Monday, January 16, 2017

Our most favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I'm sure everyone has their idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie and I'm also know for sure that there are many, many different kinds of chocolate chip cookies. Not only can you have a chewy cookie, a thin cookie, a crispy cookie, you can have cakey cookies, crunchy cookies, the list goes on and on.

You can make cookies with granulated sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, Crisco, cookies made with whole wheat flour, all butter, chilled dough, you can see where I'm going here, it's endless.

This is the recipe that my family loves the most. This is the cookie that my kids call addicting, and I have to admit, they kind of are. You can't eat just one because once you put that perfectly chewy, chocolate loaded, caramely cookie in your mouth, once your done with it, you instinctively will reach for another and another. They are that good.

Our Fave CCC Blog

The two things that make this cookie different from a lot of other cookies is cornstarch and maple syrup. I'm convinced that what makes these cookies amazing. I really think you need to use pure maple syrup in these. You can use pancake syrup in a pinch, but I think real maple syrup makes all the difference. You do have to chill the dough before you pop these bad boys in the oven, so a little planning is needed.

I don't remember where I got this recipe. It was on a tattered scrap of paper in my recipe file and I can't tell you how many times I've made these. I can't believe I never blogged them before. Hopefully they will become your favorite chocolate chip cookie too!

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Our Most Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
1 cup butter (2 sticks) melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips *see note

In large bowl, stir together melted butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring until combined. Stir in vanilla extract and maple syrup. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover bowl and allow it to chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350. Once the dough is chilled, I used a cookie scoop to make the cookies. I packed the scoop and then placed the dough on a parchment lined cookie tray about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 13 minutes. Don't worry if they look a little under cooked. They will set up perfectly. Allow cookies to cool for about 15 minutes on the sheet pan before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely. After I put the first batch in I scooped out the rest of the dough onto a platter and then put it back in the fridge. You don't have to scoop all the batter at once, you can scoop it out as you go but make sure to keep the dough in fridge in between batches and do not place cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet. I used 3 cookies sheets so I always had one cooling, one with cookies on it and one ready to go in the oven.

*Note - I use Ghiradelli 60% cacao chips in when I make these. We like the fact that they are a bit less sweet and a tiny bit bigger than regular chocolate chips.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and onion with balsamic glaze 1

I realize that there was probably a bunch of people who took one look at the this post and went "yuck, brussel sprouts" but I can guarantee you, you will never hear that phrase uttered out of my mouth. I love them!

I wasn't always a brussel sprout lover. I can remember eating them at a friends house where her mom boiled them and probably threw some butter on them and I politely try to move them around my plate. That was a very long time ago and ever since I started roasting them, they have become one of my most favorite vegetable.

If you think you don't like them, I really encourage you to roast some up and give them another chance. Roasting brings out a really nutty, caramelized flavor, turning them into so much more than a little cabbage. I promise.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is cutting up the sprouts and the onions and it really doesn't take much time at all. The balsamic glaze gives it a tangy little kick!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and onion with balsamic glaze

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Honey Balsamic Glaze
recipe from Lisa @The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
2 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
1 red onion, sliced
Olive oil
salt and pepper

For the glaze

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the brussel sprouts and onions out on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to coat. Add salt and pepper. Roast for 15 and then using a spatulas, flip them over, return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes. Depending on how caramelized you like them.

In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon and drizzle over roasted sprouts and onions

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

oatmeal chocolate chip bars

We all need those recipes that you can whip up in a few minutes with ingredients that you always have on hand. There is always butter, flour, sugar, eggs, chocolate chips, and oats in my pantry. I never run out of them. They are truly staples in our house. With as much baking as I do, I make sure to keep stocked up on items that I bake with all the time. You don't even want to know how much butter is in my freezer.

My friend Mary at Bunny's Warm Oven posted these bars and I knew I had to make them. My husband loved oatmeal chocolate chip cookies so I knew these would be a hit with him.

I have to admit. I made a mistake while making these. Mary's original recipe called for dividing a full cup of chocolate chips (1/2 cup in the batter, 1/2 cup on top). Oops! I didn't read through it quite thoroughly enough and only saw that the chips needed to be divided after I had already put a full cup in the batter. Didn't stop me from adding more to the top though. In fact, the added chips just made them that much better so I slightly adapted the recipe below.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
very slightly adapted from a recipe at Bunny's Warm Oven
1 stick butter at room temp
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup quick or rolled oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch baking pan.

In a bowl, beat butter,sugars,egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour,baking powder,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in another bowl and whisk to combine. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in the oatmeal and the chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the baking pan. Sprinkle the top with a few more chocolate chips. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until set in the middle and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sausage and Pepperoni Hot Italian Dip

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Anyone who knows me know I am the crazy list lady. I have an Excel Spreadsheet for every holiday, party and get together that I've hosted since the early 90's. It's what I do. I have a weekly list that I update as I go through the week. I add items as I add recipes and I also have files for all the major holidays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I can tell you what we ate for Christmas Eve in 2001 and produce the shopping list to go along with it. It's just how my brain works. I need to write it or type it down to get it out of my head.

The process for creating a recipe is a bit different but starts the same way. I get an idea for a recipe, I jot down what ingredients I need and then I have the laptop on the kitchen table and I adjust the recipe as I go, back and forth from the stove to the laptop. Once it's out of the oven and approved, I hit the save button, write up a post and share it with all of you. Lots and lots of hours go into each recipe, not to mention the time it takes to photograph each dish, something that gets more difficult when the short, dark days of winter approach.

Hot Italian Dip

I was looking for something different to add to my Christmas Eve table. I didn't want the same old, same old so I decided to make a new dip straight from my noggin. This dip was created over the course of a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and happily devoured by my guys in about 10 minutes. That's how I know a recipe is a hit! This was definitely a hit my friends. It's got a sausage and pepperoni pizza like taste, but you still get all that creaminess and cheesiness too. Success!

Sausage & Pepperoni Hot Italian Dip
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, drained
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 pound of Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
20 pepperoni slices cut in half
1 small can sliced olives, drained
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook  the sausage in a skillet on medium heat breaking the sausage up as you cook it. If you are using sausage links, remove the meat from their casings.  Drain any grease and set aside. Place the olive oil back in the same skillet and cook the onion until they becomes soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic in at the last few minutes. Place the onions and garlic in the same bowl as the sausage and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and Italian seasoning together with an electric mixer and spread on the bottom of a baking dish. I used a baking pan that was a little bit smaller than a 9x13. Top with the diced tomatoes, the sausage mixture, and the pepperoni *(see note on pepperoni preparation). Continue to layer with the sauce, mozzarella, and the olives. Sprinkle with Parmesan just before going in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips, bagel chips, crusty bread, crackers, etc.

Note* - I placed my pepperoni on a double layer of paper towel and microwaved them 20 seconds to release some of the grease.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots

Roasted Parmesan Carrots

I know it's the holiday season and there is candy and cookies around every corner. It's so hard to be good this time of year and I'm certainly not going to deprive myself of some sweets in the next few weeks but I'm trying to be good during the week and get my veggies in.

These Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots were so sweet and delicious you can almost pretend you're eating something that's not good for you!

With just a few ingredients you can have these sweeties on the table in no time.

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Buttery Parmesan Roasted Carrots
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
5 - 6 carrots, peeled (I used tri-color carrots)
2 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Melt the butter then add the garlic. Place the carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pout the mixture over the carrots and toss to coat. Place in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes depending on the size of your carrots. Check them half way through cooking to move them a bit so they get evenly roasted. Sprinkle with Parmesan and roast for an additional 8 - 10 minutes or until they are done.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

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You know those handy little packets of instant oatmeal that they sell in the store? The ones with the smiling Quaker on the box? Did you know that you can make your own homemade instant oatmeal? You can ditch those little packs that are filled with way more added sugar than you need in the morning. With instant oatmeal, the packages often have loads of added sugar, salt and artificial coloring. Read the labels and see what you’re getting. Another thing with instant is that it tastes differently than rolled or steel-cut oats. The flavor is more bland and not as textured.

Also, the glycemic index of old fashioned oats is 55, while the GI of instant oats is 83, so instant or quick-cooking oats push up your blood sugar, something of particular concern to diabetics and people with other blood sugar issues.

I started making this a few months ago. I can tell you this.....we will never go back to those little packages again. In a short amount of time you can whip up a big batch of oatmeal. I just take the recipe x8 or x10 and store it in a big glass jar on my counter. I throw a 1/2 cup measuring cup in the jar so two scoops, some fruits and/or nuts and a cup of boiling water makes a nice big bowl of oatmeal that will stick with ya.

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We throw all sorts of stuff in the oatmeal too. I have jars of nuts and dried fruit at the ready so we just mosey over to that cupboard and add whatever we feel like that day to the bowl. I often chop up an apple and add some raisins in mine, but you can use what ever combo you love. I'm very found of dried pineapple and coconut. Yum!

Please note that this recipe calls for OLD FASHIONED ROLLED OATS, not INSTANT oats. It may take a few more minutes to make than the oats in the paper packet, but it's so worth it!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Printable Recipe
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not quick cooking oats)
2 teaspoons oat bran
2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple sugar if you have it
2 teaspoons dehydrated milk (powdered non-fat milk)
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container or portion out into increments of 1 cup into snack size bags. I use 1 cup of oatmeal to 1 cup of boiling water but you may want your oatmeal thicker or thinner. Let the oatmeal sit for 5 minutes. I cover mine with a small plate until it's ready. Experiment until you get the perfect mixture for you! Don't forget to add in nuts and fruits to make it your own!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thin and Chewy Ginger Cookies

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Every time I mix up ginger anything I look at the batter and think "now that would be a beautiful wall color". Strange I know, but I do it every single time.

Do you think the guys at Lowes would think I'm strange if I walked in with a bowl of batter and said "match that".

As soon as the molasses hits the batter and my spatula does a few turns around the bowl it turns into this lush, warm color that I want all over my walls. Luckily for me I'm getting ready to paint my spare room so I'm hoping to see a ginger cookie or two up on those walls.

By now if you've followed this blog at all you know I'm obsessed with all things onions, mocha, pie and ginger, so yes, this is yet another ginger recipe, but come on.....thin, chewy ginger cookies. They are just crying out for a nice cuppa tea or a big mug of hot chocolate!

Thiny Chewy Ginger Cookies Blog

Thin and Chewy Ginger Cookies
Recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
makes about 26 cookies
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
extra sugar for rolling

Oven to 350 . Combine all the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop into walnut size balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar.

Place on an ungreased or parchment paper lined baking sheet 2" apart. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet before transferring to cooing rack.