Friday, January 30, 2009

Madison's Chocolate Chip Cookies

A Guest Post from Madison

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Second, get out your electric mixer.
In the bowl, put in 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 a cup of brown sugar, 1/4 a cup of sugar (I used sucanat), 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

The butter mixture being mixed up...

What it should look like approximately when finished.

Usually it looks a bit smoother though, and not as liquid. But looking like that is fine as well.
Next, in a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour (I use wheat flour), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

*be sure to do this in a separate bowl. If you mix it in with the butter mixture, the cookies don't turn out as well.
*Stir this the mixture together.Next, measure out 1/4 of a cup of the flour mixture and put it in the butter mixture. Turn your electric mixer on.
Continue putting in 1/4 of a cup at a time.
*again, be sure to do it 1/4 of a cup at a time. The cookies don't turn out as nice if you don't*
After mixing all of the flour mixture together, the mixture should look like this:
Again, usually it looks a bit smoother, but this is how it turned out.
Next add 1/2 - 2/3 cup of chocolate chips. The reason I don't say 1 cup is because 1/2 a cup goes a very long way. But depending on how much you want, you can add 2/3 if you want.
Roll the cookies into balls about this big:
A bit bigger if you want to. Then, put your cookies in the oven:

Now all of your cookies are finished! Dig in, and be sure to drink a huge glass of milk with it. :)
Yum!This is my version of a recipe I found in a book called: The Mix-It-Up Cookbook. But I changed the amount of some of the ingredients. But mostly this is that recipe.Well, I hope you enjoyed the recipe and pictures! Trust me, these cookies are delicious!
In Christ,

A Big Thank You to Madison for letting me share this recipe!! Be sure to visit Madison over at Her amazing blog. :)

Homemade Salsa

A Guest Post from Mia, with notes from Me, Chef Julia. :)

(Julia) Mia posted this recipe on her blog, Aspiring Homemaker, in late summer last year, just when all her tomatoes from her garden were ripe. This is a great way to use them! My mom and I made this salsa and it was the BEST salsa I have ever had! I highly reccomend this recipe!

(Mia's Post)
We've had an abundance of Tomatoes (better boy, cherry, and beefsteak)So now is the perfect time for salsa! This was an all-day process, at a steady pace it took me a little under 3 hours :)

1. Bring pot of water to a rolling boil !
2. Here are all our Tomatoes; Out of these I picked out a total of 21 tomatoes to Blanch. They must be ripe & firm, or they'll end up mushy!
3. I dropped them in [the boiling water] 5 at a time, then after 30 seconds I removed them, then put in a new batch.
4. Place the hot tomatoes into a "cool bath" which is a bowl of ice water--this helps remove the skins.
5. Start Multitasking! Blanch, Cool, then Peel!

6. This is what the tomatoes should look like after peeling them--it took a while, about 30 minutes.


I did large chunks for "chunky salsa". You can dice small, but prepare for it to be a smoother, restaurant style salsa :)
(Julia)Mia drained hers, I didn't.
7. Chop 2.5 cups of Onion (about 2 Large yellow/sweet onions)tip: To cut down on tears, try wearing sunglasses! Make sure they fit securely, and it will cut down on the "running outside blinking" episodes~! lol plus, you'll look quite fashionable in the kitchen! :)

8. Add Onion to the diced Tomatoes!

Let's add some green to the mixture...

9. Chop 1 cup of Green Pepper (I used 3 small peppers) and 1 Jalapeno!

(Julia)- NOTE> DO NOT TOUCH the jalapeno seeds with your hands! My mom's fingers stung and burned after chopping the jalapeno because she didn't realize the seeds could hurt you... If this happens to you, one way to relieve pain is to soak your fingers in a bowl of milk. Weird, but it works. :)

10. Mince 6 cloves of Garlic, then add it to the mixture !

11. Mix all ingredients together --
12. Add 2 tsp of Cumin, 2 tsp Black Pepper, 2 Tbsp Sugar and 1/4 tsp Salt

13. Mix 2 (6 oz.) cans (Julia - or one 12.oz can) of tomato paste with 1 cup water {a little bit at a time} Then add to Salsa!

14. Last but not least, add in 1/3 cup vinegar, and (optional) 1/3 cup ketchup (Julia- I didn't use the ketcup)

15. Enjoy!
It makes a HUGE batch, around 10 cups or maybe a little more. The cumin adds the "mexican" flavor, and that Jalapeno puts in a little zing! It isn't too spicy though! :) I put 3/4 of the Salsa into bags and into the freezer for later! Yum, I'll have to make this again!!

Julia- I also added some corn and black beans for extra fun! :)

A GREAT BIG Thank You to Mia for allowing me to use this recipe! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snickerdoodle Pie

A Guest Post by Emily

Recipe for Snickerdoodle Pie!!!
Hmm, what should I say about this recipe? Yum! Or how about, YUM!!!

It's pretty easy to make and the finished product is, well, Delicious!

Preheat oven to 350.

1 pie crust, unbaked and brushed with 2 tsp melted butter.

1 T sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon (sprinkle 1 tsp on crust).

Combine in saucepan: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 3 T water, and 2 T light corn syrup. Boil gently for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla. Set aside.

In mixing bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tap cream of tartar until well combined.

Add 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla. Slowly add1/2 cup milk and 1 1/4 cup flour.

Pour mixture into pie crust. Top with syrup mixture and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.

Cover crust with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 20 more minutes or until center tests done with toothpick.

Cool 20 minutes before serving.

Yum! Enjoy!


A Big Thank You to Emily for sharing this recipe! Check out her new cooking blog, Sugar 'n' Spice, for more fun stuff!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Canned Soup Substitution Recipes and Conversion Tables

A Guest Post from Rachel

Have you ever started to make something, say dinner or a batch of cookies, and found out that you were missing an ingredient? I have many times! My solution..quick, find a substitution! I like to keep a list handy (in my cooking notebook) of easy substitutions for those last minute cooking problems.

These are some of my favorite substitutions!
Evaporated Milk Recipe - This is my ultimate favorite substitution recipe! It is very versatile and can be used in just about anything! I have used it both in my baking and my cooking. I normally will use this in my homemade potato soup instead of using the real stuff. It really makes it creamy and you can't even tell the difference! The other benefit is that it is super quick to put together and very inexpensive! =:) (now all I need is one for sweetened condensed milk! I did find some good looking recipes for it on if you want to try them out!)

Creamed Soup Base(From: The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman)
We use this book because my dad has a gluten/wheat intolerance. We do not really keep up with it very much though. I like to use this mix to make cream of chicken soup and cheese soup for my cooking. I have lot's of casseroles that use this and we don't always have the canned soup on hand, or I just didn't feel like putting it on the grocery list again, etc. You make up the base mix and then you can add things to make the different soups. It works very well and the base keeps in the freezer for a long period of time. I usually double or triple the base recipe so that I have it on hand all the time. I then will double the actual soup recipe for my casseroles because we like it really creamy.

Base Recipe:
1 cup Dry Milk Powder or Non-dairy substitute (I use the milk powder)
1 cup White Rice Flour
2 Tbsp. Dried Minced Onions
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp Powdered Soup Base (I use a dry chicken soup mix)
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Store in an airtight container (or ziploc) by your kitchen stove or on the pantry shelf (I keep mine in the freezer).
This mix is equivalent of 8 or 9 cans of soup (the 10-1/2 oz. size).

For the soups:
Cream of Chicken Soup:
In a small saucepan, blend 4 Tbsp. of base with 1/4 cup cold water.
Add 1 cup hot water (or chicken stock) and cook over medium heat, stirring until the soup thickens.
Cheese Soup or Sauce: Follow the directions for Cream of Chicken Soup, using 1/4 cup of the base. Add 1/4 cup extra water.
Stir in 1/2 to 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese before removing from the stove.

To use in a casserole: If your casserole (scalloped potatoes, etc.) calls for canned soup and is to be baked more than 1 hour, just stir the creamed soup base with the ingredients and pour on 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups hot water. Since my casseroles take 30-45 min. or up to an hour, I don't do it this way.

Another handy thing to have in the kitchen is a list of weights and measurements conversions. It's always helpful for exchanging tsp. for Tbsp., turning ounces. into pints, etc.
Conversion Table
Conversion Calculator
Ingredient Equivalents and Volume Measurements
Measurement Equivalents
Ingredient Equivalents
Conversion Chart - Ingredient Equivalents
Blessings and Happy Baking!

A Big huge Thank You to Rachel and her sister Jessica for letting me use these tips! :D visit their amazing blog Young Homemakers to learn more about these delightful young ladies.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mama's Chili Recipe

Alas, the secret is out!

Here's the recipe for the most mouth-watering, delicious chili ever! (In My Humble Opinion)

2 cans tomato sauce
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 and a half cups of water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 pounds pre-cooked ground beef or beef chunks like you put in stew
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper

  • First you must open the cans of kidney beans and tomato sauce and pour them into the pot.(Don't drain the kidney beans, just pour it all in)

  • Chop up 1 cup green bell pepper and 1 cup onion
    (Don't touch your eyes while chopping up the onion!! Ouch!)

  • Saute the onion and pepper in water

  • Measure out your spices... ...and add them to the pot. (stir)

  • Take your 1 and 1/2 pounds of beef (or more, if you like meaty chili) and add that to the pot.

  • When the onion and pepper is done sauteing, add that to the pot also ...Simmer on medium-low for approximately 30 minutes, or at least until the flavors blend and the kidney beans are all cooked.

  • Then... ENJOY!

(Goes excellently with noodles, potatoes, crackers, or nacho chips & cheese...actually, you can eat chili with just about anything!)

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About Cookies And Cream

Cookies And Cream is a blog about cooking and baking. Basically all things 'kitcheny'! Recipes, tips, tricks, and all sorts of fun stuff concerning food.