Mint chocolate chip cookies remix

For Mother’s Day I got this book from the boys:

Cookie_LoveIt has terrific cookie recipes (the snickerdoodle is hands down my boys’ favorite of the book), but it also has great tips for creating a better cookie. With that in mind I applied several of the tips to one of my classic cookie recipes and thought I would share!

Mint chocolate chip cookiesMint Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghiradelli’s is our favorite)
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and place in the bottom of the mixer. Set your egg out on the counter. Do this first then prep the rest of your ingredients
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.
  4. Crack egg into a small cup and whisk with vanilla.
  5. On medium speed cream butter for about three minutes.
  6. Add sugars to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Scrape down the sides and then add in the egg mixture. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed.
  8. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until barely blended.
  9. Stir in mint chocolate chips.
  10. Bake for seven minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

As I stated, it’s not a huge difference from my original recipe, but the method has some additional steps. If you enjoy baking (even just at the holidays) I would highly recommend the book!

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Mexican Pizzas

As we were driving home from the lake this past weekend, B and I started talking about the time we got Taco Bell in the middle of no where and I ordered a Mexican pizza that was a hot mess. Then I said “I bet we could make the Mexican pizza at home”. I started looking up the ingredients (beans, taco meat, pizza sauce, tomatoes, cheese, corn tortillas). Easy enough. We picked up the ingredients, and this is a dinner you can put together in less than twenty minutes.

So here’s your easy assemble steps (after you heat the beans, and prep the taco meat):

Mexican Pizzas Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican Pizza Mexican PizzaAfter you layer everything I just put them under the broiler until the cheese was melted. Easy! Mexican pizzas at home.

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Quinoa for Lunch

Quinoa LunchThis super easy lunch makes enough for 2, or for a wholesome dinner for 1. And it’ll be done in less than fifteen minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa

15 roasted tomatoes sliced in half

5 portobello mushrooms sliced in quarters

1/4 cup crumbled feta

1 tbs of julianned basil and rosemary

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

olive oil, salt, and pepper

lemon (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, sprinkle the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet. Cook for 15 minutes. Then add the mushrooms (add some olive oil to them) and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients (minus the basil and rosemary) to the cooked quinoa and mix well. Sprinkle the basil and rosemary across the top and finish with a splash of lemon. Refreshing!

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My Mom’s Rigatoni

 

RigatoniOver Christmas my Mom made rigatoni with her spaghetti sauce, and the boys ate it up. I  made a slow cooker version of the meal this past week and thought I would share the results!

First thing you assemble the ingredients. I browned the meat….

RigatoniPut together the sauce in a slow cooker…

RigatoniBoil the noodles to a minute under al dente, and then combine everything together and cook in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on low…

RigatoniAnd that’s it! The list of ingredients and full directions are after the jump!

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Lemon Butter Chicken vs. Arozz con Pollo

This year I am trying new recipes that we could work into our monthly rotation of meals. I’ll share our favorites from the comparisons, as well as, ones our particularly picky kids choose. The first up is two chicken recipes that share one thing in common: one pot meals. The first, lemon butter chicken. You cook it in a oven safe skillet first on the stove and then finish it in the oven.

Lemon ChickenThe result? Creamy, lemony chicken. My only issue was the sauce did not thicken as much as I would have liked. We ended up using a slotted spoon to dish it out and then pouring a little of the sauce over top. I also made a side of mashed potatoes to go with it.

Second, arroz con pollo (the recipe is from the Dinner: A Love Story cookbook). This time you use a dutch oven and first brown the chicken and vegetables on the stove and then finish it with rice in the oven.

Arrozz con polloI made cheese quesadillas to go on the side, but they are certainly not a requirement. The chicken, rice, and vegetables in the pot are enough for an entire meal. It is supposed to cook for 30 minutes, I would check it at 25 minutes and then let it go five more if the chicken isn’t quite done. I also made it with an orange bell pepper to substitute for the onion requirement. It’s really flavorful without being too spicy. B already asked that we add it to our monthly rotation!

The winner for the adults? Tie. I definitely would make both again, and I’m determined to re-try the lemon butter chicken sauce to get it thicker the next time. They also both take about the same amount of time from start to finish (about an hour).

The winner for the kids? The arroz con pollo. A ate both, but asked for a second helping of the rice. J at least tried the rice from the arroz con pollo, while our best persuasive efforts couldn’t convince him to even try the lemon chicken.

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A’s Christmas Cookie Competition

Christmas Cookie CompetitionSo A has been making a long list of cookies he wants to make over the holidays. He has lots of cookie combination ideas (some crazier than others). He decided that he wanted to turn it into a “cookie competition” and he is the judge. Seriously. This kid. We are making a chart and everything. So may the best cookie win!
First up, A wanted to make a berry white chocolate chip cookie. Thanks to the benefit of Pinterest that exact cookie practically fell into my lap.

IMG_7059 IMG_7067These cherry vanilla chocolate chip cookies definitely lived up to A’s expectations! As it was stated in the recipe, these are definitely cookies that get better with age. The first day they were great, but the second and third day? Even better. You’re going to think the vanilla extract amount is crazy, but it works perfectly. The tartness from the cherries balances the sweetness of the white chocolate chip. You’re going to love it! Until the next cookie enters the competition!

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Five minute cilantro chicken salad

Okay, this will take more than five minutes if you don’t have cooked chicken breasts. However, my suggestion is to cook two extra chicken breasts the next time you roast some in the oven (as I did) and then you can turn it into chicken salad the next day. Same goes for the hard boiled egg. I had made up a bunch because B eats them for breakfast, so I just peeled one, diced it, and added it to the chicken salad. Easy!

Ingredients

Two cooked chicken breasts chopped or shredded

1/4 cup of real mayonnaise

The juice of two small lime wedges

1 green onion chopped finely

2-3 tbs of chopped fresh cilantro

1 hard boiled egg, peeled and finely diced

Salt and pepper

Optional: Rye bread, provolone cheese slices

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy! So easy!

Now you could eat it as is.

Chicken Salad

Or you could put it on rye bread with a slice of provolone and grill it in a pan for a few minutes.

Grilled chicken salad sandwichEven better! Happy lunch!

 

 

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Chocolate chip cookies teach sharing

I realized after J’s birthday that the boys have quite a few books about cookies. Here is a their stack:

Cookies and sharingIn addition to cookies being a connecting theme of each book, I realized that each of the books also discussed sharing. Cookies = Sharing. A terrific concept for toddlers and pre-schoolers alike.

I read through each of the stack of books with the boys and connected it to their learning ability.

For A (being 5), I asked him to pick out where there was sharing in each book as we read, and then why this was a good thing and what happened. I also, had him tell me if there was any times when characters did not share and what happened.

For J (being 2), we read the books together (as he shouted “COOKIE!” very loudly), and I said things like “The duckling shared, that’s good!” “See how cookie monster shared his cookie? That’s nice!” and “Oh no, the dinosaur took the cookie, how sad”.

And then of course the boys and I made chocolate chip cookies together. We split up who would get to do what, and then put the ingredients together. A said “We better make enough cookies in case we have to share”. Thankfully, we did.

Sharing chocolate chip cookiesHere is our chocolate chip cookie recipe! It turned out really tasty!

Meant to be Shared Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Makes about 20)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp of salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaping cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.

2. With a mixer whip butter on medium high speed for about a minute. Then add sugars and mix until smooth (about three minutes). Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.

3. With mixer on very low speed (I use the stir function of my stand mixer) add 1/2 cup of flour, then the baking powder, then 1/2 cup of flour, then the salt, and then the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.

4. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls (I used a tablespoon size cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the center (don’t over bake!). Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

6. Share with someone while you read stories about cookies and sharing!

Mini chocolate chip cookies

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Five things on a Tuesday

1. A had fun dip for the first time this weekend. He asked for a thousand more packets. No, we are not getting him a thousand more. For the amount of time it took me to brush that stuff out of his teeth, he isn’t eating it again for awhile. And yes, I’m sure he is going to be mad that I posted this picture when he is 16. IMG_50502. I made these rolls this weekend. They were incredibly labor intensive, but if you are looking for a show stopping roll, these are it. They were AMAZING.

IMG_50653. I made the boys berry and kale smoothies on Saturday. I thought they tasted “spinachy” and later found out why…

IMG_5058B bought a box that says I Heart Baby Kale….which is a mix of kale, spinach, and greens. B said he feels hoodwinked as a consumer.

4. The boys got to pick a special dessert on Saturday (Hence the Fun Dip), and J picked:

IMG_5053Chips. Is anyone surprised by this? He also picked a mini candy bar, that he drove around in one of his Hot Wheels trucks.

5. This is where J posts himself whenever A is in the bathroom.

IMG_4815-001He loves his brother just a little bit. HA! Happy Tuesday!

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