Saturday, March 10, 2007

Our friend Shane, who works at A Full Plate, is leaving for a few months in Germany. We're sad to see him go but incredibly happy for the experience this will likely be in his life. To see him off, we got together at the cafe for Liz's famous Chicken Divan. I felt like I was back in a college commons sitting at the long table and eating identical plates of food.
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Prior to dinner, I baked Shane a cookie that I'd never made before and only learned of the previous weekend hanging out with Lynda in D.C. She sent the recipe via e-mail Thursday morning, and I gave it a try Thursday night before dinner. Lynda's recipe didn't come with a title, but I thought my version (I added toffee bits in at the end) of this cookie was crazy good, so that's what I'm dubbing them until convinced to change.

Crazy Good Chocolate Cookies:

10 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped and divided (I used the Nestle's Chocolatier 62% cocoa chocolate chips)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup Heath toffee bits
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder onto a sheet of wax paper and set aside
3) In the top of a double boiler, melt 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and the butter.
4) Meanwhile, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer for four or five minutes on medium, until light, scraping down the bowl after about four minutes.
5) Add the chocolate mixture and mix for a minute to combine.
6) Add the flour mixture, the remainder of the chocolate chips, and toffee bits. Combine for a minute, and use a spatula to ensure that it's well combined. It's a thick batter.
7) Use a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie (I used my cookie scoop). Bake 10 minutes on parchment-lined baking sheets, rotating as appropriate for your oven. Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then store in an airtight container.
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The consistency was like a fudgy brownie but in cookie form. They had nice shiny and crisp exteriors, but gloriously silky interiors. The toffee bits melted just enough to make it all reasonably gooey.
chicken divan
We ate dinner before indulging in the cookies. Liz, who is not the food side of the cafe, made her famous Chicken Divan for all us to have before going bowling. I never had Chicken Divan before I met Liz, it's pretty much the only thing she's ever cooked for me, and I love it, though I hear it's not remotely healthy despite the presence of broccoli. But it's the ultimate in comfort food and I'm surprised I never had it as a child. Broccoli and Chicken are covered with a sauce made of mayonnaise, cream of chicken soup, lemon juice and curry powder. The dish is topped with cheese and buttered breadcrumbs before baking. Served over white rice, this is a satisfying whole meal in one dish. Liz also made a vegetarian version using "Chicken" patties from Boca and Cream of Asparagus soup. Equally delicious.
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It was a good thing we all had such a hearty dinner, three games of bowling and a bunch of silly dancing required a lot of energy!
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To North Bowl: Sorry we were so ridiculous, but you kept bringing us pitchers of beer!


  1. Taylor said...
    Too funny! I ended up bowling and dancing with a bunch of teenagers in the 'burbs last weekend. Good stuff.

    Those cookies look like da bomb.
    sher said...
    I don't know which is better--the silly dancing or the cookies!
    Anonymous said...

    Myspace wouldn't let me comment for some reason, so I wanted to answer your question. No, I don't know anyone going to Easterns. Folks out here only do Pacific, for the most part.

    PS: Regarding your comment on my photo: It's a myth that you have to show skin to get beads at Mardi Gras. Most people get so loaded down with them that they have to discard some of them. But, outsiders have this idea that Mardi Gras is all about breasts and debauchery. It's really not. For locals, it's a family friendly week-long party. Down in the Quarter it's all tourists who don't really understand what Mardi Gras is all about.


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