25Aug

The best Chocolate Chip Cookies, ever!

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I have to admit, I’m always a bit cynical when I see a recipe that claims to be the “best” of something. Because, well, usually it isn’t. So, I’m going to qualify my recipe with a little story.

Earlier this year, we decided to eat real food only in our household. We have since fallen off that wagon and are struggling to get back on, but that’s another post for another day.

Anyway, back before we got off track, we were about 2.5 weeks into it and I wanted a real sweet treat. And by “real” what I actually mean is fake, processed stuff that my mouth is still conditioned to prefer.

So, I came up with a bit of a compromise and created these. And WOW did they ever hit the spot! I ate one of these fresh out of the oven and it was about the best thing I ever put in my mouth.

Anyway. Best chocolate cookies ever. But, may have been colored by my desperation. However, I have since made these again, and they were still quite amazing. So, there is that.

First of all, a couple notes. I am a purist when it comes to my chocolate chip cookies, so that means no nuts! However, feel free to add them if you want. Just don’t blame me if they aren’t the best chocolate chip cookies ever, kay?

Secondly, did you know that you can make chocolate chip recipes healthier and more frugal by using less chocolate chips than called for in the recipe? It’s true, and this girl loves her chocolate. I challenge you to try it sometime. But not with this recipe, because I have already cut the chocolate chips.

I used whole wheat flour. If you usually use white and you’d like to start weaning yourself into healthier whole wheat, desserts are a good place to start–again, that is coming from a white-flour loving, picky eater. For me, the texture difference is less noticeable in desserts than in breads if you’re just starting with wheat. So, give it a shot. If you’re worried about it, you can try half white and half wheat, or just use all white and that should work fine as well.

Anyway, enough talk and here is the recipe.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

What you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until creamy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture mixing well after each addition. Finally, stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

I got 4.5 dozen cookies from this recipe.

Freezer Friendly

This recipe is very freezer friendly. I can fix a bake a small amount and not worry about grazing around on cookies that just happen to be ready in my kitchen. However, it also makes it easy to have a quick treat on hand. I can make just enough for our family, and all I have to do is pop them out of the freezer and into the oven (350 degrees for about 9-11 minutes). Very convenient.

I like to chill my dough and then ball out the dough with one of these little scoopers. Some people freeze them in balls, but I like to flatten mine out a bit because I feel that it helps them bake better.

Freezer Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

07Jul

Real Food Banana Nut Muffins {Recipe}

Banana Nut Muffins 1

I always love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks, and this one is no different! Today, I am sharing a recipe from their Good-for-You Everyday Meals book, with over 200 recipes, tips, and fun stories.

As usual, I followed the recipe loosely, making adaptations as necessary to fit our real food lifestyle, and to allow for what we had in our pantry. This recipe is a winner, and I can’t wait to try some of the other delicious-sounding muffin recipes from this book!

Banana Nut Muffins

What you need:

  • 3 very ripe, mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together mashed bananas, eggs, oil, and maple syrup until combined.
  2. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring just until blended
  3. Fold in vanilla and walnuts
  4. Spoon batter into muffin tins. (I stretched my batter slightly and made 2 pans of mini-muffins). Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes for mini-muffins, or 20-25 minutes for full-sized muffins.

Everyone enjoyed these muffins immensely!

17Jun

Refreshing Flavored Water {Real Food!}

Refreshing summer water recipe--detox water recipe made from cucumbers, melons, and mint. Great taste and good for you too!

One of the best things that you can do for your diet is to give up sweetened beverages. Most are just empty carbs, and full of processed, really bad-for-you sugars. Nothing good from them at all. I’ll admit that I’m preaching to myself here because I am not quite there yet! I still love my occasional soda, though I also drink lots of water.

Sometimes, though, drinking lots of water can get old. My husband works outside in the weather, and especially in the summer days when our temperatures are in the mid-90′s, he needs to stay hydrated! He drinks a lot of water, and while he likes it, he has said he gets tired of the monotony.

So, of course, I decided to hop on pinterest and try some of the great flavored water recipes there. I started with a basic cucumber and lemon recipe, but am excited to try lots of others as well!

Refreshing Cucumber Lemon Water

Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 cucumber, depending on size
  • 1 lemon
  • a few mint leaves (10-12)
  • 1/2 gallon water

How to make your water: Slice cucumber and lemon and add them to water with peeling left on. Add mint leaves and let sit overnight.

Drink and enjoy! Yes, it really is that easy. I’m not usually a fan of lemon in my water, but this combination of flavors is really refreshing. My husband loved it as well, and we both agreed that is the best word for it: refreshing!

I have made it without the mint leaves since I didn’t have any, and the lemon and cucumber taste great as well. As a bonus, I have seen others say that this water can be great for detox and weight loss, so that’s always nice.

Have you made your own naturally flavored waters? What combinations are your favorite?

18May

Delicious Homemade Lemonade

Full Disclosure: I received a copy of the cookbook from the publishers for review. I was not otherwise compensated. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Homemade Refreshing Yellow Lemonade with Ice and Mint

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of summer. I much prefer snow, cold, comfy sweaters, and hot cocoa.

However, there is one fun thing that just screams summer to me–grilling out and homemade lemonade! Today I’m going to be sharing a recipe for some delicious lemonade from the new Gooseberry Patch Grilling & Campfire Cooking.

Now, before we continue, I should warn you. This recipe has a lot of sugar. However, it is a very yummy, occasional treat, and still much better than store bought, chemical-laden mixes.

PS–y’all know my photos aren’t that pretty! The above image is a stock photo to represent the awesome lemonade that my family drank up before I could get one…my family just doesn’t understand this blogging gig ;)

gooseberry patch grilling

Delicious Homemade Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 12 cups cold water
  • 6 lemons, halved
  • ice

Instructions

  1. Add sugar and 2 cups water to a 1-gallon pitcher. Stir, and let stand.
  2. Squeeze lemon halves into pitcher, and add 4-5 lemon halves into pitcher.
  3. Add remaining water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Serve with ice

Giveaway

Enter the rafflecopter widget below to win your own copy of this great cookbook!

Update: This giveaway has ended. Congrats to Bridget T.

23Apr

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce {Real Food}

Disclosure: I received the 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Meals cookbook for review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

So, I have been sharing about our real food journey lately. Our whole family loves applesauce, and it’s one of the snacks that *should* be an easy real snack. And if you have access to more grocery stores, it may be. But the applesauce available in my local store is full of preservatives, natural flavors, sugar, and who-knows-what-else.

So, when I found this awesomely easy recipe in my Gooseberry Patch 101 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Recipes Cookbook, I was excited to try it.

gooseberry patch slowcooker

Let me tell you, when they say “super-easy,” they mean “super easy”

I love the fact that this recipe is very easy, and has no added sugar. It also makes a great filling for apple tarts! Though I did add a bit of brown sugar at that time.

Easy Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Ingredients

  • 3 lb bag of  Golden Delicious Apples
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Peel apples and cut them into slices.
  2. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and mix well.
  3. Cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. When apples are tender, mash to desired consistency. I like mine mostly smooth, but with a few chunks.

Try out the cookbook yourself

I’m so excited to give away a copy of this cookbook! Simply enter the rafflecopter below!

Update: This giveaway has ended. You can purchase the cookbook here.

 

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