All Posts By

Diana Howe

Recipes

Pesto

Pesto, so versatile, so delicious, and so simple. The recipes that have fewer ingredients tend to be the best because each ingredient has to stand on it’s own and be highlighted bringing out it’s best. Pesto is not just for using on pasta, although the two seem pretty inseparable, it’s also great on eggs, salads, potatoes, green beans, soups and sandwiches. For me, pesto is a quintessential summer recipe but, even though Spring is just awakening now, don’t let that stop you from indulging in this aromatic herb provided year-round. Just cutting into it releases aroma that takes me to lofty heights of bliss. It’s no wonder why it’s also called the “king of herbs” or “royal herb.” And to make pesto less intimidating, the word literally means to pound because originally it was made with a mortar and pestle. In fact, pesto is a word used to describe anything made by pounding. So break out your food processor or revert to ancient times and use a mortar and pestle (my preference) and pound (or pulse) away!

Pesto

The pine nuts in this recipe can be substituted with other nuts. I have enjoyed walnuts quite a lot. It’s a lighter and less oil heavy alternative and does not take away from that wonderful pesto punch of flavor. There are purists that will argue that pesto should only be made with pine nuts, but what’s more wonderful than experimenting with your flavor preferences. Also, if you’re using a food processor or blender instead of a mortar and pestle, grind up the nuts, garlic and cheese first, then add the remaining ingredients and puree them until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups | 20g loosely-packed basil leaves (stems removed)
  • 5 tablespoons | 75ml good olive oil
  • 2 ounces | 60g grated Parmigiano-Raggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup | 30g pine nuts, walnuts, or shelled pistachios, very lightly toasted

Method

  1. Smash garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle until smooth. (Use a blender or food processor as alternative.)
  2. Coarsely chop the basil leaves first, then add them in batches to the mortar and pound them into the garlic as you add them.
  3. Once the basil is well mashed and is a fairly smooth paste, pound in the olive oil spoonful at a time, until well-incorporated.
  4. Lastly, pound in the cheese and then pine nuts or nuts of your choice.
  5. Continue mashing everything until the pesto is as smooth as possible. Serve! Best used in a day or two because the garlic becomes more powerful as it sits. However, it can last a week in airtight container in the refrigerator or for a few months frozen (well-wrapped of course).

Recipes

Triple Chocolate Cake

This is the cake I made for my husband’s birthday earlier this month and it turned out better than I anticipated. I have had plenty of practice making pies, fails and successes, but not enough experience with cake. Doesn’t cake seem like it would be easier to make than pie? All my cakes have been pretty fail-ish, so when this cake turned out well, even with an emergency frosting change, I felt like this was my tipping-point for future success.

My emergency frosting change was doing the ganache as a drip instead of a full coverage as the recipe called for. I didn’t have enough left over to cover all the cake so I crossed my fingers and chose this route (way easier than frosting the usual way). It also called for making macarons for the decoration top, but since I wasn’t going to even think of attempting this, not to mention macarons have always underwhelmed me, I decided to go with mix berries.

Ingredients

This recipe was tweaked from the book Lomelino’s Cakes by Linda Lomelino one of my favorite dessert bloggers. Visit her blog www.callmecupcake.se.

Chocolate Cake Layers
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ stick | 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 1 large egg
White, Dark, and Milk Chocolate Ganaches
  • 3 ½ ounces white chocolate
  • 3 ½ ounces milk chocolate
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 1 ¼ cups whipping cream
Decorations

berries, mint leaves……..macarons, whatever, rose buds


Method

Making the chocolate layers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl.
  4. Melt the butter, and mix it in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and coffee.
  5. Stir the butter mixture and the egg into the dry ingredients, and beat just until combined and the batter is smooth–do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake the layers in the center of the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  7. Cool the layers for 10 minutes in the pans, and untold them onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting. You can plan ahead and make the cake layers the day before, wrap tight in plastic and keep in refrigerator. Cooler cakes make it easier to cut into layers and frost.
Making the white, dark and milk chocolate ganaches
  1. Chop each of the chocolates separately, and place each into its own bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan. Just before it reaches the boiling point, remove it from the heat immediately.
  3. Divide the cream among the bowls of chocolate: use about two-thirds of the amount for the dark chocolate and divide the rest evenly for the white and milk chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, and stir each until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Cool the cream until it is easy to spread. If any of the ganache becomes too firm, carefully heat it for a few seconds at a time in the microwave.
Assembling the cake
  1. Slice each layer in half horizontally so you will have four thin layers for the cake.
  2. Place the first layer on a cake plate or board. Spread an even amount of White Chocolate Ganache over the layer. If the ganache is too soft, refrigerate the cake for a few minutes before adding the next layer.
  3. Add the next layer, and cover it with the Milk Chocolate Ganache.
  4. Add the third layer, and cover it with some of the Dark Chocolate Ganache, making it the same thickness as the previous layers.
  5. Place the last layer on top, cut side down. Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of Dark Chocolate Ganache to create a crumb coating (this keeps the crumbs in place and will smooth out any unevenness). Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes or until the crumb coating has set.
  6. At this point you can choose which direction you want to go with frosting the cake.
    1. For Chocolate Ganache Drip: Briefly warm the remaining Dark Chocolate Ganache just until it has a thick spreadable consistency (like pudding) so that it can slowly drip down the sides of the cake as you spread it out. You don’t want the ganache running down the sides. Carefully pour the ganache on top of the cake in the middle. With a frosting spatula, spread out the frosting to make a smooth top, working the ganache toward the edges, which then gently get pushed off and begin dripping down. Before the ganache sets, decorate the top of the cake and then refrigerate it to firm completely.
    2. For Smooth Chocolate Ganache Frosting: Take the Dark Chocolate Ganache and spread the top of the cake. Continue down the sides all around the cake as before. Even out the sides and then the top of the cake by carefully drawing the offset spatula up and over the edge and in toward the center so that any extra frosting is pulled toward the center of the cake. Dry the spatula completely between each pass. To make the sides of the cake smoother, you can run a dough scraper all the way around the cake. For a totally even and smooth surface, dip an offset spatula in warm water and dry it between each pass. When this is done, andyou are satisfied with the cake, decorate the cake as desired and refrigerate it to firm completely.

Recipes

Butternut Squash and Rice Soup

Winter squashes, such as the butternut squash, is an excellent alternative to pumpkin soup. It is technically a fruit, just like that ambiguous tomato, and is through the roof in beta-carotene (vitamin A) due to that orangey goodness like that found in carrots. If you care about your eyes you will want to make sure you get plenty of vitamin A in your diet. So if you have a strong preference of butternut vs pumpkin or vice versa, you can swap this ingredient with either one.

Ginger and rosemary make a magical flavor combination that I would have never known if not for this recipe. I don’t know about you, but the smell of fresh grated ginger always reminds me of the holidays and the aroma of rosemary just make this food prepping a delightful aromatic experience. This is a simple recipe that pops with flavor, warmth, and comfort that will surprise even the butternut squash loving people. Enjoy!

 

Butternut Squash and Rice Soup


Ingredients

For Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • ½ serrano chile, seeds and all, chopped
  • fine salt
  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, pressed from grated ginger

For Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4-inch sprig of rosemary, leaves removed
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • salt
  • garnishes: plain greek yogurt, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cooked brown rice

Method

Soup: In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, shallot, and serrano and a couple of big pinches of salt. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the cubed butternut squash and 6-cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes. (Note: cook time may vary if using pumpkin instead of butternut.) Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or carefully in stand blender until smooth. Add the ginger juice and stir in more salt (about 2 teaspoons) or to taste.

Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter: Melt ¼ cup unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and allow the butter to brown just a bit. Remove from heat, stir in rosemary leaves, lemon zest, grated ginger, and good pinch of salt. Stir well and let sit for 5 minutes. Strain butter into a small bowl, set aside, and reserve the ginger pulp mixture to serve separately.

Assemble: In your soup bowl put a scoop of brown rice on the side, a dollop of yogurt, some pepitas, and a little of the ginger pulp. Fill the bowl with soup and then drizzle some of the lemon ginger rosemary butter of the soup. (Refer to picture above for soup assembly help.)

Recipes

Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is taken from a food blogger I have been following for six years now, David Lebovitz. The original recipe calls for a marshmallow topping, but can also be made without it. A piece of good advice he gave when baking pumpkin pie is do not overcook it. That is what causes it to crack while cooling, which doesn’t change the flavor so much, but astetically isn’t pleasing, unless you’re doing the marshmallow topping then none-is-the-wiser. So if you want that perfect pumpkin pie, let me tell you, this is it.

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Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • One Pâte Brisée recipe
  • Pie weights (such as beans, rice or pie weight pearls)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 ¾ cups / 425g pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup / 250ml heavy cream
  • ½ cup / 125ml whole milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cups / 160g packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy

Method

Make Pâte Brisée following the recipe for it and have dough rolled out and in pie dish ready to go, having folded any overhanging edges under and crimping the dough around the rim of pie plate or do a more decorative design like leaves.

Blind Baking: Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Prick the pie dough a few times with a fork, line dough with aluminum foil and fill halfway with pie weights. Bake the pie until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Lift out the foil with the weights, and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is well-browned. Now turn down oven temperature to 350F.

Making Pumpkin Pie Filling: While the crust is baking, in a blender or with an immersion mixer, mix together the pumpkin puree, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and cognac or brandy.

In a medium saucepan, gently heat the filling, stirring constantly, just until it’s warm to the touch. Do not overheat or you will get scrambled eggs in your filling. (Eggs begin to cook at 140F.)

Baking the Pumpkin Pie: Pour the warm filling into the prebaked pie shell and bake (at 350F) about 45 to 50 minutes, or until when you jiggle the pie the center looks just about set. The pie should puff up a little but still be slightly jiggly in the middle. To be safe, start checking it about 10 minutes before the suggested times. Let the pie cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, the pie can be chilled (up to two days), or left at room temperature for serving.

Recipes

Pumpkin Granola

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Fall means all things pumpkin are on my wish list of what to bake and when it comes to a new season, what better way to celebrate than making granola with all those cozy spices and smells. Here is an easy go-to pumpkin granola that you can modify to your hearts content – swapping out almonds with pecans, adding cranberries instead of raisins (or both), etc.. And when it comes to the heavenly spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, feel free to amp them up with a dash more. Just taste the mixture before it’s baked and if you want more of something, keep adding a little more at a time until you get your POP!

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Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients

¾ cup pumpkin puree

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup raisins (or dried cranberries or mixture of both)

½ cup plain almonds

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

 

Method

Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and mix together. Next, stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until combined. Then add the oats, raisins, almonds, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Use a rubber spatula to stir and fold oats into wet mixture until everything is evenly coated. At this point give the granola a taste. If it needs more spice or salt add it, mix evenly, and taste again until you achieve what your tastebuds are searching for.

Spread the granola evenly on the prepared baking sheet and place in oven on middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes then stir the granola to prevent burned spots and place bake in oven. Continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. It should look golden-orange and the coconut flakes should be lightly golden. Remove from oven, place baking sheet on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing in airtight container. Enjoy!

Recipes

Apple Pie

This is an apple pie recipe worth posting. Until recently I had not found a recipe that I liked enough to use as my go-to for apple pie. I was looking for one that was full of those cozy autumn spices and that held up when cut into once baked but with an ever-so-slightly jammy ooze. The type of apples you use makes a difference as well, I used our local apple farm’s Gravensteins, but I’m sure any good baking apple will do. So here’s to welcoming Fall’s footstep in the door and all the goodness that comes with it.

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Apple Pie

Ingredients

Double Pie Crust of your choice or Pâte Brisée recipe (I use this for all my pies, double this recipe if using, so you have a top and bottom crust) for 9-inch pan

Filling:

3 lbs baking apples (Gravenstein, Braeburn, Honeycrisp)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

½ cup (100 g) brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top

 

Method

Prepare top and bottom pie dough according to recipe using and have them both rolled out, bottom one in the pie pan and top one laying flat in refrigerator ready to use before prepping the filling. If you want to do a lattice or any artwork, have the strips ready and so forth. If you want, you can have a solid top to the pie, which is easier, and be ready to go.

Melt butter, set aside. Juice lemon for one tablespoon worth, set aside. Peel, core, and slice apples into ¼-inch slices. In a large bowl, immediately toss the apples with lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Then pour melted butter over the apples and mix until the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Sprinkle over the apples and toss until evenly coated, set aside.

Take pie plate lined with bottom pie dough out of the refrigerator. Place the apples into the pie plate, mounding them into the center. (You mound them in the middle because when the apples get baked the volume collapses and you don’t want a sunk down pie.) Cover the top with the remaining pie dough round, and seal the edges by pinching them together. Trim any excess dough to size of outer ridge of pie dish.

In a small bowl, whisk the one egg with a tablespoon of water. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie, sprinkle with sugar evenly (if desired), and with a sharp knife, make four 1- to 2-inch slits in center so steam can be released during baking. If you’re doing a lattice, you don’t need to make slits. Place pie in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill again, especially if dough has softened a lot.

 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F (220C) with rack in middle position. Carefully cover pie top with tinfoil so it doesn’t burn (like mine, I put foil on only after the first 25 min when it was too late). Bake pie for 25 minutes at this temperature. Then lower oven temperature to 375F (190C), carefully remove tinfoil and continue baking pie for 25-35 minutes longer, until golden brown. Make sure you check on the pie every 10 minutes or so at this point to make sure it’s not getting burned spots. Keep that tinfoil on hand just in case things start getting too crispy and you need to cover the pie again.

Let pie cool for at least 3 hours before serving.

Recipes

Blackberry Pie

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This is the berry pie recipe that I use for a variety of berries like: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and boysenberry. The quantity of berries is 4 ½ cups which can be divided into thirds to create a mixed berry pie or any combo thereof. Such as 1 ½ cups blackberry, 1 ½ cups strawberry, and 1 ½ cups raspberry. For this pie I went ⅔ cups blackberry and ⅓ cup strawberry. I find that using a slightly tarter berry, like strawberry or raspberry, offsets the sweetness of blackberries very nicely. You could go 100% blackberry as well. So feel free to make it into the pie that you desire.

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For the crust I use the pâte brisée recipe from chefsteps.com and just double the recipe so that I can have a top and bottom crust. This dough is my all-time favorite and I use it for all my sweet and savory pies. It’s flakey and light, rolls out well, and is easy to work with due to the butter to flour ratio being almost 50:50 (which is what a pâte brisée is anyways). If you have your own pie dough recipe, by all means use it. Just a heads up for the pâte brisée, start that a day or so before you’re ready to bake the pie. If you want a gorgeous crust as your end product, the dough has resting periods to go through before baking. So read ahead. It’s super easy to throw together, just a long waiting period before rolling out and finally baking.

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Blackberry Pie

Ingredients

Crust:

For pâte brisée recipe, click here. (double the recipe so you have a top and bottom crust)

Or a basic pie dough recipe you already have.

Filling:

3 cups fresh blackberries

1 ½ cups fresh strawberries

Juice from ½ lemon

1 cup Turbinado sugar

6 tablespoons Tapioca Starch

1 egg, beaten

 

Method

For Crust:

Prepare your crust ahead of time as per instruction for pâte brisée or your own. Here with the dough for the top crust you can get as creative as you want or simply do it as a lid, but make sure there’s holes or vents you cut in it so the juices can release steam and thicken. When ready to fill and bake proceed as follows.

For Filling:

Place berries, lemon juice, sugar, and tapioca starch in a large bowl. With a large rubber spatula, gently toss together until the tapioca starch has dissolved and there’s no more white bits.

Spoon the filling into the dough lined pie dish in an even layer.

Take your prepared top pie dough and place on top evenly or do your decorations or lattice work now.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg over the top of the pie dough (this helps make it golden and shiny as it bakes) and cover carefully with tinfoil. Try not to have tinfoil laying on and touching the pie crust because the crust will stick to the tinfoil as it bakes and when you go to remove the tinfoil, parts of your crust will tear off. 🙁

With your rack in middle position, place your pie dish inside the oven and bake 45-50 minutes. Then remove tinfoil and continue baking until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling and thick. This can take up to around 30 minutes more. I set my timer to check it every 10 minutes at this point to prevent burning. If your crust is looking like it’s browning too quickly, you can place the tinfoil back on for the remainder of time.

Remove from oven and let cool. Serve it warm or room temperature. Keeps well when covered tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipes

Blueberry Crisp

This is one of my favorite blueberry dessert recipes; an absolute must when it’s blueberry season. I can never decide which I like more, the topping or the filling. Speaking of topping, let me clarify the crisp vs crumble. How many times these desserts get miss-identified is as often as who vs whom. (Don’t ask me for help on the latter). A crumble topping contains oatmeal while a crisp does not. Crisp toppings are primarily made of sugar, butter, and flour and therefore will be crispy. When you add oats, that makes it crumbly, like granola is crumbly. Does this really matter? Probably not.

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 You really could use different seasonal berries with this recipe as well. Just adjust the sugar and flour to thicken it. I have done a strawberry-rhubarb filling before and it turned out just as great. If you already have a berry filling recipe that you love, you can just make this topping for it. It’s quite versatile. I love this topping and I think pecans are the best nut suited for it. However, you could swap it out for walnuts if so desired. Enjoy!

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Blueberry Crisp

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups / 24 oz / 720g, blueberries cleaned and stemmed
  • ½ cup / 3 ½ oz / 100g, sugar
  • ¼ cup / 1 oz / 30g, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Topping

  • 1 ½ cups / 6 ¼ oz / 178g, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup / 3 ½ oz / 100g, granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons / 1 ¼ sticks / 5 oz / 142g, unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup / 3 ½ oz / 113g, pecans chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch pie dish. Melt your 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter and set aside.

Place the blueberries in the pie dish. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon together with a fork until even texture and sprinkle this evenly over the berries.

For the topping, in a medium-sized bowl, use a wooden spoon to stir together the flour, salt, sugar, melted butter, and chopped pecans until you get a somewhat even crumbly coarseness. Sprinkle the topping over the berries.

Put in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes (depending on your oven), until the top is golden and the filling is thickly bubbly. Cool slightly before eating. Keeps well for three days at room temperature covered tightly with plastic wrap.

Recipes

Feta, Olive, and Oregano Salad

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We have an herb garden in our tiny backyard and it’s thriving to say the least. I have collected recipes for specific herbs that I like to use when it’s time to harvest a plant and this one is my go-to for oregano. Although this dish is oregano heavy don’t let that intimidate you. It’s perfectly balanced by the other ingredients and you will be pleasantly surprised. A plus to me is how quick and easy it is to prepare. Just make sure you have some good crusty bread to sop up any remaining olive oil. Enjoy!

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Feta, Olive, and Oregano Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz / 227g feta
  • 8 oz kalamata olives, pitted
  • ⅓ cup fresh oregano leaves, plucked
  • 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

Cut the feta into small cubes, roughly the size of your olives, but no bigger. In a bowl or small platter, place the feta and olives and sprinkle evenly with the oregano leaves. Zest one lemon over the dish evenly (avoid getting the white bitter pith of the lemon, only the yellow skin). Then peel and thinly sliver the second lemon (again, try to minimize pith) sprinkle over the salad. Drizzle about ¼ cup of olive oil evenly over the salad, add several grinds of pepper, and the juice of one lemon.

Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since this is my first post as a contributor I want to give a little more background to the food-side of me. I love food. It’s beautiful, delicious, colorful, and it just amazes me. When I’m grocery shopping or making food or working in our little garden, it makes me think of God, I know this sounds cliché, but it’s true. He’s given us these wonderful things to eat, to smell, to taste, to look at, and all because He loves us and wants to bring us happiness. Food, without a doubt, makes us happy. Our lives are based around food and our memories are strongly tied to food. At the last supper Jesus broke bread and drank with His disciples and told them to do it in remembrance of Him. Why? Because food is one of the strongest links to our memory and is also something that is done repetitively every day. Everything God made for us on Earth was done to direct our attention back to Him. The fact that we can make something to eat that creates a happy memory (or not so happy) is a powerful tool. So, without further ado, let’s talk about these chocolate chip cookies.

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Give me a choice of dessert and I’ll choose whichever one has chocolate (the darker the better). I chose this recipe for my first post because chocolate chip cookies or cookies in general, are to me the quintessential homemade dessert that most people will rise to the occasion to make and are also linked to positive memories. A cookie’s texture and mouthfeel will vary with personal preference, but let me tell you, this recipe is my favorite one out of all the others I have tried. Chewy but firm, soft but textured, and the perfect ratio of chocolate to crumb. Apart from one friend of mine who seems to prefer his cookies baked until so crisp they’re practically blowing away in the breeze, you can’t go wrong with this one. A bonus is that the butter is melted and not needing to be left at room temperature so you really can make these cookies at a moments whim. Now whether that’s a good thing or not is another question… Enjoy this recipe!

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups / 276g all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cups unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Method

Preheat your oven to 325F (165C) and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the melted butter with the brown and white sugar until well blended. Then add in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and beat on medium-high until light and creamy.

Slowly pour all the flour mixture into your stand mixer bowl and on lowest speed, mix in the flour until just blended. It’s okay to have a few spotty bits of white flour remaining, just make sure you don’t over mix the batter or you’ll get a tough cookie.

By hand with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

For big cookies use a ¼ cup to scoop out the dough and place on sheets about 3 inches apart. For smaller cookies use about a tablespoon size of dough and place 3 inches apart.

Bake the larger cookies for 15-17 minutes or for the smaller cookies bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer the individual cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: It’s worth waiting until they are completely cooled because once out of the oven, the baking isn’t over yet. The sugars inside the cookie are liquid now and need to harden so to give the cookie the crispiness while the air inside it needs to cool and deflate the cookie slightly.