September 11, 2011

Chocolate CHIPPERS

I love baking way more than cooking. I am better at it. After many trial runs, I have found the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies. They are just the right balance of salty & sweet and according to my sister, "they are un-real" hot out of the oven. Did I mention they look really cute too?

Chocolate Chippers

1 stick salted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Prep: Thaw butter. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until smooth.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
Stir dry and wet ingredients together.
Add chocolate chips (3/4 of the bag...or more depending on preference)

Scoop out dough with cookie scooper (this is my secret to making perfectly shaped cookies). Cook for 8 minutes. Transfer hot cookies to cooling rack.

makes about 4 dozen small size cookies


June 15, 2011

Healthiest, Easiest, Yummiest No Bake Cookie

Yes, all those "ests" really do live up to this cookie.  You know those times where you are craving a cookie, but you don't want the oven, the butter, or the sugar?  Well, this recipe will do the trick.

A few of the ingredients may cause sighs of, "I don't want to aimlessly search the store for expensive specialties".  That was me at least, but these are staples I tell you and can work amazingly in a lot of recipes, so here you go.  

1- coconut oil (should be a wax like consistency) found at whole foods.

2- agave (found at Tarjay)

3- almond milk (found at tarjay) Oh the wonders of this milk.  I have pretty much replaced it for milk altogether.  It's non-dairy and works in recipes, cereal, etc.

Without further adieu, the recipe:

No bake peanut butter coconut cookies

1/2 cup agave
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk (almond milk works great)
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

In a medium sauce pan mix agave nectar and baking cocoa. Add milk and coconut oil. Stir over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter, vanilla, salt and oats. Drop by spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets. Stick the pan into the refrigerator until the mounds are set, then eat away.

May 3, 2011

6-layer dip with black beans

I like refried beans, but I like black beans more. Here is my take on the ever-famous layered dip...perfect for Cinco De Mayo coming up!

 (your amounts will vary for the crowd you are feeding .. this is for about an 8 inch round dish)
4 oz sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
1-2 cups? quacamole (you can't ever have enough of this)
Sharp cheddar cheese grated (about 1.5 cups)
4 green onions chopped
5 vine ripe tomatoes chopped
1/2 can of black beans drained & cooked according to can directions
lime juice (optional)

Here's the layer order:
1. Mix sour cream and cream cheese together and add it as your bottom layer
2. Next add a thick layer of guacamole
3. Next add your cheddar cheese
4. Then your black beans 
5. Next your tomatoes
6. Last your green onion.
Then I add another dab of guac on top and a sprinkle of lime juice for good luck.

Serve chilled with corn chips

Chicken Pillows

We learned this recipe from a roommate in college. My husband LOVES this meal. Not the healthiest but a fun one non-the-less.

Ingredients (feeds 4-6 people):
2 cans of crescent rolls
7-8 chicken tenders
4oz cream cheese
2 tb butter melted
3 tb milk
2 tb green onion
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teas pepper

Cook & chop/shred chicken
add softened cream cheese, green onion, butter, milk, salt and pepper into a bowl.
Add chicken to bowl and mix well.
stretch out dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet
add a spoon full of the chicken mixture to the fat part of each dough triangle and roll up.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve hot over rice.

May 2, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

*Recipe from $5 Dinner Mom cookbook*

My 14-month old devours these, and they are so easy to make! Here is what you will need:

-2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 chicken tenderloins)
-1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
-1 green bell pepper, sliced (I use the frozen trio of peppers from Trader Joes)
-1/2 onion, sliced
-1-2 teaspoons taco seasoning (depending on how much you love that stuff)
-Possible sides: brown rice and guacamole

First, marinate the chicken breast in the tomatoes with chilies for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, place the onions and peppers in the crock pot.

Once the chicken is done marinating, add it to the slow cooker. Then add the taco seasoning, and stir it all around.

Cook on high for 6 hours*, and enjoy a delicious meal at the end of the day!

*My crockpot seems to run a little hot, and I used thin chicken strips, so I cook mine on low for about 7-8 hours.

April 21, 2011

spaghetti with whole wheat pasta

Have you tried whole wheat pasta? It is delish!

*I make this sauce to taste so the measurements are just approximations. Taste it as you go and add more of whatever it needs!

Spaghetti Sauce:
lots of good olive oil
1 med. onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 stalk celery and or 1 green pepper (or go without)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 can crushed/puree tomatoes
ground beef
Salt & Pepper

Whole Wheat Penne noodles
boiling water

Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to heated pan. Chop and add onion. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper. Let it sweat together for a couple minutes over medium heat. Chop and add carrots/green pepper/ (and or) celery. Add more olive oil. Stir and Cook until the veggies are soft and turn golden brown (10-20 minutes).  Next add tomatoes, italian seasoning, sugar and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook beef in separate pan. Add cooked beef to the sauce mixture.

Cook pasta according to directions and combine with sauce.  Top with parmesan and more olive oil (if you wish) and eat!

March 10, 2011

Coconut Chicken

This may sound like an odd combination, but it is favorite and tastes great - not to mention super easy.

The Goods

1 Cup flaked coconut
1/2 Cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
4-6 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg lightly beaten

To Do

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. 

Bake 20-25 minutes turn chicken over and cook another 20-25 minutes

Serve with pesto sauce, or a simple baslamic.  Or alone is just great too.

February 28, 2011

Burrito Pie (adapted from recipe)

This recipe calls for a springform pan, but if you don't have one, any old pan will do and you could serve it more like a casserole then cut like a pie. Here is what you will need:

-1 medium chopped onion (for the ground beef if you would like)
-2 cloves garlic
-1 lb ground beef
-1 packet taco seasoning
-3/4 cup water
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernals
-4 10 inch flour tortillas
-1 cup salsa
-8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (can also use monterey jack)
-sour cream

First, brown ground beef with the onion and garlic until no longer pink.
Next, add water and taco seasoning.

Then add the corn and black beans, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates. Once the liquid is gone, remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now you can start to make the layers for the pie. Start by buttering the spring form pan (or use cooking spray). Place a flour tortilla at the bottom of the pan.

Now spread 1/4 of the salsa on the tortilla.

Next, add 1/4 of the beef mixture.

And then 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Keep stacking until all ingredients are used up. It will look like this when you are finished stacking.

Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Then let it cool for about ten minutes.

After it has cooled slightly, you can take off the rim of the springform pan and behold your beautiful burrito pie! Serve with the sour cream*.

I hope you like it:)

*you could also add sour cream to each of the layers--tortilla, sour cream, salsa, beef mixture, cheese, etc and bake it.

February 23, 2011

Parmesan Salmon (or Tilapia)

This recipe also works well with Tilapia. I got this recipe from a cooking blog
(I cannot remember which) and then I adapted it a little.

What you will need:

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove (although I used two because I love garlic!)
1 tsp parsley
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (any bread crumbs will do)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 salmon fillets

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor (I used a magic bullet and it worked great) combine the garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Then place the mixture in a bowl or on a plate. It will look something like this:

Next, spread the remaining olive oil on both sides of salmon fillets (as you can see, I spilled some!).

Coat both sides with Parmesan/bread crumb mixture. (please ignore the weird looking hand!)

Place each salmon fillet on a piece of tin foil. You can sprinkle a little extra mixture on each piece if you would like. Then, loosely pinch the foil together.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or when it flakes easily. This is what it will look like when finished! It is very yummy. Hope you enjoy!

Easy Salmon Recipe

This recipe comes from my friend Julie. It is very simple and very delicious! (sorry I don't have any pictures of this one).

What you will need:
3-4 salmon fillets
1 Tbsp butter
3-4 orange slices (or lemon slices if you prefer)
Any seasonings you would like (I usually put garlic salt and a little paprika)

Place each salmon fillet on a piece of tin foil. Season salmon how you wish. Then, put a pat of butter on each piece of salmon, and top with an orange slice. Fold the tin foil over and loosely pinch closed. Place on cookie sheet, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

February 17, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup

1 t. olive oil
1/2 medium onion (1/2 cup chopped)
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes (either fire-roasted or with basil, garlic and onion)
1 large can (15 oz.) or 2 small cans tomato sauce
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 t. sugar
1 t. dried basil or 8-10 leaves fresh basil
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
salt and pepper

Zap the onion in a small dish, 30-60 seconds. Saute in the heated oil. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and the broth. Bring to a boil. Add the basil and the sugar. Cut the cream cheese in 1 inch chunks, add to the soup. Bring back to a simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Use a whisk to incorporate.


1 lb carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into same-size pieces
1 T. olive oil
1 T. syrup

Saute carrots 3-4 minutes, add syrup, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

(Note: this came from a website or a blog. I do not remember which. I also do not remember if recipes are copyright, but I do remember that I learned that once. Oh well.)


Last night, I had a delicious dream. Me in a room full of desserts. Cinnamon desserts. The most memorable one: a cake made of churros. Just churros, piled and curled up in a cake. I admit, I actually googled "churro cake" today in hopes of finding it in real life. No luck. Until I figure out how to make the churro cake of my dreams (and for the record I cannot remember the last time I even ate a churro) I give you these cookies, with their own dose of cinnamony goodness. They are actually not churro-y at all, but they are delicious, in real life.


4 cups flour
4 t. soda
4 t. cinnamon
2 t. cloves
1 t. ginger

Sift together.

2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups shortening
1/2 cups molasses

Cream and add the flour ingredients. Roll into balls and tip the tops in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Peanut Butter Pasta

So, I am taking a risk here and for my very first post (hello!) I am posting a recipe that sounds weird, to say the least. But I have been obsessed with Thai food lately, and this is pretty much as close to Thai as I get in my own kitchen. (And by my own kitchen, I mean the kitchen I shared with my four roommates until six months ago. Because now that I live with my parents, I do not cook much. My mom does. Yes I am 29 years old. So sue me. Oh wait. I do that. Which is why my mom does the cooking and I do the late-coming-homing-after-working.) And with that introduction .... now to the recipe.

Peanut Butter Pasta

1/4 cup peanut butter
2 T. warm water
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. teriyaki sauce (I like Yoshidas)
pinch ground ginger

Whisk together the peanut butter and warm water. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour over pasta, chicken, vegetables and anything else you can think of.

February 10, 2011

Easy Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

Here is what you will need:

2 eggs
1/2 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked broccoli
optional: home made or store bought pie crust
(you could also add ham, spinach, or anything else you would like in it!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a pie crust, I find it helpful to bake the crust alone for about ten minutes, and then put all the ingredients in. If not using pie crust, grease the bottom of a pie pan or quiche pan.

First, place eggs, baking mix, and milk in a blender and blend for 30 seconds.

Next, layer broccoli on the bottom of the dish (you can see that I used more than a 1/2 cup!).

Place shredded cheese over broccoli.

Pour egg mixture on top. Place in oven.

Set timer for 40-45 minutes.


Easy White Bean Chili

2 tbsp olive oil
1 teas garlic salt or 1 clove garlic minced
1 small sweet onion
1 can Great Northern beans (undrained)
1 can {6oz} green chilies 
2-3 chicken breasts cooked & chopped
1.5 cups frozen white corn
1/2 teas cumin
1/2 teas oregano
1/2 teas coriander seed
juice from 1 lime
3 cups Chicken stock

Add olive oil & chopped onion, & garlic to a pot. Simmer until onion turns soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with toppings of your choice: sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro etc.

February 9, 2011

v-day trail mix

Ever need a quick on-the-go snack?  If you're on the run, but still want to be semi-healthy, this is a simple go to mix that is easy to have on hand, or throw in your purse.
The Goods

*possible substitutes: dark chocolate chips, reeses pieces, craisins, etc.

February 8, 2011

all-fruit smoothie

It's like a tropical paradise in my mouth. Great remedy for the winter blues ;)

1/2 bannana
3 spoonful's frozen blueberries
3 whole frozen strawberries
1 spoonful frozen raspberries
1/2 cup orange juice

*serves 1

Add ingredients & blend. If the consistency is too thick, add more OJ. Also, any combo of the above ingredients would be amazing (Another personal fav. is banana, strawberries & OJ). If you are using fresh berries, you will want to add ice to make the smoothie cold. Frozen berries yield the best results here.

February 7, 2011

artisan boule

My mom introduced me to this is amazing bread from scratch. You can make & eat it the same day!  Your family will love you for it.

what you need to make this bread:
 pizza/baking stone
5 quart bowl with lid or plastic container with lid
electric mixer & dough hook attachment (you can also mix by hand if necessary)
kitchen scissors

3 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast (1 packet)
1.5 tbsp coarse (kosher) salt
6.5 cups all purpose flour  (you can experiment with 1/2 wheat flour also)

*makes four 1 lb round bread loaves

Add water, yeast & salt into an electric mixing bowl. Add flour and mix with dough hook until incorporated. The dough should be very wet & sticky. Transfer dough into 5 quart plastic tub. Let it rise at room temp for 2 hours with lid on but not air tight. Place in fridge for another 2-3 (or so) hours. (cold dough is easier to shape & handle).

When you are ready to make a loaf, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with pizza stone on the center rack. Remove the tub from the fridge and cut with scissors a 1 lb portion (grapefruit size) out of the dough.  Try your best not to disturb the remaining raised dough.  Have flour handy to help shape the piece into a sphere.

Using your scissors, cut 4 slits at the top of the dough round before baking. Transfer dough loaf onto the preheated baking stone and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Refrigerate left-over dough in its container and repeat process to make fresh loaves for up to 2 weeks. The longer the dough sits in the fridge, the better the flavor!  For sourdough, don't wash the dough container before making a new batch.


February 3, 2011

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Stir-fry

3/4-1 lb. cut chicken breast
1 small onion (more veges can be added)
2-3 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. red wine or balsamic vinegar
a few dashes of rosemary 
a few dashes of dill
a few shakes of pepper
*capers optional (but they add a good kick)

Start by stir-frying the onions in a fry pan with a bit of olive oil.  Add cut chicken and sauté until both are well cooked.  Add lemon juice, vinegar, and spices.

Place on bed of pasta, quinoa, or rice and voila easy dinner ready to go.

January 28, 2011

Chicken Quinoa Stew


If you haven't been to, then you must go at once! This is one of my favorite places to get recipes, and everything I have tried has been soooo yummy. I picked up this recipe since it has been soooo cold in NYC, and we have been eating a lot of soup. My pictures aren't that great, so to see the post where I got this recipe, click here.
Here is what you will need:

-2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-5 Stalks celery, chopped (I didn't have celery, so I made it without)
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
-2 cups sweet pepper, chopped (Trader joe's has a bag of frozen peppers that are perfect!)
-1 large zucchini, chopped
-64 oz chicken broth
-15 oz can diced tomatoes
-5 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 cups cooked quinoa
-4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
-kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic salt (optional) to taste
1/12 cups fresh parsley, chopped

optional: 2 tbls. Dijon mustard, 1 tbls. hot sauce
(I didn't use these and it still tasted great!)

I also boiled my chicken earlier in the day, and it was super easy to shred and was very delicious:)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onion, celery, carrots, peppers and zucchini, until softened. (for me this took about 10-15 minutes, because I was trying to make it really soft for J). Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, and potatoes. increase heat to high just until broth starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook potatoes for about ten minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in quinoa, chicken, mustard, and hot sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Stir in fresh parsley, and simmer until you are ready to eat!

It is super delicious and hearty:) We like to eat it with this bread:

most recipes make too much for our family to eat (even when we have leftovers the next day) so I like to turn one meal into two by freezing half of it. So, I always have these awesome bags on hand:

They are so great! You put your food in, suck out the air, and stick it in the freezer and it will last months and months! And when you go to eat it will still taste excellent.

It is perfect for when you come back from vacation, or you have a long day and don't know what to make for dinner. Just grab one of your frozen meals, stick it in a pot of hot water to thaw (or thaw in refrigerator overnight) and voila! An instant home cooked meal:)