a recipe: chocolate chip cookies.

img_2535Chocolate chip cookies are a little bit of a hobby of mine. I try recipes, decide they’re the best, then see another one I want to try, and decide its the best, and so on and so forth until eternity. I had some extra time yesterday while home with my sicky baby Ben, so of course, the urge for a cookie set in. I had, in times past, decided the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips was the best, but then I thought this was the best recipe, then I switched to this one for a little bit (lard! so good!), but yesterday, I cracked open my Betty Crocker and her Chocolate Chip cookie may be my new favorite. Soft! Crisp edges! Chewy! Crinkly! No extra steps! What’s not to love?img_2543Recipe from Betty Crocker

Ingredients:ย 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Instructions:ย 

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in a mixer with the paddle attachment.
  3. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Gently stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  5. On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoon about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Cool for 1-2 minutes then move to cooling racks to cool completely.

Some notes:

  • I like to only bake a few for us to eat, and then I freeze the rest of the dough in rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet and transfer to ziplock bag. Store in the freezer until ready to bake. Add on a minute or two of cooking time if cooking from frozen.
  • This is my favorite cookie sheet.ย 
  • I like to cool on foil. I think it keeps the cookies chewier than if cooled on a rack.

Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie? It’s almost time to look at Christmas cookies!!! I’ve already got my eye on a few that I want to try this year!

img_2560In other news – I’m still home with this sweet boy, but back to work tomorrow and Mike’s staying home with him. Soaking up these moments!

 

a multi-use recipe: mirepoix

Mike and I took an Italian cooking class from a professional chef a few years ago in the days when whole days would stretch out in front of us with nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do. It was a Christmas gift from his mom that taught us some great tricks in the kitchen to take our cooking up a level. We love to cook together, so this was a perfect date for us. I still make the Pasta e Fagioli a couple times a month that we learned that day, and we also learned the tip of keeping a mason jar of fresh garlic that’s been finely minced in the food processor and topped with olive oil. And we learned how to make mirepoix, which I always have in the freezer, ready to be thrown into soups and sauces as a thickener or a flavor enhancer.

French mirepoix is a combination of onion, carrot and celery. If you’ve cooked any kind of soup, you’ve probably used this combination and cooked it down in a couple tablespoons of butter as your base. But Chef Baba taught us a new, easier way to use mirepoix in our cooking. You simply throw a combination (usually 50% onion, 25% celery and 25% carrot) into a food processor and blend it into a sort of chunky paste. Freeze it in ice cube trays or in mason jars to throw into your cooking whenever you need it. And I use it alllllll the time now. I make a gigantic batch and freeze bunches of it at once so it’s always there for me to use at the drop of a hat. I sometimes freeze it in ice cube trays so I can have it in smaller units too.  To cook it, I just saute the mirepoix with a couple tablespoons of butter and/or olive oil on medium high heat until nice and pasty, then continue on with the recipe. I use it when recipes call for it, and when it doesn’t. I just always use it as the base of my soups, no matter what kind I’m making. I can tell the difference, and I think you’ll be able to too.

Ingredients: 

  • 2-3 onions (red or white, I usually use red)
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed clean and trimmed
  • 2-3 celery stalks, trimmed

Instructions: 

  1. Roughly chop veggies.
  2. Add to food processor.
  3. Blend on high until it turns into a uniform paste.
  4. Store in small mason jars or smear into ice cube trays and freeze, or refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. When ready to use, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute until soft.