Gooey double chocolate chip cookies

Posted By mattantonino / June, 19, 2011 / 0 comments

Even though I once posted my soft gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe on StartingtoCook, I don’t often post cookies.  There is a reason for that.  My mom is a certified chocoholic.  She makes cookies.  Not good cookies, not great cookies. She makes fantastic cookies.  So if I want a cookie, I want her to make it. I don’t like to compete with fantastic since I’m a somewhat-new cook (but getting better!)

When I found this double chocolate chip cookie recipe, it seemed simple enough. Hoping and praying, I made it.


Some cookies last in this house. Not long, mind you, but they last.  At least a moment.


Not these.  *scarf*  Double chocolate chip cookies barely last long enough to type the words double chocolate chip cookies!


Photos, recipe … you know how these food blog things go.

cookie batter

spoonful of cookie batter

cookie batter on tray

pile of chocolate chunk cookies on a plate over white

closeup chocolate chunk cookie

one plate of chocolate chunk cookies in a stack with traditional background

batch of double chocolate cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (or slightly more)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla.
  2. Beat in egg. Add cocoa and milk.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder; fold into creamed mixture with chocolate chips.
  4. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.


A classic pumpkin pie

Posted By mattantonino / April, 17, 2011 / 2 comments

As I mentioned in my last post,  I have been on a pie kick.  Last time was cherry pie, this time it’s a traditional pumpkin pie.  Now, I know most everyone has a pumpkin pie recipe but I strongly recommend the ease of going with the traditional Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe.  Simple, straightforward, easy to make, and very tasty!

pumpkin pie

homemade pumpkin pie

piece of pumpkin pie

She’s my … cherry pie (recipe)!

Posted By mattantonino / April, 13, 2011 / 2 comments

I’m not a big pie eater but that won’t be clear for the next few weeks.  Awhile back I hit a pie kick.  Cherry pie, pumpkin pie, chicken pot pie… you name it, I was making it.  For today’s recipe I’m going to give you a link rather than rewrite it.  This is Beth Campbell’s Cherry Pie, which, according to her, was the 1999 American Pie Council’s National Pie Championship first place winner in the Fruit and Berry Category.  I know why!  This pie filling is amazing.  The crust is good but exactly what you’d expect.  If you have a fantastic crust recipe, use that and fill it with this.

(Yes, the crack on the closeup bothers me. I didn’t want to fix it so you could see what a flaky crust this was. I did fix it on the two wide angles.)

whole cherry pie

whole cherry pie

slice of cherry pie

pie crust

I hope you enjoyed some sweet cherry pie photos!

Incredible Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Posted By mattantonino / December, 21, 2010 / 0 comments

Yes, I obviously love dessert. Fried banana torts, pies all the time, perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and checkerboard cookies.  Yeah, just to name a few.  My favorite?  This…by FAR.

No words can do justice to the beauty, taste and incredibleness that is a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake.  Everyone knows I’m still “starting to cook” so I clearly am not nearly this good.  But the recipe?  That is!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake on Erin’s Food Files

All I can tell you is to make this for your next party.

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

Homemade gourmet macaroni and cheese

Posted By mattantonino / April, 23, 2010 / 7 comments

Ah, good ole mac and cheese. My girlfriend’s daughter came to us a few nights ago after some Kraft with “this tasted nassssty.” I’m glad she is growing up. Now we get to test better recipes for family classics. This one had to be the first. While it came out “slightly dry” (don’t overboil or overbake it, hey) I think we’ll enjoy it next time. I always have tweaks after the first and second cook.

This recipe was an amalgamation of all the ones I was able to find for fancy mac & cheese. Call it an “original” – maybe my first.

As you can see from the lighting diagram in photo #2, the setup is very simple again. Softbox on left, reflector(s) on the right. We shot this a little after dark so the background was simple enough to control. Photo #3 was taken in the oven. I thought I’d sell more if I got some cooking shots and oven baked photos. The light was a simple stove light with the kitchen light. I had to shoot these with a really slow shutter though, so I was on a tripod the whole time. #5 should definitely sell the best. Graphic designers love that copyspace and I try and give it to them with all the food photo setups I shoot.

I’m going to try submitting #4 to Tastespotting just to see how it does. (Edit: This is my 2nd most popular post thanks to TasteSpotting, FoodGawker and StumbleUpon! Thanks!!)

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baking gourmet mac and cheese


S’mores Truffles

Posted By mattantonino / April, 6, 2010 / 11 comments

I know what you’re thinking right now – shut up and give me the recipe, Matt. HA! No, I’m going to make you read about it! I want to make sure this puts to rest those nasty rumors that I only shoot healthy food.

So yes, I made s’mores truffles. To say these tasted good would be to say the sun “may be a bit warm today.” Family reaction was exactly the same – make…MORE.

I actually found the first recipe I wanted to use on one particular site but the author was so INCREDIBLY snooty that I went out and found another one to use just to hopefully support someone ELSE with my link! That search actually led me to a blog I really love: Visions of Sugar Plum. The truffle recipe is actually here. I made no changes except to double the mini-marsmallows (therefore 48 of them) instead of 24 mini-marshmallows. I’m not posting the recipe under Read More since it’s virtually exact.

I will, however, give you some photos to drool over before you leave to go make these.

Photographically these were actually REALLY easy to shoot. I used a setup like my bacon & sundried tomato pasta ( The plate I used reflected almost nothing so I didn’t have to worry much about that – I removed a few specks from the plate in post processing due to dropping them off the s’mores balls. The graham cracker crust didn’t stick quite enough to move them around a lot and not have crumbs.

So far the first image is online at my stock sites. I wouldn’t say it’s making money hand over fist but I’ll probably have both batches of ingredients paid off by the end of the day today or tomorrow and then every image that ever sells from this shoot moving forward is profit from it. I anticipate editing about 15-20 s’mores truffles photos, uploading them and making $50-150 over the life of this project. Plus I got to eat (with my family) chocolate s’mores truffles. YUM!

Healthy Sesame Chicken

Posted By mattantonino / March, 23, 2010 / 0 comments

I chose to shoot sesame chicken because, well let’s be honest, it’s delicious! I eat too much of it, though, and wanted something healthier. One reason I love food photography is my introduction to healthy versions of classics. This recipe allows you to eat all that yummy Chinese food at home. Let’s compare how this one stacks up to a personal favorite, PF Changs.

The PF Chang Sesame Chicken contains 535 calories, 15g of fat, 76 carbs and 39g of protein per serving.

This Healthy Sesame Chicken contains 457 calories, 6.5g of fat, 38 carbs and 59g of protein per serving.

80 fewer calories, less than half the fat, half the carbs and almost twice the protein makes this recipe a DEFINITE keeper! This is another recipe I adapted from my Biggest Loser Family Cookbook. This won’t crisp up like deep fried sesame chicken but it won’t kill you either.

Trivia: Syncretic dishes are meals that symbolize a particular cuisine, like Sesame Chicken does Chinese.

Healthy Sesame Chicken

The Read More link jumps to the recipe.


Healthy Yogurt Banana Split

Posted By mattantonino / March, 21, 2010 / 0 comments

This morning our kids woke up to a banana split with hot fudge for breakfast. Needless to say, they are THRILLED we are doing food photography now. It was chocolatey, fruity and very tasty.

You’ll find that most of what we are doing now is healthy so even though these look like 500 calorie treats they are just 195! This recipe is taken pretty much straight from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook – which I highly recommend!

Trivia: A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are known as fingers.

Read more to view the recipe after the jump!


Walnut Banana Bread

Posted By mattantonino / March, 21, 2010 / 5 comments

Banana bread is one of my all-time favorite foods. I’ve never made banana bread from scratch before but I’ve made the boxed stuff since I was a kid. Learning how all of these ingredients work together is great! While researching banana bread for the recipe I learned that the baking soda/baking powder had to be in there to make this particular bread rise. I know you pro chefs are thinking “no duh!” but hey, that’s why I’m starting to cook.

Inspired by Food Wishes and tweaked with help from

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This is the setup photo for my shoot. I shot this to give you an idea what went into today’s shoot.

Read more to view the recipe!