Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

15 May

I might have over 60 batches of chocolate chip cookies under my belt, assuming an average of one every two months for the past decade or so. One of the best calculations I’ve ever had to do in my head.

But what I must have been chasing all this time has waited until now to finally materialize: the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I generally have a soft spot for sweet and salty combinations. Ever since I had Momofuku Milk Bar’s pistachio ice cream, I’ve been finding myself sneaking salt into a bunch of different sweets; so you know these cookies never had a chance.

Another thing about me is I find the crunchy type of chocolate chip cookie annoying. They crumble all over my sheets because of course I’m going to consume them  in bed, sometimes horizontally, to complete the gluttonous picture. Why go half way?

On the other hand, a thin crispy outer layer with a soft gooey center is positively dreamy. Finally, a generous chocolate chip-to-cookie ratio is a must.

Recipe

yield 1.5 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp sea salt 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
1 tbsp vanilla extract 
1 egg 
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
 
Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt
3. Mix together melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and egg.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients until just blended.
5. Stir in chocolate chips until well-distributed 
6. Drop dough 1/4 at a time on ungreased, unlined cookie sheet, slightly help mould dough into circular discs but not over-compacting. 
7. Bake for 15 minutes in oven until edges are lightly toasted. 
 
Advertisements

WIld Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

18 Dec

wild_rice_squash

Ingredients:

1 c. Wild rice 
2 acorn squash
shredded mozzarella
dried cranberries
butter
shallot
garlic
rosemary
cumin powder
salt
pepper

Directions: 

1. preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and place cut side down on a aluminum lined cookie sheet.

2. place squash in oven and roast about 45 minutes or until the tip of the knife is able to easily pierce the skin

3. meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-large saucepan. Stir in shallot, garlic, and rosemary; season with cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until shallots become translucent.

4. Add rice and cook with 2 cups of water, about 20-25 minutes

5. remove from heat and stir in cranberries; fill the inside of each squash and serve topped with shredded mozzarella.

Megan and Calvin in New York December 2012 {Day 4/4}

15 Dec

We woke up on the last day in New York and headed out for Astoria, Queens to see the Museum of Moving Image.

DSC_0862

An exhibit for the new Disney DreamWorks movie, Rise of the Guardians, which  Calvin and I eventually saw when we got back to Toronto. Absolutely fell in love with it.

DSC_0697

Some concept art for the characters:

DSC_0682 DSC_0683 DSC_0689 DSC_0691 DSC_0693 DSC_0687 DSC_0696 DSC_0699 DSC_0698 DSC_0701 DSC_0703 DSC_0704 DSC_0705 DSC_0707 DSC_0716 DSC_0722 DSC_0723 DSC_0724 DSC_0728 DSC_0729 DSC_0730 DSC_0731 DSC_0732 DSC_0733 DSC_0734 DSC_0736

Makeup used for Sex and the City 2. I spy some MAC blushes, Bobbi Brown concealer, tarte cheek stain, Lancome mascara. Cool! DSC_0743 DSC_0744 DSC_0745 DSC_0746 DSC_0749 DSC_0747 DSC_0748

A pair of Winona Ryder’s legs from Black Swan
DSC_0750

Muppets from the front

DSC_0758

Muppets from the back

DSC_0764 DSC_0766 DSC_0767 DSC_0773 DSC_0774 DSC_0776 DSC_0780 DSC_0790 DSC_0812 DSC_0817 DSC_0837 DSC_0835 DSC_0847 DSC_0850 DSC_0851

After the museum we took a train back to the city. Had myself a $1 for 2 churros purchased on the platform.

DSC_0869

Grabbing some dinner at Fatty Crab!

Green mango and chilli sugar salt

DSC_0872 DSC_0874

Malay Fish Fry

DSC_0878

Signature Fatty Duck

DSC_0885

Time to kill some  time at the airport before flying home. Calvin made me play a game with him: we each take turns drawing a line across the screen until the first person can’t draw one without touching another line.

DSC_0890

I sure won.

DSC_0900

Megan and Calvin in New York December 2012 {Day 3/4}

12 Dec

Slept in a bit late on the third day and hopped on a train. We randomly got off at Union Square and found the famous market. Very kitschy!
DSC_0577

DSC_0580

DSC_0581

DSC_0582

DSC_0584

DSC_0585

The days are getting so short! It was dusk by the time we moved on. Passing by a street lined with christmas trees waiting for homes 🙂

DSC_0595

 Grabbing some dinner. A happy camper at…

DSC_0599

Japadog !

DSC_0617

DSC_0618

DSC_0611

Terimayo: Japadog’s signature dog with mayo and teriyaki sauce and seaweed!

DSC_0608

Loved this tonkatsu dog: marinated pork cutlet and tonkatsu sauce

DSC_0609

Took a detour, literally a few door s down from Japadog

DSC_0636

Curry is so good on a chilly night

DSC_0620

His and hers ramen: Shio (salt base)

DSC_0622

Shoyu (soysauce base)

DSC_0628

Those giant ornaments outside Rockefeller Centre

DSC_0647DSC_0646

The famous Magnolia Bakery, always packed

DSC_0652

Inside the NBC Store looking for soem Community stuff and found Little Sebastian instead! I wanted to take you home….

DSC_0653

Got a set for Calvin and I’s morning tea/coffee. Can’t wait to use them for years to come.

DSC_0655

Annie’s Boobs

DSC_0662

You know what it is…

DSC_0665

Went back to UNIQLO yet another time to do more damage

DSC_0675

I’m not sure why Calvin bought this salty pretzel

DSC_0677

The Hershey Store! Wanted to find a giant Hershey’s Kiss that I had once when I was a kid but it looks like they downgraded the size and I was just not satisfied with the giant novelty one they have now. Too bad this one doesn’t have chocolate insides.

DSC_0533

DSC_0528

Megan and Calvin in New York December 2012 {Day 2/4}

10 Dec

Woke up and headed to beautiful SoHo for some brunch at RedFarm for some dim sum NYC style.
DSC_0422

DSC_0394

DSC_0384 DSC_0397 DSC_0398

Smoked salmon & eggplant bruschetta, delish–RedFarm
DSC_0402

Crispy duck & crab dumplings–RedFarm

DSC_0407

Crispy duck & crab dumplings–RedFarm  DSC_0410

Wild rice noodle and shredded roast duck–RedFarm

DSC_0414

Grilled lamb chop with truffled rice & egg–RedFarm

DSC_0418

After brunch we went on to do some shopping nearby (UNIQLO, Victoria’s Secret, Crate & Barrel). Then it was time to grab a bite and head to the musical!

We passed by a Dean & Deluca, a gourmet grocery store I’ve always wanted to peruse, and found a few things to tide us over until a late-night dinner after the show.

DSC_0455

DSC_0426

DSC_0435

Chocolate tart!

DSC_0480

Eclair!

DSC_0489

Made it to the Lund Fontanne Theatre for…

DSC_0509

So unbelievably excited

DSC_0516

Just slipping into something a little more comfortable

DSC_0522 copy

After the amazing show, we headed over to Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village for late-night!

DSC_0535

Spanish mackerel sashimi with black garlic–Momofuku Ssam Bar

DSC_0548

DSC_0542

BBQ pork belly bun

DSC_0550

Pork shoulder steak with persimmon

DSC_0553

Roasted quail with spaghetti squash

DSC_0555

Corn ice cream pie

DSC_0564

tri-star strawberry sorbet

DSC_0562

Megan and Calvin in New York December 2012 {Day 1/4}

8 Dec

Calvin and I went on a great and exhausting trip last weekend to the Big Apple. This getaway couldn’t have come at a better time than a mere 24 hours after my last class for the semester.

However, that meant packing in last minute fashion up until our early morning flight and spending the first morning/afternoon in a sleep-deprived and somewhat giddy daze.

The two weary travellers arrived at Chelsea Market for some breakfast and fun things to nibble on. Calvin had his heart set on a certain crustacean.

DSC_0011

Ronnybrook Dairy, Chelsea market

DSC_0029

First coffee of the morning–Ronnybrook Dairy, Chelsea Market

DSC_0016

Avocado and Gruyere Sandwhich–Ronnybrook Dairy, Chelsea Market

DSC_0023

Ronnybrook Dairy, Chelsea Market

DSC_0017

Eggs in tomato Stew with spring onion potatoes–Ronnybrook Dairy, Chelsea Market

DSC_0019

Archway lights weren’t operational yet but they’re beautiful when lit. Man to the right working hard, stringing each bulb one at a time–Chelsea Market

DSC_0010

Spices & Tease, Chelsea Market

DSC_0009

Asked for a container of my own to take home–Spices & Tease, Chelsea Market

DSC_0104

Picked the Strawberry Lemon Green Tea–Spices & Tease, Chelsea Market

DSC_0037

Marrakech Green Tea–Spices & Tease, Chelsea Market

DSC_0049

“Feel Well Balanced’ Mix–Spices & Tease, Chelsea Market

DSC_0047

Ducked into Market Basket, a hoarder’s heaven filled with odd bits and bobs, gourmet food, and too many baskets.

DSC_0096

Jars on jars of outlandish preserves

DSC_0092

A connoisseur of postcards

DSC_0094

Salves…

DSC_0097

Peanut butter…

DSC_0101

Chocolate…

DSC_0102

Tea….

DSC_0099

NYC paraphernalia…
DSC_0093

Bloody mary mix…among many other things.

DSC_0050

Having digested breakfast, it was time for the main event: The Lobster Place

DSC_0052

DSC_0054

DSC_0060

DSC_0062

Named her Sally.

DSC_0067

After the bacchanalia of lobster and butter, we explored more of Chelsea Market and came across Jacques Torres Chocolate.

Needless to say, the prices were jacked sky high so it was nice to just see all that chocolate converge in one place.

DSC_0069

DSC_0070

DSC_0072

DSC_0074

DSC_0076

 A good old fashioned knife sharpening at Chelsea Market

DSC_0088

Just when you’d think the eating would come to a stop, I impulsively came back with a meat pie while Calvin went off to buy a drink. It wasn’t very good–dry and over seasoned. But Chelsea Market, which can sometimes rest on its laurels for being located below the Food Network HQ, is typically hit or miss like that.

Vegetable lamb pie–Tuck Shop, Chelsea Market

DSC_0078

Brussel Sprouts–Tuck Shop, Chelsea Market

DSC_0080

The Mariners finally make their way out of Lotos Land and head to their hotel in Queens for a little nap before the Cotto vs. Trout fight later that night.

Not before enjoying the sights of NYC and spotting the best steak house facade.

DSC_0109

DSC_0111

Several hours later, here we are at Madison Square Garden!

DSC_0125

Got overpriced hotdogs and beer and missed seeing Cotto walking by our section, just a few feet away.

Amazing seats!

DSC_0137

DSC_0274


DSC_0204

Cotto lost but it was a good fight

DSC_0262

A little christmas spirit at Penn Station. On our way back to the hotel for the night.

DSC_0341

Candy Apples

21 Oct

I must confess, the idea of covering a perfectly good piece of fruit in pure sugar syrup is very strange. But I have a weakness for all things festive, and these glossy–red beauties make me so pleased to be in the autumn season.

I tried this candy coating recipe in a much smaller batch at first. But candy–coating is a bitch to work with, especially if you’re stopping to wipe it off the tables, floors, walls, or your own person every couple of minutes. It can also harden on you in less than 5 minutes so I found that making it in a greater quantity than you actually require to coat the apples will buy you more time to work with it, since the syrup hardens faster in smaller amounts. And this way, coating is easier too because you can fully cover those apples in one go.

Ingredients

6 Granny Smiths (small to medium sized)

5 cups white sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 1/2 cups water

Red food colouring

Other: popsicle sticks, candy thermometer

Directions

Place popsicle sticks into each apple at the stem end.

In a saucepan on medium high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until mixture reaches 300-310 F. Approximately 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 4-6 drops of red food colouring. Dip apples, holding them by the stick and let cool on parchment paper.

The trickiest part of the process is probably gauging when your syrup concoction is ready to come off the burner. Most recipes will suggest using a candy thermometer and waiting until the syrup reaches 300-310 F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer on hand, try a simple test: drip a bit of the mixture into a bowl of cold water, if it hardens immediately into a brittle glob, it’s good. Mine took about 25 minutes to become ready.  And when it begins to smell fragrantly of caramel, start doing the test every couple of minutes.

Now for the best part—digging in. I didn’t cut mine, didn’t think it was possible in fact. I like to begin with a part of the apple that isn’t coated (a point of weakness, if you will) and go to town.

%d bloggers like this: