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Sea Salt Caramel Chip Chocolate Cookies

August 21, 2020

This is my son-in-law’s new favorite cookie, now.  My classic chocolate chip was his favorite for 8 plus years but alas it has been replaced.  More sophisticated taste buds?  Who knows.  Anyway here it is.

The chips are a bit difficult to come by.  The only reason I tried them was because I was trying a bunch of different chips and this was one of them.  But I was lucky that first time.  They are very expensive on-line so fortunately I was able to find some in one of my nearby supermarkets and grabbed 3 and put them in the freezer.  Making them today and shipping them out Monday, with a few other favorites 🙂

Sea Salt Caramel Chip Chocolate Cookies from Hershey’s Kitchens

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I soften mine with the mixer, and while it’s mixing I get the other ingredients together.  I hardly ever think ahead and put the butter out early to soften so I can make cookies later.  Anyway that’s the way I do it 🙂 )

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa (I use Valrhona Pure Cocoa Powder, this is David Lebovitz recommendation and I do not question David)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (10 ounces) Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter and sugars together until well blended.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until just incorporated.  Add flour/cocoa mixture and blend until almost all flour has been incorporated.  Add chips.  And beat until everything comes together.

Place 1 ounce scoop cookie dough onto ungreased, COLD, light colored rimmed cookie sheet.  I use KAF’s purple cookie scoop and on a cookie sheet I can fit 9 balls of cookies.

Place in oven.  Set timer for 8 minutes.  Turn cookies around, then bake for about 4 minutes more.  Do not over bake.  Chocolate cookies are difficult to see if they are browned on the bottom because they are BLACK.   Hmmm, anyway cookies are forgiving.  8 minutes then 4 minutes is my go to time for 1 ounce cookies.

Remove cookie sheet from oven.  Let cool on cooling rack for about 8 minutes and then remove cookies onto another cooling rack.

Proceed with the rest of the cookie dough.


Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Baking Chips:

recipe on back:


mise en place:

cookie dough:

ready to go in the oven (there should be one more there, eep):




Corn Chowder Salad

August 14, 2020

This recipe is from the Beekman Boys, Josh and Brent.  This is their website: Beekman 1802.  They used to give out some of their recipes, I think from their cookbooks and this is how I acquired it but it’s no longer available on-line.  They also had a TV show which we used to watch, they had just bought the farm in New York and were trying to figure out how to farm and make money.  Interesting.

Anyway this is very delicious.  I doubled the recipe because 6 ears made 6 cups of corn kernels (which is what I had) and I happened to have enough of everything else, sort of, except the pepper.  You could actually eliminate the bell pepper altogether,  mine cooked to nothing.  And since there is a moratorium on red onion, I used 2 large shallots instead.  If and when you can buy a red onion, finely dice/slice it and soak it in cold water for 5 minutes and then drain.  This gets rid of any over powering flavor of onion and you are just left with sweetness.

“Not really a corn chowder but made with the same ingredients that might go into one, this is a burst of summer.  When corn season is over, you can substitute 3 cups of frozen corn kernels……” per the Boys.

Corn Chowder Salad from the Beekman Boys

This ingredient list is for once the recipe.  You can double as I did:

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 slices bacon (2 ounces), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

8 ounces of potatoes, peeled (unless they are very young like mine were) and cut into 1/2 inch dice ( I just cut my little potatoes in half)

1 red bell pepper (optional) , ribs and seeds discarded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice

3-6 ears of corn, depending how big they are, shucked and kernels scraped from the cob with a knife, to equal 3 cups

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced or diced

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

10 twists of fresh ground pepper

In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate covered with paper towels.  Measure the fat remaining in the pan.  You need 2 tablespoon.  If not enough bacon fat, add olive oil to make up the difference.  Place bacon fat/olive oil back into pan.

Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper (optional) and cook with the potatoes for another 5-8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes until really hot.  Transfer to a very large bowl and add onion, cider vinegar, bacon, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Serve warm, room temperature or cold.


I got this awesome way of cutting corn from Half Baked Harvest, I was watching one of her stories on Instagram, and she did this really quickly.  You need a very sharp knife though.  I just happened to buy a new bread knife and it’s super sharp (I cut myself unpacking it, of course).  This technique works really well and doesn’t make a huge mess either.  Place corn on cutting board and slice off corn kernels, about 3-4 rows at a time:

I got these potatoes (and corn) from Dykeman’s Farm Market, in Pawling, NY.  Cute little potatoes that I just cut in half, and did not peel:

bacon weighed and then chopped:

pepper (and I only had a green), this is only one and you could definitely leave the pepper out:

thinly sliced shallots:

mise en place:

cooking bacon:

olive oil/bacon fat left over that you will use:

to cook the potatoes:

add pepper if you wish:

then corn:

put in bowl and add bacon, shallots and cider vinegar:

stir together and serve, hot, room temperature or cold:  ( I love the versatility here)


Microwave Rice

August 13, 2020

This isn’t really a recipe so much as it’s a technique.

This is the best way to cook white rice in my book.  Even though I have a rice cooker and have cooked rice on the stove top before, this is far better than either.

This is from Serious Eats:

place 2 cups of white rice ( my favorite is basmati) in microwaveable bowl

add 1 cup of chicken stock or broth and 1 cup of water


cover bowl with clean cloth

place in microwave

cook on high for 5 minutes

when done, reprogram to cook 15 minutes at 50% power

remove bowl from microwave (it’s hot)

let rest for 5 minutes

remove cloth and stir



rice, broth/water

add liquid to rice and stir:

cover with clean cloth:


let sit for 5 minutes:

voila!!! perfectly cooked rice


Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

August 10, 2020

This recipe originally came from Gourmet Magazine October 2002.  But since that magazine no longer exists, it’s on Epicurious.  They used to have a section where people would write in their best recipes and this is one of them, from Heather Prudhon, Santa Clara, CA :  “I came up with this recipe to make use of the immersion blender that I received as a gift.  It makes a good quantity of sauce and tasted great served over rice.”

I did not have an immersion blender when I first made this recipe, so you don’t absolutely need one.   It then is a chunky sauce rather than smooth but the flavor is there which is delicious.

I double the sauce despite what she says.  I also use chicken tenders rather than chicken breasts.  Besides rice, which is great, I have also served this over pasta, which is equally yummy.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce from Gourmet 2002

1-1/2 pounds chicken tenders

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves minced

1/2 cup drained sun dried tomatoes, patted dry and coarsely chopped

3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, optional

1/2 cup dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)

1-1/2 cups chicken broth or stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, optional

Salt and pepper the chicken.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Brown chicken, turning once, for about 6 minutes.  Set chicken aside on a plate.

Add garlic, tomatoes to skillet and saute, stirring until garlic is pale golden about one minute.  Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by half about one minute.  Add chicken broth or stock and bring to a boil, covered.

Add chicken to skillet and simmer, covered, until just cooked through about 4-5 minutes.  Set chicken aside again on the plate.

Stir in cream into sauce in skillet and bring just to a simmer.

If you have an immersion blender, follow these instructions, if not continue to next paragraph: Carefully transfer sauce to a deep heatproof bowl and puree with the immersion blender until almost smooth.  Return sauce to skillet.

Add chicken back into skillet with sauce, cover chicken with sauce, and heat through for 1-2 minutes.

Serve over rice or pasta.

mise en place

sun dried tomatoes coarsely chopped:

salt and pepper chicken tenders:

saute in pan then set aside:

add garlic and tomatoes:

Then wine:

Then chicken broth:


add chicken back in and simmer:


set chicken aside again and add cream:

add sauce to deep bowl and process with immersion blender:

add back into skillet with chicken:

serve over rice or pasta, yum!:

Sesame Noodles with Crispy Tofu

August 7, 2020

So, this recipe is from my daughter because I was trying to like tofu.  I had tried it numerous times and did not like it at all.  I had cooked it a few times but not for myself.  My niece is a vegetarian so I would cook it for her when we got together for family gatherings (do miss those right now, 😦 ) but I would never eat it myself.  My daughter encouraged me to try this recipe.  It was one of their favorites and they would make it almost once a week.  So I gave it a try and  I loved it.  Tofu soaks up all the flavors and for me to like it, I needed plenty of flavor.  This recipe delivered.

I do not make the cucumber salad but encourage you to try it.  I will myself someday.

I also do not use the red chile but substitute chili garlic sauce.  I don’t use alot but feel free to go up to 1 tablespoon if you like.

Also, I use a little more soba noodes, 6 ounces instead of 4 ounces.

The red chile sub and increase soba noodles are my daughters recommendation.  Also serving it with roasted broccoli.  I also like roasted broccolini with this as well.

Because of the shopping situation these days, I also did not add the scallions.  But I will put them on the ingredient list so one day…….

Sesame Noodles with Crispy Tofu by healthyish

(hmmm I did not realize healthyish was Bon Appetit)

3 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce ( I use 1 teaspoon)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1, 12 ounce block firm tofu, drained, patted dry (I can only find a 16 ounce block so I cut a slim piece off to make it 12 ounces)

1/4 cup neutral oil, grapeseed, canola, peanut or vegetable

6 ounce dried soba noodles (or 14 ounces of refrigerated cooked soba noodles, placed in 6 cups boiling water, let sit 1-2 minutes, drain, put a bit of oil in, and stir)

2 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

3 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal (optional)


Fill a medium/large saucepan with 3/4 water and place on burner.  Set on high heat.  This is for cooking your soba noodes.  Just a little prep here 🙂

Place the first 4 ingredients: rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, soy sauce and honey, in a small bowl and whisk together.

Cut tofu into 3 even pieces and then each piece cut into 3 even pieces, so you end up with 9 mini blocks of tofu.  Pat dry with paper towels.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Cook tofu, UNDISTURBED, for 4-7 minutes until very crisp and dark brown underneath.  Transfer tofu to a plate and wipe out skillet.

Heat skillet over medium heat, add rice vinegar mixture and then tofu.  Cook, turning tofu occasionally, until sauce is glaze like and thick, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Do not rinse.  Set aside.

Transfer tofu to plate again, leaving sauce in pan.  Whisk in tahini and vinegar.  Add noodles and toss until coated with sauce.  As you can see from the picture this got too thick. I may have added a bit more tahini than the recipe asked for.  But I’m glad this happened, it was easily resolved by adding water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until I could see the noodles were getting nice and coated with the sauce.  Top with tofu and serve.


sauce ingredients:


soba noodles:

tahini and rice vinegar:

cooking tofu:

cooked soba noodles set aside:

crisp and dark brown tofu simmering in sauce:

turning tofu:

and then set aside:

add tahini and rice vinegar:

a little too thick, but added noodles anyway, and added water until right consistency:

add tofu and serve:




Lightning Fast Tahini Pork

July 26, 2020

This is another great recipe from Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan.  Simple and delicious.

I almost followed the recipe exactly.  The only thing I did differently was to cook the pork pieces separately and set aside.  Pork tenderloin is very tender and if overcooked,  becomes dry.  Not my preference.

Dorie also gives the option of substituting creamy peanut butter for the tahini.  Whatever you have on hand, I think both are delicious.

Lightning Fast Tahini Pork by Dorie Greenspan

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (this is equivalent to table salt but I like the fine sea salt better.  I have now replaced my Morton table salt with Baleine Seal Salt, fine, in the blue canister)

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons tahini (stirred well before measuring) or smooth peanut butter

Juice of 1-1/2 lemons, about 5 tablespoons

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

Stir together the chile powder, ginger, cumin, turmeric and salt.  Toss the pork pieces in the spice mix until thoroughly coated.

Mix tahini or peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.  The tahini/peanut butter will thicken which is fine.

Heat the olive oil on a large skillet, over medium high heat.  Add the pork pieces and cook until brown on all sides, about a minute each side.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium and add the honey, vinegar , and water into the skillet.  Stir together, scraping up any brown bits from cooking the pork.  Reduce the temperature to medium low and stir in the tahini mix and then the pork pieces.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the pork is heated through.  Remove pan from heat.  Stir in the remaining lemon juice.

Serve over rice with a vegetable, like sauteed spinach.


chile powder, ground ginger, ground cumin, ground turmeric and salt:

add pork pieces and coat with spice mix:

peanut butter and lemon:

mise en place:

cook pork and set aside:

honey, vinegar, water:

add tahini/peanut butter mix:

then pork pieces, take off burner and add lemon juice:

serve over rice with a vegetable, like spinach, YUM!


Prosciutto Apple and Sage Butter Chicken

July 19, 2020

This recipe was one of many recipes that I tried out while visiting our daughter, her husband and their new baby (who will soon be one!! yikes! where does the time fly).  I would be making dinner every night, so I knew I had a captive audience to try new recipes.  Most of them were very good but this one was a stand out!  Since then, I have made it many times, twice for dinner parties and knew I had to share it here.

This is from Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest food blog.  I have made quite a few of her recipes.  She is an incredibly prolific recipe writer and all the recipes are amazing.  Please follow her on Instagram and Facebook.  You will not regret it.  She has also written two cookbooks!!

Tieghan gave a choice for the cheese.  I am not a blue cheese lover so went with the Gouda.  If you love blue cheese then please use.   I do not care for rosemary so I just added more thyme.  I never have cider so I substituted frozen concentrated apple juice.

Prosciutto Apple and Sage Butter Chicken with Cider Pan Juice (Apple Concentrated Pan Juice but the cider sounds better) by Tieghan Gerard

2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally

kosher salt and black pepper

4 teaspoons apple butter

4 thin slices of gouda cheese

8 thin slices of prosciutto

2 small shallots, cut into 1/2 inch slices

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 Honeycrisp apple, skin and core removed and thinly sliced

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

12 fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

1/2 cup frozen concentrated apple juice

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Grease an oven safe skillet with olive oil.

Season the chicken with kosher salt and pepper.  Spread each cutlet with 1 teaspoon apple butter, then top with cheese.

Wrap 2 pieces of prosciutto around each cutlet.  Transfer the cutlets to the prepared pan.

Arrange the shallot, garlic and apples around the chicken.  Add the thyme.  Drizzle the olive oil over the apples.

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (no more, otherwise the chicken is dry).  Using POT HOLDERS FOR THE PAN HANDLE, remove pan from oven.

Turn the setting on your oven to broil.  Remove the apples from the skillet to a plate.  Return the pan with the chicken to the oven (USING POTHOLDERS) and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the prosciutto is crisp.  Watch carefully.

Remove the pan from the oven using POT HOLDERS FOR THE PAN HANDLE and remove the chicken to the plate with the apples.

Place the pan USING THE POTHOLDERS with the shallots and garlic over medium heat.  Add the butter and sage.  Cook 1-2 minutes, until the butter is browned.  Remove the sage from the skillet and add to the plate with the chicken.

Add the wine and concentrated apple juice to the pan.  Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, until reduced by half.  Put the chicken and apples and sage back into the pan and simmer for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.  Serve with rice, my preference, drizzling the sauce over the top.


pan with coating of olive oil:

boneless whole chicken breasts, sliced in half, salt and pepper:

top with apple butter and Gouda cheese:

Wrap with prosciutto:

Place chicken in prepared pan:

this is the prosciutto I use:

shallots, garlic, apples, thyme and sprinkled with olive oil:

cooked in the oven, apples removed and broiled for 1-2 minutes:

chicken set aside with apples:

add butter and sage:

remove sage to plate with chicken:

wine and concentrated apple juice, reduced:

add chicken back in:

serve over rice, yum!

Chicken Tacos

July 10, 2020

These are excellent.  The original recipe is much hotter taste wise.  I have modified the spices to suit my family’s tastes but you can certainly go more spicier.

Leftovers are wonderful.  We have also eaten them without the soft Taco and just had rice, the chicken and garnishes.


Chicken Tacos by by

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium or 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper

1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

garnishes (or whatever YOU like):

avocado, sliced or chopped

shredded lettuce

grated cheese, I like cheddar

diced tomatoes

sour cream

Spanish Rice, optional but recommend

Soft Flour Tortillas


Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place paprika, cumin, chipotle chili, cayenne, salt, pepper and oil in large bowl.


Add onion and garlic and mix together.

Add chicken and with your hands, mix everything together making sure the chicken is covered with spices/oil.

Place chicken and onion spice mix on rimmed cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Place chicken in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly browned on top.

Meanwhile cook Spanish Rice according to directions.

Remove from oven and cut chicken into strips.

Warm up soft tacos (directions are on back of package.  I like to use a very hot pan, and heat up individually.  Your choice)

Place soft taco on plate.  Place rice on top. Place a few strips of chicken.  Garnish.  Roll up and eat whole or halved.



Spices and olive oil:

Onion and garlic:

chicken then mix everything together:

place on rimmed cookie sheet:


Spanish Rice and Flour Tortillas:

after 30 minutes (ovens vary):

chicken cut up into strips:

all dressed up and ready to eat!

Coconut Cookies

July 3, 2020

My daughter tells me these remind her of my Coconut Biscotti.  I must agree.  They do.  But not as time consuming.

This is a wonderful cookie from Martha Stewart.  If you like coconut these are it!  And they have a long shelf life:  I shipped them to California, which unfortunately took 7 days (crazy, not the usual) but I was assured that they were still delicious.

I have made no substitutes or tweeks.  The yield and the bake time were not the same as mine but that was it.  And the only downside is that you need a food processor for this recipe.  Which is great if you have one.  It makes the process very quick.  But I can’t think of a way to make them without one.

Coconut Cookies by Martha Stewart

1 package (14 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, right from the refrigerator, cut into small pieces

l large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Set aside 2 loosely packed cups of coconut in shallow bowl, about 5-1/4 ounces.

Place remaining coconut in food processor.  Add sugar, salt and baking powder.  Process until finely ground.

Add butter and process until no lumps remain.

Add egg and vanilla and process until smooth.

Add flour.  Pulse until crumbly dough begins to form (do not overmix).

Scoop dough, using a purple cookie scoop (~ 1 tablespoon) and place into reserved coconut.  Roll cookie around until coated with coconut.  Place onto rimmed baking sheet  ( you can do several cookie scoops at a time, see picture) about 2 inches apart.

Bake for ~ 16 minutes, turning cookie sheet around half way through, until slightly browned and golden.  Cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes and then remove onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

These stay fresh for a few days at room temperature.  Can also be frozen.  Are excellent cookies to ship.


weighing coconut:

coconut, sugar, salt and baking powder:

add butter:

add egg and vanilla then flour:

finished result:

scoop into reserved coconut:

place on cookie sheet:

out of the oven:



Weeknight Porchetta

June 29, 2020

I have had this recipe for awhile.  And now that I have made it again recently, the sources  for this recipe have become very controversial for me.  I’ve unfollowed both from my Instagram and email, until they get their sh..t together.  We’ll see.

Anyway the recipe itself is very good.  The only real changes that I have made is the use of rosemary:   I don’t care for it so I have substituted thyme.  Pork tenderloin is also a little on the fussy side.  I thought the cooking time was too long, so I have adjusted that as well.  Pork tenderloin is not as tasty if cooked too long, so be careful.

Weeknight Porchetta from Allison Roman via Bon Appetit JANUARY 2015

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 to 1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

4 bacon slices

2 large or 4 small heads of garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix together minced garlic cloves, chopped thyme leaves, kosher salt and olive oil in small bowl.  Spread all over pork tenderloin.  If you have time it is suggested to do this in the morning.  I never think about it so have always done it right before cooking.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and place sprigs of thyme on top.  See picture.

Wrap bacon slices around tenderloin, tucking underneath the pork so it stays in place.  Place on sprigs of thyme.  Cut garlic heads in half crosswise and place around pork tenderloin.  Sprinkle everything with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Roast for about 30 minutes (recipe says 40-45 minutes, way too long in my book) and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

I serve this with a couple of vegetables:  beans, spinach , smashed sweet potatoes, your choice.



garlic, thyme, kosher salt, olive oil.

thyme sprigs on parchment paper:

spread mixture all over pork tenderloin:

wrap in bacon, place on thyme, surround it with halved garlic heads:

cook for about 30 minutes, rest 10 minutes, cut and serve: