August 7, 2008

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Have you ever seen two different recipes for the same thing and didn’t know which one to make? That happens to me all the time. Sometimes I don’t bother at all, thinking it’s too much pressure to pick the “right” recipe, but if it’s something that looks really good I might just make both and see what I like better. That is the case for these dueling snickerdoodle recipes that I found on two or my favorite sites: What Geeks Eat and Simply Recipes. The big difference between the recipes is the Shuna’s at Simply Recipes has cornstarch, while Vanessa’s has the more traditional cream of tartar. You can go read Shuna’s post about why cornstarch is special. Due to this different “secret” ingredient in the cookies, I found the outcome of both to be completely different tasting cookies.

If you are cookie dough connoisseur, the cornstarch recipe wins hands down. I LOVE cookie dough, but I could barely eat any of the other recipe because it was too flour-y. The problem comes after you bake them. The cornstarch cookies have a really nice …

Read the Rest »


October 16, 2008

Gingerbread Mini-muffins

Gingerbread Mini-muffins

Jason’s Deli is one of my favorite places to eat. Brandon and I go there at least once a week just to eat their salad bar. But the real draw of this place are their mini-muffins. They are complimentary and they are DELICIOUS. In fact, they might possibly have crack in them because they are so addictive. I decided a few weeks ago that I just had to figure out how to make them at home. Four batches later, I think I’ve gotten as close as I can. It’s hard to tell since I can’t do a side-by-side taste test, but these are pretty darn close. Brandon said he thought they tasted exactly the same. I think the original muffins are a bit sweeter, but that’s probably because they have high fructose corn syrup or 8 pounds of sugar or something like that, so I’m willing to sacrifice some sweetness if it will reduce the calorie count (according to my google research the original muffins are 220 calories, which is a lot for something you can eat in one bite).

February 7, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches

Cherry Chocolate Malt Cookie Sandwiches

I’ve never made a big deal about Valentine’s Day. It’s nice to get some flowers but I don’t expect anything else. We don’t even bother going out to eat on Valentine’s Day anymore because the restaurants are always so crowded. Besides, my birthday is less than a week later so it’s easier to celebrate both occasions then. But there is one thing I love about Valentine’s day, especially since I started this blog: it’s a great excuse to make chocolate desserts!

I decided to make some cookies because Brandon’s coworkers have been asking for more cookies from me ever since my epic cookie testing project last December. It’s definitely flattering that they liked my cookies so much, so it seemed like a good idea to keep them happy and to find a great recipe to post for Valentine’s Day at the same time! I found these chocolate malt cookies in one of my Martha Stewart cookbooks and thought they would be really nice paired with a cherry-white chocolate filling.

August 6, 2009

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

Asiago-Crusted Pork Chops with Sweet Pea and Pepper Toss

I started making a meal plan every week and now that I’ve been doing it for a little while, I have to wonder why I haven’t been doing this all along. It’s saving me so much trouble. Here’s an example of a typical nightly exchange between me and my boyfriend pre-meal plan:

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Him: I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?
Me: Whatever you want.
Him: I want whatever you want.
Me: I forgot to take any meat out of the freezer.
Him: So…pizza or chinese?

It was just unbelievably frustrating and there was no excuse for it other than laziness on our part. Now I’ve been making a meal plan for the upcoming week on Sunday and then I go to the grocery store and buy only the ingredients I need (so I’m saving some money as well since I’m not buying produce or anything that goes bad before we get a chance to eat it). I have it written out on a big white board in my kitchen, so the night before I’m reminded of what I’m making the …

Read the Rest »

July 9, 2008

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce

Chicken Cutlets with Herb Sauce

So this is one of those titular “30 Minutes Meals”, which is definitely what attracted me to this recipe. Well, that and the potatoes. I love red potatoes! The problem is that it took wayyyy longer than 30 minutes, but I fully attribute that to the fact that I’ve never made it before and that I’m just a slow cook. I have no doubt an experienced cook would totally knock this out of the park in 30 minutes, but it you’re like me, it’s probably going to take you longer.

I made quite a few mistakes with this one (though it still turned out well), so after the recipe I will include notes that go a bit more into my process and what I learned, so that you won’t make the same mistakes as well. As usual I made some substitutions which I’ll note also, but I’m listing the original ingredients.

July 9, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Brandon and I started on a diet a few weeks ago. And not one those “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables” kind of things, like an actual counting calories, keeping a food log kind of thing (though of course we are eating more fruits and vegetables, too). The first week was really scary because I thought it would be impossible to come up with a week’s worth of low-fat meals. But now in week 2, I’m realizing that I was very, very wrong. With the help of a couple of great cookbooks, I’m finding that it’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even take a lot of extra time. In fact, all the dishes I’ve made in the past few weeks take MUCH less time to make and both Brandon and I agree that they’ve been really good and filling. If someone else made these dishes for me, I wouldn’t even think they were supposed to be light. They’re just good recipes and they happen to be low fat as well.

Even though I’m on a diet, this isn’t going to …

Read the Rest »

March 16, 2011

Berry-Orange Fruity Oaty Bars

Fruity Oaty Bars

After last week’s fried indulgence, I wanted to make something totally guilt-free that used up a bunch of fruit I had sitting in my fridge and freezer. I’m always on the lookout for homemade versions of the store bought snacks I love, so after reading this post about Fruit Bars I immediately headed down to the kitchen to make my own.

I am so glad to have found this recipe because I will never need to buy fruit bars at the grocery store ever again. These taste so much better than anything store bought and they are filled with natural ingredients.

My bars have a crust of ground up almonds and oats along with flour and just enough butter. It’s like a healthier version of shortbread, but it tastes just as good. I had lots of berries and some beautiful blood oranges so I made two different fruit fillings: cranberry-orange and blueberry-orange. The fruit is cooked with some juice, sugar and cornstarch until it thickens and then it’s poured on top of the crust. The fruit is topped with a streusal made with that …

Read the Rest »

December 12, 2011

Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar

Molasses Spice Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from many of the recipes on this blog, I love to bake and I struggle throughout the year trying to balance the sweet treats with savory and/or healthier recipes. But from Thanksgiving to New Years Day all that falls away and I embrace what I like to call “baking season”. I don’t put restrictions on myself, I don’t worry about calories, I just let loose and make whatever I want and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about anything I eat. It’s my yearly Christmas present to myself.

Cookies are my favorite thing to make during the holiday season and I think I’ve been mentally saving up because I haven’t posted any cookie recipes here since May. So when I heard about the Food Blogger Cookie Swap I immediately signed up. I’d be making cookies anyway so why not share some of them with others?

The thing I didn’t factor in was how difficult it would be to find a good cookie recipe! The main issue was finding cookies that could travel well and that would keep for at least a week. Maybe others didn’t have any trouble with …

Read the Rest »