Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Urban Myth ~ Neiman Marcus Cookies

E-mails are once again circulating about the woman who had lunch at Neiman Marcus with her daughter, ordered their cookies for dessert, asked for the recipe, and was charged $250.00 (the story goes that the waitress said "two-fifty", which she interpreted as $2.50). She subsequently disputed the charge and N-M stuck to their guns, since she already had the recipe. Her revenge was to circulate the recipe all over the internet. So the story goes............

I baked the cookies this week and they are pretty delicious. I do remember trying the recipe a few years back (whenever the last e-mail blast worked it's way to my computer and I don't remember being impressed). This time, I was happy with the cookies, so I have listed the recipe below including my personal tweaks and tips at no extra charge to KPK bloggers. LOL. BTW, if you're comparing this recipe to an e-mail that you received, please note, this is one-half of the e-mailed recipe AND I re-organized the ingredients in order of use, AND re-organized the directions according to ease of preparation, making it, in general, a much easier to follow, nicer, neater, baker-friendly package for KPK bloggers. You're welcome.

Urban Myth NM Cookie Recipe
with KPK Tweaks
Hey, Titles are Important

2 sticks of butter (I used one each, salted and unsalted)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (table salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups oatmeal (regular old-fashioned)
12 ounces chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet, half bittersweet)
3 to 4 ounce Hershey bar, grated (I used two 1.55 oz. bars)
2 cups coarsely chopped nuts (I used pecans but I love them all)

Preheat the oven to 375. Cream the butter and the sugars in an electric mixer. Toss the oatmeal into your blender and blend a bit until it's ground. In a seperate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients . . . flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and the blended oatmeal. Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed mixture. Then, add the dry ingredients and mix slowly on low speed until just combined. Don't overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips, grated chocolate and the nuts. I used an ice cream scoop to make consistently sized cookies, but you can use heaping rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough, also. The e-mailed recipe calls for rolling the dough into balls. We all know that's a P-I-T-A. I scooped the dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets and popped them into the oven for almost exactly 12 minutes. The original recipe indicates 10 minutes. You may want to set your timer for 10 minutes and keep checking until they're lightly browned. I guess 10 minutes would be just right if the cookies are a little on the small side. Smaller, shorter. Bigger, longer. LOL.


Curious and skeptical of the legend, I needed to do a little investigating. With one lightning fast Google search, the REAL recipe popped up in the number one position of the search, stomping out the myth forever. The recipe is completely different than the e-mailed recipe listed below!!!!! Here's a link for your ease and information: THE REAL DEAL. Click, read, bake and report back to the KPK. I would love to hear about your success with either recipe. I must now go bake the REAL NM chocolate chip cookies and provide you with an update to this story!

Make someone happy today with homemade cookies from your passion kitchen. They'll be more impressed that you made them than they would be if you bought them from NM for $24.00......17.75 ounces in an exclusive NM tin. Not sure if the tin is included in the 17.75, LOL.

Nothing Chocolate, Nothing Gained

Talk soon,

Katie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Pledge


I pledge allegiance to this KPK blog and the United . . . . . HI EVERYONE! Really, on this beautiful July morning, I am making a pledge of fidelity to my blog and my blog family because I have been gone way tooooo long! I love to share my current favorite things with you and let you know what's been happening in KPK as well as the rest of Katie's life.


"Summer Summary" 2009 thus
far . . .
On June 14th, we celebrated Betty & Norm's 50th Wedding Anniversary
with a party at their home. Lots of friends and family enjoyed good food
and libations in celebration of this
momentous occasion. 50 Years! Pictured at left is a peek at the fresh flowers and traditional 50th gold that was used to decorate for the occasion. Tiny bottles of wine were personalized with small mosaic style collages of vintage pics of BJ & Norm over the past 50. The labels were bordered in gold and the bottles were dressed with custom Happy Anniversary cards attached with blue and gold ribbons. Each little favor was embellished with an irridescent gemstone on the top of each cap. Guests went home with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and BJ's fave, White Zinfandel as mementos of the day.
Happy Anniversary Norm & Betty!


In early July, Norma hosted a Book Club dinner party and wowed her fellow book club members with a creative and delicious menu to enjoy over discussions about her recommended book selection, Freakonomics. I created these fun bookmark menus for her special night and themed the menu as a Table of Contents with special links and references to the book. Bookmark edges were cut using decorative edge scissors and each were embellished with red, purple and green fabric ribbon. Norma's hostess skills definitely raised the book club bar.

I hosted a Girls BBQ Night last week as a fun and interactive way to introduce virgin grillers and grill fearers to some delicious, nutritious and exciting ways they can use their grills all year long. I love grilling so much that I even have grilling soundtracks like "Winter Barbecue" and other compilations to energize and enhance the grilling creativity and experience.

Everyone joined in as we snapped asparagus, prepped red and green bell peppers, patted dry sea scallops, oiled up some eggplant and zucchini slices, wiped portabellas, sliced onions, grilled bread, sampled cheeses, drizzled olive oil, squeezed lemons, all while consuming a respectable
number of pomegranate martinis and fruit-filled glasses of homemade red sangria. Now, that's what I call multi-tasking. Actually, I was amazed at how cool it was to show someone how I wanted something done, for example, how I wanted the peppers sliced for the grill . . . and a mere five minutes later, it was DONE! The power of numbers! I am really amazed at how fast things get done with extra helping hands! I think I need a party crew every night. There's nothing more beautiful than everyone working together for fun and entertainment with a lot of laughs along the way. It was really a fun night and my new favorite party concept. Talk about no pressure on the hostess. It was an "all hands on deck" night. Thank you to all of the willing and efficient party guests who made "Girls BBQ" a really great event! At left, check out Stephanie's avocado love, as evidenced by the traces of green, smack dab on each boob in the pic. At right, Gianna demonstrates her snapping skills. Ladies, light up those grills!

More about what I've been doing lately...... Sheesh, can I fit all of this in? Yes I can...... Quick recap (I know, I know, quick , my _ _ _ is what you're thinking). LOL. I'm just throwing this out there . . . Ready? OK. Stuffed Sardinian style eggplant - Check me out, showing off the big fat beauties before they're popped into the oven. These babies were filled with a mixture of sauteed eggplant, onion, garlic, ground veal, bread crumbs, eggs, and fresh herbs. Topped with hand crushed tomatoes and freshly grated Pecorino Romano.
Um, yeah, they rocked. Also, check out the tooty fruity cupcakes I brought to my co-workers last Monday. Sugar cookie flavored cupcakes were topped with cream cheese frosting (my personal fave) and fresh fruit. They were colorful and summery. How do you like my green tinted piped frosting? Too cute.




I am also throwing in a few pictures of my garden (pre-deer smorgasbord).

Damn, I LOVE basil.

Hey, you don't have to tell me I'm all over the board. LOL.

Add Image
Here's wishing you a passion-filled summer of love, food, wine, friends, family and everything that keeps YOU all over the board.

With love from Katie's Passion Kitchen,

Katie

Mediterranean Fish Stew

Mediterranean Fish Stew
A KPK cross between Spanish style Cod and French Boullabaisse

Smoky Spanish Albondigas Soup

Smoky Spanish Albondigas Soup

Summer Vegetable Soup

Summer Vegetable Soup
aka "Got-To-Go" Soup, inspired by Louie

MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

Super Healthy Salad

Super Healthy Salad
. . . featuring Roasted Rutabagas (or Swede Turnips, if you wish)

Grilled Corn with Tarragon Cream

Grilled Corn with Tarragon Cream
Click on the image to link to a simple and lovely recipe at Fine Cooking

Cinnamon Pecan Katies

Cinnamon Pecan Katies
Yes I Did

Forbidden Rice Salad

Forbidden Rice Salad
Black "Forbidden Rice" from China is delicious and loaded with antioxidants

Pasta with Hot Pancetta, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Parmesan & Power Greens

Pasta with Hot Pancetta, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Parmesan & Power Greens

Indian Carrot Salad

Indian Carrot Salad

Fluffy Milk Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Softly Whipped Cocoa Cream

Fluffy Milk Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Softly Whipped Cocoa Cream

Asparagus & Mozzarella Frittata

Asparagus & Mozzarella Frittata

Grilled Eggplant is Layered Up for an Eggplant Gratin with Fresh Basil and 4 Cheeses

Grilled Eggplant is Layered Up for an Eggplant Gratin with Fresh Basil and 4 Cheeses

Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Oven Roasted Herb Butter Turkey Breast, Gemstone Potatoes & Buttery Peas

Oven Roasted Herb Butter Turkey Breast, Gemstone Potatoes & Buttery Peas

Egg Ribbon Salad with Pancetta & Shaved Parmesan

Egg Ribbon Salad with Pancetta & Shaved Parmesan

Fresh Strawberry Slices & Whole Raspberries tucked into cream cheese frosted vanilla cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Slices & Whole Raspberries tucked into cream cheese frosted vanilla cupcakes

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
an outdoor grill regular at the crib

Smokin' Beets

Smokin' Beets

Roasted Beet & Potato Salad

Roasted Beet & Potato Salad

Rosemary Flatbread

Rosemary Flatbread

"Hola" from Mi Pueblo, San Jose, CA

"Hola" from Mi Pueblo, San Jose, CA

Rapini Frittata

Rapini Frittata

Healthy Portabella

Healthy Portabella

Italian Tuna & Cannellini Bean Salad with D'Amato's Focaccia

Italian Tuna & Cannellini Bean Salad with D'Amato's Focaccia

Fried Asparagus

Fried Asparagus

Day Off Breakfast

Day Off Breakfast
Boiled Eggs & Whole Grain Toast ~ Simple Pleasures are the BEST!

Last Minute Lentil Soup

Last Minute Lentil Soup
with carrots, celery, and a little kale . . . topped with a heap of conchigliette pasta and parmigiano reggiano

A Sampling of Christmas

A Sampling of Christmas
KPK Pecan Shortbread Cookies and Almond Cookies