Monday, March 21, 2011

the knife that changed my life

Ok, so that's a bit dramatic, but holy crap, this knife is amazing! My parents continued their tradition of amazing Christmas gifts, and this was one of them. They somehow always find the most amazing kitchen utilities. This knife says it's a tomato knife, but I use it for everything. It makes the perfect paper thin slices of anything—strawberries, yams, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. This is my absolutely go-to knife. They hand grind each knife, and all the materials are sourced and made in the good 'ole US of A. The wood is Virginia birch wood (my Grandpa would have loved that). You can find out more about the process here. Anyway, I can't wax poetic about this knife enough. If you are looking for a great go-to knife, hit this baby up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm back to my full-time life in just one city every week. It's amazing how having weeknights to run errands and get stuff done feels like such a luxury. I started a new job at a rad Ad Agency that's only a mile from my place. Having a short commute after traveling across 2 states every week and before that, driving about 45 minutes each way is the dreamiest. Anyway, starting at a new job can always be a little daunting and since it's been so long since I've started a brand new job, I was extra nervous. I decided if I couldn't win people over with my "sparkling personality", I could try to win them over with cookies. So far, this cunning plan seems to be working. It must be because this recipe is so legit. My oldest sister sent this to me a while ago, raving about it. Since I'm always looking for and collecting good recipes, I get a little overwhelmed with all the options, thankfully my good friend Rachel was over she helped me narrow down the selection to these. She also helped me with this mini shoot for the cookies. Thanks, Rach! These are moist deluxe with all the coconut and the perfect amount of chewy vs. crispy. I suggest you try them if you are trying to bribe people to like you—or just for your stomach to like you. (Also, my sister said to make the recipe exactly as listed, I only made one change out of necessity, but this recipe really doesn't need to be tweaked at all).

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
Cream until fluffy.
2 eggs, beating in one at a time
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Mix well and add:
2 2/3 cup 
coconut (yes, you read that correctly)
1 cup semi sweet 
chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk 
chocolate chips (**I didn't have any, so I did all semi-sweet -- sorry sis!)

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

**I don't know the original source of the recipe, but my hat is tipped to whoever out there made this happen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

chocolate dipped macaroons

These just might be the easiest thing I've ever made. And that's not just cause my Mama helped me. Anyone could make these—in a very short amount of time, and with only 3 ingredients to boot (plus the dipping chocolate, if you so choose). We made these and the ever delightful Peanut Butter Bon Bons (or Buckeyes, as my Dad prefers to call them) within the space of a few hours. So, hold on to your seats, cause I'm about to blow your mind by dropping this easy/delicious/fast knowledge on you...
5 cups coconut (that's just over one normal sized bag)
1/3 cup flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix coconut and flour together. Add milk, mix and drop in spoonfuls (we used a medium sized cookie scoop, which worked like a dream) onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 325° or until lightly browned.

After they cooled, we dipped half each cookie halfway into melted dipping chocolate. (A tip I just learned from Mama King: make sure the chocolate doesn't reach much higher than a melted lukewarm, otherwise it will get unruly on you)

**I do not know the recipe source, except that my Dad's ex-girlfriend from high school sent it to my Mom. I know that totally sounds weird, but I won't question the raddness of this.