“C” is for cookie.. that’s all you need to know.

Yes, you read correctly.

Thank you for trusting me.

Now on to the important stuff.

 

I made these tonight. They were so easy and so yummy.

Soft Mint & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chopped Andes Mints, Andes Mints Creme de Menth Baking Chips OR Nestle mint & dark chocolate chips

I actually used only 1/2 cup Andes baking chips (because that’s all I had), and for the rest, I used a bag of Nestle mint & dark chocolate chips (and I added some semi sweet chips too :] )

Preheat oven to 350. In a stand mixer (or whatever you have), using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars. Add eggs and beat for about 1 minute. Add vanilla.

This part is supposed to say “In a separate bowl”, but if you are a rule breaker like me, I almost always never do. And I’ve never had problems.

So, sorry to you professional bakers out there. I do respect and understand why this is done.

Washing extra bowls is such a huge pain for just flour. And too much work for me.

So, whichever you decide, there is one thing you must do (okay, you caught me… a few things)..  add soda, powder and cocoa to mixer(or a separate bowl for you sticklers), and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until just combined, and then add the rest of the flour. Mix until just combined.

I emphasize the ‘just’, because there is such a thing as over mixing Missy.

Trust me, again.. like before, or earlier.

 

Then for my most favorite part… the chocolate!

Add in your chips, and hand mix. Or, again, like me, The Rule Breaker, avoid using any muscle and turn the mixer back on to low. I actually prefer this because it breaks up the chips and you get more evenly distributed gooey goodness throughout the cookie. It turns into a swirly mess of soft cookie with chocolate in every bite.

Yes, I could probably write for ad companies. Thank you for asking. :]

Plop teaspoons of this swirly mess onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes exactly. I started out at 9 minutes just so I could check and make sure they weren’t already done. But it needed 10 minutes every time.

Let rest on the pan for a few minutes, then remove cookies and put on tin foil to cool.


Yes, it’s the same picture. I’m just giving you a gentle reminder of what you’re missing out on if you don’t make these.

 

Now go try this recipe.

It’s a must if you love mint and chocolate.

 

Simple Chicken Salad

To go along with the English Muffin Bread I made the other day, I was really wanting chicken salad. (Pictures were taken with homemade hamburger buns, found here.)

I love chicken salad.

But, we all know what a pain it is to make (if it’s made from scratch).

Mostly, it’s the chicken that is the pain.

::

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE chicken, but hate touching raw chicken.

And cleaning it.

Which, you think to yourself, should have been done by the butcher at the grocery store, but he probably hates his job because he too hates to touch raw chicken, and wants to make my life miserable by leaving skin and fat on the chicken.

Just for me.

He’s got it out for me.

Or…. I’m just overly picky?

Nah.

::

Growing up my mom always had canned chicken around. She was always stocked up, because she would buy the bulk cans from Sam’s.

And to this day, I cannot remember a single time we ate that canned chicken in a meal.

I must have developed an aversion to it over the years from it staring back at me in the cabinet.

Or my mom spoiled us with fresh chicken, and the lonely can in the cabinet turned into the nerdy step brother of fresh chicken. (yea… I don’t know what that means either)

Either way, I wasn’t really a fan. And I had no reason not to be!

::

When we were in Wisconsin this last time, on our last day there, my husbands mother made us chicken salad for lunch.

She buys stuff that’s easy to put together, which is totally great!

Saving time is awesome. If I would have eaten it more growing up, I maybe could have thought past fresh chicken a lot earlier.

::

So, for her chicken salad she used canned chicken.

Well.. lo and behold, it blew my socks off!

I was seriously surpised at how much it didn’t taste like canned chicken.

Then I was thinking about how I needed to buy some when I got home and make some for myself.

So that’s what I did.

::

This is what you’ll need. And please, feel free to add your own spin on it.

Miracle whip, mustard, one pickle, 1/8th of a med/large onion, one can of chicken, celery salt, salad supreme and salt.

Drain your chicken, dump it in a medium bowl.

Use your awesome slap chop to finely chop up the onion. Dump it in with the chicken.

Dice up a pickle, and dump it in.

I didn’t measure anything… just put in what I liked.

If I had to put a number on it, I’d say 1/2c. miracle whip, 2 teaspoons mustard, 1/8-1/4tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp salt, and salad supreme to taste… about 1/2tsp or more.

If you’re good at waiting, unlike me, you could let this marry in the fridge for an hour.

Or eat it right away, it’s good either way!

It’s so good.

Especially for a quick lunch.


And on fresh bread… it’s killer.

Marvelous Bread: English Muffin

It was destiny.

I don’t know what made me decide to make bread today, but after tasting the finished product..

..it had to be fate.

::

This was one of the easiest bread recipes I’ve made.

With the help of my stand mixer, the dough was wipped up and rising on the stove in 10 minutes.

Now if you don’t have a stand mixer, use a large glass or stainless steel bowl, and mix with your hands.

This recipe will make 3 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3-⅔ cups Warm (not Hot) Water
  • 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 Oz. Packet) Instant Yeast
  • 7-⅔ cups All Purpose Or Bread Flour
  • Melted butter for brushing the bread

In your bowl or stand mixer(with the hook attachment), pour in the warm water. And in this order, dump the rest of the ingredients in: yeast, salt, sugar and flour. No need to let the yeast soak in the water.

Now turn on your mixer on to the lowest setting (or mix with hands) until combined. The dough will be very sticky and shaggy.

Leave dough in bowl, and cover with greased plastic wrap.

Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, until it looks bubbly and puffy.


This is what it should look like after rising for an hour. I had already taken out one loaf worth of dough.

::

Next, while your dough is rising, prep your bread pans.

Or in my case, bread pan.

I baked bread alllllllll afternoon, because I had one pan.

I’m not complaining, it’s totally worth it!

So, spray your pans with Pam, and throw in a handfull of cornmeal and shake around the pan to coat. Dump out any excess.


It doesn’t have to be perfect. [example of cornmeal on edges ^]

::

While your dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350.

::

Once your dough is ready, spray hands with Pam and scoop out what you need to fill your bread pan half full.

Then cover the bread pan, and let the dough rise again until it’s just to the top of the pan. This usually takes about 30 minutes.

Do not let it rise too much.

::

Once it’s risen, put the pan the middle of the center rack of the oven, and set the timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, take the bread out, spread butter over the top, and throw it back in for 10 more minutes to get a golden color.

To get even baking, put the pan in the opposite way of how you took it out.

 

After the last ten minutes, you end up with this beaut!


Immediately after you take it out of the oven (..for the last time. I promise you wont regret it), dump it out on to a cooling rack.

Spread more butter on it. You know you want to.

 

Then pull up a chair and wait impatiently because it shouldn’t be cut until completely cooled.

Try not to drool.

Then give up waiting and cut yourself a piece because you live life on the edge, and everything is better fresh out of the oven.

Recipes are made to be broken.

I’m sorry I’m such a bad influence.

::

This recipe is amazing. It’s crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside.

There is nothing better.


Have your way with it.

Butter it, as is.

Toast it and put peanut butter and jelly on it.

Toast it and put chicken salad on it!

I’ve tried all 3. Approved.

You can trust me.

::

The bread can be kept for about a week.

So, if you’re like me and can’t eat 3 loaves of bread in one week, you can freeze the bread for up to 3 months.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and then tin foil.

And whenever you need some bread, you can pull it out and let it thaw, or slice it while still frozen and toast it.

Or share the goodness, and give a couple loaves away.

It’s a quick way to make friends.

Now, please go try this recipe. It’s so scrumptous.

Grill Time: Burgers and Corn

I didn’t set out to document this mealtime.

My intention wasn’t to make a homemade meal just for the purpose of taking photos and posting a recipe.

That’s why I have no pictures of the “before”.

Damn.

But on top of looking scrumptous, it all tasted amazing too!

I know it was just burgers and corn, but A. this was my first time having grilled corn on the cob, and B. the burgers were on homemade buns, which we ALL know makes everything taste better.

Oh, and there was bacon.

First, there’s the homemade hamburger buns.

Because I didn’t feel like going ALL the way to the store (5 whole minutes away), I made these.

You can find the recipe here.

Please resist the urge to slather a stick of butter over a hot one, fresh out of the oven.

And eat it.

And love it.

Okay, don’t resist. I wont judge you.

Then there was the corn.

The glorious, grilled corn.

I’m ashamed to admit I never had grilled corn before.

And that truely is something to be ashamed of, because growing up we planted 1/2 acre of sweet corn each year at the farm.

We always boiled it. After we spent hours husking it, and feeding the husks to the horses, we were starved and didn’t want to wait more than 5 minutes to eat it.

You can understand that.

Can’t you?

Well I’ve lost all understanding since grilled corn on the cob entered my once sheltered life.

Moving on.

Das Berger.

It was amazing.


I’m sorry I’m doing this to you.


My husband loved it too.

That’s all that really matters right?

If you’ve gotten two thumbs up from your spouse, you know it’s good.

And thanks to him grilling on the 100 degree day… we satisfied our craving for a good hamburger.

Flourless, 4 Ingredient, Peanut Butter Cookies.. Oh my!


Don’t they look delicious?

Well, they are.

I’m sorry.

Don’t be jealous.

::

Out of boredom and extra energy, I tried a new cookie recipe tonight.

Flourless peanut butter cookies with only 4 ingredients.

Yes four.

Well, I added chocolate chips, so lets make that 5.

And yes, they are real cookies.

Real, but… no butter you say?

No butter. No vanilla. No flour. No butter.

No butter.

Have no fear. I risked it for the good of mankind, and waistlines everywhere.

Did I mention they’re only 36 calories per cookie?

For starters, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a cookie sheet. I covered my cookie sheet with tin foil for easy clean up, and sprayed it with pam.

Ingredients
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Beat the peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and soda and beat until combined.

Now, you can leave it as is, or add chocolate chips like I did.

pssst
add the chocolate chips.. it’s sooooo much better with chocolate

Take about a teaspoon of the dough, and plop it in your mouth roll it into a ball, flatten with your fingers and place on cookie sheet. Or flatten with a fork.

Or a rolling pin. Frying pan?

Which ever way your heart desires, it doesn’t matter, just do it.

Don’t ask questions.

Now, swiftly and recklessly toss them in the oven because this makes 24 cookies and you still have 2 more sheets to bake, and it’s 12AM, and once you started beating the dough you realized you didn’t have as much enegery as you thought and are now tired and could probably fall into bed, but you can’t because you were on pinterest, hungry, and now have to finish what you started.

Or something like that.


Bake for 10 minutes (says the recipe), but I did mine for 11. Just until they are starting to become golden.

Once they are done, let them rest on the pan for a couple minutes, and then move them to some tinfoil on the counter to cool.

At least that’s what I do. I do what my mom did.

So, go do what your mom did, you know you’re going to anyways.

It’s an unstoppable force.


Do you like my “sexy mood lighting”?

At least that’s what my husband called it, right after he snatched a cookie and turned the kitchen lights off on me.

It was past his bedtime.

Obviously.

So, what you end up with is a warm, gooey, peanut buttery cookie that melts in your mouth.

Oh, and it’s not as fattening as the ‘real’ stuff… you know, wit zee budda.


Now, go reward yourself with one of these.

Or how about 3.. because you can, and not feel as guilty. Show no self control!

This may be the only time you can get away with it.

And everybody said, Amen.

Flaming Lips AKA Pete’s Chili

Pete’s Chili

Before I scare you with all my talk about the feeling you will have of your face on the verge of bursting into flames from this chili, I must let you know, this particular batch was pleasantly “cooler” than previous batches. But if the hot chili beans are used as stated in the recipe at the end, all the warnings to come will be completely valid.

Since the recent cold front that so graciously presented itself to the great state of Texas, we’ve been needing a warm up.

In the form of chili.

This chili will warm you from the inside out, make your toes tingle, and your nose run. One bowl of this and those frosty nights will long be forgotten.

But ye be warned. It also comes with a warning label. There might be an off chance you will grow some hair on your chest and acquire the ability to spit fire if the proper precations aren’t taken when adding the heat. Of course that’s just my experience. For those of you who can handle the blazing heat of 4 jalapenos (with seeds), and hot chili beans, along with the feverish temp of the chili scorching the inside of your mouth, I guarantee this recipe will become a seasonal staple in no time.

Now, my husband hails from the gun shootin’, flannel wearin’, good ol’ country boy state of Wisconsin(and I from Minnesota, which are basically one in the same), where beer is always present at every family get together.  Point being, all of the cooking Pete does(great when it happens, yet minimal), always ends up with a can of beer in it. Not that cooking with beer has to do with him being from Wisconsin, but I’m almost certain it has some sort of influence. In the case of the chili, it really adds a nice flavor, so I’m all for it. Boiling brats in it? Yes. Stew? Yes. Tacos… no. Not in every case, but you catch the drift.

I digress.

Now on to the chili! *trumpets sounding*, *bells ringing*, *neighbors dogs barking ferociously in the background*… Not so much.

First off you need a great big shinny chili pot. Surprisingly called a chili pot because the only thing you will probably ever make in it will be a ginormous pot of chili.

Start by browning 4 pounds of hamburger. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. And I added a little dried minced onion because I add it to everything. Minced onion to me is like beer is to Pete.

By the way, in case the large pot and 4 pounds of hamburger weren’t clear enough, this batch of chili will feed a small army. So since it’s just us two, we like to share all its goodness with the neighbors, and pack the freezer full as well. I would say it should keep in the freezer for about 3-4 months.

While the hamburger is browning, chop up the onions, jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, and garlic cloves…

…and throw them all in a bowl. Make sure you flick a little in the nearby burning candle like we did. Just kidding.. how silly would that be…

Dump 1/4 of the onion mixture in with the hamburger, and you guessed it….BEER! But only half the can. The rest will be added later. Now you sauté, let the hamburger finish browning and some of the beer cook off.

Bring on the beans!

Once the hamburger is finished browning, drain as much of the liquid off as you can. Now add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and chili beans… pretty much until the pot is nearly full, leaving room to add the kidney beans later. Oh yea.. DON’T ADD THE KIDNEY BEANS YET.

There will be exact amounts at the end of this little walk through, but don’t depend too much on the exact amounts. It seems to vary with each batch seeing as we usually just dump things in until they look/taste right. But for the sake of having an actual recipe to go off of, I’ll write down what we put in this time just for you.

Now we wait.

Let it simmer uncovered on low for an hour or so. Maybe invite a few friends over to take in its aroma permeating through the house, and give you praise for being such a great cook, all while hinting at taking some home. The longer it simmers,  the better it tastes and the more time you have to entice your friends! We usually give it a day in the fridge before we eat, but tonight we were hungry, and it was awesome.

If it turns out more watery, add a can of tomato paste and simmer uncovered until it thickens.

In the last 30 minutes before you’re planning on eating, drain the juice from the cans and add the kidney beans. If added before and simmered for a long time, they tend to get mushy.

Serve in your favorite bowl with a heap of cheese!

Pete’s Chili

4lbs of lean hamburger (we used 96/4)

3 large sweet onions

8 small vine ripened tomatoes

4 garlic cloves

4 whole, de-stemmed jalapenos

2 tbsp chili powder

Salt & pepper to taste

4 16oz cans of Bush’s Chili Beans Mild Sauce (we usually use the Hot instead, but this was all the store had)

3 16oz cans of Bush’s Chili Beans Medium Sauce (4 works too, we just used 3)

3 14.5oz cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with mild green chilies

2 14.5oz cans of Hunts diced tomatoes with roasted garlic

1 28oz Hunt’s crushed tomatoes

1 6oz can of tomato paste with roasted garlic

4 16oz cans of Bush’s kidney beans (not to be added until the last 30 minutes, remember.)

1 can of beer (we used High Life)

Before you get all excited, you best know that this recipe was only allowed to be written down out of the kindness of Pete’s heart. So if you know Pete, give him a jingles, or shoot him an email thanking him for letting me divulge his tasty secrets! Because, after all, secrets aren’t secrets if they are publicly posted to a WordPress blog.

Happy cooking!