I have to admit I am always skeptical of things that tell me I can do them fast fast fast! and they'll still be good. Hard and bitter experience has shown me that quickies aren't always besties. Most of the time they fall into the netherworld of "almost homemade," or "nearly not store bought," or whatever the word du jour is being used. The way I see it, I'm either buying it ready made or I'm making it myself. I'm either in or I'm out. That way I know I'll be happy with the results and if I'm not, well my bad.
So when I got an email offering me a copy of a book called Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook I was skeptical. Until I saw the author's names, Mark Scarbrough
...and Bruce Weinstein.
In case you don't know who these guys are, they're the go to guys for all sorts of cookbook and food wisdom. They wrote a couple of books which I happen to own, namely Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese and Ham: An Obsession With The Hindquarter. They're written on everything from Chocolate to Pizza to the dilemma of cooking for two. You might say they are the Yodas of cookbooks except non wrinkled and much much better looking, and if you've never seen a man dance with a Collie dog... visit their website Real Food Has Curves, you won't regret it. It's full of knowledge. These guys know everything food.
I also have to add here that Mark was the man behind the recent #goaterie madness on Twitter, and he is the main reason a large marinating hog jowl rubbed with spices is lounging on an oven rack in my fridge right now, slowly metamorphosing into guanciale (I hope.) He is a Pied Piper. One of those go on and "Do it!" guys...
...and if you ever fall under his Twitter thrall, food magic happens and you will soon be pickling or marinating something. Know that.
Their new book is a guide to getting good food on the table quickly and easily and home made. They walk you through the basics of stocking a pantry, buying in bulk, gathering all the basics one needs to make preparation of meals for busy people, painless and a whole lot cheaper than ordering out every night. This has got to be appreciated. In fact I'd go so far as to say this book can be a new basic for a lot of home kitchens. Got someone starting out on their own for the first time? Give them this. Want to learn to save some money by cooking more meals at home and eating in? They got your back. Want to learn to make fast, healthy meals with very little time? These guys can school you. In short, this is a very very helpful book. It also arrived at our house just in time.
We've been working for the last several months on a new script. We have a deadline and are about to turn the work in. We also have to eat. On top of that, a friend of ours has been ill and needed something to perk up his appetite. I had promised I'd make him some ice cream but ice cream by itself wasn't going to be enough. How about adding some cookies to that? Cookies, that I didn't have to hunt up a lot of ingredients for, cookies that I could make easily with what I already have in the house.
Bruce and Mark had the answer, Spicy Oatmeal Crisps. I was planning on making some dark, dark European-style chocolate ice cream, and these zingy oatmeal cookies seemed just the ticket to meld with the dark chocolate flavor. Plus it was super super easy.
Here's what you need:
3/4 cup of flour
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of allspice
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/4 tsp of ground black pepper
1 cup of packed brown sugar
5 Tbs of softened unsalted butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of rolled oats.
Here's what to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Mix the flour and the next 7 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl mix together:
Mix them together with a beater at medium speed until everything's all light and fluffy.
Add in the egg
Beat it well.
Stir in the flour mixture and the oats.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drop the batter by level Tbs about 2 inches apart and pop them into the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are crisp.
Cool them on the cookie sheets for about 2 to 3 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
Control yourself and enjoy!
This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.
With a nice glass of milk from local organic dairy Straus Family Creamery, these cookies are ready to go. And go they did. I split the cookies, actually a bakers dozen for our friend, the rest for us. The combo of the dark rich chocolate ice cream and the spicy crispy cookies was perfect. I had one idea whizzing around my brain this afternoon, and that was how perfect these would be sandwiched together with the ice cream, and I would have tried it if there were any left. Not to worry though as these cookies whip up so easily there's simply no reason not to make them.
In summing it all up, I have to say that Cooking Light the Complete Quick Cook, fills all needs from appetizers to desserts, from simple family suppers to full-on company blow outs. This is the book to carry anyone through the holidays and into the new year beyond.
Coming up next, the goatapalooza clay pot virtual/real twitter lunch. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori