Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Averie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I want to be this girl, Averie.  I have a love/hate relationship with her because I LOVE her recipes but I hate that I lose all self control! :)  It is a miracle I have not blogged about this recipe.  It is my favorite BY FAR.  I've made about 10 batches since I moved here.  They are highly approved from all visitors and Hunter's office.  I even shipped them to the home office.

A couple things stand out in this recipe:
1.  Pudding Mix
2. Refrigeration of dough required
3.  They are MASSIVE
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free and not 'cook & serve')
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 bag (10 oz) Trader Joe's chocolate chunks
I've tried different chocolate chips but these by far are the best.  I stock up on these.
I've been meaning to post a picture of the butter here.  I first saw the small bars when I moved out here.  They are squatty but the same measurements of the long sticks back home.
This discovery is from the farmer's market (I am obsessed).  You can see the vanilla bean specs in the cookies because of it.
In your mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the wet ingredients (first paragraph) for 4 minutes on med-high speed. 
Scrape the sides.
Add dry ingredients on low until just combined (about 1 min).
Add the chocolate until just combined (30 seconds). 

This is how large the cookies should be.  I use my 1/4 measuring cup. 

They make 14 cookies (ok, i ate one).  Do not be confused.  Be accurate.
When you place them on the tray, flatten them a bit.  They do not spread when baking.  

You will them cover with plastic wrap and put in the frig for at least 4 hours.

They bake at 350 for 11 minutes.  Let them cool on the pan.

I believe they are best the next day...if you can wait that long.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Favorite Waffle Recipe

Our favorite impulse wedding giftcard purchase was a Calphalon waffle iron.   Our fav time to use it is a lazy Saturday morning.  I make the waffles while Hunter cooks the bacon.  We've made several recipes but to this date, this is our favorite.

*Our favorite requires a little more work (of course) but a good backup recipe with pantry ingredients can be found here.

The name of the recipe:

Waffles of Insane Greatness
333 reviews and 5 stars...I knew it must be good!


3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil  (I will try less!)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


I use my mixer...

Mix the dry ingredients - flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix. 

Add the egg, milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix again. 

*Important: Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.  (Some say beat the egg white first but I couldn't tell a difference for the effort.)

Preheat the waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. (This is part of why I love this recipe!) 

Notice the steam - I keep the setting one notch past the medium setting.
The recipe makes the two large waffles above.  It is perfect for the two of us but you can easily double it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shrimp Scampi With Roasted Peppers and Spinach

This is one of my top 5 recipes and... it was a Publix Apron recipe I found on a trip to the grocery after work one day.  It's a great way to sneak in some veggies.  Like many recipes, we eat this for 2 nights (woo hoo).  I don't always measure exactly with this recipe and that is ok.

Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach
(altered just SLIGHTLY from the Publix website)


3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (before we discovered the Boise market I would use the jarred

minced garlic)
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
8 oz linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
12 oz peeled/deveined shrimp, thawed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (or stock)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I reduced it from 3 - it's not needed although it does take
 some bite out of the kick if you choose to do all 3 T.)
4 cups baby spinach leaves (6 oz)


  • Bring water to boil for pasta.
  • Slice garlic.
  • Chop peppers.
  • Grate cheese (1/3 cup).
*Most of the work is prep.  Be sure you have it all ready because once you start, it goes fast!  
In fact, I line my ingredients up for this one and it is done start to end in 15 minutes.


*It is also good to note this has kick.  So if you want less kick lessen the spicy peppers or red 

pepper flakes.

  1. Cook and drain pasta following package instructions.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan (we use our lovely new wedding gift!) on medium 1–2 minutes. 
  3. Place oil and garlic in pan; cook 3–4 minutes or until the garlic edges begin to turn golden.
  4. Add peppers, shrimp, pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook and stir 1 min.
  5. Add broth; cook 2–3 minutes or until reduced by about one-half and shrimp have just turned pink
  6. (It never reduces that quick for me but I like liquid so I am ok with it.)
  7. Reduce heat to low; stir in butter, spinach, cheese, pasta, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. 
  8. Toss until butter and cheese melts and spinach wilts. Serve.

This garlic is "polish gem."  I will take a picture of the sweet garlic farmers next time we go.  
They have quite a selection.  I never knew there were so many types.  Spanish rojo is another one of our favs.

Trader Joes made up for the Publix loss.  I am addicted to these peppers. I stuff them with blue cheese for snack!
  I use about 6 for the recipe. 

This is a Fred Meyer find.  If you know me and shrimp, you know I am picky where my shrimp comes from.  
No Thailand farmed shrimp for me.  Blame it on a movie I watched re: food in grad school.  
This bag of shrimp retails (its been on sale) for $4.  I kid you not.  Thank you, Fred Meyer.

I like to chop the spinach up in smaller pieces if they are large leaves so it is spread out further and 
I don't notice I am eating leaves (I am weird like that).

Isn't it a beautiful dish?!