Monday, September 15, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I know there are a million chocolate chip cookie recipes out there BUT these were amazing!  I don't know if the secret is the cornstarch or what, but they are so so yummy!

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour, measured correctly
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180 grams) chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Directions:

Click here for step-by-step photos and careful explanations of all of these steps.
Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. See this post for more clarity and a photo. Put 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 whole days at room temperature. Cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months and baked in their frozen state for 12 minutes.
*Room temperature egg + egg yolk are preferred for even disbursement.  Typically, if a recipe calls for room temperature or melted butter, it's a good idea to use room temperature eggs as well.  To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, simply place the whole eggs into a glass of warm water for 5 minutes.  

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I tasted this meal at a recent book club and was astonished.  This is the first curry I have ever enjoyed.  I have never enjoyed the taste of curry.  However, in this dish it was delicious, especially with naan!

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Recipe from newleafwellness.biz

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1, 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1, 13.5oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about one cup)
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1, 14.5oz can of tomato sauce (about 1 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  •  2 tablespoons curry powder
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, garlic, honey, and seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Cover with the tomato sauce/seasoning mixture.
  3. Cook on low 8 hours.

To Freeze

Combine all of the ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. When ready to cook, thaw overnight in your refrigerator and cook in your slow cooker for 10-12 hours on low. Since the Slow Cooker Chicken Curry cooks for the first time in your slow cooker, it won’t taste like leftovers!
Serve with white or brown rice, and enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Margherita Pasta

I made this for mom and dad when they were in Dallas recently...love that this meal is "fancy", but the kids love it too.  Super easy and VERY fast.  I used heirloom cherry tomatoes and you MUST use fresh mozzarella (shaped in balls and surrounded with clear liquid- usually found in deli section).
                                                                                    courtesy

Margherita Pasta
From A Bountiful Kitchen
1 box spaghetti, cooked "al dente", drained
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 tablespoons butter optional, but highly recommended for flavor
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes (about 10-12) coarsely chopped or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
additional basil leaves for garnish

Cook pasta. Set aside, or while pasta is cooking prepare sauce. 
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over low heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant over low heat, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil, and pasta to pan with tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until all pasta is heated through. Just before ready to serve, pour into serving bowl, toss with fresh mozzarella and grated cheese. Serve at once with additional grated cheese, and more fresh basil if desired.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

El Charro Dip

Yup. You read that right fellow Georgians. El Charro dip. Emily and I (Emily really), after much prodding from our waiter, figured out how to make our own El Charro dip and its pretty dang authentic and delicious. Prepare to be addicted.
El Charro Dip
Ingredients:
1 cup of 2% or higher milk
1/2 lb. white American cheese (its very hard to find in the regular cheese section...I almost always have to go to the deli)

Directions:
Bring milk to a boil on medium high heat. Add in cheese and stir continually until its all incorporated and melted. Serve with On the border or Tostito's Cantina chips. YUM YUM! This is great reheated too. I also love to drizzle it on top of enchiladas or use the leftover for nachos another night. 



HEALTHY AND PROTEIN-packed PB dip

Emily gave me this recipe and I've been waiting for to post it. She hasn't so I will! Her and I have both been trying to really focus on lean sources of protein in our diet.
HEALTHY AND PROTEIN-packed PB dip

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 c plain (or vanilla flavored) greek yogurt
2 T peanut butter (I wanna try PB2 substitute next time!)
1 T honey
sprinkle of cinnamon
dash of vanilla
add little sugar or stevia if using plain yogurt

Mix well with spoon. Serve with red and green apples, pretzels, bananas, etc!
Serving size 1/4 c Nutrition facts: 165 calories, 8.5 g fat, 10 g protein

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Baked Halibut Steaks

This is probably my favorite fish recipe, and it's super easy!  I'm going to try it with Cod today because we are low on Halibut (from the Alaskan fishing trip).  It should be great!  The original recipe calls for barbecuing the steaks, but I always bake them.


Baked Halibut Steaks
adapted from Allrecipes.com

2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 pound halibut steaks

Preheat oven to 350.  Place butter, brown sugar, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, and pepper in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.  Spray glass baking dish with non-stick spray and add fish.  Pour sauce over fish, making sure it is covered on both sides, and bake for 12-15 minutes.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cucumber Limeade

pic courtesy of marthstewart.com
 
My friend Susie served this at a "favorite things" party and I had to get the recipe. Its so amazing and refreshing. I don't even really like cucumbers but YOU GOTTA TRY THIS!!! Its super simple with only three ingredients but looks so beautiful and sophisticated. Perfect for a summer BBQ!

INGREDIENTS:
-2 liter of lemon-lime soda (I used sprite zero)
- 1 can of frozen limeade concentrate
- 1/2 sliced cucumber (this picture shows spears but I would slice them)
- Lots of ice

Mix and serve.