Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!
A chocolate chip cookie, the ultimate comfort food. Who can resist them? But do you know its history? Most of us don’t and it’s really quite interesting no matter which version you believe!
For starters the chocolate chip cookie is a true American concoction that came to be quite accidentally when its original baker ran out of Baker’s chocolate, or nuts. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Ok back in 1930 a dietician named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased a Cape Cod style house in Whitman a town between Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts. The house was originally built in 1709 and was used by travelers to rest, change horses, have a meal, and pay any tolls needed to use the road. Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their home into a lodge which, with a nod to its past, they named “The Toll House Inn”.
Now Ruth was a skilled baker and soon drew in visitors from all over the northeast. Many came to sample her delicious baked goods. One of her favorite desserts were Butter Drop Do Cookies and her recipe which dated back to colonial days called for Baker’s chocolate. So one day in 1937 Ruth was making these Butter Drop Do Cookies and found herself lacking the chocolate, so she chopped up a bar of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny pieces thinking that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout the dough. When it didn’t the chocolate chip cookie was born! Well that’s one version; another version is she ran out of nuts and substituted the chopped chocolate; still another version claims she accidentally dropped a bar of chocolate into the dough and it broke into tiny morsels. Whatever the version it’s all part of chocolate chip cookie history!
The new cookies were a hit and Ruth called them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”. Her recipe was published in news papers all over New England and the sales of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate bars rocketed.
Then in 1939 when “Betty Crocker” (she was a fictional character who had a radio show) featured them on her radio series “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places” the chocolate chip cookie went big time! Ruth being a shrewd gal approached Nestle’s and struck a deal, they could print her recipe on all their semi-sweet bars and later bags in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolates. Lucky lady!
The cookie has become the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts. As for Ruth and hubby they sold the Toll House Inn in 1966 and it burned down on New Year’s Eve 1984.
So now you know its history. I’m sure you also know many versions of the chocolate chip cookie recipe have popped up, you may even have your own, I know I do! But have you ever tried The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie? It’s one of our favorites! You can order it for dessert at their Mariposa Restaurant where you get a boxed set of 3 cookies and a recipe card, very cute! Or you can buy the giant sized cookie at their Bistro. And you can also buy tins of them from the Neiman’s gourmet food department at Christmas time. We do all 3! A box of 3 from the restaurant costs $6, the giant cookie at the Bistro is $5, and a tin of them will set you back about $20+.
But Neiman’s is nice enough to share their recipe, remember the boxed set at Mariposa comes with a recipe card. So if you don’t feel like shelling out $5 or more for a cookie or two; or if you’ve never tried the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie then read on because I’m sharing it today!
Chicken Long Rice is one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s one of the simple dishes my Filipino grandmothers made when I was growing up, but Filipinos call it Sotanghon.
Living in Hawaii it’s a dish one can easily find on the menu of local restaurants and is a staple at Hawaiian Luaus. That’s probably why it never occurred to me to make it at home. So much easier to order it at Zippy’s or some other local eatery. Besides I didn’t have a recipe for Chicken Long Rice and never actually thought to go look for one.
Well that recently changed after I attended an Alumni Luau at my Alma Mater. Of course Chicken Long Rice was served, and like my classmates I wasn’t too impressed with it. The version served was pretty bland and tasteless. That’s when I mentioned that it was one of my favorite dishes but alas didn’t know how to make it.
So the discussions began and for the next couple of days during our class reunion a couple of classmates shared their recipes and tips. A week or so later I finally made some, tweaked the way I like it of course!
Now before I share my version I should explain what it is. In a nutshell Chicken Long Rice is Hawaii’s version of chicken noodle soup. But I suspect it’s a dish adapted from the Asian immigrants who came to the islands to work in plantations in the 1800’s.
I’m pretty sure just about every culture on earth has its own version of chicken noodle soup and Asia is no different. In fact I think every Asian country has a chicken noodle soup version; Udon or Ramen in Japan; Phð Gà in Vietnam; and Sotanghon in the Philippines just to name a few.
Where ever it originated Chicken Long Rice is simple chicken stock with clear bean thread noodles aka glass or cellophane noodles, seasoned with fresh ginger and topped with chopped green onions. I like it soupy and eat it with steamed white rice mixed in. So here’s my version of Chicken Long Rice, it tastes almost the same as the Sontaghon my grandmas used to make!
*Bean Thread noodles can be found at any Asian Market and sometimes in the Ethnic Food section of your local grocery store. Or you can order it from Amazon.
*I prefer to use Aloha Brand Soy Sauce as it’s milder than most brands available on the US Market (like Kikkoman and La Choy), but it’s not easily found unless you are in Hawaii or order it from Amazon. If you can’t find Aloha Brand Soy Sauce an alternative brand is Silver Swan Soy Sauce. It too has a milder taste and it can be found in most Asian Markets anywhere. But you can use any brand or your favorite brand of soy sauce.
*Use fresh ginger. Fresh ginger root can be found at most Asian Markets. Ginger can be frozen in a sealed ziplock bag for a long time. Just break of pieces as you need them. You can adjust the amount of ginger root in this recipe to suit your taste. I love the strong ginger taste and usually add a bit more to my broth.
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Chicken Long Rice
4 Bone in chicken thighs. Be sure the skin is on too!
Sunday is Father’s Day. Why night surprise dad with this yummy Banana Foster Dutch Baby?
You can serve it for breakfast or brunch or even as dessert after lunch or dinnerr. It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s creamy and rich caramel sauce, homemade of course, goes lovely with fresh bananas sliced over a yummy dutch baby pancake.
But first you might ask what exactly is a Dutch Baby. Well it’s basically a German Pancake; it’s a cross between a crepe and a popover. Traditionally German Pancakes are small round flat cakes but the American version somehow ended up being a large round pouffy cake best made in a cast iron skillet.
While you’re making the Dutch Babies in the oven you can make my simple homemade caramel sauce, or you can make the sauce earlier. I always keep a jar in the fridge because the sauce is yummy on just about everything including ice cream, cakes, and fruit. It’s great for dipping too!
Anyway once your Dutch Babies are done top it with sliced bananas drizzled with caramel sauce, then top it all off with whipped cream! You can’t possible go wrong!
Banana Foster Dutch Baby
Dutch Baby or Mini Dutch Babies – Click here for the basic recipe
2 – 3 Bananas, sliced
Caramel Sauce – scroll down for the recipe
Make one large or 2 mini Dutch Babies according to the recipe
I have been in search of the perfect Chicken Marsala for years. I think one of the best ones I’ve had was at the Trevi Italian Restaurant in the Forum Shops in Las Vegas. I’ve yet to find something similar and believe me I’ve tried it at many different restaurants.
Since I can’t exactly fly off to Vegas every time I’ve a yen for Chicken Marsala I did the next best thing. I wend in search of the best Chicken Marsala recipe I could find. I’ve actually found several that were pretty good, but with a bit of tweaking here and there I was able to come up with this delicious recipe which everyone in my family loves. In fact it’s good enough to serve company which is what I did when my daughter’s in-laws came to visit. They loved it too!
First of all a little background on Chicken Marsala. I know it’s a classic Italian dish offered at many chain Italian restaurants like Magiano’s, Carabba’s, and Olive Garden. Like I said everyone seems to have their own version of this dish! But if you go to a local restaurant in Italy and asked for Chicken Marsala I’m pretty sure they won’t know what that is. I can’t recall seeing this dish at any of the restaurants in Italy, sort of like asking for Fettucine Alfedo, they don’t have that there!
Chicken Marsala is actually an Italian-American dish that is more than likely a variation of the traditional Italian Scaloppina dishes of which there are many versions in Italy. Chicken Marsala dates back from the 19th. Century and originated with English families who lived in Italy where Marsala wine is produced.
The dish is composed of thin slices of chicken breasts that are lightly floured and sauteed in a pan. It is then covered with a sauce made from a Marsala wine reduction. Some recipes call for the addition of mushrooms, herbs, and tomatoes. Really the variations are many, but I prefer the simplest variation with just mushrooms so that I can savor the lovely Marsala sauce.
When I make it at home I prefer to serve it with a simple garlic mashed potato side dish, but you can also serve it with a side of Poor Man’s pasta; a simple yet tasty pasta dish.