Friday, July 18, 2008

Man Camp

Joji returned from a week in NC only to rush out the door one and half hours later for a weekend of MAN CAMP. Joji is heading up to our cabin to spend the next two days doing manly things, like chopping wood, eating, sleeping, eating and partaking in a white wine spritzer or two. I'm very proud of Joji for going since he didn't know most of the guys who were going to be there. Hopefully Joji will have a good time and return with both eyebrows.

For some reason I really enjoy making "manly food". I do not like to eat it, but it is fun to make and the guys usually really appreciate it. So for this weekend I made the stuffed jalapenos. I have never worked with them before I must say I was a little scared. I have seen enough Food Network to know that one wrong move and you will be covered in welts and writhing in pain. I took no chances and donned my latex gloves. Ben asked if I would like the face shield Joji uses with his lathe, but I declined. I will say that those suckers are a lot of work to clean out and it reminded me of opening an orange the way the seeds would kind of spew everywhere. After 2 hours I had prepared 3 Costco salad container full of stuffed peppers. I really they hold together on the grill. (Just a quick side note on the salad containers... they are the best!! They alone make my Costco membership worthwhile. I put everything in them, they hold a lot and they stand up to numerous trips to the dishwasher. Seriously, start saving these babies, totally worth it)
As I mentioned in my last post I was on the look out for a really good PB recipe. I googled "the best" and "killer" peanut butter cookies and this recipe kept coming up. I made them and I think the only thing I would change would be adding a dash of vanilla. It felt very odd for me not to put vanilla in, but I wanted to follow the recipe. I really missed that little hit of sweet. When the cookies were "taste tested" they got good remarks. Joji thought they were "good" (that is about a excited as he gets) Matt gave them a very enthusiastic thumbs up.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
(I would consider a 1/2 t vanilla)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
(I added 2 cups of peanut butter chips for a little extra umph)
Cream together the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into the peanut butter mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Make small balls of dough. Flatten with fork dipped in flour to form cross-wise pattern.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just set. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

A quick note on cookies.
I like a nice chewy cookie. This requires that the cookies are not cooked too long. I take my cookies out of the oven before they are browned on the edges. The time to take them out is just as the cookie looks "set". While the cookies are cooling on the sheets (a very important step) they will continue to cook. Below is a photo of a properly browned cookie and one that is a little more "Cajun" (aka "blackened") It isn't totally burned, but just a lot darker than it should be for a chewy cookie. If you like a crispier cookie, then that would be the desired doneness.

As we were rushing around getting all of the last minute items packed, Joji was getting down his tent when Matt asked him if it would hold 2 queens?
Here is a pic of Matt and Joji before they left. Suddenly I'm a little worried :0)


Marie said...

Laurie, those wrappers look delish!!! I am giving you a blog award...please visit my blog for all the details and rules.....congraulations!!! Those guys are gonna have so much fun!

Timi said...

The food looks fabulous! I would like to comment more on it but I can't stop laughing at the picture of the guys! I actually love those outfits. I would like to have one for myself.