Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Valentines Day!  I have never been one of those girls that really got into the commercialism of this holiday.  When I was in college, I would wear all black and boycott it.  Now that I'm married, I have a sweet hubby who brings me flowers but I still think it's crazy to expect your guy to spend a fortune on gifts to show his love.  Seriously, flowers die, candy rots your teeth and jewelry is just shiny rocks.  I'd much rather have my guy show his love in little ways everyday than by buying extravagant gifts once a year.  But that's just me.

My hubby loves my chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  They taste like a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie got married and had a baby.  Perfect for Valentines Day, right?


1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup self rising flour*
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

*If you don't have self rising flour, mix 1 cup all purpose flour with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the softened butter with sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla.  To "cream together" just means to mix with a mixer on medium-high speed until well blended and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and cinnamon.

Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined.  Don't over mix it.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop from a Tablespoon, 2 inches apart, onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  You want these slightly under done.  If you over bake them, they will get all dried out and that's not good.  Just slightly golden on the edges.

These are so good!  It's like a brownie and a cookie all rolled into one.  If that doesn't say love, I don't know what does?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Classic Pot Roast

It's been so busy here lately!  The renovations on the house, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, baseball practice, the list goes on and on.  Sometimes, when our worlds are at their craziest, we just need to slow down, sit down and enjoy.  This classic pot roast recipe is the perfect way to do that.  It slow cooks in the oven and you serve it from the same pot you cook it in.  Classic, rustic, unbelievably delicious!  Just what I needed.


2-3 lb chuck roast
1 onion, quartered
1 cup baby carrots
2 stalks celery, quartered
3 medium potatoes, quartered
2 sprigs of parlsey
1/2 cup beef broth (or water)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 packet brown gravy mix
2 TBS vegetable oil

Cut the onions, potatoes and celery into quarters.  You want big pieces because they will be cooking for a long time.  If they are too small, they'll over cook and turn to mush.

A tip to keep potatoes from turning brown:  Once cut, put them in a big bowl of cold water until you're ready to use them.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In an oven-proof pot with a lid (I love a cast iron pot for this), heat oil over medium-high heat.

Season the roast with salt and pepper.

Brown the roast on both sides:  Let the pot get very very hot!  Place the roast in and don't touch it for 2 minutes.  If you keep moving it around, it won't get that great crust on it.  After two minutes, flip it over and let it sit there (untouched) for 2-3 minutes.  It may take a little longer on the second side.

See that great brown crust.  That imparts flavor.

Remove the roast to a plate and set it aside.

Next, we deglaze the pot:  That just means getting the brown bits off the bottom.  While it's hot, pour in about 1/2 cup beef broth (or water) and scrape up the bits with a spoon.

Once you've deglazed the pot, pour in the tomatoes and brown gravy mix.  I zip them in a blender together because my guys don't like chunks of tomatoes but that's not necessary.  You could just stir them together then pour the mixture into the pot.

Return the roast to the pot.

Place all of the vegetables around and on top of the roast.  Place the parsley sprigs on top.

Put the lid on and place in the oven.

Bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 - 3 hours (for a 2 - 3 lb roast).  Bigger roasts will take longer.

Remove the parsley stems.

Look how delicious this looks:

Just push the vegetables to the side so the meat can be seen in the middle.  You can serve it straight from the pot.

The meat is so tender you can pull it apart with a fork!

This classic recipe is so easy but it's pretty impressive.  Your family will be wowed by a bubbling pot of tender beef and flavorful veggies!  Just add some crusty bread to soak up the gravy and you'll be in comfort food heaven.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Brownie in a Mug

Ever get a craving for something sweet and chocolatey but you're already in your PJs and don't feel like going out?  (It can't just be me?)  If so, this one's for you.  An easy brownie you make in a mug and cook in the microwave?!  Yes, that's right, only one mug to clean, nothing else.  Sound too good to be true?  Usually I would agree, but I've tried this (several times) and it works.  Not only that, it's delicious!  Here's how easy it is to make:


1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 TBS oil
3 TBS water

In a microwave-safe mug, mix flour, sugar, cocoa and salt.

Add oil and water.  Mix well with a fork (I have a tiny whisk.  It's so cute!).

Microwave times vary.  My microwave is pretty powerful and it took 1 minute 10 seconds.  If you have an older microwave or a less powerful one, it may take up to 1 minute 40 seconds.  Check it after 1 minute 10 seconds and if it's not done put it back in for another 10 seconds.  Keep doing that until it's done.  You'll know it's done when it's no longer liquidy on top.  But you don't want to over cook it.  Nothing worse than a dried out brownie.

You can top it with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream or just eat it as is.  If you want to make it a little more decadent, stir in a few chocolate chips before you cook it.

Look how moist it is on the inside.  Delicious!

This brownie is quick, easy and really hits the spot when you're craving chocolatey goodness!