Thursday, December 27, 2007

Toll House Pan Cookies - "Healthed" Up

The original recipe:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup of chopped nuts

Heat oven to 375 F degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.

Pan Cookie variation: Grease 9 x 13 pan (or 15 x 10 jelly roll pan). Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

I substituted 2 1/4 whole wheat flour and 2/3 cup of egg whites for the 2 large eggs. In addition to the vanilla extract - add 1 tsp of almond extract. I added 1 cup of rolled oats, used Hazelnuts and threw in whatever chocolate "morsels" I had in the house to make 2 cups (mint choc chip, white choc w/red and green "holiday" colors and the basic semi-sweet choc morsels). I got the OK that the cookies turned out alright from a holiday gathering.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Tis The Season To Be Baking, fa, la, la, la, la

Both these recipes are from a recent Cooking Light magazine.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c low fat buttermilk
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2 tbs canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped

Combine the 7 ingredients; stir well. Combine sugar through egg in a large bowl; beat well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat well. Fold in cranberries.

Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups, coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into cups. Cook at 375 for 25 minutes. 199 calories (14% from fat), 3.2g fat.

Pecan topped Pumpkin Bread - Makes 2 loaves
3 1/3 c flour
1 tbl baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice

2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c egg substitute
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c low fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
2/3 c water
1 can pumpkin
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Combine 7 ingredients - stir. Beat together sugar through and including the buttermilk. Add 2/3 c water and pumpkin, beat until blended. Add flour mixture, beat until combined. Spoon batter into two 9x5 in loaf pans coated with cooking spray (a 9x13 pan worked well, too.) Bake at 350 for 1 hour. 1 slice: 198 calories (30% from fat), 6.6 g fat

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Yangtze Giant Soft-Shell Turtles

NYTimes video on the last two known Yangtze giant soft-shells. I think I am in a "Debbie Downer" funk and this video tops it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Trains, Planes and Automobiles and Buses

The Bemis's and I headed into London by noon so I could catch my flight home and they would spend a day at the museums. We thought I had plenty of time as I did not see any construction, or engineering as the Brits say, on the railways when we checked online. When we got to King's Cross where we would separate, Dale thought since I had over 3 hours to get to Heathrow and I was a hop, skip and a jump away, we could wander to the new railway, St. Pancras Train Station. Little did I know I would be in for a travel day from hell. The newly renovated train station was fantastic. Even the locals were ooing and awing taking pictures. Now Europe is a hop, skip and a jump away. We then wandered the streets of London to walk to a different Underground station just so I could take in the city-feel of London. All the monuments and statues are lined with wreaths of poppies for Remembrance Day. As we walked to Euston station, Dale points out the street where the 7/7 bombings occurred. Great. That's all I need to know I as will be traveling in crowded trains and planes and I didn't know yet that I would be running to catch a crowded bus.

With many big hugs, I was on my way. I nervously positioned myself on the steep escalator descending to the Tube. No problem. I get off the Victoria line to get the Piccadilly Circus line. I eyed up all the people waiting to board. As I started to sweat, I could not take off my jacket because I knew I would have little time to board if I wanted to catch this next train. It came and was packed. It didn't seem like there was any space to board even though people did exit the train. I moved with the masses and I needed to be a bit aggressive to board as I had my luggage with me. Packed like sardines, the air was thick and people were surprisingly friendly as my baggage were up their arses. Two stops later, most of the people departed the train. I took off my jacket and stuck my head out of the train's doors to breath. I relaxed for the rest of the journey nibbling on my animal crackers and salty pretzels from home. At the Hammersmith platform, I failed to listen to the announcments. The doors closed and heard a familar platform, Cockfosters, which was heading in the direction I came from. I had a panicked look on my face and I must have been mumbling to myself as a mother asked if I was alright. I asked if I should have gotten off at that stop as I needed to get to Heathrow. The next stop came quickly and they, all in the family, encouraged me to get off and go back to the Hammersmith stop and look for the replacement buses that were taking travelers to the Acton Town to get back on the Underground to get to Heathrow.

As I mentioned in a post from November 24, 2007, King's College Chapel, where I just posted it today (December 18th), I am a little behind on my postings.

I will continue this saga with another post. Of course, you know I survived but I must rant about the rest of the departing transportation adventure later. Tootaloo!