Sunday, May 16, 2010

Simple Ham & Peas Pasta and Chocolate Cherries Oatmeal cookies

After almost 60 days of waiting...the container that me and my husband had laboriously packed our stuff in during our last trip back in California , has safely arrived in Singapore. It was a great relief for both of us since nothing was missing or damaged during this shipping process. Although it did worry us a bit when it was delayed for 2 weeks++. But some how it all turned out just right, because our house's renovation finishes just before the container arrived. Now I look back and ask myself "Why worry so much for nothing?" As the Chinese saying goes"船到桥头自然直" (translation : Things will work out fine on it's own) So better just be happy and worry less. :) However now, looking at the stack and stack of boxes to be can I not worry? *Sigh* Give me strength!
So with such a load of stuff to do, I need to cook up real simple and quick meals for my family. Something with minimal ingredients and requires little to no time to cook. May I present to you, a family favorite; Ham & Peas Pasta.

I used to make fresh pasta at least 3 times a month back in California, simply because it's absolutely delicious. (That will be another post...if I can find my pasta machine in those boxes!) And eating fresh pasta cooked in this method is fabulous!

Since we are just talking about simple today, so I shall only show you how I make this yummy pasta with ready to boil pasta. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients for Ham and Peas Pasta
6oz dried pasta ( 1 box of pasta is about 8oz, I didn't use all)
1/2 white onion, chopped small
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped small

250g sliced ham, cut into small chunks

1 cup frozen sweet peas
1 cup fresh heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta to boil over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes till al dente.
  • In another stir fry pan, turn on the fire to medium low heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add chopped onions and carrots and stir for a moment, reduce fire to low and cover to let the vegetables soften.
  • After about 6 minutes, remove cover and add in ham and peas. Stir fry for a minute and then add in the chicken stock and heavy cream. At this point turn up the fire to medium high and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • After 5 minutes, the mixture will slightly thicken a little. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain the cooked pasta and pour into the cream sauce and stir to combine. Dish up immediately to serve.
This is a lovely meal that I believe anyone will like, especially kids...even my little picker eater loved it. :) Pick a fun pasta shape and I guarantee you, it'll be a big hit for the kids. ;)
Another of my family favorite is the Classic Oatmeal Cookies. It is such a comfort food to snack on when you want a quick bite. ;)

This classic cookie is so versatile! So long as you make the main oatmeal cookie dough, you can add in any extra ingredients you like, walnuts, raisins, peanut chips or the most traditional chocolate chips. This time I have decided to use two of my favorite add ons: Godiva chocolate and dried cherries. :)
I got both these items during my last trip back to California...yes, another great "steal", heehee! I love Godiva dark when I saw them selling this type of domestic 100g bar size at the grocery, I was elated! Sour cherries are a great add-on to cookies...they are much more tart then dried cranberries and are not so common here in Asia. So I got this from one of favorite store: Trader Joe's, which they come sweetened, not too tart, yum! Adding these 2 good stuff in the cookies makes it better then it already is. ;)

Ingredients for Chocolate Sour Cherry
Oatmeal Cookies:
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
180g caster sugar
200g packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
225g all purpose flour
250g uncooked roll oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g Godiva chocolate (70% cocoa), cut into small chunks (you can use chocolate chips)
100g sweetened dried cherries (you can use dried raisins)

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and both sugars till creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat well again.
  • Sift the flour, salt, baking power and baking soda and cinnamon. Add it to the egg mixture. Lastly add in the oats and stir well.
  • If using chocolate chunks and cherries, add in the cookie batter and stir well. Chill dough for at least 2hours.
  • Preheat oven to 180. Place a sheet of parchment paper on baking pan and grease it. Take about 2 tbsp amount of cookie dough, roll round and place on baking pan. Make sure the cookie dough is placed about 3 " apart from one another.
  • Bake cookie for 13 to 15 minutes. Do not over bake the cookies, it is meant to be soft and chewy. Allow the baked cookies to cool on the rack before storing in air tight container.
Even though I am a chocolate lover, this time I think the cherries' taste is much yummier then the chocolate chunks in the cookies. I might possibly never get tired eating these delicious cookies. And eating them will keep me going on unpacking my stuff, a sure motivation I have to say, hahaha! :) Do try it out when you have the time. Have fun baking!


ICook4Fun said...

I never try making my own pasta yet. I do have the pasta machine sitting in the pantry but never attempt to use it. Must easiert to buy the fresh or dried kind. Lazy me :) I like your cookies. It will be on my next to bake list since we love oatmeal but I will replace the choc chips with peanut butter chips. Carlos is a peanut butter finatic :)

Quinn said...

The pasta looks great! I am already salivating and think what if I substitute ham with bacon and what if I throw in my leftover shredded roast chicken meat, it would be great! Thanks! And the cookies look great too, just like those we have here in Subway. But I hate cherries HBS, hehe!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Gert,
Oh you should definitely try making your own pasta! The fresh tender noodles are unbeatable, guaranteed! Do let me know how the cookies turned out...peanut chips, yummy!

Hi Quinn,
Oh yes! Bacon, or left over roast chicken are excellent options to make this simple pasta! BTW, I always think dried cherries taste like dried should give it another try Quinn. ;) But I don't fancy those artificially colored cherries soaked in syrup...its way too sweet!

Bakericious said...

the pasta looks great and the cookies, feel like popping in my mouth :P

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Bakericious! You are always so supportive. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Bee,
I like your oatmeal cookies! Chocolate and dry cherries is a great combo. I think I should give this recipe a try. May I know this is a crunchy cookies or chewy type?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Grace. ;) The oatmeal cookies are the chewy kind. But if you prefer it to be more on the crunchy side, bake it slightly longer, like3 to 5 minutes more.

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Bee,
Thanks! I shall give it a try. I'll not make it for myself but I always like to make cookies as g gift for family and friends. Thanks for sharing!

tigerfish said...

Your pasta looks very enticing...with the pastel-like colors :)

ReeseKitchen said...

yummy yummy....I want the cookies Bee Bee..;p Really miss your bakings! Can bake some cookies for us when you come..heehee! (thick skin me)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks tigerfish. ;) Do try it out, it's quite a delightful meal.; )

Sure Reese, no thick skin. :) I wanted to bake something for you all with my new oven! Hahaha! So hang in there okay! See you all soon in June.

Sweet Tooth said...

This cookies is awesome.
I like those slightly chewy cookies but not too soft. Usually the cookie becomes hard after day. But cookies from this receipt stays chewy for 5 days. Well, if it is not for the last hidden cookie, they will be long gone :-)

vialentino said...

wow...i like to cook pasta....and i love ur recipe...will try and cook it ur way

very nice food blogsite...

Pei-Lin said...

Bee Bee, I got so jealous looking at your Godiva and dried cherries!! Hahaha! I should have lugged more, more stuff back from the U.S. I can't find peanut butter chips here! Bummer! Sometimes, I miss mint chips and butterscotch chips, too! Can't find them either. *Sigh* Oh, I love oats in my cookies as the end product gets all chewy ... Good American experience indeed.

Hey, I shall keep your pasta dish recipe for now ... It should come in handy when I'm short on time ... Been busy and tired lately. But I do love visiting you here. Hope to meet again someday. We ought to have a potluck! I'm freaking serious about it! There's nothing better than talking about home cooking and baking ... the exchange of info and each other's stories! That's what friends are for!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Sweet Tooth! I have been missing your comments! Appreciate you coming by and leaving me such sweet comments. Really hope to see you around here again. So glad that you like these cookies. Will make more for you next time. ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Vialentino. :) Welcome to my blog and glad that you like the pasta. Do try it out and let me know how it turns out for you. Do come by again. :)

Dear Pei-Lin,
You know I love going to your blog too! You are like my US-blogger "kaki", hahaha! Whenever either one of us talk about something relating to States in the post, it also trigger memories for the other, how nice!(happens with Gert too)
Yes, yes yes! A potluck is a superb idea! I would love to meet up with you ladies again and share some good food and time. ;) Sign me up! Maybe in June would be nice?

Bakertan said...

woo these cookies look fat and chunky like store bought ones. the mention of using luxury godiva chocolate is making me drool. I cant bear to use such expensive chocolate for cookies.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Bakertan. :) Do try out making these oatmeal cookies..they are very good and addictive. ;)

WendyinKK said...

I've been eyeing this recipe cos I've got a pack of Nantucket blend of fruit and nuts that my MIL got me the last time she came back from US, and it contains dried bing cherries!!!! So, I'm so definately going to use them here, and picking out all the cherries from the pack and adding the nuts too.

May I ask if this recipe sweet by Malaysian/Sporean standards? Is it as sweet as those American ones, as I always have to reduce the sugar from American sites.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Wendy,
Actually, to Singapore/ Malaysia standard, it's just right. :) Since the cherries may be slightly start, it will counter the sweetness a little. It's a lovely recipe, do try! But remember not to over bake it to yield a chewy texture. :) Enjoy!

WendyinKK said...

I just baked the cookies, and my oats look more "obvious" than yours, even though I used quick cooking ones and they should look finer than rolled ones. May I know whether you pulverized the oats before using them?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Oh no Wendy, I did not take the trouble to pulverized the oats! In fact I love the chewy texture the oats yield. :) Hmm...I guess if you do not mind the oats, it's still good right? I think I used quick cook oats too...not instant. :)

WendyinKK said...

Well, hahaha, then I just don't know why my oats are much more showy than yours, and I added another 100gm nuts to it, and the whole thing turned rather dry, but I could stil clump them together with some force!!!

These were the fastest dissapearing cookies ever. One afternoon was all it took to finish up half of your recipe (I never do full batches of cookies :))

Oh yea, these will be blogged in Nov, I'll notify you when it's up :) I'll definately make these again.

WendyinKK said...

Here's the post, just in case you missed it. You were away for the week, right? Haven't been seeing you around and posting.