White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve had an unopened bag of white chocolate chips in my refrigerator for some time now and I finally got around to using it in these cookies, as well as some dried cranberries and pecans I had on hand. I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe for the dough because I love the buttery, brown sugar flavor. I really liked the combination of the sweet white chocolate, the tart cranberries, and the crunchy pecans. Next time I make this cookie I plan to overload it with the mix-ins so it’s chunkier.

Chicken in Garlic Truffle Cream Sauce

This is a quick and easy bowl of goodness that could pass for a fancy dish. I sautéed bite-sized pieces of chicken with chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and dried thyme and oregano, then simmered it for a few minutes with light cream, grated Parmesan, and a generous drizzle of truffle oil, and voilà! To serve, I tossed it with fettuccine and sprinkled dried dill on top.

Potato Gnocchi

I’ve tried to make gnocchi a bunch of times before and this is the best they’ve come out. In the past I’ve added too much flour and they’ve come out very dense and with a raw flour taste. I’ve also tried to make it without egg and I haven’t been able to master that at all (but I’ll keep trying). For my latest attempt, I used this recipe but made a smaller amount, omitted the salt, and added cheese. I also baked my potatoes instead of boiling them so I suppose I used the recipe more as a loose guide for technique.

I was so happy with the finished product. The potato flavor stood out more than in any of my previous trials, and I realized that handling the dough as little as possible was important to keeping it light. This recipe couldn’t be simpler.

I baked two medium sized Russet potatoes and let them cool almost completely before pressing the insides through a potato ricer. With a fork, I incorporated one beaten egg into the mound of potato, and then about 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan. Next I added flour, a little at a time, and used a scraper to fold the dough over on itself as many times as it took until there wasn’t an excess of dough all over the board. I ended up using about 1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour, until it seemed just dry enough to handle. Then I gathered the soft dough into a ball and cut it into quarters. On a floured board I rolled out ropes of dough and used the scraper to cut off small bite-sized pieces.

The gnocchi were boiled in a big pot of water and removed when they floated to the top. I added them to a waiting pan of garlic slivers in browned butter with dried thyme sprinkled in. Just before eating, I added more cheese on top for extra saltiness. Yum.

Roasted Mustard Chicken

I roasted this chicken quite simply. No recipe, no measurements, and it still turned out great.

All I did was rinse the chicken and leave it to dry in the fridge, uncovered, for about three hours. Then I spread a thin coat of mustard (Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard with White Wine) under the skin all over, and the outside of the skin was sprinkled generously with salt and ground black pepper. I roasted it over a bed of thick onion slices and chunks of carrots and peeled potatoes that had been tossed in about a teaspoon of light olive oil and a bit of salt. I roasted it breast side down for most of the time, and then flipped it towards the end so the skin could brown.

The chicken was juicy and the mustard added a nice tang to the meat. The chicken juices and the mustard oozed out onto the surrounding vegetables and made for a wonderful side dish.

In the future I’d like to try the same method with spicy mustard for an extra kick.