Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies- REALLY!!!

These are the new favorite chocolate chip cookies at our house. My family won't let me bake my old recipe anymore. But these are so yummy. When they come out of the oven they look so perfect- like store bought. They are so soft and chewy and well, perfect! Maybe it's because of the holidays that it is making me think of baking these. (I got this off a blog somewhere but can't remember where.)
The Best Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies...Ever

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract (I always add a little extra)
2 eggs
1- 5 oz. package Vanilla pudding mix (JELLO brand)
1- 12 oz bag chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet, but we are fans of milk chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl mix pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Add the pudding mix (dry ingredients) to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Then add flour a little bit at a time until texture is right (you should be able to roll the dough into a ball in your hands. Is it is too sticky, add more flour.). Mix well.
Use ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets with parchment paper (I always use this to bake cookies- you can skip this if you want). Scoop a tablespoon size of dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are just beginning to brown (12-14 minutes, depending on your oven).


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

My friend Becky makes these cookies each Christmas and delivers them to her friends along with the recipe. I like how easy they are to make. They're like little cakes with a yummy browned butter icing. Enjoy!

1 C. shortening
1 C. sugar
1 C. pumpkin
1 egg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
2-1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt

Mix ingredients all together; dough should be gooey, but not too gooey. Bake in a 375° oven for 12 to 14 minutes. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.

3 T. butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
4 t. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
3/4 t. vanilla

Heat butter, brown sugar, and milk on stove top until dissolved. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Ice cookies with warm icing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

So I posted on facebook that I was making laundry detergent and I have had a few people ask me how it is done, so this is for you!

1/2 bar of ivory soap (grated--don't let it intimidate you, it grates so much easier than cheese)
Melt over the stove in a pot with 8 cups of hot water.

Then add:
2/3 c. borax
2/3 c. washing soda (Not Baking Soda)
Mix well and then add into a bucket of 11 quarts of water and mix again! That's it.

I store this whole batch in a large bucket and use a funnel to pour it into a regular laundry container. The soap kinda sets up and can get a little clumpy so I make sure to shake it before I pour it.

This is not thick soap, I use a 1/2 a cup per load but remember it isn't scented or anything so just the laundry soap alone is not going to make your clothes smell all clean. But now that I am saving so much money on making my soap I don't feel guilty splurging on fabric softener.

I also read that you can use 1 T. Borax with 1 T. BAKING Soda (not washing soda as you would the laundry detergent) for dishwasher detergent. I really want to give that a try when I run out of dishwashing detergent.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oatmeal-Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips

I make these muffins a couple of times a month when we have leftover bananas. I like the dense oatmeal-banana texture, and the kids like having chocolate chips for breakfast. Okay...I like chocolate chips for breakfast too!

The recipe makes 12 large muffins, but I usually make about 20 medium-sized muffins baked for 15 to 20 minutes.

Oatmeal-Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips
(from The Foster's Market Cookbook by Sara Foster)

1-1/2 cups rolled oats
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 C. sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. canola or safflower oil
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line the muffin cups with paper liners and spray the top part of the pan lightly with vegetable oil spray.
3. Place the oats on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir in the oats.
5. Whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs, bananas, buttermilk, and oil in a separate bowl until well blended.
6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips until distributed throughout the batter.
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan with a large ice cream scoop (1/3-cup scoop). The batter will come to the top of the paper liner or pan.
8. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and serve immediately.

Variations: Instead of the chocolate chips, try 1 cup of the following: peanut butter chips, sweetened flaked coconut, coarsely chopped walnuts, or coarsely chopped pecans.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yummy Dressings....

This first dressing is similar to Cafe Rio's dressing or the El Torito dressing. It is a little bit spicy but still so yummy. I can't take credit for it but still I think it is yummy enough to pass on....

Creamy Cilantro Dressing
In your blender or food processor add:
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped cilantro
3 tomatillos
then add:
1 C. mayo
1/3 C. buttermilk (or use 1/3 C. whole milk, plus 1 tsp vinegar and let sit for 5 min)
1/4 tsp red pepper (more if desired)
1 pkg dry Ranch Dressing mix
Blend and Chill

This next one reminds me a little of the Balsamic Vinegerette on the Waldorf Chicken Salad at CPK.....not exactly the same but yummy...

Balsalmic Dressin:g
Take one Italian Dressing packet...I used the cheapest one which was the von's store brand.
Instead of using Red wine vinegar use Blasalmic vinegar and I used olive oil. Follow the directions on the packet. Blend in the blender or food processor to get the creamy form of the dressing. You can also add a packet of sweet in low to make it a little more sweet.
This dressing is so yummy and then if you buy the mixed greens at costco you can create your own waldorf chicken salad. So yummy!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peach Pie

I grew up with a peach tree. My sisters and I found this recipe years ago so we could make our own yummy peach pies. It is really yummy. I use the Betty Crocker's Buttermilk Pastry for the pie crust. It is so flaky and easy to handle, for the pie crust challenged like myself.
10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie, use your favorite (I used the Buttermilk Pastry found in Betty Crocker's Cookbook- The BIG RED Cookbook)

1. Mix flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon into crumb stage.

2. Place one crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Line the shell with a layer of sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the crumb mixture on top of the peaches, then put more peaches on top of the crumb mixture. continue layering until both the peaches and the crumb mixture is gone.

3. Top with pie pastry (either a lattice top or covered with some slits cut out for air to escape).

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. Allow pie to cool before slicing. Best when eaten fresh.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 1/2 lb. Chicken breast tenders, cut into small bite sized pieces (easier to chop when partially frozen
1/3 cup Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sauce (I buy it at Costco)
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
1/8 cup Water
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 Tbsp. flour
1- 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained & sliced into strips
1 cup chopped cashews
1 head of lettuce, seperate the leaves
1 package of Maifun Rice Sticks (found in Asain food aisle), fried according to package directions

1. Place chicken in a bowl with Mr. Yoshida's sauce, soy sauce and water. Mix together and let chicken marinade 15-30 minutes.

2. While chicken marinades cook rice sticks, slice water chestnuts, chop cashews, and prepare lettuce.

3. Put oil in a stir-fry pan and put over medium high heat. When oil is hot place the chicken in the oil with the marinde and cook about five minutes. Then add the flour to the chicken and stir.

4. Mix in water chestnuts and cashews and let it cook a minute or two more.

5. Place chicken on lettuce leaves and top with rice sticks. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.