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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies of a Lifetime

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Going along with this weeks earlier post on tea time and scones, morning coffee is not the same without something sweet to munch on. Sure I can go with drinking a cup of coffee after I’m done with my cereal, but a nice bit of sugar right before I leave the door sometimes gets me through the harder times of the day. These cookies are perfect for that. Chewy and gooey and made in less than an hour, I couldn’t ask for me.

Granted, I’ve made chocolate chip cookies before, however, I’m still searching for the perfect, and the best recipe possible. The one that should be my go-to recipe for birthdays and potlucks and lonely Saturday nights, and I think this might be it.

Cookies taken directly from The Little White Kitchen

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Chocolate Chip Cookies 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (or hard margarine), room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 white sugar
  • 2 eggs , room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla (i love vanilla)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (you can also add nuts, toffee bits, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I n a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy (making sure your butter is room temperature really helps the process go smoothly). Add both eggs and mix until incorporated. Mix in your vanilla.
In a separate bowl, use a whisk to mix together your flour, salt and baking soda. Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Spoon the cookie dough into tablespoon sized balls (about 3 inches apart) onto your cookie sheet (do not grease the cookie sheets, but feel free to use parchment paper if you don’t like to wash pans afterwards).

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies and whether or not you like them well done)
on the center rack of your oven.

Remove cookie sheets from the oven and place them on cooling racks (do not try to remove the cookies at this point or you’ll end up with a gooey mess).

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Let cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheets and then remove the cookies and place them on a cooling rack.

Eat the cookies whenever you need a pick me up, or the world gets you down.

An English Tea Deserves Scones

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Now that LAUSD is out of session– yay summer– and I have a fairly regular working schedule that’s keeping me busy, yet open enough to do anything and everything in the mornings and afternoons, I decided instead of eating a very late lunch (after 3pm), I’d instead have a decent tea to hold me over till dinner.

I know 3 pm is also too late for a “traditional” tea, but I’m at work during the regular hours. An hour late won’t hurt, right? I love tea, I love clotted cream, jam, cookies and scones so why not? Firstly, I need scones. The ones in this post were a little dry, partly because of the oven temperature, however, the second batch was a lot better. Below is the adjusted temperature for the lovely muffins. Note that I also subbed in orange zest for lemon, and omitted the use of the glaze. I really don’t need it in presence of syrup and clotted cream. That’s enough calories for me, thank you.

Strictly Based on The Messy Baker scones.

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Blueberry Orange Scones

  • 2½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbs. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1¼ cups fat-free buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (do not thaw frozen blueberries)
For the Glaze- I omitted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3½ tbs. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles very coarse sand (the mixture will still be a bit dry).

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In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, Greek yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries. Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet using a large ice cream scoop.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top of the scones are golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Drizzle the glaze onto the slightly warm scones or slice open and serve with clotted cream, jam, and or syrup or honey.

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Glaze
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon zest. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice until smooth.

Chicken Parm Meatballs

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I love ground chicken. I love ground turkey, too. Basically, I feel like the chicken has a slightly creamy texture when cooked with. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but beef seems too, basic. It’s almost like it’s drying. Which isn’t the case if it’s not in ground form. Obviously, I’m not talking about the super lean beef, but the ground chuck that you’re supposed to use for good flavor. Nope, I just can’t do it lately, I can’t cook with beef.

I suppose that’s good for me, in the long run, so it works out.

But I have to say, I’ve used ground chicken in pasta sauces, with lasagna, stuffed into peppers, and made chili with it. I’ve been working with ground turkey less than chicken, but today I’m returning to my old poultry friend in these delicious, and giant (!) meatballs.

From Dinner, A Love Story

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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill or parsley
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino (or Parm)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or there abouts)
  • 1 14-ounce can store bought pizza sauce (or pasta sauce, I had pasta sauce so that’s what I used)
  • about 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly (I didn’t have that, so I used a shredded mozzarella blend, with a bit of cheddar mixed in)

Preheat oven to 400°F, setting rack to upper third part of oven.

In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together first 11 ingredients (everything up to the olive oil). Shape into lacrosse-ball size balls (that would be somewhere between golf and tennis) and place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet.

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Brush oil on top of each meatball (I just drizzled it around them and on top so some oil got under the meatballs as well. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

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Remove meatballs from oven, spoon some sauce on top of each meatball, and cover each with a slice of cheese. Broil another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan.

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Serve with some pasta or potatoes. I used some spaghetti squash, to keep it healthy.

These meatballs (if the same, large, tennis ball size) are about 128 calories each. Two is more than enough, especially with a side, for a meal.

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Rhubarb Cardamom Muffins

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I woke up today with this weird feeling. I wanted to make something, bake something to be exact, however I wanted it to be simple. And I didn’t want to use my stand mixer. Don’t ask me why I wanted these things specifically, but I did. And so this Saturday morning I decided to make these easy Rhubarb muffins.

I adapted a few small things from the original recipe, though the original is delicious as well! But I wanted to make something that was slightly healthier than what was listed. I subbed in nondairy milk (see below) and got rid of the topping. If you want the original recipe, follow the link.

Recipe adapted from A Farm Girls Dabbles

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Cardamom and Rhubarb Muffins

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used almond coconut blend, unsweetened, from Blue Diamond)
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil (I like canola)
  • 1-1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 6-7 cardamom pods

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line your muffin pan and thoroughly spray with cooking spray (I used PAM).

Mix egg, milk, and oil in small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. Do not over mix. Fold in rhubarb. The batter will be sticky, this is okay.

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Spoon into muffin tin and let rest a few minutes while you prepare the cardamom ( this batch made 9 muffins for me).

Place your pods on a flat surface, and with the jar they come in, or with a mug, gently push down, crushing the green shells. Open up the shells and remove the seeds. They will be black or tan/brown in color. Sprinkle them all over the muffins.  The original recipe calls for a cardamom crunch topping, but to save on the extra carbs and calories I opted to just add in the seeds for the flavor and non of the extras I didn’t really need.

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Place pan in oven and bake until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let rest in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. The muffins are best the day they are baked, but morning after was quite delicious as well.

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Triple Banana Walnut Muffins

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I have finally done it! I have created (sort of) my very own recipe. Let me explain, in terms of baking, I don’t really have any skills, simply because it’s more precise than cooking. Although I love to bake, I cannot say with full confidence that I’ve never not followed a recipe. Sure, I can sub in ingredients and maybe add more of one than another, but that’s adapting a recipe in it’s most basic form. Here, I barely followed the recipe at all, and I feel so proud.

Also, I apologize for the lack of pictures, but as I was just messing around in the kitchen, I honestly didn’t think that my first attempt that not following a recipe would come out so successful. 🙂

These muffins are very healthy, by muffin standards. They do have flaxsee (not a flax egg) for extra healthiness. Also I bought a lot of flaxseed and was trying to figure out where to use it.

This recipe was adapted, in part, from skinnytaste.

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Triple Banana Walnut Muffins

  •  3 bananas (decent sized, not large, but not too small, preferably very ripe)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chopped  walnuts
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mash bananas in a medium bowl. To that bowl, add 1 egg, oil, yogurt, flaxseed and brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add in the flour and baking powder and mix.  Finally, add in the vanilla, salt and the chopped walnuts. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.

Line your muffin sheet with cupcake liners.

Fill your tins to the top. Mine made exactly 12 muffins. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and muffins are firm and risen.  I started to check mine at 16 minutes (just to be sure, but they still had a bit of cooking to do).