Neiman-Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe
During the 1980s a rumor began to circulate alleging that the luxury department store Neiman Marcus had once charged a customer $250 for a cookie recipe.
The rumor was first reported in newspapers during the late 1980s. However, the tale was likely older than that.
Pat Zajac, a Neiman Marcus spokeswoman in Dallas, when interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times in 1992,
said that the tale had been circulating since she came to work for the chain in 1986.
The Chicago Sun-Times interview included this version of the rumor:
My daughter and I had finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas and decided to have a small dessert.
Because our family members are such `cookie monsters' we decided to try the Neiman-Marcus Cookie.
It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe, and they said with a small frown, `I'm afraid not.'
Well, I said, `Would you let me buy the recipe?' With a cute smile she said, `Yes.'
I asked how much and she responded `two fifty.' I said with approval, `Just add it to my tab,' which I already signed."
The letter continued: "Thirty days later I received my Visa statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.
I looked again, and I remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20 for a scarf.
As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, `Cookie Recipe - $250.' Boy, was I upset!
The rumor went on to state that, in the spirit of revenge, the victim was giving away the $250 recipe at no charge to anyone who wanted it.
A cookie recipe was then provided:
NEIMAN-MARCUS $250 COOKIE RECIPE
2 cups BUTTER
2 cups SUGAR
2 cups BROWN SUGAR
2 tablespoons VANILLA
4 cups FLOUR
3 cups blended OATMEAL (measure and blend to a fine powder in a blender)
1 teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
2 teaspoons BAKING SODA
24 ounces CHOCOLATE CHIPS
1 (8-ounce) grated MILK CHOCOLATE HERSHEY BAR
3 cups chopped NUTS (I used walnuts)
Cream butter and both sugars; add eggs and vanilla.
Mix together the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture.
Add chips, grated Hershey bar and nuts.
Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 6-8 minutes at 375 F.
Makes 112 cookies, but recipe can be halved.
This recipe just appeared in the Dallas Morning News and I decided to try it.
The article was by one of my favorite special contributors... Tina Danze.
Her articles are always a sign of the times and her research is excellent as well as the recipes she presents.
This article talked about food trucks "peddling Asian tacos".
To read more about a favorite food truck named "Nammi", please go to their website...
The marinade is absolutely delicious. (Allow time for the meat to marinate.)
2 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 C. LIME JUICE
1 1/2 tsp. grated GINGER ROOT
2 tsp. FISH SAUCE
1/2 tsp. CHILI-GARLIC SAUCE
2 tbsp. VEGETABLE OIL
1 1/2 lb. SKIRT STEAK
18 warm CORN TORTILLAS
1/2 c. CILANTRO LEAVES
1 CUCUMBER, seeded and sliced into sticks
2 JALAPENOS, sliced as thin as possible.
1/2 RED ONION, thinly sliced
Pickled Carrots and Cabbage (recipe follows)
Spicy Mayo (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, mash together the minced garlic and salt, forming a paste.
Whisk together the garlic paste, lime juice, ginger, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce and oil to make a marinade.
Put marinade and steak in a zip-lock bag and marinate at least an hour.
Grill the meat in a grill pan or on the grill, or under the broiler until medium rare.
Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve on the tortillas topped with cilantro, a cucumber spear, sliced jalapeno, red onion, pickled carrots and cabbage, to taste.
Top with spicy mayo.
Makes 6 servings.
Pickled Carrots and Cabbage:
Cut 3 carrots into 2 1/2 inch long, 1/4 inch wide sticks and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 2/3 c. white vinegar with 1/3 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 c. water.
Heat for 30-40 seconds. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Soak the carrots in the mixture for about 50 minutes, then remove and reserve the liquid.
Thinly slice 2 1/2 c. Napa cabbage.
Toss the cabbage with the reserved liquid and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
Remove cabbage from vinegar mixture.
Combine 3/4 c. mayonnaise with 2 1/2 tsp. sriracha sauce. Add lime juice to taste and stir together.
I recently had a surprise phone call from two friends... Laura and Carol,
who I had not heard from in a long time and it was so good to reminisce about our culinary adventures.
Back in the mid-90's we took cooking classes together at Whole Foods Market. And what fun we had!
The classes were a steal... $8.00 for a two hour class with a major Dallas chef, and then we got to eat whatever was prepared.
One of my favorite chefs was Matt Martinez. He was famous for his Tex-Mex cooking and always had stories to tell as he cooked.
He had several restaurants in Texas and I particularly liked his cookbooks.
Look for "Matt Martinez's Culinary Frontier... a Real Texas Cookbook"
and you will learn snippets about his life and will be treated to his wonderful sense of humor.
He always took the time to autograph his books and include a little message.
He appeared on Oprah and also had the honor of cooking for Julia Child.
Unfortunately, it was not all that long ago that Matt died and I feel privileged to have known him.
And from his "Culinary Frontier" I share with you his "Prairie Mary".
As Matt wrote in the book...
"This is the sister to Bloody Mary. Some of you may have seen Bloody Mary in airports, before early morning flights.
Prairie Mary never flies, but she can sure get your feet off the ground!"
(I have tweaked this recipe a bit to include less salt than the original.)
1 quart LOW SALT TOMATO JUICE
1/2 tsp. whole PEPPERCORNS
1/2 tsp. MUSTARD SEED
1 c. coarsely chopped WHITE ONIONS
1 c. coarsely chopped CELERY
1/4 c. fresh LEMON JUICE
1/4 c. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 seeded and stemmed JALAPENO PEPPER
Combine 1 cup of the tomato juice with the other ingredients and blend on low for 1 minute.
In a large pitcher combine the blender mixture with the remaining 3 c. of tomato juice.
Add a cup of Vodka and chill until ready to serve.
For the rim salt:
1/2 c. COARSE SALT
1/2 tsp. ground WHITE PEPPER
1/2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
1/4 tsp. dried THYME
Moisten the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime and dip in the salt mixture.
Fill glasses with crushed ice and fill with the Prairie Mary mix.
Garnish with a celery stick and a wedge of lime to be squeezed in the drink.
Matt Martinez... may you rest in peace and thank you for all the wonderful memories of your love of food and zest for life!
We are constantly hearing about our kids eating all the wrong foods and about our weight gain in this country.
I know if it was up to my grandchildren, they would eat macaroni and cheese, bean burritos, hot dogs, pizza and cereal 7 days a week and never tire of it.
As parents and grandparents, I do feel it is important to provide healthy choices and introduce new foods on a regular basis.
So today I made a wrap, and served it with some veggie chips and chocolate chip cookies.
(Okay... so maybe the cookies are not the best thing, but they sure are good!)
Adjust the ingredients and quantities according to what your children like.
WRAPS or FLOUR TORTILLAS (I like the tomato-basil wraps or the spinach-herb)
8 oz. FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE
1 c. HIDDEN VALLEY RANCH DRESSING
MEAT (low salt luncheon meat, chicken, turkey, or tuna fish)
TOMATOES, thinly sliced
BLACK OLIVES, sliced
RED ONION, thinly sliced
CHEESE, sliced muenster or any other favorite cheese
ROMAINE or ICEBERG LETTUCE, thinly sliced
Mix together the cream cheese and ranch dressing until smooth.
Smear a small amount over the wrap.
Layer remaining ingredients adding a few dollops of the ranch dressing mixture.
Roll tightly and tie in one or two places with string. Cut in half on the diagonal, if desired.
Serve with veggie chips and fruit.
And go ahead... tuck a cookie in there too!
Garlic Chive Pappardelle al Limone
I bought this garlic chive pasta at the Rockwall Farmer's Market.
This is one of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten! Do give it a try!
1 lb. PAPPARDELLE'S GARLIC CHIVE PAPPARDELLE
1-2 cloves GARLIC, minced
2 Tbsp. BUTTER
1/4 tsp. crushed, dried CHILI PEPPER FLAKES
2 LEMONS, zested
4 oz. cooked HAM, cut into matchsticks (I used salami)
2 c. HALF-AND-HALF (I used heavy cream)
Freshly grated PARMESAN CHEESE
Fresh CHIVES, minced
Freshly ground PEPPER
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and chili flakes. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and then add ham or salami.
Heat gently, then add lemon zest and cream.
Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
Drain, reserving about 1/4 c. pasta cooking water.
Add pasta to sauce in skillet and toss with a few spoonsful of Parmesan cheese.
If sauce is too thick... add a little of the pasta water and toss again.
Sprinkle with chopped chives.
Serve immediately. Pass Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top and serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze on pasta. Top with freshly ground pepper.
This recipe comes from the cookbook: "Italy... the Vegetarian Table" by Julia Della Croce.
It is a colorful addition to any Italian meal!
6 medium-sized BELL PEPPERS, a mixture of red, yellow or orange
5 Tbsp. EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 large ONION, quartered and thinly sliced
4 cloves GARLIC, bruised
6 vine-ripened TOMATOES, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 1/2 c. canned plum tomatoes, drained seeded and chopped
6 large fresh BASIL LEAVES, sliced thin
Freshly ground PEPPER
Rustic Italian BREAD
Cut peppers in half lengthwise, derib them and remove their stems and seeds.
Slice into long strips 1/2 inch wide. Set aside.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet over low heat.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently until they are softened, 12-15 minutes.
Add pepper strips and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally until the peppers are tender... about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with basil.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Toast rustic bread and top with the peperonata and a grinding of fresh black pepper.
Drizzle with a little more extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve as an appetizer or with your favorite pasta.
Pinto Bean Chowder
This recipe is from the cookbook: The Texas Cowboy Kitchen by Grady Spears with June Naylor.
I served this with take-out fried chicken and also made some Cheddar Pepper Biscuits.
The biscuit recipe is in the same cookbook.
This chowder is easy to make and can be vegetarian if you leave out the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
1 c. CORN, fresh or frozen and thawed
2 Tbsp. VEGETABLE OIL
1 c. BACON, diced
2 CARROTS, diced
4 CELERY STALKS, diced
1 RED BELL PEPPER, diced
2 YELLOW ONIONS, diced
4 JALAPENOS, seeded and diced
6 CLOVES OF GARLIC, thinly sliced
2 c. cooked PINTO BEANS, drained (I used canned)
2 c. CHICKEN STOCK (I found that I needed a little more than this)
1/2 c. CILANTRO, chopped
SOUR CREAM for garnish
In a sauté pan, cook corn over high heat 4-5 minutes until slightly blackened, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
In same skillet, heat the oil and cook the bacon over high heat until it starts to brown.
Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, onions, jalapenos, and garlic, cooking until they begin to soften.
Remove from heat.
In a food processor, puree half the beans with 1/2 c. chicken broth.
Add processed bean mixture, remaining chicken stock, and remaining beans to the vegetables in the skillet. Add the corn and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Season with salt to taste.
Stir in the cilantro. Remove from heat and divide among bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
Peanut Sesame Noodles with Cucumber Carrot Salad
I have collected Gourmet magazine since I got married in the mid-sixties and many of my favorite recipes are from Gourmet.
This one is from the June, 2002 issue.
For Peanut Dressing:
1/2 c. smooth PEANUT BUTTER
1/4 c. SOY SAUCE
1/3 c. warm WATER
2 Tbsp. peeled, chopped fresh GINGER
1 clove GARLIC, chopped
2 Tbsp. RED WINE VINEGAR
1 1/2 Tbsp. ASIAN SESAME OIL
2 tsp. HONEY
1 tsp. dried, hot RED PEPPER FLAKES
For Noodle Salad:
1 lb. dried LINGUINE
4 SCALLIONS, thinly sliced
1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 YELLOW BELL PEPPER, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
3 Tbsp. SESAME SEEDS, toasted (toast in a dry pan over medium heat until seeds become slightly golden and fragrant)
Note: *Save some of the scallions, peppers and sesame seeds to use as garnish to finished dish.
Make the dressing...
Purée dressing ingredientsin a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes and transfer to a large bowl.
Make the salad...
Cook pasta in boiling salted water.
Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water.
Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers and sesame seeds to dressing.
Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Serves 6 as a side dish, or 4 as a vegetarian main dish.
Cucumber Carrot Salad
1 clove GARLIC, minced and mashed to a paste
2 Tbsp. fresh LIME JUICE
1 1/2 Tbsp. ASIAN FISH SAUCE (preferably naam pla)
1 Tbsp. SUGAR
1 fresh SERRANO CHILI, seeded and minced
1 ENGLISH CUCUMBER, quartered lengthwise
1 CARROT, coarsely shredded
In a bowl, stir together garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili until sugar is dissolved.
Thinly slice cucumbers crosswise and add to garlic mixture with carrots.
Toss salad well.
Serve salad in lettuce "cups".
Just a quick lunch...
Have you ever watched that show on the Food Network called "Chopped"?
Each chef gets a mystery basket and then has to make an appetizer, entrée or dessert in an allotted period of time with the ingredients found in the basket...
and most of the time it is an oddball assortment of stuff.
That's sort of how I feel when I open the refrigerator to find bits of leftovers that I want to turn into a meal. And by using up the leftovers, it helps to save $$$.
So today I opened the refrig and I found leftover carrot and cucumber salad, fake crabmeat (you know, that stuff made out of pollock that is made to look like crab) and I also had some multigrain ciabatta rolls from Sam's place... otherwise known as the Walmart Neighborhood Market.
I split the rolls and toasted them in the toaster.
Smeared some mayo on the insides of the rolls and then layered the carrot and cucmber salad, Bibb lettuce, and fake crab.
I poured a glass of one of those juice drinks that is made up of a combination of fruits and veggies and topped it off with a crazy straw that my grandbabies like to use when they come over.
So there you have it.
That's my "chopped" entry for today!
Romaine Wedges with Warm Bacon and Blue Cheese Dressing
This is not low calorie, but it sure is good!
1 1/2 c. REAL MAYONNAISE
2 Tbsp. fresh LEMON JUICE
1 Tbsp. (or a little less) coarsely ground PEPPER
1 tsp. HOT PEPPER SAUCE (I used Tabasco)
1 c. coarsely crumbled BLUE CHEESE
1/2 lb. thick cut BACON, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 head of ROMAINE LETTUCE, halved or quartered lengthwise
2-3 sliced SCALLIONS, including some of the green tops
Mix first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add blue cheese, and stir until well blended.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown and beginning to crisp.
Arrange Romaine on plates.
Spoon dressing over.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the warm bacon from the skillet onto the salads.
Garnish with sliced scallions.
Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup with Southwestern Blend Pasta
This is an interesting pasta medley that I purchased from Kaitlyn and Tarisa at the Rockwall Farmer's Market. They sell a wide variety of Pappardelle's pasta.
The pasta is from Pappardelle's... the Fine Art of Pasta located in Denver, Colorado.
You may also buy on-line...
I purchased 1/2 lb. and it was just enough for this soup.
It consists of blue corn ziti, green jalapeno fusilli, red southwestern chili lumache (snail shaped), and yellow maize amore (spiral shaped).
You really can taste the different flavors of each pasta.
8 ounces Pappardelle's SOUTHWESTERN BLEND PASTA
2 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
1 ONION, chopped
4 cloves GARLIC, chopped
2 ZUCCHINI, cubed
4 c. VEGGIE or CHICKEN BROTH
1 tsp. CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
3 TOMATOES, finely diced or 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
2 ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS, chopped (or 7-ounce bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped)
1/4 c. chopped fresh PARSLEY (I used CILANTRO instead. To my mind, anything southwestern begs for cilantro)
Fresh PARMESAN CHEESE, grated to sprinkle on top
Cook pasta in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).
Drain and rinse with warm water.
In a large pot, add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.
Add broth, pepper, tomatoes, and bell peppers and cook 7 minutes.
Stir in pasta and parsley or cilantro.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
I have some suggested variations: add black beans, corn or chickpeas and/or chicken, sausage.
This is a delicious, easy, and healthy meal and would be great with cooler weather in the forecast.