Friday, July 27, 2012

Colossal Cookies: White and Dark Chocolate Chip

These cookies are huge.  Colossal in fact.  These gigantic gourmet cookies taste so incredible, they're amazing straight out of the oven, and even at midnight with a bowl of ice cream.  At least that's what I heard...... :)  I made these buttery, sugary, yeah-I-know-they're-not-good-for-me cookies last night.  I was having one of those days and by the time 9pm rolled by, I was overwhelmed with the desire to make some kind of cookie.  But I didn't want ordinary chocolate chip cookies, I wanted gigantic gourmet cookies.  Why do large thick gooey cookies always seem better???  I have no idea expect for the fact they just are!

The good thing about cravings for chocolate chip cookies is that most people almost always have all of the ingredients on hand.  The other good thing about chocolate chip cookies is that they only take 10 minutes to whip up, and 20 minutes to bake.  These cookies, though colossal, are no different.  The contrast of milky white chocolate and bittersweet dark chocolate chips in every cookie taste amazing.  Next time I might add in some nuts, but this time it was all about the chocolate! Next time you are at home and can't get chocolate chip cookies out of your mind, try these :)

This is one of the only recipes I'll tell you to not swap out whole wheat flour for all-purpose, reduce the butter, or find a way to "healthify" it.  Normally I'm all about eating more vegetables, less animals and the sort.  But sometimes we need to take a step back and remind ourselves - "Life's too short, just eat the cookie!!"  Greatest saying ever, thanks Mom :)

makes about 18 cookies, recipe adapted from

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (Makes for a very easy clean up!)  In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  

With a mixer (stand or hand held) mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, white sugar untill well blended.  Next add in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat till light and creamy.  Carefully mix in bowl of flour, baking soda and salt until just blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes untill the edges are lightly toasted.  Depending on  the type of pan, the cookies may take an additional 4-5 minutes (I also like mine slightly under-done).  Cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Serve immediately or at midnight with a bowl of ice cream!! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raspberry Cabernet Sorbet

I think it has been the hottest summer ever.  Over the weekend Chris and I had tons of great ideas - we were going to go for a hike with the dog, paddleboard on the lake, and maybe end the day dine alfresco and hit up the outdoor patio of our favorite wine bar.  I had been out of town with my girlfriends the weekend before so we wanted to get some fresh air and enjoy a just-him-and-me date night.   That soo didn't happen - why? Because it was ungodly hot in Charlotte with 500% humidity.  It hurt to breathe outdoors.  So instead we ended up going to the movies and drinking wine indoors :)  Nothing is better than sitting, indoors and drinking wine!!  Outdoor activities?  Nope, not in this heat!

So this dessert is absolutely perfect for this time of the year and very easy to make.  It combines two of my favorite things - red wine and icy sorbet.  This sorbet is different than the typical sorbet as it contains some dairy, but the ingredients easily come together and you end up with a bright and delicious berry sorbet.  The cabernet adds a nice layer of flavor and also helps break down the raspberries.  Next time you are craving a cool and refreshing treat I highly recommend you try this boozy sorbet!

recipe by Mark Bittman

12 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cabernet sauvignon

What the mixture looks like right before you add the final tablespoon of wine

All you need to make this is a food processor!  Combine the raspberries, sugar, yogurt and 2 tablespoons of wine and process for 2-3 minutes.  Add the additional tablespoon of wine and process for another 1-2 minutes, but make sure the sorbet doesn't liquify from over processing.  I think the sorbet needs about 1-2 hours in the freezer to firm up, but you can serve immediately if you need to.  Stay cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Corn and Manchego Tri-Color Quinoa Salad

Do corn and tomatoes mean summer to you?  They do to me, especially tomatoes as you've seen here, and here. Growing up my family spent a lot of time at my Grandmom's summer house on the Maryland Eastern Shore and at the beach where both corn and tomatoes are grown in abundance.  Corn on the cob was almost always served at dinner.  My family liked to eat it slathered in butter with lots of salt and pepper... Mmmm, so good. Unfortunately today I realize it's probably not the best thing to eat every weekend. So I decided to take two of my favorite summer ingredients and combine them in a way that is healthy and flavorful!

This dish is tied to together not only by pretty tri-color quinoa (I used tri-color because it is pretty, but regular also works), but cilantro, lime and of course, manchego cheese.  I don't use manchego cheese a whole lot, but it's buttery texture truly makes this dish.  Try to buy a good quality manchengo if you can.  This dish is the perfect meal to make a big batch of and take for lunch or use as a dinner side.  It so delicious!
Local Silver Queen from the farmer's market
serves 4

2 ears of corn or two cups of frozen corn
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup minced vidali onions
1 tomato diced
2 tbsp cilantro
1 lime, juiced
4 oz manchego cheese, grated
1 cup of cooked quinoa


In a large skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup onions and saute for 2 minutes.  Add two cups of corn and saute for another 5 minutes.  Add diced tomato, cooked quinoa, salt and pepper.   Let cook for another 8-10 minutes.  Lastly add the cilantro, lime juice and grate the manchego cheese over the dish.  Stir together and serve in a bowl.  Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by this week's Food Matters Project recipe - Corn Avocado Salad. This is my take on a similar but avocado-less recipe :)  Get the original recipe here! And check out everyone else’s take here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Parmesan Honey Sweet Potato Chips

Annnnd we're back!  Whhheww, that was an extended blogging/ just need to chill break.  It was a good break and now I am so excited to start sharing recipes with you all again.  During my break, I was still cooking, but I was most re-making my favorite recipes and eating lots of simple fruits and vegetables.  I feel like a regular at my local farmers market!!  Such a great feeling!

One of my all-time favorite veggies are sweet potatoes.  They are a super food, and super good for you.  I like them because they satisfy my carb cravings yet fill me with nutrients.  This time I decided to turn them into chips - with a vegetable peeler!  It's pretty easy and there's no need for any fancy cutlery, or a mandolin.  I wish I would of starting doing this earlier.

I decided to use the first few peels with the skin because the potato skin also has a lot of nutrients.  (Though you could peel the potato first and then just use subsequent peels if you don't like the texture of the skin).   Salty parmesan and sweet honey come together and compliment these crispy chips.  They are addictive as a snack and make a fun side dish!


2 small sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp honey (I used local sourwood honey)
1/4 cup shaved parmesan
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper


Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.  Start to peel potato into strips and keep going.  (I used a medium sized mixing bowl for the potato peels which I recommend because it was easy to then mix all the seasonings and potato peels in).  Now add in the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, honey and parmesan.   Mix together with your hands until evenly coated.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the sweet potato peels on the sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes till crispy.  Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by this week's Food Matters Project recipe - beet "sandwiches".  This is my take on a similar but beet-free recipe :)  Get the original recipe here! And check out everyone else’s take here.