Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe on and this was the description:

"These cookies are the pinnacle of perfection! If you want a big, fat, chewy cookie like the kind you see at bakeries and specialty shops, then these are the cookies for you!"

How could I not make these cookies? They turned out absolutely wonderful with the perfect consistency - crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle. (On a side note: I love that you don't have to soften butter with these so when you need cookies in a flash these are perfect and will wow your guest because they are so gigantic!)

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
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with silpat pan. Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients 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 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Coronation Chicken

We love Indian food and this is a great 'at home' version for those nights when you are craving curry. Okay, I know Adam is the only one in the world who craves curry, but this is a good dish nonetheless.

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbls curry powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbls tomato paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbls mango chutney
1 1/2 cups mayo
3 tbls cream
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped onion, cover and fry gently for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoe, lemon, and chutney. Stir until boiling, and then cook for 5 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens. Allow to cool and stir in mayo and cream.

Add chicken and stir to coat. Serve on a large platter with basmati rice, garnish with green onions. A side of Naan would be nice too.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Key Lime Cheesecake

Thanksgiving meal is sometimes a challenge. That's why I like to use the beginning of November to start experimenting with new recipes. I've never made a cheesecake so this was somewhat of a challenge to me. (I never knew how much equipment it takes to make a cheesecake!)

I found this recipe in last month's Bon Appetite and am pleased I saved it in my cooking file. The tartness of the key lime pudding is a great pairing for the creamy and sweet insides of the cheesecake.

Lime custard:
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons Key lime juice

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice
1 16-ounce container sour cream

For lime custard:
Whisk all ingredients in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until custard thickens and boils for 30 seconds, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken).

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap 3 layers of foil around outside of 8- to 8 1/2-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Butter pan. Stir first 3 ingredients to blend in medium bowl. Mix in butter until moistened. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Place cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, eggs, lime juice, and lime peel in processor; blend well. Spoon custard into crust; smooth top. Carefully spoon filling over. Set cheesecake in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of cheesecake pan. Bake until almost set but not puffed and center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir sour cream and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to blend.Carefully spoon sour cream mixture over hot cheesecake; smooth top. Bake until topping sets, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Cool cheesecake completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chicken Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese

A classic chicken salad recipe with tangy twist. Enjoy this meal with a tall glass of iced cold lemonade.

Combine in a large bowl:

2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2/3 cups chopped celery (if you don't like celery then put in 1 cup grapes halved)
4 oz creamy blue cheese
1/3 cup light mayo
1/3 cup ranch dressing
6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Refridgerate for about 30 minutes. Serve atop ritz crackers or a loaf of crusty French bread. I made this chicken salad with fresh chicken, but you could easily substitute canned chicken or one of those roast whole chickens you can buy at the grocery store.

Adam's Comments: "I gotta say. Chicken Salad Sandwich - perfect."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

BBQ Meatloaf

For those of you who don't know I am an avid runner and this weekend I ran my third half-marathon. One of the great things about running is the weekend before races you are supposed to do nothing but sit around and rest your legs. It's a great excuse to get caught up on TV. And what better show to catch up on then Paula Deen's Home Cooking. If anyone knows how to make homestyle, mouth watering meals it is Paula.

The moment I saw this meatloaf episode I immediately added it to my weekly menu.


(P.S. - For those that care, I had a personal best at this half marathon with a time of 2:13:19. I plan to do my first full marathon in April.)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian Style)
1 onion, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (I used an Italian one from Heinz)
6 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and the tomato sauce. Form this mixture into a loaf and place it in a shallow pan. Stir together the vinegar, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire and water (if too thick). Pour this sauce over the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.

Adam's Comment: "Best Meat Loaf Ever." More moist and more flavorful than any meat loaf I've ever tasted. It's very yummy. The gravy is awesome."