Florence, Italy

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The next stop on our trip was Florence. After spending a few days lounging by Lake Como, it was nice to get back to doing what we do best, scouring cities for the best local food (and maybe taking a photo or two next to a church).    Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cookies – made using cornstarch

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This is not the first chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have posted on ChezCateyLou, and it certainly won’t be the last. There are just so many recipes out there for this classic cookie, and I love trying different versions! It also helps that TheBetterHalf loves chocolate chip cookies – have to keep him happy! I have made the Jacques Torres recipe and a recipe using browned butter, and I really love them both. But when I saw this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I wanted to try them because one of the ingredients intrigued me – cornstarch!  I have never used cornstarch in my baking.  The cornstarch makes the cookies light and fluffy, always a good thing in my book!    And wow, these cookies were so soft and fluffy!  The recipe uses dark brown sugar, which I love for chocolate chip cookies because it gives the cookie a caramel-y flavor that works so well with the chocolate chips.   I can’t wait to try cornstarch in other cookies recipes!  Continue reading

Lake Como (Tremezzo and Bellagio)

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As hard as it was to leave our hotel (the Grand Hotel Tremezzo), we found some time to explore Tremezzo town and visit nearby Bellagio.  Sure, most of our sightseeing was done on our way to eat, but that still counts, right?  After the jump, our thoughts on some of the most well reviewed restaurants in the area, including Al Veluu, Pizzeria Balognett, and Alle Darsene di loppia.

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No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

photo (28) I blame the heat. Why else would I make a recipe like this – one that I KNOW TheBetterHalf and I will have absolutely no self control around?? This past week, we had a heatwave in NYC, and it made all of us a little crazy. Most Saturdays I will bake a loaf of bread or some muffins or a coffee cake, things that are delicious, but that I can usually stop eating after one or two pieces. Not this past Saturday…it was WAY too hot to turn on the oven. So I had the brilliant idea of making this no-bake recipe. This recipe is essentially a homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, and it makes a whole tray of them!  I’m not sure if you have noticed yet, but chocolate peanut butter is our absolute favorite dessert combination. And these bars are amazing!! I knew before I made them that I would not be able to stop eating them. But I decided to make them anyway. And I’m very glad that I did.  A sweet and salty peanut butter bar topped with chocolate – what’s not to love?! They are so good, but so dangerous! That darn heat totally ruined any kind of healthy eating plan I had in mind for the weekend. Oh well, I guess that’s why they invented treadmills!  Continue reading

Grand Hotel Tremezzo (Lake Como)

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For the first stop on our vacation CateyLou and I stayed at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como. We took a car directly from the Milan airport, but you can also reach the hotel by taking a train to Como (the town) and then taking a ferry to Tremezzo. The hotel is probably best known for its iconic floating pool and spectacular views of the lake.

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Skinny Double Chocolate Muffins

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I am so excited to post this recipe today. Why you ask?  Because this delicious, decadent chocolate muffin is made with no fat! No oil, no butter – nothing!  And they taste delicious.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of fat in baked goods…butter makes everything better!  But when I saw this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction , I knew that I had to give it a shot. I love baking with yogurt, like my chocolate zucchini bread or lemon blueberry yogurt loaf, but I usually add in a little oil or butter to keep things rich and moist.  This recipe, on the other hand, uses only nonfat yogurt and applesauce (there is a bit of fat from the 1 egg and the chocolate chips), and the results are amazing! The muffins are so moist.  They are light and fluffy, and so chocolatey tasting.  Even TheBetterHalf liked them, which means they really must be good.  I will eat anything that has chocolate in it, but he is a bit more discerning.  The only problem with these is that they aren’t so skinny when you eat three…  Continue reading

Italy 2013

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For our summer vacation this year CateyLou and I traveled back to Italy.  True to form, we moved around a lot and did our best to see as much as we could over a 10 day period.  Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of the best towns, hotels, and restaurants from our trip and providing some helpful tips for travel within Italy.  After the jump is a quick look at what we’ll be covering.  Continue reading

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

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Sorry for the lack of posts this past week. TheBetterHalf and I were on vacation in Italy!  If you follow me on Instagram, you can see some pictures from the trip. I can’t wait to share more details from the trip with you, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I have a delicious breakfast recipe for you – Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins. I had a block of cream cheese to use up before we left , so I decided to make this recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. The book calls them breakfast buns, but they are really more like a muffin so I changed the name! My mom bought this cookbook for me after our first trip to the bakery 8 years ago!   Continue reading