Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies


In an attempt to woo my way into the hearts of my son’s preschool teachers, I have been baking batches of the following chocolate chip cookie recipe:

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt (I like ’em salty, but if you don’t like salty as much add only 1/2tsp)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine shortening and both sugars. Mix with electric mixer on “low” just until blended. Add eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well on medium/low speed. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes (or until golden brown).

Tip: Do NOT leave these lying around the house. I cannot resist them which is why I promptly give them away.

Here’s to making my friends and neighbors fat one chocolate chip cookie at a time!

Happy Monday!

{Image via Naive Cook Cooks}

Labor Day Picnic


What are you doing this Labor Day Weekend? Me and the fam and some friends are going to Red Top Mountain for a picnic and a hike. We’re auditioning the location for a family camping trip sometime later this Fall. Have you taken your little ones camping? Let me rephrase…. would you ever take your little ones camping… again?

PS I am thinking about making these coconut macaroons

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

{Image via BHG}

Death Wish Coffee


Oh, what I wouldn’t give today for a cup of Death Wish Coffee. The name might sound like caffeinated poison, but DWC claims to pack twice the caffeine than your average cup of joe. I was up late last night working on a deadline, but the kids didn’t get the memo to sleep in this morning. Hence, the need for Death Wish.

How much coffee do you drink in a day?

{Image via The Dropp}

Gluten-Free Energy Balls

GF energy balls

Gluten-Free Energy Balls

1 cup of gluten free oats
1 cup of toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup of ground flax seed
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/3 cup of honey

Mix until all of the ingredients are blended well. Refrigerate batter for at least a 1/2 hour. Scoop the batter into balls.
1 ball= 97 calories

Oh, these are definitely going in the lunch boxes.

{Image via Honest to Nod}

A Taste of Summer

homemade ice cream

Happy Independence Day! We are about to enjoy grilled steaks, potato salad, and homemade ice cream. Confession: I have never had homemade ice cream, but the 4th of July seems like the perfect occasion to experience a sweet taste of summer!

Let freedom ring!

PS. the ultimate guide to homemade ice cream

Cow to Cone


Temperatures are on the rise, and I can’t help but fantasize about large quantities of ice cream. I listened to an inspiring interview last night with small business owners Jess Eddy and Crista Freeman of Phin & Phebes Ice Cream in Brooklyn, NY. Lucky for us, these ladies treat ice cream making as an art form. Did you know there is such a place as an Ice Cream University? I immediately picture Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory… only colder. I looked it up this morning and sure enough, Penn State offers a week long intensive course on the science and technology of ice cream production– everything from flavoring to freezing to manufacturing. If I had known I could have majored in Rocky Road, I may have chosen an alternative college career path. As it is, it has taken every ounce of will power in me not to serve up two scoops for breakfast during the making of this blog post.

And so, to further my knowledge on the subject, I may need to do a little more “research” today. Anyone want to join me later at Cold Stone for a crash course in Ice Cream Appreciation?

{Image via Phin & Phebes}

Calorie Counters Beware: {Homemade Granola Recipe}


I  don’t know what’s worse– the days leading up to vacation or the days immediately following. I can feel my pace slowing already as our departure approaches. Between sleeping later, folding less, and using my favorite new phrase “Go. Play.“, I find myself in a sort of vacation dress rehearsal {sans the stage makeup… or any makeup for that matter. My cosmetic bag sees more action from my two-year-old than from me these days.}

There’s a reason this is not a video blog.

On top of which all I can think about is food. So, it is with all of the motivation I can possibly heave-ho that I bring you this homemade granola recipe. I am narrowing down the finalists for the Beasley Family Beach Vacation Menu. When I mentioned packing some homemade granola, I thought Clark was going to suggest we hitch a trailer-full to the back of the van in the unlikely event that famine breaks out across Hilton Head Island. He looovves this recipe. And so, from my kitchen to yours, I bring you:

{Dairy-free} Homemade Granola:

4 cups of slow-cooking oats

Handfuls of:
almonds {whole or sliced}
coconut flakes
dried fruit– dates, cranberries, raisins, whatever you fancy
chopped pecans

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, nuts, and dried fruit together in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil and mix together with honey. Pour oil and honey on dry ingredients and stir. Spread on cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Stir and bake an additional 5 minutes.

{Image via Let’s Live La Vida}

Strawberry Kale Vanilla Smoothie


Every once in a while, when all of the stars are aligned and all of the brain chemicals are flowing in a positive direction, I invent something truly brilliant in the kitchen.

This is one of those times.

Strawberry Kale Vanilla Smoothie
1 Cup of sweetened vanilla almond milk

1 banana

1 Cup frozen strawberries {or you can get crazy and throw in some mixed berries}

1 handful of frozen kale

1 tsp clover honey

{1 serving = 285 calories and one heck of a sweet way to get some raw greens into your diet}

Blend and enjoy my gift to you this beautiful Friday morning!

{Image via Todd Huffman for Women’s Health Magazine}

Free To Eat Cake

Memorial day dessert

In keeping with the spirit of celebration of our freedom, Mia and I will be eating our Strawberries and Cream Chocolate Cake before our Paleo Lemon Pepper Chicken.

Happiest Memorial Day, Everyone!

DIY Sushi


My memories of Korea this week have me craving sushi. Have you ever made your own? The idea of making my own sushi has always made me a little nervous. I’m afraid I won’t prepare it properly and therefore make everyone sick. But at $9 a roll, this is one DIY worth mastering, don’t you think?

Are you a fan of the raw fish dish?

P.S. A sushi-making tutorial and a sushi shower curtain

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