Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies


My baking buddy, Sam, came by today with her dad (my son), and after lunch, we both knew we were craving cookies. Without hesitation, she asked if we could bake her favorite cookies, the chocolate chip cookies, which she had quite mastered to make.

This time, we followed the recipe written on the Nestle Semi-Sweet morsels bag. In a bowl, she measured 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, she beat 1 cup softened butter (by hand) until creamy, and then she added 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. She then added the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then she gradually added the flour mixture a little at a time until incorporated. Lastly, she added the semi-sweet chocolate morsels. We did not put any nuts, for Sam does not like nuts in her cookies. You can if you want, add 1 cup chopped nuts. We also added just 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate morsels, for some of us preferred less chocolate morsels in the cookie. She then scooped the batter using a small ice cream scoop and dropped them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I prefer lining the cookie sheet with parchment paper in making chocolate chip cookies because they are easier to remove later on. The cookies were baked in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 10 to 11 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before eating


Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

Collard Greens

With the economic downturn and escalating food prices, I've learned how to shop for healthy and inexpensive food to serve my family. For our everyday food, I always go with the basics. Eggs, milk, bananas, flour (to make bread or pancake), ground beef (instead of expensive meat cuts), and mostly fruits and vegetables in season which I find in the farmers market. One of my favorites is collard greens which is healthy and easy to cook.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground beef
1 bunch collard greens (you can also use swiss chard) - cut about 3/4"
1 1/2 Roma medium-size tomato - cut into 1/8"
1/2 medium-size yellow onion - sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
3 to 4 tablespoon fish sauce
dashes of freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cooking (I use canola) oil

Procedure

Brown the garlic in a wok with the oil. Add the sliced onion and cook until transparent. Add the ground beef until cooked. Sprinkle dashes of freshly ground pepper. Add the collards and mix well. Season with the fish sauce and mix until collards are wilted but not overcooked. Serve immediately with steamed rice or bread.

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