Try a New Recipe: Oatmeal Scotchies

These cookies are one of my favorites; crispy, chewy and wholesome-tasting. My grandma always used to make them for me, and still occasionally makes them when I see her. She lives far away, otherwise I’m sure she would bake me cookies whenever I asked. (And since I moved away, sometimes I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a box of cookies in the mail). I love my grandma! I finally got the recipe from her again a couple years ago, to include in our family cookbook.

Guess what? My grandma is here! And she brought me some of these cookies, so I have to share them with you before I eat them all…

Oatmeal Scotchies
Makes about 48 3-inch cookies or 30 4 1/2-inch cookies.

2 cups unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 ½ cups quick oats, uncooked
One 12-ounce package (2 cups) butterscotch chips
½ teaspoon orange extract or vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, eggs and water; beat until creamy. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in oats, chips and extract. Drop by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on pan for a minute or two before removing to racks to cool.

Try a New Recipe: Shortcakes

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If this recipe doesn’t scream SPRING, I don’t know any other way to say it…

Come on, Spring!

I often make Strawberry Shortcakes for ranch dinners. They are always delicious and receive many complements. I like the fact that they can be prepared 2 hours in advance, and I just put them in the oven toward the end of dinner. I will definitely be making these again when we get more strawberries. These shortcakes are lovely, golden brown and sparkly with the sugar on top.

An impressive dessert, despite the fact that they are so simple! I believe these are the best Shortcakes I’ve ever had!

This recipe is from the cookbook The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. They test each recipe different ways to come up with the best result, and explain their process before the recipes. It’s a handy reference, and some of their recipes are truly the “best.”

Serves 6

Start the recipe by preparing the fruit, then set the fruit aside while preparing biscuits to allow the juices to become syrupy.

1 recipe Fruit Fillings for Shortcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and biscuit cutter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups Whipped Cream

1. Prepare fruit and set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar in work bowl of food processor. Scatter butter pieces over mixture, tossing to coat butter with dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients with five 1-second pulses. (I don’t know if it was just because I made a double batch, but it took me a lot more than 5 pulses). Continue cutting in butter until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses (again, it took me a lot more). Turn mixture into medium bowl.

3. Mix beaten egg with half-and-half; pour into bowl with flour mixture. Combine with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn mixture onto floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.

4. Pat dough with fingertips into 9 by 6-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, being careful not to overwork dough. Flour a 2-3/4-inch biscuit cutter; cut out 6 dough rounds. Place rounds 1 inch apart on small baking sheet; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)

5. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; cool cakes until warm about 10 minutes.

6. When biscuits have cooled slightly, look for a natural crack around the circumference of the biscuits. Gently insert your fingers into the crack and split the biscuits in half crosswise. Place each cake bottom on individual serving plate (or bowl). Spoon portion of fruit and then dollop of whipped cream over each cake bottom. Cap with cake top and serve immediately.

Try a New Recipe: Homemade Granola
This is an excellent granola recipe, I don’t remember where I got it. It’s quite simple, delicious, and it really lasts for a long time.

You can really make this a low-sodium recipe if you check the labels on all of your ingredients, if that is a concern for you. I think I made an entire batch with just 11 g of sodium total, which was perfect for a friend on a sodium-restricted diet.Other than that, it’s great by the handful, in a bowl with milk, atop a pile of yogurt, anyway you can think to eat it!

Homemade Granola
Makes about 8 cups

1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup golden raisins (I have also substituted dried blueberries for this, delicious)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread shredded coconut onto a baking pan, and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

2. Reduce oven temperature to 300. Line two baking pans with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, canola oil and honey. Stir together until well combined. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheets; bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

3. Break up cooled granola; sprinkle with raisins and toasted coconut. Stir to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!
Try a New Recipe: Spicy Country Ribs

This is an excellent recipe from Real Simple magazine. In the magazine, they used a canned chipotle pepper, but on the website they used chipotle powder. I vote for the actual chipotle pepper because that’s what we use. We usually use boneless ribs. The broiling at the end is a bit of a pain, but is worth it. We have also not broiled occasionally, but the ribs really are best when you finish them off by broiling. I would also suggest that using 4 pounds of ribs yields a bit more than 4 servings. =) These are delicious, easy to make, and not too spicy for the kids.


Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

(photo by Susie Cushner)

Slow-Cooker Recipe: Spicy Country Ribs

Yield: 4 servings

These ribs are meatier than baby-backs and tend to have fewer bones. Serve them with biscuits and cole slaw on the side.

1 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle en adobo, minced (these peppers come in a can in the Mexican aisle)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 pounds pork country ribs

Combine the onion, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, Worcestershire, chili powder, and oregano in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the ribs. Cook on low heat for 6 hours, or on high for 3 1/2 hours.

Using tongs, remove the ribs from the cooker and arrange on a broiler pan. Heat the broiler. Pour the juices from the cooker into a bowl and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to hasten the separation of the fat. Remove and discard the fat. Pour the defatted juices into a saucepan; boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Broil the ribs about 6 inches from the heat until browned. Serve with the sauce.

slow-cooked tex-mex chicken & beans

This is a great recipe to try! It came from Everyday Food magazine, November 2007 issue. A slightly spicy mix of chicken and beans, served in a bowl or with tostadas, tortillas, tortilla chips, you get the picture! My friend JennyLee’s husband told her he could eat this for dinner every night. I guess it really is that delicious. Our whole family loves this too.

You can also make this dish in your slow cooker, which takes about 8 hours. You can find those instructions here. With two ways to cook it, what’s not to love?

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

Slow-cooked tex-mex chicken & beans

serves 4 · prep time: 15 min. · total time: 2 ¼ hr.

2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (comes in a small can, usually in the Mexican aisle. I just used one chile and chopped it up small)
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
¼ cup sour cream, for serving
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large pot, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour and 2 cups water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture.Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.
  1. Cover pot and bring to a simmer on top of the stove, do not stir.
  1. Transfer to oven, and cook until chicken is tender, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces, and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro. (also good with tostadas or tortilla chips)

Banana Date Coffee Cake

Just in case you’re looking for a “healthy” sugar-free snack in keeping with any New Year’s resolutions…here you go!

This is a recipe I used to make all the time in college. At the time, I was doing a lot of work with Native Americans, and it seemed like most of them were diabetics. For some reason, unbeknownst to me at this present time, we had a lot of potluck-type things. The Native Americans were sooooooo excited that this recipe has no sugar (other than the minimal amount on the coconut and dates). I used to place a stack of recipe print-outs right next to the pan of coffee cake. I lost the recipe, but found a very similar one online, which I then fixed–the guy had added sugar! No!! He ruined the very essence of it!!–So, I brought it back to its former healthful, delicious, sugar free glory. Enjoy.

Banana Date Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter – softened
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9 baking pan with a generous coating of cooking spray.

Cream butter and bananas in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, water and vanilla extract and mix well.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Add chopped dates and mix well.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle topping evenly over batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Try a New Recipe Day: Min’s S’moretini

Since New Year’s Eve is coming up, I thought I’d share a fabulous drink recipe I created: Min’s S’moretini. It was inspired by a drink of the same name at Outback Steakhouse, which I’ve still never tasted, and I don’t know how they make it!


This drink is delicious, creamy, festive and out of the ordinary. It would make an outstanding dessert.


Although I haven’t tried it, I bet you could make a Virgin S’moretini that would knock the kids’ socks off by simply omitting the vodka.

Don’t forget to visit me at
The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

Happy New Year!

Please drink Min’s S’moretinis responsibly.

Min’s S’moretini

Serves 1

Hershey’s syrup (for rim of glass)

1/2 graham cracker, finely crushed

Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce

ice cubes

1 1/4 ounce vodka

1 ounce Monin Toasted Marshmallow flavoring

1 generous squeeze Hershey’s syrup

1/2 ounce Monin Vanilla Syrup

2 ounces half & half

  • Rim martini glass with Hershey’s syrup and crushed graham crackers.
  • Swirl bottom third of glass with a generous drizzle of Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce.
  • In cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Monin Toasted Marshmallow flavoring, Hershey’s Syrup, Monin Vanilla flavoring and half & half.
  • Add a handful of ice cubes and shake until combined and chocolate is incorporated.
  • Carefully strain into glass, and savor.

*You can follow the links above for these ingredients,

or visit the Monin Gourmet Flavorings store*

Try a New Recipe Day: Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers

I’m so excited to share recipes here on Try a New Recipe Day! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read my first Guest Post here for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, or check out my blog, The Bad Girl’s Kitchen!

For the first recipe, I chose a fabulous family favorite, Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers. It contains simple ingredients which combine for amazing results. Once you get the technique down, it’s not too difficult to prepare. This is one of the dishes that inspired my Chicken in a Fabulous Sauce category over at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen! So far there are only six dishes that qualify for inclusion in the category, so take it from me, this chicken is special.


The recipe comes from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook, 2008. The book contains the entire year of recipes from Food & Wine magazine, and is also the “Special 30th Anniversary Edition.” I can’t see any difference between this one and previous years (which were not the “special 30th anniversary editions”) but whatever. There are some amazing recipes in there, along with gorgeous photography.


This chicken is savory and delicious, with a hint of lemon in a complex, scrumptious sauce. Fairly easy to accomplish. We usually serve it with wild rice and a fresh loaf of Artisan Bread for mopping up the fabulous sauce.

This dish is easy enough for a family dinner, but special enough for Christmas Eve. Try it and see!

Zesty Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers
–Grace Parisi

Active: 25 minutes; Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
4 servings
Wine: Lively, tart Sauvignon Blanc (we finished off the lovely bottle I opened to make the sauce)

8 bone-in chicken thighs with skin (6 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 cups Sauvignon Blanc
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
Four 1-inch strips of lemon zest
4 thyme sprigs (I used 1 or 2 heaping teaspoons dried thyme leaves)
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 bay leaf

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the chicken skin side down and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and pour of all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

2. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, lemon zest, thyme sprigs, capers and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up. Transfer the skillet to the oven and braise for about 45 minutes, until the meat is tender.

3. Return the skillet to the stove and boil until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme, bay leaf and lemon zest, if desired, before serving.