We did a lot of eating this weekend. Really good eating.
On Saturday we finally decided to do our splurge of the winter and cook fresh lobster. It was a celebration of sorts, one that we had been waiting to do for awhile. The smaller lobsters were on sale at Superstore this week for $7.98/lb; we got them for an average of $10/lobster. We did a bit of reading up on the cooking process and asked a few questions of experienced lobster cooks AND recalled many things from the lobster lesson we'd heard on the lobster cruise we took in New Brunswick in July. It was my third time eating lobster and I enjoyed it the most, even more than when we were in the Maritimes. Maybe it was just nice to be in the comfort of my own home with people I love. Such a messy meal! The table needed a good scrub after we were done. And it was EASY to cook.
Sunday we had a long-overdue dinner party with 2 other couples. All of us are self-confessed foodies and we decided that, this time, we would cook together and we planned our menu accordingly. Dean and I hosted the party and "gnocchi" in an Italian sausage tomato sauce was the main course. Gnocchi is an Italian dish and Dean remembers learning this from Mario Batali's cooking show many years ago. It is a dumpling of sorts, with similar ingredients to a homemade noodle. The ingredients are Ricotta Cheese, flour and eggs mixed together, rolled into a rope, cut into 1" lengths and scored/marked with a fork. The sauce is Italian sausage, onions/celery/carrots and tomatoes. Plenty of fresh Parmesan cheese to top it all off and voila, there is one of our favorite comfort foods. So us girls got busy chopping vegetables and frying the sausage meat and the men rolled the gnocchi and a good time was had by all. One couple brought a lovely fresh salad, the other couple brought a terrific tiramisu. We dined. And then played a crazy round of "Quelf", our newest board game. Crazy, crazy game. Right Peaches?!! ;)
Today, much simpler fare pleased the boys. I became "Mother of the Year" when I made a double batch of Puffed Wheat Cake for Ben. I am convinced that there is no "bad" recipe for Puffed Wheat Cake and that the secret is all in the temperature of the burner and length of boiling time. I like to keep the temperature on med/low and boil the ingredients for 2 minutes max. Homemade hamburgers for supper also pleased Mr. B.
From Lobster to Hamburgers. It's nice to have a few culinary hits in a row!
But I'm the one who's insatiably hungry today. I don't know if my body wants to bulk up to brave the remainder of the winter cold or if I'm a big bunch of crazy hormones or what my issue is, but I just want to eat and eat and eat this weekend. Considering there are days when I don't have time/opportunity/appetite to do that, I've just gone ahead and done all kinds of crazy eating. You know, make hay while the sun shines, and all.
So I was sitting here after supper, thinking about food, and I decided that I'd really like to eat a.....a.....hmmm....just what am I craving right now? An "oatmeal chocolate chip cake".
I've never had an oatmeal chocolate chip cake before.
I've never heard of an oatmeal chocolate chip cake before.
Google did NOT let me down! There IS such a thing as Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake!
So, while I'm telling you my dining menu from the weekend, the very cake I craved is baking in the oven and it smells delicious. The original recipe calls for cream cheese icing. While I'm usually all over that, I wanted something simple today, so am not sure that I'll add that. After all, this cake is, um, healthy, what with the oatmeal. Ahem. I can even trick myself into believing that.
Interesting technique in the recipe by the way. See for yourself! Here is:
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake
8 ounces chocolate chips
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan.
Heat 1 & 1/4 cups water to boiling. Place the oats and butter in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over oat mixture. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and melt the butter. Seat aside for 25-30 minutes,or until slightly cooled and oatmeal has absorbed some of the water. I've done recipes where you soak the oatmeal before adding to the rest of the ingredients, but adding the boiling water AND margarine was a first for me. Hmm!
Whisk eggs, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold in oatmeal, stirring until well combined. Fold in remaining flour, and then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.
Whadya think? Cream cheese frosting or no cream cheese frosting?
I promise you from the bottom of my heart that I will insert some exercise and restraint into the rest of my week. Pinky swear. ;)
At least, I'll try......