Monday, February 16, 2015

coconut oil chocolate chip cookies

Becoming a mother came with a whole load of new words.

mastitis, lanolin, jaundice, baby acne, epidural, sleeplessness, sleep training, side nursing.... you get it.

One of the more interesting thing that was introduced to me was coconut oil. I knew of it, but never used it myself. Jason bought 2 tubs of it, since we were recommended to use it for any kind of baby skin issues. Since Ema doesn't really get much skin trouble ***knocking on wood*** , I decided to use it for cooking! 

People were right. You really don't miss the butter. I guess if you really don't like coconut, it MAY bother you a bit. These cookies do end up with a hint of coconut-y fragrance. But for me, that's a welcome thing. Just use good quality chocolate. I used the Ghiradeli's 60% bar chopped and a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips. 

I definitely used more chocolate than 3/4 cups ;)


recipe from Culinarycouture
(This was the only photo i was able to take. bad. bad. bad... BUT there's no filter. no nothing!) 


Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 egg, room temperature
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
**I added some salt on top after tasting one right out of the oven


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well-combined. Gradually pour in dry ingredients, beating until well-incorporated after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a medium cookie scoop (about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons), scoop out balls of dough onto prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart from one other.

Bake for 9 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn light brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Last weekend, we went to Belltown Orchard in CT.






My very first time picking blueberries!! I don't know how much we were able to gather, but it was aaaa LOT! we chose only the biggest plumpest blueberries (which wasn't hard because most of them were).

Oh and peaches! coming from GA, I LOVE peaches. They are definitely my most favorite stone fruit! We picked about a dozen and by the next day, some of them were starting to soften. 
White and yellow peaches and some nectarines.
Delicious! very Juicy and not at all mealy! once we were home in NY, I put them out on our counter til they were all soft and transferred them to the fridge. 

I had all kinds of plans to make cakes, cobblers, gallette, etc. 

Pffft. they never lasted enough for me to cook'em. Ema and I ate most of them for breakfast since I can keep the skin on and Ema (now 9mo) would gnaw on the flesh little by little.

Oh joy.

I will come back next year for sure! And I'll be sure to get two dozens of peaches so i can slice and freeze some for cobblers in the winter :)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quinoa




I couldn't even say Quinoa.



Wasn't a big fan because I don't like "diet food" and assumed that it tasted horrible. The only times I had it was when it is in the buffet line for salads. Tasteless... little pearls.

I went to NJ to spend some quality time away from the city with my family, and who knew, my NJ family has been eating quinoa like... Gweneth Paltrow (I first heard of Quinoa was when she was on a TV show talking about her cookbook).

It Truly is a super food. cholesterol-free, low fat protein! Who doesn't need that? So my husband bought a package of Quinoa, and we have made it twice so far, inspired by my cousin's recipe.

We just put whatever we have on hand in there. This picture, I happened to have 3hour tomatoes, So I chopped it up. What else.... blanched cauliflower, corn, cilantro, avocado, left over roasted chicken breast... I think that may have been it. But I do see how the possibility is endless here.

dressing was simply just mixture of lemon juice, lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chopped cilantro. If I had basil I would have used it. I noticed that herbs goes a long way when you are trying to eat healthy :)

I can see myself making variation of these with sweet potatoes and goat cheese with bacon vinaigrette, prosciutto and poached pear with ... i don't know blue cheese crumbles! 

So no recipe here, really, just toss and mix!




  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bent spoon, NJ



Bent Spoon.


Ever heard of it? it's a lovely little creamery in Princeton NJ.
During my amazing one week visit to my family's, Sara and I went three times...
What?
These are relatively small scoops ;)


So here are the flavors I picked.


 Strawberry Mascarpne and
Hazelnut(bottom)



Sweet Basil and
Hazelnut



Greek yogurt with walnuts (drizzeled with honey)
and milk chocolate and hazelnut


Aye.... VERY VERY GOOD INDEED.

I love making Ice cream at home. I do.
But little creamery like this is nice to visit once in a while :)

what is it that makes these fresh, small batch ice cream so much better than those of bigger franchise? Better ingredient, local ingredient, attention (love) it receives in the process...

Warning: on weekends, the line goes out the door onto the block. it goes by pretty fast, but week days are better, if you are in a real hurry to taste these!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sugared pecan

I love Pecans.
My husband thinks its the weakest of nuts.
What??!

I'm only partially from the south and it's one of my favorite.
They are Nutty, sweet, maple-y, and Im sure it's good for you in some ways :D

I saw this recipe on TV, and thought... "how could that be bad??? butter, sugar, pecans...."

So I went on Amazon and ordered 2lbs of Pecans and made these! the only thing I did differently from the original recipe was that I salted the whole thing. I used salted butter, AND added a big pinch of salt when they came out of the oven and still piping hot and soft.

**When you make the pastry cream for the banana pudding, you use only the yolks, and my recipe used three egg yolks, which was perfect becasue these nuts need three egg whites :P

These are SOOOO good!! I was so pleased with the final product. I put it as a topping for my banana pudding too!
My plan was to put some on top of banana pudding, give some away in cute glssine bags, and use the rest for butter pecan ice cream (which would have been just a good vanilla ice cream with these pecans mixed in). 

Oh but you could guess the actual ending to these pecans.... none made it into the ice cream... They are just that amazing!










Sugared pecans -Trisha Yearwood
Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups pecan halves
*big pinch of salt for the end

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil. Pour the butter onto the lined sheet. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites, sugar and cinnamon. Add the pecan halves and toss until they are fully coated. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.