Baked 4-Cheese Macaroni

mac

I interrupt this regularly scheduled (healthy) programming.

Let’s take a break from vegetables for a moment, shall we? Everyone needs a killer mac ‘n cheese recipe up their sleeves. It’s one of those dishes that works all year, whether for a wintery Sunday dinner or summer backyard BBQ.

The catch? Ask anyone what their idea of the BEST macaroni and cheese is, and you’ll get many, many different responses. If you grew up on blue box variety, you’re partial to stove top versions. From the South? Yours is probably super-creamy and may include Velveeta. I recently had a version at Yardbird in Miami with 5 (count ’em – five!) types of cheese, curly torchio pasta and herbed breadcrumbs. Uh, yeah. It was the perfect first course for the fried chicken, shrimp and grits and Mississippi mud pie that ensued. Proof that I don’t live in kale and quinoa, as my Instagram may lead you to believe…

Growing up, I enjoyed many a mac at family gatherings. They were always casserole-style and topped with crispy breakcrumbs. My version uses 4 types of cheese: Pecorino-Romano, Gruyere and 2 types of cheddar, an sharp Irish variety and a super-aged crackly English one. I’ve been known to mix it up, but I like this combo. Afterall, it’s called macaroni and CHEESE, so do your guests a favor and use the best you can afford. The bonus? Sharper cheese means more flavor, which translates into a more satisfying (re: smaller) plate to satisfy.

I like the rustic look of a bubbling, volcanic casserole dish, but you can also bake it in a rustic cast-iron skillet or oven-safe ramekins for individual portions.

Baked 4-Cheese Macaroni
Makes one 3-quart casserole (about 8-12 servings)

Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
5 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
8 ounces extra sharp chedder, grated (about 2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
4 ounces grated Gruyère
4 ounces grated Pecorino Romano
1 lb. small shape pasta (use your favorite – I like classic shells)

  1. Heat oven to 375F. Remove the stick of butter from the wrapper and set aside. Rub the inside of a 3-quart casserole dish with the butter wrapper. Set aside. Have all your cheese grated and placed in a large bowl before you start cooking.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add panko and stir, coating with the butter until just lightly brown. Remove from heat, allow to cool and transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl. Wipe out the skillet.
  3. Warm the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the skillet. When the butter starts to bubble up, sprinkle in the flour. You’re looking for a mixture that resembles wet sand. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
  4. While constantly whisking, ladle in the hot milk a little at a time. Cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne, dry mustard and about 3/4 of the cheese. Stir until smooth.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta underdone, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Stir into the cheese sauce and combine well.
  7. Pour the mixture into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and panko.
  8. Bake about 30-40 minutes until golden. To really crisp up the top, place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes before digging in.

Monster Cookies

2013-03-27 10.37.07

Peanut butter-oatmeal-M&M cookies. Need I say more?

These cookies hail from Kelly Senyei’s wonderful site, Just a Taste. Thick, chewy and peanut buttery, these are not the ones you set out for afternoon tea. They’re the ones you bring in a Tupperware to a friend’s for a New Girl marathon. Or on a road trip. Or anywhere, for that matter.

I used commercial PB –  Skippy is my favorite for baking. I suppose you could use natural peanut butter, but the texture might be more crumbly. These cookies do not contain flour, but rely on old-fashioned oats to bind the dough together. I used M&Ms (Easter colored!) but you could sub in (or add) chocolate chips, toffee chips or any other tasty bit that you have lying around.

These go really well with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. And your DVR lineup.

Monster Cookies

Recipe adapted from Just a Taste

1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
3 eggs
1½ cups peanut butter (smooth or chunky, I used Skippy)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup M&Ms (mini or regular)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together the white sugar, brown sugar and butter with an electric mixer.
  3. Beat in the eggs, peanut butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
  4. Stir in the oats and M&Ms.
  5. Scoop 2-to 3-tablespoon mounds of the dough onto a parchment paper- or Silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

2013-03-27 10.38.23 (1)

Coconut-Spinach Fried Rice

fried rice

For the exception of baking, I rarely cook from recipes. In culinary school, we would tediously copy the day’s curriculum on index cards. We quickly learned that the assignment was more about the act of remembering the recipes than for us to follow them word-for-word. I’m not discrediting recipes – I subscribe to just about every food magazine and own my fair share of cookbooks. They’re excellent inspiration and a great tool for getting more comfortable with technique. But learning how to cook, really cook, requires some gumption. It definitely includes mistakes. And improvisation, creativity and, well, common sense.

I always say that anyone who eats can be a good cook. Think about it: you already know what foods and flavors you like together. Once you learn a technique, like this simple fried rice, you can vary it depending on what you have in the fridge or what looks good at the market. Not a fan of coconut oil? Grapeseed oil is a neutral substitute. Ran out of spinach? Sub in leftover broccoli or frozen veggies. The rest is just a dip in the pantry or fridge: rice, oil, vinegar, eggs, hot sauce. I challenge you to read this recipe and be bold with your variations. Let me know how it goes.

Coconut-Spinach Fried Rice

Serves 2

1 T. coconut oil, plus more if necessary

2 scallions, finely sliced, white and green parts divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger

1 cup cooked brown rice (I used leftover brown basmati)

2 T. low-sodium tamari

2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 cup kale, stemmed and thinly sliced (optional)

1 egg, lightly beaten

Lime juice or rice vinegar

Chile-garlic sauce or Sriracha

Sesame oil

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add white parts of scallion, ginger and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust heat if necessary to prevent burning.
  2. Add the brown rice and cook for a few minutes to heat through. Add a bit more coconut oil if it starts to stick to the pan. Add tamari, spinach and/or kale and cook for a few more minutes until wilted. Increase heat and add the egg, stirring constantly, until egg is scrambled in the rice mixture. Add a bit more coconut oil if it sticks.
  3. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice or rice vinegar, hot sauce and a tiny drizzle of sesame oil. Sprinkle with green scallions before serving.

Winter Vegetable Hash with Poached Egg and Crispy Shallot

2013-01-06 11.06.19 (1)

From what I’ve observed, people in NYC really like brunch. I’ve always been a little ‘meh’ about the meal. There’s often a long wait for a table, you feel rushed the entire meal and to be honest, I’m just not big on drinking mimosas at 1pm.

Yet, the other weekend I found myself at Freemans, a tucked away Colonial cottage-turned-restaurant located in an alley (!) in the Lower East Side. As I caught up with a friend over poached eggs and cheddar grits, I suddenly understood the hype about brunch. Weeknight plans often get in the way of our best intentions for a leisurely dinner. But we can all set aside an hour or two on a Saturday or Sunday.

Here’s my take on the veg-heavy hashes popping up at some of the ‘cool kid’ brunch spots. Daytime mimosa optional.

Winter Vegetable Hash with Poached Egg and Crispy Shallot

Serves 1-2

Olive oil
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Handful or two Tuscan (lacinato/dinosaur) kale, ribbed removed and thinly sliced
3-4 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tsp (eyeball) fresh thyme leaves (or another herb, like rosemary)
Pinch smoked paprika (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Eggs
White vinegar

  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add shallot and cook until lightly golden brown and crisp (be careful not to burn!) Remove crispy shallots (leaving oil in the pan) and transfer to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Add kale and brussels sprouts to the skillet and saute about 5 minutes, until kale is tender and Brussels are a bit crisp. Add thyme, paprika and salt & pepper to taste. Set aside while you prep the eggs.
  4. Use this method to poach your eggs. It’s the best way I’ve found for beginners (or anyone, for that matter).
  5. Rewarm kale mixture. Serve eggs on top of veggies with the reserved crispy shallot.

Smokey Tomato Soup with Manchego Grilled Cheese

2012-12-08 13.57.13

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of a handful of meals I have eaten my entire life, on a regular basis. It never disappoints. In fact, it has a way of always making things better. As a kid, Campbell’s (make with milk, of course) and a cheddar (or Kraft single) grilled cheese was one of my favorite wintertime lunches after coming in from the cold. One of my first meals in Astoria was a ‘fancy’ soup & sandwich at The Queens Kickshaw, a local restaurant that specializes in 3 of my favorite things: grilled cheese, craft beer and coffee.

To my delight, a new shop, Astoria Bier & Cheese, just opened down the street. Despite the dozens of specialty food stores in the neighborhood, it’s the first cheese shop. After trying a few different types, I chose a young Manchego. I wanted a Spanish cheese to play up the Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton) in the soup. It also needed to melt well, an essential for any grilled cheese sandwich.

While it’s not necessarily traditional, it’s decidedly familiar. True comfort food after coming in from the city cold.

Smokey Tomato Soup

This is a slightly spicy, smokey version of tomato soup. It’s not super-smooth, but has a bit of texture. If you prefer, you can strain the finished soup through a fine-mesh sieve. A bit of cream at the end helps, too.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika or pimenton* (I used a combo of sweet and hot smoked paprika)
1 (14-ounce) can of San Marzano tomatoes (in juice)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, veggie stock or water
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Cayenne, optional
Heavy cream, optional

  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, being careful not to burn. Add thyme and paprika. Stir to coat the onions.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir to coat the onions, increasing the heat a bit until some of the moisture has cooked off.  Stir in the the tomatoes, sugar and stock/water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, using a spoon to break up tomatoes. Remove the thyme. Let cool slightly before pureeing in a blender (you will probably have to do this in 2 batches). Be careful: take the plastic cap off the top and cover with a towel, allowing the steam to escape a bit. I prefer this method to a stick/immersion blender because it makes everything smoother.
  3. Transfer back to the soup pot and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and more smoked paprika, to taste. If you’d like a richer soup, you can add a couple tablespoons of cream.

-Recipe loosely adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

Manchego Grilled Cheese

Peasant-style bread (I used Bread Alone Whole-Wheat Sourdough)

Young manchego cheese, grated or thinly sliced

Butter

While this hardly needs explanation, here’s how I make grilled cheese:

Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Assemble your sandwich and place it in the pan.  Place a heavy skillet over the sandwich to weigh it down. Cook low and slow until sandwich is golden brown and crisp. Add a bit more butter to the pan when you flip the sandwich and cook the other side. Allow to ‘rest’ a bit before cutting.

*Smoked paprika is made with smoked peppers. The Spanish version is called pimenton. There is also a Hungarian version. It adds incredible depth and a subtle smokiness, reminiscent of the role bacon plays in a dish. You can find a couple different brands at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and specialty shops like EuroMarket in Astoria or Sahadi’s in Brooklyn.

Cranberry-Almond Pancakes


Something about making pancakes makes me feel like Ruth Reichl. Those who follow her idyllic Twitter feed know what I mean. Those who don’t: she is a former NY Times dining columnist and former editor in chief at Gourmet magazine. From what I gather, she spends most of her mornings in an Upstate cabin complete with outdoor shower, misty hillsides and an unending supply of butter. Her breakfast tweets make me think twice about eating yet another bowl of oatmeal (or more lazily, muesli). Here’s what I mean:

From September 9th…Outdoor shower in golden light. Birds singing. Deer on the lawn. Hot coffee. Lightly scrambled eggs. Hot biscuits. Heading into the city.

September 24…
Bright. Cool. Pumpkin pancakes flecked with orange peel. Scent of nutmeg, ginger, clove. Thick dark maple syrup. Feels like fall. Welcome!

See what I’m saying? It makes you want to put on a cozy sweater, crunch through fallen leaves and adopt a diet fit for a lumberjack. Or develop a pancake-induced inferiority complex. My solution: these cranberry-almond pancakes. They’re Tuesday-quick, but quite fit for a Sunday.

Here is my homage to Ruth, 140 words or less:
N train rumbles me awake. Gray day. Delicate almond pancakes dotted with sweet-tart cranberries. Hot coffee. Much better.

Cranberry-Almond Pancakes

1 cup whole-wheat flour*
1/2 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill, you can also make your own)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 – 1 1/2 cups almond milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice (or substitute buttermilk)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the maple syrup, 1 cup almond milk, canola oil and vanilla. Quickly whisk in the flour mix. You can add more almond milk for thinner pancakes. Fold in the cranberries, do not over mix.
3. Heat a griddle or a large skillet, either nonstick or seasoned cast iron, over medium-high heat. Brush with butter or oil. Cook pancakes for a couple minutes or until there are many bubbles on the surface and edges appear dry. Flip and cook another few minutes until golden brown. Serve with real maple syrup.

Recipe adapted from the NYT

*You may substitute another type of flour if you’d like. All-purpose is a safe bet or Cup 4 Cup, for a completely gluten-free option.

Marbled Banana Bread

I think of banana bread as a “free” recipe. Overripe fruit, otherwise trash, is transformed into a quick little bread using items you probably have in your pantry. I have a few variations of banana bread in rotation – Melissa Clark’s version is particularly good.

Last Sunday afternoon, in a vain attempt for something sweet that a) involved chocolate b) did not use the 2 eggs destined for breakfast, I concocted this (full disclosure) vegan version. “Vegan?!” you say. Hear me out. People have been making cakes without butter or eggs for years. One of my family’s favorites, nanny’s hot water chocolate cake, relies on a few WWII-era tricks to keep it moist, using, you guessed it, boiling water.

If you like cake that masquerades as breakfast food, you’ll love this. After polishing off a good portion of it, I realized you could take this into full dessert territory with frosting. I have big plans for a peanut butter glaze next time. Nanny hated PB, but I’m sure she would approve.

Marbled Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 4 small bananas)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup almond milk (or any other milk) + 1 tsp. vinegar (this mimicks buttermilk)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour or spelt flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons boiling water, divided

Directions

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare boiling water (no need to measure). Lightly grease an 8×4 loaf pan.

Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugars, olive oil, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Add to the banana mixture, folding gently until combined (it’s OK if its lumpy – don’t overmix).

Scoop one cup of the batter up and transfer it to a separate mixing bowl. Now, in a small tea cup mix the cocoa powder with 3 tablespoons boiling water and stir vigorously with a fork until the chocolate is dissolved. Add this chocolate mixture to the one cup of banana and mix until the chocolate is thoroughly smooth and incorporated.

Add 3 tablespoons of boiling water to the regular banana mixture and mix the batter just until relatively smooth.

Scoop alternate 1/2 cupfuls of chocolate/banana batter into the loaf pan. Once all of the batter is in, swirl it with a knife or long skewer.

Bake for 55 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. I store mind wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then tin foil.

-Recipe adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

Creamy Carrot-Ginger Soup

When you are surrounded by food all day, it’s sometimes hard to decide what to feed yourself. The food I prepare for my clients ers on the side of traditional: proteins, veggies, starches. There are a lot of requests for boneless skinless chicken breasts, quinoa and freezable meals. At the end of the day, the thought of turning on the stove, well, turns me off. I liken it to people who spend all day on a computer – you just want to do something (anything) else when you get home. This soup is the exception. I make this creamy (creamless) carrot-ginger for clients, in some shape or form, all the time. It can be made in advance and reheats well, so it’s perfect for dinner parties (or lazy Wednesdays on the couch). A few tips:

  • Don’t stress about chopping the onions and ginger perfectly. All of their imperfections will be forgiven once blended.
  • Depending on my mood, I add curry or garam masala – or not. It’s delicious either way.
  • This can be made entirely vegan by using vegetable stock or water and subbing the yogurt drizzle for my new favorite thing – cashew cream (as pictured above).
  • Yes, you can freeze this one.

Creamy Carrot-Ginger Soup

Makes about 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil (olive, grapeseed or my favorite coconut oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp. curry powder or garam masala (optional)
  • 1 large bunch carrots (about 7 medium-sized carrots), peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups or more vegetable stock (or chicken stock or water)
  • 1-2 cups coconut milk
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • For serving: plain yogurt (thinned with a little water) or cashew cream(optional)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, curry powder (if using) and a large pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes (you just want to sweat them, no color). Add carrots and cover with stock and/or water. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Add 1 cup coconut milk. Let cool slightly. Puree in a blender, adding more coconut milk or stock to thin out. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper, for a little heat. Serve with a swirl of plain yogurt or cashew cream.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

Despite the Halloween snowpocalypse and red-and-green spectacle at Duane Reade, it’s still Fall, guys. Take advantage of the season and a break from turkey-mania. Butternut squash is the quintessential seasonal veggie. Hearty and, well, buttery, it makes a lovely addition to delicate gnocchi and dreamy brown butter sauce. If you still have turkey on the mind, this would make a stellar vegetarian dish at your T-Day table.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled, quartered
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (or more) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash lengthwise in half; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut side up, on baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with skewer and browned in spots, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool slightly. Scoop flesh from squash into processor; puree until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan; stir constantly over medium heat until juices evaporate and puree thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool. Measure 1 cup (packed) squash puree (reserve remaining squash for another use).
  2. Meanwhile, cook potato in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. While potato is warm, press through potato ricer into medium bowl; cool completely. Measure 2 cups (loosely packed) riced potato (reserve remaining potato for another use).
  3. Mix squash, potato, 1/2 cup Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Gradually add 1 3/4 cups flour, kneading gently into mixture in bowl until dough holds together and is almost smooth. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead gently but briefly just until smooth. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  4. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Sprinkle parchment lightly with flour. Working with 1 dough piece at a time, roll dough out on floured surface to about 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut rope crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll gnocchi along back of fork tines dipped in flour, making ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi to baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
  5. Working in 2 batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, 15 to 17 minutes (gnocchi will float to surface but may come to surface before being fully cooked). Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to same parchment-lined baking sheets. Cool.
  6. Cook butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat just until golden, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage; stir 1 minute. Add gnocchi; cook until heated through and coated with butter, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.

-Recipe loosely adapted from Bon Appetit

The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

These are it (dare I say?) the perfect oatmeal cookie. I don’t use the ‘P’ word lightly, you see, it just sets the bar too high. But these, these are some mighty fine cookies, if I do say so. What makes them different? The basic thick & chewy cookie is bolstered with 2 kinds of oatmeal (old-fashioned and quick) for varying texture. Keeping with the theme, both golden and black raisins add a pop of sweetness. Toasted pecans provide a satisfying crunch. And have patience: a chill before baking allows the dough to “marinate”, melding the flavors and preventing excess “spread” during baking. So follow the recipe, pour yourself a cup of tea and revel.

The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Yield: About 4 dozen small cookies or 3 dozen larger cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup black raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Repeat this process twice more with the remaining 2/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and pecans.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or the freezer for about 15 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours before baking.
  4. Roll the dough into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the tops slightly. Bake for 1o to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. They are done when the edges are lightly golden – the tops may appear a bit doughy.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit on the hot baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
-Recipe adapted from  smitten kitchen