Sunday, February 26, 2012

Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

It's like a chocolate chip cookie...

Only better.

Because it's GIANT!
And thick and moist and oh so tasty.
Nom nom nom.
This thing is a winner.
Really, it is.

Look! It's a baby deep-dish chocolate chip cookie.

Uh oh, it's getting eaten.
Hurry! Do something!

Too late! Muhahaha...
That's pretty much how this thing went. Once it came out of the oven, the baby-cakes were eaten within one hour, the cake was half eaten the first night (remember Valentine's Day?), and the rest of it was completely gone by the next day.
Yeah, it's that good.

Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

(gluten-free and dairy-free...yay!)

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (or white beans), drained and rinsed (about 4 cups cooked, if using dried beans) 
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats (or regular quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (feel free to use Sucanat, if preferred)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Blend everything (except the chocolate chips) very well in a good food processor (not a blender).
  2. Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan (either a cake pan or a springform pan--the smaller the pan, the deeper the cookie--I used a 9-inch cake pan and then made a couple baby-cakes in a muffin pan).
  3. Cook at 350 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  4. Cook the baby cakes for about 10-15 minutes.
Inspired by this girl. Love her.

I pureed half of the beans in my food processor and set it aside, that way the remainder of the ingredients would mix up to be a smoother texture.

Mixing the other half of the beans with the ingredients...

Trying to get it smooth...

Mixing in the remaining beans...

It's chocolate chip time!
P.S. The batter is delicious.
Feel free to eat it by the spoonful.

Smooth it out in an oiled cake pan.



Isn't she lovely?

So hurry, make it before anyone else does!
Really. Do it.
Okay? Promise?
What are you still doing here?
Oh yeah, I am still talking...
Okay, bye now.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Day and Love Alfredo

I looked at the clock. The time was 4:50 PM.
Where did the time go? I panicked.
"Be home by 5 o'clock," is what he told me.
I had to hurry.
I jumped on my Electra Amsterdam and pedaled to the metal.
I got home in 5 minutes. That had to be a record-breaking time for getting from campus to my house. I was so proud of myself :)
I rushed in, set my bike against the wall, and threw open the door.
And this is what I saw...

My room, covered in toilet paper and cut-out hearts.

Who could it be? This Valentine of mine...

My bed was even covered in rose petals...
The card read:

A Night To Remember...
Dearest Sarah,
Dress yourself in some formal and fancy attire, and be as ready as you possibly can for me to come kiss your face, and whisk you away at the time of 5:30 PM.
And don't worry, when the time comes, I will help you clean your room :)
<3 Devin

So that's who the culprit was...this boyfriend of mine
I quickly dressed and waited for him to come pick me up.

Let me tell you, trying to get dressed and ready was not easy. I felt like I was being suffocated by the mass amount of toilet paper.

The entire night, he refused to tell me where we were going. That little stinker.

The first place we went was a dinner theatre production.
The food was delicious and the entertainment was sublime. The performers were actors of an improv comedy group that put together a musical from the top of their heads, including songs that they made up along the way. The musical was based off a love story in the 1950s, including the role of a milkman father, a young man blinded by love, his marriage-hating brother, a girl in love with her best friend from childhood, and a bride-to-be who hated wearing nylons. They got all their ideas from the audience. It was amazing and very funny.

Devin and I at the dinner theatre.

Afterwards, we got back into the car. Devin said, "Go ahead and look in the glove compartment."
And what did I find? Another card!

This one read:

Baby, It's Cold Outside...
Dearest Sarah,
The night's not over yet. Let us go home, grab our warmest jackets, our most water-proof pants, and maybe even an extra jacket to leave in my car...because we are battling whatever mother nature decides to throw our way.

Once again, he refused to tell me where we were going.
That's okay, he's so cute that I let him get away with it :)

I dressed in about five layers. To be honest, I was afraid of where we were going...hiking in the mountains? Going on a short walk? Making snow angels?

After driving for what it seemed like forever (the anticipation was killing me)...we parked by a canyon park. "Okay, let's go..." is all he said. "Ummm....okay," was my reply.
He opened the trunk of his Honda Civic, and proceeded to pull out boxes of wood, lighter fluid, matches, camping chairs, and blankets.

Fire. We are going to be warm. Thank my lucky stars.

Just our luck, a park ranger showed up. Oh shoot.
"What are you two doing out here?" He asked.
"We are building a fire in the fire pit down there," Devin replied, pointing to the darkness below us.
"You do know that you have to be out of here in an hour, right?" Ranger Rick growled.
"Yep. We will be out of here in one hour." Devin said.
Ranger Rick: Inquisitively, "Why are you guys out here? It's freezing. She looks like she is going to freeze to death over there."
Devin: "We are celebrating Valentine's day."
Ranger Rick: Looking at his watch, "Valentine's Day isn't until tomorrow..."
Devin: "Yeah, well we can't celebrate it tomorrow because we are going to be busy all day with school and work."
"Oh...well you two have a good time tonight." The once-firm ranger sweetly said.
"We will be sure to be out in an hour." Devin promised.
"No, don't even worry about it. Take as much time as you need. Just enjoy tonight." Ranger Rick said kindly, with a smile on his face.
He then got in his car and drove away.

That was interesting.
I guess Valentine's Day gives everyone a reason to be compassionate.

Did I mention that it was snowing?
And it was so cold.
The fire definitely helped.
Oh, and Devin brought an umbrella to keep the snow from nailing us.
That boy thinks of everything :)

He even brought a pineapple to roast. On our second date, I refused to eat the chili dogs that he wanted to eat at our fire. I insisted that we roast a pineapple instead. We did. And it was delicious.

If any of you have ever watched the Bachelor, in the show, the Bachelor gives the girls "date cards" that give them a hint of what they are going to do for that date. (Hence the cards that Devin was giving me throughout the night.) Then at the end of his date with the girl(s), he offers a single rose if he really likes her and wants her to stay for that round. the end of our night, Devin also presented me with a single rose, following the exact dialogue of the TV show. It was so cute.
I accepted the rose from him, of course :)

That was day one of our Valentine's Day(s).

Day two was my day to treat Devin.
However, there was no way that I could even come close to what he did for me the day before.
I thought long and hard about what I could do for him, and the best thing I could come up with was to make him dinner and dessert (no surprise there).

Devin loves many things...his mom's lasagna, his dad's sour cream waffles, ice cream, chips and salsa, pasta, pizza, Mexican food: namely Cocolito's, and...

And more specifically...

Apparently, he had never tried this type of cheese until he came to my house in Wyoming.
I made him a hot sandwich of pastrami, turkey, fried eggs, and pepper jack cheese with all the fixin's.
He fell in love.
Since that day, we only buy pepper jack cheese.
It's kind of ridiculous.

Well, I wanted to incorporate two of his favorites: pasta and pepper jack cheese.
The first thing that came to my mind was Alfredo sauce. Yes, it had to be Alfredo.

I started out with a roux.

Then I threw in some broth, milk, and cream.

After letting it boil for a few minutes, I added sour cream and of course, pepper jack cheese.

I cooked up some spicy chicken that I thought would pair nicely with the pepper jack cheese Alfredo sauce. It definitely did.

Serve over some fettuccine noodles, and voila!

Dinner is served.

There's nothing quite like a big plate of pasta.

He was REALLY happy with dinner. Like really happy.
And that put a smile on my face :)

Pepper Jack Cheese Alfredo
This stuff is good :)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise, and cut into slices
  • 1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flour (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or oil)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk (or 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack pepper cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 16 ounces penne pasta

  1. In a shallow pan, saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the oil until barely soft. 
  2. Add in the chicken and spices. Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour at medium-high heat for one minute.
  4. Stir in 3/4 (cup) of the broth and all of the milk. Cook and stir until bubbling. The sauce will really start to thicken at this point.
  5. Add in the sour cream and cheese. Continue to stir until all the cheese is melted. Allow to cook for about 2 additional minutes, while stirring. Add in the rest of the 1/4 cup broth, if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Stir in the prepared spicy chicken.
  7. Serve over cooked fettuccine pasta.
*Serves 3-4 people.

And for dessert? I made a chocolate chip cookie cake.

It was delectable.
I will blog about that soon!

I surprised Devin with some silly gifts: a stuffed love puppy, a coupon book, his favorite cereal (at the moment): Strawberry Cream Mini Spooners, and a handmade card.

His puppy face.
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