Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are lovely chocolate chips cookies bursting with cherries with a slight orange twist. My family and I (mainly me) are eating a cookie per day for dessert. I’ve been seriously addicted to cookies ever since eating a lactation cookie daily after giving birth. These cookies are festive and especially nice to enjoy for the holidays! We had them for dessert for Thanksgiving! 😊

Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1.75 cup or 3 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Boil cherries and orange juice in a pot and cook until most of the juice has evaporated. Set aside and let it completely cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the middle. Lay enough parchment paper to cover baking tray.
  3. In an electric mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until completely blended. Add eggs and vanilla extract then mix until incorporated. It should look creamy.
  4. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and mix well until there are no more flour streaks. Gently stir in chocolate chips and boiled cherries.
  5. Gently make golf sized balls from the dough and spread out the dough so they’re not too close to each other on the baking tray.
  6. Bake the cookies for 13 minutes or until they’re a light golden color. Let them cool completely and enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I prefer to cook for several reasons including knowing what ingredients go in my food, the food is fresh, tastier, and healthier, my love for delicious food, and it’s a form of both art and science. For some reason, I thought that I would need to buy my gluten free bread or sweets from a gluten free bakery because it would be too difficult to make a delicious gluten free sweet on my own. I was happily proven wrong and it’s really not much different at all to make gluten free food.

 It’s difficult to replicate the same texture and taste when you replace flour with an alternative like almond flour. However, if you replace flour with measure to measure gluten free flour like from the King Arthur brand it’s ridiculously easy and you don’t have to look for new recipes! I am not sponsored by any brands or received anything but am just speaking from my own honest opinion. I happened to find the flour at Costco and loved it! It was a double win! Here’s the recipe to one of my favorite gluten free cookies! 😊

Yield: 12 large cookies
Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup gluten free measure for measure flour (You can use all-purpose flour for cookies with gluten)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F with racks in the middle.
  2. Lay enough parchment paper to cover baking tray.
  3. In an electric mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until completely blended. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract then mix until incorporated. It should look creamy.
  4. Add flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix well until there are no more flour streaks. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Gently make golf sized balls from the dough and spread out the dough so they’re not too close to each other on the baking tray.
  6. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes or until they’re a light golden color. Let them cool completely and enjoy!

Authentic Italian Pizzas

We had a pizza making class held at our house. The instructor is very passionate about food and took several cooking classes. He lived in Rome, Italy for a few months just to take a cooking course on how to make pizza in Italian. Thankfully, he did not need to be fluent in the language to learn how to cook but he took a lot of notes and filled in the gaps by asking his classmates while treating them to coffee or lunch. He took the time to teach us how to make an authentic Italian pizza and what different toppings we could use.

 I’ve never eaten so many pizzas in one day! They were all very delicious! He used very general ingredients that are easy to obtain but also taught us what ingredients we could use to make the pizza authentic and even more delicious. Some ingredients include mozzarella cheese from buffalo milk, fresh tomatoes, fine 00 flour, and salsiccia (Italian sausage.) It also helps to have an oven that can go up to 550°F and using a pizza stone. The instructions are not as precise with measurements as my usual recipes. The instructor would use his judgement when sprinkling herbs or placing toppings. In general, I would sprinkle about ½ to 1 tsp for each herb such as basil or oregano.  Here’s to enjoying more delicious Italian food! 😊

Freshly grated parmigiano cheese for the margherita pizza.
Pasting sausage meat for the Salsiccia et Broccoli pizza.
Salsiccia et Broccoli pizza before adding the broccoli.
Adding freshly grated parmigiano cheese for the Salsiccia et Broccoli pizza.

Time: 12 hours + 30 minutes
Yield: 5-6 small-medium pizzas

Essential Ingredients

  • Grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 28 oz of peeled tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parmigiano cheese
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground pepper

Ingredients for pizza dough

  • 27 oz very cold water (from the fridge)
  • 2.86 lb flour (00 flour or bread flour or all purpose), shifted through mesh
  • 10 g active yeast
  • 20 g salt
  • 16 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp bean powder

Ingredients for toppings (suggestions)

  • White mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • Prosciutto, sliced
  • Salsiccia et Broccoli (Sausage and Broccoli): 1 lb of salsiccia or ground beef or pork, pinch of salt, ¼ tsp pepper flakes, ground pepper to taste, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, ½ lb broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

Instructions for preparation

  1. Mix active yeast in a small bowl of warm (not hot) water.
  2. Put about 80% of the cold water in a large mixing bowl. Mix in all of flour and bean flour. Mix in the yeast mixture. Mix in salt and olive oil. Mix in the remaining 20% of cold water and knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Loosely wrap the bowl and let it rise for 12 hours at around 80.6°F.
  4. Prepare the tomato sauce by blending canned tomatoes, pinch of salt, and 1 TBSP olive oil. Let the flavors blend in the fridge for 12 hours.

Instructions for Toppings

  • If preparing mushrooms for toppings, spread the sliced mushrooms and let it air dry overnight or 12 hours.
  • If preparing Salsiccia et Broccoli pizza then mix salsiccia or ground beef or pork, salt, pepper flakes, basil, oregano, and pepper together. Slightly boil broccoli florets in a pot of salted water.

Instructions for making the pizza base & different toppings

  1. Preheat the oven to 550°F.
  2. Coat the pizza pan with oil.
  3. Spread flour on working area and keep adding flour as needed. Divide the dough by 200-250 grams.
  4. Knead and spread the dough using a rolling pin. Try not to overwork the dough. Place the dough in the pizza pan. Make the outer rim a little higher so that the sauce does not overflow. Make small holes (that does not pierce through the dough) using a dough roller or fork all over the dough surface.
  5. Bake for 3-5 minutes depending on the oven until partially cooked.
  6. Let it cool for another 3-5 minutes.
  7. For a margherita pizza: Spread oil on the base of the pizza. Use a small ladle to scoop tomato sauce and spread the sauce on the pizza. Add enough shredded mozzarella cheese to cover the pizza. Sprinkle basil leaf on top. Bake pizza for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza and grate parmigiano cheese on top. Serve immediately.
  8. For a mushroom pizza: Spread oil on the base of the pizza. Use a small ladle to scoop tomato sauce and spread the sauce on the pizza. Spread mushroom slices and add enough shredded mozzarella cheese to cover the pizza. Sprinkle basil leaf on top. Bake pizza for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza and grate parmigiano cheese on top. Serve immediately.
  9. For prosciutto pizza: Spread oil on the base of the pizza. Use a small ladle to scoop tomato sauce and spread the sauce on the pizza. Rip two slices of prosciutto into bite size pieces and spread. Add enough shredded mozzarella cheese to cover the pizza. Sprinkle basil leaf on top. Bake pizza for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza and grate parmigiano cheese on top. Serve immediately.
  10. For Salsiccia et Broccoli pizza (no tomato sauce): Spread oil on the base of the pizza. Rip bite sized pieces of the prepared meat and gently paste onto the pizza base. Spread the broccoli florets. Sprinkle garlic powder, black pepper, and oregano. Add enough shredded mozzarella cheese to cover the pizza. Sprinkle basil leaf on top. Bake pizza for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle olive oil on top of the pizza and grate parmigiano cheese on top. Serve immediately.

Apple Cider Bundt Cake

For most people, Fall is about pumpkins and apples. I love drinking a nice cup of apple cider along with eating piping hot fresh apple cider donuts. Our family buys a whole gallon of Honeycrisp apple cider (our favorite apple!) every Fall. This Apple Cider Bundt Cake is a great snack or dessert to enjoy during the Fall season especially with its warm spices and lovely apple taste. You can compliment a slice of apple cider cake with a warm cup of apple cider, hot chocolate, or tea. Warm large sweaters, a comfortable blanket, and a good book also makes a nice addition! 😊

Yield: 1 Large Bundt Cake
Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 container of 4 oz apple sauce
  • 2 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup apple cider

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg) together well and set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low speed. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in vanilla extract and apple sauce.
  4. Alternate stirring in flour mixture and apple cider in 3 separate batches. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Pour batter into bundt pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Let the cake completely cool and enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almond Flour

I’ve been trying to eat less gluten by trying an elimination diet due to health reasons. It’s been a really difficult and slow process as I love baked goods! I’ve visited some gluten free bakeries in the area and tried to bake my own goods with almond flour. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as the fluffy bread I grew up with but I’m really trying to improve my health. The first gluten free recipe that I tried was chocolate chip cookies like the first recipe I posted on this website! It’s surprisingly fluffy for a cookie but I think it’s tastier than the baked goods I’ve tried at the gluten free bakeries and a lot cheaper!

Yield: 12 cookies
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the middle. Spread enough parchment paper to cover a baking tray.
  2. In an electric mixer, mix butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until creamy.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until well combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop and form dough into 12 small balls and gently flatten.
  6. Bake the cookies for 9 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let it cool and enjoy!