Monthly Archives

March 2016

Recipes Vegetarian

Ugly Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 9, 2016

Ugly Chocolate Chip Cookies aka I Need to Work on the Names of my Recipes

My husband and I do a bit of traveling – we’re at the age when all of our friends are getting married. I used to be a terrible traveler. At takeoff JPK would say, “It’s like every time is the first time with you,” as I dug my nails into his arm. To pacify my nerves I would spend my future children’s college tuition on airport food and magazines. I would eat junk the entire flight and show up to my destination feeling terrible, unable to fit my feet into my shoes. One flight, as I was sucking down licorice and a root beer (breakfast of champions), I read that oatmeal, bananas, and chocolate can make a person happy. I think I read it in Us Weekly, so it’s true.


Flying is a lot easier for me now, and with that I unfortunately lost my license to constantly eat junk. Now I still eat the entire flight, but I try to pack a few healthier things from home. (You guys, one time I forgot I had a potato in my bag and got screened at my destination. Luckily I made it through, but my potato remains in Mexico. Just had to call myself out before a family member did in the comments.)


My Ugly Chocolate Chip Cookies are a staple for our trips. I’ll often double the batch so that we’ll have enough for a few on the flight and snacks in the hotel room. These guys are delicious, sweet, satisfying, and ugly as sin. If you don’t want to eat chocolate for breakfast you can easily swap out the chocolate chips for blueberries. Let me know what other additions you think of!


Tip: If I don’t have a ripe banana, I’ll set the oven on 350° and put it in there with the peel for about 10-15 minutes or until the peel is brown. It doesn’t get as sweet as a ripe banana, but it gets to the right consistency.


Ugly Chocolate Chip Cookies

12 cookies


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats – I use Bob’s Red Mill
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter – I use almond – the drippier the better
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana.
  3. Add the oats, nut butter, cinnamon, and salt to the mashed banana. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the mixture and stir.
  5. Scoop and shape the batter into the size of about a tablespoon and place onto the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes
  7. Cool and transfer to baking rack and enjoy!


Question: What are your favorite travel snacks?


Recipes Vegetarian

Maribeth’s New Blog

March 2, 2016

Welcome to my new blog and thank you for visiting. I decided to create this blog as a way to communicate with my friends and family through food. As a graduate from Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program, I am often asked for recipes, specializing in, but not limited to, vegetarian cuisine. I thought this would be a way to share those recipes and expand my creativity in the kitchen. Thank you for visiting my blog and I will leave you with this recipe…


This sun-dried tomato sauce is one of my most asked for recipes. It’s inspired by my mother, a fantastic cook who hates the kitchen! She would make a version of this when I was growing up, but it has been adapted over the years. It’s easy to make ahead of time and delicious hot or room temperature. I will often prepare the sauce and set it aside until the pasta is done or I’m ready to serve the meal.


If you’re short on time you can always buy sun-dried tomatoes in oil and combine them with the garlic in a blender, but I find soaking the tomatoes on your own oil makes a rich sauce that is full of texture and noticeably less greasy.


For a final touch, I like to chiffonade basil and shave some parmesan with a vegetable peeler to garnish. To chiffonade, layer a few leaves of basil, roll them up, make a joke about that one time in college (just kidding mom!), and run your knife through to make thin ribbons.


Sun-dried Tomato Sauce


  • 1/4 cup French green lentils
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomato paste or regular tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound of pasta of choice
  • Basil for garnish
  • Parmesan for garnish


  1. Cook the lentils: In a small pot on high heat, combine lentils with 1 1/2 cups of water – you could also use vegetable broth for a richer flavor. After the liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium with the lid partially on for 20-25 minutes. Drain any excess liquid and set aside. I usually take lentils off the heat when I can easily mash a lentil between my thumb and index finger.
  2. While lentils are cooking soak the sun-dried tomatoes in warm water for about 15 minutes. Once they are tender, slice the tomatoes into about 1/4 inch pieces.
  3. On medium heat, combine the oil and garlic. Don’t allow the garlic to brown or it will become bitter.
  4. When the garlic becomes a toasty color, add the sun-dried tomatoes and the sun-dried tomato paste until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Slowly stir in the vegetable broth – the texture will become creamy.
  6. Simmer on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Add the cooked lentils to the sauce until well combined.
  8. Toss the sauce in your pasta of choice and garnish with basil and parmesan.

Note: It can be hard to find, but I love Amore Sun-Dried Tomato paste. When the grocery store doesn’t carry it I’ll just use regular tomato paste. I usually have luck at Stop & Shop and Whole Foods.