Contrary Claire’s Chocolate Cookies

I call claire my  contrary baker. Why you ask?  Because when I ask her to do something MY way, She tells me why she does it HER way, and continues on, doing it  HER way. Example: cookies. I like small cookies, she likes big cookies.  As it turns out, lots of folks like big cookies. Claire won a  prize last year at the Good Food Pie Contest, so I cut her a little slack.  (Shoulda been my prize)

I’ve had a request for her chocolate white chocolate chip cookies so I’m going to share it.  Even though it’s not MY recipe. (this one’s for Keith)

Contrary Claire’s Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of butter
2 cups of white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of good quality cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
Method: Preheat oven to 350*.  Cream butter with sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and incorporate. Fold in the dry ingredients. Mix till it looks like cookie dough.  Make big cookies and leave room so they can spread about the cookie sheet.  Bake for about 11 minutes or until perfectly done.
Good Luck.

White Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

This recipe goes out to producer  Jenn.  She’s a busy bee commercial producer who in all the years we’ve been working together has never asked for a recipe until she tried our white lasagna last week.  Enjoy my love!

Nice day for a White Lasagna


Oil or butter

1/4 cup minced shallots

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

3 zucchini, sliced

fresh spinach ( optional)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated Parmesan

15 ounces fresh ricotta ( my sister uses cottage cheese)

2 – 3 cups grated mozzarella (  fresh motz is also delicious)

1 pound lasagna noodles  – uncooked

Cook the vegetables

In a large skillet, heat some fat ( about a TBS)  over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, and crank up the heat, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Set aside, and in the same pan give the zucchini a good sear. Combine the vegetables, including the fresh spinach if you like that, and lightly season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the bechamel sauce (see recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble the lasagna

Across the bottom of a deep dish lasagna pan (13 by 9-inches), spoon enough bechamel sauce to cover (about 1/2 cup). Then add 1/4 of the vegetable mixture. Arrange a layer of noodles side-by-side across the sauce. Spread another layer of bechamel over the noodles and top with the  vegetables. Add each of  the cheeses evenly over the noodles, not worrying too much about it. Repeat layering with sauce, noodles and vegetables until you use it all up, ending with noodles on top. Coat the top  layer with remaining sauce and a light sprinkling  of parmesan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the noodles are tender and the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes to and hour and 15 minutes.  (stick a knife in the middle and make sure the noodles are soft – then it’s done!) Uncover and continue baking until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.

Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving so the cheese sets up. Serve hot.


Delicious Bechamel


5 tablespoons olive oil or butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 – 6 cups  organic 2% milk (or whole)

salt and pepper to taste

minced garlic


In a medium saucepan, heat the fat over medium-low heat  and add the garlic , cook a minute till fragrant, but not browned ( unless you like that)  Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the milk to the fat mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside until ready to use. If it’s too thick add more milk. Consistency should be the same as a nice marinara.