Cammy’s Cooking Adventures

Cammy’s Cookies

My little top chef has returned to the kitchen. He has been making breakfasts and helping me with dinners.  But his preference now is to bake. For MY birthday, he gave me a cookie cookbook for us to use together.  Of course we are using the recipes as guides and adapting as we see fit.


We started with a simple triple chip cookie (semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and peanut butter) using a basic toll house dough.  These were shared with neighbors and some were set aside in the freezer to go in Arielle’s Hanukah care package.

Here is a link to the recipe . We replaced the 2 cups of semi-sweet chips and 1 cup of chopped nuts with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate and 1 cup peanut butter chips.

Here is a link to the
. We replaced the 2 cups of semi-sweet chips and 1 cup of chopped nuts with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate and 1 cup peanut butter chips.

Next, mini chip snowball cookies.  We wanted ours to look like real snowballs, so there was a powdered sugar blizzard in our kitchen!

Here's a link to the Nestle's recipe for mini chip snowball cookies

Here’s a link to the Nestle’s recipe for mini chip snowball cookies

Last up was double chocolate chunk cookies. These were surprisingly good, most people’s favorite, with just the right level of sweetness (meaning not too sweet). Cam will brought these to share at the Tae Kwan Do holiday party – they disappeared pretty quickly.

And the link for the double chocolate cookies.

And the link for the double chocolate cookies.

Plans for the next cookies – oatmeal scotchies. And I am supposed to be losing weight before the next running season, uh oh!









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Carrot Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

I can’t resist using my vegetables in baked goods.  Our freezer is already filled with 3 different versions of zucchini (or pattypan squash) bread, so what is next?  This carrot poppyseed bundt cake.


My carrot harvest has been the best I have ever had.  They look good, they taste good.

20140719-132513-48313674.jpgThis version of carrot cake combines the carrots with poppy seeds rather  than traditional carrot cake with nuts.  This also uses a lemon icing, I have seen versions of this with a honey cream cheese icing; that would also be good.20140719-132339-48219437.jpgI had a partner in making the cake, my “top chef” was back in the kitchen with me.  He told me he is an expert at using the hand mixer. And he is pretty good at it…20140719-132338-48218334.jpgHe is also just a lot of fun to have in the kitchen with me. 20140719-132337-48217928.jpg

Carrot Cake Recipe

from Roots, by Diane Morgan

3 c. all purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground nutmeg

1/2 t. ground ginger

1/2 t. fine sea salt

2 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 c. Canola oil

2 t. vanilla

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

3 c. peeled and finely shredded carrots (from the garden)

1/4 c. poppy seeds

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice (I could not get Meyer lemons so I used regular lemons)


To make the cake: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a bundt pan amply with nonstick cooking spray, preferably one designed for baking (with flour)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through salt.  In another large bowl, beat together the sugar, Canola oil and vanilla for two solid minutes.20140719-132338-48218643.jpgThen add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each egg.20140719-132338-48218971.jpgAdd half of the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and combine on low speed and repeat. Add the carrots and poppy seeds and combine on low speed or just stir in until flour has dissolved. Don’t over-mix.

20140719-132339-48219889.jpgGently fold into the prepared bundt pan, smooth the top.\20140719-132340-48220548.jpgBake for 1 – 1.25 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean or cake is firm but slightly springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.20140719-163756-59876642.jpgLet cool for one hour in the bundt pan. Then, use a knife to loosen up all of the sides. Do this carefully and thoroughly if you want it to release cleanly. (This is a lot easier with a silicon cake pan like the one I used). Let the cake cool completely.


Make the glaze:  Whisk together the confectionsers’ sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.20140719-163756-59876963.jpgDrizzle the glaze evenly over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Cut into wedges to serve.  Enjoy!20140719-163757-59877377.jpgServes 12

Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Carrot, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Cammy’s Hide and Seek Muffins

Our “top chef” agreed to come back to the kitchen to make the Hide and Seek Muffins from Mollie Katzen’s Pretend Soup cookbook.


My strawberry plants are still young, so they are producing sweet berries, just not that many.


So, we used a mix of strawberries from our garden and other local strawberries.  Cracking eggs may be his self-proclaimed specialty, but her also enjoyed rolling the strawberries in sugar before burying them in the muffin batter.


We made these as a breakfast treat for Lauren and her visiting friends. But that doesn’t mean the Top Chef doesn’t get to enjoy his own creation…


Hide and Seek Muffins

from Mollie Katzen’s Pretend Soup 

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

4 Tbsp butter, melted

12 medium-sized strawberries (from the garden and/or local)

2 to 3 Tbsp sugar for rolling strawberries


Preheat the oven to 375F and place reusable or paper liners in the muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, crack the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, melted butter.  Whisk about 20 times.


Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture.  Mix with a spoon until the flour is “all gone”.


Use a 1/4 cup measure with a handle to fill the muffin cups halfway.

Roll each strawberry in sugar.  Put one in the center of each muffin, pushing it down with your finger.



Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted all the way down comes out clean.  Remove from pan to cool.


Cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.


Makes 1 dozen muffins.



Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Recipe, Strawberries, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Brown Sugar Pancakes



Another snow day here in Dover, no school, no work…so the top chef returned to the kitchen to make the Brown Sugar Pancakes from The Batali Brothers Cookbook.  These were delicious!!


But even better was seeing Cam back in the kitchen.  Although he still shies away from the stove, he really enjoys doing all the measuring and mixing.




My goal is to get him back at the stove by the end of summer. I think he will feel even prouder when he manages the dishes fully from start to finish.

Brown Sugar Pancakes

from The Batali Brothers Cookbook

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 eggs (locally raised)

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons melted butter, plus more regular butter for the pan and more for the table

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar


1. Put a nonstick or cast iron pan on the stove over medium heat.

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar together.


3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs in with the milk. Add the vanilla extract and the melted butter then whisk some more.


4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds and whisk. Make sure to get all the lumps out of the batter.

5. When you are done whisking the batter crumble two tablespoons of brown sugar on top and barely mix it in.


6. Take some extra butter, not melted butter, and put it on the pan so it melts and bubbles.

7. Then cook in batches: Pour the batter onto the pan (not all of it — just a ladle at a time; we like a 2 or 3 ounce ladle) so you form good round circles. Flip the pancakes when they are ready (bubbles form on the raw side) and cook them till they are ready.




8.Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar over the top.


9. Serve hot with maple syrup and more butter on the side. Enjoy!


Makes 12 – 14 medium pancakes – serves 6 people.






Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Recipe | 2 Comments

Cammy’s Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Cam has two treats planned for Valentine’s Day – chocolate raspberry sweetheart cupcakes and candy-filled heart cookies.  He started with the cupcakes…


His inspiration for these came from the Sweetheart Cupcakes in “Cupcakes and More” cookbook he picked out at Disney World last year.  I enjoy the fact that my son, who can typically be found in the fighting stance below, begged for the princess cupcake cookbook…but he knows a good thing when he sees it, he puts his own spin on things and we have liked everything we’ve made.


So today, instead of hearts, we cut animals in the tops of some cupcakes, but left most of the tops whole.  Since the cupcakes are made from a boxed mix, the highlight of the cupcakes is the raspberry frosting – a combination of white frosting and raspberry jam.


Cammy’s Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix, plus required ingredients (oil, local eggs, water)

1 container white frosting

3 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam


Preheat the oven to the required temperature for the cupcakes.

Place cupcake liners in 21 muffin cups.


Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.


Fill the cups about 2/3 full and bake according to package directions (typically about 18 minutes).  Cool completely.


Blend the frosting and jam until smooth.


Cut of the rounded tops of the cupcakes.  Using mini cookie or bento cutters, cut shapes in the top of the cupcakes (we used dolphins and penguins) or leave them whole.


Spread frosting mixture generously over cupcake bottoms, mounding slightly in center.  Replace the tops, pressing gently.


Serve and enjoy.


Makes 21 cupcakes.

Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Dessert | 2 Comments

Cammy’s Halloween Spice Cookies

My self-proclaimed “Top Chef” is back; Cammy has returned to the kitchen!  His first project…Halloween cookies he saw in a book.  He then made his father buy the book for him, so his personal cookbook collection is now up to 3.  He also likes to get story books that include a recipe related to the story.  I love it!


The cookies are spice cookies that get rolled, cut out, and decorated….


He has good taste, the cookies were delicious by themselves before we decorated them. Just the right amount of allspice and nutmeg.  And lots of butter.


The biggest challenge was finding black food coloring for the cats and bats.  It was also hard for me to give up total control of the decorating.  But he had a great time deciding where to put the cats whiskers…


Halloween Spice Cookies

using the recipe for black cat cookies in “Halloween Treats” by Donata Maggipinto

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg (from Farmer Kim)

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

for the icing:

2 egg whites

4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

food coloring (black, orange)

black licorice strings

white candy balls (for the eyes)

colored sugars (white, orange)

Black sprinkles


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, allspice and nutmeg: reserve.


In a large bowl, use an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.



Reduce speed to low, add the flour mixture, and beat until the dough comes together.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half.


Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8″ thick.


Using Halloween cookie cutters, cut out the cookies.


Reroll the scraps.  As you cut the cookies, transfer them to the prepared baking sheets.


Bake until lightly browned on the edges, 8 – 10 minutes.  Remove to cooling racks and let cool to room temperature before icing.


To make the icing, place the egg whites in a bowl.  Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form.


Add the confectioners sugar and lemon juice and continue to beat until thick and shiny.  The icing should spread easily.  If the icing is too thin, add more sugar, if it is too thick, add a bit of water.

For the cookies we made, we started with the ghosts, using white icing, and sprinkling with white decorating sugar.  Cut small pieces of licorice for the eyes.


Then came the pumpkins:  add orange food coloring to the icing.  Decorate with icing, orange sugar and triangular shapes of licorice for the eyes and nose.


Black food coloring is added to the icing for the bats and cats.  For the cats, licorice is used for the whiskers and white ball candies for the eyes.


For the bats, the icing is coated with black sprinkles. Gently press the sprinkles into the icing.20131025-185247.jpg

Enjoy!!!  Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 dozen 4 – 5″ cookies

Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kuku-ye Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Omelet)

I still had eggplants in my fridge from Farmer Kim.  I needed to do something with them, I had held them for as long as I would ever want to.  My husband wanted more Khoresh Bademjun, but we had already had it twice in 2 weeks, so I was determined to make something else.  Time to try Kuku-ye Bademjun – Persian Eggplant Omelet.  Fried eggplant, onions, saffron and eggs – how could I go wrong?  The result…It was so very tasty!


Cam, of course, decided he did not want to eat what we were, he wanted “plain” eggs – aka cheesy scrambled eggs.  But he also wanted to make them himself.  Yay!  Cam is back in the kitchen!




Kuku-ye Bademjun

3 – 4 small eggplants (from Farmer Kim)

4 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp saffron

Saffron oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the saffron: grind the saffron with some salt in a mortar and pestel.  Add a few spoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron.


Peel the eggplants and slice thinly.  Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Let the eggplant sweat for 20-30 minutes.  Rinse and wipe dry with paper towels.


In a large nonstick skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and fry the onions over medium heat until slightly golden.  Remove to a plate with paper towels.


Add more oil to the skillet, to about 1/4” deep.  Fry the eggplant in batches until golden browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Allow to cool.


Beat the eggs in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste.  Add the saffron and mix well.


Add the eggplants and onions, mix and adjust the seasoning.


Wipe out the pan, leaving a light coat of oil. Heat until hot.  Pour in the mix, flatten the surface with the back of a spoon and cook over medium heat until it starts to set through, about 5 to 10 minutes.


Cut the kuku into 8 wedges, turn over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 2 – 3.


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Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Zucchini & Okra Frittata

The okra has started producing. I am especially happy about that this year; for a while I thought I would have no okra crop. Why? Well, I planted the okra in two places in the garden and they started coming up very nicely. That was before I left on vacation in June. When I came home, my daughter, who diligently took care of the garden, was also very diligent in pulling weeds. A little too diligent… no more okra. 😦

I was heart-broken. I had never seen okra plants at a garden center; I have always grown it from seed. But to my surprise, a few weeks later, when I was looking for plants to fill in some holes left by my early crops, I found 4 okra seedlings! They looked sickly, but they were okra! So, I bought them, planted them and although they are not the strongest plants I have grown, they are doing OK and starting to bear fruit. So, I have my okra, and I am happy.  Now to combine them with zucchini, jalapeño, and some red onion for a delicious frittata.


I am also happy because Cam finally wanted to help cook again!  He wanted to be responsible for the eggs, so his cooking adventures continue…


The outcome…a beautiful fluffy frittata.


Zucchini and Okra Frittata

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 lb okra, sliced (from the garden)

1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, cored, seeded and thinly sliced (from the garden)

1/2 small red onion, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced

Kosher salt

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)


In a cast iron or nonstick 12 inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook okra, jalapeño and onion until tender, about 5 minutes.


Heat Broiler.

Add zucchini to the skillet and cook until tender – between 5 and 7 minutes.  Season with salt.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, adding 1/2 tsp salt.  Pour into the skillet with the vegetables.


Cook until the sides are beginning to set, about 3 minutes or so.20130909-093541.jpg

Place the skillet in the oven and broil until the frittata is just cooked through and the stop starts to turn golden brown., about 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not overcook.


Remove from oven and serve.  Enjoy!


Serves 4.

Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 4 Comments

Cammy’s Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cammy woke up wanting cookies. I don’t remember him ever asking for cookies, but today, that was what he wanted. Problem was, we did not have any cookies in the house, so we needed to make some.  After a bit of debate (seems like everything with my 3 year old is a debate), he and I decided on triple chocolate chip cookies – basically traditional toll house cookie recipe from the Nestle’s bag with a mix of dark, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips and pieces.  The eggs, as always, were from Farmer Kim.



First, preheat the oven to 375F and soften 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter. (Yes, this is quite decadent)

In a small bowl, mix together 2 1/4 cup flour with 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt.

In a large bowl cream the butter with 3/4 cup white sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

Add 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing in well after each.


Our master egg cracker

Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.


Team work

Add 1 3/4 cup mixed dark, semi-sweet and white chocolate pieces.


Of course the chips had to be taste tested before being added

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the cookie sheet


We made a mix of large and small cookies

Bake for 9-11 minutes.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then cool completely on a cookie rack.


so many cookies!



Enjoying the fruits of his labor

Makes 4 to 5 dozen. We made so many that we have enough to eat today, bring to school to share with his friends, and save for when his sisters come home from college, and maybe even some for Santa.


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Spider Cookies with Cam

I have mentioned before how much I like  So when it came time to find something fun to make with Cam for Halloween, that is where I turned.  I needed something he could do the decorating himself, and I found their chocolate spiders – chocolate macaroons with chocolate-covered pretzels for legs.  Perfect!  He could roll pretzels in chocolate, stick them into the macaroons and even add the eyes.

Not only are these cute, they are yummy, the mix of the sweet macaroon with the richness of the dark chocolate and the saltiness of the pretzels – wow!

Chocolate Spiders 

(slightly adapted from

Spider Bodies:

4 ounces dark chocolate pieces

3 egg whites (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup cocoa powder 

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)

Chocolate-covered pretzels:

Thin stick pretzels

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate pieces

In a stainless steel bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.

Stir in the coconut and melted chocolate, making sure the coconut is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm.

While the macaroon batter is chilling, melt 3 ounces (90 grams) of semi-sweet chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and dip stick pretzels into the chocolate and then place on a parchment-paper or wax-paper lined baking sheet. Let dry.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (my note – the nice thing about using the parchment paper is that I could simply slide the paper, with the macaroons on it, onto the cooling rack.) Remove the Chocolate Coconut Macaroon batter from the refrigerator and place small mounds (heaping tablespoons) of the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing several inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutesor just until the macaroons are shiny. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.

Chocolate Spiders: Take the warm Chocolate Coconut Macaroons and press two candy eyes and four chocolate pretzels into each side of the cookies for “legs”.

Makes about 20-24 chocolate spiders.

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Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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