Tuesday, April 21

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Chocolate chip-pretzel-walnut-granola cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

This recipe (adapted slightly from Food52) is like chocolate chip cookies on crack. It starts with a simple cookie batter but then things get interesting as salted pretzel sticks, jumbo milk chocolate chips, toasted walnuts, and granola clusters all mix in to the dough. These are thin and crispy cookies, not soft and cakey, and they are full of crunch from the granola, pretzels, and nuts. The sweet-salty combination makes the cookies super addicting and it's impossible to just eat one. We had some friends over on Sunday afternoon and the six of us polished off an entire batch of two dozen cookies and half a gallon of milk.

More Cookie Recipes:
- Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- White Chocolate Buttered Popcorn Cookies
- Ginger Sugar Cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies:
- 1 3/4 sticks (7 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. chocolate chips
- 3/4 c. pretzels, chopped
- 3/4 c. granola
- 1/2 c. walnuts
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 3/4 c. white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- parchment paper or baking mats

  • Combine the butter and sugars in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined, making sure to scrape down the side of the bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and stir together.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Gently mix in the chocolate chips, granola, pretzels, and walnuts.
  • Set the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2-3 large baking sheets with non-stick mats or parchment paper.
  • Spoon heaping tbsp. of the dough into your hands and roll into balls, then arrange on the baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets once.
  • Let cool on a baking rack for at least 10 minutes before eating.

Makes two dozen cookies

Monday, April 20

Grilled Beer Brats with Peppers & Onions

Juicy grilled sausages topped with a sweet pepper and onion relish

Grilled Beer Brats with Peppers & Onions

I've been traveling almost non-stop for the last two weeks and I was so happy to finally get to spend a chill day at home over the weekend. I was eager to get back into my usual routine and enjoy the time with my husband and kitties. We slept in, took a long walk around our neighborhood, and spent some time in our backyard enjoying the nice weather and the grill. We made these beer-braised brats for lunch on Saturday and they were so easy and delicious. The sausages go through a two-part cooking process by first simmering in beer and then finishing on the grill. The beer braise keeps the bratwurst super moist and the grill crisps them up. I served them with mustard and sautéed peppers and onions, but you can finish them with whatever toppings you like best.

More Sausage Recipes:
- Roasted Bratwurst with Red Cabbage
- French Lentils & Sausages
- Roasted Sausages & Polenta

Grilled Beer Brats with Peppers & Onions:
- 6 uncooked bratwurst sausages
- 2 hot dog buns
- 2-4 light lager-style beers
- 3 yellow or white onions, 2 of them thinly sliced into half moons
- 2 bell peppers, preferably mixed colors, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. caraway seeds (optional)
- dijon mustard
- kosher salt

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat and add in the peppers, sliced onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes, or until very soft.
  • Lay the bratwursts in a deep lidded pot and add in enough beer to cover. Quarter the remaining onion and nestle the onion wedges in the beer. Add in the caraway seeds.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, cover with a lid, and lower to a simmer.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the sausage casings are opaque and the sausage is no longer pink. Turn off the heat, uncover, and let the sausages sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat a grill to high.
  • Remove the sausages from the beer and pat dry.
  • Grill over high heat for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes, or until browned.
  • Grill the buns for 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Let the sausages rest for a few minutes, then place in the buns and top with mustard and some of the peppers and onions.

Serves four-six

Tuesday, April 7

Snap Pea & Burrata Salad

Sweet peas, fresh greens, and creamy burrata cheese make a lovely spring salad

Add burrata cheese (the creamier, sexier cousin of fresh mozzarella) to any salad and it becomes an instant hit. It works well with fruit, roasted vegetables, and even with lighter green salads like this recipe from April Bloomfield. The salad is a really fresh combination of raw sugar snap peas, peppery arugula, and mint and basil leaves tossed some lemon juice and olive oil, but the addition of burrata takes it to a whole new level. The cheese adds richness and body and makes this a show-stopping appetizer or side dish for a spring dinner party. I actually had this as a light supper alongside grilled baguette and made little crostini-like bites as I was eating this (highly recommended).

More Burrata Recipes:
- Grilled Eggplant with Burrata & Romesco
- Grilled Peach, Burrata, & Prosciutto Salad
- Burrata, Prosciutto, & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

Snap Pea, Arugula, Herb, & Burrata Salad:
- 8 oz. burrata cheese*
- 1/2 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 c. (loosely packed) baby arugula
- 1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn if large, plus more to garnish
- 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, torn if large, plus more to garnish
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- salt, preferably fleur de sel or large flake salt**

  • Combine the sugar snap peas, arugula, basil, and mint in a large bowl.
  • Add in the lemon juice and then the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt.
  • On a plate or platter, rip the burrata apart to create a bed of cheese.
  • Arrange the salad on top and drizzle with a little more olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves four-six (appetizer or side dish)
*I like the balls of burrata packed in water, like Angelo & Franco or Trader Joe's.
**Maldon is a great choice - I love this little tin.