Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Preheat Oven 350
Makes 1 dozen cookies

1 stick butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 mins.

Easy/simple recipe that produces a very tasty cookie.

Happy New Year

Happy Holidays/Season’s Greetings to everyone.

It has been a while since I have updated.  I have been baking and baking and testing recipes.  I am currently on a cupcake kick.  I am desperately trying to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe and a vanilla cupcake recipe as well.  I have tried a few and so far not having luck on what I would consider to be the “best”.  Am looking for a super moist chocolate cupcake.  Any ideas?

Bakery Review – Gigi’s Cupcakes – Peachtree City, GA

I was really excited to try the cupcakes at Gigi’s since I just absolutely love cupcakes.

I bought 4 cupcakes from them to try them out: Lemon Dream Supreme, Snickerdoodle, Sweet Potato Pie, Blueberry Lemonade.  I have to say, for $13/4 cupcakes – they really weren’t that good. A bit of a disappointment really.  The ratio of icing to cake is weird – coming close to 3 -3.5 inches of icing to about 2 inches of cake.  Below are the descriptions from their website and my thoughts.

Lemon Dream Supreme
Lemon cake with a lemon filling topped with lemon butter cream frosting and a candied lemon slice.

Cake was dense (bit too dense), the icing was massive and the candied lemon slice was those fruit wedges instead of a candied lemon slice.  I couldn’t even see or taste the lemon filling. Surprisingly this cupcake was not very lemony and way too sweet, with the ever-present grainy butter cream (ick).

Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with crystal sugar.

Nate ate this one.  He said “can’t taste the bourbon at all, cake was dry and overall “it sucked”.

The last two, we shared.

Snickerdoodle
Cinnamon swirl cake with cookie dough frosting, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and topped with a snickerdoodle cookie.

Again, dry, dense un-moist cake, grainy and way too much cinnamon in the icing (could feel the texture of it on my tongue) and just overall ick.

Blueberry Lemonade
Lemon cake with a blueberry butter cream icing.

Couldn’t really taste any blueberry in the icing, lemon cake not very lemony.

Overall not very impressed and won’t be going back. I could probably make better.

Restaurant Review – Saza “Serious Italian” – Newnan, GA

Saza opened up in Newnan near the Square about 2 months ago.  I have mixed feelings about the place.  The interior is really nice looking.  Lots of blood red walls and “faux” finish added as touches.  The seating is weird and depending upon where you are sitting, you can have glaring lights in your eyes or blood chilling cold air blowing directly on you.  The staff is super nice and seem enthusiastic to work there.  We have been there several times now — once the day after it opened and it had a limited menu.  We have both tried several items on the menu, from appetizers, to salads, to main courses and desserts.

I am a skeptic when it comes to “authentic” italian food in the south.  They never seem to get it right – as evidenced by the amount of Olive Gardens and other “italian” chains down here.  Same goes for pizza down here — there is probably only 3-4 pizza joints I have found that are truly worth it.

Saza tends to be a bit pricey — overpriced really.  The don’t offer side salads, nor bread with the meal.  Garlic Styx are an appetizer. Now onto the food (and listing stuff we tried).

Appetizers:

Stuffed Hot Peppers – $8 – you get two peppers stuffed with Bolognese meat blend, fresh mozzarella and arrabiata sauce.
This is probably one of the best items on the appetizer menu.  Tasty, a bit spicy (a good spicy).

Grandma’s Eggplant – $8 – served at room temperature with tomatoes, fresh mint & grated Pecorino cheese.
We both found this bland and definitely not worth $8

Chopped Salads:

House Salad – $6
I ordered the house salad with the Mountain Blue Gorgonzola dressing – the salad is pretty tasty – nothing out of the ordinary in it, could use a tad more dressing

Grandma’s Traditional Chopped Antipasto Salad – $12 – Salami, soppresata, mortadella, provolone, roasted peppers, olives, artichokes, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and assorted greens.
Fairly tasty, esp when trying to find a traditional antipasto salad down “south”.

“Serious Pizza”
Have only tried one so far, and honestly it was a bomb.

Kafta Lamb Pizza – $19 for a 16″ pizza – lamb with cardamon curry, feta cheese, mint oil and curried yogurt sauce.
The curry is too overpowering on this pizza and can only eat one slice before it gets to be too much.

Pasta and Entrees

Chopped Lobster, Shrimp, Spinach over Angel Hair – $19 – with EVOO, exploded garlic, reggiano cheese, Chardonnay
Apparently this is one of their most popular dishes.  My only complaint was there wasn’t enough lobster, otherwise it was pretty tasty and glad I tried it – not sure if I will have it again.

Chicken Paillard – $16 – flattened and sauteed chicken breast in a rich pesto cream over rigatoni.
I have had this twice now and if you like pesto, this is very good, and definitely something I will order on a regular basis.

Calamari & Shrimp Fra Diavlo – $18 – with tomatoes over spaghettini
could be a bit spicier, since it is a Fra Diavlo sauce, but otherwise pretty good.

Grandma’s Spaghetti and Meatballs – $14
You get a lot of spaghetti and meatballs almost the size of baseballs.  The meatballs were rather bland and honestly I make better ones at home.

Grandma’s Sunday Sauce – $20 – meatballs, pork and lamb shoulder over rigatoni, the “real thing”
The pork and lamb were tasty, again bland meatballs and the sauce needs a bit more flavor – rather pricey dish.

Dessert:

Tiramisu – $8
probably one of the best Tiramisu I’ve had.  Definitely rich and creamy and there is biscotti in it as well.

Cannoli
It was just ok.

Some of the items on the menu are really good, others definitely over-priced and I think we go mainly for the Tiramisu.

Restaurant Review – Fabiano’s Pizzeria – Newnan, GA

Fabiano’s Pizzeria – 5 stars

Fabiano’s is one of my most favorite places here in Newnan. The place is located in the square in the heart of Newnan. Fabiano’s is small and cozy and decorated in the most fabulous geek art: Star Wars, Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, Zombies, Skulls, etc. which all can be purchased off the wall (I have my eye on the Cthulhu Stormtrooper painting!)

We go almost every Sunday and I usually order the same thing each time: Garlic Knots and the Grilled Chicken Caesar salad. Both are fabulous and I could probably eat that meal every day. Also outstanding is the Pizza, the Jamaican Jerk Chili and the Tater Tots (all the way and add bacon!).

Fabiano’s makes you feel welcome and the staff there is truly amazing. Special kudos to Lisa and Clint. Tuesday is trivia and we need to try that one night. Oh, and lest I forget. The desserts are to die for and will definitely put you into a food coma. Warm Brownie with fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzle, Canolli, Tiramisu and the giant bowl of Donut Holes covered in icing and powered sugar.

If you’re in Newnan and haven’t tried Fabiano’s, get there ASAP. If not in Newnan, make the trip, you won’t be disappointed!