Mocha Chip Cookies

Is there a maximum number times of times a food blogger can post a cookie recipe and declare that it's amazing? I hope not, because this is officially another one of my faves. Add that to my list with Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Smores Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, these Oatmeal Cookies, and Oreo Cookie Cookies! (Wow, that's a lot of cookies!)

If you're thinking that you won't like this cookie because you don't like coffee, think again. Even coffee haters loved this cookie. The coffee flavor comes from 3 tablespoons of instant coffee powder mixed into the dough (I used instant espresso. Oops). The result is a wonderful, chewy cookie with a hint of coffee flavor that really adds to the depth of flavor.

I found the recipe on Framed, but it originally comes from the book Baking with Julia. The recipe says to throw in 1 pound of chocolate chips or chunks but it doesn't specify what kind. I ended up using half white chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chunks. I loved the white chocolate in there and would definitely recommend using at least half white chocolate if you make this recipe. The sweetness of the white chocolate really balanced out the coffee flavor.

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe: Adapted from Framed, Originally from Baking with Julia
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder - I used espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound chocolate chips or chunks - a mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate
  1. Whisk the flour, coffee, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter in a mixer until lightened. Add granulated sugar and beat for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and beat for another 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until blended.
  3. Turn mixer speed down and add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Add chocolate and mix until evenly blended in.
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for several hours to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Drop a heaping tablespoon full of dough onto sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes. (I baked mine for 11 minutes and they were perfect. They looked underbaked, but after cooling on the pan for 2 minutes, and then cooling on the rack, they were perfectly chewy)

Caprese Chicken & My Go-To Chicken Marinade

If you're looking for something quick, healthy, and delicious to jazz up some grilled chicken, this is it. This is a really light and fresh summer meal. And the best part is, you don't even have to turn on the oven! I threw together the bruschetta a few hours before dinner, then went outside to grill the chicken 15 minutes before we were ready to eat. To quote Ina, "How easy is that?". We love anything with tomato and mozzarella in the this house, so I know this would be a hit.

The marinade I used for this chicken is my standard grilled chicken marinade. I use it A LOT in the summer. It's amazing what a difference a little marinade makes. The recipe below was scaled down from the original quantities, I used this to marinade 3 boneless, skinless breasts, but it would probably be enough for 4.

Chicken Marinade
Recipe: Adapted from
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard (I used regular mustard)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir in mustard powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use to marinate chicken before cooking as desired. The longer you marinate, the more flavor it will have.

Caprese Chicken
Recipe: Adapted from BakedBree
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup of mozerella, diced
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  1. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste and combine. Don't be shy on the salt, it really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes!
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar to taste and mix together. I probably used about 1/4 cup of each.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Cucumber Salsa

When the sun is shining and it's warm outside, I crave really light food and fresh flavors. This dish is perfect (not to mention quick and healthy). I usually stray way from cooking seafood because I'm always worried that I'll overcook or undercook it, but mahi is a pretty forgiving fish. Overall, this was really easy to put together. I just drizzled the fish with some olive oil, sea salt, pepper and lime and put on my grill pan for about 4 - 5 minutes on each side. The salsa absolutely made the dish. The sweetness of pineapple and the coolness of the cucumber completed the fish perfectly. The quantities of the ingredients in the salsa are really flexible so feel free to add more or less of whatever you want. I served this with a side of brown rice and it was a perfect meal. Enjoy!

Recipe: Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Cucumber Salsa
  • 2 mahi mahi fillets
  • Salt & Pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalepeno (seeds removed) finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  1. To make the salsa, combine pineapple, cucumber, juice of 1 lime, onion, jalepeno, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. To cook the fish, heat a grill pan to medium high. Drizzle the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the juice of 1 lime. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes on each side.

Baked Falafel

I absolutely love falafel, but as I previously mentioned, I hate frying things. So when I saw a recipe for baked falafel, I knew I would have to make. It's always a gamble when you take a food that's typically eaten fried, and try your hand at making it healthier, but these falafels were a huge a success. I was really surprised at how crispy they got in the oven.

I basically just read a bunch of falafel recipes and pick and choose what sounded good from each one. The recipe is pretty flexible. Feel free to add or take away spices to your liking. I threw everything in the food processor, formed them into balls, squashed them down a little bit so there would be more surface area to get crispy, then baked them at 400 degrees. It's really important to flip these half way through so both sides get crispy.

Overall these were a huge hit. I served them in pitas with some chopped up cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and homemade tzatziki sauce. I also threw together a rough chopped salad with my favorite greek dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Falafel

  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans drained
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parsley
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  1. Place garlic, onion, cilantro, parsley or mint, chickpeas, and bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to chop and blend ingredients.
  2. Sprinkle lemon juice and olive oil over chickpea mixture and pulse a few more times. Sprinkle baking powder, salt, and spices over mixture and pulse until the chickpea mixture reaches a workable paste-like consistency. Add additional lemon juice or olive oil if it seems to dry.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven is getting hot, line a baking pan with foil and brush with olive oil. Scoop balls (about the size of a golf ball) of dough into your palms and form them into patties. Set aside on work surface while you form the remaining mixture.
  4. Arrange falafel patties on oiled baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and crispy. Turn once midway through baking.
  5. Remove from oven and let falafel cool on pan for a minute or two before removing to plates or pitas with a spatula.

Coconut Cupcakes

These guys have been on my to-bake list for quite some time now. I finally got the chance to make them the other day and they were everything I expected them to be! This is a recipe from Ina Garten, and she has yet to disappoint. The cake itself is really light and fluffy and is flavored with vanilla and almond extract. The frosting is the star though (as usual). It's a cream cheese icing (also flavored with vanilla & almond extract). Why is cream cheese icing so damn good?!?!? Overall, I thought these were great and I absolutely loved the way they looked with the white frosting and the white coconut sprinkled on top!

Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 3/4 pound butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 2 muffin pans with liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, and fold in 7 ounces of the coconut.
  4. Fill each liner almost to the top with batter. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and almond, and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Mix until smooth.
  6. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese icing and sprinkle the tops with the remaining coconut.