Chewy, Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

I’ve baked plenty of cookies on this blog and when I had the craving for some chocolate chip cookies, I was about to whip up my staple White & Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip cookies. The thing with these cookies though? They’re a more cakey consistency, which I love, but sometimes you just want an ooey gooey, chewy cookie… So, I decided to modify my recipe a bit and hoped I would get the cookie that my heart desired. I tried, I succeeded! Now I will share this modified recipe with you.

First, I knew I just wanted one chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate) and I dug out some walnuts from the pantry. Swapping out the baking powder for baking soda was a must for that soft n’ chewy consistency. Then, in my last stitch effort to get it right, I modified the sugar amounts a bit. My original recipe called for equal amounts of white and brown sugar, 1 cup each; however, I figured more brown sugar and less white sugar would definitely create that perfect cookie for me!

A few scribbles in my recipe book and I was ready to get down to cookie business.

The ingredients for 36 cookies:
• 1 cup of butter, softened
• 1 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
• 3/4 cup of white sugar
• 1 tbs. vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 3 cups of flour (I used all purpose)
• 1/4 tsp. of salt
• 1 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped walnuts



In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set the bowl aside.

Cream together the two sugars and your softened butter. I used a standing mixer and had it on low/medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Pour in your vanilla extract and beat in one egg at a time, making sure you do not over beat the eggs.

Add about 1/4 of the dry ingredients into the creamy mixture, then beat until almost incorporated, then repeat with the 1/4 of the dry ingredients and so on. Once you have poured all of the dry ingredients into the creamy batter, stop beating once all of the ingredients are just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure a consistently combined mixture.

Now put some plastic wrap over the bowl that contains the batter and place into the fridge. This will create a firm dough that will be easy to roll and will keep the dough from flattening in the oven. Keep the dough in the fridge for about an hour, but you can keep them in the fridge overnight as well, if you forget about the dough or get distracted by other things (like I did…. oops).



Alright, the dough is firm and ready to roll! Preheat your oven to 350F.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet or use parchment paper.

I rolled my dough into 1-1.5 inch balls and spaced them about 2 inches apart from one another.

Pop them in the oven for 10 – 11 minutes, you will see that the bottom edges are a lovely golden brown.

Take the cookies out, allow them to cool and you have some delightfully chewy, buttery chocolate chip cookies.

Quora seems to think these are puppy friendly… they’re not.



I believe I may retire my old recipe and stick with this one! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. :-)

Lasagna Rollups With Meat Sauce

The beauty of cooking is experimentation. Grabbing ingredients you know/think/hope will work together in a perfect, harmonious dish is my favorite part about cooking! Sometimes you create a masterpiece that will be dubbed a new household staple or the dish that you always have to bring to special occasions. There are also plenty of times that the experimentation did not go as planned, but it was just in good fun and you learned a thing or two.

Yeah, sometimes I just don’t want to do any of that… Whenever I want to try something new, without having to think too hard or waste ingredients for the sake of experimenting, I check out my cookbooks and Pinterest. This was the case for this weeks dinner! I took a gander at my “Stuff For My Belly” board and came across some Spinach Lasagna Rollups. I hit the jackpot. I made this a few months back and they were so simple and delicious, but I wanted to mix it up a bit this time. This was a great vegetarian recipe, but I wanted to beef it up a bit…. get it? Beef!



I started off by preparing my homemade marinara meat sauce and then I got the roll up ingredients together.

The Ingredients:
1 lb. lasagna noodles
15 oz. ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 400F.

Cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the box.

Once the noodles are cooked and you’ve strained them, the faster you get the noodles lying flat, the less likely you’ll be stuck with funky/creased noodles. I laid my noodles onto some paper towels to help them from sticking to the countertop.

I axed the spinach for the rollups all together. I combined the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and 1 large egg in a bowl, then evenly and thinly spread the mixture on each cooked lasagna noodle.



Then you simply roll them up, seam facing down. Then I sprayed my glass baking dish with some Pam and plopped the rollups onto the dish.

I evenly coated all of the rollups with my sauce. Make sure to cover all of the rollups, including the edges, as this will ensure the noodles stay soft while they bake.



Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Serve them hot and they keep up very nicely in the fridge for a few days!

A Lovely Day in New York

Considering I have been to New York before, I have already done the tourist bit that included the 9/11 Memorial, Time Square, Statue of Liberty, etc. Now whenever I make the trip, I just do little things that I would do if I lived there.

My most recent visit was in the dead of Winter, which means I did not ride a bike around the park or sit at a lovely patio seated restaurant; however, I thoroughly enjoyed grabbing a cup of coffee while walking through Central Park, catching a movie, shopping and enjoying the museums.

On this particular day, I met up with Chris during his lunch break and we briefly walked through the park to check out the ice rink. The skyline, the snow, the people, it was perfect.




I mentioned in a previous post that I was hoping to do Winter Outfits of the Day in New York… but, I don’t think I realized how cold it would be. Yeah, there was no way I would be fashionable over warm! So, this is as stylish as I could get. Keep in mind that this was probably the warmest day during our trip, so everything before/after this was quite bundled up.




When he went back to work, I was on my own. I continued to walk through the park, enjoyed some Birch coffee and then made my way over to the Shops at Columbus Circle. This place had some great shopping and dining options. Everything you needed in one lovely shopping center. I was happy to see that one floor would have high end shops, such as Michael Kors and Coach, but then you had the more affordable shops like H&M and J Crew.
I so badly wanted to grab lunch at Bouchon Bakery, it smelled soooo good and looked like my sort of place… but it was packed, so I moved right along. I knew I wanted to catch a movie afterward, so a pretzel at the movie theater would hold me over until I decided on a nifty lunch spot.



Then it was on to the movie theater to see “The Theory of Everything”… great movie. Highly recommend, if you haven’t seen it already.



After my movie, I grabbed some lunch at Melt, which I gave a review of in my Food in New York post. In case you don’t feel like clicking to read, I had a maple bacon grilled cheese with tomato soup and it was grrrreat!

Anyway, it may not seem like much… but I can honestly say it was my favorite day during our trip to New York. I was able to spend some time with Chris, had some glorious coffee, walked through a snow filled Central Park and spent some alone time with shopping and a movie. What did one of your favorite days include?

Food in New York – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

During our time in New York, we ate out… a lot. It’s the thing you do when you’re in New York. There’s an absurd number of eating establishments, it’s amazing to have the luxury of trying something new, but it can also be overwhelming (and expensive). Considering we were in New York for almost two weeks, we obviously didn’t go to spiffy restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day or we would be bankrupt.

I decided to keep track of the food we had and give my opinion of same. Hopefully this will be useful to those heading over to the concrete jungle in the near future. I apologize ahead of time for the lack of photos… ok, there are no photos… just food talk!

Birch Coffee – Chris and I both drank several lattes from Birch Coffee. Seriously one of the best lattes ever. You can taste the quality, reasonably priced and the staff was always genuinely friendly.

Angelo’s Pizza – We actually ordered from this pizza joint twice because it was super close to the apartment and was convenient for the snowy evenings. The first time we ordered a large pizza with half cheese and half everything, which we picked up and took back to the apartment. It was actually pretty good, but it was $20 for the large pizza (pretty steep).
The second experience was one of our last nights there and we didn’t want to go anywhere, so we ordered for delivery. We ordered a garden salad and a half cheese/half pepperoni pizza. It was not nearly as tasty, the pizza was a small pizza for $17. We meant to order the large, but apparently there was a miscommunication. Either way, $17 for a small pizza is outrageous. The salad was just not good. Overall an inconsistent experience.

Fusia Asian Cuisine – Chris had the Pad Thai and I had the Chinese Fried Rice with Chicken. Both of us agreed that the food was bland. It was unfortunate because the service was great, everyone was very friendly and attentive. We ordered the food and it was brought to our table within 3 minutes, which was a tad concerning to begin with. The food was not bad by any means, just not what we were hoping for. We only tried those two items though, I noticed another table ordered soup that smelled incredible and they seemed to enjoy it. I wouldn’t mind trying the place again just to see if the other items on the menu are more promising.

Sojourn - We made reservations at this place for 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night, even with reservations, we stood in a massive crowd in the entrance and bar area for 25 minutes. However, once we were seated, the magic happened. Probably one of the best meals we’ve had in New York.
It’s mostly tapas and small dishes, so we ordered a few things to try together. We ordered the Burrata, Ricotta and Swiss Chard Ravioli and Pesto Gnocchi. First, the Burrata… ooooh, the Burrata… it was delicious. It was served over a roasted tomato, almond pesto and basil oil puree, Chris and I agreed that we would bathe in the puree if given the opportunity. The Ravioli was very flavorful and creamy, I would have eaten the entire plate if Chris didn’t jump in and grab a few bites. The Gnocchi was also very soft, tasty and decadent. Highly recommend this place.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria - This was our Valentine’s Day brunch spot. We could not have chosen a better place. We started off with some coffee, which was unbelievably good and then we moved on to mimosas. The mimosas clearly included freshly squeezed juice, which made them even tastier! We ordered the bread basket, which came with three different types of bread, jelly, butter and goat’s milk brie, all of which were tasty and fresh.
For my brunch, I got the Eggs Al Forno, which included amazing, fresh eggs and prosciutto. Chris had the Waffles with a fresh fruit compote on top. We were both very impressed with this establishment. Not only was the food, drinks and coffee incredible, but the restaurant was beautiful, rustic and modern and the service was great. I definitely recommend checking this place out!

Tony ‘The Dragon’ Dragonas – Holy delicious Mediterranean food truck! This food truck is always nestled on the same corner (62nd Street and Madison Ave). My boyfriend goes here almost every day for his lunch because it’s ridiculously close to his office and ridiculously good. I got the chicken platter, while my boyfriend has tried everything else. We both agree that anything you select from this truck will blow your mind. The grilled chicken on the platter was seasoned beautifully, grilled perfectly, juicy, tender, everything grilled chicken should be. The rice and veggies that came alone with the platter were top notch as well. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, get all the food from Tony’s.

The Plaza Food Hall - This place is a great spot to hit for lunch, there are several options to choose from and everything looks great! Chris and I tried some flatbread sandwiches from Piada, which were so fresh and tasty! The seating area is very cute as well, rustic bar with a chalk board sort of feel. The best part about the flatbreads was that they had few ingredients, but it didn’t matter because the few ingredients were very high quality, plus you could tell that the flatbread was freshly made. Definitely check out Piada at the Food Hall.
On another day, we gave Ora di Pasta a shot. This place didn’t leave us as dazzled as Piada did. It’s basically a fancier, pricier pasta version of Subway (create your own pasta combination). Neither of us were impressed with our dishes, everything was quite bland and not special.

Red 58 – This place was quite convenient for us because it was on the same block as our apartment. We fell into this place at about 9:30pm on Valentine’s Day. Chris and I already had a lovely brunch, a stroll around the city and come relaxing at the apartment, but then we decided that going somewhere for a few drinks would be great. We walked by the few spiffy looking bars/restaurants on 6th Avenue, but they were completely packed. We were thinking our idea to grab drinks at this time on Valentine’s Day may not happen, when we took a look at Red 58… only a handful of people were in there. At first, this seemed like it could be bad, I mean, the one restaurant in New York that was not packed?! Not to mention, the entire interior is black, red, dark and romantic, I would have assumed it would be the place to be. Either way, our concern for it being almost empty faded away quickly when we realized how nice it will be to actually hear each other speak in a New York restaurant! So, we grabbed a high table in the bar area, grabbed some cocktails and ordered the truffle fries. We ended up staying there for a good 2 – 2.5 hours, just enjoying our drinks, eating some truffle fries and talking sweet nothings. It was great! The drinks were moderately priced (for New York) and the fries were delicious.
We decided to check it out again on a different night, hoping that their entrees would be good too…. eh, not so much. Chris had the Red 58 burger and I had the buffalo chicken salad. Chris described his burger as bland, plus it only had two toppings. My salad was just not good. It was big chicken strips drenched in buffalo sauce on top of a spring salad with a vinaigrette dressing. The vinaigrette dressing just did not work with the buffalo, it was an odd combo. So, this place is nice for drinks and appetizers, but we were not impressed with our entrees.

810 Deli Cafe – This is a nifty little place. Usually a cafe with 100 items on the menu scares me because it just feels complicated and unnecessary. This place proved me wrong. We went here a handful of times because it was priced pretty well, had a big variety of items to choose from and it was all tasty! Everything tasted fresh and we were never disappointed in any of the items we were ordered during our visit.

Fika - Ok, so before anyone brings it up… I’m aware that this place mostly where you go to get the chocolate balls. I know this, but I didn’t get the chocolate balls (I don’t have a good excuse as to why!). I only came here a couple times for croissants and lattes, so this “review” is only based off of those things. First, the latte is very good, not Birch good, but good! The croissants are great, very tasty, flaky and soft, everything a croissant should be. The one thing that kills me about this place is how expensive it is. One morning, Chris and I got small lattes and one croissant each…. $17.00. Rough.

Roberta’s Pizza – So, there’s a story as to why we ventured all the way out to Brooklyn to try the pizza at Roberta’s. When Chris and I lived in Northern California, we discovered a restaurant called Oak & Rye, which is the best pizza either of us have ever had. Chris discovered that one of the chef’s used to work at Roberta’s, but then joined a new team in Los Gatos to cook at Oak & Rye. Considering Roberta’s is essentially the mother of Oak & Rye, we had to try it!
First, once we received our array of pizza’s, it was clear that this was related to Oak & Rye. There’s just a certain look and smell that Oak & Rye always had, Roberta’s was the same deal… basically, we were excited. Now, the only pizza that was the exact same pizza as Oak & Rye, was the Margherita pizza. Every other pizza had it’s own funky name and toppings. We tried the Lamb of God, La Dusseldorf, Speckenwolf, Margherita and Good Girl. They were all very unique and tasty, but… not as good as Oak & Rye. :-)

Melt Shop - I didn’t discover this place until the second to last day that we were in town and I’m super bummed I didn’t find it earlier! It was reasonably priced, cute place and yummy food. It’s basically a fancy grilled cheese sort of joint. I ordered the maple bacon grilled cheese sandwich and the tomato soup, both were scrum-diddily-umptious! The maple bacon bacon was sweet and paired so nicely with the mix of cheeses in the sandwich. The tomato soup was clearly made in house and was quite tasty. I would have loved to have tried the other items on the menu!

Cafe Oliviero - This was my last meal in New York. I was packing up all of our luggage at the apartment and realized I needed some breakfast, but didn’t want to go out in the cold again! So, I ordered an egg sandwich and a coffee from Cafe Oliviero for delivery. Ten minutes after ordering, they were at the door. Super fast service! The egg sandwich wasn’t bad, but it filled the void in my stomach. The coffee was super hot, which I found surprising for a delivered coffee! Was the coffee great? Not really, but again, it filled a void. This place wasn’t very memorable, so I probably won’t be ordering from here again.

Overall, the New York trip was a success! We had some great food, drinks and coffee. There will be some go-to staples that we will be checking out every time we got to New York (Birch Coffee, Tony’s); however, I cannot wait to try other restaurants! What are some of your favorite places to eat/drink in New York? Restaurant recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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Packing for New York City

I’m leaving my flip flops and tank tops behind in the 78F “Winter” of Southern California and heading over to New York City this weekend! It will be a somewhat lengthy trip of two weeks with my boyfriend, Chris. He actually works for a company based in the city and he has flown out to work quite a few times, but he arranged this trip for this particular time so that we can be in New York for Valentine’s Day. I will be spending a good chunk of the trip alone, while he works during the week… but New York is my favorite city, so I won’t be too bummed about it! :-)

I visited New York for the first time almost three years ago with my two sisters and my mom. I immediately felt at home! I remember being surprised over how much I loved the city. I’ve always been the one to love the outdoors, hills, lakes, desert, and beaches. Additionally, I’ve never been a fan of huge crowds, traffic, noise; however, I cannot begin to express the beauty that I see in New York City, but you can check out my blog post from that very trip right here.

A fashionista, I am not, but I was very mindful of my choices when packing for this trip. Warmth was a big factor, considering it will be significantly cooler on the East Coast! Clearly nobody is interested in seeing my pajamas, socks, and undergarments, so I have the important goodies below.


Top left corner, I have all of my long sleeved shirts/sweaters. The top right corner includes all of my layering sweaters. Moving on over to the left again, I’m bringing along one sweater dress and one basic red dress (I will clearly be pairing these with tights, boots and a coat). Sandwiched lovingly between the dresses and coats are my basic t-shirts for layering. Right below the t-shirts are the button-up shirts of my choice, obviously I’m a fan of the basics (jean, sheer black and flowy white). To the right I have my trusty coats that will be assisting me through the cold! I’ll be bringing a hip length black peacoat, a mid-thigh length gray peacoat, my weatherproof black coat (I wore this baby in Iceland, so I know it’ll be good to me), and finally a short brown leather jacket. Last, but not least are the bottoms. Nothing too exciting here, grey skinny jeans, two pairs of my favorite blue jeans, black leather leggings and my standard black leggings.


Cold weather gear will be mandatory for this trip! I absolutely love hats and scarves. I don’t get to wear these things often in California, so it’ll be a nice change of pace. I’m bringing a little bit of everything to go with any outfit.


My favorite…. shoes…. Boots are my bitch. Same thing with hats and scarves, I don’t get to wear boots very often in California… So, now I’m bringing ALL DE BOOTZ (Well, at least these five)!! Starting from the left, I’m bringing along my black, chunky heeled ankle booties (Target); Brown, laced up ankle booties (Steve Madden); Army green short boots (Steve Madden); Black lower low/mid-calf boots (Target); and of course, the tall, sexy, black heeled boots (Nordstrom).

I hope to put together some outfits of the day during my trip, as well as post about experiences, food, and all the other goodness that will come of this trip. Do you have any suggestions for restaurants, bars, interesting sights? I would love to know about it!

Homemade Turkey Chili

Even though the temperatures in California still have not hopped on the Autumn train, I am boycotting the warmth and bringing on my favorite season anyway! I have laced up my boots, thrown on a sweater and put the dark lipstick on! I will continue to slap 72 degrees fahrenheit in the face until it’s cooler. I can’t tell you how excited I get when I see dark clouds outside, it gives me the automatic right to cook some homemade chili (which is exactly what I did).

I prefer to cook chili with ground turkey meat, kidney beans and pinto beans, but feel free to switch out per your preference! Chili is easy to put together and the leftovers are just as amazing. This recipe creates about 6 servings.

Mmmm, can you smell it?

Ingredients:
• 1 pound of ground turkey meat
• 1 8oz. can of tomato sauce
• 1 15oz. can of kidney beans
• 1 15oz. can of pinto beans
• Ground Chili Pepper
• Salt
• 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
• Ground cumin
• Dried oregano
• Onion powder
• Ground paprika
• Ground cayenne
• 1/4 cup Corn masa flour
• 1/3 cup of water

First things first, break the turkey meat up into small pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium/high heat until cooked all the way through (it will turn white).

Pour the cooked meat into a large strainer and rinse with water to ensure the fat/grease is not invited to the chili show.

Pour the meat into a large pot, pour in the 8oz. can of tomato paste, then fill the same 8oz. can with water and toss that into the pot as well. Then you’re going to add your beans (I pour out about half of the canned bean juices and then pour the remaining half into the pot) and all of the spices! I did not include measurements because I just add as I go, taste, add some more if necessary. However, if you prefer a more mild chili, you may want to forfeit the cayenne.




Stir it all up and cook on high heat until you see it start to bubble. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

If you like a thicker chili, like I do, combine the corn masa flour and water. It will become a thick paste. Once you allow your chili to simmer and all the spices are exactly where you want them, pour in the corn masa flour mixture into the chili and let simmer for another 5 minutes or so.


Sprinkle some cheese on top, grab yourself some crackers and get down on some chili goodness. The leftovers can be refrigerated in tupperware for about 3-4 days.

I Went to Iceland

It has been decided for a while now that Chris and I were going to Iceland, it was just a matter of when. Well, the “when” was September 2014! First, I would like to answer the question that we heard non-stop before our trip, and that was “why Iceland?” I would like to philosophically reply with “why not?!” But seriously… why not? Has anyone seen photos of Iceland? Seen it in movies? Dreamed about the complete obscurity of it all? Well… we did! So, we decided to go for it. :-)

It was a stunning, yet peculiar place. The weather would change abruptly, one part of the island had unimaginable glaciers, while another had rocks engulfed in several feet of moss, and then you would drive a little further to see black sand beaches. Every few miles was basically driving to another planet.

The first two nights in Iceland, Chris and I stayed in a beautiful rooftop apartment in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Through the powers of Airbnb.com, we landed a great place with a gracious hostess. We spent a lot of time walking around the quaint city streets, enjoyed some coffee, amazing ice cream and enjoying the sights that the city had to offer. From there, we drove out to the middle of nowhere. Again, Airbnb.com did not disappoint as we landed a gorgeous house to stay for the remainder of our trip. The house was mostly windows, surrounded by nothing, but grass. It was perfect and exactly what we had in mind for our adventurous trip. It didn’t matter which direction we drove in our rental car, we found numerous locations to stop for photos and to explore.

There were some downsides, obviously the place wasn’t perfect! I would like to address the fact that the speed limit on these beautiful, wide open roads was 90kph, which is approximately 55mph. How is anyone supposed to get anywhere? We had a hard time staying below the speed limit. Everything is very expensive, especially alcohol. Chris and I ran calculations to figure out the U.S. dollar conversion of some of the items, a small bottle of Captain Morgan was approximately $60 usd. We couldn’t stop laughing over how crazy that was, but I guess their import cost is no joke! However, I highly recommend visiting Iceland to anyone that has slightly considered it. Even if you have not considered it… just give it a thought. We will never forget this trip and now it’s time for photo overload! Plenty more on my Instagram account: Cobo521!