Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

Frozen cookie dough is an essential part of baby meal prep!!!! And just because Passover is around the corner doesn’t make this any different. Well, it actually kind of makes it easier because these cookies are, like, stupidly simple to make. One-bowl, three-minute simple. Remember this Passover cookie cake from a few years ago? Magic, right?! So chewy, delicious, and satisfying, and easy enough that some people asked if there was a typo and if there should have been more steps (no typo!). So these chocolate chip cookies are just hand-held versions of that cake that kind of take on a new life of their own because when they’re in this smaller shape and rolled in sugar, they get a crisp crunchy shell but stay so amazingly chewy inside. And also, you can keep this dough in the freezer and bake off only one or two cookies at a time as needed, so the convenience is real. And the flavor is awesome too, thanks to a tasty nut flour base. If you’d like to change things up and add dried fruit or M&M’s or other candy or chopped nuts, you can totally do that with these. Happy almost Passover! 


Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes 12

ingredients 

1 c (112g) almond flour

1 c (112g) hazelnut flour, or 1 more cup almond flour

1/2 c (100g) lightly packed light brown sugar 

1/2 c (100g) sugar 

3/4 tsp kosher salt 

1 large egg 

1 tb vanilla extract 

1/2 tsp almond extract 

3 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (any kind!)

Coarse sanding sugar or turbinado sugar

Clues

If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If preparing for the freezer, see below for directions. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, and salt. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond and stir to combine and then stir in the chocolate. The whole mixture might seem dry at first, but keep on stirring and it will come together. Roll balls that are slightly larger than golf balls and roll them in sanding sugar. Flatten them slightly and then place them on the baking sheet, 1” apart.

If baking immediately, bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.

If preparing to freeze, stick the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is frozen, about an hour or so, and then transfer to a ziploc bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake cookies 1” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 350ºf for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.


Turkey Spinach Meatballs with Tahini and Chimichurri

I’ve been preparing for this year’s Passover for months now. Ever since I realized that Passover would be Bernie’s first major holiday, I’ve had so many things going through my mind. This is our first holiday as a little family! It’s going to be the best thing ever! I’m going to cry so much!!!!!! Literally I can’t even imagine explaining the bitter herbs to Bernie without tearing up. And carrying her around while searching for the afikoman?? I’m weeping. The food, I realized, would have to be delicious and memorable but mostly prep-aheadable. In my freezer I have balls of Passover chocolate chip cookie dough and a white matzo lasagna (recipes coming soon for both of these), as well as chicken stock that will hopefully see some matzo balls. My mom is planning to be here for Passover so I’m hoping that between the two of us and Eggboy, we’ll be able to both snuggle Bernie all day long and roll a matzo ball. And braise a brisket. Even though braises do really well in the freezer, I didn’t get around to braising one before she arrived. (Oh, this is what Mom guilt is!)

I did however make a bunch of these meatballs that I love for multiple reasons: 

-The flavor is incredible, they taste sausage-y, thanks to a sprinkling of fennel seeds and a heavy hand with the herbs.

-There’s spinach hiding in them! Even though they’re warm and comforting, they’re on the more nutritious end of the spectrum when it comes to freezer foods.

-They’re great as a Passover dish or a non-Passover dish. They’re not like those foods that only really taste good on the sixth day of Passover when you have Passover goggles on.

-Eggboy is obsessed with meatballs. He is meatball boy.

-They freeze and reheat really easily. I store them in a ziploc bag, so they can smoosh in anywhere in the freezer, and then you can reheat them just by tossing them into red sauce or sticking them in the oven. 

Here I’ve plated them up with some creamy tahini sauce (garlicky yogurt sauce is also nice) and a super bright and springy chimichurri. It’s a fun way to eat them for a pasta-less week or if you’re just looking for a filling side for an otherwise vegetable-centric meal. When it’s not Passover I’m definitely piling these high on top of pappardelle. 


Turkey and Spinach Meatballs with Tahini and Chimichurri

Makes 22-24 meatballs

Ingredients

Meatballs

2 tb olive oil, plus more for cooking meatballs

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

8 oz fresh spinach, chopped

1 large egg

1/2 c (30g) matzo meal (or panko breadcrumbs)

Black pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 lb ground turkey (93% lean)

Tahini Sauce

1/4 c tahini

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tb water

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Chimichurri

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 c (100g) olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Clues

Preheat the oven to 425ºf.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel and cook for another minute and then add the spinach in batches, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper, the onion powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano, paprika, parsley, turkey, and the slightly cooled spinach mixture and use your hands to mix to combine.

Wipe out the skillet that was used to heat the spinach and then heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium high heat. Form the turkey mixture into golfball-sized balls and brown them on all sides, in 2 or 3 batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Transfer the browned meatballs to a plate. Once all of the meatballs are browned, return them to the skillet and stick the skillet in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until they’re cooked through and have an internal temperature of 160ºf. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water until smooth and pourable. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water, if it’s runny, add more tahini. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a food processor, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and blend until smooth. If you don’t want to use a food processor, you can also chop the herbs and garlic finely by hand and mix with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

To serve, spread a large dollop of tahini sauce on a plate or shallow bowl, top with meatballs and drizzle on the chimichurri to taste. Enjoy!

To freeze: cooked meatballs can be cooled and stored in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, place on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Prepared chimichurri can be frozen as well. Defrost at room temp or heat briefly in the microwave. I wouldn’t recommend freezing tahini sauce, but it’s super easy to whip up!


Meet Bernie!

Hello from my new absolute favorite place in the world: snuggling on the recliner with a warm squishy Bernie sleeping on my chest. Holy smokes, this has been the greatest week ever. Sure, my boobs are about to fall off and I have stitches in a non-disclosable place but just like you have all told me over the past few months, every single challenge and every ounce of sleep deprivation is 1000000000% worth the love I get to have for this perfect little dumpling baby girl.

Today is Bernie’s first Friday! Ever! A week ago Eggboy and I arrived at the hospital after my water broke at around 1am. It was perfect timing because I had just finished up my last planned day of work testing recipes for Girl Meets Farm, and had cupcakes on hand that we packed up for the nurses (who by the way deserve like endless cupcakes forever and ever?! They were so amazing). I spent the day laboring and hanging out with my mom and Eggmom and Eggboy! We watched the Duke basketball game, listened to Unorthodox, talked about books, and I watched them eat Jimmy John’s… dreaming of the Italian Night Club that I’d soon be able to demolish. Since my water broke so early in the day, I assumed that Bernie would be born in time for pizza Friday, but she took her time and came out shortly after the clock struck midnight on her due date, March 30! A Caturday! She was so calm and huggable, I was immediately wildly crazily in love. I didn’t even care that by that time all of the pizza places in town were closed and my only food option was a hospital turkey sandwich haha.

Bernie has my nose, my hair, Eggboy’s mouth (a future good trombone embouchure, he says), his non-stubby toes, and both of our favorite emoji, 😛. Her full name, Bernadette, is in honor of Eggboy’s great great grandpa, Bernt, who came over from Norway and started the Hagen farm in 1876, and my great grandpa Bernard, who emigrated from Hungary. Bernie’s first middle name, Rosemary, is after my mom’s mom! (It’s no coincidence that Rosemary is also one of my favorite herbs, and that it was all over my wedding bouquets.)

Bringing Bernie home for the first time and introducing her to the farm and her room and all of her new toys and clothes was such a magical feeling that I never want to forget. In the week since her arrival, we’ve spent most of our hours cuddling, nursing, catching up on my bagels and lox intake, watching concerts on the Berlin Phil’s Digital Concert Hall, and eating delicious dinners brought over by friends and family. Bernie has perfected her cute little sounds, yips and hiccups and soft perfect sighs, and occasionally she puckers her lips and I melt right down like butter on toast. Oh! And I had my first “is this chocolate? or poop?” moment. It was chocolate! Yay.

Ok I’m due to give some hugs and forehead smooches, so I gotta go!!! Now that I’m officially on maternity leave, I’ll be posting a bunch of (mostly freezer friendly) recipes that I developed over the past few months. I’ll check in every so often with Bernie updates!

And also thank you all so much for your sweet words and messages about Bernie!!! We’ve felt the love through social media and are so so grateful! <3

-Yeh!

spinach and artichoke chicken and biscuits

My quest to fill every inch of all of our freezers continues this week with a mashup of two great things: chicken and biscuits and spinach and artichoke dip. The chicken and biscuits part is inspired by one of the first dinner recipes (after mac and cheese) that I remember making with my mom, the chicken and biscuits from Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures. We used that book all the time growing up! And I remember that in the process of learning to make their chicken and biscuits, I learned that a roux can be used to thicken milk for purposes other than making mac and cheese. This was mind blowing to me! So rather than adding a bunch of cheese and noodles to the sauce, we added chicken, herbs, and veggies, and then topped it with biscuits and baked it all so that the tops of the biscuits got golden and the bottoms soaked up all of the delicious creamy sauce. It was the best. Especially during long dark homework-saturated Chicago suburban winters. A marked up version of this recipe is in the homemade cookbook that my mom made me awhile ago for Valentine’s day, and it is one of my favorite nostalgic things to make.

When it comes to meal prep for Poppy Seed’s arrival, I was advised early on to bring on the comfort foods, so chicken and biscuits jumped to the top of my list. But I also wanted to sneak in vegetables, which is where the spinach and artichokes come in. Spinach and artichoke dip is the best form of balance, no? You get vegetables but they’re blanketed with creaminess and cheese, so yes, I’m all about this. I typically don’t love chicken and cheese together but cream cheese is different, it’s milder and adds its signature subtle tang, so I’m letting it be a part of this. The result is really reeeeeeally good. It’s heavy on the comfort, carbs, and veggies, three things I plan to load up on during Poppy Seed’s first days, and dairy milk adds to the nutrition factor. 

The hardest part about this recipe is opening the can of store-bought biscuits, which remains the scariest kitchen task of all time. It’s so loud! And unpredictable! But I’ve opted to go this route in the interest of convenience since I still have a bazillion things to do before my due date. You can, of course, use homemade biscuits.

I’m so pleased to have partnered with Milk Life on this recipe! Dairy milk has always played a starring role in my kitchen and also in my most cherished memories with family and friends. I can’t wait to make new memories with Poppy Seed and these chicken and biscuits!!


Spinach and Artichoke Chicken and Biscuits

Makes 8 individual servings

Ingredients

3 tb unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour

2 c (472g) 2% or whole milk

2 tsp chicken soup bouillon (just the bouillon itself, not diluted in water)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, chopped into 1/2”-3/4” pieces

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Black pepper

1 (8 oz) block light cream cheese

1 (10 oz) block frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 (14 oz) can artichokes, drained and chopped

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Hot sauce

8 store-bought flaky buttermilk biscuits (or homemade biscuits)

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a splash of water

Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Clues

If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 400ºf. If planning to freeze, see freezer directions below.

In a large skillet or pot set over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour so that it gets evenly distributed and cook for an additional minute (it’s ok if the pan looks dry at this point). Add half the milk, stirring continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon until thickened, and then repeat with the other half of the milk. You’ll know it’s thick enough if it coats the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chicken soup bouillon and then add the chicken, thyme, and a few turns of pepper and simmer, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, parsley, a few good shakes of hot sauce, and a few turns of black pepper. Stir until the cream cheese is melted. Taste and adjust as desired.

If baking immediately: divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Place on a baking sheet (in case any of the mixture overflows) and bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

To freeze: let the mixture cool slightly. Divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe freezer-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place it on a baking sheet, and bake at 400ºf covered for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake for about another 15 minutes, until the biscuits are browned and the whole thing is heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!


-Yeh!

Thank you, Milk Life, for sponsoring this post!

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen.