ranch pork chops, crispy potato roast, peas
General Tso's chicken, rice, broccoli
Shake Shack burgers, fries
New Orleans bbq shrimp, rice, green beans
creamy piccata salmon, salad
baked chicken chimichanga with deluxe tomatillo sauce, black beams
cacio e pepe, garlic knots, broccoli

Monday, July 27, 2015

Puffy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I commented on this post from Tide and Thyme nearly four years ago. FOUR YEARS. How did it take me four years to get around to making these cookies?  Miss F calls these cookies "delicious cookies", which is quite adorable since she has a slight lisp right now from her missing top tooth.  They do not spread as much as my usual chocolate chip cookies and stay quite puffy.  Since school is starting back in just a couple weeks (where has the summer gone?), I know I will be making these often this fall for Miss F's lunchbox.  I found the cookies cooked up perfectly in 12 minutes, so be sure to check on them.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes around 4 dozen cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until creamy. Reduce speed to low, and add the eggs (one at a time), and the vanilla. Mix to combine. Slowly add in the sifted flour and mix until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and mix until they are distributed evenly.

Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, drop 1-inch balls onto greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cook on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to cooling rack as cookies will be very soft.
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pizza Pizzas

This was a fun recipe to make. I had been out a baby shower all afternoon and came home to make the pizza dough for the next night's dinner. The 15 minute kneading seemed crazy, but it made for a really nice dough to work with. It spread out perfectly for a nice crust when I shaped it the following day. Miss F had a blast topping it, she wanted every square inch covered with pepperoni, I think she was quite successful in her efforts. I had a plain mushroom pizza that I baked second, there weren't nearly as many mushrooms as pepperonis. This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown.
Pizza Pizzas

2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
Olive oil, for the pizza crust
Flour, for dusting the pizza peel
½ cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
Desired toppings

Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, flour and yeast in a stand mixer’s bowl. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low until it forms a ball. Swap the paddle for the dough hook and knead for 15 minutes on medium.

Tear off a piece of dough and flatten it, stretching it until thin. Hold up the dough to the light to see if the baker’s windowpane has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Roll the dough into a smooth ball and place in a glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each into a disk, then fold into a ball. Cover the ball with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Stretch the dough into a round disk, rotating after each stretch. I liken it to driving a car, just keep turning the wheel. Place the prepared dough onto a sheet of parchment paper.Top with the tomatoes, cheese and any desired toppings. Slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Let rest 3 minutes before slicing.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Creamy Cucumber Salad
My grandmother made an amazing cucumber salad. But like many of her amazing dishes, there was no set recipe. It always went a little of this, a little of that...taste taste taste...then something perfect was served. She made a pie crust with vegetable oil that was insanely delicious and I don't know anyone who was able to successfully replicate it.  The only real success this year in my mom's vegetable garden has been cucumbers.  There have been a few tomatoes and bell peppers, but cucumbers have dominated the show.  C and Miss F refuse to try cucumber salad, so I keep it in a dish in the fridge and snack on it at random.  Or pull it out as a side for dinner in a single serving bowl.  This is the best I have been able to replicate my grandmother's dish, it is especially nice with homegrown cucumbers.
Creamy Cucumber Salad

¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 large cucumbers, sliced

Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in the sliced cucumber. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Serve.
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