Thursday, September 16, 2010
I love soft chocolate chip cookies and this recipe I use is the most perfect soft chocolate chip cookie recipe I've ever tasted.
The problem I had with past soft chocolate chip cookie recipes is that they didn't stay soft after they had cooled and sat for a day or two. These cookies stay soft forever. Okay maybe not forever. But a really, really long time. (Don't ask me how I know.)
One of my closest friends introduced me to this recipe, which is highly rated on allrecipes. I've made this before for the blog, but it's been a while. So this weekend I decided to go back to my old favorite. I've always gotten so many compliments with this recipe.
I used to make this recipe with nestle swirl chips. Unfortunately, Nestle has discontinued these chips. I was so sad to hear that as I absolutely love how they look. I felt like when I baked my cookies this time they didn't look as pretty anymore. You can see my cookies with the swirl chips here.
The dough can be a bit sticky and wet to work with. I've found it best to leave the dough sitting for about half an hour, or better yet, stick it in the fridge for about half an hour to firm up the dough.
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from here)
Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen cookies.
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white
sugar. (I usually soften butter in microwave for approximately one
- Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs
- Blend in the flour mixture.
- Stir in the regular semi-sweet chocolate
chips, trying to spread evenly through cookie dough.
- Make balls of cookie dough, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Ever since I read The Food Librarian's post on a nectarine buckle, the words "stone fruit" have been floating in my mind like a chant. I loved everything about the buckle she made, from the slivered almonds to the bright pieces of orange nectarines peeling away from the batter.
This weekend I went out specifically to buy some peaches and nectarines so I could make this buckle before they go out of season. To my dismay, the yellow peaches and nectarines didn't look very good. But there were these giant white peaches that looked gorgeous.
I love white peaches because they are sweeter than yellow ones. And when they are eaten raw, they have a beautiful snow white color. I knew that they wouldn't look as great once they were baked though. I would have preferred using yellow peaches or nectarines for the color, but these white peaches were too pretty to pass up.
So my buckle didn't look as pretty as I wanted it to be, but it turned out delicious. The peaches were so sweet. There is very little batter, just enough to cover the peaches and keep it together. I actually was afraid that there wasn't enough batter. Sometimes I put more fruit in a recipe than required, but I would not recommend it for this recipe as any extra fruit might make this fall apart.
I also love the addition of cinnamon and almond slices on top. This is a wonderful buckle recipe and it's definitely a keeper. Just writing this post makes me want to eat some more. It's also pretty easy to make.
Peach Buckle (from Food Librarian)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds peaches, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 3/4
cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one
at a time, and vanilla; beat to combine.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk
together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed,
gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat until incorporated.
Fold in peaches.
4. Spread batter in prepared pan. In a small
bowl, mix together remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and almonds.
Sprinkle mixture over top; bake until a toothpick inserted in center
comes out clean and topping is golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 20
minutes before serving.
Monday, September 13, 2010
4411 Mercury Street
San Diego, CA 92111
I've passed by Tajima 2 many times but hadn't yet tried it. I liked the idea that it has a big menu of sushi and tapas-type dishes. I've been a bit lethargic lately and haven't had much motivation to dine out. I forced myself to go out and finally check out Tajima 2.
The menu is quite extensive and can be found on its website. The original Tajima is a small shop that specializes in ramen. This second location is much bigger, and has a larger menu. I really liked the decor of the inside, with the big open spaces and the bamboo dividers.
There was so many items that sounded appetizing that we found it really hard to choose just a few. I chose a uni and clam risotto because I love uni and I love risotto and I've never seen the combination together offered on a menu.
They were out of clams that night but they replaced them with shrimp. The risotto had a lot of flavor, but was slightly too salty for me. I couldn't taste the uni at all because of the strong flavoring used. While it tasted okay, it didn't really taste like risotto. I don't think the rice was risotto rice, but instead was regular asian rice. BF really enjoyed the dish though.
I also chose a Yakisoba omelet because it sounded really cool. What came out was a gigantic omelet, topped with bonito flakes. I always get a kick of how the bonito flakes wave in the air when sprinkled on top of warm food.
The omelete ended up being a thin layer of egg, wrapping a dish of yakisoba. Like a yakisoba burrito. I think it ended up tasting less cool than it sounded. I've always found yakisoba to be a bit too salty for me, so I found this version equally salty. BF didn't seem to mind the salt. He ate most of this dish.
BF chose a tuna tataki, which is tuna sashimi in ponzu sauce. I thought the tuna was just average quality.
BF also chose a Menchi Katsu, which is breaded deep fried japanese meatloaf.
I enjoyed this the most out of what we had ordered. The meatloaf was surprisingly moist and tender and the fried breading wasn't too oily or overwhelming.
Overall, I wasn't too impressed with my first trip. I would go again to try some other items, as the menu is so extensive. I found most of the food to be a little too salty for me though.