Tag Archives: cooking

Grandma Sanders’ Chocolate Chip Cookies

31 Jan

Baking is what I do when I feel guilty for procrastinating and I feel like I need to do something productive. I avoid my homework and replace it with eggs and sugar and fat. Last night I made some extra delicious chocolate chip cookies. I brought some to a meeting at school this morning and was asked to post the recipe online. So here it is, straight from my grandma’s kitchen to yours:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate, whichever you prefer)
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped nuts and/or raisins

Cream together sugars, shortening and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes until light brown.


Just one of those days

10 Jan

You know how some days are just terrible? Everything seems to go wrong and by the time the sun goes down you’re ready to climb into bed and hope that something better comes in the morning. Today was NOT one of those days. The opposite in fact. Today just one of those great days where everything is happy and you feel good. I got a job as a research assistant, doing research I’m really excited about with people I really like. I made a delicious (and healthy) dinner. The beautiful sunshine outside inspired me to go running, resulting in me 10% running, 90% walking for almost an hour. I finally got a VPL library card and checked out a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. And now I’m off to bed early, ready to take on my 8:00 am class tomorrow morning.

I hope my happy isn’t too loud for you all. I’m sure I’ll return to normal in the morning 🙂

Eat your heart out Julia Child

13 Jul

So the roomies and I have decided to take turns making dinner for everyone. That way we have 4 home cooked meals a week with minimal individual effort. It’s been working out very nicely. This week I successfully made some of the most delicious french onion soup I’ve ever had. Not to toot my own horn or anything… Who am I kidding? Of course I’m loving tooting my own horn. It’s what blogs were designed for: shameless self promotion. Ahh, I digress.

I started with a blog post about Julie Child’s recipe. I made many alterations because I was too lazy to go to the store. I think they worked out fantastically.

French Onion Soup

  • 5 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 9 cups (a little more than 2 quarts) chicken stock–I like the Better Than Boullion chicken base
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • Sourdough bread, sliced
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese

Drop sliced onions into bottom of a large pot with butter and oil. Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Add salt and sugar (helps the onions to brown) to the onions and cook on medium for 30-40 minutes, until they are an even golden brown. Off the heat, add a little bit of the chicken stock to deglaze the pot–and make sure you scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to get all the brown bits. Add the rest of the stock and worcestershire sauce and let simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour soup into oven safe bowls and top with a slice of sourdough bread and a generous heap of gruyere cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melty and brown. Enjoy!

#45: Who knew you could grill angel food cake?

14 Feb

Today you get a delicious recipe that I’m SUPER thankful for. It’s both delicious and sort of low-cal, as desserts go anyway. I found it on Eat This, Not That and made a few alterations. I made it last night for Sunday dinner and the fam was super pleased.


  • 1 angel food cake
  • 3 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • Pinch fresh ground black pepper (optional)
  • Fresh whipped cream


Mix together balsamic, agave nectar and pepper. I used Sepay Groves blackberry ginger balsamic and Xagave brand nectar. Feel free to use less agave if you want to cut sweetness and calories. I also omitted the pepper due to the unadventurous inhibitions of my family. Pour mixture over sliced strawberries and marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Slice angel food cake into wedges. Spray non-stick griddle with Pam and pre-heat to 300 degrees. Grill cake wedges on each side until caramelized and toasted.  Top generously with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.

Red Devils Food Cupcakes with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

10 Feb

I ran across this cupcake site the other day. They all look amazing, but I made these ones today.

I was really excited about them because we’ve been talking cupcakes at work for the last 2 weeks. I’ve never made a red velvet cake before and I was intrigued by the sour cream frosting. I was babysitting Tavia and Blake this morning, so I figured it would be a great time to try them out. After a trip to the store to buy cake flour and buttermilk (no short-cutting for me), I dived in.

The cakes: The batter was the fluffiest cake batter I’ve ever made. Very whipped, like meringue almost. Now that I’m looking at the recipe, I realize that it’s a devil’s food cake, which explains the lightness of the batter. I kind of want to try it with regular all-purpose flour instead of cake flour and see how they come out. Anyway, I made the recipe exactly as it said, except that I cooked the cakes for 17 minutes instead of 20. I think they were still a tad over-baked. Definitely not burned or anything, but a bit dry. I think it may be the high altitude cooking. Anyway, next  time I would reduce the cooking temp to 325 and check after 17 minutes.

The frosting: Wow, this frosting is amazing. I always love using a little bit of coffee in everything chocolate because it makes it taste so much more chocolate-y. And I always use really high quality chocolate for baking. It makes so much difference. This time I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chips. I was worried it wouldn’t set up, but as the chocolate cooled it got much thicker. Now it’s almost like a thick pudding. The sour cream gives it a different and interesting flavor, which I love. And it’s not too sweet. It goes nicely with the cupcake, but I feel like I want to just dip fruit in it. Or eat it alone by the spoonful. Amazing.

The verdict: I would give the cakes a solid 6 and the frosting a 9. With a few adjustments (and depending on how the cheaper/easier ingredients work out) I think the cake has potential to improve.

Home sweet home (sort of…)

4 Oct

Ahh, I’m back at Mirror and it feels so good to be home. Well, at my home away from home. After the madness that was Bangkok, I am relishing the peace and quiet of Chiang Rai. I took an 11 hour bus ride from Bangkok and then immediately hopped on a bus to Mae Sai to do a visa run at the border. Unfortunately, I had to stand during about 90% of the 2 hour ride to Burma. Not fun. There were about 75 people on my bus that had seating for 24. Seriously. I counted. By the time I finally arrived back at Mirror I was ready to kiss the ground.

Patti and I spent a really quiet night. Tae and some of the other Thai staff guys cooked us dinner and I finally understood the awkward feeling people have when you cook for them. They gave us a few things to do, but then openly mocked us at how inept we were at Thai cooking. I got the hang of cutting up chillies after about 6, but I still felt pretty useless. By the time we were finished we had a crowd around us watching us act like idiots.

All in all, it was a really fun trip but I’m glad to come back. I miss teaching, being in one place and the relaxed atmosphere of Chiang Rai.

Sugar Free Apple Pie

4 Jun

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of baking. I frequently make treats for the office. However, my boss is diabetic and can never partake of the sugary goodness. I resolved to make him a delicious sugar free treat before I leave for Thailand. Last night I achieved sugar-free perfection. I made Swedish Apple Pie, with a few substitutions of course. I also usually use one and a half times the amount of filling per pie to ensure that it’s full of apple-y deliciousness. Here’s the recipe:

Swedish Apple Pie

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in cold butter using a pastry blender until well mixed and the butter pieces are about pea-sized.

2 cups cooked, sliced apples
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
Smash apples slightly. Add flour, sugar and salt. Beat egg and vanilla, add to apple mixture. Beat sour cream until stiff (it doesn’t get super stiff). Fold into apple mixture. Pour into 9″ pie crust. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake 15 minutes longer.

**To make sugar free, substitute 1/2 cup agave syrup for the sugar in the filling and 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar for the sugar in the topping.