Baking Tips, Recipes, and Tools for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Plus Essential Chocolate Chip Cookie Destinations

Tips for Baking the Best Chocolate Cookies

My baking tips, favorite recipes, baking tools for the best chocolate chip cookie, and essential chocolate chip cookie destinations.

Find your perfect recipe. I like a chewy, crispy, gooey-in-the-center cookie.

My CCC all use unsalted butter. Butter provides flavor and makes cookies crispy. Baking with butter calls for chilling the dough so the cookies do not spread too much on the pan as they bake. I use Plugrá, an unsalted European-style butter. The unsalted version allows me to control the salt content in a recipe by considering only the actual added salt. And regarding European-style butter, the dairy is cultured before churning (unlike in American-style butter), adding a certain depth of flavor. I use Myoko’s Vegan European Butter for a dairy-free CCC. It’s essential to use cold butter for dairy-free CCC.

My favorite CCC has a mix of brown and white sugar. Brown sugar makes cookies chewy, and white sugar makes them crispy. I also use coconut sugar for some recipes. Continue reading “Baking Tips, Recipes, and Tools for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Plus Essential Chocolate Chip Cookie Destinations”

Gift Guide for the Foodie

Gift Guide For The Foodie

My gift guide for the foodie includes some of my favorite kitchen products guaranteed to please the gourmand on your shopping list.

If you enjoy online shopping, I highly recommend Provisions by Food52. It is an online kitchen boutique created by the ladies behind the popular food blog, Food52.  All of the products are carefully selected. Some items are exclusive to Food52. Provisions is definitely a foodie paradise.

Use this link for a $20 credit off your first $50 purchase.

1.   The Cook’s One Line A Day Five Year Culinary Memory Book is the perfect journal for the foodie.

2.   What the Chef Says is an entertaining book for a chef or food lover filled with quotes from famous chefs like Julia Child.

3.    State Shaped Cutting Boards from AHeirloom are a personal reminder of a special place. Add an engraved heart or star over your chosen town or city.

4.   A Glass Pasta Pot is a cool way to cook pasta.

5.   State Shaped Slate Cheese Boards are perfect for entertaining and a great conversation starter.

6.   The Emile Henry Pizza Stone produces perfectly crispy crusts and doubles as a cutting surface. I have tried several pizza pans for baking gluten-free pizzas, and the Emile Henry is my favorite.  This pizza stone is micro-crazed, with a flame-top glaze that makes clean up easy. Stone provides even, radiant heat essential to a perfect crispy crust.

7.   The Crate and Barrel Cookbook Stand is the best way to protect cookbooks from splatter and other kitchen messes. I also use mine to protect my iPad when I am using a recipe I saved on my iPad apps or Evernote. It is well made and folds up nicely for easy storage.

8.   This Cast Iron Drop Biscuit Pan is perfect for making biscuits. It features 7 round holes — fill each one with your batter and each biscuit will come out perfectly shaped. I also use mine to make gluten-free corn bread and muffins. This pan is the secret to delicious biscuits, corn bread and muffins.

9.   The Vegetarian Flavor Bible includes history lessons, cooking techniques, nutrition guides, recipes, and detailed flavor profiles of hundreds of plant-based foods.   The Flavor Bible lists which flavors pair well with others. It’s a reference book, not a recipe book, but it’s a fantastic way to learn about flavor combinations and how to best use ingredients.  I can’t recommend these book enough for a person that enjoys cooking.

10.   This walnut butter knife is one of my favorite kitchen tools. The rounded stainless steel head spreads condiments evenly. I love that one side features a serrated edge for slicing a sandwich.

11.  This walnut pizza rocker will cut the perfect slice of pizza. When I was in Italy, the pizza makers used a pizza rocker to cut the delicious pies.

12.  Hedley and Bennet Aprons are the best aprons. I have a navy and white polka dot design.

13.  Fat Toad Caramel is my favorite caramel. I use it for making turtles, ice cream desserts, and brownies.

14.  Staub Oval Crockette is my go-to Dutch oven. The oval design is great for cooking soup, stews, beans, and braising meat.

15.  A CuisiPro Swivel Peeler is the best tool to peel a variety of fruits and vegetables. This design is heavier than some of the other brands and works really well for peeling apples, pears and other fruits and veggies.

16.  CIA Side Towels are thick and super absorbent. These 100% cotton towels are now a staple in my kitchen. I’ve used them to dry dishes, to grab hot pot handles or just dry my hands.  These towels are my best friend in the kitchen.

17.  Cherry Bombe is my favorite food magazine. Cherry Bombe is a beautifully designed magazine that celebrates women and food. A magazine gift subscription is a great idea to gift the food lover in your life. I also recommend the podcast, Radio Cherry Bombe. The podcast brings the pages of Cherry Bombe magazine to life via conversation with some of the most interesting women in the world of food.

18.  The Turk Forged Criss Cross Iron Fry Pan is my favorite frying pan. The iron retains heat and cooks evenly. This pan is also incredibly versatile and can be used in the oven right after taking it off the stove.

19.  Rancho Gordo Beans are the best beans grown in Mexico from small farmers. Many restaurants and chefs across the country use these beans exclusively.

20.  The CuisiPro Julienne Slicer will easily remove the outer skin of all types of  fruit and veggies.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tools?

Check out my other gift guides: Health and Wellness // Jetsetter // Hostess // Baker // Ladies// Gentleman // Gifts That Give Back

Gift Guide for the Baker

Gift Guide for the Baker

I enjoy baking and collecting cookbooks. I also enjoy visiting bakeries and kitchen boutiques on my layovers. I am planning on taking a gluten-free baking class soon to improve my skills. I love the art of baking and sharing recipes with family and friends.

My gift guide for the baker includes sugar and spice and everything nice for the baker in your life. Read on to find out some of my baking secrets. I hope you find some inspiration for your gift giving or maybe something lovely for your kitchen.
Continue reading “Gift Guide for the Baker”

The Kitchn Cookbook and Website

 The Kitchn Cookbook Review
It’s The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking, and it really is an inspiring read.

The cookbook authors are Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand, food writers who run The Kitchn, an award-winning website all about cooking. It is one of my favorite food websites.

The Kitchn Cookbook inspired me to be more creative in my small kitchen.

The first segment of the book is all about kitchen basics. There are photos of kitchens that will inspire you. The book showcases small kitchens and gourmet kitchens. The photographs are beautiful. You will learn about the kitchen triangle, storage tips, tool reviews, maintenance suggestions, cleaning tips and more.

The second half of the book features 150 recipes and a cooking school with 50 essential lessons. There is even a section on the basics of cooking.

The last part of the book includes tips for hosting dinner parties in your home and a helpful resource guide.

I think the cookbook is perfect for newlyweds, a college graduate moving into their first rental, and a teen learning to cook. It is also perfect for any food-lover looking for inspiration for kitchen design and organization.

The Kitchn website helps people make their kitchens and home-cooked meals more beautiful, healthy and joyful through sharing tips, recipes, and stories of real home cooks. If you love to cook, I think you will enjoy the Kitchn website and blog. You can visit the website here.

I use a reader to bookmark my favorite websites and blogs. Check out this article about using RSS to organize all your favorite websites and blogs online.

Here’s a link to the cookbook if you’d like to check it out!

The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes, Kitchens & Tips to Inspire Your Cooking

And I’d love to know what are you reading this weekend?