Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate and Oatmeal Redux...

My daughter Meg made some yummy oatmeal cookies on spring break.  She definitely shows some talent in the baking department.  Crisp, chewy, and flavorful.  They were MAN sized cookies.  I would have taken pictures, but my camera's memory card decided to go wonky on me, and I just got a replacement today.  So far, it's behaving quite nicely.
Maca Roots
I also tried maca again - you know, that stuff that makes Inca warriors into men with an attitude?  I couldn't believe that something that was so sweet with a butterscotchy scent could taste like...well...dirt.  So I picked up a different company's chocolate bar called  "Endangered Species" with Goji berries, maca, and pecans.  Wow, if the dark chocolate wasn't healthy enough for you, they throw in Goji berries (one of those "FOTM" health foods) maca (the Viagra contender for the vegan set) and pecans which we all know have been good for you for a while now...being lumped into that "nuts" category.  As long as you don't eat a whole can of them, that is...

This bar was good.  Even with 70% cocoa, there was no bitter aftertaste, or dryness on your tongue that you can get with the high cocoa content bars.  What was a very pleasant surprise, though, was not a hint of dirt flavor anywhere.  Of course, there was no butterscotch either.  The ingredients read "ground maca" - but didn't say what part of the plant it came from.

My favorite is still Salazon Chocolate, and of course now I am supplying my out-of-state friends and relatives with their chocolate fix, my mother being the latest fan-to-be.  Now Pete, before you say "but she can order them online HERE", let me tell you - she's not computer literate, nor does she have any inclination to be -  as much as I've tried to convince her unsuccessfully over the years to at least do e-mail, she stubbornly refuses, and instead relies on the USPS and Ma Bell, so online ordering is out.

The last time I talked to her, she told me about this chocolate chip cookie she buys at her local market.  She said they dip half of it in chocolate, and it's absolutely delicious.  She then said "Wouldn't that taste great on an oatmeal cookie?"  Hrm...with Meg making a batch of oatmeal cookies, now my mom is waxing poetic about the possible marriage of oatmeal and chocolate, AND my recent post about Chocolate Oatmeal Snack Cake, it seems there is only one way to go - Chocolate dipped Oatmeal Cookies.  I decided to pull out a recipe and give it a try...(notice I said "Give it a try")

I found a recipe in my cookbook for an oatmeal ginger cookie.  Simple enough.  Dispense with the spices, and I'll have an oatmeal cookie, not a ginger one.  Done. 

Mixed up the batter...done.
Plop the cookies on the sheet - YUM....Looking forward to the chocolate dipping!

Done! Hrm...they spread out quite a bit, did'nt they? and they are a bit too thin to dip, but I already melted the chocolate chips...oh knackers, they're too fragile...what to do?'s where you need to step out on a limb.  Almost anything can be salvaged - well, of course unless you put a cup of salt into the cupcakes instead of a cuppa sugar.  But if you made something, it's good, but it doesn't really work for what you were planning - think of a way to make it work.  (Geeze I sound like Tim from "Project Runway" - MAKE IT WORK! :-)  If you overcook the broccoli and it's a soggy mess, puree it, and make some soup.  If your gravy is too thin, thicken it.  If it's too thick, thin it out with some broth (that works for soup as well)  There's usually some way to "fix" something up - Too much salt in the tomato sauce? make more sauce - of course, you may have enough for an army, but it will be edible - and you can always freeze some, or recycle it into soup -

Anyway...I decided since the cookies were so thin and I had already melted the chocolate, that instead of dipping, I would slap some chocolate on half the cookie, then fold it in half and make it like a cookie sandwich.  THAT worked!

I won't give you the recipe, because honestly, these were sort of a pain to make, and after I salvaged them, I had an "AHA!" moment - NEXT time (As soon as these cookies are devoured by hubby and Ben- sorry Meg you're at IUP) I am going to use my mother's recipe for my first chocolate chip cookies - I'll leave the chips out, and wallah - the cookie is more cake-like, it will work perfectly. 

I included my saga of messing up in the kitchen, because honestly - we all do it.  I bet even Emeril has had his 'moments'.  Sometimes your results are awesome (like my pasta with roasted cauliflower - zomg SO GOOD) sometimes they aren't - but the challenge is making your mistakes taste good :-)

I guess you could use that philosophy IRL too - Just because things aren't going your way, don't wallow in a well of self pity - climb out and start living!  FIND something good in the bad -whether it be a lesson, or a ray of light - it's there, you just need to find it - and yes, I am Ms. Optomistic - Oh, I might get crabby every now and then, but for the most part, I try to find the good in everyone and in every situation.  I don't view the world with rose colored glasses - I prefer to think of them as clear lenses that obscure or paint nothing -because if you can see clearly, then you can see every minute detail.

"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success"

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