Monday, February 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Year's ago this recipe was in The New York Times. My husband cut it out and gave it to me. I took that as a request. His instincts were right!

I received this towel from one of my friends the other day. I took this as a request too.

Thee cookies take three days to make but they certainly are worth it. Once the dough is made, you refrigerate it for 36 hours which allows the sugars to melt and enriches the cookies flavor tremendously. These cookies are large, six inches in diameter. I made two separate batches because of the bulk.

Place 2 cups of cake flour in a bowl. Add 1 2/3 cups of bread flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Whisk this together and set aside.

Us the paddle attachment of your mixer and beat together 1 1/4 cups of light brown sugar, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter. Beat until light and creamy.

Add 2 large eggs. Beat until well blended. Then beat in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Slowly beat in all of the dry ingredients until well blended.

Now comes the good part! Carefully blend in 1 1/4 pounds of chocolate feves. Use at least 60 % cacao content. Unlike chocolate chips, the feves melt horizontally through the cookies which gives you whole layers of chocolate in each bite. I mix them in by hand so they don't break.

Sometimes, if I don't have enough feves on hand, I will add some chocolate chips but they have to be at least 60 % cocao. However the cookies are much better using all feves. You can just google feves to find places to buy them but Whole Foods has started carrying them if you have one nearby.

Place the dough in a bowl and press plastic wrap over it. Refrigerate for at least 36 hours. I baked mine after 72 hours.

I weighed my for accuracy, they were each 3 1/2 ounces. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a bit of cracked sea salt.

Bake until they are golden on the edges but still soft. About 20 minutes. These cookies are crunchy on the edges and chewy on the inside.

I let mine cool on the cookies sheets.

You could take them off the sheets after 10 minutes and continue to cool them on racks.

Mine never make it that far.

Hungry hands grabbed them right off the cookie sheets and downed them with big glasses of cold milk.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Salad

I've posted this before but for new followers, I thought it was worth posting it again. My daughter was home for the weekend and this sun-dried pasta salad was one of the things she requested that I make for her to take back when she leaves today.

It starts with a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil.

Add them to your food processor. I also add some of my oven roasted tomatoes. You could use a can of tomatoes as a substitute for the oven roasted ones.

Coarsely chop about 7 cloves of garlic. This is another recipe I am doubling so you can cut it in half if you don't have tons of people to feed. Add the garlic to the tomatoes.

Add 6 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

Add about 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt. You might need to add more later.

Add 1 1/2 cup of olive oil.

Pulse until all is combined and the sauce is smooth.

I cover it and refrigerate it for a day to allow the flavors to blend.

I boiled 2 pounds of rotini pasta.

Then it is mixed with the sauce.

I added 2 cups of chopped kalamata olives and 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese.

Halve or quarter 3 cups of cherry tomatoes.

Thinly slice 1 whole bunch of fresh basil. Stir it all together and taste to adjust seasoning.

Serve at room temperature for the best flavor. This is a wonderful dinner for warm weather. Not that we have any of that stuff!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Curried Egg Salad Sandwich

The whole wheat bread that I made a couple days ago just screams for curried egg salad. So does my family. This is one of their favorite sandwiches.

Chop some celery into small cubes.

Add some thinly sliced onion.

Add about 3-4 tablespoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of cracked black pepper.

I boiled 23 eggs for this recipe. I chop them using an egg slicer. Slice them one way and then turn them and slice them again. I made enough for my kids to take some home so feel free to cut this recipe in half.

After peeling the eggs, I put them in a bowl of water to make sure I get all of the pieces of shell off of them. Let them dry on a paper towel before slicing.

Using the egg slicer gives you very uniform pieces.

Add about 3/4 cup of mayo and 3 tablespoons of yogurt. This salad should be rather dry so add the wet ingredients sparingly until you have the right consistency. Mix very well. This is best made a day in advance so the flavors can blend.

I slice a piece of the whole wheat bread and top it with arugula.

Then I pile on the egg salad.

I top it with spring lettuce mix.

Then top it with another piece of bread, Putting the lettuce on the top and bottom keeps the sandwich from getting soggy.

This takes egg salad to a whole new level.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thrift Store Day

Yesterday was my thrifting day. I don't think there will be much offered at the stores until the weather warms up and people do spring cleaning. But I was still able to find some fun stuff. This huge basket was $1.95.

I have a pile of baskets in my basement. I just can't pass them up especially when they are sturdy and dirt cheap! I use them to carry tools or plants in my gardens.

This rooster is rather large and is in perfect condition. He was $1.29 and will be on my potting bench this spring.

I love finding these little porcelain pots of flowers to use in my garden totems. This one was 99 cents.

My daughter is hosting a fundraiser where she works and has chosen a cherry blossom theme. I found these two plates with cherry blossoms for $1.29 for the pair. She can use them to serve appetizers.

This plate for $1.49 will be turned into a cake stand.

I am always looking for porcelain birds to use in the garden totems too. This one was 29 cents.

Another porcelain flower basket in perfect shape.

And a good deal. The weird pink hand was free.

I made this totem a few days ago. Click for a better look.

You can see how I use the porcelain birds and flowers.

And this was a great find for $5.95.

A very sturdy well made drop leaf table.

You can tell that it is old by the way the sliders are made. I'm not sure if I am going to sand this and stain it, leave it as it is or paint it. Decisions, Decisions!