Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today, my 15 year old daughter had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.... and she wanted to make them all by herself.  She went to Pintrest and found a link over to All Recipes for this yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Meg did make them ALL by herself and they were fabulous.  She used my large cookie scoop and she was so proud of herself!  She just bagged up a few to take to school tomorrow to share with friends.

I have to say - they looked amazing and tasted even better!  I love the larger cookies!  The baking soda in hot water really helped the cookies keep a nice shape!  Way to go Meg!

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (Meg left these out)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs one at a time - then stir in vanilla.  Dissolve baking soda in hot water.  Add to batter along with salt.  Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until edges are nicely brown.  * Meg had to bake for 12 minutes using the large cookie scoop

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

What a great new side dish!  We have been roasting a ton of vegetables this summer.  I think we have had roasted green beans several times a week - I thought we were due to try another veggie.  I found his recipe in Ina Garten's ....How Easy is That?  My sweet cousin Cristy gave me this fun cookbook when they were visiting from Texas.

I love this roasted cauliflower.  I am not always a huge fan of cauliflower because just have never found a great way to prepare it.  This was yummy - my girls and their friends ate it - we ate every bite.  I highly recommend it.

I will give you Ina's recipe as she gives it.  The only thing I did differently is I used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts and I didn't add the lemon juice at the end!  :)  Enjoy!

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower (Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa - How Easy is That?)

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
4 1/2 Tbsp of good olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced ( I didn't use fresh)
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves.  Boil for 15 seconds then drain, peel and cut off any brown parts.  Cut the large cloves lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the  cauliflower with the garlic, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Spred the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 - 25 minutes, tossing twice, until cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices.  Add the remaining  11/2 Tbsp olive oil, parsley,  nuts and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and toss well.  Serve hot or warm.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Salted Peanut Chews

Do you like a Salted Nut Roll?  My hubby does!  Two co-teachers shared this recipe with me several years back.  If you like a Salted Nut Roll, you will love this bar recipe.

Salted Peanut Chews


1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3cups miniature marshmallows


2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 (10 oz) bag peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup butter and egg - beat at low speed.  Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 12 to 18 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows - lightly pressing into crust.  Return to oven and bake 1-2 minutes or just until marshmallows begin to puff.  Cool while preparing topping.

In a saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts.  Heat just until chips are melted - stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and pour over cereal and peanuts.  Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows - spread to cover.  Refrigerate one hour or until firm.  Cut into bars and store in an airtight container!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Annie is off to Baylor

I cannot believe we just dropped our oldest off at Baylor University!  I went to Baylor so you have to know I was thrilled when Annie chose to attend Baylor.  The fact that Waco, Texas is about 13 hours from Omaha, Nebraska isn't the greatest but I know Annie is where God wants her to be.  She has a wonderful roommate and she has already connected with friends from the past as well as making a ton of new friends.  Baylor does a great job of connecting everyone through Baylor Line Camp and Welcome Week.  

Prayers for our sweet girl as she starts this new chapter in her life!  We love you Annie!

Annie and Gracie got a corner room so it was a little bigger than most - they were thrilled.  Annie was so excited when she and Gracie were first introduced to find out ..... they both love yellow.  AND - they both wear a size 7 shoe!  What more could a girl want in a roommate!

Annie and Gracie - Baylor University Freshmen :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spiced Peach Nut Bread

First, I want to apologize for not sharing as many recipes lately.  Summer, travel, full-time work, dieting and getting my oldest ready for college - I just haven't been cooking as much!  I have posted about 300 recipes  over the past couple years.  I hope you will still search the blog for a new idea.

A friend of the family in Marshall shared this yummy recipe several years back.  Diane is a great cook and an awesome friend to my mom.  Diane said I could share this recipe with you.  Enjoy!

Spiced Peach Nut Bread

2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp butter, melted
16 can sliced peaches, diced (reserving 1/2 cup juice)
        ( can use peaches with syrup or in own juice)
1 cup chopped pecans

Powdered Sugar glaze (made with peach juice and powdered sugar)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients with a mixer - beat for two minute at medium speed.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan.  Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Immediately remove from pan - cool completely.  If desired, drizzle with glaze.  Wrap tightly or store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

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