Corn Flake Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate

Corn Flake Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips I long ago grew out of breakfast cereal.  However, with the thought of a crisp corn flake cookie in mind, I found myself once again, in the cereal aisle of Safeway.  I  made a batch of oatmeal cookies that included corn flakes, but I still had almost an entire box left.  Since I wasn’t about to eat corn flakes for breakfast, I was bent on baking more cookies.

Corn Flakes I stumbled upon a recipe simply titled Cornflake Cookies on  The short list of ingredients and the idea of using up another 3 – 4 cups of corn flakes got me thinking that this would be the perfect recipe to put a dent into that box of cereal.

Bittersweet Chocolate Chips As it turned out, the recipe also include a small portion of chocolate chips.  Excellent!  I doubled the amount called for and used bittersweet chocolate.

Corn Flake Cookie Dough with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips I was just a bit skeptical about rolling the cookie dough into large pieces of corn flakes, but they turned out to be the perfect, crispy, delightful cookie.

Baked Corn Flake Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips The corn flakes turn golden brown and crisp up as they bake.

Corn Flake Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Corn Flake Cookies with Bittersweet Chocolate 

Adapted from

Makes 18 cookies


1 stick + 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or salted butter) at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 – 4 cups corn flakes, divided, very lightly crushed

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combing flour, salt and baking powder.  Fold flour mixture into butter mixture.  Stir in 1 cup corn flakes and bittersweet chocolate chips.

Scoop cookie dough into tablespoon sized balls and roll into remaining lightly crushed corn flakes.  I like to press the dough down very lightly in the center so the cookies are a bit more even.  Bake for about 17 – 19 minutes (oven temperatures vary, check at 15 minutes) or until the cookies are perfectly golden, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time for even cooking.  Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.




Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Seared Filet Mignon with Sautéed Shallots & Shiitake Mushrooms

Filet Mignon with Shallots & Shiitake Mushrooms Umami = Deliciousness.   The New Yorker’s March 2015 article: You Think You Know Umami describes it in two sentences: “That deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms, among other things. It hits the back of your throat and leaves you craving more.”  This simple dish is all about umami.  Steak, seared and served with shiitake mushrooms, shallots and soy sauce.  That’s it. Simple and delicious.

Shiitakes Mana Foods in Paia is my favorite market.  Their shelves are stocked full of goodies and hard to find items (for residents of Maui) such as Muscovado sugar, Einkorn flour, specialty vinegars, oils and more.  Particularly superb is their produce department.  It is well stocked with many fresh locally grown products, including the best selection of fresh mushrooms here on Maui.  Beautiful golden chanterelles are hard to find here but Mana has them when they are in season.  They even sell fresh fava beans!  Gorgeous shiitakes are always available at Mana.


Sliced Shiitakes

Shiitakes & Shallots The mushrooms and shallots are sliced thin and quickly sautéed for a few minutes.  Soy sauce will be added to the mushrooms just before they are served.

Sauteed Shiitakes

Filet Mignon with Shallots & Shiitake Mushrooms

 Seared Filet Mignon with Sautéed Shallots & Shiitake Mushrooms

Adapted from Linda Furuya’s San Francisco Chronicle article

Serves 2


2 teaspoons canola oil (or other neutral oil)

1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots

8 – 10 (about 6 ounces) medium-size shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 filet mignon (about 8 – 10 ounces 1 1/2″ thick) sliced into two 3/4″ thick medallions

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce


Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shallots and mushrooms, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season the steak with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the steak to the pan and sear on each side for about 2 – 3 minutes, or enough to leave the insides pink and juicy.  Remove steak from the heat, but leave the juices in the pan.

Lower the heat to medium. Return the mushrooms and shallots back to the skillet to warm gently.  Once heated, remove the skillet from the heat, add soy sauce and stir until mushrooms and shallots are well coated.

Cut the steak into thin slices and scatter the mushroom mixture over and around the meat.  Serve with steamed rice.


Posted in Beef, Dinner, Japanese, Lactose Free, Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas

Indian Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas I have a new appreciation for chicken thighs.  There. I’ve said it.  I never thought I would, but I’ve learned they are essential in certain recipes, such as this Indian Spiced Chicken.  It is exceptional.

Ground Coriander, Turmeric, Cumin, Cayenne The spices that flavor this dish are incredibly fragrant.  Your kitchen will be over whelmed with wonderful aromas!

Fresh Grated Ginger

Sliced Onions

Indian Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas After just an hour in the oven, the chicken is tender and moist.  The sauce is so tasty you’ll want to spoon it over your rice, which I quickly did (after taking a few snapshots of the dish).  My stepson, Ivan, loves Indian cuisine, but I have always been on the fence.  Now however,  I’m in love with this Indian recipe.

Indian Spiced Chicken Plate

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4


1 tablespoon canola oil

4 each, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin removed

1 tablespoon Earth Balance butter (or unsalted butter)

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger

1 1/2  teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon sour cream

salt to taste

fresh cilantro


Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°.  Heat oil in a large oven proof pot over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt.  Working in two batches, cook chicken, reducing heat as needed to prevent over browning, until golden brown on all sides, 8 -10 minutes per batch.  Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and onions to pot, season with salt.  Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown, 10 – 15 minutes.

Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne.  Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in chickpeas and 2 cups broth.  Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pot.  Add more broth if needed to cover chicken about three-fourths of the way up.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover pot and transfer to oven.  Braise chicken until fork-tender, 50 – 60 minutes.

Using tongs transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.  Remove pot from the heat and stir sour cream or yogurt into cooking liquid.  Season with salt.  Return chicken to pot and warm over low heat (do not boil or sour cream may curdle).

Transfer chicken to a large deep platter,  Pour sauce over and sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve with wilted spinach and basmati rice.



Posted in Beans, Chicken, Dinner, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Creamy Chive Potatoes

Creamy Chive Potatoes This simple and delicious potato side dish is a dream come true.  Everything except the chives goes into a pot and simmers, for a short time until the half & half reduces and becomes a luscious coating for the creamy Yukon Gold potatoes. Luckily for me, being lactose intolerant, Organic Valley makes a lactose free half & half which is carried by Mana Foods in Paia.

Lactose Free Half & Half

Yukon Gold Potatoes It seems I’m never able to catch up with all the food magazines that I subscribe to.  There are stacks of them all over the living room and they get higher and higher as the months go by.  So every now and then I’ll plop down in my comfy chair and spend an hour or two looking through these food magazines wondering what I might have missed.  This recipe is a good example. It comes from Bon Appetit’s May 2013 issue that was delivered to my home nearly 2 years ago.

Yukons, Half & Half, Buttery Sticks What I love about this recipe is that it has just four ingredients, it’s ready in 30 minutes, and, most importantly, it’s delicious!

Chopped Chives These potatoes make a great side dish for steaks, roasted or grilled chicken, pork tenderloin or pork chops.  They are so good I even have the leftovers with eggs for breakfast.

Creamy Chive Potatoes

Creamy Chive Potatoes

Adapted from Bon Appetit


1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 1/2 cups half & half (I used lactose free Organic Valley half & half)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)

kosher salt

1/4 cup finely chopped chives


Combine potatoes, half & half, and butter in a large saucepan; season with salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (the tip of a paring knife meets no resistance) and sauce is thick, about 20 minutes.

Season with salt; stir in most of the chives.  Top with remaining chives before serving.





Posted in Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Side Dishes | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Crispy Oatmeal Corn Flake Cookies

Crispy Oatmeal Corn Flake Cookies Back in the 70’s I had a recipe for corn flake cookies. They were light, crispy, and so delicious.  I don’t have the recipe anymore, but I haven’t forgotten about how good they were.  I’m always looking out for cookies that include corn flakes because I know they will have the nice crunchy texture I love.  I was skimming through a local magazine (I don’t recall the name of the magazine) that had a recipe for Grandma’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Corn flakes were listed as an ingredient so I quickly jotted down the recipe.  I thought it was interesting that lard was listed as an ingredient as well.  I don’t cook with lard and used Earth Balance Buttery sticks instead.  You could try the original recipe that uses half lard and half butter, or use butter only.

Oatmeal, Corn Flakes, Raisins, Peanuts The original recipe left out the amount of salt to use and didn’t specify how long to bake the cookies.  No matter, the cookies turned out so well.  Though they are considered oatmeal cookies, the corn flakes are present and add such a nice crunch along with peanuts.  They are my new favorite cookie.

Crispy Oatmeal Corn Flake Cookies

Crispy Oatmeal Corn Flake Cookies

Adapted from the original recipe: Grandma’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 dozen cookies


1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or 1 cup unsalted butter)

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1 teaspoon kosher salt if using unsalted butter)

1 cup corn flakes

2 cups oatmeal (regular, not quick cooking)

1 cup peanuts (unsalted, do not chop)

1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 325°

Cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs.  flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in corn flakes, oatmeal, peanuts and raisins.

Drop rounded mounds of dough (about 2 tablespoons) on un-greased cookie sheets flattening the dough slightly before baking.

Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pan once during baking period, until cookies are golden brown.

Let cookies cool on the pan for several minutes after baking before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.  Serve right away or freeze in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper.



Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Hearty Tomato Herb Soup

Hearty Tomato Herb Soup I enjoy soup but it is not something I would typically order in a restaurant. More often than not, they contain dairy and being lactose intolerant, I have to pass.  So when I’m in the mood for soup I make my own at home, and lately, I’ve been in a soup mood. Maybe it’s due to the weather here on Maui.  It has been pleasantly cool and we’ve had more rain than we have seen in years.  We can go months and months without a drop!  So a bowl of hearty soup in February seems just right for lunch.

Onion, Carrot, Celery  This soup is full of vegetables and fresh herbs.  There’s a tad of butter for sautéing  the vegetables, but other than that, it’s fat-free.

Tomatoes for Herb Soup Luckily, we have some nice tomatoes in the garden now.  Tomatoes are not the easiest fruit to grow.  They need a lot of attention (in our area), but with patience, you will be rewarded with the most delicious, juicy tomatoes ever.  If you don’t have fresh tomatoes for this soup, there are many good canned tomatoes you may use instead.

Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, Basil I appreciate our beautiful basil, Italian parsley, thyme, and oregano growing happily in the back yard. They add a wonderful fresh flavor to this soup.  By the way, this soup can be quickly prepared in an hour or so.

Cooked Green Beans

Hearty Tomato Herb Soup

Hearty Tomato Herb Soup

Serves 8


1 tablespoon butter or olive oil (I use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced zucchini

2 cups peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 bay leaf

3 cans chicken broth (14 ounce)

3 cups water

1 cup cooked, chopped green beans

1 cup cooked rice (brown or white)

salt and pepper

grated parmesan, optional


In a large saucepan sauté onion, carrot,  and celery in butter over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté another 4 minutes or so.  Add tomatoes, herbs, bay leaf, broth, and water to saucepan.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add cooked green beans and rice to pan. Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle grated parmesan over soup if desired.


Posted in Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Side Dishes, Soups | Tagged , , | Leave a comment