Saturday, October 21, 2022: Brownie Cookies
Oct 29th, 2022 by Alex Koster

I was home alone for the weekend so I decided to make a small batch of cookies as a treat for myself. I found this recipe on Instagram from Tasty. The recipe below is for 10 cookies but I halved it since it was just for me. The ingredients you will need are:

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup dark chocolate chip
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chip

Whisk the brown sugar and eggs, then stir in the melted butter, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt), and lastly, add the chocolate chips. Then chill the batter in the fridge so it hardens into a dough. Scoop the dough onto a lined baking tray, and bake for 12 minutes at 350˚F until crispy on top and slightly gooey in the middle.

Since I love both cookies and brownies, these were the perfect combination.

October 16, 2022: Shakshuka with Feta
Oct 17th, 2022 by Alex Koster

Today I wanted to cook something healthy and mainly plant-based, so I researched the New York Times recipe database and found this great recipe for Shakshuka with Feta from Melissa Clark. Below is my interpretation of her recipe.

The ingredients are:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (Melissa’s recipe calls for whole pepper, but I think that’s too much)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juices, chopped up
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt*
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper*
  • 6 oz feta, crumbled (about 1 and 1/4 cup)*
  • 6 large eggs
  • Chopped basil, for serving (optional)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)

*Plus more to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep your vegetables (e.g. slice your onions and peppers, mince your garlic). Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch at least) oven-safe skillet. Cook the sliced onions and peppers on medium-low heat, stirring from time to time until very soft. Meanwhile, measure your spices, chop the tomatoes and crumble the feta cheese.

When the onions and peppers are very soft, add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes (don’t let brown), then stir in the spices. After about a minute, add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and then add the feta cheese.

Gently break the eggs into the skillet over the tomatoes. (If you are worried you might break the yolk, break each egg into a shallow cup, and, if the yolk is intact, slide it into the tomatoes.) Gently transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are just set — 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil (and, if you like, add extra feta, sliced avocado, and hot sauce). Delicious!


For dessert, I made an easy cookie skillet. All you need to do is mix with 1-1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 1/2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and a ton of chocolate chips! Then bake in a round pan at 350F for 15-20 min.

October 1, 2022:Homemade Fettucine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Oct 10th, 2022 by Alex Koster

When I saw the Kitchen-Aid pasta-making extensions laying unused in the back of our cupboard I knew it had been too long since I had made pasta. Although the recipe is surprisingly simple, there are quite a few steps. Still, I had a free night and wanted to try.

Simple Egg Pasta Dough

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup water

The first step is to combine the ingredients in the Kitchen-Aid bowl and mix for about 30 seconds with the flat beater. Then replace the flat beater with the dough hook and mix for 2 minutes. Finally, knead the dough by hand for another 2 minutes, wrap it in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

Making Fettucine Noodles

To make the actual noodles, divide the dough into two pieces and keep the piece you are not working with wrapped in plastic. Take the first piece and flatten it to about 1/2 inch thick. Attach the pasta sheet roller to the Kitchen-Aid mixer and set it to setting #1. With the speed at 2/4, carefully feed the dough through the attachment. When that is done, fold the dough in half and then half again. Feed through the roller again on setting #1. Then keep running the pasta through the roller, gradually increasing the settings until you are at #5 and the pasta is very thin. (It’s ok to cut the sheet of pasta in half so it’s not super long). Once your pasta is thin enough, replace the pasta sheet roller with the fettuccine attachment. With the mixer on speed 2, carefully feed the past through the attachment (it’s helpful to have someone catch the cut pasta). Lay it flat on a floured counter or on a drying rack until ready to cook. (It will only need 3-4 minutes in boiling salted water until it is al dente)

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

To go with the fresh pasta, I decided to make a creamy mushroom sauce using a mix of shitake, cremini, and button mushrooms. You will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 oz. mushrooms sliced approximately 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth*
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

After you have prepped everything (sliced the mushrooms, chopped the onion, etc.), melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over heat. Then add the chopped onion and cook till translucent. Add the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper, when they are starting to turn golden, add the garlic and cook till it’s golden (but don’t let burn!) Then add the wine and let simmer till it is mostly evaporated. Then add broth, cream, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the parmesan has melted and dissolved — about 2 minutes.

To serve toss with pasta and spring a few thyme leaves on top (and additional grated parmesan if you like)

*Homemade Chicken Broth

In an effort to waste less food, I decided to make homemade chicken broth. We had a rotisserie chicken that was almost picked clean of meat, so I broke the bones into smaller pieces, added 3 cups water along with a peeled chopped carrot, 1/2 an onion that was on its last legs, 2 cloves of garlic and a couple of sprigs of thyme. I let it simmer for an hour and then poured it through a strainer, keeping only the broth.

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