In my family, oatmeal cookies are kind of a big deal.
Scratch that. Oatmeal cookie dough is kind of a big deal, because it rarely ever makes it all the way to the baking stage. Now, I’m not here to argue the safety of eating something with raw eggs — I’m willing to take the risk for what I consider to be my favorite cookie ... err, dough.
I guess the tradition of eating raw cookie dough started when my mother was growing up. My grandmother would bake one batch of dough into cookies and keep another batch of dough in log form in the freezer to bake later.
That log would never make it to the oven, though, as my mother and her brothers would sneak slices of the frozen stuff here and there until it was gone. At some point along the way, that second log of dough was made without the intention of ever being baked.
My mother and grandmother aren’t big on baking, but I think at almost any given point, they will always have the ingredients on hand to whip up some oatmeal cookie dough, and I’ve followed in the same tradition.
Which is why it only took a quick trip to grab some rosemary and Parmesan cheese to make a recipe I stumbled upon for savory oatmeal cookies.
The “cookies" are a breeze to whip up because there’s no butter and sugar to cream and yet they were a big hit at the Oscar’s party I took them to last month.
Of course, as I’m wont to do, I used a 50/50 mixture of whole wheat flour and white all-purpose flour, though you can certainly do as the original recipe suggests and just use the white stuff.
Just remember to add a touch more liquid or fat (oil, in this case) and cook for less time to keep the whole-wheat cookies moist if you go that route.
The recipe, which I found on food blog www.thekitchn.com, suggests serving the small cookies with soft spreadable cheese like a veiny blue or Saint Andre. I’m not a fan of blue cheese and couldn’t find Saint Andre at the supermarket so I went with a milky brie, which was delicious.
Rosemary Parmesan oatmeal cookies
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (add another teaspoon or so if you use whole wheat flour)
1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup sifted all purpose flour (or use 1/2 cup AP flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
flaky sea salt to finish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Gently stir together the oats and warm water in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, mixx the oil, brown sugar and egg, then combine with the wet oats and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the flour, sea salt, baking soda, rosemary and pepper then add the Parmesan.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients in with the oats mixture.
Form the dough into tablespoon-size scoops and place evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten each mound of dough into even disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle a pinch of the finishing sea salt on each cookie.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Move to a cooling rack.
— Recipe adapted from www.thekitchn.com
In my family, oatmeal cookies are kind of a big deal.
More than rides & food
When the Niagara County Fair opens Wednesday, hundreds of people will enter the county fairgrounds in Lockport for the first of five days of exhibits, shows, rides and food.
But what not all of the visitors may realize is that much of this summer tradition is the result of months of hard work by 4-H Club members and their leaders and families, all focused on the words of the 4-H motto: “Learn By Doing.”
COLUMN: Behind the tattoo gun
Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink.
CRIB NOTES: No matter what, the kids just want to play the game
At 35 years old, I may be the oldest person ever to record an out in a kids’ T-ball league.
CRITTER COMPANIONS: Visiting the neighbors
This past week, our lovely neighbors went to the beach for their annual weeklong vacation.
Stop and smell the flowers
More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).
For the love of nature
Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.
"I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.
Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.
Getting some fresh air
As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.
“They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”
Still waiting for that letter from Hogwarts
I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.
Calling all the basic locavores!
Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.
A closer look at NT
When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.
Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)
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