I have been on the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe since I started baking. It had to be out there somewhere – perfectly baked, perfectly formed & heaped with divine chocolate pieces.
Perfection in a cookie is a matter of individual preference. Each batch I have made over the years was slightly different. Different in proportions, chocolates, mixing methods, & even baking times were carefully controlled. I have searched for tips & tricks about creaming butters, types of sugar to use and egg handling. When to mix, how long to mix, when not to mix.
There were also variations. Thin & crispy with loads of buttery flavor. Soft & cake-y, dotted with dark chocolate chips. Or my personal favorite, irresistibly chewy & chock-full of gooey chocolate.
I believe my search has finally ended. I found Averie Cooks Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies recipe while browsing Pinterest. The day I found it I ran home to try it out. My sister & her boyfriend were coming by for dinner and I thought they would be the perfect guinea pigs.
Butter was creamed with brown & granulated sugar. Egg, vanilla and other ingredients were added. Flavors married while chilling. Dough was scooped & baked. After dinner I served the cookies with a tall glass of milk. Many bites happen, some moans might have ensued. More milk was poured & before we knew it the cookies were gone. Since that night I have made this recipe about a dozen or so times.
Could there be a more perfect cookie in the world? Maybe, but I really don’t think so.
365 photo project – the simple act of taking a picture every day for a year. The idea behind starting the project is for me to try to get myself to slow down and take a different look at the world. The series is called Delightfully Living. This is Day 26 – Day 32.
What you will see: moments of time, food, details of the world around me and things that I enjoy.
Day 26: Layla’s new thing is to take my “place” on the couch whenever I get up to get something. She knows she is just too cute for me to toss her off.
Day 27: Woke up to find pastries that my husband picked up at the local baker. He knows the way to his women’s heart!
Day 28: A batch of Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies made for an after dinner snack. (Blog post about those bad boys to come soon!)
Day 29: Slow cooker Minestrone Soup for a cold day. I love coming home to an already cooked meal.
Day 30: Took this picture on my way to work. Mr. Sweet says it belongs on the cover of a horror movie.
Day 31: The day was a bit overwhelming so I hid away during my lunch break and watched a bit of Battlestar Galactica.
Day 32: Layla was quite photogenic today!
Oven Baked French Fries
4 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Set aside.
Rinse potatoes. At this point you can peel the potatoes with a vegetable peeler or keep the skins on (we are a skins on kind of family). After you have decided for skins or not, slice the potatoes into ¼ inch to strips.
In the medium bowl you placed the dry ingredients in, toss the potato strips with the olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Toss together; making sure that every potato is coated with a bit of seasoning.
Spread potatoes strips in a single layer across the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, occasionally flipping them for desired crispness. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
BUTTERY MILK BUNDT CAKE
Serves – 8
1 stick and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325. Grease a bundt pan with butter and dust with flour.
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and mixed for about 5 minutes. Pour batter in prepared bunt pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven.
Let cake cool for a couple of minutes then tap on the sides of the pan to loosen the cake (also you can give it a couple of good wacks on the counter). Turn it over onto a plate to dislodge the cake from the pan. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
We have forgotten the little pleasures in life. How to play, a great big, tear inducing laugh, a dessert for no good reason. As a culture, we seem so hell bent on success that we never stop and realize that we are missing the little things until it is too late. Just remember that when you are older, sitting and reminiscing, that you won’t regret that you didn’t spend more time at the office, but that you lived the life that you always wished for.
Playing is good for the soul. Value and treasure it.
Every Tuesday evening my sister comes over. It is a tradition that started once I moved out of my parent’s house. Every week she comes by, we make dinner, watch movies, or play games. Mr. Sweet and I love having her over. We enjoy every ounce of time spent with her. The three of us laugh till our bellies are pained. Each Tuesday evening I try to make a little something special. Be it a dish that she enjoys or a dessert. Even though it is just the three of us, I like to embellish our food. Take last night’s dessert, a mix of strawberries, a bit of cake, whip cream all topped with strawberry champagne chocolate shavings.
Every day should be adorned with something beautiful – despite the fact you are going to eat it in seconds.
Do you have one of those recipes that you only make every once in a while because they are so naughty? The amount bad that goes into a recipe where you just can’t make it more than once every two months. Yea that this is one of those recipes.
I don’t know if it is the onions, garlic or the wonderful Yancey’s Fancy New York Artisan roasted garlic cheese, but this recipe is always a hit. A friend of mine constantly requests this recipe when he comes over. And if there are leftovers (which there usually aren’t) he takes them home.
Naughty Roasted Garlic Cheddar Mash Potatoes
5 to 6 medium-sized potatoes (washed, peel and cubed)
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 small onion
4 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 cups shredded roasted garlic cheddar cheese (I used Yancey’s Fancy New York Artisan Cheese)
Milk (depending on your liking – I usually put about a cup or so)
salt and pepper to taste
Wash, peel and cube the potatoes. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Season water with 1 teaspoon garlic. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Strain potatoes and set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan. Fry onion until translucent. Set aside.
Coarsely mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and continue to mash the potatoes. Add milk a little at a time (depending on your liking) and continue to mash the potatoes until your preferred creamy consistency. Add fried onions and roasted garlic cheddar cheese. Mix till combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We usually have this side dish with a vegetable and steak. Completely delish! To change the recipe up a bit you can always leave the potato skins on to give it a nice texture.
Since Hurricane Irene was on her way to New Jersey this weekend K and I had a mandatory lazy weekend. We stayed in our pajamas all day cuddling up with fluffy blankets. We took naps and then a couple of more naps. We watched movies, played video games and snacked on foods that we usually don’t store in the house.
When shopping a couple of days before the storm, K and I armed ourselves with the foods that usually are not stocked in our house on a regular basis: ice cream cake, chips, appetizers, sangria and anything naughty we could get our hands on. We also stocked up on fruits, veggies and canned foods. On Friday evening I made a couple of meals for the upcoming days as most news channels were telling us that the lights might go out and the response time for PSE&G could be delayed for up to 5 days. Better safe than sorry.
We knew that we were going to be in the house all weekend and wanted to indulge a little. Ok, a lot. We went into a sugar/carb/sangria overload. It was worth it. We laughed, drank and played to our hearts content while the storm brewed and howled outside. We danced in the rain. We kept each other company and watched way too many movies.
We were very lucky not to have had any damage and that our lights stayed on for the entirety of the storm. We were ready for the worse that Hurricane Irene could throw at us. We are grateful she decided to be kind.
On Sunday we headed over to my parents house to help with the clean-up. They had a bit of water in the basement. Armed with high water pants, water proof boots and a couple of pizzas we were all able to clean out the basement in a couple of hours.
I hope that wherever you were this weekend that you were safe and that the Hurricane Irene was also kind to you.
For the last month and a half I have been on a Gluten Free Diet. It has been one of the hardest things for me to get through. A meal with a side of bread is my kryptonite – a warm roll slathered with butter or a croissant with strawberry jam. I am drooling just thinking about it.
There are things that have been happening that have lead me to this point. I was having a lot of G.I. issues for a while and thought it was “normal” since I have had stomach problems since high school. I am constantly tired. I can go home right now, crawl into bed and fall asleep till tomorrow. Joints ache and constant headaches. I am tired of it. I am tired of always feeling exhausted. Little did I know when I started this gluten free lifestyle how it would affect my life.
I have always loved food. I am a self taught baker. Anyone who comes to my house for dinner knows that there will be a dessert to follow which usually involves flour. Cakes, cookies, pies and breads are my specialty. For Christmas, I make dozens of different cookies to give out to my friends and family. If you search through this blog you will see numerous recipes that involve my now number one nemesis…flour.
I now have to brave the isles at my local supermarket to read labels and change the way I am eating and thinking. I was surprised once I took a look at the labels of the foods we have so mindless been devouring. I have realized that a lot of my favorite eateries are unable to provide me with something that I would favor. This experience has been eye opening. I now take pleasure in finding new and exciting ways to cook. K and I are pushed to find restaurants outside of our comfort zone. We are changing for the better.
I have heard that it takes 30 to 60 days to break a habit. I have seen my husband go a year without soda, just because. Now it is my turn to push away the bread basket, to listen to what my body is trying to tell me and make a better life for myself.
I am keeping my fingers crossed and the bread basket far away.