Tag Archives: Food

Serendipity Cookies


http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/d/g/speaker.swf [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee]  Show IPA



an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first jobshe applied for.
(Source: dictionary.com)
Today, I wanted to make these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Apparently, I was feeling rebellious and decided to change the amount of flour from 1/2 cup to 2 cups. Oops. So, I knew that wasn’t going to work. I scrambled to fix the cookies, since I didn’t want to start over and I really wanted cookies! My first fix was not so good, but then I got it. And they are delicious, beautiful cookies. I quickly wrote down what I did and  wanted to share. If you make them, please let me know how you like them! I think I will be making these again.
The Accidental Cookie

Serendipity Cookies

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 – 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 lb butter, melted (1 stick)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1  tsp vanilla

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar

Add eggs, salt, vanilla and baking powder

Add oats and flour, mix until just combined

Add chocolate chips, drop by spoon onto ungreased cookie sheet

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 8 minutes results in chewy cookies, 10 in crispy. I prefer 9: right in between.


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Marshmallow Fluff

Breaking eggs is easy, separating eggs is only slightly harder. Today, however, I had a real issue with it. I went through two eggs before I stopped breaking the yolks and actually separated out four whites. Not to be wasteful, I made some scrambled eggs.

Then I really got cracking (pun completely intended) on the recipe for Fluff. I got the recipe out of Retro Desserts by Wayne Harley Brachman. It involves bringing corn syrup, sugar and water to 246 degrees (what’s known as a “hard ball” state, it says) and then adding it to stiff egg whites. Not being the pastry chef of the family, I was a little weary of the turn sugar into a hard ball state, as that is pretty darn close to candy making. I did it, though! The fluff was warm and delicious and now lives in my refrigerator. When it runs out, I think I’ll be making more. There’s only one downside to the ooey gooey goodness is the clean up, which I am putting off for a little while.

Things I’m considering doing with the fluff:

Buying (Baking?) Brioche and making a sandwich of fluff and nutella. If I French Toast that, do I go to diet hell or breakfast heaven?

Fluffernutters, of course.

Spread on top of brownies and the ganache the whole thing.

Scoop it up with my finger.

Melt a little and pour it over ice cream, or blueberry pie, I’m not sure why, but that just popped into my head and now I must have it.


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Something for Everyone

Tonight we had an orange sort of dinner. John and I had pumpkin risotto (his garnished with fennel and mine with carrots) and the baby had a nice carrot puree. “Wait, what about the toddler?” you ask. She had a red dinner. Red-faced angry that she was supposed to eat anything at all.

At least the baby eats.




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Dinner Out

John and I had the luxury of going out to try a new restaurant last night, thanks to my wonderful sister, who kept Lily overnight for us! John has been craving Indian food since we narrowly missed lunch at Chand Palace in Parsippany, NJ last weekend. He found a place in Somerset called Hoysala, which features Southern Indian cuisine, something we had not had the pleasure to experience before. Hoysala features a dinner buffet (or you can order off the menu) every night of the week except Monday (when they’re closed).

It’s a nice restaurant with a large party room, and is family friendly. They have a reputation for hot food and although I am usually a heat-chicken, we decided to both get the buffet since we didn’t know what anything was! The food was spicy, but so flavorful the heat was worth it!

Last night’s buffet offered almost everything on the menu, and was a great way to explore the regional cuisine for the first time. The server also kept bring out different types of breads: dosa, roti and poori. My tingling tongue was grateful for each one of these!

Our favorites of the night were the onion pakoda – an onion fritter, uddin-vada – a lentil doughnut, andhra chicken biryani – a chicken with rice dish, a potato dish that I can’t recall the name of or pick it out on the menu – it was our favorite, though, with saffron or turmeric, cumin, curry leaves, coriander seeds, and tasted a lot like the filling for samosas, and John’s favorite was Spinach Lentil Thouve – spinach cooked with lentils, green chilies, and a lot of hot hot spices (I was not brave enough to try it!).

I would go back here for the buffet (and the breads!) but I’m not sure there is any one dish off the menu that I’d want to eat a full portion of.

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If you can’t go to the Caribbean…

you can certainly cook some Caribbean inspired food!

We’re grilling Chorizo and chicken, with sides of black bean and corn salad and some plantain chips!
Our neighbors are awesome, too, and usually run their snow blower over our half of the driveway we share when they do theirs. I happened to peak out a little while ago and noticed the gentleman who lives there was actually shoveling our driveway!
So, I ran into the kitchen and whipped up some pasta with tomato sauce, white beans and peas.
Top that off with the the pumpernickel bread John is baking and the sugar cookies I whipped up earlier this afternoon and the house smells great and is nice and warm!
What a busy day for us!
Are you looking for some recipes? Photos, perhaps?
No problem!

Black Bean and Corn Salad:

I make this in the summer time as a meal with rice mixed in, too. We are trying to go easy on the starches, though, so we decided to skip that part tonight.

Rinse one can of black beans

Strain one can of corn kernels (in the summer, I like to scrape the kernels off a fresh cob and give them a roast)

Chop 1/2 a red onion

Dice a tomato

Combine ingredients in a bowl, toss with about 3 tbs of lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and a packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing. I adapted this from another recipe, but I can’t remember what it was or where to find it. Serve chilled.

If you like cilantro, I imagine it would taste good here. I’m not a big fan, so I leave it out.

Sugar Cookies:

12 oz butter, softened

12 oz sugar

1 egg plus 1 yolk

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 lb 3 oz flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.

When fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt.

When combined, add flour.

You can either refrigerate or freeze for later use or begin rolling it out. Roll out to desired thickness – I like it about 1/4 of an inch or a little thicker because the cookies will be chewier. Cut into desired shapes (we used hearts for Valentine’s Day) and baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Leave on the tray for a minute, then remove to a cooling rack.

If you want, you can sprinkle with sugar before you bake them, eat them plain or ice with your favorite frosting.

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Pizza Night!

We tried to have pizza night last Sunday, but I wasn’t feeling too well, so we postponed it and it’s finally here again! John decided to try out a dough recipe that he’s been holding on to for a while. We both love pizza, but there’s a big thing that separate us: John loves crispy thin crusts and I grew up loving and still love thick, chewy Sicilian style pizza. Another separation is that I am more than happy with my pizza recipe – my Nonna made it, my mother makes it and my sister and I make it – and John is constantly searching for a better recipe.

Tonight’s pizza looked gorgeous, but for me, it could have had more flavor. I’m sure John will still be searching, and next pizza night is going to be Sicilian style. Maybe while John looks for the best recipe, we’ll explore and re-explore some our favorite thin crust pizza joints. We’ll make sure to write blogs about that!

If you have a recipe that you think is the best ever thin crust, share it with us: we’ll try it out and post the results here!


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Chicken Again?

Some days, all there is in the freezer is chicken. A lot of people eat chicken just about every day for dinner. John gave me a look last night when I said, “well, we have chicken,” in response to his “what will we cook tomorrow?”

His lackluster look was wiped away when I whipped out the mayonnaise, though. I love breaded and fried chicken breast as much as the next gal, but sometimes you just want something different. So, I slathered it in mayonnaise and then gave it a breading of homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with tarragon, paprika, salt, pepper and a generous amount of shredded parmesan cheese.

It’s baking now, but you can be sure I’ll be posting photos of it (good or bad) when it comes out.

For our veggies, I have roasted some root vegetables – parsnips, carrots, onions and a sweet potato (how sad we were to discover the lone sweet potato!). I then coated them with a mixture of honey, balsamic vinegar and butter and will pop them under the broiler to heat/caramelize them when the chicken is cooked through and resting.

So, yes, it’s chicken again, but it’s not the same old thing and I think John will be happy. Perhaps I should break out a box of Rice a Roni?

PS It’s delicious!

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