Saturday, March 31, 2012

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

What a great way to start the weekend!  Crunchy edges and soft centres, make this the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

I asked my mom if I could borrow her electric mixer for this recipe.  It's just one of those things I don't use since I don't bake much.  As I was using it I felt very nostalgic, remembering my mom making lots of meringues and cheese muffins with that mixer.  

Recipe by Jim Lahey found in Bon Appetit Magazine.

Ingredients:

1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
3/4 Tsp of kosher salt
1/2 Tsp of baking powder
3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 Cup of sugar
1 Large egg, room temperature
1/2 Tsp of vanilla extract
1 Cup of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Makes about 20 cookies

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl.  Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well combined, 2/3 minutes.  Add egg and vanilla; beta on medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Add dry ingredients, reduce speed to low, and mix just to blend.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 6-8 minutes.  Let cool, if you can wait.  I usually eat about 2 before they're cooled.  Can anybody actually wait?


Monday, March 26, 2012

Jane Loves to Party

Maybe my  favourite part of the weekend.  Jane learned how to cheers and couldn't get enough of it.



Creamy Mushroom Pasta

How was your weekend? I was craving a burger, so the three of us went for dinner around the corner to Gingerman. 

To start off the weekend I made a quick and easy pasta dish.  I had a few things in my fridge I had to use up left from Jane's party, so what better way then a big plate of pasta to start off the weekend.

Ingredients:
Spaghetti (or any other pasta you have in the pantry)
2 Tbs of olive oil
Half an onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt an pepper
Mushrooms, sliced (any kind you have)
1 Tbs of fresh thyme, chopped
1 Bunch of spinach, roughly chopped
1 Cup of chicken broth (white wine is even better but we didn't have)
1 Cup of mascarpone cheese
Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking,  heat the oil in a large sautee pan on medium heat, add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, thyme, and cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat to high, add chicken stock, and cook until almost all the liquid has reduced. Remove the pan from the heat, add the marcrapone cheese and stir.  Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water.  Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce and combine, using the pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Serve with the parmesan cheese. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's That Time Again!

First barbecue of the season!  I bought these short ribs at Boffo's last minute.  I chose the marinated ribs since it was already 5:00.  They need to be cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side and you're done.  Perfect for when you're not sure how much propane is left from the summer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring is Here!

Can you believe it's spring and it actually feels like it?  I can't get over how warm it is and it's not even April yet.  This has been perfect for my final two weeks with Jane before I go back to work.


I'm so excited for this summer with Jane.  She's in full discovery mode and loves studying little ants and any other creature that crosses her path.  She has a universal animal sound that I thought at first was just her dog bark.  Apparently though, this is the same sound for bugs, ducks, pheasants (we actually had one of these in our backyard this week), and cats.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jane's Birthday Party

How was your weekend?  We celebrated Jane's Birthday. I think Jane's favourite part was the morning after all the partying. She was happy to find a miniature chair left upstairs that's usually packed away in our basement.  It's her new favourite spot to enjoy her milk and morning cartoons.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaded Chicken Fingers


Jane was in love with these!  You can always tell when Jane is a big fan of something by the way she chomps  and smacks her lips.  She also does a little dance in her highchair. 

For the adults, add your favourite dipping sauce (we chose a sweet chilli sauce).  


When breading your chicken use separate hands for dry and wet ingredients or your fingers will look like this!   

Ingredients:

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 Plain breadcrumbs
2 Tsp of mixed Italian dried herbs
1 Tsp pf garlic powder
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/4 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 Cups of milk*
1/2 Cup of flour

Mix breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic powder, lemon zest and Parmesan cheese in a wide bowl.  Place a separate bowl to the side with your milk or eggs, and another one with the flour ready to start the breading process. Coat chicken in the flour, then dip into milk or egg, and press the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Transfer to clean plate and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Heat a non-stick saute pan on medium heat.  Cook chicken for about 10-15 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.  If you're not sure if it's cooked use a instant-read thermometer, it should read 180.  Or cut into the thickest piece of chicken to check if it's cooked through.  

*You can use 2 eggs instead of milk, I used milk becuase Jane is allergic to egg.