Archive | December, 2012

Happy Holidays

25 Dec

HappyHolidaysHave a happy healthy holiday eating!

 

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

18 Dec
Double chocolate chip cookies.

Double chocolate chip cookies.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars and egg. Add in vanilla.

2. In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Combine well.

4. Mix in chocolate chips.

5. Form about one inch in diameter dough balls.

6. Place dough on lined baking sheet and leave about two inches of space per cookie. Gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.

7. Bake for 350º  for 9 to 11 minutes.

This recipe makes about 18 cookies. It was inspired by the following cookie recipe.

Cookies immediately before being placed in the oven.

Cookies immediately before being placed in the oven.

Cookies immediately after baking. Cookies mascot says two thumbs up.

Cookies immediately after baking. Cookies mascot says two thumbs up.

Double Chocolate Banana Cake

11 Dec
Double chocolate chip banana cake with chocolate icing and garnished with fresh raspberries, icing sugar and cocoa powder.

Double chocolate chip banana cake with chocolate icing and garnished with fresh raspberries, icing sugar and cocoa powder.

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (if not ripe, add 1 tbsp of skim milk for moisture)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine banana, sugar, egg and oil.

2. In another bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.

3. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once mixed, add in chocolate chips. Combine thoroughly.

4. Grease a baking dish (8 by 9.5 inch) with oil and then coat with a light layer of flour.

5. Pour cake mixture in and bake for 350º for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake separates from the sides of the baking dish.

6. Let cool and decorate as you choose. Our cake was decorated with chocolate icing, a dusting of cocoa powder and icing sugar, and garnished with fresh raspberries.

Undecorated cake fresh from the oven.

Undecorated cake fresh from the oven.

The above cake creation was inspired by the following double chocolate banana muffin recipe. Thank you to Lillian for making the cake. Stay tuned next week for another “double” recipe!

Taco Salad

4 Dec
Taco salad.

Taco salad.

  • 6 to 8 crispy taco chips
  • 1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 5 to 7 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small english cucumber, cubed
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • water

1. Heat a pot on high. Once hot, add in 1 tbsp of oil and onions. Cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

2. Add in garlic, beef and 1 to 2 tbsps of water. The water will help the beef to separate. Stir often.

3. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Just before the beef is finished cooking, add in half the lime juice.

5. Let the beef cool for a few minutes before adding to the top of the salad. If the beef is too hot, the salad vegetables may wilt and the cheese may melt.  TIP: Cook the beef in advance up to the day before. When ready to use, gently warm.

6. In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. Season with a light sprinkle of sea salt.

7. To make the dressing, combine the dijon, the remaining lime juice and 2 to 3 tbsps of olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper.

8. Add the dressing to the vegetables. Toss well.

9. Top dressed salad with beef, then cheddar cheese.

10. Place the shells along the perimeter of the salad.

11. Finished.