Tuesday, May 17, 2016

White Chocolate Brownie Cookies and Serving each other

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small 

things with great love.- Mother Teresa

We were with some friends this weekend and one of the guys was joking with his wife and said something like, "Woman, get me a beer"...this was all in good fun and we started talking about spouses demanding things like this from each other.  When you demand things from your spouse or anybody they are less likely to do it, and will probably make them angry.

While we were discussing this topic I was reminded of a conversation I had a few years ago with a woman who had been happily married for about 40 years.  I asked her what was the secret to their marriage?  She responded with this: "Every morning when we wake up he takes a shower and I make him a cup of coffee.  When he gets out of the shower the hot cup of coffee is waiting for him.  He starts his day knowing that he is loved and cherished by me, and I start my day knowing that I am needed and appreciated.  Then at the end of the day I take my shower and when I get out a hot cup of tea is waiting on my night stand for me.  So, I end my day knowing I am loved and cherished and he ends his day knowing he is needed and appreciated.  This simple act of serving and taking care of each other really gave them both the right attitude towards each other in their marriage.

Now I know I am no expert in marriage, seeing as I have been married less then a whopping 2 years...but we are definitely happier when we are making an effort to serve and help each other.  While I am nursing baby he asks what he can do to help me, when he gets home I try to have dinner ready for him, when I am low on gas in my car he makes a quick trip to fill up my car, when he has work parties I make his cookies to bring.  At the end of the day everyone wants to feel loved, appreciated, and needed - and this is truly a key to a happy marriage.  Instead of saying "woman, get me a beer" or "husband empty the trash" - maybe we should all be looking for ways we can serve our spouses before they have to ask?

This doesn't just apply to marriages, but to all relationships...if we keep asking ourselves how can we serve others and make them feel loved, appreciated and needed...how amazing would that be?

One of the ways I make my husband happy is by making him cookies...way too many cookies...these cookies are our new favorites and we indulge in them a few times a week.  Like all my cookie recipes I make a batch, scoop them, freeze the dough raw, and then pop a few into our oven or toaster oven when we need some dessert...which happens to be every darn night in our household...we are seriously cookies addicts up in here!  If you over bake these cookies you will be disappointed...take them out of the oven even if they don't look cooked...trust me on this. : )

White Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 stick unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white chocolate chips*

Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together — you can do this on the stove over very low heat, stirring constantly until almost melted. Take this off the heat, stir until completely melted and stirred together.

Whisk sugars into melted butter and chocolate, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Whisk in baking soda and salt. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Then add flour and stir until just combined. Allow batter to cool 5-10 minutes. Then add white chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Scoop cookies out using a 1 TBS ice cream scoop onto parchment paper and place in freezer for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350°F 

While oven is preheating remove cookies from freezer and place a few inches apart from each other onto a parchment lined baking sheet...they don't spread that much.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, at which point they will still definitely look under baked, but you should take them out if a fudgy-centered cookie is your goal...which it should be : ) 

*Milk, semi-sweet, dark or peanut butter chips also work well in this recipe.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teriyaki Bowls

When I got married my heart was so full and I didn't think I could be any happier...then I became a Mamma. : )  I love my little guy so much...I mean look at this face, how could you not love him? : )

Oh, did I mention I had a baby!  Life changing is an understatement.

In March we had a perfect little boy, weighing in at 5 pounds 4 ounces...he was a little early, but in the end it all worked out.  This is the reason posts have been so sparse!  Now that I am back to eating all foods again I have been cooking and trying new recipes again...so more recipes to come soon!

I was really worried about transitioning into being a stay at home mom, but so far it just feels so right...like I was born to do this! : )  I look at my 2 guys and am just so grateful to have them in my life!  I have decided that if  given the chance everyone should get married and have babies, it is a very good thing for your heart. : ) 

This is a new recipe I have made a few times in the last few weeks.  It is a great way to use up some random veggies you have lying around your fridge.  Feel free to be creative with the veggies and meat. My sister suggested cooking the rice in coconut milk instead of water, and yum...it was good!  Be creative with the grain too: rice, brown rice, quinoa, rice noodles, etc.  The first time I made the sauce I followed the recipe and used sugar, the second time I used honey instead...both turned out yummy dinners, so do what you prefer.

Teriyaki Rice Bowls

  • ½ cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar or 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey, ground chicken, or chicken breasts cut up into chunks
  • 2 cups finely chopped combo of any of these: broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, snap peas, mushrooms, red/yellow/orange peppers, bok choy, any veggie you like in stir frys
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 green onions, diced, for garnish, optional

Mix soy sauce, water, red wine vinegar, sugars or honey, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons warm water and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved.

Heat sauce over medium high heat. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and cook until soft.

Crumble ground turkey or chicken and garlic into the pan and cook until meat is about half cooked. Add carrots and chopped veggies and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink.

Pour teriyaki sauce over cooked turkey and vegetable mixture and stir. Simmer for about five minutes to combine the flavors.

Spoon meat over rice or noodles. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.