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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I have a confession – I suck at making cookies!! I have had some curse over my life when it comes to making cookies! Whenever I make them, they come out flat flat flat flat – like see-through-the-cookie-onto-the-pan type of flat! I’ve heard all the “solutions”; “use more butter,” “use less butter,” “use more flour,” “use different sugar,” “chill it” and so on! Believe me, I’ve tried! I even experimented with some friends where 3 of us made the dough, 3 of use made the cookie balls and divided them among 2 pans, I put one pan in the oven and my friend put the other in the over…her’s came out perfect Betty Crocker cookies…mine – FLAT!

So, I tend to just avoid the baking step now! Cookie dough is delicious anyway!  And I figure one day when I have kids, they will think I’m the best mom ever because I give them cookie dough instead of cookies!

Well I gave it another go tonight, I was craving some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I looked on Pinterest (as you do!), and found a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. And you aren’t going to believe this…BUT MY COOKIES LOOK NORMAL!! It is literally a miracle!

I am so excited! So I am going to share this recipe with everyone and use it over and over and over again! Apparently, this is the miracle recipe! So here you go, enjoy some delicious cookies!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
-1 cup of butter, softened to room temperature
-1 cup packed light brown sugar
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
-2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (porridge oats do the trick)
-2 cups chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugars together
2. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat everything together until it’s light and fluffy
3. Add in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix
4. Add the flour and oats. Mix together.
5. Mix in the chocolate chips,
6. Drop balls of dough (approx 2 Tbsp of dough) onto a greased baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on your oven and desired “done-ness”)
7. Let cool slightly on tray so they don’t fall apart, then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Here is the awaited post!

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yummy and Delicious Banana Cake topped with an even yummier Cream Cheese Frosting! If you haven’t picked up on it by now…I LOVE cream cheese frosting!!

The Recipe was very simple. I made the two round cakes one day, then frosted them the next day when I intended to use/eat them.  It didn’t take very long and made a delicious dessert. I will definitely pull this one out again! If you’re interested, you can find the original recipe here.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 eggs, beaten
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 large ripe bananas, mashed
-1 cup pecans, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temp
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
-1 lb powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Cake
1. Grease 2 round cake pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C
2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the beaten eggs and oil. Stire until the dry ingredients are just moistened – don’t go crazy here, less is more.  Stir in the banana, and pecans and 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
3. Divide up the batter between the two pans and back for approximately 25 minutes – until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
4. Cool the cake layers in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out on the rack to cool completely. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Frosting
1.  Blend together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and beat until it’s all light and fluffy. Beat in 1 tsp of vanilla.
2. Put a layer of frosting on top of one layer of cake, then put the next cake on top. Then frost the top and sides!
3. Top with nothing or anything (more pecans, sprinkles, chocolate, etc)

Notes
-If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute for any other type of nut, or nothing if you prefer.

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Cinnamon Rolls

Ever get that craving for a nice fluffy, soft, cinnamon-y, smothered with icing cinnamon roll? Did you just get that craving now?

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns

 

Unfortunately, not many people in the UK know the real joys of a proper cinnamon roll! The closest I’ve found is a Chelsea Bun..which is good…but not Cinnamon Bun good!!

Now I’ve looked up a lot of recipes, but most of them had yeast in them, and I couldn’t be bothered to wait for them to rise. I’m sure they’re delicious, but sometimes you just want to eat it NOW, not 4 hours from now!

So I finally just put into pinterest (I do love pinterest!!) “QUICK homemade cinnamon rolls” and voila! Recipes! So I picked this one, tried it and yum yum yum!  The only thing I would change is I would make cream cheese icing – but I didn’t have any cream cheese at home, sad face. But cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing are miles better than regular icing!

So to all my Canadian (or American) followers, here is a lovely quick Cinnamon bun recipe – unless you’ve got the tubed pillsbury ones, those are good too!
To all my British or European followers….here is a Cinnamon Bun recipe you’ve got to try! Awaken your taste buds and show them what is the most delicious breakfast, or snack, or lunch, or whatever, they’ve ever had!!

Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
Rolls
-2 1/2 cups of plain/all purpose flour
-3 Tbsp White Sugar
-1 1/4 cups Butter milk (make your own by using regular milk mixed with approx 3 Tbsp white vinegar, and sit for 5 minutes)
-6 Tbsp Melted Butter
-1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
-1/2 tsp Salt

Filling
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/4 cup White Sugar

Icing
-1 Cup Powdered Sugar
-2 Tbsp Softened Butter
-1 tsp Vanilla
-1 Tbsp Milk (or orange juice)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease a 9 inch square pan

2. In a small bowl, mix together all the Filling ingredients. Then set the bowl aside to use in a few minute.

3. In a larger bowl, mix together (from the Roll Ingredients) flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then whisk in the buttermilk and 2 Tbsp of the melted butter. The dough will be very stick at this point…don’t worry!

4. Put some flour down on the counter and place the dough on top. You will need to knead the dough for a minute or two until it becomes smooth. Once this is done, press out the dough into approximately a 9×12 rectangle. Doesn’t haven’t to be EXACT, just close and rectangle-ish shaped.

5. Once it’s laid out, spread about 2 Tbsp of the melted butter on top. You may need to use your hands, or a brush to try to cover the dough as best you can. Then top with the Filling Mix you made earlier. Spread it evening over the dough.

6.  Then start at one end of the dough and tightly roll it up. Once it’s in a log form, cut it into about 8-10 pieces (depending on which way you rolled it). Put these pieces into the prepared dish, and top with remaining 2 Tbsp of butter.

7. Put in oven and bake 20-25 minutes

8. To make the icing, just mix together the Icing Ingredients. Add a TOUCH more water/milk/juice to make it a bit thinner – whatever is your liking.

Notes
-It works to roll either direction, but I think I will try rolling it so that it’s only 9 inches long. This will make less buns, but they will be thicker.
-I didn’t have any cream cheese, but cream cheese icing is always better! Here is a link to a basic cream cheese icing recipe I use sometimes.

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Apple Maple Granola

Apple Maple Granola

Apple Maple Granola

I have discovered that I really like being a make your own food girl!  Sure it takes a bit more time than picking something up at the supermarket, but I know exactly what I’m eating, I get to tweak what I do and don’t like, AND it’s WAAAAAAY less expensive!!  Example – you can buy a 450g tub of organic yogurt at Tesco for £1.85 each week. OR you can buy a small tub of natural yoghurt for about 50p ONE TIME, and you can make 3-6 PINTS of yoghurt! Yes, you still have to buy the milk (£1.50)…but do you know how long even 3 pints of yoghurt lasts? Along time! And all you have to do is keep a bit for the next time you make it!

One food I am also really enjoying making is Granola! This is probably comparable price to what you could buy in a shop BUT you get to decide what you add into it. But you can still buy the ingredients cheap and make it for a cheaper cost! It all depends what you want to put in!

If you want the recipes for a basic honey raisin granola, or start making your own yoghurt, check out this post.

But here is a new one I found from Taste Love & Nourish – Apple Maple Granola, yum, yum!!

 

Apple Maple Granola

Ingredients
-1 Apple
-2 Eggs Whites
-3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
-3 Tbsp Chia Seeds
-1/4cup Brown sugar
-1/2 cup Maple Syrup
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 cup dried Cranberries
-1/4 cup raisins

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 250C. While it’s heating up, slice your apple into thin circles. A mandolin slicer is the easiest way to do this if you have one. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced apples on top. Then bake for 45 minutes.

2. When the apples have about 15 minutes left, start preparing the granola part. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until they are nice and frothy. Add in all the other ingredients up to the cinnamon.  Mix together well, then place on the another baking sheeting lined with parchment paper.

3. Move the apples to a lower rack and place the granola on the middle rack. Continue to bake for another 45 minutes at 250C.

4. Remove the apple slices from the oven and let cool on the tray. Increase the oven temperature to about 300C.  Give the granola a stir (not too rough, you want it to still be kind of clumpy), then put it back in the over for another 15 minutes.

5. Once the granola has started to brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Break up the dried apples into bite sized pieces and add to the granola.  Also add in any other dried fruit you would like at this point.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Notes
1. The apples may need slightly more or less time depending on thickness and your oven. Just watch the first few times you make this until you know the right combination!

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Chicken Chorizo Paella

Chicken Paella

Chicken Paella

It was recommended to me a few weeks back to make a Paella dish. I’ve seen this on some of those cooking shows before – but they always seem to layer it up with fish…and I hate fish, so I’d never really considered making it.  Then a lady from church told me about a recipe that she used – and there was no fish in it – so I decided to give it a try. Now admitted, I can’t remember the recipe she actually said to me, but I just googled and looked around at a few other blogs until I found one that looked like it could be pretty tasty.

It was super quick, super easy, and I could see this becoming a regular dish! James liked it too…although he’s not much of a food critic for me – he basically eats anything I give him and I don’t remember hearing him say he hasn’t liked anything (even when I think it’s been awful!).

Here is the recipe I found on BBC Good Food, and below is my slightly altered version.

Chicken Chorizo Paella

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts (either chop them up small or get mini fillets)
1 cup rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 carrots (chopped)
1/2 medium sized broccoli (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Thyme
115g Chopped Chorizo

Directions

1. In a large frying pan, cook the chicken on medium high heat. Once it is browned add in a bit of onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Let cook for a minute or so.

2. Add the rice, stock, and chorizo to the chicken. Bring to a boil then cover and let sit for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add in the vegetables and cook uncovered for another 10ish minutes on medium to high until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

 

Notes
I used garlic and onion powder as it’s what I had, but you could use an chopped onion and minced garlic if you prefer.

 

Then I made chocolate cheesecake for dessert…recipe to come later!