A Rumble In My Tummy!


Cook daily, Laugh Often & Eat well!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

The day before my 30th birthday (December 14th) I was invited and attended a cookie Exchange. How fitting to attend a cookie exchange the day before your birthday ;) Three of the wives where my husband works ran the cookie exchange at one of their houses. It was a very fun and festive evening of eating lots and lots of delicious cookies!

 

I looked through cook books and the Internet and came across a recipe that fit me very well. Mint chocolate chip cookies. (A very easy to make Betty Crocker recipe) I have been told I make an awesome chocolate chip cookie baker so I decided to spice it up for the holidays and make mint chocolate chip cookies. (if you know me I love anything mint & mint chocolate chip ice cream is my favorite!) In order to attend the cookie exchange we needed to bring 3 dozen cookies with us. One batch of cookies made 36 cookies so I decided to make two batches red and green.


 

What you need to make Betty Crocker’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies….


  1. 1 Pouch (1 lb 1.5oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  2. 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract ——> In the green batch I used 1/4 tsp of mint and they were very minty and yummy. in the red batch I used a little less and they didn’t seem as minty but were still great.
  4. 6 to 8 drips of green or any color food coloring ——> I made 2 batches red and green but beware red food coloring comes out with a pink tint not red and the more food coloring you add the pinker it turns out.
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 cup of creme de menthe baking chips ——> I learned that these are just Andes mint candies chopped up. So you can always use those if you can not find the creme de menthe chips
  7. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks ——> I used semisweet chocolate chips

 

How to bake these delicious cookies….

  1. Heat the oven to 350F. in a large bowl stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food coloring and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in the creme de menthe baking chips and chocolate chip chunks. 
  2. Using small cookie scoop or a teaspoon drop dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  3. Bake the cookies 8-10 minutes or until they are set. Cool for 3 minutes or more (you want to make sure you do this. I had a few fall apart when I didn’t wait the 3 minutes in cooling). Remove from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack. Serve the cookies warm or cool completely. Store them tightly at room temperature. 

 

I would say if you like peppermint  and chocolate chip cookies these are the cookies you want to be baking.Everyone at the cookie exchange said they tasted very good and loved eating them. (Phew that made me feel good since it was my 1st time baking them!)

I recommend you try them not only for Christmas but try them though out the year. Change up the color. Don’t just use green try blue or orange for something different. Cookies are always enjoyed anytime of the year there is never an excuse needed in baking. Let me know how yours come out!

Beware: These cookies will go fast in the house :) My husband tried to steal a few. He didn’t get far because I caught him in action!!

 

"If cookies be the food of love…munch on" -Dame Judi Dench

 

-Katie

Tomato & cucumber salad

I had a craving for salad yet I didn’t have much lettuce so I decided to go for tomato salad!

What you need…

1 or 2 tomatoes sliced—>I had 2 heirloom ones from a farmers market that were pretty good.

1 Cucumber sliced—> Again that was from the farmers market.

Feta cheese cubes

Garlic (I use Mrs. Dash) & basil flakes

Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil dressing—>I used the parasean basil one.

How to make your salad…

Cut up the tomato and cucumber and add to a bowl.

Add feta cheese cubes, basil and Garlic flakes.

Mix it all together.

Dish out your salad and add your Kraft Extra Virgin Olive Oil dressing and enjoy!!

One thing that is good in this salad is black olives and/or red onion. If you like them. I didn’t have any to add so I left them out.

This is an easy and yummy salad to make. Perfect as a side dish or dinner on a hot summer night. Try it and see what the yumminess is all about :)

Sweet Summer Raspberry K-Cups

I cannot go a morning with out having a cup of coffee. I have tried tea in the AM but it is just not the same. I wasn’t satisfied. (Tea for me is more of an aftrnoon or night thing.) I bought new flavored k-cups for my keurig coffee maker last week along with my order on CoffeeWiz.com. Timothy’s Sweet Summer Raspberry. I was scared to actually place the order online because I thought to myself what if I buy a whole box of 24 and end up not liking it. I think I added and re added the box to my order about three times. No Joke! Well, I was wrong. This coffee was actually something I did enjoy drinking. 

Timothy’s Sweet Summer Raspberry is a great coffee to sit outside and sip on a hot summer day. Or in my case enjoy a cup on a hot 90 degree summer day in the AM while getting ready for work in the AC. If you aren’t a fan of raspberries or flavored coffee this is not for you. Sorry! The sweetness was similar to that of Wild Mountain Blueberry coffee (which I am a huge fan of!) The Aroma is wonderful in the kitchen as the k-cup is brewing in the Keurig machine.

Sweet Summer Raspberry is a smooth coffee with the sweetness of raspberry and no bitterness marring the flavor. I have noticed only a very few select flavored coffees leave a funny after taste which this doesn’t have. The first sip covered my tounge with a burst of raspberry flavor. I only add milk to my coffee no cream or sugar/sweetener. This coffee is sweet enough so it does not need the added sugar.

I was a little taken back at first thinking it was way to sweet, then I had a few more sips and got used to the flavor the more I enjoyed it. Balancing out the raspberry taste was a nutty, medium-dark roast coffee flavor. A 24 pack of this coffee was definetly a great choice for the summer season along with my favorite flavor of coconut. YUM!! (Anything flavored or sented with coconut is my weakness.)

I recommend anyone who loves flavored coffee to give this a try. Don’t shy away from it because you will only be missing out on something very wonderful. I would love to try it sometime by mixing a teaspoon of hot chocolate in the cup to make a yummy chocolate raspberry coffee treat. Go out and buy a box and see what the yumminess is all about this summer. 

"No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils. " ~Henry Ward Beecher

~Katie

A Healthy Lunch!

Happy Memorial Day everyone. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather as much as I am!! It is hot and i really didn’t know what to make for lunch today. I wasn’t in the mood for a sandwich since I pretty much eat that most days. Today i was in the mood for salad. I thought why not do a tuna salad on lettuce YUM. Nice and cool on a hot day!

What you need for your idividual salad….

  • 1 can of tuna —> I only have bought tuna in water never in oil. That doesn’t sound appetizing to me.
  • Lettuce —> I use romain leaves. Just enough to fill your plate.
  • 1/2 of a tomato sliced in chunks —> I would of prefered cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden but unfortunitly I don’t have a garden.
  • Dill pickle speers cut into chunks—> The combo of pickles and tuna mix very well together.
  • Light ranch dressing or any dressing of your choice.
  • Croutons (any flavor)

How to make your salad…

  1. Open the can of tuna, drain it and add a little mayo for flavor. I also added a little Mrs. dash and some basil flake leaves. (Yeah that was a trial and error thing I did and boy did it make the tuna so much better!)
  2. Cut up your tomoato and pickle chunks. 
  3. Break up your lettuce leaves and spread them on the plate as the bottom layer.
  4. Add your tomatoes and pickles next.
  5. Then, add the tuna on top. —> For some reason it never looks like alot of tuna from the can so i usually use it all on my salad. Feel free to use as much as you’d like on your salad.
  6. Finally top with croutons and light ranch dressing or dressing of your choice and enjoy!!!

This is a really yummy healthy salad. I have made it a few times even for dinner when I just do not feel like cooking or if it is 90 degrees as it is today. The flavors mix together very well. I do find it to be filling, which can be a good thing so your not snacking all afternoon. I had trouble finishing every last bite. Try it and see what you think. You’ll be suprised at how great it tastes and want to make it again and again!!

Happy Healthy Eating :)

~Katie 

Cook Dinner When You’re at Work

Tonight I decided to make an awesome meal in the slow cooker. Barbecue Pork in the Slow Cooker. The recipe came from my “Fix-It & Forget-It” cookbook. A great cookbook for slow cook recipes. 

What you need…

  • Bulkie rolls to serve the pork on
  • 2-3 lb of boneless pork roast cut into cubes. —> I bought my pork in strips so it was very easy to cut into cubes.
  • 2 onions —> My husband is not big on onions so we used one chopped up in the food processor for flavor.
  • 12 oz bottle of barbecue sauce —> I had a tough time finding a 12 oz bottle so I used 18 oz bottle of sweet baby rays (we love Rays sauce. We have bought other yummy flavors before and keep buying more since they are so good!)
  • 1/4 cup of honey —>Honey is not honey if it does not come in the little bear bottle..Yeah I am picky and will only eat that kind. (wait I am picky about mint chocolate chip ice cream too it needs to be green…Well save that for my ice cream making blog)

 

How to make Barbecued Pork….

  1. Place cubes of pork in the slow cooker. Add onions, barbecue sauce and honey then stir together.
  2. Cover the slow cooker and turn on Low 6-8 hours. (Yep go to work come back and voala dinner will be ready!)
  3. Use 2 forks to shred the meat for the sandwich when it is done. —> I had a hard time doing this in the slow cooker so I dished out what I needed on a plate and spilt it up that way. 
  4. Serve on Bulkie rolls and enjoy. —> We added cheese to the top of ours which was delicious. 

This was by far one of my favorite recipes to do in the slow cooker. I will be making this again. The flavors came together perfectly and the meat stayed very moist. (Some slow cooker meats we have cooked have dried out before) 2-3 lb of meat is alot for 2 people so we decided to freeze 1/2 of the meat and put some in the fridge so we can enjoy it for lunch or dinner over the weekend. 

I hope you will make this recipe and love it as much as my husband and I did. If you do decide to make this meal please send comments. I am always looking for feedback!

In the words of Emeril Lagasse“Pork fat rules!”

~Katie

A Yummy Snack

Ever go grocery shopping when your’e hungry? A bad idea! I did exacally that the other day. My husband and I decided to go to Wal-Mart last week for our groceries. Hey I like Wal-Mart because you can buy more then just groceires and it is only 3 minutes from my condo. (Yeah I will miss that when we move.) 

We walked down the chip isle to pick some chips as the last thing we needed. If you know me I have what people who crave sweets a “sweet tooth”, I call when I crave chips or anything salty a “salt tooth”. So my “salt tooth” was calling after we picked up Wal-Mart’s famous yummy UTZ chips. I wanted to try something different. None of those Stacey’s Pita Chips but something maybe a little healthier. I ended up picking up Rice Works Gourmet Brown Rice Chips. I thought I would give them a try. The worst that could happen is I don’t like them and never buy them again or I give the bag away to someone who liked them. I picked out the sea salt flavor. Yeah, my “salt tooth” is not picky on what kind of salt to eat.

When I got home I was curious to see what these triangle shaped chips looked and tasted like.  I decided to open the bag and try one or two. (I didn’t want to ruin my dinner) At first I admired the chip and noticed you can see the grains of rice right in the chip. I guess I knew they were healthy. I was a little nervous to try that first bite because I wasn’t sure what it was going to taste like but I braved the elements and jumped right in. It was a little dry at first, and I thought man these chips need some dip. (Which I did try cream cheese on one a few days later and that was yummy with them too.) Once you have a second chip your mouth gets used to the flavor and you actually want more. I liked how I could taste the grains of rice and the sea salt wasn’t too much. They almost taste like wheat multi grain chips yet the bag says no wheat in them. 

Ever since my first try with these chips, I think I definitely will be buying them again. Also, as I eat them I will know they are a healthier chip with the rice in them, no preservatives, fake flavoring, wheat or gluten. As you can read on the bag at the bottom “Thats what makes the crunch really, really, crunchy!”

Get out to the store and buy yourslf a bag and experience what the yummy taste is all about!

~Katie 

Breaded Turkey Cutlets

After a long week of work I was in the mood to cook dinner for my husband and he was sure about that!! I asked Chris to choose a meal he wanted me to cook and he decided on turkey cutlets and fresh zucchini. We paired it with some red table wine (SALMoN RUN-Coho Red-A yummy sweet Red we had at my sister’s on Easter)

I got this recipe off the internet from a great website Cooks.com. I changed around the recipe to make it my own. It is a recipe for breaded turkey cutlets. My mouth was watering as I pulled out the recipe from my collection.  

I thank Chris for helping me a little by cutting up the zucchini. He used my favorite paring knife that cuts wonderfully.

1 Package of Turkey Cutlets 

Italian Bread Crumbs <~~~ I added some basil flakes to the crumbs

1 Egg

Salt and Peper to taste <~~~ I tend to NEVER add salt to a recipe because you can always add it after if need be. Actually, I  didn’t add pepper eithor and the turkey still had lots of flavor coming from the crumbs.

Olive Oil

~ Beat one egg. Dip the cutlets in the egg then into the bread crumb/basil mix. Place the cutlets in the pan. Heat olive oil in the skillet. 

I start out on high until they begin browning on one side, then quickly bring the temp to medium/low. Brown the breaded turkey pieces in oil on each side. (This gives them a tasty coating which almost makes them tasted fried.) Serve and enjoy!

I will admit, my first food recipe to post and I made an oops! I am not good at multi tasking. While I was watching the zuchinni on the stove making sure it would not over flow when boiling, I forgot the turkey cutlets were on high. I crisped up one side a little more then I wanted.  Hey guess we all learn from our mistakes! The more I cook the better at multi tasking I will be. 

This meal came out awesome and that bottle of wine was very tasty. The Basil mixed in with the italian bread crumbs was a nice flavor not to over powering. My husband and I enjoyed dinner a lot tonight. I guess it is always good to know if he loves a meal or not since he told me I can make the turkey cutlets again. This is definetaly a meal I will cook again! Turkey cutlets are quick and easy yet soo yummy!

Let me know if you decide to make turkey cutlets and how they came out. I am always up for any suggustions or comments on how you enjoyed a recipe.

Happy Eating :)

~Katie

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Ever get a craving for a good fast food burger and yummy greasy fries? Well all day today I was craving a burger. It must of been the warm weather we were experiencing in April today. Plus, the fact Chris and i live in a condo on the 3rd floor and can not have a grill. (George Forman is not the same)

I got home from work and asked Chris what he wanted for dinner. The same thing I hear almost every night (when we don’t plan our meals came out of his mouth. “I dunno…You have any ideas?” I blurted out…”Yeah I am kind of craving a burger. Must be the weather” So Chris suggusted we go to Five Guys on South Willow St. in Manchester, NH

Want a good fast food burger and fries this is the place to go. There choices are a regular burger or little burger. If you have a peanut allergy this is probably not the place for you to dine. As you walk in the restaurant they have bags of peanuts and little serving dishes for you to bring to your table and enjoy before your meal. I am not a big peanut fan, so I didn’t get any. Why would someone want to eat a dish of peanuts before their big meal anyways?

Hungry for one patty go with the little. One other time we had gone when it 1st opened we made the mistake ordering a regular and it was huge and has 2 patties on it. I ordered a little bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato as Chris ordered a little bacon cheeseburger with lettuce. Any of their toppings are free. We also ordered their yummy fries which are hand cut and much better then most fast food restaurants. yummy and salty, not soggy or cold.

The service is friendly and fast. The burgers are all cooked in the back as an assembly line. (You can watch then prepair the food while waiting for your meal) All burgers come well done yet they aren’t too dry. The fresh cut fries come out in a big cup and everyones meals are served in a brown bag. After they place your cup of fries in the bag, they dump in more fries. Who doesn’t love fries with their meal. A good bang for your buck!

The restaurant set up is nice. Fast food restaurant style. There is plenty of seating and even a few high top bar style tables which I enjoy sitting at. There is signs, awards and news articles on each side of the walls. Nothing to fancy but enough to catch a customers eye.

Our meal was delicious we devoured everything! 3 hours later I am still sitting like a lump on my couch full from one yummy dinner. I was very satisfied and happy that I for filled my burger craving for quite some time. We will definitely go back to clog our arteries and eat our share of calories! If you haven’t checked out one of their restaurants I recommend you do and experience the Five Guys Burger and Fries that everyone is talking about.

~Katie

Tagged: burgers

A Step into my Future

~ “Each American eats an average of 51 pounds of chocolate per year”

~ “Whenever a recipe for cake or muffins calls for oil, applesauce can be substituted.”

~ “If you could eat one vegetable for the rest of your life, eat spinach; it’s one of the highest ranking vegetables as far as overall antioxidant capacity, yet so versatile in recipes.”

I have always loved food. Wait that should say who doesn’t love food…Right?!?!  Once I started living on my own in college (in a nice apt with a great friend/roommate), I have received cookbooks every Christmas from my parents. They just knew if I was going to be living on my own I needed to know how to cook and not order out or eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the rest of my life. 

My 1st cookbook was from my dad in 2003. My dad is a great cook so he bought me one of the best cookbooks there is out there and one I feel every house should have. Joy Of Cooking!! When I opened that gift I remember having a big smile on my face and sat on the couch in aww flipping each page drooling over what I was going to try cooking 1st. I think even I yelled out something along the lines of “Yesss I can now learn how to cook and hopefully cook something good!”

Ever since I have been enjoying cooking and baking for family and friends and my husband. When I graduated college in 2004, I moved in with Chris. We both were a little clueless about cooking and decided if we are going to be together for a long time, get married, and one have a family, then we needed to learn. (or as Chris would say I needed to learn how to cook) Chris is one picky eater who would eat the same few food choices over and over and I just couldn’t live off the same meals week after week. I was getting bored quick. Me on the other hand, I will eat or try anything that is put in front of me!

As the years passed on, I began getting more and more cookbooks. Pizza cookbooks, dessert cookbooks, crockpot cookbooks, easy one dish cookbooks, heart healthy cookbooks and foodnetwork cookbooks. My collection has grown tremendously. I plan on sharing with you some of my favorite recipes from these wonderful cookbooks as well as trying out new ones. (Yes my husband has come out of his “picky eater” shell and he has been a great taste tester for the recipes as well.) Even if a recipe fails I will share that as well because we all know nothing is ever perfect.

One last thing, on the weekends after a long tiring week at work, my husband and I love to get out and relax together and let someone else do the cooking. We love to go out to different retaurants around our hometown for lunch or dinner. So I plan on sharing reviews as a reminder of the places I’ve eaten at, the restaurants I want to try, and the meals I’ve loved…or hated. 

Have fun reading and if you try any of my recipes I post, or visit a restaurant please feel free to share your likes, dislikes and any input you may have.

Happy Eating :)

~Katie

Tagged: food