Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies : Behind the Scenes

It’s funny when I look back at the actual episode we shot for our Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, because in our video, I look so calm and peaceful, like I’m just puttering away quietly in our kitchen, baking up some holiday cheer.  This was our Christmas episode, so we switched up the music, showed imagery of our Christmas tree, and made it more festive.

But then I remember what REALLY went on behind the scenes, and it’s pretty hilarious.  I guess that’s the magic of editing huh?  If you look closely in our video, you’ll see I’m wearing a bandage on my finger, because I somehow sliced myself that morning before filming.  Who slices their finger when they’re BAKING?

And then a bunch of other things went weird too.  I guess that’s Murphy’s law right?  But you can check it out and see how things went down in our Behind the Scenes video of the making of our Christmas episode below:
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Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I’ve been asked for a while if I could post a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and I totally get it because why wouldn’t I have a recipe for them?  But year after year, I’ve been dissatisfied with different recipes I’ve tried and tested…until now.  I think part of the problem was that I never wanted to bother testing them unless I went to a party or was planning on giving them away as gifts because usually when you make a batch, we’re stuck with cookies for days, and they get stale and brittle before we can eat them all.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

But this batch is small and cute.  It makes exactly one dozen, which is still a lot for two people (maybe not for us), but definitely more manageable.  And I love the taste and texture of these.  It’s weird but they almost taste caramelized, or as if they were made with brown butter.  There’s something deep and aromatic about them.  But I think that has a large part to do with the toasted pecans.  When you take the time to toast the pecans first, it makes a world of difference.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

These cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle.  That’s my perfect kind of cookie.  You can see how I make these delectable little suckers in EPISODE 5, our Christmas episode, of Bits & Pieces SEASON 2 below:

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Beef Stew with Buttered Noodles : Behind the Scenes

The day we shot this episode, we didn’t run into any real problems except for the fact that it was a long day with a lot of down time.  The beef stew needed a few hours to cook in the oven, but we needed to keep coming back to it to show it in different stages.  I usually avoid slow-cooked recipes like this on purpose because I just want to spare ourselves the headache of worrying about filming all day.  But this one was too good not to share.

In some ways it was kind of nice because it gave us a chance to breathe during the shoot, which helped us not to feel stressed.  But the bad thing about it is that all that stopping and pausing made our energy levels drop too.

But we pushed through it and everything was fine until we got a knock on our door that interrupted us in the middle of filming.  We live in a condo complex and the HOA decided to have the walls and all the doors of the outside hallway painted.  This meant we had to leave our door ajar for 30 minutes, and if we recorded, it would pick up the sounds of the guys working, talking, laughing, and listening to their music.  But things like this are expected.

What was not expected however was having one of our precious (and expensive) lights come crashing down like a tree.  We literally saw it happen in slow motion but didn’t have time to react.  We saw the top heavy light wobble on it’s thin tall stand and face plant with a thud… and a crash.

Luckily this happened at the end of filming but we didn’t even bother checking up on it until we were completely done.  We didn’t want our sad and disappointed faces to show up on camera.  But we shared it with you in our behind the scenes video of the making of our Beef Stew with Buttered Noodles episode.  You can watch it below:

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Beef Stew with Buttered Noodles

I guess you can say that this entire dish is a nod to my childhood.  But I didn’t realize it until we were filming our video and the stories started pouring out of me.  But really, few things in life are as comforting as a big bowl of beef stew.

The best part of this particular recipe is that it makes just the right amount for two, so you don’t have to be eating beef stew for days.  Well, you might have a little leftover, but when is that a bad thing?

Beef Stew Buttered Noodles
During the holidays, or when it’s cold outside is especially when I just want to casually snuggle up on the couch and eat this meal while watching TV.  Makes me wish we had a fireplace!

Beef Stew Buttered Noodles

It’s cooked low and slow in the oven, so you can go do other things while you’re waiting for it, like wrap presents, catch up on work, or decorate your Christmas tree!  I’m just warning you though that the aroma of it cooking will probably drive you insane.

Beef Stew Buttered Noodles

The flavors are rich, deep, and sharp.  The meaty flavorful boneless short ribs are braised in red wine and broth until they’re tender and fall apart in your mouth.  It’s perfect ladled over a blanket of soft buttered noodles.  There’s nothing more to say except that you can see how I pull together this pot of love in EPISODE 4 of Bits & Pieces SEASON 2 below:

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Greek Islands Restaurant

It happened to be one of the more SHOCKINGLY colder days of the season so far, when we decided to trek into the city and do another restaurant review for the Tastemade App.  We were having a hard time breathing with the icy wind whipping our faces.  But we made it to Greek Islands Restaurant located at 200 S Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60661.

But I must say, it was the perfect place to be at that time because they sat us right by the fireplace and we instantly felt warm and snuggly.

The music was fun and vibrant, and the decor made me feel like we went to Greece.

I was most happy that as soon as we sat down, we were welcomed with a bread basket and a friendly waiter.

We decided to order the grilled octopus appetizer.  I don’t get to eat octopus that often, at least not prepared this way.  The flavors are simple and straightforward, and that’s why I like it.  It’s not covered in a thick sauce or marinated to death.  It’s served warm in a light vinaigrette, which adds a nice hint of sharpness that works well with the tender yet meaty texture, and char-grilled taste.

I’ve been married to Joe for almost 7 years now and it was here that I found out that this was the first time he was trying grilled octopus!  We shot an extended version of our Tastemade restaurant review of our experience for our own Youtube Channel.  You can catch his reaction and hear the rest of our thoughts about Greek Islands Restaurant in our video below:
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Spicy Korean Ramen Challenge : Celebrating 1000 Subscribers!

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate that we have reached 1000 subscribers on our Youtube Channel than to inflict pain on ourselves for your entertainment.

I know that 1000 subscribers might seem like small beans for some of you, but this is like a milestone for us, and we couldn’t be happier!  It indicates that we’re on the right path, and we just have to keep going.

It was a slow growing process, and it still is, but we feel like we made it one step further in our journey.  So thank you for watching our cooking videos, and subscribing.  It means the world to us and it actually helps us out a lot.  So if you haven’t subscribed already, you can do it now:

The more subscribers you have, the more opportunities you eventually get, so that number is actually really important.  So since we FINALLY busted out of the triple digit range, we just want to celebrate and say thanks!

There’s a Spicy Korean Ramen Challenge going around on Youtube, and it’s pretty hilarious.

We just wanted to join in on the fun, but didn’t know what to expect because we’re Korean after all… how bad could it be?  I guess you’ll have to check out the video to find out!  Thanks for your support.  We truly appreciate you.  Oh, and of course, Happy Thanksgiving!