Saturday, March 31, 2012

Granola Bars (and meeting Joy the Baker...kinda)

I have been on the pursuit of a really yummy homemade granola bar.  I make granola regularly and keep in a jar with a clamp lid on my counter most all of the time, to have with yogurt and fruit. It's a staple in our home and a treat I enjoy sharing with others. However, I've been wanting to find a bar that could become a staple in our home because they are so easy to pick up and take with you (for breakfast, or lunch, or a snack)!

I have made 4 different recipes over the past several months and have found my favorite! It is Joy the Baker’s from her brand new, beautiful cookbook! (I raved about her HERE.  If you haven't read her blog, you should, and get her cookbook too!) I am so excited to have the cookbook and was looking through it, marking pages with Lainey of all the recipes that we want to make.  (Thank you, Joy,  for having a photograph of EVERY recipe!!  If I ever get to publish a cookbook in my life, I would like to do that too!)  I saw a granola bar recipe and was so excited because it looked like my kind of bar: chewy, fruity, nutty, and simple. I made them and they are super-delicious.   

a taste taste from Nashville to Vermont.
Several months ago when I was first trying different recipes, I sent my dear friend Karin a package for her new baby and decided that I would try a traveling-taste-test.  I mailed a couple of types of granola bars from Tennessee to Vermont for her to sample.
They made it there safely. She and I were able to discuss the pros and cons of both types of bars.  (I miss cooking and creating with Karin, so this was the next best thing.)  One was a recipe that was more bar cookie-like, with peanut butter and whole wheat flour.  It was a winner.  And the other was the Barefoot Contessa Recipe, which is totally different but equally delicious.  It is a honey-dominant, sticky, chewy bar with great flavor but felt more like candy to me.  (I also tried a very labor intensive fruit and nut bar…like a Larabar from a Real Simple recipe I clipped a while back, which was my least favorite, and the most work, so I quickly marked it off of the list).
Bar #2 - Barefoot Contessa Granola Bars

Bar #1 - Peanut Butter Granola Bars

This Joy the Baker Bar is my favorite.  It has golden raisins and coconut, which I love, but my husband doesn’t necessarily.  However, when baked with almonds, oats, brown sugar and other yummy ingredients, they provide the sweet and chewy elements to the bar and you don’t notice them in particular (Dave was able to really enjoy the bars in spite of those ingredients). The only trouble I encountered when I made them for the first time, was that they fell apart when I sliced them and then they fell apart when I ate them.  So, I learned from this and did a couple of things differently the second batch, so as to make them more cohesive.  I baked them in a little bit larger pan so that they were thinner and then pressed them down really firmly all over before baking. (Which Joy actually instructs to do in her recipe, but I didn't take her literally enough).  I also cooked them until they were a tad more brown the second go-around.  It worked.  They are so tasty.

Portland... I think you're great!
Speaking of Joy the Baker and her new cookbook, I have to tell you about my encounter with her.  I had noticed on her blog that she was traveling around, hosting book signings in various cities.  I was excited for her and thought, "if only she would come to Nashville!" Then, in the airport a couple of weeks ago, when I was going on a trip to Portland, OR with my social work students and colleagues, my student, Becca, told me that Joy was going to be in Portland doing a book signing that night! I was so excited, as were a few of our students.  We decided it was destiny! We had to go! After reading further, Becca realized that the bookstore where Joy would be was not within walking or subway riding distance to our downtown hotel.  We would have to take a cab.  Being cheap, like I am, I figured that wasn’t in the cards for us.  But the adventurous students were persistent and decided to go for it.  I was in! So we piled into a cab, paid the pricy fare and traveled in the dark, rainy night to Powell Books, in the suburbs, to see Joy the Baker.

Q & A with Joy the Baker at Powell Books
in Portland, OR : Our view of her
And there she was.  Adorable, funny, down to earth, endearing.  There were more than 100 other adoring fans there as well.  We realized pretty quickly that we were not going to be able to stand in that long line to meet her.  In addition, there was no book to have her sign, as mine was sitting in my kitchen in Nashville and the bookstore sold out before the signing began.  So, we took a couple of photos, and just admired her from afar!

It was crazy.  People were bringing her gifts and baked goods, whole cakes, cards, who knows what else.
Her view of us!
She posted this photo on her blog that she took of us (the crowd at the signing), from her vantage point, and there I was/am, along with 4 of my students.

It was a moment to remember.  
The closest we could get to her without standing
in the 100 + person line.  (Check out
 the freaky book in the foreground!)

So, I kinda met Joy the Baker.  Not really.  I had questions ready to ask her, and accolades to share with her, but alas, I didn't get the chance.  So, more accurately, I saw Joy the Baker.

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat flour (made by putting oats in a food processor or blender until powdered)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 Tbsp. orange juice

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 inch square (or I used a 9 X11 jelly roll pan) with foil so that foil hangs over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, sugar, flaxseed meal, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, raisins, and almonds.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, melted butter, and orange juice.  Pour over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork.  The mixture will be dry but still sticky.  Blend together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the honey mixture.
Dump oat mixture into prepared baking dish.  With clean, slightly oiled fingers, press the oat mixture into the dish until tight and solid in the pan! (very important)
Bake for 35 minutes, or until browned around the edges.  The baked granola will be soft even after it's fully baked, but will harden as it cools.
Remove baked granola from the oven and cool for 30 minutes.  Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for about an hour before slicing.  This will help to further cool the bars and keep them from crumbling when sliced.  Use the overhanging foil flaps to remove the baked granola.  Use a large, sharp knife to cut block into bars. Store in an airtight container.

They will last up to 2 weeks, if well wrapped and at room temperature.

lovely ingredients
"oat flour" made from powdered oats
liquid into the dry

pressed firmly into a foil-lined pan

baked to golden perfection

I'll just eat those broken pieces

Monday, March 26, 2012

Party Chicken and Rice – Easter Main Dish

Is "dinner" the evening meal or is it the mid-day meal?  Or is the BIG meal, regardless of what time the meal is served?  At our house, dinner is the evening meal, and although it is not formal, it is the larger, hot meal of the day.  I guess you can call that supper.  Though we never do.  Some people talk about “coming over for Sunday Dinner” and they mean the mid-day meal.  When we have a holiday meal, we tend to call it dinner regardless of the time at which it is served.  At Christmas and Thanksgiving, that is oftentimes 12, or 1, or 2 in the afternoon.  I prefer to have Easter dinner at lunchtime so that friends can linger into the afternoon, we can hunt eggs in the yard and the work of the meal and dishes are done by afternoon.  It is tricky, though, when you are trying to race from an Easter Sunday church service, to get home, and get things cranking for the meal.   And if you are the guest at someone else's home where you are bringing a dish, you have to swing by your house to pick up your items, or have them in the car, in a cooler, or a keeper to have them ready for the meal.  This is all complicated.

For many, many years, Dave has had responsibilities at church on Easter morning, helping with the music for the services.  Which means we don’t travel on this holiday to visit family.  Instead, we stay in town and it has become a friend holiday.  We started a tradition years ago to ask around to see if there are people without a table to join for the holiday, and invite them to ours.  It has been interesting to see who comes and what the mix of people is.  It is sometimes full of college students, sometimes not.  Some years, people know each other, other years it is a mish-mash of our worlds colliding.  But the food is always yummy and it feels like a special celebration.

We usually provide the main dish and cold coconut cake (our favorite Easter dessert) and then people bring the rest (depending on how many people come – sometimes we do more of the providing, if there are less guests.)  One of our favorite main dishes for this meal is Party Chicken.  This was the “special occasion main dish” at my house growing up.  After all, the name is party chicken!  Mom said she got this recipe 40 years ago.  It was printed on the Georgia Power and Light (utility company) bill, of all places.  They had a recipe printed each month on the bill and she remembers keeping it and trying it, because the list of ingredients looked so tasty to her.  Never underestimate the source of a good recipe!

Water chestnut rice
It is a great dish, and you can alter it as you like.  I remember her often serving it with Water Chestnut Rice – which could be called Party Rice, in my opinion.  The Rice is actually my very favorite part of the dish! It’s a savory, moist, highly flavorful rice pilaf with a crunch of water chestnuts.  My mom got the rice recipe from a friend during the same era in which she got the Party Chicken recipe.  She said she had it at a friend’s house for dinner one night.  The host gave a disclaimer that the first time her husband had it, he said, “he liked it, but the potatoes in it weren’t cooked!” There are no potatoes in this dish.... it was the water chestnuts.  Mom wrote down the recipe and has been making it ever since. She even made large quantities of it for groups when she was doing food service for her church, altering it a little to simplify it.

The Rice dish would also be good on a non-holiday with a piece of grilled meat.

So now that Easter is 2 weeks away, we are starting to think about what to eat and who needs a table to join.  I tend to revert to the same menu repeatedly.   

My favorite Easter menu is:

An appetizer (so people can lightly munch while the meal is being put together – maybe nice cheese and crackers)
Party Chicken
Water Chestnut Rice
Fresh Green Beans (or Asparagus)

Dessert: Cold Coconut Cake and any other goodies people want to bring!

My friend Melissa and her family usually share this meal with us.  She and I split what's left on the menu after our other guests have signed up.  She also oftentimes brings a dessert: sugar cookies, M & M cookies or tea cakes for the kids to enjoy…and she sometimes brings beautiful flowers for the tables!  It is a beloved tradition in our home!

Party Chicken

6 chicken breasts (pounded until uniform thickness)
12 slices dried beef (canned)
3 slices of bacon (to be cut in half)
1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
the can of dried beef and the cool jar
you get to keep- see above as a vase
for a daisy!

A handful of slivered almonds

Place individual slices of dried beef side by side in baking pan.  

Flatten chicken breast, place a slice of dried beef in "rough" side of chicken and roll up.  

Place 1/2 slice bacon around outside of roll and place seam side down in pan.  

Place a rolled breast on each piece 
of dried beef. (All of this can be prepared ahead and refrigerated or frozen). When ready to bake, add combined soup and sour cream and pour over each breast.  

This will seem thick, but the juices from the chicken will dilute it.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour OR 250 for 3 hours (if you want to slow-cook it). Add almonds on top and bake an additional 10 minutes or until toasted.  


Water Chestnut Rice

5 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup canned mushrooms, drained and sliced
8 oz. can water chestnuts, chopped
1 cup white rice, uncooked
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
Melt butter in casserole.  Add all other ingredients.  Gently stir together. Cover and cook 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until rice is completely cooked.  (I have made this with brown rice and it works, it just takes much more time!
Also, it easily doubles or triples!)

Dinner time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easter Coconut Cold Cake

I love cake.
I love coconut.
I love sweetened condensed milk.
I love whipped cream.
I love easy recipes that are make-ahead and get better with time.
I love/hate desserts that I enjoy so much that I strategize all day about which moment will be the one that I will open the fridge and cut myself a slab... and moan as I eat.  

If you relate to two or more of these above declarations, then you might need to make this cake!

I am typically biased towards layered cakes and bundt/tube cakes.  They are so beautiful and special and lovely on cake plates.  However, kind of like the Texas Sheet Cake I wrote about recently, you just get over that when you taste it.  This cake can't be made in layers.  It just won't work.  It is poked with holes, which are then filled with goo, and soaked, and covered with whipped cream.  This needs to happen in a pan.

the cream of coconut
My friend Gretchen introduced this cake to me a decade ago and she called it Cold Coconut Cake.  I like the "Cold" in the title because it describes it well, since it is kept in the fridge and the coldness is a defining characteristic of this dessert.  Their family has made it for years.  I talked to Gretchen's mom the other day and she told me that the recipe was originally made with a chocolate cake and with chocolate syrup and condensed milk poured over.  They got the recipe from Aunt Linda.  Then they began experimenting with the recipe.  They tried a caramel version and then Gretchen suggested to her mom to make it coconut!  She brought her a can of cream of coconut (Coco Loco) and the rest is history! This Coconut Cold Cake came into being! And we are glad.
Dave had not historically been a fan of coconut, but after tasting this cake, he was converted.  This is one of his very favorite cakes.  It has a can of Cream of Coconut in it, as well as the coconut on top.  One time when I was making it, he requested that I leave the coconut topping off of 1/2 of the cake (HIS side, we'll call it).  And I did. And, low and behold, he declared, that he actually missed the coconut!  It was a breakthrough moment.  As I was getting excited about his newfound appreciation of coconut, he took a little of the wind out of my sails and said, "maybe just a little sprinkling of coconut would be good".  So, I try to go light on the coconut topping in honor of him.  At least on his side.  
We began making this for Easter years ago because coconut is so Easter-y.  I started dying the coconut green for grass, and placing little egg candies on top for fun.  It's become a tradition.  I now make it every year.  Dave and I love knowing, if at no other point in the year, at Easter, we WILL HAVE this cake! 

As far as the candy eggs: I sometimes use Cadbury Chocolate Eggs (those lovely solid chocolate, candy coated eggs with the matte finish) because they are pretty and yummy and my favorite Easter candy. However, jelly beans taste better when eaten with the cake.  You can do what you like. 
P.S.  I took these photos last Easter when I was making the cake, but it was too late to post it for Easter.  So I just kept them in a folder on my computer, thinking I would just post it this spring.  As I told Dave that I was thinking about posting about Coconut Cake this week, he got excited assuming that this meant that I was going to make one this week, so that I could photograph it.  He was sorely disappointed when he realized that I already had last year's photos and he was going to have to wait a few weeks before having one at our house.  I'm telling you, it's that yummy.

Another great attribute of this cake is that it is better on day 2 or 3 than day 1... as the liquid soaks into the cake and it becomes moist and wet and amazing. This is helpful for a holiday meal because you can prepare it early and be done! 

1 box Yellow Cake Mix (make as instructed on box)
Ingredients requested on the box [oil, eggs, water]
1 pint of whipping cream whipped (with spoons of sugar to the sweetness of your liking) OR 1 large carton of whipped topping (cool whip)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of cream of coconut (NOT COCONUT's usually found in the section with the   grenadine and cocktail ingredients in the grocery)
2 cups (or less) of flaked sweetened coconut

Make yellow cake as directed on box. 

After the cake cools for a few minutes, poke holes in it with the end of a wooden spoon (or something similar).

Mix together condensed milk and cream of coconut in a batter bowl or large liquid measuring cup, then pour evenly over the cake.

Top with whipped cream. (Make whipped cream-  See HERE for directions).  OR you can use Cool Whip - thawed, of course), but I love whipped cream so much and it's far more real (ingredient-wise) than cool whip!

Sprinkle with coconut.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, then serve. Keep refrigerated before and after serving.

To color coconut, put it in a ziplock bag along with a few drops of green food coloring and a few drops of water - then mush around with your hands until fully incorporated.

[If you are making it a few days ahead and using real whipped cream, I suggest you cover the cake without the cream, so it doesn't run the chance of liquifying, and simply frost the cake with the whip and top with coconut on the day you are serving.]

coconut, a few drops of green food coloring, a few drops of water- in a
ziplock bag....mush around with your hands until fully

grassy coconut topped cake


You might need to make a practice cake this week... to make sure you like it enough to serve it for a holiday meal.  At least that's what Dave thinks we should do!

Main dish ideas for Easter Dinner coming soon!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Special Roasted Pear Salad

I have a theory when shopping.  When I find something I love that costs less than $20 I might just buy it on the spot.  However, if it's more than $20, I usually walk away and think about it.  If I find myself keeping on thinking about it, then I know I might need to really consider going back and getting it.  I guess you could say, I'm looking for "staying power."

The same is true with recipes.  When I eat something and can't stop thinking about it, I know I need to get the recipe and make it.  Well, this is one of those.  A few years ago, at my friend, Connie's birthday dinner, one friend made this special roasted pear salad. [The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics cookbook –  of course...that Ina Garten!]  It was such an amazing start to the meal.  It felt so special – pear filled with blue cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts, roasted with a yummy sauce placed on a bed of mixed greens.  It was so tasty and memorable.

So a couple of years later, when my Monday women's group was planning a holiday dinner together, I suggested this Pear Salad.  It seemed like an appropriate occasion. They all appreciate food, and with only 8 women, it wasn't overwhelming to roast the pears. We actually planned the menu around this salad. And it was everything I remembered it to be.  It was special, without being over the top or odd – a special occasion salad. 

I don't know about you, but in my home, I don't serve meals in courses.  We just put it on the table all together and go for it! So when I have the rare occasion to dine at an upscale restaurant and they serve the meal in courses, it throws me off.  I really love a good salad and the main dish is quite often not my favorite part of the meal.  So, when they serve a salad and then take away the plate to replace it with the main course, I am often conflicted.  I remember one time Dave and I were at Stoney River (the "Legendary Steak Restaurant") and I order a lettuce wedge for my first course and Salmon and Asparagus for the main dish.  I loved the lettuce wedge- with crispy lettuce, crumbled really-good bacon, diced tomatoes and a yummy house blue cheese dressing.  I thought to myself, "If I eat this entire thing, I won't be able to eat my meal...but I think it's awkward to ask the server to box up half of my lettuce wedge to take home, and I'm not going to waste it! I also think I might love the salad more than the main dish, and then I will have passed on my favorite part of the meal."  I know, I was over-thinking this.  This decision wasn't crucial- like which college to attend, or what to name a child, but I tell you, this (eating in courses) is such a rare occurrence, and I am so frugal, that I have to really analyze these decisions!

I decided to keep my salad through my main course.  The confused server kept passing by and asking me if I was done with my salad plate.  I kept telling him that I would hold on to it.  When the main dish came, it was tasty and very pretty but I was so glad that I kept my salad, because I decided that I could eat all of my salad; 1/2 of my dinner; and take the rest of my main dish home. 

So, although this pear salad looks lovely as a first course, presented to your guests, it might cause a dilemma for them if you require that they eat it before the main course. They might want it to be their main dish because it is that tasty and special. A highlight of the meal!

I thought I would post about this special salad, in case you are starting to plan an Easter meal. 
The only challenge I foresee in making this recipe for a holiday feast is if you have a large group coming OR you don't know how many guests you will have.  It would be costly to make it for a large group (since each person gets 1/2 of a pear), and it's hard to stretch this recipe to accommodate spontaneous guests, because of the pears.  Otherwise, it would be a delightful salad for serve! 

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

3 ripe but firm pears 
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
3 Tbsp. port (or I used cooking wine)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 ounces greens (baby arugula, spinach, whatever you like)
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves.
With a small paring knife and a melon-baller (or spoon),
remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling. 
Trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of each pear half so that they will sit in the baking dish without wobbling.  
Toss the pears with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. 
Arrange them, core side up, in a baking dish large enough to hold the pears snugly. 

Gently toss the crumbled blue cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts together in a small bowl.

Divide the mixture among the pears, mounding it on top of the indentation.
In the same bowl, combine the cider, port and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Pour the mixture over and around the pears.  

Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the cider
mixture, for 30 minutes, or until tender.  Set aside until still warm or at room temperature.

Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid in a bowl.  
Place the greens in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing.  Toss well.  
Divide the greens among 6 plates and top each with a pear half.  
Drizzle each pear with some of the basting liquid, sprinkle with salt, and serve.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Wonder of Memory & Raspberry Meringue Cookies

Why do we remember what we remember?

Does it ever strike you how much more vivid some memories are than others? I have been thinking about this lately.  I remember several of my birthdays of my 40 birthdays much more specifically than others. This week Lucy and I went to Panera and as we pulled into the parking lot, we drove past the movie theater.  She said, “There’s the movie theater!”  I said, “Yes!” Then she said, “My ear was hurting really badly there one time!” And I thought for a minute, and remembered that last summer when we went to a movie, my then 3-year-old had a really bad earache that came on during the movie. We had to take her out during the movie because she was just miserable.  So now she associates the theater with the earache.

Yesterday morning, I was reading a book, The Living Reminder, by Henri Nouwen.  I so resonated with this section about remembering, that I wanted to share it with you.  He says,
The older we grow the more we have to remember, and at some point we realize that most, if not all, of what we have is memory. 
Our memory plays a central role in our sense of being.  Our pains and joys, our feelings of grief and satisfaction, are not simply dependent on the events of our lives, but also, and even more so, on the ways we remember these events.  The events of our lives are probably less important than the form they take in the totality of our story.  Different people remember a similar illness, accident, success, or surprise in very different ways, and much of their sense of self derives less from what happened than from how they remember what happened, how they  have placed the past events into their own personal history.
It is not surprising, therefore, that most of our human emotions are closely related to our memory.  Remorse is a biting memory, guilt is an accusing memory, gratitude is a joyful memory, and all such emotions are deeply influenced by the way we have integrated past events into our way of being in the world.  In fact, we perceive our world with our memories.  Our memories help us to see and understand new impressions and give them a place in our richly varied life experiences.
Let that soak in.

So, I have this food memory.  I mean, I have a lot of them. Don’t you?
I have this memory of pink, fluffy, crunchy pillows of raspberry meringue dotted with chocolate chips inside.  These meringue cookies were soley connected to my first piano teacher.  They are lovely.  I don’t have great memories of lessons. It was actually a painful and difficult experience from which I have very few vivid memories.  I think the majority I mercifully forgot.  I wasn't great at practicing and I wasn't great at criticism.  I have memories of the afternoon sun on my back in the stuffy backroom where the lessons took place.   I remember her perpetual disappointment in me. 

And juxtapositioned with these difficult memories,  I remember these delightful cookies of hers.  She made these as her signature cookie for her student recitals she had each season.  I remember loving them.  I remember getting the recipe from her for them.  I remember making them at home with my mom and sister.  I remember that they required brown paper bags torn to line the baking sheets.  I remember that you turn off the oven and cool them in the oven.  (It dawned on me the other day when I was preparing to make them that 30 years ago torn apart grocery sacks WERE the parchment paper of the day.  I’m glad I caught myself before I went to the trouble of tearing apart paper sacks).

I hadn’t had a raspberry meringue cookie for a decade, or maybe even two until a couple of weeks ago.  At a cookie swap in December, my friend Rebecca made peppermint meringues for the swap and I loved them and it made me think about these piano teacher pink lovelies.  And then I saw a photo online of some that looked like the ones.  I wanted to make them for Valentine’s but I ended up making them after.  They were just like I remembered.  And my kids loved them.  Asher especially.  He couldn’t get enough.
We had friends over and everyone was scarfing them down.  We decided to make another batch the next day. 

my attempt at heart-shaped ones
So, I imagine that I will now be making these more frequently.  Thankfully, my children had a happy, pure first experience with these cookies.  The beauty of redemption is powerful, even through baked goods.

3 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
3 ½ Tbsp. raspberry gelatin powder
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 250 degrees.
Beat egg whites with salt.
Add gelatin and sugar gradually.
Beat until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
Beat in vinegar.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined (or brown paper lined) baking sheets.
Bake 25 minutes.  Turn oven off and leave the cookies in the oven 20 minutes longer.

The wonder of these cookies, is that you whip some egg whites and a few other ingredients, and drop it by the spoonful onto baking sheets.  Minutes later, crunchy, airy, meringue cookies appear!

(You can use a variety of gelatin flavors if you would like to experiment with others – strawberry, cherry, orange, etc.)

These would be lovely for a baby girl shower, or a birthday party, or Valentine’s or spring, or when you are trying to be low-fat (since there is no butter, oil or egg yolks).