Posted by: Zorymar | January 26, 2020

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been cold, snowy and gray, perfect weather for some delicious chocolate chip cookies! I found this recipe in Jessica Fechtor’s book Stir, but it’s originally from the cookbook Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce. I used chocolate chips (Ghirardelli) instead of the chopped chocolate the original recipe calls for and made them much smaller (only one tablespoon scoop instead of three) and they still turned out so amazing that I may just have found the one chocolate chip cookie recipe! I also love that I can store the scooped raw dough in the fridge (wrapped in plastic) to bake a few cookies at a time and have freshly baked cookies everytime!

Ingredients:

3 cups (340 grams) whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened to cool room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar

1 cup (200 grams) sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

Sea salt flakes

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Place butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until just blended. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add vanilla, then add the flour mixture and blend until the flour is barely incorporated. Scrape the bowl again, incorporating any pockets of flour left with the spatula, then add the chocolate and combine.

Use a tablespoon size cookie scoop to scoop the cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To bake: preheat oven to 350 degrees and transfer the number of cookies you want onto another parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each one. Press some sea salt flakes onto each scoop and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through. They are done when they are nicely browned but still soft. Slide the parchment paper with the cookies on top onto a a rack and let cool completely.

Posted by: Zorymar | January 14, 2020

Lime Pie

Many, many years ago, in a small town called La Victoria, in a marvelous land called Venezuela, there was a group of good friends who got together almost every weekend to play cards and dominoes. One of these friends had a knack for baking, and he made a mean lime pie (which he actually sold to a local restaurant to include in their dessert rotation). Here is a version of that lime pie, as best as I can remember it. When I made it again, after many years, the taste took me right back to those days, to those friends who were like family, and to those good times spent together, such wonderful memories…

Ingredients:
10 sheets graham crackers
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
7 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons of sugar
A pinch of salt

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until pulverized. Add the sugars and pulse a bit more to incorporate. Transfer to a bowl, add the melted butter and combine using a fork. Dump the mix into a pie baking dish previously buttered. Using the bottom of a clean measuring cup (and/or your fingers) press down, packing the crust firmly, covering the entire pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Turn the heat temperature down to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk the condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice until well combined.
Beat the egg whites at high speed in a mixer fitted with a whisk until they start getting firm, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the 6 tablespoons of sugar and the salt and beat for another 3 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
Pour the condensed milk mix into the pre-baked pie shell, then top with the beaten egg whites and gently spread out with a spatula. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature for at least an hour, then refrigerate.

Posted by: Zorymar | January 14, 2020

Brownie Bites

I can’t remember how I got to this recipe. I think it took combining several different recipes I found online and baking a few batches until it turned out just right. However it went, this is my go-to when I want to make a small batch of brownies, and it works just as well baked in an 8×8 baking pan. It’s quick, easy, not too sweet, and tastes deliciously homemade (no offense to the great box mixes out there).

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Ghirardelli’s 100% cocoa powder)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 24 mini-muffin tin with non-stick baking spray, set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
In a second bowl combine the melted butter and the two sugars, whisk well until incorporated.
In a third bowl whisk the eggs and the vanilla, then add this to the butter and sugar mix, whisking well to combine.
Add this wet mix to the dry mix and stir until just combined.
Using a measuring spoon, pour approximately one tablespoon of the mix in each muffin tin cup, then bake for 12 minutes.
Once baked, let the brownie bites cool for at least 5 minutes in the tin before gently taking them out and placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely. I use a very thin rubber spatula and can usually get most of them out in one piece. If baking in an 8×8 baking pan, let it cool completely before cutting, otherwise it will be very crumbly.

Posted by: Zorymar | November 22, 2019

Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

At around this time last year I tried this soup for the first time. I had just had my second baby and had to spend a much longer time than we had planned for at the hospital due to postpartum preeclampsia (I didn’t even know that was a thing until then). A lovely group of friends from church put together a meal train for us and brought us wonderful meals along with a much needed touch of love and support. This soup was the last of those meals, and we loved it so much I had to ask for the recipe and have made it many times since. I have changed the original recipe a bit (the original link is at the bottom of this post) but it still has that hearty, warm, tasty feel it had on that cool November evening when my friend dropped it off for us, it’s the perfect Fall soup!

Ingredients:
1 pound Italian sausage (no casing)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, basil and oregano
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups of red wine (I use Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 x 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 x 32oz cartons of beef broth
2 big handfuls of fresh spinach or kale, washed and roughly chopped
1 8.8oz package dried cheese tortellini

 

Preparation:
In a large (and I mean Large!) Dutch oven or pot brown the sausage and onion over medium heat, stirring often, until sausage is no longer pink. Add garlic and spices and stir for about a minute, then add wine and turn heat to medium high to let wine come to a gentle boil for a couple of minutes. Make sure you scrape all the little brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Incorporate the carrots and pepper and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add tomatoes and beef broth, stir to combine everything, and bring to a boil. Once the soup has boiled turn heat down to a simmer and add the spinach or kale.

You can make this ahead of time and once you’re ready to eat simply bring the soup to a gentle boil, add the tortellini and cook according to the package (usually about 12 to 14 minutes). Serve with some shaved Parmesan on top.

Since this makes quite a bit of soup, I usually reserve half of the soup (before adding the tortellini) for the next day and just do half the amount of soup and tortellini.

Adapted from https://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/785/Italian-Sausage-And-Tortellini80006.shtml

Posted by: Zorymar | November 18, 2019

Chicken Tortilla Soup

November is soup month for me. The cooler temperatures and shorter days call for warm, comforting concoctions with lots of veggies, tasty spices and loads of toppings to chose from. Today was a chicken tortilla soup kind of day, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
A pinch of ground chipotle chile (optional)
1 pound boneless chicken breast (about 2 chicken breasts)
1 28 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 quart chicken broth
1 15 ounce can whole kernel sweet corn, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lime juice

Toppings:
Tortilla strips
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream
Diced avocado
Pickled jalapeños
Hot sauce

Preparation:
Place a large dutch oven over medium heat, add and heat the oil, then add the onion and bell peppers and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin and ground chipotle chile, mix to combine and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Place the two chicken breasts on top of the vegetables, then add the two cans of diced tomatoes and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Take the chicken out of the dutch oven and shred, then return to the pot and add the corn and black beans. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, then serve with toppings of choice.

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