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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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Clean Eating Day 12

(This post includes recipe for Curried Coconut Chicken)

 

Well it’s Valentine’s Day and I have to let you know – I allowed myself a cheat today! I mean, what is valentine’s without chocolate!! But, I found the darkest chocolate I could – which didn’t have much sugar in it – and then I actually didn’t end up eating much of it.  But I’m very proud to say this is the first REAL and intentional cheat I’ve done. I think I could have easily have made it another 2 days without any chocolate or sugar, I wasn’t really craving it, but we thought we’d have a nice chocolate fondue…and obviously you need chocolate for that!

So other than that…here is the rest of the day

BREAKFAST: Homemade Granola & Yoghurt

LUNCH: Leftover Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-Ups.

These were just as good reheated. I chose to reheat them in the oven so that the crispy bits stayed crispy (as in the cheese that gets crispy while cooking).

DINNER: Curried Coconut Chicken

I definitely played with this recipe. The original is from Bless This Mess, but due to personal taste…and forgetting to get a few things in…I adapted! I think it tasted brilliant, the only thing I would have to adjust is that it ended up a little runnier, so I would need to add in bits to thicken in up a bit!

Curried Coconut Chicken

Ingredients
-3 Tbsp oil (peanut, olive, coconut)
-2 Tbsp curry powder
-1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp garam masala, divided (didn’t have this so, but would try to find it next time)
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 chicken breasts cut into bit sized pieces
-1 14oz can coconut milk
-1/2 cup tomato passata
-1 cup chicken broth
-1/2 tsp salt

Directions
1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot (although I only used a skillet), heat the oil and curry powder and 1 Tbsp garam masala over a medium heat.  Cook for 5 minutes. If it starts to stick to the pan, add in a bit more oil, you do not want it to burn. Add the onion and garlic powder and cook for an additional 5 minutes – if it starts to stick, add a bit of oil.
2. Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink in the centre.
3 Add the coconut milk, passata, broth and salt. Stir it all in to combine is evenly.
4. Cook at a low simmer until the mixture thickens – about 45 minutes to an hour. 5 minutes before serving stir in the last tsp of garam masala.
5. Serve over hot rice

Notes
-The original uses a can of diced tomatoes rather than passata, as well it adds in squash pieces and cherries.  I didn’t have any of these…but I don’t like tomatoes anyway..so I improvised.
-Because there was nothing to help absorb some of the liquid, I added in about 2 tsp of cornflour to help thicken it slightly.
-Curry flavours get better the longer they have to cook, so simmer it as long as possible! And reheating left overs the next day will have even better flavours.

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Clean Eating Day 11

(This blog includes recipes for Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad)

Today was a day of temptations! I was away all day at an event – which was a catered event. Now some of you are going to think what I did was a little over the top and, honestly, I agree with you. However, because this is only a 14 day challenge, I thought I need to stick to this 100% and give it my all, even when it’s inconvenient. So after these 2 weeks, while I will still try to eat clean and healthily, I know there will be days that it is more practical to not – or days of going out for meals. However, today…I packed my own bread, so transferred the fillings from the catered sandwich to my own. I made my own flapjack last night and brought that with me instead of eating the store bought kind. I brought plain raisins instead of eating chocolate covered raisins. And I ate a healthy, clean, banana bread bar instead of a Krispy Kreme donut that was bought for me. I also resisted the temptation when a certain friend literally trying to force feed me store bought flapjack! Granted…it’s not all that tempting to eat something from someone else’s fingers while being shoved into your lips!

BREAKFAST: Homemade Granola and Milk

SNACK: Smoothie
This was so good to have today. While everyone else was munching on chocolate covered raisins and goodies, this kept me full but also satisfied any sweetness craving.

LUNCH: Sandwich, flapjack, fruit
Ham and lettuce on my own wholewheat bread. My homemade flapjack, and thankfully they did cater in fresh fruit kebabs!

SNACK: Banana Bread Bar

Banana Bread Bar

Banana Bread Bar


My mother-in-law bought me these for this week, which was very kind of her! She searched Tesco to try to find some type of “clean” snack! And they are, there is nothing “unclean” in the ingredients.

DINNER: Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad

I got the basic idea for this recipe from Eat, Live, Run, but adapted it for my own use. This recipe is for actual tacos, but I didn’t have any wraps on hand, so I just turned it into a salad.  Here is the recipe I used and this was enough for 2 people. It might be enough for 3-4 when you add in the wrap calories, but they would probably be smaller portions.

Crock Pot Beef Taco Salad

Ingredients
-1 Tbsp chili powder
-1 1/2 tsp cumin or smoked cumin
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
-1 tsp salt
-300g Rump Steak
-1 green bell pepper
-Lettuce
-Cheese

Directions
1. Mix all the spices together then rub into each side of the steak. Use all the mixture. Place the spice covered steak into the bottom of a crock pot.
2. Add in peppers (and onions and jalapenos if desired).
3. Cook for 7-8 hours on low.
4. Once cooked, remove the steak and shred with two forks.
5. Serve as desired – hard tacos, soft tacos, salad. Top with desired elements – cheese, salsa, veggies, etc

Notes
-I have a bad habit of not properly measuring spices when cooking, I tend to just go on what looks good. But that is partially the point of spices, so the measurements are adjustable depending on your taste buds!
-I used Rump Steak, but you can use almost any kind of steak. Because it’s done in a crockpot, even the typically tougher meat cuts will be just fine!
-If you use a lean meat, you may need to add a bit of beef stock so that it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
-Once you’ve shredded the meat, you can serve immediately, or return it to the crock pot for up to a few hours until you are ready to serve
-I would add in the green pepper later in the cooking. I’m sure it added some extra flavouring to the meat, but I found they were just a bit too mushy for my taste with a full 8 hours in there.

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Clean Eating Day 10

(This post contents recipes for BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad, and Butternut Squash Lasagne Roll-Ups)

The BBQ Ranch chicken salad was supposed to be last night’s dinner. However I wasn’t home and James only have Chicken on Salad. So I made the dressing this morning to use for my lunch, so I’ll include that recipe here instead of last nights blog.

BREAKFAST: Homemade Granola and Milk

Just can’t go wrong with this at the moment! I just LOVE it! And I’ve made more Yoghurt as well, so I will be adding that again!

SNACK: Fruit Smoothie

Making healthy…or more healthy…by using spinach and chia seeds in it as well!

LUNCH: BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

This was top!! It was so good! I will definitely have this again and even just make the dressing on it’s own again as well! This recipe was originally on Bless This Mess and she does it a little different and adds a few other things as well…why not check her out if you’re looking for a bit more. I also halved the recipe for just the two of us…but the dressing will probably last for about a week, it makes tons!

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Ingredients
For the Dressing
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1/4 cup mayonnaise (can be substituted for plan yoghurt – especially your homemade stuff!)
-1/8 cup buttermilk
-1/6 cup barbecue sauce
-1/8 tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp dried dill
For Salad
-2 hearts Romaine lettuce (we used baby spinach)
-1 Cucumber, diced
-1/2 green pepper, chopped
-2 chicken breasts, bbq’d from night before

Directions
Dressing: add all ingredients together and whisk together until smooth
Salad: add veggie together in a bowl and toss. Add chopped chicken on top. Dress lightly just before serving.

DINNER: Butternut Squash Lasagne Roll-Ups

This was so good! I’ve never been much of a squash fan (other than a good ol’pumpkin pie!) so I was a bit skeptical but gave it a go anyway, and it turned out delish! This recipe is also from Bless This Mess. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this one!

Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-Ups

Ingredients
-3 Tbsp butter
-1/4c whole wheat flour
-2 cups whole milk
-dash nutmeg
-salt to taste
-2 cups finely pureed cooked butternut squash, well salted
-9-12 lasagna noodles, cooked
-1/3 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
-1 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a baking dish
2.In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Once the butter melts add in the flour and stir until it’s all combined. Let the butter and flour cook for about 30 seconds. Then slowly whisk in the milk. Add a dash of nutmeg and the salt to taste. Whisk over medium heat and allow just to start bubbling. Cook another 2 minutes then remove from heat.
3.To assemble the roll-ups, lay out the cooked lasagna noodles on a counter top. Spread about 2 Tbsps of the Squash puree over the top of each then sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese. Start at one end and roll the noodle. Place the rolled noodle, seam side down, on to a greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
4. Once all the noodles are in the dish, pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top then bake for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is hot and bubbly. Allow the dish to rest for 5 minutes before serving up.

Notes
We decided to make our sauce a cheese sauce, which we think was a brilliant idea.  Make the sauce as directed, then just add in some grated cheese and allow to melt.
Also, we didn’t have mozzarella, but cheddar cheese worked just as nicely!

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Clean Eating Day 9

Here is another post all about leftovers.  Tuesday’s are just VERY busy days. I’m not getting home until about 9:30-10 at night, so James is on his own for dinner and I need to bring something with me from the beginning of the day. We all know that these days happen, and it’s great to have leftovers in the fridge! Even to prepare to have leftovers by making just a little bit more the night before! So there are no new recipes in this post – although there is meal, but I’ll post the recipe on Day 10.

BREAKFAST: Homemade Granola and Milk

This granola is lasting so long, and it’s so good! I’ll definitely be making it again!

LUNCH: Left over burgers.

Just packed up some burgers and a bun and some chips and there was lunch for the day! Burgers are just as good re-heated!

DINNER: BBQ Chicken Salad

When we BBQ’d the burgers the night before, I stuck on 2 chicken breasts as well so they would be ready to use!  Now, I wasn’t home in time to each this tonight, so I saved mine for Lunch tomorrow. James had his portion- however without the homemade dressing which ended up being DELICIOUS (he really missed out on that!) Since I’ll be making the dressing in the morning to go with my lunch, I’ll post the recipe there!

 

You don’t have to rely on packaged, or frozen or take out on days when you’re busy. Just plan ahead a bit and you can still eat well! It only takes a few minutes to add a bit extra the night before!

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Clean Eating Day 3

(This post contains recipes for Wholemeal/wheat Pizza)

Here we are on day 3.  Doing well so far. I’ve had some cravings for some sweets and chocolates – especially at our kids club when the counter just has a mini sweet shop on display. But I think these cravings are due more to the fact that I know I’ve said I can’t have it! So here is what I’ve had today.

Breakfast: Homemade Yoghurt topped with Homemade Granola, a dash of maple syrup and Chia seeds.

Yoghurt & Granola

Yoghurt & Granola

This was delicious by the way. I was wary of trying the homemade yoghurt as I just didn’t know what to expect. Admittedly, I half expected it to just taste like milk gone off, and to be clumpy and gross. BUT IT WASN’T! It was so delicious! I will, if not always, very often make Yoghurt this way now!

Here’s the recipe for the Yoghurt and Granola

LUNCH: Baked Potato with Butter and Cheese

Sorry, didn’t grab a picture of this one. As nice as it tasted, I didn’t assemble it in a photogenic way. You’ll just have to wait until next time.  This was just the left over from last night’s dinner, and will probably be lunch tomorrow as well. I love it when dinner goes so far!

DINNER: Whole Wheat Pizza

I learned a very valuable lesson while making this pizza….never underestimate the value of parchment paper.  I tend not to have this in the house…not for any “moral reason”…I just simply never think to buy it. I’ve always just figured I can put more flour down so the dough/cookies/whatever don’t stick. However…when avoiding the use of flour…parchment paper is a must! There is no picture of this pizza as it did NOT turn out pretty! It was a mess trying to get the pizza from the counter top to the tray! The taste was fine…but it looked more like an explosion rather than a pizza. Mental note – invest in parchment paper!

Here is the recipe for it anyway.  Also, I didn’t get the “cleanest” pepperoni for it. I will need to do some hunting to find a place that sells pure pepperoni without some of the natural flavourings and preservatives.

This recipe is originally from Bless this Mess, and there is a much better picture there to show what it is SUPPOSED to look like!

Whole Wheat Pizza

Ingredients
-3 cups whole wheat (meal) flour
-2 tsp sugar (use brown sugar, or some honey, or just nothing if you really don’t want sugar)
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp yeast
-1 1/3 cups cold water
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-Pizza Sauce (or home-make with 1 tin crushed tomatoes, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves Garlic)
-Cheese
-Toppings

Directions
1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the water and olive oil and mix until a soft dough forms.  It will be sticky and quite a bit wetter than a traditional yeast bread dough, don’t fear, this is how it’s supposed to be.

2. Cover bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.  The dough won’t rise much in the fridge..this is okay!

3. When ready to make, take dough out of the fridge and let sit at room temp for one hour before using.  Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F while you’re waiting (also a good time to make sauce, grate cheese, chop toppings). If you have a baking stone, heat it up in the oven. If you don’t have a stone, a pizza tray or cookie tray is fine as well. Heat the stone 30 minutes prior to putting the pizza on it or the tray 15 minutes prior to putting the pizza on it.

4. Once the oven heats up, cut the dough in half. Put half of the dough on the PARCHMENT PAPER (do not miss this step!). Tear the paper slightly larger than the stone/tray. Roll the dough (on top of the paper) into a 12-14 inch circle. It will be pretty thin, and sticky.

5. Add sauce, cheese and toppings as desired.

6. When it’s assembled, slide the pizza (which is on the parchment paper) on to a rimless cookie sheet or an upside down one – this step will help you get the pizza into the oven without burning yourself!

7. Open the oven and slide the pizza (paper and all) onto the hot stone/tray. Please do be careful as your oven is very hot right now! Don’t burn yourself.  Just give the paper a gentle tug and it should slide from the tray in your hand to the hot tray in the oven.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is bubbly and edges are starting to brown. Use the same tray you used to get the pizza into the oven and re-tug on the parchment paper to pull the pizza out of the oven onto the cool tray.

9. Repeat with second half of the dough (remember the parchment paper!)

EVENING SNACK: Chopped Veggies, Raisins, Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Hummus, Flat bread, Sweet Potato Crisps

Had the girls over this evening, and instead of indulging in chocolate bars and cake, we had some very appetizing and tasty healthy snacks.

I will post the recipe for Sweet Potato Crisps another day when I perfect them a little more.
The Hummus and Flat Bread were store bought so I don’t have a recipe for them.

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Clean Eating Day 2

(This post contains Spicy Roasted Chickpeas, Turkey Sandwich, Crock Pot Potatoes)

Tuesdays are CRAZY busy for me. Especially now as I am starting into rehearsal season! That being said, I don’t have much time on a Tuesday to prep or plan any meals.  So today’s post is nice and simple with only 2 recipes for my day.

Breakfast: Homemade Granola with whole milk
Got to put that homemade granola from yesterday to the test and it was/is delicious!! I even packed some for a snack later on!!

Lunch:Turkey Sandwich, with carrots and spicy roasted chickpeas

Turkey Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich


Turkey Sandwich is just as it sounds! Just 2 slices of Turkey, 4 thin slices of cheddar, some lettuce and…well I have to confess… I cheated slightly in that I put the smallest squirt of Mustard on it. If I’d thought of it before I only had like 2 minutes before I had to leave for work I would have put something else on it – like butter or (when I get around to make it) homemade mayo. But I’m not too worried about that cheat.  I also chopped up about half a carrot. The roasted chickpeas I made last night and James and I had some, but I made them after I posted so I figured I would just add them today!  They are great, much better than I expected! Although they are VERY crunchy – and I may have annoyed at least one person while munching on them at lunch time (granted we share an office so there is plenty of, good-natured, annoying going on regularly).  I found the roasting recipe from pinterest (here’s that original recipe from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken) and then just added my own seasonings.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients
-1 tin of chickpeas
-Olive oil
-Salt
-Smoked Paprika
-Hot chili powder

Directions
1. Drain and wash chickpeas. Place on a baking sheet, making sure they are only one layer.  Put into an 350F oven for about 30 minutes. This should make them dry and crunchy and not have a yucky mushy centre. Add a bit more time if needed. This is dry roasting them.

2. Once they are all fairly hard, put into a bowl and put only a tiny amount of olive oil in with them, just enough to lightly coat. Then sprinkle in your seasonings to taste. Give it a good shake/stir around, then put them back on the tray and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Mine started popping around in the oven at about 12 minutes…so I figured that was a good time to take them out.

3. Cool and eat!!

Notes
I found that they are not all the same crispiness. Some of them remained slightly chewy. I don’t have a solution for this as they were all in the oven for the same amount of time. Most of them are very crunchy anyway, so just avoid the chewy ones if you don’t like them.

I don’t have any exact measures for anything here. It really is just to personal taste. You could probably make a sweet toffee ones as well. If you experiment, let me know what you did!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Dinner: Crock Pot Potatoes

I found this recipe on pinterest awhile back (here is the link to the original recipe from Skip to my Lou), and have already been using it for quite some time. Baked Potatoes are delicious, but they do take at least an hour in the oven.  This is just stick some potatoes in the crock pot, turn on and leave for 8 hours! Unfortunately I’ve only done this on days that I am quite busy and very hungry when I get home, but I would like to try popping them in the oven for a few minutes just to crisp up the skin a bit, but either way they are still delicious.

Crock Pot Potatoes

Ingredients
-As many potatoes as fit in your crockpot

Directions
1. Wrap potatoes in tin foil.

2. Put in Crock pot, turn temperature to low

3. Leave for 8 hours.

4. Enjoy Baked Potatoes. Add whatever toppings you desire.

Notes
It really couldn’t be much more simple. And more often than not the crock pot is totally clean after cooking, so there isn’t a mess to clean up either!