Bold Flavors for Quick Dinners and My Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Continues

Yes, you can get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. And yes, this dinner can be made from whole foods, with bold flavors, and be worthy of inviting a friend or two to join you outside on the deck. 


If you can plan a couple hours or a day before, you can serve these dark chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 




Skirt Steak, Sweet Potato Fries, Kale Salad with a Avocado Cilantro Dressing


½ lb of skirt steak per person

1 sweet potato per person

1 bunch of Lacinato kale

1 lemon

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

3 Tablespoons of grated parmesan



Marinate the skirt steak in your favorite marinade, (I used a teriyaki sauce) for 30 minutes up to overnight. 15 minutes before cooking remove from fridge, pat dry.


Preheat oven to 425F

Peel potatoes, cut into fries, place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with EVOO, salt, and a Southwest seasoning. Bake fries for 15 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.


Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Cook the skirt steak for 3-5 minutes, turning frequently. Remove steak and allow to rest.


Make the kale salad: remove the kale from the stems, tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Massage kale for 1-2 minutes to “soften” the leaves. Sprinkle with EVOO and the juice of one lemon, and the grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.



Avocado Cilantro Dressing


1 bunch of cilantro (remove bottom 2 inches of stems)

1 avocado

1 clove of garlic

½ cup of plain yogurt (for this I love Nancy’s non-fat yogurt, which has an appealing tart taste)

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt and pepper to taste



Put all ingredients into bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. If you want a thinner dressing, add 2-3 Tablespoons of water.



Roasted Tomato, Shrimp and Feta 

This could not be easier or more delicious! Serve it with a crusty bread to dip into the sauce. Serve this with a simple salad and you have the perfect dinner to enjoy with friends.



2 – 15 ounce cans of diced or stewed tomatoes

1 block of feta cheese

1 lb. of large shrimp (you can use frozen shrimp)

Hot pepper flakes to taste (optional)



Add all ingredients to a baking dish, drizzle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for three mintues.



Chocolate Chip Cookies

Honestly, I never get tired of trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes. They are my favorite cookie. Lucky for me, there are as many versions as there are bakers.



2 sticks of butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup half and half

2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans




Cream together the butter and sugar, until fluffy. Add in vanilla, eggs, cinnamon. Then mix in the dry ingredients, the chocolate chips and nuts. 


At this point, I like to scoop the cookies into large egg-sized balls, place them on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic, and let them rest in the fridge for two hours or overnight. The point is to bake them when they are cold, so that they will spread less.


Bake at 375F for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they are not over-baked. Allow to cool before enjoying.



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