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I stress ate my way through April and May, so not a lot of great cooking was going on.

Moving on…

June!

This weekend was good for trying new things without a recipe.

Saturday night I defrosted some shrimp from Whole Foods I had gotten weeks ago and never used, and was determined to cook them.  I’m a little scared of cooking seafood, and shrimp too- I need shrimp to be just right for me to enjoy them.  Just right.

I tossed these little suckers in some Drew’s Italian Dressing and threw ’em on the Gridle that Matt was searing a nice peice of meat on.  They cooked up quickly, and I “patting self on back” took them off in perfect time.  I ate them up greedily with some steamed snap peas and fresh bread with olive tapenade.  YUM.  I will definitely be making shrimp again, and have a recipe I’d like to try out for them!

Tonight, we wanted something light and I needed to pick some basil (so the plants keep prospering!) and had bought a pack of mixed heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s so a quick trip to the store yielded a ball of mozzerella and away we went!  I chopped up the tomatoes, mozzerella and basil, tossed it all with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar added S&P and it was done.  So easy, and so delightful.  A delicious summer treat, that could only have been made better if they were homegrown tomatoes, someday!

So we’re off and running here again with my resolution- I’ve got a week in NH coming up and some cooking should get done!

Heirloom Tomato SaladOh yeah, I made some cookies too- I’ve made this recipe before- second one on the page- so yummy and chocolatey!

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With all the baking I do, I cannot believe I’ve never made Oatmeal Cookies, but I haven’t- I promise it is not just a ploy to get in my 6th recipe for the month!

So, when I saw that Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe and when I had a bridal shower I needed to make cookies for I realized it was time!

So- the difference with mine is that I used Quaker Oats instead of the rolled oats Smitten Kitchen suggests.  I think my cookies definitely came out differently than hers, so next time it is rolled oats!

Here’s the recipe:

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup (2 stick or 8 ounces) butter, softened

1 and 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
3 cups rolled oats
1.5 cups raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts, if using them.

At this point Smitten suggests chilling the dough, as the cookies will come out thicker.  I chilled it for about 1/2 hour just in the mixing bowl.  Next time I would freeze overnight, just to experiment!

Place the cookies two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in).  The cookies are done when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

I also think I overcooked the cookies a little, since it was my first time and my oven was faster than hers.

The verdict though?  YUM.  These cookies were huge, and soft yet chewy and delicious.  I will definitely be using this as my go to oatmeal cookie recipe!

I know the cheesecake is front and center here (not home made, but the best I’ve had in a while) but the cookies are there too- in the right hand corner!

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