June 16, 2016

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

What to do when your garden is overflowing with beautiful, ripe tomatoes and basil?  Why make this soup of course.  Store bought tomatoes also work in this  soup.  Now, you won't catch me eating a raw tomato from the store.  It just doesn't taste the same.  I think all types work in this soup, garden, roma, grape and cherry.
     The only thing missing from this picture is a gooey grilled cheese sandwich.
Roasting the tomatoes, onions and garlic give them extra flavor. 

An immersion blender is definitely your friend with this soup.  You could use a regular blender but be careful not to burn yourself.

  • 1 1/2 lb roma tomatoes or any garden tomato, halved
  • 1/2 - 1lb cherry tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • approx 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15-20 basil leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, whole
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1.  Preheat oven to 425°.  Place tomatoes on baking sheet and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place onions and garlic on separate baking sheet lined with foil.  It makes clean up easier.  Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes.  Keep checking, the onions will be done before the tomatoes.  Look for golden edges.  Remove from oven and peel skins away from tomatoes.  Don't skip this step or you'll have weird textures in the soup.
  3. Throw all veggies in a large pot with the chicken broth and basil.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  
  4. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Season to taste and serve warm.  I like to add a splash of cream to my bowl.

* makes about 3-4 servings.
Eat and enjoy

June 3, 2016

Jacques Torres Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookies recipe has some unusual, not in every kitchen flours but it is worth the extra cost and refrigerator space.  I store my flour in the refrigerator.  I find the flour stays fresh longer.  These cookies are thick and chewy but has crispy edges.  According to "Mr. Chocolate" himself, the low gluten in the pastry flour combined with the high gluten in the bread flour makes the perfect textured cookie.  I must say that this is our household fav cookie!  I hope you like it too.
Always bring your cold items to room temperature (eggs, butter, flour etc.)  Now, I used 11 oz bag of ghirardelli milk chocolate chips and 5 oz of semi sweet ghirardelli chocolate chips.  You can let your freak flag fly as high as you want.  I like bittersweet, semi sweet and milk chocolate chips.  You can buy chocolate bars and chopped it yourself ( more work for you).  I've even done M&M's and snowcaps.  You can add pecans or any other nut.  I've seen pretzel pieces added to cookie dough.  I prefer a plain jane, nothing but chocolate, chocolate chip cookie.
 Look at that yummy dough!  Now, it is recommended to refrigerate dough for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours.  Who wants to wait that long for cookies???  I baked them right away and the cookies came out perfect. Don't forget to leave enough space in between each cookie for spreading does occur.
 Once cookies are out of the oven let cool for a few minutes in pan on a rack.  Then remove from pan and place directly on cooling rack until cool enough for storage.
I like to each my cookie with a large glass of milk in front of the TV.
Eat and enjoy!


  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 16 oz your fav chocolate combo (mine is milk and semi sweet)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  In a separate bowl, combine flours, soda, salt and baking powder.  Whisk together and set aside.
  2. In your mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and vanilla.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients  Don't over mix or you will end up with hockey pucks!
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.  Scoop cookies onto baking sheets.  I like a medium size cookies scoop but you can use a tablespoon.  
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.  Longer or shorter baking times for bigger or smaller cookies.  
* recipe make roughly 30 medium size cookies