Monday, December 23, 2013

Mouth Watering Mac & Cheese | Sinful Chocolate Chip Cookies

A few weeks ago, when we had thought winter was here to stay, I got in a comfort food mood and made two of my finest masterpieces (read: really good dishes).

Mouth Watering Mac & Cheese
My mom makes a delicious mac & cheese and I almost never make it, which means that often times i end up CRAVING mac and cheese like a crazy person. However, I've often deviated from my mom's recipe and experimented with adding bacon, veggies and other cheeses.  Here I used Ina Garten's grown up Mac & Cheese Recipe, which can be found on the Food Network, here.  However, I made a few substitutions, since I had a ton of really good VT cheddar from the Cheese and Wine Shop in Hoboken, I used that and a little mozzerella to equal 8-9 oz of cheese and I topped it with panko bread crumbs.  Also I used crispy bacon and roasted brussel sprouts in the recipe.  I love roasted brussel sprouts.  I started by roasting the sprouts with EVOO and S&P for 20-25 minutes until cripsy.  I like them almost burnt.  Then I fried 6-8 strips of bacon.  Then I made the cheese sauce (as per Ina's directions except with the Cheddar and Mozz instead of the other cheeses she uses) and cooked the pasta and mixed everything in one big bowl and then I put it in a big dish and cooked, according to directions about 40 minutes. 

Awesome mac & cheese with bacon, brussel sprouts and cheddar. Oh boy!

Sinfully Delicious Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

The HGTV/Food Network stars seemed to be my inspiration for cooking these days.  I follow David Bromstad of HGTV on Twitter and when he posted this cookie recipe to twitter it was too much not to make them.  And then when my better half and his brother were off to the Giants game in the cold, it seemed like an even better idea. Once again, I made some changes to this recipe but otherwise followed exactly.  My edits:  instead of 3 tbsp of salt I used 2 tbsp of regular salt and 1 tbsp fleur de sel, or a hand harvested sea salt I got in the Cheese and Wine Shop (that place is great!) and instead of 2.5 cups of choc chips, I used 1.5 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch chips so you can got a sweetness, chocolately, saltiness that was delicious. I am a huge fan of salted caramel so this was right up my ally.  The only thing to note with these cookies is they get huge so put lots of space between them.  Enjoy! Here's David's Recipe.

Here’s my famous Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe! (from David Bromstad) They disappeared too fast for a picture, but make them!
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
3tsp salt - I used 2 reg and 1 Fleur de Sel
1 cup unsalted butter-2 sticks at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips - I used a combo of butterscotch and chocolate
I like my cookies crispy so I cook them at a lower temp. For regular cookies cook at 375 degrees until golden brown.
I like to cook at 325 degrees and let those babies marinate in perfection! They will be crispy. I don’t have a specific time but when I see the tops getting golden brown I pull them. Let them set for a few min, put on a cooling rack and eat the crap out of them!

Enjoy the holidays - Pasta & Powersquats and see you in the gym on Dec. 31st!!!  

A little view of our Xmas Card!