Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cleo's Chocolate Chip Cookies

What? I'm updating this blog? It's been around nine months since I've done so... I guess pregnancy made cooking a little less fun for me. Even if no one else is reading this blog, I still use it for a repository of my recipes and frequent it often so it's good to have, even if it's rarely updated.

"Who is Cleo?" you might ask. To be honest, I really have no idea. This is not a recipe Bryan and I grew up eating. When I was in college my sister made these cookies from a cookbook of her husband's family recipes. I immediately fell in love with them and no chocolate chip recipe I have made since has ever compared. Well, I got a couple of sweet cookie scoops and a KitchenAid Splash Shield for my birthday and I had a hankering for my favorite type of cookie so I decided it was the perfect time to blog again. See below for full recipe. Here's what you'll need:

First things first, the recipe states to measure 3/4 C. oil and add a 1/4 C. of shortening. I usually just do this step altogether in my glass measuring cup to save a bowl. I just kind of use a fork and mix it together. It's gross and ugly but it works.

Mix the sugar into the brown sugar.

Mix the sugar and the oil together and cream until light.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until mixed.

Mix the baking soda, baking powder and salt into 2 C. flour. Add it to the wet mixture and beat until combined.

At this point, I switch out my whisk in the KitchenAid for the cookie paddle. If you're just using a bowl and a mixer, at this point I'd mix with a spoon instead, as it gets really thick. You're going to add the remaining 2 C. of flour and the 1 C. of oatmeal. I attach my splash shield now to keep flour from flying everywhere.

Lastly, add your chocolate chips (and any nuts or anything else you'd like in it) and beat one last time until all the chips are fully incorporated. The recipe calls for a package of chocolate chips but since I get the huge package from Costco I found that a package is about 2 C.

I forgot to take this picture before I put them in the oven, but spoon about a tablespoon worth of cookie dough onto your cookie sheet and keep them well spaced apart. 1 and a half to two inches, maybe? I just eyeball it. From the picture below you can see sometimes I still don't get them far enough apart but it's no big deal. These are cookies that aren't made for ornamentation.

I've learned not to count too much on cooking times when making this and that is the difference between really good cookies and not so great ones. They won't really look done when they are done, they'll still look puffed up like this. The recipe states to cook them at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes. It depends on your oven-- gas, electric, convection, make, year,  etc. These I cooked on convect bake (325 degrees rather than 350) for about 10 minutes. What you need to watch for is for the edges of the cookie to just start to become golden. You do not want these to brown too much or they won't be that good.

Okay, allow these babies to cool on their cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving them. I honestly like them even more when they've cooled off all the way. They are so soft and chewy and delicious for days and days later and they make so many! The amount pictured above plus maybe 8-10. I really ought to have counted the end result, sorry!


1/4 C. shortening
3/4 C. oil
1 1/2 C. white sugar
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 C. oatmeal
1 pkg. or 2 C. chocolate chips

  1. Measure 3/4 C. oil and add 1/4 C. shortening.
  2. Mix sugar into brown sugar.
  3. Beat the sugar and oil mixtures together and cream until light.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until mixed.
  5. Mix baking soda, baking powder and salt into 2 C. flour.
  6. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until combined.
  7. Add remaining 2 C. flour and 1 C. oatmeal-- mix with a spoon or cookie paddle at this point.
  8. Add chocolate chips and mix until fully incorporated. 
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes (or before-- just until the edges are golden-- do not overbake!)
  10. Take them out and let them cool 10 minutes before moving them.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Honeyed Chicken Teriyaki

Oh my gosh, I'm not really sure why I haven't put these nuggets of goodness up here before. This is a recipe my dad used to make for Sunday dinners and it ranked in my top two favorite meals growing up. I compare just about every chicken piece recipe to this and nothing ever compares, but what really can compare with something so ingrained in my memory as delicious? You'll notice the pictures have less ingredients than what I call for-- I just cut it down to be made for two. See below for the full recipe. Here's what you'll need:

 Cut your chicken into about two inch squares. 

Before you get frying, you'll want to mix the ginger, garlic, honey and soy sauce together in a saucepan and keep that going on low-medium heat.

For the batter I use your basic egg and flour combination. I like to use shallow dishes (pie or cake tins) to easily transfer pieces from one to another. In one dish, stir eggs with a fork and in the other combine the flour, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the eggs, letting the excess egg drip off before transferring to the flour and coating there. While you're doing this you'll want to be heating a skillet with oil about a half inch high on medium heat. To see if it's ready I usually sprinkle a little flour in and see if it sizzles.

Transfer the floured  chicken to the oil when it is ready, turning until golden. The chicken just needs to be golden and not cooked through, as we bake it later. Depending on how much chicken you're using, you will need to do this in batches.

When the chicken is golden, use tongs to pick it up and let the oil drip off before transferring to the heated sauce mixture. Usually I'll put a couple in at a time and then replace some flour chicken in the oil to keep the process going.

Once they are coated, place them on a greased cookie sheet to bake. Now, my dad always used a broiling pan for this recipe but I've never owned one. Truly, it would be easier but I make do just fine without one. I'll usually put down a sheet of aluminum foil first. You'll bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush with glaze half way through the cooking time.

I pretty much make a spinach salad every day out of sheer laziness but I usually serve this with rice and a vegetable. I'm weird and like to eat the rice and chicken apart but Bryan mixes them together and pours more sauce on it. I would possibly double the sauce because it's so good.


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
oil for frying
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. soy sauce
1/3 C. honey
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

  1. Cut your chicken into 2" squares.
  2. Beat eggs in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Dip chicken in eggs and then coat with seasoned flour.
  4. Pour 1/2" oil in a wide frying pan; place over medium-high heat.
  5. When hot, add chicken, half at a time. Cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes for small pieces and 6-8 for larger.
  6. Meanwhile, heat soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Lift chicken from oil and dip in honey mixture then place on broiling pan. 
  8. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes and brush with the glaze after 10 minutes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

REVIEW: Brownie Pudding

I'm obsessed with Pinterest. Is that a surprise to anyone, though? I have a lot of meals I like and will make fairly regularly but I try to throw in new recipes more frequently and where do I get them? None other than Pinterest. Now, a lot of the time what happens is that I see a picture of a new recipe and start drooling on the spot. I get all excited and make it and then... it's not that good. Or it's fine but not nearly as flavorful and mouth watering as I'd originally thought. Sometimes, I get kind of discouraged and assume that I'll be disappointed before I even make it. Sometimes when I do that I get the rug pulled out from beneath me in surprise of how delectable it is. This is one of those times. Brownie Pudding is so rich and smooth and the perfect flavor-- everything I hoped it would be. I will be making this many, many times throughout our future life-- of that I'm sure! Now one thing, it calls for seeds from a vanilla bean. I couldn't find one at my local grocery store so I used 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract and it worked out great. I also thought it would be more temperamental and difficult because you put it in a water bath but it could not have been easier to make! If you make this you'll become obsessed with it, too.


REVIEW: Baked Potato Soup

Have I really not reviewed this yet? This is seriously one of our very favorite recipes and, when the weather cools down, I jump at the chance to make it. I'm pretty sure half of the reviews on my blog come from Our Best Bites but what can I say? They make delicious food! Now, this recipe can take a while to make. They recommend grating your own cheese so that It melts better in the soup so none of that pre-shredded stuff. They also give you the long option of baking your potatoes or the fast one (microwave) so it can take longer depending on what you decide to do. You also will need to cook bacon beforehand. I had all of my stuff cooked, cut, shredded and mashed and ready to go right in the soup yesterday. I felt very efficient. Anyway, please make this. You won't regret it.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: The Best Ever Waffles

Today I woke up with a hankering for waffles. As far as breakfast foods go, I was never much of a pancake or waffle girl. I always preferred eggs in any form-- fried, scrambled, hard boiled, etc. I love eggs. In fact the only waffle I ate on a somewhat regular basis growing up were Eggos! Not that my dad didn't make us pancakes a lot-- he used to make them nearly every Sunday morning. I just liked what I liked, and that was eggs! Well, I've had to learn to be more flexible in what I eat since I've gotten married. Bryan is all about trying new foods and not just sticking with what you know you like. "How will you ever know if you like something if you don't try it?" he always says. So, early in our marriage one Saturday morning he asked me to make him waffles. Having no idea what makes a good waffle recipe, I searched 'best ever waffles.' Hint: Whenever I have no idea what constitutes a good recipe I search 'best ever ______' in bewilderment.

Best Ever Waffles

Well, this recipe has lived up to its name. I love that it has you beat the egg whites until they're stiff and fold that in. It brings a certain lightness to it. The recipe is really good on its own but sometimes I add this or that to it, usually vanilla and/or cinnamon. This morning I added both and some pumpkin pie spice, too! I even made them orange with food coloring. This is a recipe I never want to lose. I know my husband loves me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

I hope everyone had a happy Halloween! I can't believe it's almost time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas! Holidays seem to have a way of speeding time up, it seems. I found this recipe for Stuffed Peppers in a cookbook my mom had made me of her favorites. I made it last year on Halloween and then this year too and I'm thinking it might become our Halloween classic. I'm sure you'll see why.

Anyway, here's what you'll need. I forgot to include the tomato juice so I just popped it into the corner there.

First, slice your peppers. Then hollow out the seeds and membranes. I chose orange peppers but the recipe calls for green. Can you see where I'm going with this?

Voila! This isn't not an essential part of the recipe but if you're looking to make your meal a little festive, here you are. I got this idea from Pinterest.

This recipe makes six stuffed peppers but, as there's just us two, I make two at a time. You'll need to bring water to a boil (enough to cover how ever many peppers you're making) and then boil them for five minutes. In the mean time, brown your meat (and cook your rice if you haven't yet!).

When the meat is finished, drain it to get rid of the fat. Then return it to the skillet and add garlic powder, salt, tomato juice, and rice.

Mix it all up and bring it to a boil.

When your five minutes are up you're going to want to transfer the peppers to a baking dish. Once there, put a half a cup of the mixture in the peppers and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Once that's done, put a slice of tomato on each and sprinkle with salt. Return to the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.
Generally, you can throw out the tops when you first cut them off but I like them for that Jack-O-Lantern effect!


6 lg. green peppers
5 C. boiling water
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 C. cooked rice
1 C. tomato juice
6 thick tomato slices
  1. Cut thin slice from stem end of each pepper, remove all seeds and membranes.
  2. Cook peppers in boiling water 5 minutes; drain.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Cook and stir meat and onion in large skillet until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
  5. Stir in 1 tsp salt, the garlic powder, rice and tomato juice; heat to boiling.
  6. Lightly stuff each pepper with 1/2 C. meat mixture.
  7. Stand peppers upright in an ungreased baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.
  8.  Top each pepper with a tomato slice and sprinkle with salt. Bake uncovered 15 minutes.
The recipe includes that there are 225 calories so it's pretty healthy, which is something I am currently trying to be. As I typed the last word in that sentence I seriously heard the ice cream truck drive by. Must. Resist... :) Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

REVIEW: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Even the name of this recipe has my mouth watering. Oh my goodness, I made these last night and they were so delicious and so autumn appropriate! Really, you can eat them any time of year but I especially enjoy getting into autumn by making seasonal food. Anything with cloves and/or nutmeg in it is generally going to be heavenly, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins