creature is feeding my tiny family. It somehow gave me a new appreciation for my food and the farmers that raise their animals the right way. 🙂 As you can see, we freezer bagged all of our stuff with a Food Saver. Before today, I was still cooking meat we had bought back in March – and it was still fresh! Pretty nifty, huh? I highly recommend getting one – it’s worth the investment.

We came home, stored our meat, and went about our business. I started dishes and the Ryan wandered off to play Tank Wars or whatever other video game he felt like playing today. I got bored, and my sweet tooth kicked in (which happens often when I’m bored), so I thought HEY! I still have a bunch of cocoa powder I need to use..why don’t I bake brownies? I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com, Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies. It was very highly rated, so I figured why not? The Ryan is being very strict to his diet (I’m a bit more flexible :P), and if I don’t eat all of these by Tuesday, they will be sent to work with him for his co-workers. I get to bake and eat chocolatey goodness? And send some to the hungry engineers? Win, win, win. Besides – after that huge tangent on how awesome blondies are the other day, I owe the original brownie a bit of respect, right?

So let’s get started!

Ingredients: Butter (1 cup, melted), Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (1 cup), Sugar (3 cups), Chocolate Morsels (1 cup), Salt (1 tsp), All-Purpose Flour (1 & 1/2 cup), Vanilla (1 tbls), Eggs (4).

In a large bowl, mix the sugar, melted butter and vanilla.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Gradually mix the flour mixture into the dry bowl until combined.

Add the chocolate morsels, and stir them in well.

I folded in the morsels with a spatula instead of my hand mixer.

In a lightly greased 9×13 pan, bake the brownies at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until done. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

I have to admit, right now, they are cooling (I just pulled them out about 10 minutes ago) and I am so eager to eat them I can hardly stand it! They smelled amazing while baking and I kinda wish we had ice cream for a la mode..but alas, we do not..which is fine. Less calories! (If you can really convince yourself of that). Enjoy these, I sure will!

Edit: Okay, so, I just couldn’t take it anymore!! I totally had to have a brownie. They are soooo decadent, rich, fudgy..Mmmm, delicious! Best part? They’re still warm, but not so warm that you can’t taste them. They are gooey perfection. I will be making these for parties and gatherings from now on!

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Blondies: The Better Brownie.

In my opinion, at least. Not that there’s anything wrong with brownies – because brownies are amazing. There’s just something amazingly enchanting to me when I bite into a brownie that’s kind of a cookie that’s kind of not a cookie and isn’t even brown..!! 🙂

And these aren’t just any blondies, these are chocolate chip, oat and cardamom blondies. Say that one five times fast, yeah?

I’ll be honest, before I baked these, cardamom was not something I had in my kitchen, let alone something I had familiarly worked with in the past. But when I found these blondies on foodgawker (which led to Evil Shenanigans’ blog), I just *had* to bake them. And get some cardamom. A word to the not-so-wise like myself: cardamom.is.expensive. I have actually read that it is the third most expensive spice by pound in the world, coming in only behind saffron and vanilla.

But they looked soooooooo delicious, and I baked them, the first time, without cardamom. They were good…but missing something. But I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $13 for a spice I was going to use one time in this one recipe. I pouted and sulked. And then, while on an excursion to Whole Foods, I stumbled across some – for $4!! Four dollars…not 13! Four! Holy day in heaven, thank you baby Jesus, I could buy it and not feel guilty now!!

So I brought my cardamom home and decided I wanted to give these blondies a whirl the right way. The stuff smells amazing – almost like licorice. And it is definitely the “something” that had been missing from this recipe before. If you can, try not to omit the cardamom like I did the first time. It really does make a difference. And if you’ve got a Whole Foods nearby, check and see if they have it for less than your local grocer. I call that a steal. Plus, it’s Whole Foods – I’m not buying anything synthetic or illegitimate. Two points in the awesome category for that find!

Let’s get baking!

So, Ingredients. Apparently I lost the photo of the ingredients somewhere (the Ryan just bought me a new camera – yay!!! and I suppose in formatting my memory card, the old photos were lost. So odd, I swear I took a picture) so I’ll just list them out:

Flour (All purpose is fine – 2 & 1/4 cups), Baking Powder (1 tsp), Cardamom (1/2 tsp), Salt (1/4 tsp), Light Brown Sugar (1 cup, packed), Butter (1 cup, room temp), Vanilla (2 tsp), Eggs (2), Honey (1/4 cup), Rolled Oats (1 cup – not instant!!), Chocolate Chips (1 cup).

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Mix until blended (and enjoy that smell!!)

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and honey. Whisk until well combined.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until just combined.

Add the oats and chocolate chips.

Fold until combined, but do not overmix. The recipe suggests about 5 folds.

In a greased brownie pan, add the mixture. The recipe suggests using wax paper to line the pan, but I did that the first time and found it more of a hassle than a help, so I didn’t do it this time. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until blondies are golden brown all over and puffed up.

A little over puffed, but deeeeeeeeeelicious!! 😀 Let them cool and then dig in!! The Ryan took these to work today – when he gets home, I’ll find out his fellow engineers’ verdict: stay tuned!

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