Adventures in homemade, budget aware cooking.

Posts tagged “Coconut

Ranger Cookies

Yesterday, I gleefully pulled Harry Potter #2 AND #5 off the shelf at my local library.  I was so excited to find these two books available.  Don’t worry that #1, 3 or 4 weren’t available.  I have read the series so many times now it doesn’t matter which book I jump into (it probably wouldn’t matter which chapter either…)  How many times is it okay to read the same book?  Your favourite book?  Seven?

Anyways, the whole situation got me thinking about my cooking philosophy.  I often scour cookbooks in search of new recipes to try and new things to make.  When I find something that the husband and I love, I tend to file the recipe away the same as I do for the mediocre ones I come across.  To me, food isn’t like books.  I really struggle to re-make things!  I think it’s a disease, really.

I made the BEST ranger cookies ever a few days ago.  I need to remember to treat this recipe like one of my favourite books.  I need to make it again.  These cookies were gooey in the middle and crispy around the edges.  The brown sugar and butter gave them a caramel flavour.  And, unlike the last Ranger Cookie recipe I failed with, they were FLAT!  Maybe you don’t like your cookies flat, but that’s how mum’s always were and that’s how I think they should be.  (If you don’t want flat cookie – the horror – refrigerate your batter between uses and avoid putting your batter on hot cookie sheets.)

Ranger Cookies (Makes 4 dozen… don’t worry, they are THAT good.  You’ll eat them all)

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ chopped walnuts

*Instead of the raisins, coconut and nuts, feel free to put in whatever you like.

Cream the butter.  Add the sugars and cream.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix.  Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Drop batter onto ungreased baking sheets.  Cook for 8-10 minutes at 375F.  Let sit for 1 minute, then remove them to cooling racks.

I took my out of the oven when the middles were still uncooked.  They firmed up on the cooling racks.


Thai Peanut Chicken

The first time I had curry, I was in the H-shaped airport in Taipei, Taiwan. The experience taught me one thing: Airport food is universally bad. Since then, I have avoided curry religiously. I was convinced I didn’t like it. You can imagine my trepidation as I ventured today’s recipe: Thai Peanut Chicken with a large helping of yellow curry powder. It turns out that I don’t hate curry after all. Here’s the recipe that changed my mind:

Thai Peanut Chicken (adapted from Mark Bittman’s “The Greatest Recipes in the World”)

– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1 tbsp curry powder
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
– 1 small onion, sliced
– 1 tbsp cooking oil
– 1/2 head of broccoli, cut
– 1 scallion, cut into 1 inch pieces
– 1/3 roasted peanuts, chopped
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp Nam Pla (Thai Fish Sauce)
– 3/4 cup coconut milk*

Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Marinate it with the curry, ginger and garlic. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli and scallion and cook for 3 minutes. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil. Cook the onion until it’s tender, 3-4 minutes. Strain the vegetables and run them under cold water for 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the skillet. Add the vegetables to the skillet. Cook on medium-high until the chicken is just browning, 5-10 minutes. Add the peanuts, coconut milk, Nam Pla, and sugar. Heat 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt. Serve over jasmine rice.

* To make your own coconut milk:
In a blender, combine 1 cup shredded coconut with 2 cups hot water. Pulse 3-4 times. Blend for 15 seconds. Strain the milk and discard the chucks. (makes 2 cups)