Classic Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies


What’s better than warm, gooey, from scratch chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven? There are so many variations of chocolate chip cookies, but my favorite recipe is the classic Nestle Toll House recipe. It’s hard to beat!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I like to add a little more!)
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
3) In a large bowl, beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each one. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
4) Lick beaters.
5) On an ungreased baking sheet(s), drop cookie dough (a hefty tablespoon).
6) Bake for 10 minutes, cool on baking sheet outside of oven for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Eat all of the cookies.



Crockpot Butter Chicken


Warning: I like my Indian food spicy. Not so overwhelming that you can’t taste your food, but enough to make me need a tissue. I would say these spices were almost to the tissue level, but if you don’t like too much spice, cut back on the garam masala (but don’t leave this out entirely!) and the cayenne and then add more to taste at the end.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 white onion, diced
1 14-oz can coconut milk (if you use light, it’s better for you, but regular makes it a little creamier)
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1.5 tbsp garam masala (or more to taste)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
kosher salt
fresh black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut up into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
3.5 cups water

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes.
2. Add coconut milk, tomato paste, flour, garam masala, curry powder, ginger powder, and cayenne. Stir to combine and cook until slightly thicker, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You can add more spice now or wait until after when it all cooks together for a while.
3. Add chicken to crockpot. Pour sauce over it and stir to combine. Cover crockpot and cook on low heat for 5 hours.
4. Once chicken is done, bring 3.5 cups water to a boil. Add basmati and a little salt. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.



Adapted from Damn Delicious!


Simple Roasted Asparagus



Roasted asparagus is one of my favorite easy green side dishes. They’re so flavorful already, you really don’t need to go overboard on the spices. We served this with a big Easter meal so we made two whole bunches. You could easily cut this down to one bunch for a just a few people. (Or two, with the amount of asparagus I can eat.)

2 bunches fresh asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 400.
2) Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
3) Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and place on baking sheet.
4) With a brush, baste the oil on asparagus, gently turning to coat all sides.
5) Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then crush garlic cloves over and toss together.
6) Bake about 18 minutes.

Queso Fundido


Holy cheese. This was SO good. It lasted about 10 minutes.

1/2 lb chorizo or hot sausage
1 white onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese, grated or cut up small if you get one of the cheese “blocks”
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
tortilla chips

1) Preheat oven to 400.
2) Cook sausage in large skillet until browned. (If there’s a lot of grease, drain off once cooked.)
3) Add onion and bell peppers to skillet and cook for 8 minutes over medium high.
4) In an oven proof dish, spray with pam and put a third of the cheese over the bottom.
5) Top with sausage / pepper mixture, then more cheese, and keep layering until used up.
6) Sprinkle the dip with chili powder and cumin.
7) Bake for at least 5 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted and starting to brown on top.
8) Remove from oven and garnish with tomatoes and cilantro.
9) Burn your tongue like me because you’re so excited to eat it you can’t wait for it to cool down.



Whiskey Glazed Carrots


Subtly sweet. A bit salty. Hint of whiskey. Still a little crunchy. I love these carrots.

1 stick of butter, divided
2 lbs carrots, chopped thickly
1/2 cup whiskey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chives, chopped

1) Shred carrots and chop.
2) Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large, deep skillet over high heat.
3) Cook carrots one pound at a time for 90 seconds each and then remove from heat and set aside.
4) Pour whiskey into pan (still on high heat) and cook for 30 seconds so it starts to evaporate. Reduce heat to medium. Add the rest of your stick of butter. After the butter melts, add brown sugar to the pan. Stir and add carrots. Cover pot with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
5) Season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook (uncovered) until glaze has thickened slightly, for about 5 more minutes.
6) Serve immediately with with chives.

Thai Basil Chicken



I love Thai food. Love love love Thai food. There are a few dishes at some local Thai restaurants that I keep trying to duplicate but I’ve not had much luck. This is the closest I’ve come and it was so stinkin’ good. Tasted like the real thing! The key is the Thai chili peppers and the fish sauce. And a boatload of basil!

1 /2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
4 fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups basil leaves

1) In a large ziplock bag, marinate chicken with fish sauce, soy sauce, water, and sugar. Let marinate for abut 30 minutes.
2) In a wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add chiles, garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.
3) With a slotted spoon, remove chicken from marinade and add to the wok (don’t throw away the marinade). Cook until chicken is done, for about 5 minutes or more. Add marinade back in and cook for one more minute.
4) Turn off heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups basil. Serve topped with 1/2 cup basil. Try with coconut rice!



Adapted from Food and Wine.

Meatballs with Pineapple and Peppers


Please excuse the crappiness of this picture. There was so much steam coming off of this dish that it clouded the lens! This meal is adapted from the Pioneer Woman who is just the best.

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced finely
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup canola oil
2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup pineapple slices (fresh if you have it, but canned will work in a pinch)
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch (at least – I used almost twice this)
crushed red pepper to taste (I used what seemed like a lot and I wanted it even spicier – just taste test at the end!)

1) Mix together beef, onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Roll meatballs into golf ball sized balls and put on a greased cookie sheet. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes to help firm up (but not freeze).
2) Cook rice according to package directions.
3) Stir beef stock, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk together to blend.
4) Heat oil over medium-high heat in large, deep skillet. Take meatballs out of the freezer and roll in flour. Saute in pan until browned on all sides, for a few minutes. (They’ll continue to cook more in the sauce.) Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside.
5) Add green peppers into pan and cook for just one minute (they want to stay fairly crunchy). Add pineapple and cook one more minute. Pour in sauce and add meatballs. Stir to combine and cook for few minutes until sauce thickens. I had to add some more cornstarch at this point to help it thicken up. Add more salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
6) Serve over rice.