About Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I mentioned once before that I have exactly two cookie recipes, and this is the other one. And can I just tell you how lucky you guys are that you’re getting this today? Because it’s H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY STICKS week at work and I’ve been (a) away from the computer, and (b) STUCK IN MOTHER EFFING VIRGINIA.

So, to recap, cookies = delicious and Kat = busy. And this recipe = 18 delicious oatmeal raisin cookies, which are made of oatmeal and raisins, and since oatmeal and raisins are very healthy and good for you, you should feel free to eat all 18 by yourself. Which you are sure to do, because as I said, cookies = delicious. Here’s what you need:

  • 12 tablespoons (that would be 1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (and I mean the good, Irish rolled oats, not the quick-cooking or instant oats)
  • Sea or kosher salt, for sprinkling

You can easily make this recipe by hand, but since I now have this amazingly amazing stand mixer courtesy of my non-mother-in-law (gift registries RULE!!!11!!!!!!), I will be making it in that. So. In a large bowl, beat the butter for a few minutes (on medium-high speed if applicable) until it’s light and fluffy.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl (if applicable) and add the sugars, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, beating until the mixture is well blended.

Reduce the speed of your amazingly amazing stand mixer (if applicable) to medium and add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until well incorporated.

Stir in the raisins. Then, reduce the speed of your amazingly amazing stand mixer (if applicable) to low and add the flour and oats, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and mixing just until they are incorporated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill your dough for at least an hour before baking. Meanwhile! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone non-stick baking mat. (Thanks, Jennie and Joe! Gift registries RULE!!!11!!!!!!) Form the dough into balls about the size of balls of golf and place them on the mat about 2 inches apart.

Now here’s the (arguably) weird part: generously sprinkle sea or kosher salt on top of each dough ball. Trust me on this one; it makes all the difference.

Bake 1 sheet at a time for 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffed and beginning to turn golden.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. If you can wait that long. Me? I eat them as soon as they stop burning my fingers. And then I eat them all. Which brings us to today’s PROTIP!

You can go ahead and scoop out all of your golf balls onto a baking sheet like this:

and then stick that baking sheet (without the sprinkling of salt) in the freezer. As soon as your dough balls are frozen through, transfer them to a freezer bag for storage and safe-keeping. Then! Whenever you want warm fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies, take a ball or two out of the freezer, sprinkle them with salt, and stick them in your toaster oven. They’ll bake at the same temperature, but add a minute or two to the cooking time. Then! Voila! Warm fresh-baked oatmeal cookies whenever you want them!



About Roasted Acorn Squash with Marmalade

Brrr. Sure is getting cold out there, huh? Looks like that long, hot, disgusting summer is finally gone for good, and can I just say? THANK YOU SANTA. And lest you need a kindergarten lesson in the calendar, when summer ends the fall begins. (Speaking of The Fall, has anyone seen that movie? Because it was INCREDIBLE, and I’m not just saying that because The Piemaker is, like, super hot or anything. Which he is. I DIGRESS.)

Where was I? OH YEAH. Autumn. Which brings cooler temperatures and winter squash. Both of which I love. Now, I‘d love to give you about a billion recipes for winter squash, but my boyfriend the picky eater doesn’t like winter squash, so I think I can probably only manage a few, but we’ll start with this one and see what happens. Okay? Okay.

Acorn squash! Acorn squash is a bit of an odd duck, sort of like the illicit love child of a yellow squash and a sweet potato, which means it plays really well with butter and orange marmalade. Yes, you heard me, orange marmalade. Orange marmalade is one of my favorite things on Earth. I like it in my gin, I like it on my rye toast, and I like it on my acorn squash. Just mix two tablespoons of marmalade with one tablespoon of softened butter and proceed as follows.

Preheat your oven to 400 F. The prepare the acorn squash but cutting it in half and removing the seeds and strings in the center of each half with a spoon.

Place the halves cut-side down in a shallow pan or baking dish filled with 1/4 inch of water.

Put that in your preheated oven and bake it for 35 minutes. Then turn the squash halves over, and prick each half several times with a fork. Sprinkle the acorn squash with salt and pepper, and spoon your marmalade mixture over each half.

Broil that up for about 5 minutes or until it’s lightly browned around the edges. And viola! Acorn squash!


About Watermelon and Feta Salad

I do not make idle threats. However, I am horrifying lazy. Actually, that’s not true at all; I’ve just been traveling a heck of a lot the last couple months so I haven’t had the opportunity to do much cooking. HOWEVER however, revenge is a dish best served cold, as is this one, and long ago I threatened Candice and Heather Anne with this recipe so here it is. NOT that I’m trying to get revenge on them for anything or nothing, it’s just that they were a little aghast at the idea even though it is SO GOOD.

(THAT SAID, we made this for Seth’s mother back in May and, while she didn’t hate it, she informed us that she wouldn’t be making it for herself any time soon. Also that she suddenly developed a love for kalamata olives. Silver lining?)

The key to this salad has a lot to do with balance, with playing off salty and sweet and sour, with freshness bouncing off heartiness. And if you’ve ever put salt on your apple or watermelon you’ll know exactly what I mean. (Do other people actually do this? Or is this another weirdo Vietnamese habit I think is normal?) All that nonsense said, I don’t have a whole lot of instruction for you on this one; just(ish) a list of ingredients. Which look like this:

And consist of:

  • A watermelon (the sweeter the better), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • A block of feta cheese, cut into smaller bite-sized chunks
  • Good quality kalamata olives, cut in half
  • Fresh mint, julienned
  • Fresh lime
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I said that the key to this dish is balance, and the key to balance is ratio. So basically you want a quarter to a third the amount of feta and olives as to the watermelon. Does that make sense? MATH IS HARD. What I mean to say is, you want mostly watermelon, with a bit of feta and olive mixed in to add a little salty accent.

After you've carried the two, put all that in a bowl, add a fair bit of the mint, a generous squeeze of lime juice, and a glug or two of extra virgin olive oil. (You can also add thinly sliced red onion to this, but I never do.)

Give it a gentle stir and an initial taste. My guess is that it’s going to need a bit more lime juice, and some salt and pepper. But they’re your taste buds, so you decide for yourself. Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for an hour or two until it’s nice and cold.

And voila. A refreshing salad for a hot barbecue.

(One small note: this salad doesn’t keep well. The salt eventually breaks down the watermelon and turns it into mush, so it’s best to make this the day you need it and not the day before. Consider yourself warned.)


About Basil and Lime Creamed Corn

Is it weird for me to do a variation of creamed corn when I have yet to give you a recipe for just plain creamed corn? Yes? No? Do I care? Not really.

I’m back from a week in the Pacific Northwest, a week that was very decidedly NOT hot as balls. And now that I’m back I feel like I was away for 47 years, and oh yeah, it’s also HOT AS BALLS. Because it’s summertime. And summertime means CORMS!

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

Dear Santa I sure do love corn. It’s something I inherited from my mother, I think, who used to bring home 20 ears from the roadside veg stand, steam them all up in a big ol’ pot, and proceed to eat all 20 ears all by herself.


My boyfriend, however, is lazy. He does not like to eat corn on the cob.

funny cat pictures & lolcats - imvisible corn on da cob

But he will eat corn if I do most of the work for him, which does NOT mean, by the way, that I chew it up and regurgitate it back into his mouth like he’s some kind of baby bird EW GROSS YOU PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING.

funny pictures of cats with captions

(Winston, unlike many lolcats, appears to have no interest in corms.)

ANYWHO, this is my super-healthy version of creamed corn that I came up with all by myself, and it’s light and fresh and requires very little cooking at all, plus unlike real creamed corn there’s no actual cream involved, just a little creaming of the cob.

And this is how you cream a cob.

FIRST! Remove the corn kernels as originally demonstrated in this instructional video.

THEN! Use a spoon to cream the cob as demonstrated in the following instructional video:

You’re gonna want to do that over a shallow bowl or deep plate to capture all the juices that you scrape out of there. It’s slightly messy work, but it’s delicious work, and delicious is half the battle. What’s a battle? I DON’T KNOW.

Moving on. To the recipe. Which is why you’re here (presumably).

For 2 servings you’ll need:
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed and cobs creamed
  • 1/4 c diced onion or shallot
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Splash of chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice (if you use those bottles of lime juice you’re not allowed to make my recipes anymore), to taste
Heat the oil and butter in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan over medium heat. When the oil starts to get shimmery or the butter has stopped foaming, add the onions (for sweeter creamed corn) or shallots (for slightly garlicky creamed corn), a pinch of salt and pepper, and, if you like, a bit of red pepper flakes. I don’t always add the red pepper flakes, but I was serving this with a bit of tilapia and thought the heat would be a nice contrast with the mildness of the fish. ANYWHO, saute all that until the onions/shallots become translucent and start to brown.

Add the creamed corn and a splash of broth/water. The starch from the corn creaming will thicken up the sauce and the broth/water will help the kernels cook evenly. Simmer that until the kernels are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Remove the pan from the stove and add the basil and enough lime juice for bright, tangy freshness. And add a little more salt and pepper if you think you need it.

If all went according to plan, you should now have a light, summery side dish in under ten minutes. If not, well, MY BAD.


About the Negroni

Have you ever had a Negroni? No? Well you should get on that, because it is the perfect cocktail for summer. But you don’t have to take my word for it; Tim Carman totally agrees. I’ve been drinking my own bastard cousins of the Negroni for the past three or four years, but on this hump day I thought I’d give you this year’s slight variation on the classic.

For one delicious drink you’ll need this stuff:

Which, more specifically, is:
  • 2 tbsp. gin
  • 2 tbsp. Campari
  • 2 tbsp. vermouth
  • a couple shakes of bitters
Normally you're supposed to shake up your ingredients with ice and then strain the concoction into a martini glass to be enjoyed straight up, but it’s HOT AS BALLS (sorry for the imagery Manmaw!) outside, so I just pour it all into a jelly jar and garnish it with a slice of lime.

Because that’s how I roll.


About Cold Noodle Salad

Somethong (okay, I could fix that typo but COME ON) about the words cold, noodle, and salad together in a row like that strikes me as... funny? Odd? Somethong? Anyway, let’s get on with it, eh?

How about that thunderstorm, hey? That was some insane shit, I’ll tell you what. Winston was mesmerized by everything blowing around all over the place, and spent the majority of yesterday afternoon with his nose pressed to the window. But I guess that’s what happens when a (relatively) cold front smashes into HOT AS BALLS. (Incidentally, I tried to sit out by the pool on Saturday but my skin melted off after 37 seconds. True story.) Thankfully it’s no longer HOT AS BALLS, but it’s still pretty damn hot out there, so we’ll continue with our tour of dishes that do not require much if any use of heat-creating kitchen equipment. Hence the aforementioned cold noodle salad.

This is a recipe in two parts. We’ll tackle the noodles first. For four, healthy-sized servings you’ll need:
  • A little more than half of a box of whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. While that’s boiling, mix up the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl to make your dressing.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it, then rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and toss the noodles with the dressing in your big bowl.

Then pop that big bowl in the fridge while we tackle the “salad” portion of our cold noodle salad, which consists of approximately 3 cups of whatever veg you like.

This is what I brought home from the farmers market: carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, and scallions. Other veg that would be good: baby bok choy, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., etc., etc. BASICALLY, you just want to make sure your approximately 3 cups of veg is cut pretty thinly so that twirling everything onto a fork is no big whoop.

Now toss all that together with your big bowl of dressed spaghetti.

Now you have a choice: you can either serve it right away at room temperature, or you can park that baby in the fridge for an hour or so for it to chiiiiiiiill. Either way, you probably can’t go wrong.



About Margaritas!

Hello, gentle readers. My name is Kat and I’m a boozeaholic. I’m addicted to boozeahol. And why wouldn’t I be, dammit? Booze is DELICIOUS. Or rather, DELICIOSO. Because today we’re making margaritas! From scratch! And you know why? Because it’s HOT AS BALLS out there right now, and I could really go for a nice cold margarita. Or two, for which you’ll need:

The juice of 3 limes
6 ounces of tequila
2 ounces of triple sec or Cointreau

First up, your PRO TIP of the day: If you zap your whole limes in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, you’ll be able to extract waaaaaaaay more lime juice out of them.


Mix together all that stuff I said you’ll need.

Muddle some fruit in the bottom of your chosen drink receptacle and salt the rim (but not in that order, and only if you like).

Divide your boozy concoction between the two glasses, give it a stir to incorporate your optional fruit, and fill ’er up with ice.

Dude, margaritas! (Someone bring me one now please kthxbai.)


About Moroccan Tomato Soup

It’s too hot to cook. (If you’re reading this out loud, this is how you should say that sentence: “It’s toooooooooooo HOT to cooooooooook.” And throw in some pathetic wimpers and sobs in there while you’re at it.) Seriously, I don’t know if you’ve stepped outside any time in the last, oh, TWO MONTHS, because if you haven’t (LUCKY!), let me tell you, it is HOT AS BALLS out there. So the very last thing I want to do when I come home at the end of a long commute, deliriously meandering back to Chinatown in the 100-degree heat, is turn on the stove. (The first thing I want to do is jump in a swimming pool full of ice and unicorn tears, but that is neither here nor there.)

So, if I get around to it (shit’s busy all up in here, yo), I think I’ll try and feature some coooooool summertime recipes over the next couple of weeks. Because it is HOT AS BALLS out there.

First up: a cold tomato soup that is NOT gazpacho. I like the idea of gazpacho, and Santa knows I order gazpacho a whole heck of a lot for someone who hates gazpacho, but that’s just it; I HATE gazpacho. But this I like. It’s an old New York Times recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years, and now that tomatoes are showing up in the farmers market in full force, I (literally) crank out a batch once a week. So, let’s get started, hmm?

For four servings you’ll need:
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 1/4 pounds tomatoes, cut into chunks (unless you don’t have a food mill, in which case, see below)
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons water

One more thing before we get started. This soup is super fresh, so if your produce doesn’t look like this:

don’t bother. Your soup will taste like crap. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also you’ll probably need a food mill to smash up your tomatoes and remove the skins. If you don’t have a food mill, you can always use this technique, to peel your tomatoes before blending them up in a food processor, but that just sounds like a giant pain in the ass to me.

Okay so I guess that was two more things. SUE ME.

Now, in a small skillet, stir the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and olive oil together. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook the spice mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. This will remove the bite from the garlic and bloom the flavors of the other dry spices. It’ll also make your kitchen smell like Marrakesh, without all the incense and b.o. Anyway, this is what it will look like:

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Next, pass the tomato chunks through a food mill fitted with a large disk.

This is the hard part.

When your tomatoes are all milled up, stir in the cooked spice mixture, cilantro, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, cucumber, and water. (What I'm saying is, stir in the rest of your ingredients.) Give it a taste, and add more salt if you need it. Refrigerate until cold, then serve, garnished with more cilantro.

And enjoy the antioxidant rush.


About Banana Bread

I know quite a few of you already have my super easy and super delicious recipe for banana bread, so for those of you who don't, SUCKS TO BE YOU, SUCKERS.

Just kidding.

Here you go, suckers.
  • 3-4 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 c melted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 c flour
Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Mash up the bananas in a large bowl with a fork.

(When I was in Belize I rode a horse named Banana. This was Banana:

Clearly not the same thing.)

Stir in the melted butter.

Stir in the sugar.

Stir in the egg, lightly beaten.

Stir in the vanilla.

Stir in the baking soda (and fine, the pinch of salt, too).

Stir in the flour...

...Until just combined.

Pour into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

And bake for one to one-and-a-half hours, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Let it cool for a while on a wire rack and then slice into perfectly even slices.

i had too many bananas

Or just cram it into your gaping maw by the fistful. Whatever floats your boat, suckers.


About Mint Juleps


I mean,

(Dude, my boyfriend has lost a lot of weight since last year. Go him.)

Happy Derby Day! Last year we celebrated the Preakness with a mighty tasty Black-Eyed Susan, so this year I thought it might be nice to introduce you to the classic mint julep. But, as with everything on this here website, please take this recipe with the following caveat (emptor; hi, Scott!): this is not the "traditional" way to prepare a mint julep. No, like most things Southern-with-a-capital-S, the traditional mint julep is prepared with a level of pomp and circumstance reserved for weddings and funerals (four and a, if you're counting). And since I lack the proper silverware, you'll just have to roll with me on this one.

LET'S GET DRINKING. For each cocktail you'll need:
  • 2-3 oz. of the Bourbon of your choice
  • 1-2 teaspoons of simple syrup (I err on the side of less sweet)
  • 8-10 mint leaves (I grow my own, of course)
  • Ice, preferably crushed
So, gather your ingredients and glassware.

(My boyfriend and I have slightly different tastes in both, apparently).

Add the mint leaves and simple syrup to your glass.

Now, muddle the mint with a muddler until the leaves are bruised, but not falling apart into pieces (that will later get stuck in your teeth like the obnoxious leaves that they are).

Now add the bourbon.

Now add a little ice, and vigorously stir that all up until it's nice and chilled.

Now fill up your glass with some more ice until you're pretty much full.

And now it's time to make your bets! (I put five bucks on the filly. GIRL POWER!)