Chocolate Chip Cookies: the Experiment

I love Matt’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you’ve never had them, you can get them at most co-ops or where organic foods are sold. A year or two ago I decided to try to duplicate their soft texture and subtle sweetness. It couldn’t be too hard considering one can actually read the ingredient list. The main substitutions I determined I would need from my regular Toll House recipe were soybean oil and wheat flour. Well, I wasn’t quite able to reproduce Matt’s cookies to my liking (until recently…but that’s a story for another blog post), but I was able to make some darn tasty cookies with similar ingredients.

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Here’s my recipe and technique: Continue reading

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Bucky Balls, Power Balls and Energy Orbs

I’ve been reading Crystal and Ryan’s blog, Cafe Cyan, ever since Crystal commented on one of my posts long ago, I checked out her site and thought, “pictures of food! Sweet!”. Well, the other day I came across their post about energy orbs and was curiously intrigued.

I’ve never really had the pleasure of eating dates much so I was a little hesitant about the ingredients, but they looked so yummy and seemed highly recommended so I decided to give them a shot and googled for the recipe and found it on Compassionate Consumption. She likes to call them “Bucky Balls”. I like that name better too, geeky AND tasty! Dave has taken to calling them Power Balls, just like the lottery!

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I’ve included the recipe with my comments and additions: Continue reading

Chicken Curry

As an honorary Indian by marriage and daughter-in-law of someone who makes a mean chicken curry, I have long felt it is a skill I should have. I quickly realized that being taught by someone who has made it thousands of times over the years is not an easy feat. The instructions tend to include phrases like, “a little bit of this” and “some of that”. Nevertheless, for a few years now I have attempted to make chicken curry again and again by trying to reproduce what I had observed and simply experimenting with small changes. It never turned out bad, per se, just not quite good. I’d rate most of my attempts somewhere in the range of “edible”.

Finally, I decided to go the route I usually do when I taste something I like and want to make it at home. I googled it. Now, there are tons of ways to make it, but luckily enough I found a spectacular recipe for chicken curry right away. I’ve modified it slightly according to my tastes and the ingredients I keep in my kitchen: Continue reading

Makin’ Hobee’s Hashbrowns at Home

Ever since Al got Dave and I hooked on Hobee’s when he took us to the Cupertino location about a year ago, we’ve been there more than any other restaurant here and we’ve got half the Hobee’s breakfast menu on reviewsby.us to prove it. We now know that there are locations all over the bay area, including one within walking distance of our apartment. Because we moved into our place about a week before the moving truck arrived, we had nothing in our kitchen for cooking. Therefore, we’d walk down to Hobee’s every morning and I would usually try some variation of their hashbrowns, which are really more like American fries or just simply fried potatoes.

One morning I woke up with a craving for some Hobee’s browns and realized that not only would they be easy to prepare myself, but that I already had all the ingredients I would need. So here’s what I did: Continue reading

Polvorones

When I was living in Spain I used to walk down the narrow callejón away from my school and go to the neighborhood market for snacks. One wonderful day I discovered polvorones. Once I had them I couldn’t get enough and had to force myself not to buy them every day. Everything about them was appealing. From the blue and white wrapper with the twisted ends to the powdery texture they held even after I had crushed them firmly in my hand. I never knew what they were made of, but I loved their nutty flavor and the way they melted in my mouth.

One afternoon during siesta, after weeks of denying myself my favorite sweet, I ventured to the corner market and asked the always-friendly woman who worked there where I could find the polvorones. Sadly, she told me they were only available during las navidades. Disappointed that I’d missed my chance to buy up as many as possible and too shy to ask if she knew how to make them, I walked back to my school. I always kept them at the back of my mind and even found them once again during a trip to Madrid when I ventured into a candy shop, just the kind of place to have something that’s normally only available during los navidades. They weren’t exactly the same, but close enough to make me smile.

I’d nearly forgotten about polverones and even since I’ve become more culinarily inclined, it never occurred to me to try to find a recipe. Who could imagine my surprise when I made cookies recently for a cookie share without even thinking about the name, polvorones de avellanas, and noticed that they tasted remarkably like the polvorones I remembered! Continue reading