salted chocolate chunk cookies

This is my favorite non- oatmeal version of a chocolate chip cookie. The dark chocolate chunks with the flaky salt are the perfect combination (hello cup of coffee, will you join me?). As much as I love this go to recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which also happen to be my nephew Jai’s favorite, these are becoming a new favorite in our home- and stomachs:) The above mentioned recipe calls for raisins, but everyone around me prefers it with chocolate chips. I have also done this variation which was a success.

IMG_1682recipe courtesy: smitten kitchen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw; you can use more brown or white if you don’t have this, but the subtle crunch it adds is delightful)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (165 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon (or, technically, 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon) fine sea or table salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (225 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, cut into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife
Flaky sea salt, to finish

Method:

Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in salt fine sea or table salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed. The dough will look crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until golden on the outside but still very gooey and soft inside. Out of the oven, let rest on baking sheet out of the for 5 minutes before transferring a cooling rack.

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What is your all time favorite cookie?

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barkbox subscription

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We have been subscribed to the bark box for several months now for our little fur baby, but I have to say this month’s Lunar New Year theme is my favorite thus far. I love the bark box because it offers a variety of treats for Chutney, most of which are organic, grain free, along with a few toys and chews. The boxes are customizable by dog size, monthly plans which range from one month to one year, and all the edible goodies are wheat, corn and soy free. The best part for me though? Seeing the look on Chutney’s face as we are opening his bark box! It’s like Christmas but once a month:)  He knows exactly what his box looks like so he starts jumping for joy the second it arrives in the mail. He can hardly contain himself as we open up all the treats and toys. It’s hard to say which one he likes better, but I think he is overall a huge plush toy lover. He likes his treats too, but I don’t think he could be without his toys.

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This month’s bark box is adorable! It has the Lunar New Year theme, so one of the toys is a takeout container filled with three “dumplings”, each of which has a squeaker (one of which Chutney is seen playing with in the photo above). Also one of the treats is a takeout container called “chow chow mein” and had pumpkin flavored treats! Chutney loves pumpkin flavored anything.

 

I highly recommend this monthly subscription to any of us dog owners who understand who much great it feels to see our pups happy. The variety makes things exciting and new every month. Try a one time box to see if your dog likes it. Also, if there is something your dog isn’t so crazy about, you can exchange one item per box!

handmade Valentine’s Day cards

I got to do one of my favorite things recently, which is making cards for my friends and family. I love making cards and imagining the look on someone’s face when they open their card for the first time. I want them to know I was thinking of them and I think that’s really special.

I hope you all have a Valentine’s Day that is full of LOVE!!IMG_1863IMG_1864IMG_1873IMG_1876IMG_1877IMG_1882IMG_1883IMG_1890

chocolate chocolate chip peanut butter chip cookies

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I think I might have a small chocolate and peanut butter addiction. I can’t imagine two things that go together better… except maybe french fries and ketchup, or grilled cheese and tomato soup, or pizza and soda, or cake and coffee, or apple pie and vanilla ice cream, or a samosa and chutney…anyway this is the best cookie I think I have ever made- enough said.IMG_1900recipe courtesy pioneer woman 

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 sticks Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cups Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 cups Peanut Butter Chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping the sides once.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix in vanilla.  Sift together dry ingredients, then add in batches to the mixer, mixing until just combined after each addition. Gently blend in chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, add 1 tablespoon portions to baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are barely done but still soft and chewy. Let cool on a baking rack (yeh right).

IMG_1907IMG_1908What is your all time favorite cookie?

five good things.

1.apothecary jarsIMG_1713IMG_1861IMG_1806

I’ve recently been really into apothecary jars and like to store various things in them. I have two different sizes on our kitchen island and like to keep our baked goods in the larger one and post dinner “something sweet to eat” in the smaller one. Prior to this, I found that I was storing our baked goods in random tupperware or ziploc bags. Considering how much baking we do around our house, I figured it was time to display it in something pretty:) I also have an apothecary jar in the guest bathroom to display some of the many Lush bath goodies we use.  The two small ones I found at Target and the larger one is from Homegoods.

2.Clinique moisture surge facial spray-

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This facial spray has been a winter skin savior and I am so glad to have discovered the sample size with a recent purchase. The uses are endless- it can be used as a toner in your skincare routine, as a mist to set your makeup, a mid- day hydration boost, to lock in your moisturizer as the last step of your skincare routine (this is my favorite way to use this and I spray it on before going to bed). I also like to apply this instead of moisturizer in the mornings before going to the gym. I keep the travel size at my desk at work for a mid day pick me up. My office has no windows so my skin is constantly feeling dehydrated at work. You must try this product regardless of your skin type. LOVE it.

3.Chutney’s red “I love you” heart frog-

This frog was gifted to Chutney by his Naani (grandma) and he absolutely loves it. It’s on the larger side and is probably the biggest stuffed toy he has. That doesn’t stop him from lugging it around and playing with it non stop. Don’t ask what happened to the eye balls.

4.One pot meals- 

IMG_1774.JPG I love how this spaghetti is super easy to make and literally requires one step and one pot. The best part though is how great it tastes. I highly recommend one pot wonders. I added mushrooms instead of meat but you can add whatever you like.

5.Graze- 

explore-boxes

 

As you know I have been back on myfitnesss pal and these graze snacks have been really helpful for when I am craving a midday snack. I like to munch on one of these at work or when I come home and need a little something before dinner. You can choose what snacks you like by putting in your choices on the website. If you don’t like one, you can remove it from your list so it never gets sent to you again. If there’s one that you love, there’s a way to make sure it gets sent to you on a regular basis. Pretty cool huh? I wasn’t into the sweet ones until I discovered cookies n cream- oh my.

What’s good in your life? What have you been enjoying?

massive lush haul

I feel like I just did a Lush haul but recently found myself all out of bath bombs. I can honestly say that Lush bath bombs have taken by concept of a relaxing evening to  a new level. If you haven’t tried a Lush bath bomb yet- you need to! It will change your life. I am so thankful to have found them. I haven’t met a Lush bath bomb, or even a Lush product that I didn’t like. (Other than the shampoo and conditioner, which I did not feel was very effective for my hair.) Here is what I came home with today:

samples:  These are two products that I had been eyeing and wanted to sample before purchasing the full size.

Angels on Bare Skin- Face And Body Cleanser– I used it this evening and loved it so much that it may have to join my cleanser family. It is a clay based cleanser that is super gentle on the face and smells of lavender.

The Olive Branch Shower Gel– I haven’t tried this one yet but the olive oil seems promising for these cold winter months.

purchased:

You’ve Been Mangoed Luxury Bath Melt (2)02156

– We got two of these since neither of us could resist the scent.

Butterball Bath Bomb (4)-00012

This is a staple for me and I like adding one to each of the bath bombs I use. It is super hydrating and makes my skin feel like butter.

Twilight Bath Bomb03157

“peaceful lavender bathing under the stars” I haven’t tried this one yet but loved the smell.

Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds Bubble Bar04097

I also fell for the scent of this one but have not tried it yet.

Dragon’s Egg Bath Bomb

03154This one is subtle yet enjoyable.

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

05074I used this one tonight and loved it! The scent is so feminine, relaxing and lingers..

Yuzu and Cocoa Bubbleroon (2)04136

– We got two of these to go in combination with the mango bath melt, as recommended by the sales person. Together they smell like a tropical vacation.

Sex Bomb Bath Bomb (2)-

00157 This is a favorite and so two had to be purchased.

Frozen Bath Bomb

05991This is new to me but smelled great.

Big Blue Bath Bomb

00032I like the bits of seaweed in this one!

 

New Charity Pot Body Lotion:05236

This is an incredible hydrating lotion/ cream that smells so good! I love the fact that 100% of the proceeds go to various charities.

 

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner:

The star of this haul is definitely this beauty here. This body conditioner is amazing. It leaves the skin baby soft, supple and smells incredible. It isn’t something I would use every day but definitely a must for pamper nights.

 

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What are your favorite Lush products?

 

perfect blueberry muffins

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Thanks to this recipe I can now say that I know how to make the perfect blueberry muffins. The first time I made them was for my bridal shower and they were well liked. I don’t like a blueberry muffin that is too dense or sweet and these muffins are airy and light, allowing the natural sweetness of the blueberries to shine.

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Don’t let the batter fool you- it’s as thick as dough, but the muffins always come out pretty:) I like to scoop them out using an ice-cream scoop directly onto a greased muffin pan. I don’t think muffin liners are necessary for these beauties. As long as you grease each cup of the pan, they will come out easily.

recipe courtesy: smitten kitchen

Ingredients:

Makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh (it makes all the difference, trust me)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean . Let cool on rack before serving with pat of butter.

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breakfast apple granola crisp

This is a great make ahead breakfast option that you can have as much as (or as little of) as you want- just store it in the fridge and spoon some out whenever. It would be nice as a pre or post workout snack as well.

I was feeling a bit of breakfast rut and this has definitely made my mornings brighter:) A special thanks to my husband for making this for his groggy, not-a-morning-person wife. It has taken my breakfast game to a new level! Oh and did I mention it is absolutely delicious??

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recipe courtesy: smitten kitchen 

Ingredients:

3 pounds (or so) of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp.

I have been enjoying this with a hearty helping of greek yogurt.

a small mac haul

I found myself at a meeting downtown all day knowing that there was a Mac across the street… talk about torture!! Needless to say, I found myself inside the wonderful world of Mac as soon as we ended for the day. Love me some Mac!!!

Here are my Mondays- aren’t- so- bad- after- all- pick -me- ups:

 

 

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