Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I made another great recipe from Lovin From the Oven, her Grandma's Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies (I cut her recipe in 1/4th since it makes an obscene amount of cookies).

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 and 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
15 oz dark chocolate chips
3 oz white chocolate chips
3 oz milk chocolate chips

Directions: Combine butter, shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed. Separately mix flour, baking soda, and salt and add to butter-sugar mixture until mixed. Add chocolate chips. Drop in spoonfuls on cookie sheet, bake at 375 for 11 minutes or until lightly brown.
The recipe claims to make 3 dozen, although I've found it makes about 4 dozen (unless you like your cookies giant).

You might notice that this looks almost exactly like the Nestle Tollhouse Recipe. In fact, there are only two differences: 1) subbing out half the butter for shortening, and 2) using different varieties, and a larger total amount, of chocolate chips. Shortening is apparently really ridiculously bad for you (something or other about trans fats...psh) but I think it makes cookies so excellent, because it has a higher melting point than butter or margarine, so the cookies don't spread out very much! They stay nice and fat, just the way I like them :P I also like my cookies loaded with chips, but if you don't, you could cut that down a little.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

I couldn't decide if I wanted butterscotch brownies (like these) or just plain old chocolate brownies, so i thought, why not mix them?? The result was pretty ridiculous--incredibly chocolatey and rich and gooey with a crispy crust on top and amazing and probably all eaten in the next two hours hahaha

1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c oil
1 Tbsp instant coffee
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour an 8x8 baking dish.

Melt butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Stir in oil, instant coffee, and sugar. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Sift the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix to combine. Pour and spread into prepared pan. The batter will be really thick and sticky, so carefully spread it out in the pan.

Bake for ~30 min and then test with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to make cutting them easier.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Simple Turkey Chili

I had one pound of ground turkey in the freezer all winter and kept thinking I'd make chili someday, but didn't get around to it until today. It's been cold and rainy here lately, so I decided to warm myself up with a hot bowl of chili.

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1lb ground turkey
3 Roma tomatoes, finely diced (puree for a paste-like consistency if you'd like, but I thought a fine chop was good enough)
1 can (15oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

Seasonings to taste
cayenne pepper

1. Mix in some amount of the seasonings with the ground turkey. I'd say, 1 tsp salt and oregano, 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper and paprika. You'll def have to do more adjusting, but it's nice to give the meat some flavor as well.

2. In a medium stockpot over medium-high flame, saute the onions until slightly browned. Stir in the ground turkey, making sure to break up clumps. When there's only a little bit of pink left, stir in the beans and tomato. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for a few minutes; stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

3. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with a dash of chives, a sprinkle of grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream, a handful of tortilla chips... whatever you desire. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rosemary Flatbread

I considered making focaccia, but I'd already made the dough for Light Whole Wheat Bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Oops. I went through with the remainder of the instructions anyway, and the result turned out pretty well, though with a harder crust than I expected, so I'm not comfortable calling it focaccia. Taking 1lb of your typical bread dough, preheat the oven to 425F. Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with olive oil. Make a round dough, then roll it out to about 3/4in thickness. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and 1 Tbsp dried rosemary on top. You can also add some lightly sauteed onions, or in my case, sliced olives (I love olives). Drizzle the top with some olive oil. Pop into oven and pour 1 cup hot water into a broiler tray, then quickly close the oven to seal in the steam. Bake for 25min, adjusting for thickness of dough.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Banana Carrot Oatmeal Pancakes

Adapted from this recipe, these pancakes are superhealthy, and reheat incredibly well. I've been making them over the weekend and enjoying them all week long, topped with various fruits, like apples, bananas, and strawberries instead of syrup.

Yield: 8-10 pancakes

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 packets (~1/2 c) instant oatmeal (any flavor will do, but I prefer plain or something NONfruity)
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 1/2-2 c soymilk (i've been using the sweetened soy milk and omitting sugar in the recipe)
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 ripe banana, mashed

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking powder, salt, and spices (if using) in a large mixing bowl. If using sweetened instant oatmeal, I like to sieve it first to get rid of all the excess sugar. Measure out 1 1/2 c soymilk and mix together with eggs, oil, carrots, and banana. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just moist. Depending on how thick you like your pancakes, add more soymilk (I end up adding at least 1/2 c more). Heat a griddle or nonstick frying pan over medium high to high heat and lightly coat with oil. When the pan is ready (a few drops of water should spatter around when dropped on a ready griddle), pour about 1/4-1/2 c of batter onto the pan. Use the back of a spoon to quickly spread it out a bit to the desired thickness. Cook for a couple minutes, until the top of the pancake changes color slightly and bubbles form. Flip the pancake over and cook for another few minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Enjoy right away, or refrigerate and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds. These taste great with a little syrup, some butter and cinnamon, warmed jelly, or simply sliced fruit!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grilled asparagus with a twist

1.5 lbs asparagus
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Zest of 1 orange
Small handful of finely chopped almonds

Remove fibrous ends of the asparagus, and the cut stems in half. Heat olive oil in a stir fry pan. Keep at medium heat. Add in asparagus. Roll each stem around in the oil so it is coated. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Once asparagus has been in for a couple minutes, add the garlic, and 3/4 of the lemon zest. Mix in. After another couple minutes, add the butter (in thin slices). Total cook time is 5-7 minutes, but keep taste checking to make sure the asparagus doesn't get over cooked. Once cooked, immediately transfer to a cool serving bowl. Pour the excess oil/butter from the stir fry pan over the asparagus. Top with the remaining orange zest and almonds.

Breakfast, Desi Style: Akoori

Yield: 2-3 breakfast servings

6 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger paste
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1 green chili, sliced lengthwise
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin-corriendar powder
2 small roma tomatoes, finely chopped
4 eggs
salt to taste
vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sautee the onions for 1-2 min until slightly softened. Add the garlic, ginger paste, and green chili (if using), and sautee for another minute. Add the remaining spices and the tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes have released their water and the water has evaporated. Add the eggs and scramble. Cook to desired done-ness. Add salt to taste. I love to eat this with toasted english muffins with a light layer of mayo, or fresh hot rotis. mmm

Salmon Cakes with Papaya Salsa

I was craving crab cakes (but I only had salmon), and I found an incredibly cheap papaya from the Milk Pail Market, so I came up with a tasty way to combine them!

For the salmon cakes:
1 pound salmon
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 slice of bread, toasted and crumbled
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp black pepper
5-10 stalks of parsley, minced
1 egg
1 carrot, peeled and grated

For the salsa:
1/2 papaya, cut into small cubes
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
10-15 stalks parsley, minced

Heat the salmon in the microwave until half cooked, until it is easy to flake (2 min or so). Place it into a large mixing bowl with the other ingredients for the salmon cakes and combine everything together. Heat a griddle or nonstick frying pan and lightly coat with olive oil. Take a small amount of the salmon and form a patty with your hands (as large or as small as you'd like). Place on the hot griddle and cook for a few minutes until golden brown (~4 min). Turn the patty over and cook on the other side for a similar amount of time. To make the salsa, combine all ingredients. Place the salsa on top of the cooked fish and enjoy!

Dosa: South Indian Crepes

Dosa is a thin crepe made from a paste made of soaked rice and beans. They're filled with all sorts of (savory) things, most often potatoes and peas. Sometimes, they are made really large (up to 18in). Here's a picture of a couple of smaller ones cooking on the can tell how thin they are because you can see the griddle itself through them!

And here's a terrible-no-good picture of a typical potato and pea filling (I got too busy eating to remember to take another pic! oooops)

New Year's Cake

My mom made one of her signature cakes for new year's eve (oh right, that was months ago...oops!). Chocolate, with cream cheese buttercream frosting, and topped with homemade blueberry syrup. Scrumptious! I wanted to eat it allllll

The Cheesiest Pizza Ever in other words, the most delicious food in the world (aside from burritos, perhaps, but that's a discussion for another day...)

Spinach-Pesto pizza from Paxti's in Palo Alto:

This place is fabulous! You have to wait just about 12 years for your pizza, but it's well worth it!


The quotes are in the title because i'm sure this is far from authentic, but it's still amazing!

Yield: 3-4 full-meal servings

10 no-boil lasagna sheets (better if they're flat, but the frilly kind should work too)
2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 zucchini, julienned (is that the right verb form??)
3 gloves of garlic, grated
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 jar creamy marinara sauce
shredded mozarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded chicken breasts, zucchini, garlic, cream cheese, and egg, plus a little salt and pepper, if desired.

Boil the lasagna sheets briefly, until they are just softened. Then place 1/10 of the chicken mixture onto the short side of one of the sheets, and roll the sheet into a tube. Place into an 8x8 pan greased lightly with olive oil. Roll up all of the lasagna sheets this way and arrange them in the baking pan. Pour the sauce over the tubes. Wriggle the tubes around a bit to make sure the sauce gets in between the tubes. Sprinkle as much cheese as desired on top, cover with foil, and bake until the cheese is melted, the noodles are softened, and the sauce is bubbling.

Goan style shrimp curry

Adapted this recipe for a DELICIOUS and simple curry that i've made several times now. a few comments:
- tastes great with other proteins too, like chicken or tofu
- the spice proportions in this recipe make it INCREDIBLY can cut the dry spices in half and it would still taste delicious
- i put in twice as much coconut milk...because it comes in 1/2 cup cans so it's easier to just use up the whole it tempers the spice...and of's so amazing(ly bad for you, but let's not think about that!)
- i like to put in about twice as many curry leaves too
- tasted delicious with some red wine

eggs, mexican style!

photo progression of huevos rancheros i made a while ago...corn tortillas layered with homemade guacamole (avocado, tomatoes, onions, lime juice, slivers of lettuce), black beans, a poached egg (instructions here) and "ranchero sauce" (quotes because it was totally improvised--just tomatoes and onions cooked with garlic, cumin, corriendar, chili power)...delicious!!! not quite as good as the fresh version at the sunnyvale farmer's market, but it'll do if it's not saturday morning :)

ps, something else i did with the ranchero sauce and avocado and beans...fajita pumpkin crepes...made some simple pumpkin crepes, filled with sauteed onions and bell peppers and cojita cheese, and topped with ranchero sauce and mashed avocado...yum!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cookie Dough Truffles (vegan!)

My boyfriend LOVES raw cookie dough, but I don't like to eat it, because I am very paranoid about raw and undercooked eggs and poultry. Also, while I like it, its not SO good that it really tempts me to stray from my no-raw egg policy (brownie batter, on the other hand...). Anyway, when I saw this recipe for chocolate cookie dough truffles, I absolutely had to make them. I knew my boyfriend would love them, they're egg-free, and the added chocolate coating made them really exciting to me. They definitely did not disappoint...the recipe made at least 40 truffles and we gobbled them up in...oh, I don't know...three or four days?

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk (I used regular skim milk)
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 12-oz package chocolate chips or dark candy coating (for dipping).

Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and stir until incorporated. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour. (I think I actually omitted this step when I did it...oops)

When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate candy coating or chips in a double boiler or in microwave (I used the microwave - I zapped about half the chips at a time, for 30 seconds or until glossy and then stirred for awhile until they were completely melted.) Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. (I actually used my hands because the cookie dough kept falling off the fork. Hands was VERY messy, but seemed to work well for the truffles). Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container. MMMMMM so good!

Coconut Chocolate Cookie

I like chocolate. I like coconut. I like cookies. So I combined them, and the result was very well-received. I mostly just modified a standard cookie recipe by adding flaked coconut and chocolate chips. I made some cookies without the chocolate chips because I thought there was too much chocolate, but my roommate's boyfriend convinced me that there's really no such things as too much chocolate. Sorry about the coldness of the picture though; I haven't quite worked out how to take good food pictures with my new camera.

1.25 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup minus 1 Tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.25 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheet(s).

2. In a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well blended. Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients until well mixed. With a wooden spoon, mix in the coconut and chocolate chips last.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12min. Cool on wire rack.