Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Martha's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have to apologize- This picture would have been better if it were sunny out..but I only have time to bake at night during the week. These are oatmeal raisin cookies from Martha Stewart.. They are sooo good! Truly the best homemade oatmeal cookies I have tasted. I made them for my co-workers....and they just loved them, and I think you will too! Here's the recipe~

Makes about 5 dozen


  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ (soo good for you, it's high in folic acid--make sure you store open containers of wheat germ in the freezer- if not, it will go rancid because of its unsaturated fat content)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins- I also added dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in raisins.
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
  3. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks using a spatula; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parisien Pastry Tour Part II

These pastries from Gosselin patisserie/boulangerie were my favorites!! The shop is located on Boulevard Saint-Germain. ...JJ had the one on the left. It's called "Rivera." We thought it was just so beautiful that we didn't care what it would taste like--we had to have it! I had the raspberry macaroon on the was unbelievable! Worth every calorie! The unpasteurized whole milk was amazing too! So different from regular milk..I so wish that we could get pastries like these here..maybe I'll just have to go to le cordon bleu or move to Paris, work at a patisserie and learn the french techniques and open my own patisserie here! Ahh..only in my dreams...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Parisien Pastry Tour

It's no secret that I adore all things french. French cuisine, language, style, and way of life are all perfection to me. In my two visits to Paris, I made it my priority to seek out, taste, and of course photograph the best of french pastry. Here is what I found.

Before I traveled to Paris for the second time, I searched the Internet for the best patisseries in Paris. One that received great accolades was Gerard Mulot located in the 6th arrondissement on Rue de Seine. Coincidentally, the apartment we rented was on the same street! Naturally, I dragged JJ there the first chance I got. I was in awe at the assortment of pastries they had. It took me a good 15 minutes to decide what I wanted to get! Actually, I didn't decide- JJ had to for me because I couldn't make up my mind. He reassured me that we would go back again..even though we didn't...Oh well, there will always be another trip. I had the one on the right. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it, but it was a pear with caramel on top of a caramel ganache. It was devine!! JJ had the left one which was called a tarte citron.

Stuffed Baked Zucchini

Recently, JJ and I have been making dinner together on the weekends. We like to try new recipes and tweak them to make them our own. I've been trying to get more vegetables into my diet and with zucchini in season, I searched my favorites blogs for a recipe. I stumbled upon one for stuffed zucchini that looked delicious, and we gave it a try. The recipe called for rice, but we decided to substitute it with bread crumbs. Also, we added sausage to make them more filling. Here's the recipe!
4 average size zucchini
3 links of sausage (we used bratwurst)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sweet red or green bell pepper diced
the interior of the zucchini scooped out and minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Italian cheese (Parmesan or Pecorino Ramono)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella or havarti cheese

1. Saute the sausage in a large pot or sautee pan until cooked through.
2. Saute the following in olive oil until wilted in a separate pan: the shallot, garlic, pepper and zucchini (season with salt and pepper)
4. Remove from heat and add the sausage, bread crumbs, egg, and cheese
5. Stuff the mixture into the zucchini shells with a spoon and place in a greased oven-proof casserole dish
6. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 30 mins

Serve alone or with bread and/or salad (we had them alone and saved room for dessert :)

As you can see, we had plenty of left overs to share with our families the next day...which made for very happy parents.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night my friend Melissa came over. We have been friends since first grade, but unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to see her much over the past few years because she was away at school. It was great to see her again, and we had fun making these espresso chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are fantastic. They have a very chewy texture and the coffee flavor is not very strong, it just enhances the chocolate.
The dough was extremely easy to make.. they are actually not that bad for you.. they only have 1 stick of butter (most cookie recipes call for at least 2), and I substituted some whole wheat flour as well. I haven't mastered photographing food yet, but I'm working on it! (maybe a more advanced camera would help). The pictures I have seen on other blogs are beautiful; hopefully I will learn how to make mine as pretty soon! Anyway, onto the recipe! I hope you give it a try and enjoy them as much as Melissa and my family did!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 Tbsp white sugar
1 large egg, at room temp.
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp finely ground coffee (I used instant)
1 bag of chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300F
2. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking salt, salt, coffee)
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
4. Beat in egg and vanilla extract
5. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 3 phases
6. Fold in chocolate chips
7. Chill in refrigerator for 30 mins (this step makes a big difference in the texture of the cookies)
8. Bake for 15 mins