Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stay in the Game If You Want to Win

The more you try, the greater your chance of succeeding. The law of averages is on your side. Taking a risk is often your first necessary step toward success.If you don't take some risks, you won't get the chance to succeed.

While you are trying, you are winning. Never get discouraged. Every wrong attempt is another step forward. People that make no mistakes usually don't make anything. Make up your mind not merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand defeats.

Your mistakes are stepping stones to success and your installment payments to victory.You can't be a winner and be afraid to lose.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Chewey Peanut Butter Bars

Broken cookies don't have calories.
Author Unknown

The temperatures in our part of the country have risen to over 100 degrees F the past few days. If you'd like a chocolatey peanut butter treat without heating up your kitchen, cook these microwave cookies.

Chewey Peanut Butter Bars are classified as bar cookies and microwave cookies.

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Maple Flavor
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Chocolate Extract
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract

Combine oats and butter in a large glass mixing bowl. Microwave on high, uncovered, 4 1/2 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring twice. (Cooking times vary due to power of microwave. Newer microwaves cook food in less time so use care when cooking.)

Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and Maple Flavor. Microwave on high, uncovered, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until bubbly throughout and sugar is dissolved, stirring twice. Turn hot mixture into greased 10 x 6 inch glass baking dish. Press evenly into dish with fork. Sprinkle chips on warm bars; let stand for 5 minutes.

Combine 1/4 cup peanut butter, Chocolate and Vanilla Extracts; mix well. Drop by teaspoonsful onto warm bars. Let stand a few minutes to soften. Spread with back of spoon, mixing with softened chocolate pieces while spteading.

Refrigerate just until frosting is set. Cut into bars while base is still slightly warm.

Makes 28 bars.

Cut bar cookies into squares, rectangles, or triangles.

Oatmeal Crispies

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
Author Unknown

Many cookbooks group cookie recipes according to how they are prepared for baking.

These groups include
shaped or molded

Oatmeal Crispies are drop cookies.

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Watkins Butter-Pecan Flavor
1 teaspoon Watkins Vanilla-Nut Extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt, if desired
3 cups uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In large mixing bowl cream together shortening and sugars. Stir in eggs, water, Vanilla Extract, Butter-Pecan Flavor, and Vanilla-Nut Extract. Sift together flour, soda, and salt; beat into mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 7 dozen cookies.

Store crip, thin cookies in a container or tin with a loose-fitting cover. If they soften, they can be crisped by placing in a 300 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

Cookie Making Tips

When my mom baked cookies or cakes from sratch she always baked a "test cookie" or "small test cake" in a pie tin to make sure the batter didn't spread too much. My sister and I thought this was a great idea! We loved sampling this special cookie or cake!

My mom was always prepared for guests who dropped in unexpectedly. Growing up in a rural area this happened often. She always had rolled cookie dough in the freezer. She would take out a roll and slice off cookies and bake. No one could pass up a fresh baked cookie!

Here are some cookie making tips. If you know of other special tips for all the cookie makers out there, please add them in the comments below.

  • Bake a "test cookie"; if it spreads more than desired, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour to the dough. If it's too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Liquid proportions are affected by egg size and dryness of flour. Flour stored in humid conditions will absorb less liquid.

  • When shaping dough for molded, drop, or regrigerator cookies, make each the same size and thickness to assure uniform baking.

  • Cookie dough can be frozen. Place in an airtight container or wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Thaw until just soft enough to spoon onto cookie sheet. Shape dough for refrigerator cookies in rolls; wrap and freeze. Thaw rolls just enough to slice easily.

  • Use a good cookie sheet. Do not grease unless called for in recipe. Always place dough on a cool cookie sheet. Dough spreads on a hot one.

  • Chill cookie dough made with butter before rolling, cutting with cookie cutter, and baking so dough will not stick to rolling pin and board. Chilling also keeps dough from spreading too much.

  • For evenly browned cookies, place one cookie sheet at a time on the center oven rack. Check at the end of the minimum time - a minute can make a difference. Don't overbake.

  • Unless otherwise directed, immediately remove cookies with wide spatula from sheet onto wire racks to cool. Cookies will stick if they are allowed to cool on cookie sheet. Return to oven briefly, if they cool and stick to the baking sheet.

  • If your cookie recipe makes more cookies than your family can eat before they go stale, freeze part of the baked cookies in freezer bags. Remove from freezer, take cookies out of bag and allow to thaw. Place in microwave for 30 seconds to freshen. Cookies taste just like fresh baked.

  • Store crip, thin cookies in a container or tin with a loose-fitting cover. If they soften, they can be crisped by placing in a 300 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Store soft cookies in a tightly covered container or tin. A piece of bread or apple will help keep cookies soft.

Steps To Happiness

Steps To Happiness

Everybody Knows
You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.

You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.

You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.
And you'll be a most vital mortal.

Dare To Believe
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.

author unknown

I found this inspiring poem in the Country Chatter Newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I read it.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Around the Kitchen Table - Watkins Newsletter - June 1, 2008 Issue


Welcome to another issue of Around the Kitchen Table!

The recipes this issue include Brushfire Burgers with Smoky Jalapeno Topping, BBQ Grilled Steak Wraps, Garlic and Cumin New Potatoes, Rocky Road Bars, Black Forest Cookies, and Pickled Beets.

Here is one of the recipes found in this issue.

Garlic and Cumin New Potatoes
These potatoes taste great with ribs, steaks, or chops.

12 unpeeled small red potatoes, cut into fourths
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Watkins Seasoned Salt
Watkins Granulated Black Pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Place potatoes in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat. Place in grill basket.

Cover and grill potatoes over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, shaking basket or stirring potatoes frequently, until tender. Toss with cilantro or parsley.

Potatoes can also be wrapped in foil and cooked over indirect heat on grill.

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