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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Are you drooling yet? 🙂

So, in my journey in becoming a decent cook, I’ve been hitting all the basics. The next post is another comfort food staple ;D

Chocolate chip cookies. Mm…crumbly, buttery goodness with dotted velvety rich chocolate morsels. Yum. After turning to my trusty google, I settled on another recipe from allrecipes.com. This was actually pretty good. I altered the recipe only a very tiny bit (the only major thing was to omit the walnuts. I’m sure with the nuts the cookies would be that much better, but I’m allergic to them so 😦 ). The batter was very easy to whip up, although there was a bit of stress involved to the butter – I’d read countless comments warning not to let the butter get too warm! In my head, I guess I was imagining some sort of OHMYGAWDAPOCALYPSE caused by rampant, oozing butter. Looking back, I’ll concede that maybe my concerns were a lot little unfounded. Anyway.

As I’m still learning how to cook, I have yet to figure out how to use the electric mixer (ugh). So, when the recipe said to cream some of the ingredients, I was at a loss. Back to google! I ended up first trying to use a metal fork, but soon gave up with that. Then I went with a metal spoon (a wooden spoon would work even better!). It took a bit longer, but eventually it worked 🙂

To soften the butter, I turned to google (again. Are you sensing a trend? ;D). I hadn’t planned ahead at all As my right as a unprepared artistically creative cook, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies as a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, and thus hadn’t thought to soften the butter on the countertop for an hour. There was no way I was going to wait that long, so I looked it up and decided to cut it up into chunks. Then I let it sit for around 8 minutes (it’s summer! It’s hot), and it softened 🙂

Be warned – this batter makes a lot. The recipe only says it makes 24 cookies, but I actually had to make 3 batches (each with around 12 cookies). There were a lot. I had to walk to my friends’ houses (without warning) and just shoved them in their faces. I cannot be trusted with cookies. Also, this batter creates very thick, almost-cakey cookies. If you want a more crunchy cookie, put a smaller amount on the pan and sort of mush them so they’ll be wider. In my first batch, I put way too much, so they almost ended up looking like muffin tops. They were still yummy, but the texture was a bit off. My second and third batches were perfect though!

Rating: 7.5/10

Difficulty Level: Easy

Total Time: 35 minutes (Prep Time=20 min, Cook Time=15 min)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350˚F (175˚C)

2) Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.

As I said, I had to do it by hand. It first looked kind of clumpy, so I switched to a spoon.

Ta da! 🙂

3) Beat in the eggs.

4) Stir in the vanilla.

5) Dissolve baking soda in hot water (I ended up microwaving it in a mug). Add it to the batter along with salt.

6) Stir in flour and chocolate chips.

7) Drop in small dollops onto the baking sheet.

8) Bake for about 10-15 minutes (I needed 15) or until golden-brown.

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Simple Fettuccine Alfredo

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Well, it’s officially the weekend! Time for relaxation, fun, and of course…lots of food!

So, my friend’s been requesting this dish for a while now – it’s one of his favorites! Be warned though – this is definitely a dish to avoid if you want to be healthy! I googled several recipes for settling on one. I modified it just a tad! It turned out okay – a bit bland though. Next time I’ll try substituting the garlic powder for a bit of fresh minced garlic (put in the melted butter). I’d also add some cooked broccoli + chicken at the last step (when you add the cheese) to make the dish that much better 🙂 I would also add a bit more cheese.

Overall, it was a bit too bland/tasteless. Honestly, it felt like I was just eating plain noodles with some milk. If something’s going to be that many calories, it better taste pretty amazing! I’ll keep looking for a fantastic alfredo recipe 🙂

Note: Sorry for picture qualities! I’ve been taking pictures with my iPad – it’s a temporary thing, don’t worry! 😀 I’ve been searching for a good, not-too-expensive (sub $300, preferably around the $200 and under mark) digital camera – any suggestions? 🙂

Recipe courtesy of Food.com

Rating: 6/10

Difficulty Level: Easy

Total Time: 25 minutes (Prep Time=0 minutes, Cook Time=25 minutes)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 2/3 grated parmesan cheese (I ended up using just a tiny bit more than that)

Directions

1) In a large saucepan, melt butter

2) When butter is melted, add the 2 tablespoons cream cheese

3) When the cream cheese softens + is easily spread, add the half and half.

4) Season to taste with garlic powder, salt, pepper

5) Simmer for 15-25 minutes over low heat (I ended up doing 25 minutes so the sauce would thicken enough). Stir constantly (I stirred for about 30 seconds every 3-5 minutes)

6) Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese

7) Serve over hot fettuccine noodles

“Best Brownies”

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So, today I was completely craving brownies. Like, full out I NEED IT NOW OR I WILL DIEEE (okay, maybe not that bad – but hey, it was close!). So, I did what any other person would do – I turned to google. After looking up several recipes and reading their reviews, I settled on the basic brownie from Allrecipes.com. I’m still very much a novice (and when I say novice, I completely mean novice) baker, so I left the recipe mostly alone. I’ve just doubled it (so it would fit a 9×13 pan) and changed the salt amount a teensy bit (I lowered it). The brownies turned out to be…well, they were alright. They had a strong dark chocolate taste (I’m more of a milk chocolate girl, so maybe that’s it!), but other than that they were a teensy bit bland. However, they did have that crackly crust! The recipe came with a frosting recipe, but I chose not to make that.

Rating: 6.5/10

Difficulty Level: Easy

  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1 cup butter. Pour butter into a heat-proof bowl and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Make sure to stir slowly (I did it by hand). Beat in cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes (I baked mine for 25 minutes – next time I would try 23/24 minutes)

‘Ello

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Hello!

I’m just your average girl 🙂

I’ve always been obsessed with Food Network/browsing online recipes/reading cookbooks, but it dawned on me not too long ago that – I didn’t know how to cook. Sure, I could make pasta and throw some microwaved jar sauce. But homemade tomato sauce? No way. I could use the microwave/toaster oven like a pro, but then again – so could everyone. The only things I baked were from box mixes.

No longer. Please enjoy this blog as I post my adventures – both the good and bad – as I attempt to plow through as many recipes as I can! 🙂

~Arya