Archive for May, 2010

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This is not your usual chocolate chip cookie recipe. I decided to try the recipe because it sounded interesting and I was curious what it’d taste like.  I think the main difference from a typical recipe is the melted butter and the use of bread flour. These two things give the cookie a soft, chewy texture. I liked how this recipe turned out but I prefer a slightly more crispy chocolate chip cookie so I’m not sure if I would make it again. It’s important to follow this recipe exactly as it’s written below in order to get the soft and chewy texture.

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Level: Medium
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


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Around St. Patrick’s Day I saw a Twitter post from Joy the Baker about a chocolate avocado cake made by someone else.  After further investigation it turned out that Joy had made a chocolate avocado cake in July 2009. Andy Windak, a fellow food blogger, took Joy’s recipe and added chocolate stout to it. I decided to make Andy’s version of the cake but Joy’s version of the frosting because that’s what looked good to me.

Although, I had fun making this cake, I don’t think I would make it again. Maybe I went wrong with the recipe somewhere but it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The cake was too wet and it didn’t have a very good chocolaty flavor. Further, the avocado frosting just didn’t do it for me, it was too runny. If you decide to try this recipe I would suggest going with Andy’s version of the frosting. He adds coconut oil to the mix to thicken it and make it more “frosting” like. If coconut oil sounds too weird I would recommend trying Earth Balance vegan butter.
Chocolate Avocado Cake

Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Level: Medium
Yield: 8-10 servings


For the Cake

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 6 tbs High Quality Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Mashed Ripe Avocado (about 1 medium avocado)
  • 1 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 1 cup Rice Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat oven to an exact 350° F. Be sure to check your oven thermometer. Grease two 9″ cake pans with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Stir the vinegar into the rice milk. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk the mixture until everything is evenly distributed and uniform in color. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the avocado and coconut oil in a large bowl. Add the stout, rice milk mixture and vanilla and whisk until well combined. There may be a few lumps of avocado left which are fine.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold the prepared dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix just until no dry bits are visible. There will still be some lumps.
  6. Evenly split the batter between the two prepared pans and shake the pans to level the batter. Bake for 30–35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack and remove pans to complete cooling, leaving the parchment on until it’s time to apply the icing.
  7. To make the icing, place the avocado, coconut oil, lime juice and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Taste, and add additional powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness is reached.
  8. To assemble the cake, spread about a tablespoon of icing down on your cake plate, then place the first cake round on top. The bit of icing on the bottom will help glue down the cake to the plate. Next spread about 1/3 of the remaining icing atop the first cake round, then place the second round on top. Pour the remaining icing on top of this and spread even and smooth.
  9. Place in cake caddy and refrigerate at least an hour until ready to serve. Refrigeration helps the icing set up. The lime juice prevents the avocado in the icing from turning brown, however best color and flavor is achieved when the cake is served no more than a couple hours after the icing has been made. The cake will still be tasty the next day, it will just not be the same shade of green.

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My co-worker Anne has been bringing left over shrimp stir fry to work for the last couple weeks and it’s been making me crave it like crazy. I make stir fry’s quite often at home because they are so easy but I rarely make shrimp. I finally broke down and spent the $9.99 per pound on shrimp. Of course it has to be wild and local (Alaska, is as local as it gets). You can add any kind of veggies to this dish. I decided to do a combination of broccoli, sugar snap peas and these little red and yellow peppers I had on hand.

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Prep time: 15 minutes (if you don’t have to devein the shrimp)
Cook time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings


For the stir fry

  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (I think this is about 10 pieces of jumbo shrimp)
  • One small broccoli head, stems removed and cut up into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 3 small red or yellow peppers, chopped

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs rice vinegar or rice wine (sake)
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp white or black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
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For the sauce, combine all your ingredients and set aside. Before you start to cook make sure you peel and devain the shrimp or buy it already prepped. Heat the oil in a medium pan and add all veggies. Cook on medium head, stirring occasionally. As soon as the veggies start to cook down add the shrimp. When the shrimp turns pink you can add the sauce. Cook for five more minutes and serve immediately over rice.

Shrimp Stir Fry

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