Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes a simple cookie is the best cookie. I was surprised to realize that I haven't made chocolate chip cookies in a really long time and don't have a recipe for them on the blog...

Two weeks ago I received an enthusiastic email with the following recipe. My understanding is that this recipe is Martha Stewart's favorite chocolate chip cookie. Well, why not make them?!?!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies

* 1 pound unsalted butter
* 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
* 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
* 4 large eggs
* 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
* 3 cups bread flour
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 2 pounds Jacques Torres House (60 percent cocoa) Chocolate or other best-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and slowly add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.

3. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

First published by Martha on: May 2007

NOTE: I was able to bake my cookies for about 16 minutes. 20 minutes and they would have been on their way to over done!

I got about 120 cookies! Bringing most of them to work to share.


I want a big fat grill!

My little ol' grill pan works alright, but it's just not the same as charcoal and smoke.

Note to self: When there is homeownership in my future, there must be a backyard and a place for a grill.

Read more on why grilling rocks. Visit MattBites.


More updates on this weekend shindig. Our main dish was Tinga Poblano with Chicken. A tasty, smokey, spicy, low-cooked chicken dish that is great on the plate, a tortilla, a quesadilla, a crusty bun or with a pile of rice. I made WAY TO MUCH.

You've seen what we had for dessert! Or was the Sangria dessert?

Here are the sides we served:

J-lo made this Black Bean Confetti Salad. The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. I know he had some notes. A little more salt. Some hot sauce in the dressing. Maybe some else, but I'll let him pipe in.

I made my fresh Pico de Gallo. Lots for fresh tomatoes, diced onions, a couple jalepeno, wee bit of minced garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and cilantro! Let it sit for awhile for the flavors to make naughty together! Be generous with the lime and salt.

And it wouldn't be a proper Latin feast without Gaucamole. Sorry, but I must say it!!!! YUM-O!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So I made the Sangria this weekend. I received so many recommendations here on the blog, via email and out in the world wide recipe below follows a few different recipes.

It was delicious and tasted like a whole lot more!

Here’s what I did...

1.5 liter bottle of dry red wine (Alice White 2006 Shiraz)
1 cup spiced rum
½ cup dark rum
¼ cup triple sec
⅓ cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 orange,sliced and quartered
1 lemon, sliced and quartered
1 lime, sliced
1 apple, sliced and quartered
1 pear, sliced and quartered

Mix the booze and sugar, until sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit and refrigerate over night.

Chill your bottle of wine. Two hours prior to serving, mix the wine, orange juice and fruit/booze mixture.

Allow to mellow for two hours prior to serving. Pour over plenty of ice.

This was the second batch (there were three!)...sorry for the blur, my senses had already been impaired at this point!

Be careful if you plan to eat the fruit! It's Potent!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Channeling my inner Sandra Lee

For our Memorial Day Weekend entertaining, we had a handful of people over who we haven't seen in like a million years. It was great. We went with a delayed Cinco de Mayo party theme. All food with a Latin flair, twist, influence.

I'll get into the other food a wee bit later, but to start us off, how about dessert. A few weeks ago we found ourselves way way way out in the suburbs at the outlet stores. I found a very affordable Trifle Bowl that I had to have. I've never made trifle, so why do I need to the bowl. Well, when you can get a trifle bowl for only $10 it's worth it.

So, our dessert would be some variety.

I channeled my inner Sandra Lee and mixed booze and pre-made ingredients to make a delicious Banana & Dulche de Leche Trifle!

Banana & Dulche de Leche Trifle

1 box mix angel food cake-made per instructions (doesn't matter the kind of pan, you'll pull it apart later) or 1 pre-made angel food cake from the bakery!
2 small cans of sweetened condensed milk
4 bananas
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 medium box vanilla pudding mix (made per instructions)
1 small tub whipped cream
Small bit of dark chocolate for shaving/garnish

1) Make the angel food cake and allow to cool completely, tear into pieces about 1 inch square, approximately.

2) Make the pudding mix. You'll want about two cups pudding when done.

3) Make the dulche de leche. Take your two cans of sweetened condensed milk and empty into a glass/pyrex dish. Place the dish in a baking pan and fill with water, to create a water bath to help with the cooking. Cover with aluminum foil. Put into an oven heated to about 400 degrees for approximately 60 minutes. The milk will darken in color (almost a light caramel color) and have an incredibly rich, sweet aroma. Allow to cool completely.

4) Gather your ingredients and start assembly!

All ready!

The dulche de leche! Thick and sweet.

First layers: Angel food cake drizzled with Kahlua.

Next layer: Sliced bananas.

Drizzle the bananas with dulche de leche.

Top with vanilla pudding and whipped topping.

Repeat: Angel food cake, Kahlua, bananas, dulche de leche, pudding, whipped topping. I topped the cake off with more cake, dulche de leche, pudding and whipped topping (didn't have enough bananas for a full third layer.)

Grate dark chocolate over the top!

Lovely layers of sweet gooey deliciousness!

Serving! Eleven of us almost ate the whole thing.

And now the big question. Which is better: the Banana and Dulche de Leche Trifle or the Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding from Paula Deen? I'm going for the trifle, but there was some discussion that the little crunch you get from the cookies in the puddin' makes it better. But the trifle has booze! And dulche de leche!!! I'm going twith Trifle as the winner...doesn't mean I don't LOVE the pudding, but the trifle is tasty good! They are virtually the same and almost interchangable.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Let's try this again

I like my food. And it's showing!

Joined the gym today. Wish me luck.

I'm not interested in changing the way I cook, so I have to balance it all out somehow.


Sorry ya'll. I've been a neglectful blogger this week. I've been preparing for a weekend feast on Sunday and not really preparing much this week in terms of dinner! I apologize.

Stay tuned for after this weekend for updates on what I hope will be a fun little gathering with tastee treats.

In the meantime, please take a moment to check out this little article on the Washington Post website early this week about finding long lost recipes. There have been many times a favorite restaurant has gone on to the big blue beyond without giving me that last opportunity to enjoy a scrumptous dinner.

One lost recipe was the Firecracker Pork at Fuzio. The local restaurant closed. Then another one closed and now I'd have to travel across country. Not really feasible. After searching the web, I found a very comparable substitute. It takes some time to prepare but pretty much lives up to the savory treat we used to order regularly! You can see what I've done with it here and here.

From the WP article, please enjoy this recipe which I will be preparing next week:

Germaine's Thai Basil Chicken
The Washington Post, May 23, 2007

Summary: Germaine Swanson made this popular chicken dish at her eponymous restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue, which closed in 1998. Flank steak may be substituted for the chicken; cooking times would vary. Serve with rice noodles or steamed rice.
4 servings

For the sauce
• 1/3 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
• 1/3 cup water or low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce, or more to taste
• 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger root

For the chicken
• 2 large egg whites
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• Ground white pepper
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
• 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
• 1 cup packed Thai basil leaves
• 2 to 3 Thai chili pepper (may substitute 1 small jalapeƱo chili pepper), stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

For the sauce: Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.

For the chicken: In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of the oil and the white pepper. Add the chicken and mix well; set aside.

Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil and add the chicken mixture; stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and stir-fry for a few minutes; the onion will not soften thoroughly.

Add the sauce, stir for 1 minute and turn off the heat. Add the basil and chili pepper, stirring to combine.

Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Adapted from a Germaine's restaurant recipe.

UPDATE 6/3/07: Here is the post with my notes for changes in the future. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Makin' Whoopie!

I made these amazing Chocolate Kahlua Whoopie Pies with Vanilla Marscapone Filling about a year ago and the first line of the post was something along the lines of Little Debbie better watch her ass cuz' it's on! I made these tonight and seriously...she better watch it!

I have a big mouth!


And now we make whoopie!

Perfect ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, milk, cocoa!

Creaming the Kerrygold Irish Butter and sugar together!
I'm still not sponsored by Kerrygold, hint, hint, wink, wink!??!!!

Eggs and Kalhua added and whipped together.

Prior to adding the milk.

I use a small ice cream scoop to get the batter onto the baking sheets.

Making the cream filling. Sugar RUSH!

I find it easiest to 'pipe' the filling on the pies. I don't have the authentic baker's equiptment, so I go with the large zip top bag and snip off the bottom corner. Works GREAT!

Two halves awaiting their filling.

Happiness is...

And now some pretty pictures.
click on the photos for full impact

Piped Dreams.

Heavenly Clouds of Lusciousness.

Lining up for their caps.

All dressed up and ready for the party.

Chocolate Kahlua Whoopie Pies w/Vanilla Marscapone Cream Filling.

500 Posts Old

WOW! I had no idea Eat With Me would be 500 Posts Old today! Sweet. We just celebrated our second year together and now this. Reason to celebrate.

Well, today was commencement at the U and with all it's excitment, I'm a little pooped out, so how about we have dinner together?

On Sunday, I caught an episode of Giada on the Food Network. She was making lunch specials and one particular dish caught my eye. I had most of the ingredients to try Chicken and Orzo Frittata, but not all, so we'll call this a variation on a theme. And it tasted like MORE!

Pasta Frittata

1 cup tubetti pasta (or other small shapely pasta)
3 eggs
1/4 cup marscapone cheese
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 small onion, diced and sauted until soft
Small handful of fresh garden herbs
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 2 TB (reserved)
Salt and Pepper
Heavy pinch of cayenne pepper

Boil your pasta until al dente. Preheat your oven to 375.

Whisk together the eggs, marscapone, creme fraiche, parmesan, salt, pepper and the herbs you choose. Set aside.

Shredd or chop cooked chicken into bit size pieces.

When pasta is cooked, drain and allow to cool. When cool, fold together the egg/cheese mixture, chicken, onions, tomatoes and pasta.

Pour into a square baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved parmesan on top. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn on your broiler and cook for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

I don't know if I've seen this pasta before. It looked fun, so I picked it up!

Eggs, marscapone and creme fraiche.

Assembled and ready to bake.

Ready for dinner!

This was pretty easy and great basic casserole ready for whatever your pantry and fridge have for you. Giada's recipe called for orzo; I used the tubetti. Use what small pasta you have. Giada called for ricotta; I accidentally bought marscapone. Scallions; sauted onions. Parsley; fresh herbs from the garden (basil & thyme). Roasted red bell pepper; diced tomato. I added the parmesan on my own. As much as I dislike it, broccoli might be good. Or even, yuck, mushrooms. Artichoke hearts? All sorts of veg will work well. Mozzarella instead of parmesan. Sour cream instead of creme fraiche. Vegetarian; take out the meat. Thaks for the headstart Giada.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Following the basic risotto recipe, we had...

Sausage & Fennel Risotto

I browned 1/2 a pound of italian sausage with a touch of olive oil. When cooked through, I removed the sausage to a plate and added 1 small onion and 1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped.

When the fennel and onion have softened, add the arborio rice, stir to coat the rice grains with oil. Allow to saute for a moment. Deglaze with white wine. Then begin the patient process of adding chicken stock one ladle full at a time. When the rice is tender and creamy, I added one peeled and diced tomato. Next, I returned the sausage and parmigiano cheese. The final steps, stir in 1 TB fresh, chopped oregano and 1 TB butter. Stir and serve. Garnish with a fennel frond.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Creamy and Spicy

Do you remember our good friend Cardamom?

Well cardamom made an accident in my ice cream and it was DELICIOUS!

Cardamom and Orange Ice Cream!

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange extract
2/3 cup sugar

Mix all together and pour into your ice cream maker and process according to the machine's instructions.

For me...25 minutes to soft serve. Transfer to a air tight container and place in the freezer until hard set!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Friday Night Light

Tonight's dinner was on the healthy side! Some olive oil and some good natural fats and veggies and fish! I'm still not good with the was fine, but looked messed up. It didn't fry right, I should have broiled it like I originally intended.

The side for the dinner was based on this chopped salad recipe I started making last year. I lightly folded together two avocados, two ears of grilled corn on the cob and one diced tomato. The mix was dressed with a nearly identical dressing as the one on the chopped salad. 1 TB Orange Juice, Juice from two limes, Salt, pepper, 1 shallot; diced, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil. Whisk together, taste and adjust seasoning. It looks a mess, but was really tasty!

Creamy Corn and Avocado Salad

The fish was tilapia, tossed on the griddle side of the grill pan with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin. Once cooked, it was drizzled with lime juice. The taste was fine, but I didn't have enough oil on the pan and the fish STUCK! Oops. Will try that again in the future.

The fish only takes a few short minutes to cook. The item that took the longest was the grilled corn on the cob. That said, this took less than 30 minutes. And it's healthy and full of good for you stuff.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Suggestions Please

Hello all,

In the near future I am hosting a small gathering at our place and have promised to serve sangria.

Problem is, I've never made sangria, nor has anyone pointed a recipe to me and said 'this recipe rocks.'

So I turn to you loyal readers, What makes the best sangria? What type of wine (I want to go red this time around)? What type/brand of booze/brandy? What type of fruit? Do you add fruit juice? Do you use sugar?

I look forward to your feedback, as do my guests!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pancakes for dinner

Recently J-lo brought home a recipe card for Potato Pancakes. He was able to try them at a demonstration at Maryland Day and really enjoyed them.

So I thought I would give them a shot. They were pretty easy, do require a little work to grate the taters and also need some fry time, take that into consideration when making these. I could have gotten about 10 pancakes from this recipe. I stopped at 8. That fed the two of us. I would recommend doubling if you plan to serve to three or more, as part of the main entree (tonight we had boring pork...and it looked icky, pale and paltry in the photo so I cropped most of it out.)

Potato Pancakes

serves 4-6

1 3/4 pounds firm potatoes, peeled
1 large sweet onion, finely grated
1 finely minced garlic glove
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 TB flour
1 tsp salt
1 pinch fresh black pepper
1 TB minced fresh parsley
1 large egg white, beaten stiff
Peanut Oil for cooking

(NOTES: I didn't use garlic; substituted garlic powder. My onion was tiny; added a little onion powder. I thought I had cooking oil, I didn't; used olive oil instead.)

Finely grate the potatoes. Put them in a large bowl and add the onion and garlic. Mix well.

Sprinkle in the flour and mix. Add the egg (yolk and white), salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well.

Heat 1/4 inch oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. For each pancake, drop in a heaping tablespoon of the potato mix and press down with a spatula. Brown until crisp on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ina Ina Bo Bina Fe Fi Fo Fina...

Dinner last night was a quick version of Ina's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. I didn't know I was making this until right before I left work for home. I ran to the Giant quickly to get what I could...what a sad state that store is in on Monday's...note to self, don't shop on Monday's. The only chicken they had were jumbo packages of legs. I'll make it work. Got the rest of the ingredients and ran home to quickly make the marinade. I had enough time to let them soak for an hour. Having made this before where the chicken really could sit overnight, it makes all the difference in the world.

The nice part of the dinner was my first experimentation with Coconut Rice. I substituted half the water with coconut milk. Toss the whole mess into the rice maker and 25 minutes later, done! Tasty. But next time, I'm going for the full amount of coconut milk. Doing half water and half coconut milk was nice, but the coconut flavor was just barely there. Next time!

Sweet Treat

What a tasty treat to have after dinner!

Pineapple, Coconut and Mint Sorbet

Here's the what I did to make the sorbet:

Whirled two cups of fresh pineapple (that had been in the freezer for an hour) in the food processor until smooth. Add 1 cup of pineapple juice and 1 cup of coconut milk. Toss in a small handful of chopped mint and the juice of two limes, stir together. Add a wee pinch of salt. Pour into your ice cream/sorbet maker and follow the machine's instructions to finish the sorbet.

Some things I'll do differently next time. 1) Make a simple syrup and infuse that with the mint and lime zest, saving the leaves for garnish, instead of picking them out of my teeth. 2) Maybe add a little more coconut milk, to deepen the coconut flavor. 3) Serve with a shot of my favorite rum and throw a straw in it. This was tasty!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Balcony Garden

It took a week, but we were able to put the 'garden' together today!

(l-r) Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Sage (Regular and Pineapple), Rosemary and then on the blue crate, 3 types of Basil (Sweet, Thai and Cuban.) The rest of the plants are various flowers and house plants!

Perfect Pasta, part 2

Earlier today we made the perfect pasta dough. Tonight, we turned that dough into fettucine and dressed in a lovely, velvet alfredo sauce.

Using my pasta maker, I turned the dough into a full 1/4 baking sheet of fettucine. Lightly sprinkle the cut pasta with flour to prevent the strands from sticking together. Cook your fresh pasta in a large pot of boiling water. The pasta will just take a minute or two to cook to al dente!

And the final dish! Creamy Alfredo Sauce.