Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

Choc Chip Cookies 1 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

I had a post pretty much ready to go to show what to do with leftover risotto, but then a little bird told me that today is actually National Chocolate Chip Day (who knew!?) so, as with most of my current priorities, anything chocolatey and indulgent will come first.  No offense, risotto, but, these cookies are to die for.   And, so maybe for the first time in my life, I might appear to have my act somewhat together as a food blogger to actually celebrate a national food holiday for once.  Pi Day came and went.  National Soft Pretzel Month came and went (apparently it’s the month of April-again, a whole month that I could easily over-indulge myself in.)  Oh, and let’s not forget the upcoming National Cheese Day (June 4th, FYI) which I will probably treat like any other day…with mass quantities of cheese consumption (hey, it’s a holiday, right?)

A word to people out there who might be looking for a food blogging concept:  national food holidays.  Everything from National Egg Salad week to whole days dedicated to fudge.  Each day dedicated to a recipe of the day’s particular celebratory food.  Run with it.

Since I’m an addict of sea salt, these cookies were right up my alley.   I originally wanted to use a bunch of chocolate chunks, but then I realized that I didn’t have enough in my pantry to fulfill the necessary amounts.  So I did what any other chocolate-lover would do-I used mini chips in the actual dough and then sprinkled the chocolate chunks on top when the cookies were warm so that they would get all melty and gooey.  Nothing beats a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven.  Well, maybe a chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with some sea salt will.

Happy National Chocolate Chip Day! (Quite possibly one of the best days of the year!)

 

 

Choc Chip Cookies 2 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Sea Salt

Servings: about 20 cookies (depending on how big you make them)

 

Ingredients

2 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips since that’s what I had on hand, and then extra chocolate chunks to put on top of each cookie)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

3. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat the butter, sea salt, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes or so.

4. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until thoroughly combined.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the flour mixture until incorporated.

6. Using a rubber spatula, add in the chocolate chips.

7.  Using a cookie dough scoop (or in generous spoonfuls), roll the dough into balls, place onto the prepared baking sheets (spacing each dough ball about 2 inches from the next one) and flatten into smooth discs about ¼”-inch thick.

8. Sprinkle each cookies with a little sea salt (to your own liking), gently pressing the salt into the dough to adhere.

9.  Bake each pan for about 10 minutes or so, or until each cookie is golden brown.  If baking both baking sheets at the same time, rotate and switch the pans halfway during the baking time.  Let the cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

 

Source:  Barely adapted from Sur La Table.

 

 

May 15, 2014 - 6:28 am

Jess @ Sweet Menu - The introduction to salt on sweets has been the best thing ever! And these cookies looks amazing!!

May 15, 2014 - 7:41 am

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - Salt and chocolate are truly a match made in heaven. It’s an absolute must that choc chunk cookies be eaten warm. ;) Mmmm gooey chocolate!

May 15, 2014 - 7:54 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - These cookies look so freaking yummy. LOVE this recipe!

May 18, 2014 - 6:48 am

Joanne - I am now officially bummed that I missed this most important of holidays! Must atone with plenty of cookie baking. Stat.

May 18, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I hope the chocolate chunks in these cookies were nice and large!They look and sound lovely!

May 20, 2014 - 6:27 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - National Chocolate Chip Day—OMG I missed it. But to me every day is chocolate chip day. But look, it prompted
your to post these fun cookies, which I would make BIG. The sea salt sprinkle is pretty cool. I don’t think I have seen that before.

May 25, 2014 - 11:30 am

dina - they look delicious!

May 25, 2014 - 11:46 am

Abbie @ Needs Salt - These cookies look incredible! I’m totally loving the addition of sea salt (of course.) – it’s the best with chocolate chip cookies.
Beautiful job! Pinning!

Lemon Spinach Artichoke Risotto

 

Risotto 1 The Curvy Carrot

 

Suddenly I’m realizing that risotto might be on my list of favorite foods, especially when it comes to the realm of comfort foods.  Creamy, warm, and pretty much amenable to any kind of flavor pairing, risotto is extremely versatile.  For someone who is leftover resistant like me, I’m also pretty amazed at the various things you can make with leftover risotto….without eating another bowl of risotto itself.

I had the original recipe from Williams Sonoma bookmarked for over a year. I kept pushing off making the dish, making excuses like “it takes too long” to make or the flavors weren’t great for the time of the year.  Well, now that it’s spring (We biked over 20 miles this past weekend in the most beautiful weather…including seeing three deer by the trail, two turkeys, and various chipmunks and squirrels. This makes me happy.), I wanted to give it a fair go.  And I was very glad I did.

Now, I know risotto has this reputation for being a very time consuming dish to make, but honestly, I didn’t think it was too bad.  All said and done, I think it took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, but it was so worth it.  My next post will be a great way to use leftovers, so when you think about it, 45 minutes for several meal’s worth of food isn’t so bad.  For a cheesy cheddar risotto, click here.  For a nice mushroom risotto, click here.  And for a spring primavera risotto, click here.  It’s obvious I like this stuff.

Play around with your flavors here.  For a spring version, I added in some spinach and artichokes to give it a bit more flavor.  I initially planned on adding in some capers as well, but I forgot.  Serve with a nice green salad and a chilled glass of wine.  Enjoy.

 

 

Risotto 6 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Lemon Spinach Artichoke Risotto

Servings: 4-6

 

Ingredients

3 cups vegetable stock

3 and 1/2 cups water

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

2 and 1/4 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Zest from one lemon

3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1-2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves (adjust to your own tastes)

One 7.5-ounce jar of grilled marinated artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed

For garnish:  extra lemon, chives, cheese, etc.

 

Instructions

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the vegetable stock and the water.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer.

2. In another large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes or so.

4. Add the rice and stir for about 3 minutes.

5. Add about 3/4 cup of the simmering vegetable stock (adjusting the heat if necessary to keep the remaining stock at a simmer), and cook, stirring the rice constantly until the stock is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.

6. Continue adding the stock, about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly, until all but about 1/2 cup of the stock has been used. (This part took me about 20 minutes.)

7. Add the lemon juice to the remaining 1/2 cup stock and add the stock/lemon juice mixture, little by little, to the rice, stirring until almost completely absorbed.

8. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, lemon zest, spinach, and artichokes,stirring constantly and breaking up the artichokes a bit with your spoon.

9. Add in the cheese, stirring until completely melted.  Adjust to taste with salt/pepper and additional lemon juice if desired.  Garnish with chives, additional cheese, and extra lemon.

 

Source:  Adapted from Williams Sonoma.

 

 

May 13, 2014 - 10:01 am

Jacki @ Two Forks One Love - I love risotto. I will have to make this next week when my husband is out with the boys!

May 13, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Eileen - Ooh, artichokes in a risotto sound so perfect right now! Such a perfect springy lunch. Yay!

May 13, 2014 - 7:10 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I’ve never made risotto!! And this looks like just the recipe to try. Comfort food is right!

May 13, 2014 - 7:25 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - You made a most excellent point about the use of risotto for left overs—-that spending 45 minutes was worth it to have an original meal and then a base for other meals. In my case that would be something interesting to take to lunch. Duh, I never thought of that way with that dish. I do other dishes. I don’t think twice in regard to lasagna or soup. Thank you!

May 15, 2014 - 8:20 am

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - Just letting you know I’ve featured your “lemon spinach artichoke risotto” recipe on my blog. Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

May 15, 2014 - 10:14 am

srlacy - Thanks, Lily! :) Have a great rest of your week!

May 16, 2014 - 7:02 am

Joanne - Risotto definitely is worth the effort! Plus think of all the arm muscles you’re toning while stirring – win/win. This spinach artichoke combo sounds awesome. It’s one of my favorites to begin with so I know I’d love it in this format!

June 13, 2014 - 5:00 am

Cheesy Risotto Cakes with Poached Egg » The Curvy Carrot - [...] a simple recipe that I have been meaning to post for a while.  I used leftover risotto from this recipe, but you can use whatever kind of risotto you have on hand.  For the cheese, I used some mild goat [...]

My Ultimate Salad

 

Ultimate Salad 10 The Curvy Carrot

 

Happy Salad Month!  Did you know that May is National Salad Month?  (I didn’t either.)  But thanks to my good friends over at Earthbound Farm, we are celebrating all month!

And I have a confession.  I’m not really a salad eater.  I’d like to think I am, really.  I loved the days back in the college dorm where there was an endless salad bar-where I would inevitably load up three pieces of iceberg lettuce with three different types of cheese, croutons, *maybe* a radish or other vegetable, and a giant ladle-full of ranch dressing.  Hello, freshman 15!!!   But, as I told myself (I realize now that denial is one of the strongest human emotions), it still was “a salad” so it was good for me, right?  Yep.  Denial.

But, as I’ve gotten older and (hopefully) wiser, I’m realizing that a salad doesn’t have to be some limp watery iceberg covered in high density calories.  It can be an excellent source of fuel to power me through some pretty long days-and it’s a perfect vessel in which to diversify my diet.  When I visited Earthbound Farm back in October 2013, we actually worked on an activity together to devise the perfect salad, asking ourselves what made a salad “good”.

What makes a salad “good” to you?

To me, the greens are pretty important.  And, after visiting Earthbound, I realized I would have to move out of my comfort zone of simple spinach (yes-besides kale, it’s probably one of the most nutrient-dense greens around.)  I could experiment with some peppery arugula, crunchy romaine, or even try a blend of different leaves for some variation (have your tried a Zen blend yet? Pretty fantastic.)  For this salad, I chose that peppery arugula to offset the creaminess/sweetness of some of the other ingredients.

I also need a hint of sweetness in the form of fruit of some kind.  I know some people have an aversion to fruit in their salads, but I’m a convert (ever since I experienced raisins on my salad at Pizza Hut when I was about 5 years old.  Gotta love that Pizza Hut salad bar, too.)  I decided to run with blueberries-the motherload of antioxidants and vitamins K and C.

Now, for something crunchy.  Walnuts.  Yes, toasted walnuts will work (or any other kind of nut, really.)  But walnuts look like little brains for a reason-they are literally “brain food”.  High in omega-3 fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamin E, these little guys provide protein and super brain protection (which we all need).

Something creamy, perhaps?  Sliced avocado will do the trick.  I know that there are some people out there that avoid avocados for their fat content, but it’s mostly “good” fat.  Putting avocado on your salad will also increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and other compounds-like lycopene, which is found in tomatoes.  Wonder why guacamole and tomatoes go so well together?  It’s like a little nudge from Mother Nature to make sure we get the nutrients we need by pairing these things together.

And I need something earthy, too, like some roasted beets.  You can prepare yours any way you like, but I actually salt-roasted mine (recipes to come in later posts….).  Beets are good for your liver.

Last but not least, I had to write about halloumi.  Ah, halloumi.  Probably my second most favorite food in the world (second to these cakes made by a bakery in my hometown).   The cheese you can fry.  Salty, buttery, and a bit chewy.  Halloumi makes anything taste better.  For other recipes with halloumi, click here or here.  You can put any cheese on this salad (a smooth, creamy goat cheese would be nice), and, obviously, for a vegan version, just omit the cheese.

Happy Salad Month, everyone.

 Ultimate Salad 8 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

My Ultimate Salad

Servings:  4 large salads

 

Ingredients

For the salad:

One 5-ounce package (bag or clamshell) of Earthbound Farm arugula

2-3 medium beets, roasted and sliced thinly

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup walnuts, toasted

1/2 avocado (or more, depending on your personal tastes), sliced thinly

Halloumi cheese, sliced and fried

For the dressing:

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Salt, to taste

 

Instructions

1. For the salad dressing:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and honey, mixing until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt.

2. Transfer the salad greens to a large bowl and drizzle with the salad dressing (you don’t have to use all of it.).  Toss the arugula gently to coat evenly with the dressing.

3. Divide the salad evenly among your serving bowls and top with the roasted beets, blueberries, toasted walnuts, avocado, and cheese.

 

 

Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

May 1, 2014 - 5:18 am

Jo from yummyvege - You learn something everyday! Guess anything’s a good excuse to eat more salad!

May 1, 2014 - 8:40 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I love this kind of stuff in salads too! I’m new to Halloumi, but this sounds perfect!

May 2, 2014 - 1:47 am

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I had no idea that May was National Salad month. Personally I love salad in all its glorious forms—and that includes fruit in green salads. You certainly put together an elegant beautiful salad. I would be very pleased to eat it.

May 4, 2014 - 2:50 pm

Joanne - I totally agree with your ultimate salad analysis. I need something creamy, sweet, crunchy, and cheesy in mine as well! And your mix-in choices sound pretty delectable.

May 5, 2014 - 11:42 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I love how you’ve presented this cute little salad. You have quite a few of my favourite foods in there, too, so I’m definitely impressed (& feeling smug because I like such healthy foods!)

May 19, 2014 - 10:03 pm

Emma - Ahh gorgeous, I LOVE halloumi. This salad looks like such a nice combination of flavors and textures… a little bit of everything!