Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies- Sally's baking addiction


  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (aka cornflour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup (225g) semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the chocolate chips and mix for about 5 seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
  2. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  3. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Roll balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake dough balls in their frozen state for an extra minute or two - do not thaw.
Makes about 2-2.5 dozen cookies. Do not drop dough onto warm cookie sheets.  Allow cookie sheets to cool completely between batches. Baked cookies freeze well - up to three months.  Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well - up to three months. Bake for 1-2 extra minutes (do not thaw).

Green Salad with Chicken (Healthy)

Spinach leaves with olive oil and red wine vinegar for dressing. Add whatever veggies you desire on top


4 avocados
1/2 cup salsa (pace chunky medium)
Salt to taste

Mash avocados and mix in salt and salsa

Sweet Chicken Salad Sandwiches-cheating

Sams Club has premade chicken salad. Just add more shredded rotisserie chicken (that you can get from Sam's club) and a bit of mayo to your liking. Grab some croissants or pita pocket bread to stuff it into and you are good!

Colby Relyea pictured at Lake Powell

Walking Taco's (with cheese Dorito bags)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Simple Bean Salad Formula

Lentil Tacos-Elysa Valentino's friend

Don't be alarmed by the main ingredient. They are actually really tasty!

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
taco shells, tortillas, or chips
shredded lettuce or spinach
chopped fresh tomato
shredded cheddar cheese
avocado diced

OPTIONAL: For those who NEED meat... just cook up a lb of ground hamburger and mix in a packet of taco seasoning. Use the lentil mixture as your bean mixture in your tacos.

In a large nonstick skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.

Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell/tortilla. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado, sour cream.

Quinoa Jambalaya (or use Barley instead)- Elysa Valentino

2 cups dry quinoa or barley
5 cups water or chicken broth
2 cups meat: diced ham, shrimp, chicken, smoked sausage
1 tbsp oil, for sautéing
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped,
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic (or 2 tsp. galric powder)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp (or less) ground cayenne pepper

Place barley or quinoa in large pot with water or broth over medium heat.
Saute meat in oil if uncooked. Remove from pan and saute onions, celery, peppers, and garlic.
Combine all ingrediets with barley/or quinoa. Turn up heat to bring to boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat. Stir occassionally. Continue to simmer 30-40 minutes. Add more liquid (water, broth or tomato sauce) if all the water disappears before the mixture turns "saucy". Remove bay leaves before serving.

Freezer Lasagna

Quadruple your lasagna recipe, label and freeze!

Sausage (Kielbasa) and Quinoa Saute (Elysa Valentino)

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups chicken broth or water
Dash of salt

Splash of oil
4 links Sweet italian Sausage or diced Keilbasa (already cooked- omit the full cooking process and just warm up at the end)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green, red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 8-inch zucchini, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1/2 tsp. rosemary or oregano, slightly crushed
salt & pepper to taste
2 medium tomatoes chopped (optional)

Fresh grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese

Rinse quinoa thoroughly through a mesh strainer. Combine quinoa and water or broth in medium pan. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 min or until liquid is absorbed.

In a saute pan over medium heat, cook sausage(if using sausage links). When meat is mostly cooked, progressively add onion, green pepper, zuccini, garlic and spices. Chop and add in order listed. When green pepper is soft, add kielbasa and kale and saute until kale is soft (about 2 min). Add cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add salt, pepper and tomato and turn off heat. (tomatoes do not need to be cooked, just heated through.

Serve warm in crock pot with grated Romano/Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.