WS_NewBasic2_ChocChipCookie-015-2 2

The PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

Complaining about the status of the cookie industry in Melbourne (Butterbings aside) is a hobby of mine. “Ugh! Even the middle is hard” and “They add too many chips to disguise the flavourless dough” and  “Well, you may have to settle for a Subway cookie” are a few of the things I hear myself saying over and over again.

I complain because I love. I love cookies.
They are the best dessert.
That is fact and I rather not argue about it.

Some would say I was cookie-spoiled by New York City. They’ve got Ovenly and Milk Bar and Insomnia Cookies and Levain Bakery. Even Two Hands knows what’s up. By the time I moved to Melbourne, I was an outright and aggressive cookie snob and I did not apologise for it.

It wasn’t anger that drove me in the beginning. I waited patiently thinking surely something will open soon. It’s now 6 years on and nothing. Again, I will mention Butterbings because they are amazing but I’m talking about the simple chocolate chip cookie we all know and love.

(This brings me to the mystery disappearance of the cinnamon and glazed donut but I will spare you that rant until I can commit to a full investigation.)

The truth, as is always the case, is that this annoyance comes from within. I’m not mad at the Melbourne Cookie Industry. I’m mad at myself. I can’t bake cookies to save my life. Or my husband’s life. Or my dog’s. I’m basically responsible for the death of my entire family.

I’ve tried for years. YEARS! I have an entire Pinterest board basically dedicated to cookie recipes. But I am not a patient baker, no. I’m no baker at all. I am someone that lives and eats in the now. The concept of starting on cookies today to eat them tomorrow is exhausting.

Life changed dramatically when I found the recipe below on William Sonoma. It takes 30 minutes max, and even if you get measurements wrong and blend things in the wrong order you get a perfect result. I don’t get chemistry enough to understand why this cookie beats all others when it basically contains the same (or less) ingredients and instructions as every other one, but I will no longer question it.

Let us enjoy and rejoice, friends! Maybe if I bake hard enough I’ll be the one to finally open up that cookie cafe Melbourne had desperately been waiting for.

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hedgehog slice

Best Dish: Lucinda’s Hedgehog Slice

What to serve for dessert was one of those topics during wedding planning that we put off dealing with purely because we just didn’t have the answer. The scene of a bride and groom tightly holding a knife with all four hands and looking into each other’s eyes as they gently push down to cut into their all-white wedding cake is incredibly lovely, especially when they then take pieces from said cake, feed them to each other and miss, but laugh about it. Awwww – it’s an incredible moment! But that was just so not us.

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Pesto Orecchiette Chicken Sausage

A real simple Pesto Orecchiette Lamb Sausage recipe

Pesto Orecchiette Chicken Sausage

Pesto Orecchiette Chicken Sausage

Nothing makes me feel more like an adult than finding, and then perfectly executing, an easy recipe that not only impresses with its good looks but also tastes delicious. The first time I made this recipe I thought I got lucky – it was so easy to make it taste so good. On my second try, I made this recipe quicker than the first time and accused myself of cheating. By the third go, I knew this recipe was one for the books!

In fact,  pronouncing the word “orecchiette” was the only hard part about this dish.

Also, can we just talk about frozen peas? Before this recipe, I wouldn’t touch the things. But now I’m obsessed. I add them to everything because they are so convenient and easy. I love easy, can you tell?

Pesto Orecchiette Lamb Sausage 
Adapted from Real Simple, by Charlyne Mattox

Side notes:
1) I almost didn’t make this because I had never heard of “orecchiette”. I found it at The Vegetable Connection on Brunswick Street but now I spot it in every single supermarket. 2) With recipes, 88% of the time I change a thing or five in the steps and/or ingredients section. With this recipe, I only changed quantities to make enough for two. 3) Charlyne’s original recipe is made with chicken sausage but I had lamb sausage sitting willing and able in the fridge.

Serves fours

1/2 bag (225g) of Orecchiette
10 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch piece
1/2 cup frozen peas
tablespoon olive oil
ounces fully cooked Italian-style lamb sausage links, thinly sliced
Pesto, to taste/preference
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or as much as you like!)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetable and return them to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the sausage, pesto, parmesan and some of reserve cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (ass more cooking as needed to loosen the sauce).

Dear Salmon,

Salmon

I have to admit that I am not one those people who like you based solely on your health benefits. I love you for you, and I have for a long time. I was that weird girl middle school, with terrible curly bleached hair, politely answering back to her mom, “Yes, mama. I will have the wild atlantic salmon tonight and I will have the skin extra crispy. Please and thank you.”

See, I’ve always loved the way you taste. You are strong and poignant, in a class of your own. I even like the way my house smells of you for at least 24 hours after I’ve pan-fried you to perfection. The thing is though, I’ve only ever made you two ways: pan fried or oven baked, always with salt and pepper.

It’s my own fault, but I’m afraid our relationship has gotten, dare I say it, a bit boring. I began wasting minutes in the fish section of my grocery store looking down at you, sitting there next to the dull colored trout, trying to come up with exciting ways to reignite sparks in our relationship. So I did what any woman would do in my position: I went on Pinterest. Within three minutes I came across a recipe to caramelize you. I didn’t read the recipe the whole way through. I was too excited. As soon as I read that there were only three ingredients, all of which already took up residence in my cupboard, I closed my laptop and got to work.

You don’t need to be scared, you only have to keep being yourself. I’m only adding one additional ingredient to spice up our relationship: Brown sugar. And that’s only because you’re so sweet. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be flirting. I have a husband now.

No, Salmon. I’m not trying to change you. Just think of the brown sugar as self tanning lotion. Everyone looks better with a little of a tan and Summer is just around the corner.

Love ya,
B

 

 How To Caramelize Salmon
(for amateurs)

Caramelized Salmon

Caramelized Salmon

Caramelized Salmon

Caramelized Salmon

Caramelized Salmon

 

This is too easy! So easy that I’m probably doing something wrong, but! it tastes so good that I don’t care. I’ve always wanted to experiment with my cooking but end up talking myself into sticking with what I already know because recipes seem to hard or too involved. This is such an easy way to change things up!

What you’ll need:
2 fillets of Salmon, skin on is my preference
Brown sugar
Salt
Pepper
A pan
A simple side salad

Lay the salmon flat and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Then, rub brown sugar into both sides of the salmon with your hands.Let the salmon sit for a bit until the sugar starts to melt and create a dark coating. Place your pan over medium heat with a little oil on it. Rub the coating into the salmon a little more and you’re ready. Then, pan fry the salmon for about 3 minutes on each side, twice. (I like my salmon well-done.)

The sugar coating will begin to bubble on the pan. That’s totally normal. I like to run the salmon through the coating on the pan for extra deliciousness.

And that’s it!