Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween & Chocolate Cupcakes!

I hosted a Halloween edition of Game Night at my house last night, and I made these cupcakes in the spirit of the holiday. The recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor, probably my all-time favorite baking cookbook! (It also comes in a Chocolate Edition, by the way!) These cupcakes were yummy and different because of the almond extract and the cream cheese frosting. These would be great for any holiday, birthday, or other get-together.


Recipe Notes

You can also make this recipe into a layer cake version using two round, 9-inch cake pans. In this case, change the cooking time of the cakes to 28-30 minutes.

  • 1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 package plain devil's food cake mix
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

3. Heat the chopped unsweetened chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Set the pan aside and cool for 10 minutes.

4. Place cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, extract, and melted chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Batter should look thick and combined.

5. Pour into individual cupcake liners and bake for 19-22 minutes, depending on your oven. Allow to cool before frosting.

6. Prepare Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Blend 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese and 1 stick of softened butter with an electric mixer until well-combined.
  • Add 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp. almond extract (can also substitute vanilla extract), and 4 c. confectioner's sugar.
  • Blend until frosting is fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes more.
  • Use to frost cake or cupcakes immediately.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Soutwestern Shepherd's Pie

Ok, so I was skeptical about this recipe from Cooking Light but decided to give it a try because it looked fast and required few ingredients. Boy, am I glad that I did! It was delicious and on the table in 20 minutes.

Recipe Notes
When rinsing and draining the canned kidney beans, a good trick is to pour them into a collander and rinse under the sink.

Nutritional Information (per serving - makes 4 servings)
279 calories - 6 g. fat - 25.7 g. protein - 8 g. fiber

  • 2 c. prepared mashed potatoes (such as Country Crock)
  • 3/4 lb. ground sirloin (I used 92% lean ground beef)
  • 3/4 c. picante sauce or chunky salsa
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c. preshredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions. Keep warm.

2. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble.

3. Add salsa, water, cumin, sugar, salt, and kidney beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, approximately 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and spoon mashed potatoes over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand 2 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.

Sadie was hoping to have some of our Shepherd's Pie, but the closest that she got to a serving of meat was chewing on her hot dog toy. Don't feel too sorry for her though - she got some ground beef and drippings on her own little dinner!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Orzo with Feta, Chicken, Lemon, and Dill

This Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe was delicious and on the table in less than one hour. The recipe indicates that it makes six servings, but those servings are ENORMOUS. This dish could easily serve at least eight people with a salad and crusty bread to accompany it.


Recipe Notes
Recipe serves six (enormous portions)! The recipe doesn't call for ground pepper, but I added some ground pepper to the casserole prior to baking.

  • 4 c. chicken broth (approximately one box)
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. orzo (typically one box)
  • 1 lb. chicken tenderloins, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 c. feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese


1. Bring chicken broth, water, butter, and salt to a boil. Turn off heat and set aside.

2. Combine orzo, chicken pieces, dill, feta, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a three-quart casserole dish.

3. Pour chicken broth mixture over the dry ingredients.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until pasta appears creamy and slightly browned on top.

5. Let stand for five minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and allow to melt slightly. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

This Cooking Light recipe has less than 400 calories and 7 g. fat per serving - much better (and fresher) than your typical Chinese takeout! Added bonus: the meal was on the table in 30 minutes!


Recipe Notes
I boiled the frozen peas for about 2-3 minutes (after cooking the rice) to make sure that they defrosted adequately. I also chopped my shrimp into bite-sized pieces instead of leaving them whole.

Nutritional Information (per serving - makes six 1-1/2 c. servings)
392 calories - 6.7 g. fat - 19.3 g. protein - 3.2 g. fiber

  • Three 3.5 oz. bags boil-in-bag white rice
  • 10 oz. package frozen green peas
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp. bottled fresh ginger
  • 12 oz. (3/4 lb.) medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash of crushed red pepper


1. Cook rice according to package directions. Remove rice from bags and return to saucepan. Add peas to the pan, stirring well. Cover and keep warm.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray and add eggs. Cook for one minute or until set and scrambled. Remove eggs from pan and coarsely chop.

3. Return pan to heat and add canola oil. Add green onions and ginger and saute for one minute. Add shrimp to pan and saute 2 minutes or until shrimp are done.

4. Add shrimp mixture and eggs to rice mixture. Stir well.

5. Add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and crushed red pepper. Toss well to combine and serve immediately.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chocolate Souffle Pudding Cake

What could be better than a recipe with only three ingredients?! This Martha Stewart Everyday Food dessert is both rich and light, because the egg whites give it a souffle-like consistency.


Recipe Notes
I like to use Baker's chocolate baking squares, because they are so easily measured. (Each square is one oz.) However, the equivalent measure of semi-sweet chocolate chips is approximately one cup. Don't skip the water bath - it will help your souffle to bake evenly. It will have a souffle-like or mousse-like consistency on top and a pudding-like consistency in the middle. Serve a la mode with Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream.

Nutritional Information (Per serving - serves 6)
276 calories - 13 g. fat - 1.5 g. fiber

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar, plus more for baking dish
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


1. Grease a 2-qt. baking dish with either butter or cooking spray. Coat with granulated sugar, tapping out excess.

2. Melt semi-sweet chocolate.

3. In a large bowl, mix egg yolks with granulated sugar until lightened in color. Add melted chocolate and set aside.

4. In a large, clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. (A handheld electric mixer will work great.)

5. Whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Add remaining whites, gently folding in with a rubber spatula until just combined.

6. Transfer batter to prepared dish. Place dish in a larger dish or roasting pan and add water to larger dish until it reaches one inch up the side of the dish.

7. Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and set, approximately 25-35 minutes.

8. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve warm a la mode.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple Crisp

Well, fall is finally upon us, and it finally got cool enough to warrant me making an apple crisp. It's not that this is a difficult dessert that only warrants a special occasion - quite to the contrary, it is a really easy recipe. However, somehow I just associate apple crisp with fall weather, so it's taken awhile to get me in the mood to make one.


Recipe Notes
I used Granny Smith apples, but you can use any medium-sized cooking apples in this recipe. Enjoy a la mode with Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. This recipe makes either one 9x13 inch crisp or two 8x8 inch desserts.

  • Eight medium cooking apples - peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter (one stick)


1. Mix apples, water, and cinnamon and place in a shallow, greased, 2-qt. baking dish.

2. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. (A pastry blender often works well for this task.)

3. Sprinkle over apply mixture and bake (uncovered) at 375 degrees for one hour.

4. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream.

1015 Onions

This is a recipe that I got from my Nana. Corey loves it because the end result is much like French onion soup (without any of the work!) I love it because it only has three ingredients and it requires minimal prep time - then you can just forget about it in the oven until dinner time!


Recipe Notes

This recipe calls for sweet Texas 1015 onions, which are a type of Vidalia onion. You can use just about any type of sweet yellow onion or Vidalia onion if you can't find 1015's. This recipe goes great with a nice grilled steak.

  • Sweet Texas 1015 onions
  • Beef bouillon cubes
  • Butter


1. Slice top and bottom off of onion and peel.

2. Place on a square of aluminum foil and top with a pat of butter and a beef bouillon cube. (I used approx. 2/3 cube per onion in the photos above.

3. Wrap and place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for one of the following:

  • Three hours at 300 degrees
  • Two hours at 350 degrees
  • One hour at 400 degrees

5. Open into individual bowls and serve like French onion soup.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Black Bean & Salsa Chili

This Cooking Light chili was really tasty and ready in an hour. The spiciness of the chili powder and crushed red pepper worked really well with the slight sweetness of the small amount of brown sugar. And the dish weighs in at 200 calories per one-cup serving. A nice, healthy, alternative to your traditional chili recipe that has to simmer on the stove all day! Don't be daunted by the long list of ingredients - it's mostly spices!

Recipe Notes
The original recipe calls for ground turkey. I prefer 92% lean ground beef or ground sirloin, so I made that substitution. Feel free to use either turkey or beef.

Nutritional Information (per serving - serves 6)
199 calories - 6.2 g. fat - 14.8 g. protein - 5.9 g. fiber

  • Two 15-oz cans black beans - rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 2/3 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 lb. 92% extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1-1/2 c. mild salsa
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 14 oz. can fat free beef broth
  • 1/2 c. reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice


1. Combine one can of black beans, water, and dark brown sugar in a food processor. Process until smooth.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.

3. Add onions, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, bacon, and ground beef or turkey to the pan. Cook for between 5-8 minutes, or until bell peppers and onion have softened and meat has browned.

4. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pan and stir well.

5. Add pureed beans, one can of black beans, salsa, tomato paste, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low (uncovered) for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

6. Combine sour cream, cilantro, and juice in a small bowl. Serve chili with sour cream mixture.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parmesan Pork Cutlets

Corey calls this Real Simple recipe his "Pork McNuggets". Because the pork is tenderized so nicely through making cutlets, these turn out fork-tender. Serve alone or with BBQ sauce. We had these last night with Twice-Baked Potatoes and a nice big green salad. I'll post pictures tomorrow as my camera battery has officially died today! This dish only takes about 20 minutes start-to-finish, so it's a good quick protein to get on the table.


Recipe Notes
The recipe calls for 2 tbsp. of olive oil for sauteeing the cutlets. I just use cooking spray to keep the calorie- and fat-count down, and we haven't noticed a difference. They still come out golden brown. Utilize your butcher for this recipe too - have HIM do the hard part and turn your pork tenderloin into cutlets! You will be very glad that you did.

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, made into eight cutlets
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. dried breadcrumbs (such as Progresso)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place flour on a plate. Place eggs, slightly beaten, in a medium bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, salt, and Parmesan in a separate medium bowl.

3. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. For a healthier option, just use cooking spray.

4. Working in batches, lightly coat each cutlet with flour, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs. Lay each cutlet in the skillet and cook until golden - 1 to 2 minutes per side.

5. Transfer skillet from stove top to oven. Heat until the pork is cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

I made these twice-baked potatoes from Martha Stewart Everyday Food last night, and they were tasty and fairly healthy, because they have no cheese and no bacon, along with minimal butter. They generally rely on sour cream and seasonings for flavor.


Recipe Notes
This recipe originally was created to serve eight. I have halved the recipe to serve four, and the directions below are based on four servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving - adapted to serve 4)
255 calories - 11.4 g. fat - 5.1 g. protein - 3.3 g. fiber

  • Four small russett potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Snipped chives, approximately 2-3 tbsp.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Rub potatoes with vegetable oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork or paring knife.

3. Cut a small section off of the top of each potato, once they have had a chance to cool slightly. Hollow out potato contents into a medium bowl, leaving approximately 1/2 inch border around the potatoes.

4. Combine with butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and chives. Mash potatoes until well-combined.

5. Spoon mashed potato mixture into the potato skins. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until slightly browned on top.

6. Top with additional chives, if desired.

7. Serve with steak, pork, or chicken dishes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Cheese Toast

Last week, I used up the rest of my wonderful pre-peeled, pre-cut butternut squash from Costco making Cooking Light Butternut Squash Soup. This recipe includes a cheese toast to go alongside the soup, and it was a nice combination. Plus, how easy is a dinner that you make in the BLENDER?!

Recipe Notes
If you want a sweeter soup, don't add any additional salt or pepper. If you want a more savory soup (like me), feel free to season generously.

Nutritional Information (Per serving - serves 4)
297 calories - 10.7 g. fat - 11.8 g. protein - 4.9 g. fiber

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 3-1/2 c. cubed, peeled butternut squash
  • 3/4 c. chopped carrot
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2-1/2 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. half-and-half
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Four, 1-oz. slices French bread
  • 3 oz. thinly-sliced Swiss cheese (or any other mild white cheese - I used fontina)


1. To prepare soup, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, carrot, and onion, and saute for 12 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.

3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, stir in half-and-half and salt.

5. Place squash mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape. Cover opening loosely with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Blend until smooth and serve.

6. To prepare cheese toasts, preheat broiler.

7. Arrange bread on a baking sheet. Broil for one minute or until lightly toasted.

8. Turn bread over and top evenly with cheese. Broil one additional minute or until bubbly. Serve toasts with soup.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three-Cheese Baked Penne

I made this pasta dish from Cooking Light on Friday night before we went bowling for Corey's birthday, and it's always a big hit with him. He likes the fact that it has a "kick" to it - courtesy of red pepper flakes and green bell peppers. He also likes the creamy texture that the goat cheese lends to this dish. This dish has less than 350 calories per serving, despite tasting very rich. This is due to the inclusion of goat cheese for depth of flavor. This meal was also on the table in less than one hour.

Recipe Notes
I had hot Italian turkey sausage on hand instead of the sweet turkey sausage called for in the recipe. If you use hot Italian turkey sausage, you can omit the crushed red pepper flakes - the spiciness of the sausage gives plenty of heat when accompanied by the bell peppers.

Nutritional Information (per serving - makes 6 servings of approx. 1-1/4 c. each)
326 calories - 10.9 g. fat - 20.8 g. protein - 4.9 g. fiber

  • 2-1/2 c. uncooked penne (I like "mezze penne" which are like miniature penne - look for them at the grocery store on the pasta aisle!)
  • 2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 c. finely-chopped green bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash of salt
  • 8-oz. can garlic and herb tomato sauce
  • 3/4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. (2 oz) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet (coated with cooking spray) over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage and add sausage to pan. Cook two minutes, stirring to crumble.

4. Add bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and dried Italian seasoning to skillet. Saute six minutes or until bell pepper is tender.

5. Stir in canned tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

6. Add goat cheese and mozzarella cheese to pasta, stirring to coat as cheese melts. Add sauce to pan and stir until well combined.

7. Turn pasta mixture into a 2-qt. glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until top is bubbly and brown. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bacon Mac & Cheese - Part 2

Corey enjoyed the Cooking Light Bacon Mac and Cheese so much that I made last month, he requested it for his birthday dinner tonight! Since it was one of the first recipes that I posted on this blog, I thought it was worth re-posting for anyone who might have started reading in the past few weeks. Link to the recipe (here), including nutritional information.

We also made the Tomatoes Provencal from that same dinner tonight. Using Campari tomatoes, this recipe is almost as sweet and delicious as candy. This goes really well with the Bacon Mac and Cheese!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Calling All Suggestions!

What would YOU like to see on this blog? What type of recipes are you looking for in your kitchen? Just give me some basic parameters (type of protein, specific ingredients used, etc.) and I'll do my best in the coming weeks to find some healthy alternatives to test out and post on the blog! Any suggestions are welcome!

Happy Birthday Corey!

My husband's birthday is this weekend, so we are going bowling with friends tonight to celebrate. I just picked up this cake from Costo for tonight, and I am quite excited about it. Costco has just the very best sheet cakes - and a quarter sheet cake is just $16.99! You get to pick your theme, any inscription, the cake flavor, the icing flavor, and the filling flavor. Tonight we're having a vanilla cake with chocolate mousse filling and white buttercream frosting. And the best part about the cake is that I didn't have to make it! I highly suggest these for birthday parties - both for adults and children alike!

Mexican Tomato Salad

I served this easy salad with Refried Bean Poblanos with Cheese. You could also serve these with Cheese Enchiladas. This is a very healthy side, and the only real fat that this dish incorporates is from the avocado - and those fats are good fats!

Recipe Notes
This Martha Stewart adaptation calls for queso fresco, a crumbly Mexican cheese. Queso fresco, I have found, is not often available at my typical grocery haunts, so I have found a substitution that is widely available: FETA. Feta cheese has a similar texture and look to queso fresco, and its saltiness compliments the dish well. I used feta in the version pictured here.

  • Roma, campari, or other small sweet tomatoes
  • Haas avocado
  • Queso fresco (or feta, as I substituted above)
  • Lime
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt and coarse ground pepper


1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate.

2. Chop avocado into small pieces and arrange over tomatoes.

3. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle lime juice over the top.

4. Season with salt and pepper and finish with chopped fresh cilantro over the top.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Refried Bean Poblanos with Cheese

Corey and I needed a quick, light dinner before we went to U2 last night, so we tried these stuffed poblanos. They were great, and prep time was less than 10 minutes because the cooking is done in the microwave!


Recipe Notes
Great quick, healthy supper in 10 minutes or less! Serve with a green salad or the Mexican Tomato Salad pictured here.

Nutritional Information - serving is 2 poblano halves (serves 4)
303 calories - 6 g. fat - 17 g. protein - 7.7 g. fiber


  • 4 medium poblanos, halved and seeded
  • 16 oz. can fat free refried beans
  • 1 pouch microwaveable cooked long-grain rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
  • 1/2 c. picante sauce or salsa
  • 1 c. preshredded, reduced fat four-cheese Mexican blend
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Place chile halves, cut side up, on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
2. While chiles cook, combine beans, rice, and picante sauce or salsa, stirring well. Spoon bean mixture evenly into 8 chile halves.
3. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high for 2 minutes more.
4. Uncover chiles, sprinkle with cheese, and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes more until cheese begins to melt.
5. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro and serve.

Sadie was very sad to miss the concert - it was great with lots of energy! She was waiting by the door for us when we finally got home at 11:30 so that we could tell her all about it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Binder

My friend Chelsea told me that I needed to post the idea of my recipe binder. I have been keeping a binder of recipes I would like to try for more than five years now. Corey and I have a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, and neutral ratings system in our house for when we try a new dinner. If it gets a thumbs-up, it gets to stay in the binder for future dinners. If it gets a thumbs-down or neutral rating, it gets tossed. (Considering that I have filled a three-inch binder with recipes, there is no room for mediocre meals!)

What is handy about having a binder, which is organized by type of food, is that my recipes are easy to find. Also, I don't have to keep stacks and stacks of magazines around - instead I just keep the 2-3 pages that are relevant from each issue and file them away accordingly. It saves a good deal of space and also a good deal of time that I would otherwise spend digging for recipes.

I must credit my friend Rebecca in Birmingham for the idea. She started her "magazine binder" whenwe were living together in Washington, DC. I followed her lead and haven't looked back since! Thanks Rebecca!

A few of the categories in my recipe binder include the following:
  • Breakfast
  • Egg Dishes
  • Appetizers
  • Drinks
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Salads & Side Dishes
  • Dinners - Beef
  • Dinners - Pork
  • Dinners - Chicken
  • Dinners - Turkey
  • Dinners - Fish & Seafood
  • Dinners - Vegetarian
  • Pasta & Pizza
  • Lunches & Sandwiches
  • Sauces & Marinades
  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Cookies, Brownies, & Bars
  • Other Desserts

My friend Chelsea has started a recipe binder and so has my mom, and they both like them very much. I highly recommend starting one!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, I just need to bake. Period. The urge doesn't come often, but when it does, it is palpable. As a result, my coworkers and Corey's coworkers were the lucky recipients of a batch of chocolate chip cookies this week. I had a large bag of chocolate chips to burn, hence the inspiration for my baking bonanza.

Recipe Notes
I must admit - the original is best (the Nestle Toll House Recipe, that is). However, I've made two modifications that I think are quite tasty: I double the chocolate chips (and include half milk chocolate chips and half semi sweet chips on occasion) and double the vanilla. Enjoy!

  • 2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar (I used light brown)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 c. (two 12-oz. packages) chocolate chips, half milk chocolate and half semi sweet, if desired


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. You may also stir in one cup of chopped nuts here, if desired. I hate nuts in my baked goods so I always decline to include nuts.

4. Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using two spoons, drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet.

5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. I like to pull mine out when they are just slightly brown around the edges, as they usually cook a little more between the time that I pull them out of the oven and the time that I actually get them off the cookie sheet. Cool on a wire rack completely before serving.