Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut

Some days it's just best to keep desserts simple.  Today I'm sharing an easy recipe for cookies with just one extra ingredient.  You don't need any fancy equipment; a bowl and a wooden spoon will get the job done.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut

-1/2 c butter, softened
-1 c brown sugar, packed
-1/2 c granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/4 c flour, spooned and leveled
-1 c oats
-2/3 c coconut flakes, unsweetened
-1 c chocolate chips

1. Mix together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated and fluffy.

2. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

3. Mix in dry ingredients until almost incorporated, then add the oats, coconut and chocolate chips and stir until fully mixed.

4. Chill dough until firm.  Scoop onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 350F oven until golden, 10 minutes.

What's your favorite cookie add-in?


Pumpkin Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Buttercream

My sister and her husband asked me to make a cake for their son's 2nd birthday.  Of course, I'm happy to oblige.  It's always fun to make birthday desserts for them because they know what they like in terms of flavors, but give me some room for artistic license.  

In this case, they were thinking about a pumpkin cake.  We came up with the idea for a pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and here is the result. 

I adapted this awesome recipe for the cake.

I figure one tier for every year of life.  I may have to discontinue this when he turns five.

Cake making can be therapeutic; it's nice to have a project with lots of steps that all come together for one show-piece of a product.

First things first, I whipped up a double batch of pumpkin cake batter.

Then I baked the cakes...

This cake is very moist, but it never hurts to add a little vanilla-steeped syrup.

Cream cheese frosting should just be the standard cake frosting, right?

Once I had my buttercream made, it was time to assemble.

Confessions: I had a little leftover cake.

Props to my nephew for having a birthday so I can exercise my cake muscles.


Recent Good Eats

While I'm on a roll with posting about food other people made, I figured I may as well write up a recent food adventures post.  Another post about something I actually made with my own two hands is forthcoming.

Here goes nothing, I've eaten at...

Boiler Room

Vivian Howard could very well be the best chef Eastern North Carolina has ever seen.  If you haven't seen her show on PBS, you really ought to check it out.  Boiler Room is Chef Vivian's heavenly oyster bar, serving up exquisite local fare for a great price.  The staff was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly.  They really make you feel like you were in North Carolina...which you are.  Nothing beats that kind of hospitality.   

If you watch A Chef's Life, you'll know all about the Butterbean Burger and fresh oysters from Cedar Point, both of which I eagerly consumed.

10 minutes until opening for lunch and there is already a line.

Stellar Cedar Point Oysters

Hail to the  Butterbean Burger with tobacco onions, smoked gouda and housemade pickles

Not pictured, but enthusiastically consumed: Oysters Boilerfeller, Fried Chicken with Honey 

Mussel Bar and Grille

Are you sensing the seafood theme?  Mussel Bar and Grille is Chef Robert Wiedmier's casual restaurant with yummy eats and great patio happy hour deals.

$5 cocktails are always a good idea.  

L: "Ziggy Stardust" R: "Purple Haze"

The Heirloom Tomato and Stone Fruit salad had the whole delicious and beautiful thing covered.

Not pictured, but definitely enjoyed:  White Wine Mussels, Mediterranean Mussels, Classic Frites, Brussels Sprouts


This little space is DC restaurant titan, Chef Mike Isabella's, Japanese branch.  Yona is a little on the pricey side, but many of the offerings are worth a splurge.

Foreground: Stanley Background: Lucky
My old man drinks suit me just fine.

The Kimchi-Brined short rib buns were flavorful, even if the filling:bun ratio was off.

Crispy Gyoza Dumplings are always a joy when done right, and in this case they were a joy.  Also, in the corner of this photo sneak a peak at the delicious pickled summer vegetables. 

Not pictured and consumed with mixed feelings: crispy ginger beef buns (worth a try) and mountain yam ongiri rice ball (not worth a try)

It's always fun to take a look at what I've eaten over the last few months...even if it does make me hungry.

Any recommendations on where I should eat next?  


Manger à Paris

If ever there was a place that is underrated, it's Paris.  How could anyone possibly praise this city enough?  The feeling of Paris is indescribable.  From the Gothic splendor of Sainte-Chapelle, the calm escape of an hour on Bateaux Mouches, to grand views of the city, and the food.  

My first visit to Paris was an absolute dream.  For the purposes of this blog, I will highlight the eating that took place.

L'As du Fallafel

This little vendor is a must-visit if you are into falafel.  The falafel is bite-sized, all wrapped up in a pita swimming in sauces and vegetables to boot.  The spicy option is not super hot, so go for it even if you normally wouldn't.  Take a break at a nearby park to enjoy this filling meal.


Fromage Anywhere

If you are in Paris do yourself a favor and eat as much cheese as you can.  It's a different caliber in France, trust me.

Coffee Anywhere

Again, just enjoy the cafe culture.  Relax.

Moevenpick Ice Cream

Ok, so Moevenpick is Swiss, but check out their Paris location and try as many flavors as you can.

Patrick Roger

The best chocolate I have ever had.  Full-stop.

Of course, this post does not do justice to the extensive cuisine of Paris.  This is due to a failing on my part to take adequate photographs.  When you visit Paris don't forget to check out the bread and pastry scene, the authentic Moroccan food, Brazilian food, Korean and Chinese food, and anything else your stomach desires. Go on an adventure and let your taste buds do the exploring. 

Bon Appétit!


A Tardy Texas Post

Way on back in May of 2016, a girl flew to meet a childhood friend in Dallas, Texas and together they returned to their native East Coast via automobile.  This is just one part of their story.  The food journey.

Most importantly, the girls visited Kate Weiser Chocolate in Trinity Groves an up-and-coming restaurant district in Dallas.  Kate Weiser's creations are perfect from foot to top.  The storefront is bustling, organized and a pleasant place to spend a few moments munching on bonbons.

The chocolates were vibrant, creative and as delicious as they were diverse.

I guess no trip to Texas is complete without a sampling of Torchy's Tacos.  Torchy's is the kind of institution that makes you wish you were from Texas.  A life without Torchy's street corn is a sad life indeed.

Another fun place to eat a quick meal is Bbbop Seoul Kitchen.  It's a cute place to build your own Korean style bowl.

Perhaps the most famous food-truck-town in the world: Austin does not disappoint.  You would be hard-pressed to find a better place to enjoy falafel on a hot day.  Props to Kebabalicious.

So, maybe Austin is actually a little overwhelming.  There is too much food to try.  Is that possible?

Mighty Cone was a definite food truck highlight.  Ah, Mighty Cone, you made me believe in fried avocado.

Texas, you have so much to offer.  I wish I could do more than scratch the surface.