Tag Archives: cookies

Sweet Sundays: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

In an effort to become more mindful of what I eat, I’ve started following “The S Rule”. Have you heard of it? I read about it in Michael Pollan’s Food Rules and it goes like this: “No sweets, no snacks, no seconds—except on days that start with S.” I love it. I don’t follow it exactly because I’m definitely a snacker, but when I do eat a snack, I make sure to pick something healthy. I also don’t always follow the no seconds rule, but that’s because I’ve started eating until I’m 80% full and I’m still trying to figure out what portion size will lead to 80% fullness.

But I do follow the no sweets (which I interpret to mean dessert) rule because for me, eating desserts is my biggest weakness. When dessert is around, it is very hard for me to turn it down and as I’ve said before, I also have a hard time limiting the amount I eat. I’ve been following The S Rule for about four weeks now and I feel great. Since I cut back on the amount of sweets I eat, it’s helped me to learn not to overdo it when I do eat sweets because then I just feel like crap. So instead, I enjoy my sweets and don’t feel guilty about it :). (Oh and by the way, I also allow two “cheat days” each month when I get to eat sweets on days that don’t start with S—pretty crazy, I know ;)).

Since Sunday happens to be one of the two days that starts with S and thus a day I do eat sweets, I decided that I will share a sweet treat with you every Sunday…hence Sweet Sundays.

Remember when I got my package in the mail from my mom with all of my goodies? Well, inside that package were SunSpire chocolate chips that are made without any processed sugars. I was so excited to get these because it meant that I could finally eat some chocolate—woo hoo!!

I decided that night would be one of my cheat days and set out to make some peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker. I’ve made them a few times and they are always a big hit. However, since I’m not eating processed sugar right now, I had to adapt the recipe a bit. I’m going to include my version of the recipe below, but if you don’t want to make the cookies with honey and molasses, I highly recommend you head over to Brown Eyed Baker and make the original version—they are excellent!!

I’m going to be honest with you; at first I was not a huge fan of my adapted version of these cookies. The recipe calls for brown and white sugar so I substituted those with molasses and honey. If you’ve never used molasses before, it has a very strong flavor and as soon as these came out of the oven, all I could taste was molasses. I did not like them. Yuck. I was so disappointed, especially since I had been looking forward to having chocolate chip cookies for so long.

But the next day these cookies were delicious. The molasses flavor wasn’t nearly as strong and they were so moist. Each time I tried them they grew on me a little more and now I kind of love them. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had “real” chocolate chip cookies in so long, or maybe it’s because I expected these to taste just like the regular version, but now that I’m over that, I really like these cookies. If you’re nervous about the molasses though, I would recommend using a combination of agave and honey or maple syrup and honey. I think either one would be excellent.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
*Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used natural)
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter, peanut butter, honey, molasses, and vanilla on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated. Gradually add the flour mixture, in batches, on low speed until the flour is just combined and no dry spots remain. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

The batter is pretty wet, but don't worry because the cookies turn out great.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto lined baking sheets. I used a small (1 tbsp) cookie scoop for this and baked them for about 7-8 minutes. They probably could have cooked a little longer because they were very soft, but I didn’t mind because I like my cookies “medium rare” :).

Let cool on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. The cookies are very fragile and if you try to move them too soon they will crumble apart.

Happy baking with honey! If you try these, I would love to know how they turned out for you :).

Question: What recipes would you like to see posted for Sweet Sundays?

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Filed under Cookies, Desserts, Sweet Sundays

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad for My Mom’s Birthday

Happy Birthday Mom!  I want to dedicate this post to my mom for her birthday (which was yesterday, but I didn’t want you to miss Tuesdays with Tommy) because without her, I would not be who I am today.  She has taught me so many wonderful things throughout my life and I only hope to be able to do the same for my kids someday.

My mom and I sporting our awesome hardhats at the site of their new house.

My Dad with his two Peruvian ladies 🙂

Trying to stay warm after the hot springs.

At Yosemite

It is from my mom that I learned to love food—not just eating food, but preparing it too.  From a young age I can remember being in the kitchen with my mom.  Sometimes I would help (or try to help), and other times I would sit in awe as I watched her do her thing.  She glows when she is cooking and baking and I am convinced that the reason her food always tastes so good is because she enjoys making it so much.

So many of my best memories from childhood revolve around food.  In elementary school my mom would make sugar cookies for every birthday and holiday party.  They weren’t just any sugar cookies—they were always shapes (turkeys for Thanksgiving, santas for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day….you get the point), decorated with her famous homemade frosting, and personalized so each kid got their own cookie with their name on it.  As you can imagine, I quickly became one of the most popular kids at school and everyone wanted to be in my class year after year :).  In middle school I began playing sports and that’s when my mom became famous for her spaghetti dinners and amazing chocolate chip cookies.  I’m pretty sure my entire ski team survived the winter because of the extra layer of fat we all grew from eating my mom’s chocolate chip cookies :).

Sugar cookies just like my mom taught me to make 🙂

Much bigger than my mom makes them, but you get the point.

With my Gramma 🙂

Then I went off to college and really, really missed my mom’s cooking.  I had never really cooked on my own before and found myself nervous to cook without my mom’s guidance.  My mom assured me that I would be fine because, after all, at two years old I was already making scrambled eggs by myself!  I started with ‘easy’ dishes, but over the years the dishes I made grew more and more complicated.  Even though my mom and I don’t get to cook together very often anymore, I still call her with all of my cooking questions.  Lucky for me, my mom is a night owl so I can call her at 1 am her time to ask how I can tell if my cheesecake is done or not—now that’s love :).

I'm teaching my mom how to pose 🙂

So on my mom’s birthday, I wanted to share with you all a recipe from my mom.  With so many recipes, it was very hard to decide.  Over time I know I’ll share many of them with you, but for now, I decided to share a recipe that she just gave me recently—Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad.  The reason I chose this recipe is because it is one that we made together when I was home visiting last fall.  We were all gathered at my aunt’s house to celebrate my and my cousin’s birthday and we made this salad for lunch.  I have fond memories of standing in the kitchen together as my mom, my aunt, my cousin, and I prepared things inside and my dad grilled the food outside.  Every time I eat this salad, I can remember sitting around the table together, laughing, and enjoying this meal that we all helped prepare.

How cute are my parents?!

So to my mom I say, thank you for being you.  Thank you for teaching me how to put love into my cooking and baking.  And thank you for always making me laugh, especially when you say things like, “It warms the cockles of my heart to know that”.  I had never heard that expression until you said that today, and now I will smile every time I think about it because it makes me think of you.  You are the best, Mom!

Always making us laugh! Here is she showing off the 'goods' she won in the White Elephant game.

And to everyone else, I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do!

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

This is not your typical Caesar salad.  It is not just grilled chicken atop a regular salad—in this recipe EVERYTHING is grilled!  Don’t knock it ‘til you try it—it’s awesome! 

(Recycled photo from Christmas)

 

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil, plus more for brushing

2-4 anchovy fillets, chopped (I use just a little bit of anchovy paste-it definitely enhances the flavor)

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

1 pound chicken breasts

4 – ½ inch thick slices focaccia or whole-wheat Italian bread

4 romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high.

Make the dressing: Chop 2 garlic cloves and puree with ½ cup olive oil, the anchovies and lemon juice in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Pound the chicken with a mallet or heavy skillet until about ⅛ inch thick.  Season with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tbsp of the Caesar dressing.  Grill the chicken until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Brush the bread with olive oil on both sides and grill, turning until toasted, about 2 minutes. Rub with the remaining garlic clove. Brush the romaine lettuce with 1 to 2 tbsp of the dressing and grill until marked, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Chop the lettuce and transfer to a bowl.

Cut the bread and chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Toss with the remaining dressing, the Parmesan, and pepper to taste.

Question: What is the strangest thing you have ever grilled?

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