I am listening to the Beatles, hence the strange post title.
I love to cook. I find it therapeutic. The smells, the chopping, the process of raw scrumptious ingredients turning into a lovely meal just fills me with happiness. I’m by no means any kind of Top Chef but I do manage pretty well to keep our meals varied and fun.
Anyways I have been wanting to start sharing recipes now and then and figured I would start today; trying to offer both a sweet and a savory dish each time. Both of these are big hits both at home and anywhere I bring them. I’ve done both of these so many times throughout my life for various pot lucks and such that the recipes come from memory at this point. Enjoy!
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Who says you can’t have the desert first?)
This recipe is just a slight modification of the Toll House recipe and always get rave reviews so here is my “secret” for scrumptious and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- 2 1/4 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Salted Butter (2 sticks, softened)
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar (Dark is my preference)
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (More or Less depending on your preference – 2.5 cups makes VERY chippy cookies)
Set oven to bake at 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside for later. In your mixer blend up the soft butter with both sugars and the vanilla until it is grainy looking. Keep mixing slowly and add in the eggs, one at a time. It will be a smoother grainy looking mix now. Still on slow, start to mix in the flour, a bit (about 1/2 cup) at a time until it is all in and incorporated into the mixture. Stir in your chocolate chips. (You can add Walnuts I guess but I never like nuts in cookies so I don’t and can’t vouch for how chewy they’ll be at the end)
Now your mix is all ready! Use two teaspoons to spoon good sized blobs of the dough unto ungreased cookie sheets. Make sure your oven is ready (all pre-heated) and put that tray in. Now here’s my other “Secret”: don’t cook it for the 9-12 minutes suggested on the Toll House bag if you want a cookie that doesn’t snap when you bite it. Remember that every oven is different too; yours might heat more evenly or quickly than mine. This part is not 123 simple (it is the “artsy” part; like when you KNOW pasta is done by looking at it) but once you’ve done it once you shouldn’t have to again until you have a new stove.
When you put that first batch in; set a timer for 5 minutes. When it goes off; check on the little darlings. If the centers are still really WET looking (and if you’re a toothpick checker, the pick comes out gooey), close the door for another minute. Check again. Repeat this until you open the door and see that the centers of most of the cookies don’t look soggy (a tiny spot of wet is okay; it will keep cooking a tad when you take them out.) Remember how long it took to get to this good point. (Mine take 7 minutes). Let that pan cool for a few minutes while you put the second tray into the oven. After a few minutes you can use a spatula and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Check to see if any of the cookie centers try to drip through the racks (you might need to up your cooking time just a smidgen if they do…or not if you really like UBER chewy cookies). Wait for them to cool before putting them in any container. Chewy cookies stick together more readily than crunchy ones. Enjoy!
Spicy Baked Shrimp
(This recipe can be doubled too if you’re having lots of people)
- 1 lb fresh raw shrimp; peeled and deveined (or 1 bag of frozen; thawed, peeled, deveined)
- 1/2 cup of Oil (Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a great flavor but regular Vegetable Oil works fine too; or you can mix half and half)
- 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Honey (Or Splenda/Sugar works and is less sticky)
- 2 tbsp Fresh chopped parsley (Or 2 tsp of dried parsley)
- Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Make sure the shrimp are all thawed, peeled and deveined. Give them a good final rinse and put them in a baking dish. Mix together all the remaining ingredients until they are blended into a well mixed solution. Pour it all over the shrimps. Cover the entire container with the shrimp and give it a shake to coat them all. Put them into the fridge for about an hour. (In the meantime you can get ready either some tasty rice or thin pasta for it to go over. Spinach and Broccoli go great against the spice).
Preheat the oven to bake at 450 degrees. Give the container a last shake to coat the shrimp and take the cover off. Put the dish into the pre-heated oven and bake for a solid 10 minutes. All the shrimp will now be pink. Let them cool for a minute when you take them out. Spoon shrimps and some of the juice over rice or pasta and enjoy!
As an alternate idea (which works great too): Skewer the shrimps before you put them into the marinade. Then grill them. You have a tasty grilled appetizer!
Let me know if you try these; I’d love to hear what you think! Watch out next time for Homemade Polish Perrogies I think 🙂