Monday, August 22, 2016

Bleeding Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my very favorite chocolate chip cookies!  I personally think they are the very best, and most delicious when eaten while they are still warm (or reheated in the oven for  few minutes).  I call them bleeding chocolate chip cookies because the proportion of chocolate to dough is amazing, and by using a good quality chocolate that pools when it melts instead of staying in "chip" form, the cookie if warm (as it should be) will "bleed" melty, glorious chocolate when the top of the cookie is gently pressed.  It's pretty much chocolatey amazing-ness!

Bleeding Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (220 grams-I always weigh my flour for this recipe)
8-ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut with a serrated knife into roughly 1/2-inch chunk
Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Heat oven to 360°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butters and sugars with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated.  Scrape down the bowl with a spatula.  Add the baking soda and kosher salt and beat to combine.  With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. When the flour is halfway absorbed, add the chopped chocolate and mix until the remaining flour is incorporated.

Scoop dough into mounds (I use a big scoop, probably close to 1/4 cup dough).  Space the dough mounds evenly apart on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with flaky salt.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown, but still very gooey and soft inside.  Let the cookies cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring them to a cooking rack.

Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen and originally from Not Without Salt

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Almond-Crisped Peaches

It's peach season and we've been eating fresh peaches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Every year this happens and every year I look forward to it.  Allred Orchard's opens their fruit stand and boxes of Red Haven peaches (the first peach of the season) fill their store front and in turn fill my refrigerator.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved peach cobbler.  I remember my mom making peach cobbler when I was growing up and stealing a bite from the corner of the pan as it emerged from of the oven, bubbling and golden brown.  That bite would be so hot that I'd puff out my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side to keep the burning hot peach from settling on my tongue and burning the daylights out of it. I remember my mom filling bowls with that steaming hot cobbler and topping it with a rather large spoonful of sweetened whipped cream that quickly melted into all the nooks and crannies of the cobbler.  It was so good and so comforting.

These almond-crisped peaches quickly brought back all those peach cobbler memories as I pulled the baking sheet from the oven and couldn't resist immediately topping the corner peach with lightly sweetened whipped cream and taking a bite that made me puff my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side.  Oh man, it was so good and so comforting!

Almond-Crisped Peaches

4 ripe peaches, halved and pits removed
1/3 cup whole almonds
14 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place fruit cut side up on baking sheet.  In a food processor, pulse almonds and sugar together until coarsely ground (with a few pebble sized pieces left).  Add cinnamon, salt, and butter, pulsing the food processor until the ingredients are just blended.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the center of each peach, then press the mixture flat, as if you were icing the tops of the peaches.  (If there is extra almond mixture just add a little more to the top of each peach.)

Bake for 45 minutes (baking time varies with peach size), or until the top is brown and crisp and you can slice through the peach with ease using a fork or spoon.

Serve warm with a large spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream.  (For breakfast the next morning I ate the leftover peaches with lightly sweetened plain yogurt.)

Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Friday, August 12, 2016

Kale Chopped Salad + Peaches (and a whole lot of other goodness)

Sisters are the best!  I am one of six girls (+ three brothers) so there definitely isn't a shortage of sisters in my family.  About a month ago I was lucky enough to have my sister Stephanie who lives in California come and visit.  She brought along her two boys while her husband stayed in California to work.  A week before she came I started planning out a few of my favorites (food of course) that I wanted to eat with her while she was here.  Cocoa crispy crunch, chocolate olive oil bread with ricotta & honey, black ice cream with salty sprinkles, homemade frozen yogurt, butter chicken and homemade pita, flatbread pizzas, and a few of my favorite kale salads quickly filled my list.  I was giddy with excitement both to see her and to feed her!

For lunch one afternoon, we filled white salad bowls with lightly dressed chopped kale, red onion, charred corn, fresh peaches, avocado, baby pea sprouts, feta cheese, and sweet and spicy sunflower seeds.  While we were eating, her "mmm's" confirmed that she loved this salad as much as I did.  It's so great having sisters who love and enjoy food as much as I do.

This is more of a list of ingredients that you can use in the amounts you want rather than an exact recipe.  The dressing will make more than enough for a couple of salads.  The dressing is also delicious with this salad. 

Kale Chopped Salad + Peaches

1 bunch lacinato kale, finely chopped
Charred corn, cut from 2 ears of corn
1/4 red onion, thinly shaved
Fresh peaches, diced
Avocado, sliced
Sprouts (broccoli, pea, or micro greens)
Feta Cheese

Sweet & spicy sunflower seeds


4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon cream

To make the dressing, place vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.  Whisk in cream and season with salt.

Sweet and Spicy Sunflower Seeds

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and toast sunflower seeds until just fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the salt, cayenne, and brown sugar and toss them around until the sugar is hot enough to stick to the seeds, 8-10 minutes.  Place sunflower seeds on a piece of parchment paper and spread out in a single layer to cool.

Recipe slightly adapted from
Sprouted Kitchen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Black Ice Cream and Salty Sprinkles

I love ice cream and the thing that makes me REALLY love ice cream is the toppings.  I love toppings!  On a scoop of vanilla my favorite is sliced bananas, hot fudge, roasted almonds, and lots and lots of salty sprinkles.  (Peaches in the summer comes in at a close second, but chocolate will always win first place in my book). 

If I know I'm going Baskin Robins, I'll bring a baggie of salty roasted almonds to put on my ice cream (don't worry, I don't bring hot fudge).  And along these same lines, I also bring a baggie of granola when I'm planning on eating an acai bowl because you can never have enough granola.  I know...I'm a nerd.

I first came across salty sprinkles near my last birthday.  I made myself a banana split for lunch and covered it in salty sprinkles.  (I think it should be a rule that everyone should eat a banana split for lunch on their birthday.) 

Salty sprinkles are a mixture of raw sugar, toasted sesame seeds, and vanilla flaky salt and I promise you they are addicting, like really addicting.  They take a bowl of ice cream to a new level and make ice cream sundaes crazy good!  (I may just start carrying a small container of them with me (along with my baggie of almonds) just in case I stop for ice cream.)

Oh and this black ice cream is amazing!  So, so, so good!  I love it so much that I've made it four times already.  Melissa of the Faux Martha out did herself with this recipe!

Black Ice Cream

3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (Califia)
14-ounce coconut cream (not coconut milk)
1/4 cup Lyle’s golden syrup

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, black cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and espresso powder until combined.  Slowly pour in the almond milk while whisking to combine.  Add coconut cream and gold syrup to the sauce pan and whisk to combine.

Over medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer.  Allow mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes, whisking continually.  Remove from heat and pour mixture into a high-powered blender.  Blend on high for 30 seconds. 

Let mixture cool to room temp and then refrigerate to cool completely, preferably overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions.  Once churned place ice cream in freezer to completely set up.

Recipe slightly adapted from thefauxmartha

Salty Sprinkles

4 teaspoons flaky vanilla salt (I use seeds from 1 vanilla bean for every 4 teaspoons of Maldon salt and blend together with the tips of my fingers, taking care not to completely crush the flaky salty.)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Combine everything in a small bowl and mix to combine.  Store in a jar.

Recipe from Food 52