Tonight was my last night of class. What a relief. This semester was so tough, I ended up breaking all plans I made between January and now (except 2 nights!), haven't seen my my in-laws since January, haven't had a girls night since January, and have only seen my family 3 times. (My IL's live an hour away and my fam 3.5 hours away). I never worked this hard in college, what the hell did I do with all that free time back then? I can't wait, next year at this time will be my last semester of classes. Hurry up 2009!

Anywho, the hubs and I decided to use up some gift cards and go out to eat. We drove by a Borders with all kinds of sales and clearance signs on the windows. I walked in and it was cookbook clearance heaven. Since the majority of what I make is cookies, I saw this and for $7.99 knew I couldn't pass it up:

The Cookie Bible! How cool is that?! I've already marked a bunch of cookies to make. So starting next week, I plan on baking up a storm. This weekend I'm baking From-Scratch Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies I found on Baking Bites and a Coconut-Oatmeal Cookie that my mother in law makes. Can't wait!


Chocolate Goodness

I've been so busy with school and work lately I have absolutely no free time. When I saw this recipe from Baking Blonde, I knew I had to make it soon. It was the perfect break from studying. The texture is a little different than a 'regular' cookie. It reminds me of a cake cookie. Anyway though, they are delicious!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup + 2 TBS flour
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder (I increased this to 1/4 cup as suggested)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Oatmeal
1/2 cup Milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray baking sheets with PAM. (I used parchment paper)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Gently mix in the flour mixture by hand using a spoon or spatula. Gently fold in the oats and chips (and nuts if using).

Drop by spoonfuls (I used my trusty PC 1in cookie scoop - I had to flatten the cookies out a bit) onto cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies for spreading.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are set. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container (with a piece of bread to keep soft).

Ecstasy? Not Quite

I was on a roll yesterday and so I thought I'd whip up a second batch of cookies. I decided to look through my BHG cook book and found a recipe for Fudge Ecstasies. It was marked as "Best Loved" and sounded simple enough, so I gave it a try. At the last minute I decided to throw in a massive scoop of peanut butter - boy was that dumb. I should have realized it would mess things up, but I wasn't thinking at the moment. These were supposed to cook for 8 - 10 minutes and my first batch had been in there wayyy longer than that. I finally decided I better pull them out when they started smoking! Here is what I saw....

This is what I was supposed to see:

What a disappointment. I trashed the first dozen and ended up salvaging the rest. My husband seems to like them, but they are just ok. I'll definitely try these again, but next time not add a huge spoonful of peanut butter. We have some Cool Whip in the house, so I decided to make some cookie sandwiches - yum!

Fudge Ecstasies from BHG

1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts

In a heavy medium saucepan heat half of the chocolate pieces, the unsweetened chocolate and the butter until melted, stirring occasionally. Add eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla and baking powder. Beat until thoroughly combined. Stir in remaining chocolate pieces and nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoon two inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and surfaces are dull and cracked. Cool cookies on wire rack. Makes about 36 cookies.


Oh What a Year!

Today is my 1 year anniversary! The year just flew by. The hubster and I just got back from Vegas and are spending the day relaxing and going to dinner tonight. It's crazy to think last year at this time I hadn't even been married for 2 hours. Thanks to all of our wonderful family and friends for their love and support the past year. We'd be lost without you! Here are a few of my favorite pics from the day...



Since I haven't cooked anything in over a week and only have 2 blog entries for the month I feel like I need to post something, so here goes. I'm addicted to Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I make them all the time, like every other week. They have become my go to recipe when I feel the need to be in the kitchen.

So here is my confession: I made some of these last Sunday night, 33 cookies to be exact and my husband and I polished off all 33 cookies in 48 hours! That's horrible! We just can't help it though. On this particular night I added 3/4 cup peanut butter and covered them in sugar. mmmmmm...

I made some more yesterday and brought about 2 dozen into work. I had 3 yesterday and my husband had 8 or 9. Is it possible to OD on cookies? I sure hope not!

I'll be forever grateful (Well, until my waist line starts expanding!) to Katie from Good Things Catered for posting the recipe on her blog!


Healthy on a Budget

So the Hubs and I recently decided we want to try and cut our spending down. A huge area we can cut down is at the Grocery Store. Some months, the money we've spent at the grocery store is ridiculous. Due to the Great Grocery Budget Slash, we've started shopping at a Walmart Market store. Definitely not my favorite, but damn I just love the low prices.

One problem with this store is they don't have as good of a selection as other Grocery Stores. In the past, if we shopped there, I'd always end up making another grocery run to get the stuff I needed. Last week however, I stuck to the budget and didn't go any where else. So, that led me to a problem. I wanted to make Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese except they didn't have quite a few of the ingredients. That didn't stop me though. Below is the recipe with my substitutions - which turned out fabulous! I will most definitely be making this again and again. It was also delicious for lunch (and dinner) the next day.

Chicken-Rotini Salad with Blue Cheese
Based on Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese - Cooking Light April 2008


1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) (I used 1 cup rotini and chopped it after it was cooked)
3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips (such as Tyson)
1/2 cups trimmed arugula (I used spinach)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (I used whole)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used 1 cup)
1/4 cup prechopped red onion (I chopped a white onion I had on hand)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (dry)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (dry)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese (I used maybe 1 tbsp of blue cheese, the hubs and I don't like goat cheese)


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

2. Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

3. Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 tablespoon cheese)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 295(23% from fat); FAT 7.7g (sat 2.9g,mono 2.8g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 24.4g; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 40mg; SODIUM 788mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.1g

Remember Me?

Long time, no blog. Lately I don't have time for anything but work and school. It really sucks. Last week I actually made 2 meals, both from the April 2008 Cooking Light. I was a little nervous about this dish, but it turned out very well.

Asian Beef and Noodle-Filled Lettuce Cups
I forgot to take a picture

3 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli
12 ounces ground sirloin
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup prechopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (Omitted)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
4 Boston lettuce leaves
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan, and cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Stir in garlic, and cook for 2 minutes or until browned. Stir in noodles, carrots, and the next 4 ingredients (through mint). Combine juice, sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add juice mixture to beef mixture; tossing gently to coat. Arrange 1 lettuce leaf on each of 4 plates; spoon 1 1/4 cups beef mixture into each leaf. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon peanuts.

4 servings (serving size: 1 stuffed lettuce leaf)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 270(29% from fat); FAT 8.6g (sat 2.2g,mono 3.7g,poly 1.9g); PROTEIN 21.2g; CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 37mg; SODIUM 234mg; FIBER 2.6g; IRON 2.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.8g