Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies...The Best Ever!!!

chocolate chip cookies!This cookie recipe comes from the blog "On my Menu" blogger said: I made them to share with my class at church today so I doubled the recipe. This was a terrible idea because now I have so many left at home and I cannot stop eating them! They are sooo delicious! Definitely the best cookies I have ever made!!!

Here is another tip...
i didn't want to make giant cookies like it calls for so i made them smaller and adjusted the time. but i also learned that you can't do them too small either. they don't spread out very much so be generous in their size. also they taste better when they're a little bigger rather then little bite size cookies.

2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ good quality unsalted butter· 
3/4 cup granulated sugar· 
3/4 cup brown sugar – not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.· 
2 eggs (room temperature)· 
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour – Spoon and Sweep method. (feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube . . . but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands)· 
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt· 
3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don’t fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)· 
1/4 tsp baking soda· 
1 T cornstarch· 
1 cup Guittard brand milk chocolate chips·(I found these at HEB) 
1 cup Guittard brand semisweet chocolate chips · 
1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like.)- i usually don't like nuts in my desserts but they add an amazing flavor and there are already enough chunks that it doesn't ruin the texture either. add them!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. 
2. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch. Add slowly to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
4. Gently fold in chocolate chips and nuts
5. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each.
6. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middle. Bake until lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. (I made normal sized cookies and baked 12 min)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bahama Mama Tortilla Soup from Rumbi Island Grill

This is amazing soup. It has an island twist to it. The combinations of the spices is just...well, it's exciting I tell you what. I had it tonight at Rumbi and came home and searched for the recipe online. I found several sources with identical ingredients and positive comments. This specific picture and recipe comes from the blog: The Recipe Club.


{bahama mama chicken tortilla soup}

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup matchstick carrots
1/3 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
1 TBSP minced fresh garlic
1 cup chopped roma tomato, juices drained off
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
tortilla strips**
limes, cut in wedges
salt & pepper to taste

lightly salt & pepper chicken breasts on each side. grill or broil until browned & cooked through. cut into bite size chunks.
in a large pot, combine chicken stock, carrots. all herbs, spices & seasonings. bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. add coconut milk, chopped, drained tomatoes, chicken & cilanto. heat through but DON'T BOIL. add salt & pepper as needed.
ladle into bowls & top with tortilla strips & a lime wedge.

**for the tortilla strips, you can either slice up corn tortillas & bake or fry them... or just pick some up at your local tex-mex restaurant. bajio, cafe rio & costa vida are all really nice about selling strips & they aren't too expensive.

Caesar Chicken Wraps

These are really really good. I have made these wraps two times now and they are now a favorite of Chay's. Tons of flavor- Perfect for summer!!!! It's a KEEPER.

Caesar Chicken Wraps
Posted by Erin ~ thesisterscafe.com
1/2 c. creamy Caesar dressing (Lite works fine)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 c. Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 c. red peppers, sliced
Handful of olives, sliced (or one small can of sliced olives)
5 flour tortillas (I use Costco’s uncooked tortillas and bake them fresh)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
Combine Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic and pepper.  In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and add a fourth of the dressing mixture; mix well.  In a large bowl, combine lettuce, red pepper and olives.  Add remaining salad dressing to lettuce and toss to coat.  Spread a layer of cream cheese mixture on each warm tortilla.  Top with lettuce mix, wrap up and serve.

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

I found this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I doubled it last night for my family and they loved it!  There was only enough left over for Paul and I to have it for lunch today.  I served mine with brown rice (much healthier than white) and edamame.  I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect!

*Serves 4
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons curry powder (yellow)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (by seeding the jalapeno you lose most of the spice/heat but retain great flavor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cups hot cooked rice

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place in medium bowl. Stir together curry, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and chili powder. Sprinkle over chicken, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large nonstick frying pan, stir onion, basil, garlic and peppers in hot oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chicken and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 5-6 minutes until no longer pink.
Combine coconut milk and cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Carefully add to skillet, whisking vigorously. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in ginger. Cook and stir for another minute. Serve over hot rice.

Recipe Source: adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Monday, May 14, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade

 I adapted this recipe from Tammy Price's recipe found here (where she cans the lemonade concentrate into quart jars for later).  I only "can" what is absolutely necessary because of all the work.  So instead I froze my strawberries for later use.  I just love this refreshing drink! 

2 cups strawberries  - I like to use frozen but you can use fresh, also
1 cup lemon juice (just from the concentrate you buy from the store) - mine wasn't fresh
1 cup sugar
5 cups water

Blend berries with lemon juice and 1 cup of the water.  Then dump this mixture into a pitcher and add the sugar and remaining four cups of water.  If you use frozen berries, then your drink is already chilled and ready to drink!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pork Chalupa

I just love this recipe and so does my family.  It has become a regular in our house.  I have found that I can use many types of pork cuts (chops, ribs, roast, etc) and it turns out fantastic every time.  I found this on allrecipes - here.  I have used this meat/bean mixture for copy cat costa vida salads- it's a nice change to the sweet pork.   I like to soak my beans (2 cups = 1 lb) overnight in water.  This helps soften the beans and remove some of the extra gas. The next day just drain the yucky water before dumping the beans into your crockpot.  Enjoy!

  • 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 3 (4 ounce) cans diced green chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 16 flour tortillas or taco shells


  1. Place the roast inside a slow cooker coated with cooking spray. In a separate bowl, stir together the beans, 2 cans of the chile peppers, chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, and garlic powder. Pour the whole mixture over the roast, and add enough water so that the roast is mostly covered. Jiggle the roast a little to get some of the liquid underneath.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours. Check after about 5 hours to make sure the beans have not absorbed all of the liquid. Add more water if necessary 1 cup at a time. Use just enough to keep the beans from drying out.
  3. When the roast is fork-tender, remove it from the slow cooker, and place on a cutting board. Remove any bone and fat, then shred with forks. Return to the slow cooker, and stir in the remaining can of green chilies. Heat through, and serve with flour tortillas and your favorite toppings.