Monday, February 28, 2011

Neiman Marcus Cookies

Have you heard about the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe legend?  Read about it here.  Even though it's completely false, the cookie recipe is delicious.  Each bite is full of chocolatey-oat deliciousness!

Neiman Marcus Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups blended oatmeal (measure 2 cups oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz. milk chocolate Hershey bar (grated) (I used milk chocolate chips and "grated" them with a few pulses in the blender)
1 ½ cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Notes: The cookie dough was a little too thick, so I decreased the oats from 2 1/2 cups to 2 cups. If you can't control yourself (like me), only make 1 dozen cookies at a time. Freeze the remaining dough in balls. They cook up beautifully from frozen balls. And even Jesse can cook frozen balls of dough for a FHE treat!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fresh Apple Cake

I had some Granny Smith apples I needed to use.  So I was excited to see this recipe from The Sisters Cafe blog.  We had it plain--without the cream sauce--and it was delicious.  It would also be yummy with the cream sauce or a dollop of whipped cream on top.

4 cups peeled, diced apples
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, stir together apples and sugar.  Add dry ingredients and stir well.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil and vanilla.  Stir egg mixture into apple mixture, blending until thoroughly moistened.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into greased 13 x 9" pan.  Bake for 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.  Serve with warm Cream Sauce.

Cream Sauce

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in saucepan; stir.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 3 minutes.  Serve warm, and drizzle over piece of apple cake.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

English Muffins

I know these directions look long, but these muffins are SO simple to make. The recipe is from a new book I got for Christmas, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day. These are what I consider to be the absolutely perfect English muffins. They have a nice holey texture inside and they toast up perfectly to serve with jam. I’m excited to try more recipes from this book. The make-ahead aspect gives the finished product great flavor as well as requiring very little hands on time each day.

English Muffins

2 teaspoons (14 g) honey
1 tablespoon (14 g) vegetable oil or olive oil
1 ½ cups (340 g) lukewarm whole or nonfat milk (about 95°F)
2-2/3 cups (340 g) unbleached bread flour (I was out of bread flour so I used all-purpose flour)
¾ teaspoon (5.5 g) salt, or 1 ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
¼ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
3 tablespoons (43 g) warm water
Cornmeal, for dusting

Do Ahead:

Add the honey and oil to the milk and stir to dissolve the honey. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and yeast together, then pour in the milk mixture. Whisk for 1 minute, until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is hydrated. You should see gluten strands forming as the wet sponge develops. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then mix the batter for a few more seconds. Scrape down the bowl again, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. The batter will bubble and rise as it cools down.

On Baking Day:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake the English muffins. The dough will be much stiffer but still sticky and it will bubble as it comes to room temperature.

When you’re nearly ready to bake, dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and gently fold it into the dough, just like folding egg whites into cake batter, until it is fully absorbed. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, until it starts bubbling again. Heat a flat griddle pan over medium heat, or to 300°F if using an electric griddle.

Mist the griddle and the inside of the crumpet rings with Baker’s Joy, then dust the inside of the rings with cornmeal. Cover the surface of the pan with as many rings as it will hold, then dust the pan inside the rings with more cornmeal. Lower the heat to medium-low, actually closer to low than to medium; you’ll have to use trial-and-error on this at first until you find the setting that works with your stove or griddle.

To bake, mist a 1/3-cup measuring up with spray oil, fill it with dough, and pour the dough into a ring, filling the ring about two-thirds full; depending on the size of the ring, you may not need all of the batter in the scoop to fill each ring, but for standard crumpet rings 1/3 cup of batter is about right. Fill all of the rings, then sprinkle cornmeal over each muffin.

The dough will not spread immediately to fill the ring but will begin to slowly rise and soon will fill and reach the top of the ring; it may or may not bubble. Cook the muffins for at least 12 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp and the tops lose their wet look. Then, flip the muffins over, rings and all, and cook for 12 minutes more. If it takes less than 12 minutes per side, your griddle setting is probably too high and you’ll end up with undercooked muffins.

When both sides are golden brown and the dough is springy to the touch, remove the muffins from the pan. Cool them in their rings for about 2 minutes, then pop them out.

Turn the muffins on their edge to cool; this will help prevent sinking and shrinking. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. After they cool, you can split them with a fork to accentuate the interior nooks.


You can make a partial whole wheat version by using half bread flour and half whole wheat flour. If you do so, increase the amount of milk by ¼ cup (56.5 g).

Recipe source: Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day

5-Ingredient Sweet-n-Sour Chicken

This main dish goes together amazingly fast! I served it with sesame green beans, and it was a delicious meal!

5-Ingredient Sweet-n-Sour Chicken

2 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
One 11-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
¼ cup apricot preserves
¼ cup hoisin sauce
Rice (cooked as desired—for serving)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the pineapple with the juice from the can, the apricot preserves, and the hoisin sauce and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens and reduces, about 5 minutes.

Serve over cooked rice.

Recipe Source: Robin to the Rescue

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Caramel Apple Pancakes

I had just purchased some caramel syrup from the coffee-flavoring section of the store to try as a cocoa-flavoring. Alyssa saw the caramel syrup and assumed it was for the apple pancakes I was making. What a great idea! We turned the apple pancakes into caramel apple pancakes! Our Best Bites has a recipe for buttermilk caramel syrup that would probably be fabulous with these pancakes if you want to make your syrup from scratch.

Caramel Apple Pancakes

2 tart, juicy apples (peeled and diced)
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
2 cups (8 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Place apples in microwave-safe container, cover, and microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until apples are just tender. (If desired, add a splash of water or apple cider to the apples before microwaving.)

Beat the milk, butter, and egg lightly in a mixing bowl. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and add them all at once to the first mixture, stirring just enough to dampen the flour. Stir in apples (drain if you added water—reserving the liquid to add to the batter if needed). Do not overmix.

Lightly butter or grease a griddle or frying pan and set over moderate heat until a few drops of cold water sprinkled on the pan form rapidly moving globules. Pour about ¼ cup-fuls onto griddle (I use an ice-cream scooper). Bake on the griddle until the cakes are full of bubbles on the top and the undersides are lightly browned. Turn with a spatula and brown the other sides. Place finished griddlecakes on a warm plate in a 200°F oven until you have enough to begin serving.

Serve with caramel syrup if desired. (These are also good with maple syrup.)

Griddlecake recipe adapted from: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

Apple-Raspberry Crisp

I made this recipe to use up some apples from our fridge so I could buy more apples. (I wanted to use the plastic clam-shell container the apples come in for drying flowers while cake decorating.) I was so happy to discover this crisp topping recipe. It is what I consider the absolute perfect crisp topping—crisp, sweet, buttery, oatmeal-y, and not at all soggy or floury tasting.

Apple-Raspberry Crisp (or any fruit crisp)

6 cups (1 ½ lb) chopped, peeled apples
12 ounce package frozen raspberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crisp Topping*:
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 ½ oz) old-fashioned rolled oats (I like oats so I doubled this amount and used 3 ounces instead)
1/3 cup (3 oz) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 ½ oz) firmly packed golden brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted

(*I love the topping on a crisp, so I doubled the topping. I also used more fruit/filling ingredients and baked mine in a 13 x 9-inch dish. I just put on the topping until the amount looked right to me. I did have some leftover from the doubled batch. The amounts posted above are for a single batch. Also, the amount of sugar needed in the filling will vary depending on how tart of apples you use.)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Have ready a 2 ½-qt ceramic or glass pie dish or baking dish.

To make the filling: Microwave apples in covered microwave-safe bowl until almost tender (about 3 minutes on high)*. Stir in raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon until well-mixed. Pour into the baking dish and set aside. (* Note: I added the step to partially cook the apples in the microwave before using. I find that by doing so I can remove the crisp before the topping is overdone.)

To make the topping: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, rolled oats, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well-blended. Stir in the melted butter until evenly moistened crumbs form. Spoon the crumb mixture evenly over the filling.

Bake the crisp until the fruit is tender when tested with a toothpick, the juices are bubbling, and the topping is golden-brown, 35 to 40 minutes--check a little early if you pre-cooked the apples. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm. The crisp can be cooled, covered with plastic wrap, and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, then re-warmed in a 250°F oven for 15 minutes before serving.


Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp: For filling, use 6 medium stalks rhubarb, cut into ½-inch pieces, 2 cups (8 oz) strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise, ½ cup (4 oz) granulated sugar.

Apple or Pear Crisp: For filling, use 6 cups (1 ½ lb) chopped, peeled apples or pears; 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, strained; and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Berry Crisp: For filling use 5 cups (1 ¼ lb) mixed berries, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and 3-5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Top as directed and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Peach Crisp: For filling stir together 6 cups (2 1/8 lb) sliced, peeled peaches and 3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar. Top as directed and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Recipe source: adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking

Crème Fraiche

Just in case you can't find creme fraiche at the grocery store, here's how I made it to use in the bran muffin recipe I just posted.

Crème Fraiche

1 quart heavy cream
4 tablespoons buttermilk

Pour a quart of heavy cream into a bowl or other container, stir in 4 tablespoons of buttermilk, cover, and let stand at warm room temperature overnight (at least 10 hours), or until it thickens. Stir it in the morning and it should be thick and creamy. If it is still liquidy, re-cover, return it to a warm spot, and check it every hour or so until it thickens. When it has a good consistency (about the consistency of sour cream), cover it tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To make more crème fraiche, you can just add 4 tablespoons of your previous batch to a quart of heavy cream and proceed as directed. The old crème fraiche acts as a starter to get the new batch going, and you don’t need to buy more buttermilk.

Recipe source: Flour by Joanne Chang

Bran Muffins with Golden Raisins and “Bird Seed”

These muffins are a not-too-sweet muffin that makes a great side dish with a hearty breakfast of eggs and sausage or bacon. See my note below if you want a sweeter muffin.

Bran Muffins with Golden Raisins and “Bird Seed”

2 ½ cups (200 grams) wheat bran
1 1/4 cups (300 grams) milk (whole milk is recommended)
1 ¾ cups (420 grams) crème fraiche
2 eggs
1 cup (160 grams) golden raisins
½ cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsulfured light or dark molasses
2-1/3 cups (330 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup (50 grams) millet
¼ cup (40 grams) flaxseeds
¼ cup (30 grams) sunflower seeds

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with Baker’s Joy.

In a medium bowl, stir together the wheat bran, milk, crème fraiche, and eggs until well-mixed. Put the raisins in a small bowl, cover them with hot water, and set aside. Let stand for 30 minutes to allow the bran to soak up some of the liquid and soften and the raisins to plump.

After 30 minutes, add the brown sugar and molasses tot eh bran mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Drain the raisins, add them to the bran mixture, and stir until well-mixed. The mixture will be thick and gloppy.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-mixed. Scrape the bran mixture into the dry ingredients and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well-combined. You will end up with a very thick, somewhat stiff batter that verges on being a dough.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim (almost overflowing). In a small bowl, mix together the millet, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tin.

*Valerie’s Notes: These muffins are very “healthy”-tasting as printed above. We liked them—especially when served as a side dish along with eggs and sausage or bacon. I had leftover batter after filling my 12 muffin tins, so the next day I added a dash of buttermilk to loosen the dough to more of a batter and a handful of cinnamon chips. I had enough batter to make 6 more muffins. These muffins were more tender and sweeter. We liked both versions.

Recipe Source: Flour by Joanne Chang

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Herbs and Garlic

Alyssa made this for us as a side dish with salmon. She invented her own marinade for the salmon—which was delicious. These potatoes were a perfect side dish! We all loved the roasted, seasoned goodness. We bought the variety pack of baby potatoes from Costco which had white, yellow, red, and blue fingerling potatoes.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Herbs and Garlic

¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence or dried Italian seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fingerling potatoes or small white or red-skinned potatoes
½ pound small red-skinned potatoes (about 1 ¾-inch diameter)
½ pound small white-skinned potatoes (about 1 ¾-inch diameter)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning), and garlic to blend. Add all of the potatoes and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a large, heavy baking sheet, spacing evenly. Set the bowl aside (do not clean the bowl yet).

Roast the potatoes until they are tender and golden, turning them occasionally, about 1 hour (check early—they might be done in about ½ hour if the potatoes are small). Transfer the roasted potatoes to the reserved bowl and toss to coat with any herb oil remaining in the bowl. Season the potatoes with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Recipe Source: Everyday Italian by Giada de Laurentis

Sausage Frittata with Mushrooms

I'm trying to catch up on posting some of the yummy recipes we've tried this past month. Bart made this for us. I like frittatas--I think they're easier to make and serve than omelets and they're easy to inidivualize to your own tastes. According to the recipe, some possibile variations for this recipe are to sub out the mushrooms, sausage, and goat cheese for any of the following:

* 8 spears cooked, chopped asparagus and 2 ounces chopped smoked salmon
* 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped olives, and 1/2 cup crumbled feta
* 1 cup sauteed spinach, 4 strips crumbled bacon, and 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
* 1 cup sauteed zucchini, 1 cup low-fat ricotta, and 8-10 chopped mint leaves

Sausage Frittata with Mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced (next time I think I’ll use a yellow onion so you don’t get a weird color)
1 link cooked andouille sausage, diced (kielbasa sausage can be substituted)
8 ounces mushrooms (any variety—creminis work nicely), stems removed, sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 eggs
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
12 chives or 3 scallions, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place a large oven-safe skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the andouille and mushrooms and continue sautéing, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Beat the eggs vigorously with a fork or whisk, then add to the skillet, along with the goat cheese and chives, if using. Place in the oven and bake until the eggs have fully set (a toothpick inserted into the middle will come out clean), about 20 minutes. Let cool and then slice into 4 portions, topping with more chives if you like.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe source: Cook This Not That Kitchen Survival Guide

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Orange Swirl Muffins

These muffins have a tender, delicate texture. The light zing of citrus plays a perfect counterpoint to the rich chocolate flavor. We loved these!

Chocolate Orange Swirl Muffins

*Makes about 12 muffins

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup canola oil or melted butter
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one medium orange (about 1 tablespoon)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, regular or mini-sized

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (for dark, nonstick pans) or 350 degrees for regular muffin tins. Line tins with cupcake liners or spray with Baker's Joy.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

In a separate medium-size bowl beat together the egg, oil or butter, buttermilk, orange juice, vailla and orange zest. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix together just until moistened. Don’t over mix! You may even see some small dry spots – as long as the mixture is evenly moistened without being overmixed, it will be fine.

Into two bowls, divide the batter in half. Stir in melted and cooled chocolate into one of the bowls.

Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the prepared muffin tins, alternating the orange and chocolate batters. Fill the cups 2/3 full. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350 or 17-18 minutes at 325 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the muffins for five minutes in the tins. Remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Joshua's Valentine Box

Since I posted Joshua's Valentine box and class Valentine cards last year, I decided to go ahead and post his box and cards this year as well. This is probably his last year making cards & boxes since he will be in middle school next year. Joshua really likes Star Trek Voyager, so he had fun making a Borg cube for his Valentine box. The Valentine cards are attached to a packet of flavored oatmeal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rise 'N Raspberry Smoothie

Kaysen has been home sick for a few days while trying to recover from bronchitis.  I made this smoothie for lunch, and not only was it delicious, but it was also very soothing for sore throats.

Rise ‘N Raspberry Smoothie 
1 cup chilled orange juice
½ cup low-fat raspberry yogurt
½ banana
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries

Pour orange juice into blender and add yogurt, banana, and raspberries.  Blend at high speed until smooth. Makes 2 servings, WW 2.5 PointsPlus per serving.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Portobello Pizzas

This isn't so much a recipe, but an idea. I thought it was yummy. I knew my mushroom haters in the family wouldn't appreciate it, so I just made it for me for lunch one day. It was quick, easy and delightful!

Use a large Portobello mushroom placed upside down for your pizza crust, top with your pizza toppings: I used pizza sauce, precooked turkey sausage, fresh grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake under a broiler until everything is warmed up and melted about 8 minutes (mine wasn't quite done but I'd already shut off the oven, so I just popped it in the microwave for another minute and it worked perfect). Then I topped with fresh chopped basil and enjoyed!

Chocolate Chip Caramel Bars

Sorry Teresa, here's another "healthy" recipe to sabotage your efforts :-) This one I found on a blog and it is quite delicious! I personally thought the caramel was a bit much, so I'd probably cut back on that, but Morgan's philosophy is you can never have too much caramel. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup mini milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup Skor toffee chips

32 caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick butter

Mix together the cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs. Then mix in different chips. In a greased 9x13 pan, press half of the mixture. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. While that is in the oven, melt in a saucepan the caramels, sweetened condensed milk and butter. When crust is done, pour sauce over the crust. Then sprinkle in chunks the rest of the cake mixture over the top of the caramel sauce. Bake for another 22-25 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Grilled Halibut with Tomato-Avacado Salsa

All I can say about this recipe is YUMMY! I think it even beats out my love of McGrath's Parmesan Halibut. It has some of my favorite ingredients and put all together was a delicious way to serve fish. I ended up just cooking it on the stove top in a skillet, but during the summer I'm sure I'll try it on the grill.

Tomato-Avocado Salsa
1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
1 medium avocado, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb. halibut or other firm fish steaks, 3/4 to 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, mix salsa ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate about 20 minutes or until chilled.

If fish steaks are large, cut into serving pieces. In shallow glass or plastic dish, mix remaining fish ingredients. Place fish in dish; turn to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours to marinate.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove fish from marinade; reserve marinade. Place fish on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 15-20 minutes, brushing 2 or 3 times with marinade and turning once, until fish flakes easily with fork. Discard any remaining marinade. Divide fish and salsa among 4 dinner plates.