The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today I went to cycle fit (or some people call it spin class). I have been going since January once or twice a week. Its is a major cardio workout. Every time I tell Gary I have never sweat so much in my life. Except that one hot yoga class. That takes sweating to a whole new level. I was literally drenched.

I know. This is totally the best way to start a cookie post…talking about sweat. Appetizing.

The thing is, I need to work out. Often. Daily if possible.

I also bake daily. That means I eat baking daily. Spin Class is necessary.

True life.

I am soo tempted to make croissants right this moment. It is an all day commitment. And I don’t even like croissants.

I just drank 20 ounces of chai tea and ate two of these cookies, and an apple dipped in natural peanut butter. I am a snacker. Speaking of snacking, I totally need to go to Trader Joes asap. They have the best snacks eveeerr.
The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(Based on Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1) Cream butter and sugar together till light
2) Add salt, vanilla and eggs and mix for three minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl after one minutes
3) Mix flour and baking soda together. Add half the flour and mix till combined. When just combined, add the rest of the flour.
4) Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
5) Roll into heaping tablespoon sized balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
6) Bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes ( mine were perfect after 12 minutes) . Let cool 2-4 minutes on the cookie sheet then cool completely on wire racks.
Options: Add nuts (2cups, decrease oatmeal to 1 cup), Add orange zest ( 2 tsps), Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves with the flour. Doing all these additions will create the same cookies found on Smitten Kitchen. I prefer mine much more plain so I didn’t do any of them!

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When "Bake Zucchini Cake" is on Your To-Do List, Your Bound to Get at Least One Thing Done

I need lists. I am probably the biggest procrastinator you know. I can waste too much time on Facebook, Pinterest , and blogs that I get nothing done for hours!

So I make lists. Every morning while I eat breakfast and check Facebook, I make my list of things that need doing that day. Usually there is at least one house cleaning item, dinner, some yard work and some impossible task that getting written down day after day and never actually gets done. ie. paint the living room, clean the fridge, go to the bottle depot ( I hate going to the bottle depot…is like…wahoo I am going to bring in all these bottles and cans I have been saving all this time and get some money and then I can feel awesome…and then you go and empty out the sticky bags and take all the lids off the bottles and sort all the different sizes and then bring them up to the counter and they ring it through…”and you get $4.67 back today, don’t spend it all in one place!” gee…thanks…)  . Anyways, that was a little side note.

So yesterday I started my day by making a list…

 Yeah, its messy…but really who else was supposed to read it? For about 30 seconds I considered making a nice neat one and fakin’ it for the picture…but this is real life. 
I like how I felt the need to clarify that I only “sort of” needed groceries. Meaning, of course, that I only needed eggs and cinnamon sticks. 
By the end of the day, I had completed all of the things on my list except cleaning the upstairs bathroom, and reprocessing my unsealed pears. 
I did find it funny that I added “Bake zucchini cake” to the list. Because really…since when did I need to remind myself to bake? It probably would be better if I forgot once in a while. Haha..not likely. 
Anyways, I made the zucchini cake. This was my second time and my oh my..its just so tasty. Just a little chocolatey, and a little zucchini-y and perfectly soft and tender and moist and really really great for breakfast. (But really, what cake isn’t?)  Um on the topic of eating cake for breakfast, just the other day, somebody was quite shocked that pie is a regular breakfast item at my (and my parents!) house. I think I have a dessert problem. 
Ugh I keep getting off topic! So I made the cake. And its really really good. And you should totally make it. 
This is what it looks like. Kinda plain, I know. The actual recipe says to top it with chocolate chips, but you know me..always trying to cut down on the sugar, so I left them out. 
Actually I just forgot. And I found it totally tasty this way. 
This recipe I found through Tasty Kitchen  and is actually from another girl/lady’s blog, so when that happens I don’t generally like to post the recipe on my blog. So here is the LINK . I have not spent too much time on this blog yet, but it looks interesting! She even took step by step pictures! Yay. 🙂 

Sausage On a Bun

My husband is not a picky eater.

He hates carrots and doesn’t like mustard. In other words I can make almost anything and he will never complain. 
His favourite meal, he claims, is sausage on a bun. 
How easy is that? 
Its a quick supper that takes very little time to prepare, and is really tasty and man pleasin’.
This time I made homemade Pesto Buns ( I need to make them again so I can post them!) for the Sausage on a Bun dinner, but you could totally use and hamburger bun or deli bun or even bread if you really wanted. 
Our favorite way to prepare them goes like this:
1) Buy pork farmer sausage ( my personal fav) 
2) BBQ sausage till nice and toasty
3) Toast buns while BBQing and slather with mayo, BBQ sauce (and sometime relish and mustard)
4) Slice BBQed sausage into chunks as thin as you like and pile a bunch on prepared bun
5) Top with gouda, cheddar or your favorite cheese. 
6) Tada! dinner is served! Of course adding a salad would never be a bad thing! 
Is this really a recipe? Not really. But we love it and eat it all the time and this is my blog so I can do what I want 🙂 

Citrus-Mint Granita

I have a fabulous husband. I do.

This is Gary milking our cows for the very first time! 

I was their too…It was evidently a chilly day. 

 He’s great. Sometimes he brings me tea ( large earl grey doubledouble from Tim Hortans) or calls me from the Starbucks line to ask what I want. Sometimes he leaves me little notes telling me he loves me or brings me a card and a new plant to try and keep alive. But lately, the best, nicest, thing he does for me? Lets me sleep in through milking.
     As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago ( ? I have no actual idea how long it has been…it feels like forever!) we started milking cows. Our own cows. So obviously we are responsible for seeing that these lovely cows get milked every single day, twice. We milk at 5:30 am and 5:30 pm. So getting up at 5:30…sucks. Well actually its not that bad. Its usually beautiful in the morning at that time. But sleep is definitely lacking. So last night, he said I could sleep in! yay! and sleep I did. I didn’t hear the alarm go off, I didn’t hear Gary getting ready to go outside, I didn’t hear him come back in the house or crawl back into bed. I just slept slept slept till 9:30 am. It was lovely!
( how many times did I say lovely in that paragraph?)

     So now that I am refreshed and well rested, I can do some blog posts! Today is a dreary day but I am bundled up sitting on a big comfy couch on my back porch. with a blanket and my laptop. I am very blessed to have such a good life.

So basically, I have a recipe today! I made grapefruit/tangerine/lemon and mint sorbet/granita yesterday. Its delish, sweet and refreshing. I am going to call it Citrus-mint Granita. Because you could totally use any kind of tangy citrus that you wished.

This recipe is really simple. really. 
Citrus-Mint Granita
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed citrus 
( I used 1 large pink grapefruit, 2 tangerines, 1/2 a lemon, I added some of the grapefruit and tangerine pulp too) 
A small handful of fresh mint. ( I used about 1/3 of a cup whole leaves) 
1) Put water and sugar in a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar is melted.
2) Add mint and fruit juice and stir. Bring to barely a boil then take off heat. Here I had a bit of a problem. One recipe I was reading said to put this all in a blender…so I did. Only hot hot juice in a blender equals hot hot juice all over your kitchen. Don’t do that. Your clean floors will not be sticky and thats not fun. 
3) Pour hot mixture through a fine strainer and take out all the chunkies. 
4) Put bowl of juice/fruit/mint mixture in the freezer until solid. I stirred mine once in a while to make it lose and icy. Next time I will pour into my ice cream maker. I think it will be more sorbet-like that way. 

African Chow Mien

(PS. Im sorry, this was night time photography)

I have no idea what makes this dish “African” or what African food tastes like or if they even eat chow mien in Africa. But thats what this dish is called so thats just the way it is.
Basically this is stirfry but with hanburger and cans of condensed soup. Its comfort food in its finest. I love love loved it.

Back in…September I think it was, my sisters and cousins and friend ( ie, my wedding party) threw a hugeee and amazing bridal shower for me. It was great. They made SO much food…like it was insane. They decided that the theme would be…Pioneer Woman. Because I read her site everyday. So naturally all of the food was made from pioneer woman recipes. We had pizza, pasta, salad, stuffed potatoes. I don’t even remember it all. but it was delicious. AND my dear bridal party also spent hours on the Pioneer woman website finding funny quotes from her blog and copy and pasting them to a word document. Then they made them look pretty and printed them all out and used them as place cards. I wish I had taken pictures but it was such a surprise and I was so overwhelmed so I didn’t take a single picture. I don’t know it anybody did. Thats a shame. ( I am so so so so so bad at taking picture of momentous events like that. I always forget. Hence my new years resolution to take more pictures.) But it was a great night. Thank-you bridal party 🙂
Anyways, my whole point of that long story was to tell you how I acquired this recipe. In the invitations my sisters sent for this fabulous party, they included a recipe card for my guests to write a good recipe on that I might want to cook. That was so so so great because I can bake and make desserts till the cows come home, but dinner ideas are generally a little more tricky. It could be because my husband prefers to eat zero veggies and lots of : a) Bacon, b) Steak, c) Potatoes, d) Grilled Cheese sandwiches, e) Mini Pizzas ( like the McCain frozen ones..yucky) . He will eat anything I make though…mostly. Carrots are an absolute no go. He even picks them out of soup!
Anyways, a goood friend of mine, Kristi, wrote this recipe on my card. I think it was her mom’s recipe. And then the other night I was so so so so so hungry (because I generally forget to feed myself if Gary isn’t home)  and I was grummmpyyy and tired and really wanted some sort of comfort food. I was searching food blogs with no success and we have decided to not eat out for a while or order in. So we were going to starve or Gary was going to whip out the grill to make some gilled cheese sandwiches. I did not want to eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Then I remembered back in the day when I didn’t rely on food blogs for recipe ideas and flipped open my recipe box. Tada! Great dinner ideas, that I know I like and that I know how to make. YAY. I found Kristi’s recipe card and then jumped in car and went to the store to grab some chicken soup and some chow mien noodles. The evening just went up from there.

This is super easy! and yummy and warm and creamy and the prefect thing when you just want to lay on the couch and watch a movie or veg and read a book. If you keep chow mien noodles on hand, you probably have almost everything to make this for dinner tonight.
I served this with rice and a spinach salad ( with orange pieces, crasins and balsamic dressing) and french bread broiled with butter and some Parmesan cheese. It was delish and fast and yummy.

I say yummy waaayyy too much.

I have lots to say today, I am sorry. I am home alone this morning. I called my husband but he was busy…apparently he had to work or something…
Yesterday I talked so much, my jaw was sore when I went to bed. For real.

I just about posted this recipe without actually including the recipe. Haha.

African Chow Mien

1 lb Ground Beef/Hamburger Meat
1 medium Onion
2-3 Celery stalks
1 cup mushrooms ( or 1 cup or mushrooms)
1 tablespoon oil

1 can Condensed Mushroom Soup (284ml, 10 oz)
1 can Chicken Noodle Soup ( 284ml. 10 oz)
1-2 tablespoons Soya Sauce
1/2 bag Chow Mein Noodles. ( My bag was 397grams and I used about 1/2)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1) Fry up the first 5 ingredients in a large frying pan. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions and celery are soft and opaque.
2. Add soups, soya sauce and salt and pepper. Mix in Chow Mien noodles. Cook till noodles are soft. ( I put a lid on my fry pan and that helped it cook faster.)
3. Serve over rice. (we did that the first night but the left overs we are without rice and they were just as good!)