Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Being sick is not fun. Being sick at the same time as your boyfriend? Sooooo not fun. Double not fun. It sucks!

But not because you will both be sneezing and coughing everywhere and not because you will be going through tissues like mad – it’s because you won’t get spoiled. You won’t get soup made for you and you wont get little teaspoons of cough syrup put into your mouth. You’ll have to do it yourself. You’ll have to put off being a complete baby for another sick-time.

Now don’t get me wrong. Tea is made for me every day! But if you’re a woman reading this post then I don’t have to tell you that the man in the relationship is always the bigger baby when he is sick. It’s a fact.

So, with this darn cold I’ve been trying to take care of my boy. Make sure he has Buckley’s, Puffs tissues, Vicks vapo rub…and cookies. No matter how sick this boy is he will not turn down cookies. His throat isn’t sore enough for those. But hey!
Neither is mine!

To begin, beat the sugar and butter together until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

It’ll look like this:

Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.

Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans last.

Form into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups uncooked oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Beat the sugar and butter together until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until blended.

Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture slowly beating on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans last.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. I like mine chewy and cook them for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Butterscotch Apple Blondies

It snowed for the first time this season yesterday. It wasn’t too bad. Instead of crumpling my face into Mr. Wrinkles and complaining, I decided to bundle up and enjoy the beauty of the winter wonderland around me.

And it WAS beautiful. It wasn’t too cold and the snow was perfect for packing and making a snowman – although I didn’t get to. Biting my mittens off made me want to go skiing so. freaking. bad.

With the colder season I’ve been baking a lot with apples. After the fall harvest my boyfriend and I were left with over 50 apples to bake and cook with. FIFTY! Luckily, I was in the mood to try new things and ended up coming up with a variety of recipes ranging from apple butter to cookies to these blondies. I brought these blondies into school and they were devoured in a matter of minutes. I hope you enjoy them!

To begin, preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking or baking spray. Then, cream butter and brown sugar in mixer until smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.

On low, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mixing until just combined.

Stir in the chopped apples and butterscotch chips until evenly distributed.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until the center is set.

Let cool completely before slicing or frosting.

It’s hard, I know…

Now, onto the buttery crazy-delicious icing. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.

Add brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk.

Let cool until it thickens enough to spread.

Stir before spreading on top of blondies and then pour that deliciousness on top.

Let frosting set for 30 minutes and then cut into bars.

Dig in! Awww, yeah.

Butterscotch Apple Blondies
Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Blondies
Ingredients:
2/3 cup room temperature butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup peeled, chopped tart apple (about 1 large)
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with cooking or baking spray.

Cream butter and brown sugar in mixer until smooth.

Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until combined.

On low, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mixing until just combined.

Stir in the chopped apples and butterscotch chips until evenly distributed.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes until the center is set.

Let cool completely before slicing or frosting.

Brown Sugar Frosting
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Stir in powdered sugar with a whisk.

Let cool until it thickens enough to spread.

Stir before spreading on top of blondies.

Let frosting set for 30 minutes and then cut into bars.

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

The leaves are falling here in Ottawa. Dropping from the trees and reminding us all that winter is on it’s way. I’m ok with that – I like winter. I enjoy winter running, tubing, sliding, skating and skiing like many 13 year olds people that live in this fine capitol, but the thing I miss most in winter is colour.

Spring brings new blossoms. Summer radiates with tulips and summer gardens. And fall brings the changing leaves. Winter brings…white…and a whole lot of it! I thought it would be fun to make a beetroot salad that popped with some colour. I wanted it to be warm to make me feel cozy, and have a nice taste to make the whole thing come together.

I found this recipe in the Canadian Living magazine I subscribe to. I got it as a gift from my boyfriend’s mom, and it has really been useful for finding tasty, seasonal, recipes. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did!

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins.

Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

Place baby greens and onions in a large bowl.

Toss in fresh parsley, dill and chives.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.

Add the sauce to greens. Add beets. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad
Taken from Canadian Living Magazine
Makes 4 servings
Per Serving: 184 calories | 15g total fat | 3g fibre | 5g protein

Ingredients:
6 baby beets, trimmed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Pinch each of salt and pepper
6 cups loosely packed baby greens
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, dill and chives
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins. Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, parsley, dill, chives and beets.

Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Baked Chickpea Garlic Rice Pilaf

For the past week I’ve been having trouble knowing what to do with myself. Towards the end of October a pain developed in my left hip and it ended up being bad enough that I decided to take this week off from running in hopes it would get better. I thought is was an overuse injury – I’ve had this before in my foot, but it’s been a week today and I can still feel the pain anytime I have to run for the bus, or when I have to do things like “skaters” in my workout routine. I can still do strength workouts, yoga, and pretty much anything that’s not cardio….but none of it’s running. And running is a major thing in my life that makes me happy.

I’ve been running since high school, but I started running regularly when I was 19 and have pretty much been hitting the pavement 5-6 days a week since. It clears my mind, it hipes up my endorphins, it makes me feel strong. For those of you who do run, you know what I mean, but for those who don’t, trust me, it’s addicting. Not being able to do this simple 40 – 120 minute thing every day has really thrown me off. I feel lost. Yoga helps a bit. Long walks help a bit. But I still feel…weird.

I wish I could say something uplifting now. Tell you how I’ve gotten over it or tell you that I’m feeling better because of this awesome rice dish. But I think I just need time. Or advice. And I need to write these thoughts down because this is pretty much all I think about right now! I chose to share this particular rice dish because it is a favorite thing of mine. Like running, or chocolate chip cookies, or Nanny’s house. It’s something I’ve been making for a long time. It’s garlic-y, warm, and has a perfect blend of flavours that cook right into the rice. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and let cook for about 1 minute.

Add rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth or veggie stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.

About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Eat up!

Baked Chickpea Garlic Rice Pilaf
Makes 3 main dish meals and 5 side dish meals
Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth (or veggie broth), divided
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
½ tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Have ready a covered casserole dish.

In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the chicken/veggie broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1½ cups chicken/veggie broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.

About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Note: This recipe can be doubled without increasing the baking time. I double this recipe almost every time I make it and it turns out just as yummy!

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies.

Look what I did.

I stuffed chocolate fudge cookies together with a peanut buttery cookie filling. I did this, fell in love, and died a happy woman. Kidding! Obviously. But these are seriously delicious.

These cookies are ooey-gooey, resemble a brownie and are stuffed with peanut butter. Hello, beautiful. Thank goodness my sister was here to help me make these, or I would have eaten all the batter!

To make the peanut butter filling, begin by placing peanut butter and sugar into a medium bowl, mix to combine.

Then add egg, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

For chocolate cookie, beat butter and sugars until well combined with an electric mixer (or stand mixer).

Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.

Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add to wet ingredients along with cocoa powder, and chocolate chips.

Slowly mix ingredients until just combined.

With a small cookie scoop, scoop peanut butter cookie dough into your hand.

With a medium cookie scoop, scoop chocolate dough on top and on bottom of peanut butter dough.

With hands, press chocolate dough around peanut butter dough, forming into a cookie shape.

Place onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely. Life is hard.

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Cookies
Makes 2 dozen GIANT cookies and 3 dozen regular sized cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from Picky Palate

Ingredients
Peanut Butter Cookie Centers:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

Chocolate Fudge Cookie:
2 sticks softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, I used semi-sweet
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
2. For peanut butter filling, place peanut butter and sugar into a medium bowl, mix to combine then add egg, mixing until well combined. Set aside.
3. For chocolate cookie, beat butter and sugars until well combined in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.
4. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add to wet ingredients along with cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, slowly mixing until just combined.
5. With a small cookie scoop, scoop peanut butter cookie dough into your hand. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop chocolate dough on top and on bottom of peanut butter dough. With hands, press chocolate dough around peanut butter dough, forming into a cookie shape.
6. Place onto prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until cooked through.
7. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve with milk.

Roasted Beet Hummus

This stuff is pretty.

Colourful, bright red, hummus that taste’s so good you can’t stop eating it. Trust me. This happened. But luckily, this stuff is jammed back with goodness, you won’t feel gross. Beets are filled with Iron, Fiber, and Vitamins A and C. See? Goodness in your belly.

To begin, stick whole beets in your oven at 375 F and roast for about an hour until a knife inserts easily.

Once beets are cooled a bit. Peel them, chop them, and throw them in your food processor along with lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and some salt. Blend until smooth.

Then eat this stuff like a mad woman! I ate it with tortilla chips, but it also goes nicely with baby carrots, celery, or chopped bell peppers.

Beet Hummus
Makes about 2 cups
Recipe taken from not without salt

Ingredients:
3 medium beets, cleaned, roasted, peeled then cut into chunks
2 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Directions:
To roast beets, stick whole beets in your oven at 375 F and roast for about an hour until a knife inserts easily.

Let beets cool, and then peel them and chop them into cubes.

Process all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Tasted and adjust seasoning. Serve with a hefty drizzle of olive oil.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I really like a good peanut butter cookie. You know? The ones we used to have as kids? I like them chewy and soft at the same time, and I don’t like them too thick. I like them like this actually:

Forgive my swooning, but peanut butter cookies are too good. I got this recipe from Joy the Baker. I wanted to be able to make a quick cookie without having to sacrifice flavour or chewyness or meltidy-ness..huh??…let’s move on.

All you need for these cookies is peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, and baking soda. Cool, eh? To begin, try to put your peanut butter in your measuring cup without having a little lick…just try.

Once you’ve measured out your peanut butter, combine it with the sugars until well combined.

Add egg and baking soda and mix.

Roll into walnut sized balls and push with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (if you have enough restraint…I don’t).

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe from Joy the Baker
Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside.
2. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes.
3. Roll into walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad

My belly aches. With yesterday’s and today’s candy consumption my body is beginning to think Reese’s peanut butter cups are a food group. So, with my rumbling belly telling me to cut the sugar I decided to make a quick and healthy Moroccan dish with whole wheat couscous, toasted almonds and pistachios and citrus flavour. Not the salad I’m posting here, but close in terms of the nutritional benefits.

This salad is chalk full of good stuff. It has protein from the quinoa, healthy fat from the avocado, olive oil and tahini, and vitamins A, C, and K from the fresh, crunchy, red peppers. I made this salad in September when I was home alone for a month and needed something healthy to make in a big batch. Do you ever do that? Make a dish that lasts you 5 days? The first day is AWESOME and then by day 5 you never want to see that particular meal again. ’tis life. To begin, cook up your quinoa.

Chop your red pepper and onion.

Add chopped avocado.

Mix up your dressing ingredients – tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water and salt. Oh, and make sure to take a really blurry, bad photo of it!…haha.

Mix your quinoa, dressing, and chopped red pepper, avocado and red onion together. If you like cilantro you would add it in here. I don’t like it so I left it out. Enjoy! And, Happy November!

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad
Recipe adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 red pepper, diced
2 avocados, diced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Tahini Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from two big lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt.

Toss the cooked quinoa, pepper, avocado, red onion, cilantro and half of the dressing. Add more dressing if you like and season with more salt to taste. Serve garnished with a bit of cilantro.