Monthly Archives: June 2011

Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I ate one from the Bouchard Bakery in Yountville; this cookie is huge and has an amazing taste.   I may try the recipe, or short cut it by buying the mix .

Recipe: Chocolate chunk cookies  – Thomas Keller


  •       1/2 pound butter
  •       1 cup dark brown sugar
  •       2/3 cup sugar
  •       1 tbsp molasses
  •       2 eggs
  •       1/2 tsp salt
  •       1/2 tsp baking soda
  •       3 cups all-purpose flour
  •       1 cup 72 percent chocolate chunks
  •       1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Mix the butter on low for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again.

Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Beat again for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl and beat for another 2 minutes. Scrape bowl again.

Slowly stream in eggs, one at a time, while mixer is on low speed. Once all eggs are incorporated, whip on medium speed for 2 minutes, scrape halfway through, and scrape when done.

Add dry ingredients on low speed, scrape halfway, and scrape when all the dry ingredients have been added.

Add chocolate and scrape again.

Scoop onto a lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325 for approximately 15 minutes

Eating at the Boulevard is Better than Reading Their Cookbook

Eating my way through San Francisco…luckily The Boulevard is across from a great pathway with a view of the double decker Bay Bridge (Embarcadero), so I could walk up an appetite.

This is the first time I’ve followed a cookbook author to her restaurant and it was so worth the trip. I was so excited (and hungry) I took a bite of my wild salmon before taking a picture. And, of course I had two desserts.



Carbonara Dish Replaces Pasta with Hearts of Palm

Nancy Oakes, of Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco, created this recipe for a group of observers and happy eaters when she visited Hawaii – replacing the pasta with hearts of palm in this carbonara dish.

Hearts of Palm Carbonara

  • 1.2 pound sliced pancetta
  • 1.2 cup dices onion
  • 1/2  cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups slices hearts of palm (using base only and removing exterior
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Grated parmesan to taste
  • 4 poached eggs
Saute pancetta until fat is rendered slightly and meat is lightly colored.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add wine and reduce to almost dry, stirring occasionally, then add cream and reduce by half.
Add hears of palm, toss, and heat.  Add parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan.  Divide into 4 warmed bowls and serve immediately topped with poached egg and more cheese and parsley.

Seed Mix

I whipped up some of Gwyneth Paltrow’s seed mix from her new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter.   She suggests it as a topping for oatmeal or stirred into pancake, muffin, or cookie batter to give them a healthy crunchy boost.

Makes enough to last a long time, but Paltrow says it will keep in the refrigerator for weeks.    I liked it sprinkled on a salad, and as a topping for deviled eggs (made with vegenaise), but it may be good on ice cream too.

Seed Mix

  • 1 cup pumpkin seed; 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups each of almonds, goji berries, and flaxseed
Grind everything together – in small batches in a mini food processor or coffee grinder.

Ithaka – favorite poem of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

In her collection of poetry, She Walks in Beauty, Caroline Kennedy includes one of her mother’s favorite poems.  I made a copy to keep on my journey.

Ithaka by Constantine P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon – you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soud sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when, 
with what leisure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time:
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things.
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind –
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Related Post:  Review of She Walks in Beauty