Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Made with Olive Oil)

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So chewy and fluffy!

I posted on Instagram yesterday about my adventures in baking. I promised the kids cookies, but after consultation with my pantry and fridge, I lacked butter, coconut oil, or Crisco. I quickly searched the google machine and found a bunch of different recipes for chocolate chip cookies with olive oil!

 

Looking over the various recipes, combined with what we had on hand, and I cobbled together a pretty decent batch of cookies. This recipe made 3 1/2 dozen decent sized cookies.

They are fluffy, chewy, and soft. They can burn easily, due to the amount of sugars used. Remember to take them out of the oven before they look done. They will continue to cook on the cookie sheet after they are removed from the oven.

Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 9.03.10 PM.pngIngredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups AP Flour
  • 2 t. Salt
  • 1 t. Baking soda
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup White sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. Milk (whatever kind you use, non-dairy is cool)
  • 2 4oz bars of Semi-sweet chocolate, rough chopped

 

 

Directions:Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 8.52.08 PM.png

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix oil and sugars together, until mixture is fluffy. I use an electric mixer.
  3. Add eggs one at a time until well combined.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture until well incorporated, add milk as needed to give dough desired texture.
  5. Stir in chopped chocolate pieces.
  6. Drop rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet (or use Silicone baking pads like I do).  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

The kids were so happy they got cookies, and I was happy to be able to make them!My 2019 motto: Use it up, improvise, make do!

 

Talk Back: What is your motto or mantra for 2019?

 

 

 

Dinner Party Idea: DIY Ramen Potluck!

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We love to entertain. Dinner parties are a great way to have friends over to hang out and enjoy a good meal without breaking the budget.

We also love Ramen- not Top Ramen, but delicious, mouthwatering, tempting noodles, velvety broth, veggies, and soft boiled eggs. Doing a Ramen potluck is great way to try out new flavors that you may have never thought of.

In doing research for this article, I found out that there are so many ramen toppings and ingredients that I had never heard of (like corn, which you can see in the picture above). So some of the ingredients listed below may not make it into your potluck, but know that somewhere out there there is someone putting it on/in their ramen.

The host can provide the broth. As far as ramen broths, there are lots of options. I like Tonkatsu, which is pork and chicken based. Here is a great recipe.  Not interested in making it from scratch? You can buy Tonkatsu broth concentrate on Amazon.

If you are vegan, Ocean’s Halo makes a great seaweed based ramen broth. Miso is also a popular ramen soup base (Ocean’s Halo also makes great miso, pho, and veggie broth). We usually try to have two big pots of broth to choose from.

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 9.26.13 AM.pngAs far as noodles, you can get regular ramen noodles at any Asian grocery store (or most 99 Cents Only locations). I’m not talking about the kind that come in a little bag with a pouch of salty broth, those are fried so they cook super fast and aren’t really all that healthy.

I like the Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen from Lotus Foods. As a bonus these are gluten free and have protein in them. Our local Costco sells large packages, which is great for parties.

Some people like Soba noodles (thick buckwheat noodles), and some people like zoodles (the spiral cut zucchini “noodles”).

Now that you’ve got broth and noodles down, it’s time to get creative with toppings! Here are just a few ideas for guests to bring:

  • Eggs: I love a good soft-boiled egg on my ramen.
  • Scallions/green onions
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Seaweed/Nori sheets
  • Canned Bamboo shoots (they will need to be rinsed and probably sliced to made bite-sized.
  • Corn Kernels (defrosted frozen, fresh, or canned with no salt- drained and rinsed).
  • Mayu/Black Garlic Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Chili Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Fish Sauce
  • Kimchi
  • Fried Tofu
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sliced fresh Jalapeños
  • Fried or pan steamed Gyoza
  • Roasted /braised slices of pork (fattier cuts of pork are great in ramen)
  • Cooked Shrimp (I can’t really give you any other suggestions on cooking/serving, I’m allergic to shellfish)
  • Fish Cakes (available at your local Asian Market)
  • Bok Choy
  • Mushrooms (Sliced shiitakes are nice, as are enoki)

And some people like rice as a side to their ramen. I prefer sticky rice, it’s easier to eat with chopsticks.

If you’ve got friends that don’t cook, don’t forget you’ll need chopsticks, bowls, spoons, and beverages.

Talk Back: What is your favorite type of Ramen? 

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

IMG_2712.jpgI love enchiladas. I seldom get them when we get Mexican take-away because they aren’t baked, so the cheese isn’t melty. And really, life is primarily about melty, gooey cheese.

The other night, I had a hankering for melty cheese, so I rifled through the cupboard and discovered that we had all the fixins’ for cheese enchiladas. I added caramelized onions, because… why not?

This recipe is easy to make, vegetarian, gluten-free,  and can be made vegan if you use dairy-free cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1T. butter or olive oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 can enchilada sauce, approx 24 -26 oz (I prefer green) Las Palmas is my favorite brand
  • 12 pepper jack cheese sticks
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but Mexican cheese blend works great)

Directions:

  1. In a pan, cook onion in butter/oil on medium low for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.once onions are golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Once onions are cool, add to enchilada sauce. Pour 1/2 of sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 of shredded cheese.
  3. Place 1 cheese stick at the edge of a corn tortilla and roll the tortilla around the cheese. Place in the baking dish, flap side down.
  4. Continue until the baking dish is full.   I do one layer, but depending on how many people you need to fee, you might do two layers.
  5. Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas, top with remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and edges of tortillas are crisp.

 

I serve with beans, rice, and Mexican Cesar salad. They make great leftovers too- not that it will last.

 

Recipe: Peanut Butter Krispie Treats

DSCN9789.jpgThis is of of those family recipes that I think everyone has had, but never realized was so dead simple to make.

My mom made these a lot when I was a kid. They are peanut buttery, butterscotch-y, and so rich an tempting, I’m making a batch tomorrow.

This recipe can me made Gluten free by using gluten free Krispie Rice Cereal, but it cannot be made vegan- you need both marshmallows and butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. Butterscotch chips
  • 1/2c. Peanut Butter chips
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 40 marshmallows
  • 6 cups Krispie Rice Cereal (in the past I’ve also used the Fiber One Original Bran instead- They come out a little heavier, but are good)
  • Spray Release
  • 1/4-1/2 c. extra chips, optional

 

Directions:

  1. Spray both a 13×9 pan and a rubber spatula with spray release, set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt the chips and butter over low heat.
  3. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cereal and stir until cereal is completely coated.
  5. Using previously sprayed spatula, evenly pour and press cereal mixture into greased pan.
  6. If desired, while still hot, sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 cup of chocolate or peanut butter chips, as the chips melt, spread with greased spatula to cover the bars.
  7. Once cooled, cut into squares. They last 3-4 days in the fridge, but, really, they’ll be gone in a flash.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about your favorite cookies/sweets from childhood!

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Bacon!

IMG_7046.jpgBrussels Sprouts have a bad rap… Stinky, weird texture, gross. All of these things can be true if you boil them whole.

I’ve got a great recipe to share than turns our poor, stinky, vilified veggie into a tasty side dish! I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a HIT!

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
  • 4T. Butter
  •  1/4 c water or white wine
  • 2 lbs cleaned and chopped Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper as needed
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

IMG_7047.jpgCook the bacon- I bake mine at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then I drain it on paper towels. Once it has cooled, I take my super sharp knife and chop it up.

IMG_7045.jpgCaramelize the onions. Cook onions in butter on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. Scrape the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan, adding water or wine to help loosen the brown bits.

Once the onions turn a lovely brown (about 3-4 hours on low), add in the cooked chopped bacon and combine.

IMG_7051.jpgAdd in the chopped Brussels Sprouts and cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes. Season with Salt and pepper as needed. Pour into a serving dish and top with cheese.

We had this for Thanksgiving, but it also is great any time. If you end up with leftovers, it’s also great on a homemade pizza crust, topped with some extra mozzarella and parm baked at 450 for about 10-15 minutes.

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