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Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

13 Dec

I‘ve tried many chocolate chip cookie recipes, including the one from Joy of Cooking… but this one is definitely the best one. I’ve found very similar recipes across the internet, but I made a couple of changes, to get the slightly soft, chocolatey cookies my husband and I both love.  As in any recipe, good quality ingredients are key – I like to use Nestle or Guittard chocolate chips here. I used a total of 2½ cups of chocolate chips in this recipe – a little more than most other recipes I’ve seen – and actually, it could probably use even more. If you think it’s not possible to stir this many chocolate chips into the batter, you’re wrong. While the batter might appear to be a large helping of chocolate with a side of dough, once these cookies are baked, they’ll have the right amount of chocolate.

Forget your diet, these cookies are worth the splurge. Plan ahead though – it’s best to make the dough and chill overnight for better results. I made two batches of these cookies, one with dough chilled for 5 hours, and a second batch with the dough chilled 29 hours. The second batch had a richer flavour – they were worth the wait! Use lighter coloured baking sheets to avoid cookie bottoms that are too brown.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Pour melted butter into a a mixer’s work bowl. Add white and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed.
  4. Add egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
  5. Slowly incorporate flour mixture until thoroughly combined. 
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Chill dough for up to 36 hours.

    dough chilled 29 hours

    Dough chilled 29 hours

  8. Preheat oven to 350 ºF (for crispier cookies, preheat to 375 ºF)
  9. Form balls of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly.slightly flattened the dough
  10. Bake for about 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 6 minutes (rotate baking sheet for even browning).
  11. Cool for a few minutes, then enjoy a cookie or two while they’re still warm!
  12. Cool completely; store in airtight container.

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Pumpkin Bread for Autumn

24 Oct

I just got a new Kitchenaid stand mixer and I wanted to try out my new toy! I found this recipe for pumpkin bread on epicurious.com. The stand mixer definitely makes it easier to blend butter and sugar together. Though the recipe calls for just all-purpose flour, you can probably play around with using other kinds of flour. I replaced a 1/4 cup of AP flour with whole wheat, and next time, I’ll probably use even more whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose.

pumpkin loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus a bit more for the pan
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • scant 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • optional: ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined.IMG_20151017_185540064
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_20151017_201346460
  8. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

 

Royal (Beet) Hummus

9 Aug

It’s picnic season! This pink hummus is a little detour from ordinary hummus. Its colour comes from red beets; the light beet flavour puts a nice twist on your typical, everyday hummus. You can make this hummus in just a few minutes using canned beets and garlic powder – makes for a fast and simple picnic treat. Or, turn this into a fancy appetizer component by roasting fresh beets and garlic.

Royal beet hummus

Royal beet hummus

 

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained; reserve some of the liquid
  • 1 can (15 oz.) sliced beets OR 1 lb fresh beets
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp liquid from garbanzo beans
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder OR 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • salt, pepper to taste

Directions

DSC02257

  1. Fancy Method: Roast garlic and beets in oven. Then peel beets. 
    Easy Method:
    Open can of sliced beets and drain liquid. Find the garlic powder in your pantry.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve with bread, crackers, vegetable sticks, or as part of a salad….this list goes on!

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup

4 Apr

It can still be nippy outside in the Spring….let’s keep making soup! A few weeks ago, I dined at a Nepalese restaurant and had a delicious yellow lentil soup. I was inspired to make my own. But I couldn’t find yellow lentils at the store, only red ones. What’s the difference anyway? It turns out that red lentils are really just a split and hulled version of yellow lentils, and they will turn golden once cooked. So I guess I’m making red-slash-yellow lentil soup. And then I had some trouble finding a Nepalese recipe, so let’s just go with a Moroccan recipe. (Adapted from culinate.com)

DSC02107

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups dried red lentils, washed and rinsed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

 Directions

  1. Wash and rinse lentils until the water runs clear. Unlike larger beans, lentils do not have to be soaked prior to cooking – they cook quite quickly. However, you can soak them for about 1 hour if you wish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onions until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, coriander, salt, cumin, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, and cinnamon. Cook for another minute.
  4. Add vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.red lentil soup
  5. Pour the mixture into a slow cooker (5- or 6-quart). Add lentils and celery. Cook 4-5 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW. If you do not have a slow cooker, finish cooking this soup on the stovetop – it will only take an hour or so. This Moroccan lentil soup smells amazing as it cooks! 
  6. Add in lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro and cook on HIGH for 10 minutes.This Moroccan lentil soup smells amazing as it cooks!

DSC02117I like this lentil soup served with crusty bread and garnished with a bit of parsley.

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