Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (Ever?)

I've tried many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies over the years, and this one is definitely my favorite...EVER! It's soft and chewy, and if you bake it for just a tad bit longer, you get this delicious, and ever so crunchy bite, just around the outer edges.

Mmmm...cooooooookie (in Cookie Monster's voice)


2 cups of SIFTED all purpose flour

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt

3/4 cup of softened SALTED butter

3/4 cup of packed brown sugar

1/2 cup of white granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips


1. Into a bowl, sift your flour, baking soda, and salt.

2. Using your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, add in your brown sugar, white sugar, and softened butter and cream for 3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

3. With your mixer on "stir", add in your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer up to speed 4 (medium speed), and mix just until combined.

4. With your mixer on "stir", slowly incorporate your dry mixture, a little at a time, just until mixed. Scrape down your bowl at least once.

5. Add in your chocolate chips just until combined.

6. Place a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and using an ice cream scoop (for smaller cookies, use a melon baller) and scoop out your cookies.

7. Bake cookies in a preheated 325 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-7 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*This recipe was inspired by the recipe I found here.


-This recipe was recently updated! If it looks different than the video I posted, THAT'S BECAUSE IT IS! The updated recipe just uses softened butter instead of melted. :)

-If you want to make smaller cookies (using a melon baller) the cookies will bake a bit faster.

- You MUST freeze the batter before baking because if you don't, your cookies will spread quite a bit.

- Adjust baking time, depending on how long your cookies have been in the freezer.

-These cookies are even better the next day! :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chili with Beans Recipe

I'm a sucker for a good bowl of hearty chili, and this one definitely fits the bill! The beef shank in this recipe really sets it apart from other chili recipes. Obviously, you can use whichever cut of beef that you'd like, but if you can find beef shank, make sure you give it a try--you will not be disappointed!

1.5 pounds of beef shank cut into bite sized pieces

1 pound of ground beef

1/2 of an onion, chopped

4 cloves of chopped garlic

3-4 ounces of tomato sauce

1 (14.5 ounce) can of fire roasted tomatoes

2 cups of dried kidney beans soaked overnight (may sub for 2 cans, drained)

30 ounces of water

1 beef bouillon cube

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup of masa harina (corn flour) mixed with 1/2 cup of cold water

soy sauce


brown sugar

extra virgin olive oil


3 Tablespoons of ancho chili powder (may use chili powder)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

1/4 teaspoon of oregano

1 Tablespoon of brown sugar

3 teaspoons of ground cumin


1. Into a large pot, add in your beans and water to cover. Cook your beans (at a rolling boil), uncovered for about an hour. You may need to keep adding additional water while cooking, so make sure you check on it, periodically. Check for doneness, and drain well.
2. In a small bowl, add in your ancho chili powder, salt, white pepper, oregano, and brown sugar. DO NOT ADD IN YOUR CUMIN, YET. Mix well.
3. Evenly divide your spices into 3 separate "dumps." Add in your ground cumin into one of your dumps (you will add this dump, during the last 15 minutes of cooking time). Set aside.
4. In a non stick pot, on medium high heat, add in some olive oil and brown your ground beef. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
5. Wipe down your pot with a clean paper towel to remove any excess oil. Drizzle in some olive oil, and add in your cubed beef shank. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
6. Wipe down your pot again, and add in some olive oil. On medium heat, add in your chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt and cook until softened. Add in your chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant.
7. Add your beef shank back into the pot, along with your tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, water, beef bouillon cube, bay leaf, and your first dump. Let this all come up to a quick rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium low, put a lid on the pot, and cook for 1 hour, stirring once or twice during cooking.
8. After 1 hour, stir the pot, and add in your second dump. Cover, and cook for 1 more hour.
9. Add in your last dump (which contains the cumin), ground beef, and cooked beans. Mix well.
10. In a small bowl, mix together your masa harina and water. Add this mixture into your pot, and stir until chili has slightly thickened.
11. Taste check for seasoning, and add any additional flavoring like soy sauce, salt, and brown sugar, as needed.


-I've read that a good sub for masa harina are corn tortilla chips! Just add some corn tortilla chips and water into a blender, and puree! Now, you have your thickening mixture!

-When purchasing beef shank, make sure you purchase it bone-in. Boneless beef shank is very hard to cut into cubes, because it is naturally a very tough piece of meat. Look for a bone-in beef shank that is about 2.5 pounds, because by the time you cut around it, it will leave you with less meat. You may also try to see if your butcher can cut your beef shank for you, instead. And don't toss that bone in the garbage! Keep it in your freezer and use it to make a delicious beef stock! :)

-Chili tastes even better the next day!

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