Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Snow Day Kitchen Activities

My dear husband observed last night that I always end up cooking and baking when I have a snow day and it's true that I spent a great deal of time moving between the kitchen and Safety Pin Studio the last two days. Since I had homemade chicken broth and cooked chicken in the freezer, I decided to make chicken and noodles. This is a recipe from Marcia Adams' great cook book, Cooking from Quilt Country, and could not be easier. (Warning:You have to use a heavy casserole with a lid to make this work.) Heat the broth and chicken to just on the point of boiling and add spaetzle or good Amish noodles. (Second warning: Don't use those regular commercial grocery store noodles because they will get overcooked.)

Give it a stir; put the lid on the casserole and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Check the noodles for doneness. If you use homemade noodles, it may take longer, but do check after 25 minutes. This method cooks the noodles and leaves you with lots of broth.

I love chicken and noodles in a bowl. The Amish serve them over mashed potatoes. (I know, I know, but they are wonderful that way!)

I've also been experimenting with baking with Splenda© and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend© and I am happy to report that I've perfected a cookie recipe that we love. It's based on the "Everything" Cookie and comes from my friend Beverly Stockdale who is a member of Sugar Creek Quilters in Crawfordsville. For a fund raiser one year, we put together a cook book that's filled with great recipes.

Because this cookie has peanut butter and oatmeal in it, the fact that the Splenda only adds sweetness doesn't affect the consistency of the dough or the final product. Here they are ready to go into the oven.

The recipe as I've changed it:

The Everything Cookie
1 cup Splenda©
1 Cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend©
1 cup margarine (I use one stick of margarine and one stick of butter)
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cut nuts

Cream the margarine/butter, then add Splendas©. Combine the other ingredients in the order given. Drop by large teaspoons onto cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minute. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

These are not sugar free because the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend© has some refined sugar in it as do the chocolate chips, and raisins are 70% fructose, but the cookies are much lower in calories than if made with two cups of refined sugar. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer until I get to the last two ingredients, then I stir those in.

My friend, Diane Hammill, a master quilter, is also a trained calligrapher. She designed the cover of the cook book as well as our guild pins, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tote bags. The pattern is called crossed canoes because Sugar Creek is a major canoeing venue. Sugar Creek Quilters doesn't have a website, but if you ever find yourself in Montgomery County, Indiana, be sure to take in a meeting.


quiltcat said...

Snowy days have the same effect on me as well, Dana! Our retreat theme this year is "Sweet Treats" and a friend just posted a link to a marvelous ginger snap recipe (from a 17-year old girl's cooking blog!) that we're going to add to the recipe section of our retreat booklet--and i have a strong feeling i'll be baking them this weekend. And making a big pot of soup, as another humdinger of a snowstorm is on its way. The design your friend did for the Sugar Creek Quilters' cookbook is gorgeous.

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Cat,
Ginger snaps are a fabulous cookie. I use them to thicken beef gravy because it sweetens up the beef drippings which tend to be bitter. It's an old German cooking trick. Enjoy your soup and stay warm and dry. We are supposed to get snow and then ice here!
Warm regards,