Monday, January 12, 2015

Thin and Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

For years I have been buying the perfect chocolate chip cookie at our local grocery store- Wegmans.  They are not a commercial cookie, they are actually baked at a bakery call Otterbein's.  Otterbein's Bakery has been in business since 1881 and has been a local favorite ever since.  I have tried to find a copycat recipe for their chocolate chip cookie, this is the closest I have come.  One day I was talking to my friend about favorite cookies and we both agreed that there is just something so special about the buttery goodness of those cookies.  She recommended this recipe to me.  It is not exactly the same, but it is close and I can make them at home!  BONUS!  That means I don't have the nutritional information haunting me every time I take one from the package.  lol


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, 1/4 cup water, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake until cookies are golden brown 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Candied Almonds

I have had this bag of almonds in my pantry for what seems like forever.  Forever is a very loose term for me.  For example, I haven't been to the gym in forever (a week) or haven't had a milkshake in forever (3 days).  In reality, I have had the almonds since the fall.  Today is a snow day here in Northern Virginia because we have a tiny bit of ice, both of my kids and three more are spending the day here.  I have decided to do a little cooking and baking for the week.  I am hosting book club this week so I am looking to try out a few new snacks to serve up.

  • 2 Cups Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium sauce pan, combine honey, ginger, and cinnamon.  Warm on low and stir continuously.  This will take about 2 minutes.  Add in almonds and stir to coat.  Next, sprinkle in brown sugar and salt.  Stir to coat.  Spread almonds onto baking sheet.  For easy clean up make sure to line with parchment paper.  Bake for about 11-13 minutes.  Cool completely and break apart.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perfect BBQ Chicken

Recently I have been searching the internet for the "best" recipes.  I simply go to Google and type in things like best chicken recipe, best steak marinade, best side dish,  and many others.  I know that everyone has a favorite recipe that they think is the best.  That is what I am looking for.  Tonight we are trying what Kraft Foods calls Perfect Grilled Chicken.  It was perfectly easy and created tasty juicy chicken.

  • 1/4 Cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Caesar Dressing
  • 1 lb of Chicken Breasts
Combine bbq sauce and dressing in a bowl.  Pour over chicken, covering all sides, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Grill until chicken is cooked throughout.

I served with Jalepeno Twice Baked Potatoes and Zucchini.

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

We made a stop at one of our favorite local places to get produce, Farmer John's in Leesburg, VA.  We had a list of things we needed for the week.  Zucchini wasn't on the list but they looked OH SO GOOD!  I picked up a couple and quickly came up with some ideas including this yummy bread.  My kids don't like anything green were extremely happy to eat this even though the flakes of zucchini peeked through the deliciousness.

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 -3 Cups of Grated Zucchini (skin on)
  • 1/2  cup of mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  In a separate large bowl cream together with electric mixer the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil.  Next, fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into two greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy...

The Tooth Fairy visited our house last week.  Tucked inside of his Monster Tooth Pillow was a tiny letter from the Tooth Fairy herself.  Along with the letter, she also left Evan some VERY sparkly money! He was SO excited!

FREE Printable Banner Letters

This is a quick way to print a banner at home.  You can print it on any color card stock to make the perfect color combo to compliment the theme!
Simply right click on the letter that you need, save image, and print!

Weekly Menu #6

Pesto Chicken and Pasta
Side Salad

Tequila Lime Shrimp with Cumin Rice
Grilled Veggies

French Onion Salisbury Steak
Buttered Corn on the Cob

BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
Sweet Potato Fries

Pocket Burgers with Crispy Onion Straws
Grilled Veggies

And as always, check out these snacks and desserts to bring an extra big smile to your kiddos face!

Be sure to check out our other weekly menus here.

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