The $10,000 Chocolate Chip Cookies

9 Aug

These sweet little treats are famous! Yep, they’re the chocolate chip cookies I made on NBC, Food Fighters tv show. I’ve been making them for the past 23 years. They’re buttery, rich, decadent, chocolatey, soft and chewy. I’m still in shock that I won $10,000 for baking them.  I guess it’s true what they say……persistence pays off – literally! Here’s the recipe below. #getinthekitchen

 

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CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick margarine
1 stick unsalted butter
1-1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl and set aside. Melt 1 stick butter and 1 stick margarine in small sauce pan or microwave. In a small mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup of molasses and set aside.

Combine remaining white sugar, brown sugar and molasses sugar mixture. Add melted butter and mix well. Add 2 beaten eggs to melted butter and sugar mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour into mixture (this should be done in 3 to 4 steps). Fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookie dough onto cookie sheet with a spoon. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Transfer cookies to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Salsa Verde

3 Aug

It’s brunch time! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and when the weekend rolls around, well…let’s just say I don’t mess around. Last weekend, PI was craving Huevos Rancheros but I wanted to put my own spin on the classic mexican dish, so I whipped up some Homemade Salsa Verde! YUM! This dish is hearty, delicious, and super easy to make. If you can make Tacos, you can make Huevos Rancheros. Get in the kitchen!

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Cooked Salsa Verde

RECIPE (adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table)

Ingredients

2 pounds green tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 serranos chiles (you can add more but trust me, these suckers are H-O-T)

1 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil

To Prepare

Place the tomatillos along with the garlic cloves and the chiles serrranos in a pot and cover with water. Place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium for about 10 minutes, or until tomatillos change their color from a bright to a pale green, are cooked through and are soft but are not coming apart.

Place tomatillos, garlic and chile (you may add one chile first) and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the blender and puree until smooth. Incorporate the cilantro leaves, onion and salt and process again. Taste for salt and add more if need be. Also taste for heat, you may add the other chile in pieces until you reach your desired heat level.

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, until it thickens a bit and deepens its flavor and color. Turn off the heat.

Once it cools down, you may store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for weeks. However, the heat level of the sauce will diminish as the days go by.

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

5 Jul

Listen up! If you have any blueberries laying around….don’t throw them out. I repeat, don’t throw them out! I just made some sweet, tart, lip-smacking, and refreshing blueberry mint lemonade. It’s delicious! This recipe requires you to make a blueberry syrup. Yum! No need to panic about making your own blueberry syrup, it’s simple and once you’re done……you’ll consider yourself a real food genius. Let’s get into it………

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Blueberry and Mint Lemonade

Recipe:

2 cups fresh blueberries (fresh, not frozen)

1/2 cup  mint leaves, coarsely chopped (you may add more mint leaves if you like it minty)

1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (you can add more if needed)

5 to 6 cups of water

In a blender add blueberries and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a fine mesh strainer placed over a medium bowl.  Use a spatula to press the liquid through the strainer leaving the blueberry pulp in the strainer.  Discard the pulp.

Place a sauce pan on the stove top on medium to low heat, pour blueberry mixture into the pan and add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue to stir while mixture is in the sauce pan (do not leave the stove, we’re making a blueberry syrup). Syrup is a tricky little devil, it doesn’t like to be left unattended. Once you see a deep purple color and syrup consistency, remove from the stove.

Pour your fresh lemon juice in a bowl and add mint. Using a spoon or mash in your mint into your lemon juice. You’re trying to fuse the two flavors. I actually use my mortar and pestle and it works perfectly.

In a larger pitcher combine, fresh lemon-mint juice, blueberry syrup, and water. Mix together. Add a few extra mint leaves if desired.  Served chilled.

Now, pour yourself glass, head to your porch, and kick your feet up! If you don’t have a porch….just stand in the kitchen gulping down glass after glass. I won’t tell!

 

Halal Guys: Chicken and Rice with White Sauce

30 Jun

 

Happy Monday my darlings! This past weekend, I was perusing through my FB news feed, and spotted a photo of the delicious “Halal Guys” chicken and rice with white sauce. One of my friends was in NYC noshing on the delicious street food cuisine. I had an instant craving!  So, I decided to stalk the web and see if I could find a simple recipe to replicate what my tastebuds remember. Five minutes into my search….BOOM! I found it! This recipe is seriously legit. The chicken is fragrant, moist, and delicious. The rice is full of flavor with cumin and turmeric. And the white sauce, oh that creamy tangy white sauce. Mmmm mmmmm! You need to make the recipe NOW! It will be a staple in your house. Trust!

 

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GRILLED CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the lemon juice, oregano, coriander, garlic, and olive oil in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Season the marinade to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag and add half of the marinade (reserve the remaining marinade in the refrigerator).
  4. Turn the chicken to coat, seal the bag, and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, turning occasionally to redistribute the marinade
  5. Remove the chicken from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Season with kosher salt and pepper, going heavy on the pepper.
  6. Heat the oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat until it is lightly smoking.
  7. Add the chicken pieces and cook without disturbing until they are lightly browned on the first side, about 4 minutes.
  8. Using tongs, flip the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the center of each thigh registers 165°F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes longer.
  9. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Using a chef’s knife, roughly chop the chicken into 1/2- to 1/4-inch chunks.
  11. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the remaining marinade, cover loosely with plastic, and refrigerate while you cook the rice and prepare the sauce.

YELLOW RICE

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Add the turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir to coat.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes without disturbing.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to rest until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

 

WHITE SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

 In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt.

 

Special shout out to Serious Eats for posting this genius recipe. I made a few changes but not many. YUM!

Kiki’s Kitchen: Pecan Sticky Biscuits

22 Apr

Easter Sunday was yesterday, and I can officially eat bread again! I gave up bread for lent and it was a serious challenge. Clearly, me giving up bread doesn’t compare to the unconditional sacrifice Christ made, but hey who’s trying to compete with the Son of God, not me.

In honor of being able to eat bread again, I celebrated with an AH-mazing pecan sticky biscuits recipe. This is the BEST biscuit I have every have! EVER! EVER! The recipe is from the brilliant culinary team at my job. It’s super simple and will knock the socks off of anyone who dares to eat just one. They’re sweet, fluffy, decadent and down right scrumptious.

I took one bite and was like, “oh. no. this recipe will surely land me a BOO.” I mean my future hubby is really missing out on my cooking. I wish I knew who he was, I would ship him some. Ok. Let’s get into this recipe.

 

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Pecan Sticky Biscuits
Yield: 12 biscuits

For the pecan sauce:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 & 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

For the biscuits:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup very cold or frozen unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 & 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk

For the topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

To make the pecan sauce:
Spray a 9″x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan. Cook over low heat. When butter is melted, increase heat to high and bring to a gentle boil. Cook 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in pecans. Pour into pan and spread evenly. Set aside.
To make the biscuits:
Preheat oven to 425°.
Sift together twice the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Blend until mixture mostly looks like coarse crumbs, with some of the butter the size of small peas.
Make a shallow well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in 1 & 1/2 cups of buttermilk. Blend with a fork to form a soft dough. If dough is too dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times, then pat into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 square biscuits.
To make the topping:
Stir together sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops of the biscuits with about half of the melted butter. Sprinkle with about half of the cinnamon-sugar.
Place the biscuits, cinnamon-sugar side down into the pan. Brush the tops (that were the bottoms) of the biscuits with remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.
Bake about 15-17 minutes. The biscuits should be golden brown and puffy, and the pecan sauce should be bubbling around the biscuits.
Cool slightly, then invert onto a serving plate. Remove pan to allow sauce to fall around the biscuits. Scrape any remaining sauce from the pan onto the biscuits. Serve immediately.

ALEXANDER WANG x H&M 11/6/14!!!

13 Apr

This is NOT a joke! Alexander Wang is the next designer to collaborate with H&M!! His collection hits stores Thursday, November 6th! I don’t know what to do with myself, I’m soooooooo excited!!! She’s going to be crazy at the launch and by “she” I mean me! Its on like donkey kong.

 

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Oscars 2014: Best Dressed Dames

3 Mar

I adore the Oscars! It’s the one time of year when two of my favorite arts come together, fashion and film. This by far was the best Oscars! Ellen was a hilarious host, there were so many brilliant films being nominated and the acceptance speeches were inspiring. Oh, and the gowns. Let’s get into the gowns! I loved so many of dresses from last night’s star-studded event. I couldn’t stop swooning over them! There was Lupita Nyong’o looking angelic in Prada, Kate Hudson killing it in Versace, and Sandra Bullock was stunning in Alexander McQueen. Take a gander at the gorgeous photos below. Which one was your favorite?

Lupita Nyong’o wearing PRADA

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Sandra Bullock wearing ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

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Viola Davis wearing ESCADA

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Kate Hudson wearing VERSACE

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Charlize Theron wearing DIOR

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Cate Blanchett wearing ARMANI PRIVE

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Penelope Cruz wearing GIAMBATTISTA VALLI!

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   Angelina Jolie wearing ELIE SAAB

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Manitoba Mukluk Love: The Story Boot Project

24 Feb

I love my mukluks, but not just any mukluks. I have a strong affinity for Manitobah Mukluks, made by aboriginal people in Canada. Ten years ago, I purchased my very first pair of mukluks at Nordstrom Rack for $79.95. That’s right, almost 90% off. The boots we’re originally priced at $500, but I struck gold and got the deal of a lifetime. These warm, stylish, beauties have been my savior during the harsh winters in New York City and Michigan. I’ve worn them in snow, rain, sun, and on occasion lounging around the house. They’ve held up for the past 10 years, perfectly!

In process of moving out of my old place, I lost the mate to my prize mukluks. I searched high and low and couldn’t find the mate. To say I was devastated was an understatement. In my disappointed state, I did a bit of research and found that I could replace them for $199. I was literally jumping up and down! I’m so excited!  These boots are AWESOME and worth every penny! I would gladly pay to double to own another pair.

Check out the clip below on the history of the Mantioba Mukluks.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2014

11 Feb

Has Marc lost his design mojo!? I am a MJ fan for life! Love him! However, this collection is NOT one of my favorites. In fact, its probably one of my least favorite collections to date. This collection is team too much. There are so many different statements weaving through this collection, I can’t differentiate the inspiration….it looks like a mash-up of grunge, 70’s, space age, sports-inspiration…it’s just too all over the map for me. There’s no cohesion, which might be intentional. I can’t even deal with the white moon-inspired sneakers. In true Marc from he didn’t disappoint in the handbag area….love the black and red stripe bowling bag.

Jacobs is true visionary, he was the brain-child behind Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection. He’s no longer the creative director for Louis Vuitton, which means he’ll have some spare time to dedicate to his own collections. I sure hope so anyway. I would hate to see Marc lose his design mojo….he’s brilliant in my book.

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She, 36! Happy Birthday to ME!

3 Feb

Today is my 36th birthday! It was pretty relaxing and restful, which is exactly what I needed. I’m thanking God for another fabulous year! I still have A LOT to look forward to. Meeting the love of my life (hopefully within 2014). Having children. Seeing myself on national TV in a couple of months (I will announce the name of the show in March). Continuing to plug away at a company I love and people I enjoy working with. My life is pretty blessed!  It’s important to take stock of the “good” in front of you………..and today, there is much good in front of me!  xoxo, Kena :)

 

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