DRAKE’S OATMEAL COOKIES


Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies
I grew up with Drake’s Cakes – Yankee Doodles, Coffee Cake, Devil Dogs and Ring Dings. They were my childhood favorites and I loved seeing that happy duck logo.Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
They’re all still available and sometimes I give in to my urge for comfort food. But there’s one that I miss – Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies. I’ve searched all over but it seems that they don’t make those any more.
They used to come three to a cellophane wrapped package. They were classic cookies, not chewy but crisp and crumbly, also cheap and perfect for a snack. There was nothing like them dunked in coffee for breakfast. Drake's Oatmeal CookiesI’d given up on ever tasting them again until our neighbor Susan brought over some cookies she’s made. There was a variety and I noticed a few oatmeal cookies that looked familiar. Well, they looked like Drake’s, crumbled like Drake’s and they tasted like Drake’s. Susan, being from Baltimore never heard of Drake’s Oatmeal Cookies, a New York phenomena, and didn’t know why I got so excited.
Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
1896 – Newman Drake opened the N.E. Drake Baking Company on 135th Street in Harlem in New York City.
I’m not a baker but I got her recipe and made them. Even if you’ve never had a Drake’s Oatmeal Cookie you should try these. 

Susan’s Oatmeal Cookie Recipe that tastes like Drake’s
Drake's Oatmeal Cookies
A lot of ingredients for a little cookie but worth it.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

In Bowl #1 – Mix the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.  
 In Bowl #2 – mix the milk, vanilla, and eggs.
 In Bowl #3 – or in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the brown and white sugar, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, gradually add milk mixture, and beat well. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

Remove bowl from the electric mixer, and stir in the (rolled) oats. Place the dough in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let the dough come to room temperature. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball; place on the cookie sheet. Press it with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to flatten dough into rounds.
Bake until light brown (14 to16 minutes) rotating the sheet halfway through. Allow them to cool and become crisp before serving.

Drake's Oatmeal Cookies

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Pasta cu Mudica

 A village in the Alburni Mountains of Salerno


 

 

 

Pasta cu Muddica – adapted from Lidia’s recipe

Here’s another good example of Cucina Povera.  Stale bread and pasta with a little garlic and oil – simple and cheap but delicious.

Pasta cu Muddica

Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
For the breadcrumbs – Cut off the crust of a loaf of day-old Italian bread and break what’s left into irregular shreds about 1/4-inch or a bit larger. Leave it on a kitchen towel for a few hours to dry and get crisp.

Pasta cu Muddica

Once you start cooking the pasta put the torn bread crumbs into a pan with ½ cup of oil seasoned with salt, black and red pepper. Be sure the oil is hot enough so that the crumbs fry and don’t get soggy. Stir and coat the crumbs with the oil until they just start to toast and then add the garlic slices. Continue stirring and tossing and don’t let the garlic get brown. Remove the crumbs and garlic from the pan.
If the pan looks too dry add some more oil and toss the cooked pasta in it until it’s coated. Add the oregano. If the pasta seems dry, drizzle over more oil and/or a little pasta water but not too much water because the crumbs will get soggy.
Return the toasted breadcrumbs to the pan and add the parsley.  Toss well and serve.

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (cà phê sữa đá)

Vietnamese Iced Coffee is nothing like the standard American iced coffee you might be used to. It’s really something special and requires a little patience. Whenever I’m in a Vietnamese restaurant I order it as soon as I arrive and let it brew while I’m eating and drink it just before I ask for the check.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons Café Du Monde Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Equipment:
  • Vietnamese Phin Filter Coffee Maker –buy one here
  • 2 glasses – 1 small to brew coffee and 1 tall to mix coffee with ice
Preparation:
  • As the water is boiling add 2 tablespoons of coffee to the coffee maker and 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to the small glass.

    Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • With the coffee maker on top of the glass, wet the grounds with about a tablespoon of the hot water and put on the top of the press and push down tightly. Fill with hot water and put the cover on. The coffee will slowly drip into the glass onto the condensed milk. This should take a few minutes. You can adjust the press as needed.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • When the coffee is finished dripping, fill a tall glass with ice. Thoroughly mix the coffee with the condensed milk and then pour it over the ice in the tall glass.

    Vietnamese Iced Coffee

 


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Venison Ragu

Still Life with Dead Game by Frans Snyders 1579-1657

Venison Ragu

Venison Ragu

My friend Susan gave me some ground venison for my birthday. This is the first recipe I tried with it. Venison ragu is a hardy winter dish. If you can’t get venison use pork. If you do use pork, you can leave out the duck fat. That’s only necessary with lean venison.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Italian trinity
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. duck fat
  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 15 basil leaves cut chiffonade
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta
Put on a pot of water for the pasta.
Sweat one cup of trinity in oil, then add 2 tablespoons of duck fat and lightly brown the venison. Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the basil to the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes while the pasta is cooking.Venison Ragu
When the pasta is almost done drain and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. If the sauce is too dry add some pasta water.  Serve with optional grated cheese.

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