Category Archives: doodles

oatmeal hazelnut chocolate chip cookies


i’m scratching my head…why don’t i have this recipe from Judy Rosenberg’s Cookie Book up here? why? when it is one of kids’ top 5 favorite cookies that they eat cookie monster-style? i posted a photo of a variation on instagram and a fellow IG enthusiast requested the recipe. i was about to link her up but it’s nowhere to be found here!
so here it is… the only change i made from the original oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe was to substitute hazelnut flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) for the whole wheat flour.

guaranteed to recruit many fans to your kitchen.

1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsps. hazelnut flour (ground peeled hazelnuts)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cups (2 & 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 & 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tbsps. milk
2 & 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
8 ounces chocolate chips (i use dark, or 60% cacao)

preheat oven to 375 degrees F. line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

sift flours, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. (i just whisk this mixture vigorously until well blended.)

in the mixing bowl, with the mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, both sugars and the vanilla until light and fluffy, 1 & 1/2 minutes. stop the mixer twice to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

add 1 egg and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. scrape the bowl and add the second egg and the milk. beat on medium speed until blended, another 10 seconds. scrape the bowl.

add the flour mixture and blend on low speed until almost incorporated. scrape the bowl. add the oats and blend on medium speed for 10 seconds; once again scrape the bowl.
add the chocolate chips and mix until well blended, about 10-15 seconds. scrape that bowl! 😉

(at this point i prefer to chill the tightly covered cookie dough for
at least 2 hours to firm up a bit. just don’t forget to preheat the oven.)

drop the batter by generously rounded tablespoons into the lined baking sheets 2 inches apart. bake until the edges are golden brown and the centers are lighter in color and just set, about 14 to 16 minute–depending on your oven. (i use the convect feature of the oven.)

cool them on the baking sheets and store in airtight containers.

layer up, it’s cold! or, the coffee jelly.

i made this chilled dessert a couple of weeks ago on a warm weekend. well, it was relatively warm at 50°F, and it was just so wonderful, i vowed to make it again so our daughter could have it when she came home for her spring break vacation. and guess what! it’s a 50°F day again. :)
we rarely see her; with all her school work and busy social calendar, one would think she studies at a university across the continent (she’s only 6 miles away 😛 ).

layers of espresso panna cotta and vanilla panna cotta, with a coffee gelatin in between and as a garnish, i can’t get enough of it! but i do put it away after a couple of bites. really. it was a lot of fun collecting the wine goblets from the charity shop nearby–footed goblets make this dessert really elegant and fancy enough for a special-occasion dinner party.

i’ve made something similar before, something nostalgic, in an improvised version. this is from “Desserts,” by Martha Stewart.

cheers! happy New Year!

we’re still here. this is BaoBao checking in for my human mama. she let 2013 slip by and 2014 splash down, with nary a peep.
grrrowl. i just want to report, she seems ok, though she leaves me at home a lot more. grrrrowl some more. she still makes a big mess in the kitchen, which i hate because the clattering pots and pans make a sound that really makes me run and hide.
when she comes home she smells like chlorine, or she smells like little kids spilled chocolate milk on her sleeves. it must be something to do with her new job.
at least when she plops down on the sofa i get a chance to sit on her lap and stare at her until she gives me my Greenies. droool.

she munches a lot on these maple cinnamon walnuts, i think she thinks they’re healthy. sshhh, i like their scent better than those garlicky peanuts she used to crunch.

honey oatmeal bread

#2son has re-dubbed this “Elvish bread” –remember the bread that Frodo and Sam were given as “baon”(provision) for their mission to Mt.Doom? (J.R.R. Tolkien’s works)
my boy says one bite could fill his tummy and keep him feeling full all day. this was his lunch today, filled with chunky peanut butter, and he’s too full to accept an after-school snack :)

the recipe makes two loaves. after i tucked it in to rise, the dough went up so quickly that i got a bit alarmed that it might spill out into the counter. i could see it growing right before my eyes. i think it must have been the wheat gluten–it must have contributed to the soft fluffiness of its texture. ahh, the sweet, delightful mysteries of bread-making. someday i’ll study the science of it.

the recipe, follows… Continue reading

chicken ballotine, Jacques Pepin’s recipe

chicken ballotine
i watched Jacques Pepin deboning a small chicken on his public tv show, and i was really mesmerized by the chef’s technique. and the result i already know is delicious–having seen a favorite chef post online about her daring challenge. i just had to try it for myself. (i love our Filipino version**, stuffed with meat, but this is a simpler, straightforward yet still bold and tasty stuffing..)
Continue reading

tribute to a bicycle race from Paris to Brest: a choux pastry wreath filled with pastry and whipped creams

this looks really complicated but it really is NOT.
wow that sounds like a bravura statement from me, the one who hasn’t been baking as much as i’d like due to unforeseen circumstances. i miss baking so much that i’ve pushed myself to the brink!
this pastry is something i’ve been wanting to try to make ever since i heard about it from so many TV chefs and so many cookbooks. looking at it closely it’s just a cream puff, reconfigured. just make it in steps, and it won’t be so overwhelming. i think a lot of wanna-be pastry chefs start out with choux pastry–the same one used for cream puffs! as i did when i was in my early teens, ages and aeons ago–because it is so easy to work with.
for this, Paris-Brest wreath with praline cream, first make the pastry cream, then leave to chill in the refrigerator.
pastry cream, chilling
start the almond praline, which is a caramel poured over almonds, then left to cool and harden, before grinding.
almond praline, cooling off
almond praline, powdered
the praline will be blended into the chilled pastry cream.
make and form the choux pastry while still warm. can you tell i’m not an expert at piping anything? i kind of groan at the mess. i think i don’t like that there’s a lot of batter left in the plastic bag! i’m OCD like that….
choux pastry wreath
bake and cool, then split the wreath horizontally, scrape off excess dough, then fill with praline cream and whipped cream.
Paris Brest, not too elegant
“Suddenly feel like screen goddess in manner of Grace Kelly…
… though perhaps ever so slightly less elegant under pressure.”
–“Bridget Jones’ Diary,” Helen Fielding.

here are my cream puffs, and i always gladly share the recipe if anyone is interested.

nostalgic for summer, already: our summer coolers 2013

wait, is summer over?
it sure feels cool around here, and i keep overhearing people grumbling that summer season has ended. hope not! if it is, then it sure was a short one. we did have a ten-day-or-so stretch of a heatwave and we scrambled for ways to keep cool.

raspberry cheesecake bites
raspberry cheesecake bites: bake cheesecake (with shortbread cookie crust) in a loaf pan then top and cool with raspberry gelee topping, and cut into little squares.
avocado with sweet milk
this always gives the uninitiated quite a shock: avocado with sweet condensed milk! yes, sweet avocado.
thirst quencher, root beer float
pretty burgers all in a row
outdoor dining at the shake shack: we wanted to check out all the hullaballoo, with a rootbeer float and burgers and fries. verdict: it was just fine, though pricey and…”i’ve had better,” quoting a line from “Liar, Liar” heehee
coffee espresso chip
our favorite ice cream flavor this season: coffee espresso chip
summer beers
sampled a few new summer ales…
Switchback ale
some on a pleasant log cabin in Vermont.

grilled outdoors….
grilled "maskara" and an ear :)
and when it rained, grilled indoors.

tabletop grilling
grilled meat in lettuce and rice-paper wraps with Korean hot sauce.

i am doing an equivalent of a sun dance, praying for more sunny hot days as i browse through my grilling cookbooks and ice cream maker recipes. please don’t let summer be over.

Do You Need That? Common Food Prep Equipment

When opening a restaurant, it can be tempting to want to stock your kitchen with every piece of equipment and gadget available. However, depending on the types of food and beverages you’re serving, you might not need one of everything. You can find information on the newest food preparation equipment at Read on to learn more about common food preparation equipment.


What they do: Blenders are great for handling a variety of beverages and foods at a high volume and quick pace. Smoothies, cocktails, soups, sauces and purees are all made possible by the humble blender.

Do you need one? Probably. Virtually every type of restaurant serves a variety of menu items that require the use of a blender.

Immersion Blenders

What they do: Immersion blenders can be used to blend food in any container and can have a variety of attachments for different types of mixing.

Do you need one? Yes, especially if you don’t have a blender.


What they do: Just what the name says – mix ingredients together. Mixers are ideal for large volumes of food and are a must for baking.

Do you need one? Yes, the only question is how big do you need your mixer to be?

Slicers & Grinders

What they do: These handy devices grind meat, and slice cheeses and meats.

Do you need one? If you are a deli or serve sandwiches, yes. Meat grinders are also ideal for restaurants that serve burgers or that make their own sausages.

Food Processors

What they do: Everything. These machines are the all-purpose, go-to devices of any professional kitchen. Food processors mix and puree, grind and chop, and will do so at high volume.

Do you need one? Probably. Unless you choose to use more specialized equipment, having a food processor is a convenient way to have the capabilities of multiple tools in one piece of machinery.

barbeque days: rack of lamb

today the heatwave broke, and though it is a huge relief, we did enjoy many grilled meals outdoors. we don’t have central airconditioning (not very practical for a 117 year old house, in the Northeast U.S., where it’s really warm, maybe 2 weeks a year?) so we have window units here and there. even so, boiling water for our corn on the cob and potatoes for salad, raised the indoor temps to the 90’s! wooh. so we cooked out doors.
one of my favorites to grill is Frenched rack of lamb. ooh, the very thought of it right now is making my tummy growl.
i was able to recruit #2son to try a rib–yehey, he liked it! now there’s three of us in the lamb-chop-chomping team!

i just marinated it in olive oil, soy, Maggi seasoning, lemon zest, crushed garlic, rosemary leaves and peppercorns. (individual lamb chops would work too, just watch carefully so they don’t scorch too quickly.) rub the mixture really well on to the meat, and grill for about 3 to 4 minutes each side. transfer to a serving dish and cover with foil, then let it rest at least 5 minutes. serve with a drizzle of lemon juice.

i recruited my daughter with grilled lamb shoulder chops.