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Archive for March, 2013

Chocolate Chip Trail-Mix Cookies

I went home for spring break and had a fantastic vacation, not just spending time with family, but spending time in my family’s kitchen.  After three months of not baking, I needed to get back in the swing of things. But there were so many things I wanted to make and experiment with! I had so many ideas for muffins and breads, that cookies just seemed so bland.

But I was flipping through my book of recipes for Cheryl’s Confections and remembered that over the winter break I made a chocolate chip cookie that had bittersweet chocolate in it, peanuts, and pistachios. Unfortunately this was out because I didn’t have pistachios or bittersweet chocolate. But I did have peanuts, and I had all the ingredients to make a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie.

My additions to my classic gooey chocolate filled cookie includes dried craisins, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raisins. The salty peanuts complements the rich chocolate, and every time you feel the additional crunch of a sunflower or pumpkin seed, or the sweet tartness of a craisin, your taste buds with thank you for the experience. If there has ever been flavor explosions in a cookie, this is it.

I am proud to also announce that this cookie is made with whole wheat flour, and organic cane sugar and organic brown sugar.

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Tomatoes, Mayonnaise, and the Unknown

In the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting pretty heavily with my diet. As I may have mentioned, for all that I love to cook and work with food, I’m a pretty picky eater. I hate cheese, most milk products, almost every kind of sauce or topping, and sandwiches.

I have a bad habit of taking sandwiches apart. I take the meat off the bread so the bread won’t get soggy, I remove any type of condiment that may have been slathered on it, I take off the lettuce and tomato to eat separates (if at all) and by the end of the process my sandwich is barely recognizable.

Wasn’t I disappointed last week when the alcohol peer educators event I went to served sandwiches. But if I learned anything from my trip to Israel in December, it’s that if I enjoyed a falafel with everything on it, then there was no way I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a sandwich.

The poison I chose was one part tuna, one part roast beef. And though I have made it a point in my life to not eat tuna with bread, this was delicious. I still removed the tomato, but the bread was not soggy, the tuna did not overwhelm me with a fishy taste, and the mayonnaise was a perfect compliment. I eat tuna at my grandfather’s house, and I eat it without bread or crackers while I try not to imagine how much mayonnaise he uses to make it taste good. Enjoying a tuna sandwich was a big deal.

I was equally surprised by the roast beef. I left the tomato on this time–trying to be as adventurous as possible after my first success with the tuna–and even though the top was coated in mayonnaise, I enjoyed it as a part of the whole.

Tomato included, my opinions of sandwiches have been altered. This might not be breaking news, but it’s a step for any picky eater to learn that you might be wrong about what goes well together. And especially for a chef or a baker, it’s always a good idea to change up what you eat. It keeps your diet fresh, but also tips you off to what you can be doing in your own kitchen.