Basic, Great Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

choclate chip cookies

There is nothing better than warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. As kids, we couldn’t wait until they were cool enough to eat and usually burned our fingers trying to eat them as soon as possible. You can easily find refrigerated cookie dough or a box mix for decent chocolate chip cookies, but here is a basic, great chocolate chip cookies recipe where you can whip up delicious homemade cookies with ease! Homemade makes all the difference when these delicious cookies come out of the oven and the scent permeates that entire house. The kids (and adults) will come running!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour / all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (not margarine)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar / packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs / large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Dry ingredients: Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Do not pack your flour. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with a straight edge.
  • Set aside dry ingredients.
  • In a mixing bowl, blend the two sugars and the butter with a hand mixer until they are creamy. Make sure the butter is at room temperature to get a smooth mixture, and use the low to medium setting on a hand mixer.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and incorporate well.
  • Add the vanilla extract and blend.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients and blend until just moistened by the wet mixture.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.

Baking:

  • Prepare a large cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or using a light non-stick spray.
  • Make sure your hands are clean or wear food safe gloves.
  • Keeping your hands or gloves slightly damp, spoon about a tablespoon of the cookie mixture into the palm of your hand and shape into a ball.
  • Place the balls of batter on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  • Place on the middle rack in a pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • If you want chewy cookies, check the cookies at 11 or 12 minutes. For crisper cookies, bake them the entire 15 minutes. The longer you bake the cookies, the more firm they will be.
  • You will have to do two rounds of baking or use two large cookie sheets.
  • If you use two sheets, rotate from top to bottom racks half way through cooking time.

This basic, great chocolate chip cookies recipe will make about 30 cookies. Allow them to cool for about five minutes and then transfer them to a plate or rack to finish cooling. They should be completely cool in about an hour (if you can keep hungry hands away from them for that long). These cookies can be frozen in an air tight container for up to eight weeks.

Reference website: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/simple-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

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How to Make Indian Vegetable Fritters

Indian food is among the best food in the world, but so often people either don't know how to make it or do it incorrectly. Indian Vegetable Fritters are a staple in Indian culture, and are a popular street food snack throughout the country. The wonderful thing about these fritters are that they are quick and enjoyable snack for anyone who wants to enjoy. Cheap, easy and relatively nutritious, these fritters will surely be enjoyed by the whole family.

indian veggies

Ingredients

  • Canola Oil
  • 1 ½ cups chickpea flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
  • ½ Small red onion, minced

Cooking Instructions

In a medium saucepan, heat a couple inches of canola oil until a thermometer reads roughly 300 degrees. Next, stir the chickpea flour, cumin seeds, salt and 1 cup of water in a bowl until it's formed the consistency of a smooth batter. Stir the chopped potatoes and minced onions into the batter. Separate your fritters by the spoonful, making each one roughly 2 tablespoons, and in batches, fry each fritter. You'll turn each fritter as needed until they are golden and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon so that not hot oil falls though, transfer your fritters to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Season as you wish with excess cumin and salt. If you'd like, pair your fritters with a tamarind chutney or coconut chutney for dipping.

The next time you'd like a snack that's tasty, filling,versatile and a little different, head to your local Whole Foods or other ethnic grocery store and purchase ingredients to make Indian Vegetable Fritters. You might have just found a snack that you come back to time and time again!

 

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How to Make Sushi Rice

Sushi Rice

Some oriental recipes are exceptionally divine to eat and easy to make. How we eat it, and what we eat it with may affect our overall future meals when eating the everlasting Oriental dish…Sushi Rice.

Here is an easy to follow sushi rice recipe that you can eat with any vegetable, alone, or wrap it in a seaweed sheet. Add uncooked avocado or asparagus bits mixed in adds a quality flavored holiday appetizer. What you will need for the ingredients: 3 cups sushi rice, 3 1/3 cups water, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon dashi, powdered fish stock.

Shopping for Sushi Rice and Wraps

Almost all sushi rice is commonly known to be “hulled” sushi rice, a high quality short grain rice which is lightly sweet and sticky. When you venture off to buy this particular rice, it shouldn’t be mistaken for “glutinous rice” which is another term for the rice being glue-like or sticky.  (Also, not meaning gluten.) Comparably, it is a non-glutinous strain of japonica rice, which is also sticky to some affect.  When shopping for this, it’s best to buy it at an Asian store, and at the same time, asking for it specifically.

Since it is a high quality rice, it will have less broken grains, plus it will almost always have a label stating that it is “Sushi Rice”. This sort of rice is easier to use with chopsticks which makes it all more authentic to eat if you’re not rolling it up in sheets of Japanese seaweed, or “nori”. Kombu seaweed is somewhat the formal name of this.  Wrap Sushi Rice with Kombu seaweed which can be brought frozen, dried, or fresh.  Nori is usually packaged in sheets and can also be bought online or, again, at any Asian market.

Directions for Making Sushi Rice

Place rice into a deep, large bowl. Fill with cold water and rub rice together with hands until the water turns milky white. Pour off the cloudy water, being careful not to pour out the rice. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you can see the rice through 3-inches of water.

You then want to drain the rice in a fine strainer, then place into a saucepan along with kombu and water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Stir together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved in a small bowl, set aside.

Cover, and bring rice to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Scrape rice into a bowl; remove and discard the kombu. Stir in vinegar mixture until well incorporated and no lumps of rice remain. Allow to cool at room temperature.

ADD to NORI: Place sheets of nori seaweed onto the cutting board with the rough side facing up, this helps adhere the nori to the rice and other ingredients.

Spoon the sticky rice onto the center of a sheet of nori and spread it out evenly over the entire sheet with the back of a spoon. Each sheet of nori takes approximately 4 Tbsp. of sticky rice. "O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai”.

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Healthy Afternoon Snack Ideas for Kids

Healthy Snacks for Kids

Modern parents often find that their children prefers candy, chips, and other processed junk food over fruits and vegetables. Sugar addiction is very real and in order to avoid that fate, parents try to instill healthy eating habits in their children. But how can parents make sure their kids eat healthfully if they refuse to eat anything that isn’t loaded with sugar, saturated fat, and empty calories? Fortunately, there’s a trick: you have to “trick” children into eating healthy food that also appeals to their palates and satisfies their taste buds.

Using Fruit For Snacks

For instance, let’s say your young one enjoys eating sweets, just as most children do. Try to introduce them to new fruits that are both high in fructose and vitamins like grapes, oranges, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, etc. The possibilities are endless! But, of course, this is hard to do when your child wants a bowl of ice cream. Fruit smoothies are just as refreshing and yummy. They’re also healthier and quicker to make. Just add all of your child’s favorite fruits and blend them together go give your child a snack that is both nutritious and delicious!

Healthy Junk Food

Fortunately, there are healthy kinds of ice cream, including ones that you can make at your home with as little a plastic bag and ingredients of your choosing. Instead of making the ice cream with whole milk, use milk products such as coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk. Be mindful of the nutritional content, as some plant-based milks are loaded with fructose, the kind of sugar that you find in sodas and candies, and allergens.

Instead of feeding your child a chocolate bar, prepare a healthy snack that is also sweet. Fruits contain glucose, a natural and healthy sugar that bodies digest at a slower rate than fructose. Spread some peanut butter on apple slices for a rich and tasty snack for your little one to enjoy! Ideally, the apples and peanut butter would be organic and GMO-free. If you’d like to jazz it up a bit, sprinkle some cinnamon onto the peanut butter for extra flavor.

Cookies are only as healthy as the ingredients with which they are made. There are a lot of modified recipes that are healthy as well as easy to make! There are healthy cookie recipes out there that require as little as two ingredients. Just add mix a cup of oatmeal with two bananas, space the individual cookies onto the sheet, and bake them for 13 to 15 minutes.

You can even go the extra mile and add toppings that your little one will enjoy. Does your child love cookies with raisins or chocolate? Feel free to add whatever topics you like or, if your child has a sweet tooth, substitute the problem ingredients with healthy options. Perhaps some sugar-free chocolate chips on certain occasions?

Eating should be a positive and healthy activity, not a struggle. Satisfy your child’s nutritional needs and taste preferences at the same time with these enjoyable and easy snack ideas!

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Healthy Party Appetizers

Party Appetizers

Appetizers are delicious, but they can be a pitfall for diets. Trays of cheese, cookies, and candies can make you feel full before a meal and also give you a whole day's worth of calories. If you're throwing a party or dinner for family and friends, you can always add some healthy party appetizers in there. These appetizer ideas are sure to provide lots of taste, nutrients, and minerals without the added sugars and fats from many holiday snacks.

Fruit Kebabs

These are cute, fun, and don't fill you up before a meal. You can use a variety of colorful fruits for these: melons, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, or blueberries are all fair game. Skewer the fruits with kebab sticks and arrange them on a platter. These are also great for kids, who love eating food that's been arranged in a fun way.

Hummus and Pita Bread

This low-calorie Middle Eastern snack provides guests with a serving of vegetables (hummus is made from ground chickpeas) and heart-healthy whole-wheat pita bread. To style it nicely, you can cut the pita bread into little triangles for easy dipping. It's considerably healthier than a traditional chips and salsa appetizer, which contains high-sodium corn chips. You can buy the hummus at a store or make it yourself.

Vegetables and Dip

Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and broccoli are pretty plain on their own, but veggie trays often have calorie-heavy ranch or blue cheese dips in the middle. Instead of opting for a dip with lots of unhealthy fats, you can choose one that's much healthier. Many people opt for a hummus dip, which is a great idea. You can also make your own healthy dip out of ingredients such as avocado, onions, and Greek yogurt. A low-calorie, vegetable-based dip tastes delicious and won't totally wreck your diet for the week.

Sweet Potato Cubes

Labeled a "superfood," sweet potato is both tasty and nutritious. Chop up a sweet potato and cut it into cubes, then drizzle with a mixture of cinnamon, honey, and olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes in the oven and toss with sea salt and a little extra olive oil. You can cut the sweet potato into even smaller cubes and stick a toothpick in it, then place it on a serving tray. It tastes like candy, but doesn't come with the artifical sugars.

Ants on a Log

This is more for the younger set, who are often hesitant to try new foods- especially ones with vegetables in them. Cut stalks of celery and smear peanut butter in them, then arrange raisins to look like little "ants." While it's traditionally a kids' recipe, you can serve this to adults as a tasty reminder of childhood.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Little serving cups of dried cranberries, raisins, and nuts are another delectable option. Nuts provide an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. Make sure you get the unsalted variety, as the salt can add unwanted sodium to the appetizer.

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