Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

3/4 cup coconut oil (measured solid), melted and slightly cooled

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or try ¼ t almond, ¼ coconut)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 – 1  1/2 C shredded coconut  **Note: Use at least ½ 14 oz bag, possibly 3/4 bag

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks  **Note:  I used Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Baking Chunks (artisan dark chocolate)

Note:  You can also add toasted pecans, chopped, but be careful of your ratios.  If you add more coconut, ease up on the pecans & chocolate, etc.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine all flour, baking soda & salt, set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil and sugars. Let sit for 15 minutes. Whisk in egg, egg yolk and extracts, mixing until completely smooth. If any brown sugar chunks remain, use a metal spoon or your fingers to completely dissolve any lumps/chunks. Add in 1/2 cup (at a time) of dry mixture: flour, baking soda and salt, stirring after each addition. It may seem crumbly, but continue to stir and even use your hands. It will come together. Finally, fold in coconut and chocolate chips.

Take 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball, placing it on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Place dough about 1-2 inches away from each other. Bake 2 trays at once for 14 minutes, or until just set.

Let cool completely.



1 C. Multi Grain Hot Cereal (dry)

1 C. flour, unbleached

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 C. sugar

1 C. finely shredded carrots

1 C. Honeycrisp apples, peeled & chopped

1/2 C. dried currants

1/2 C. pecans, chopped

1/2  C. skim milk

2 eggs

1/4 C. Canola oil

2 t. Mexican vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line muffin trays with paper liners. Mix all dry ingredients first.  Then, add carrots, apples, currants, & pecans, eggs, milk, oil, vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Don’t overfill the cups.   You should yield exactly 18 muffins.  Bake for 18 minutes.  They are the most perfectly delicious warm, with a tiny pat of buttah!  I make them ahead for a super quick, healthy breakfast, on the run!  Enjoy…


Mandarin Spinach Salad Dressed w/ Honey-Lime & Blood Orange!/ginacassesse/media/slideshow?


(Yield: 2)

Spinach leaves, pre-washed

2 Bacon slices, pre-cooked & chopped

1/4 C. Mandarin orange segments, in juice

1/4 C. Gargonzola cheese


1 T. Honey

1 Lime, juiced

1 1/2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 t. garlic, minced

1 t. red onion, minced

dry mustard, dash

nutmeg, dash

salt & pepper, dash

1 1/2 T. blood orange juice

Note:  All dressing measurements are an approximate starting point.  I add at will and adjust as needed, to taste.  You can use freeze dried garlic & red onion, as I did. You’ll have plenty of extra dressing.

This salad is super easy when you take advantage of pre-cooked bacon.  The hardest part is nuking the 2 pieces of bacon for 13 seconds.  Just combine your ingredients, whisk together dressing ingredients and serve over salad.

CAPTAIN’S LOIN CUT COD FILET W/ PANKO AND LEMON ZEST!/ginacassesse/media/slideshow?


(Yield: 2)

2 Captain’s Loin (he-heh) Cut Cod Filets

1 lemon, zested & juiced

panko bread crumbs

salt & pepper

2 T. butter, quarter each T. into cubes (1 T. per fillet)

Preheat oven to 350-400 F.  Rinse and pat dry fillets.  Lay fillets in glass baking dish.  Cut 2-3 lengthwise slits in each fillet.  Insert small pats of butter along each slit.  Salt & pepper each fillet.  Pour lemon juice over fillets and top with planko and lemon zest.  Pat crumbs onto fillet.  Bake for about 24-27 minutes, or until flaky.  It’s so good.

Never judge a risotto by it’s cover.  It never looks quite as good as it tastes…



(Yield: 4 ginormous servings)

  • 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 – 5 C. Chicken Stock, hot
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 C. Dry White Wine
  • 4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter**
  • 1/2 C. Grated Pecorino Romano, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
  • ¼ – 1/3 lb. Prosciutto or Bacon, cubed or chopped
  • 2 large Cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 4-5 Plum tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch chunks
  • Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
  • Portobello Mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • Fresh Thyme 2-3 sprigs
  • Truffle oil, optional

 **Note:  You can cut the butter down by half and use just 1 T. to cook the garlic & shallots and 1 T. more at the end to coat the risotto when adding the cheese.


Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.  Cover & keep hot!

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil & half of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots & garlic and cook until softened and translucent but not browned 3 minutes.

Over medium-high heat add the prosciutto or bacon and cook until some of the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes (less if already cooked). Add mushrooms and cook until liquid evaporates, 4 to 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon (constantly) until toasted and opaque, 1 minute.

Add the thyme.  Then add the wine and cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Stir in the heavy cream, rest of butter, cheese, tomatoes & parsley until well mixed. Drizzle with truffle oil, to taste.  Remove from heat to adjust seasoning.

Serve hot, with extra cheese.


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