Chocolate Chip Cookies {& an arm workout}

how does this blog not have a chocolate chip cookie recipe already? i mean, shouldn’t that be the first post? so here you go, finally, i present to you, a chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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but, this is not an ordinary recipe.  the ingredients that go into it will create the chewiest, most delicious chocolate chip cookie that you have ever tasted. & not only are they incredibly scrumptious, but they are simple to make, & better yet, foolproof.  yes.   f o o l  proof.

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how do i know? {because i’m a fool} the first time i made them, i accidentally added 1 tsp of baking powder, instead of the baking soda that the recipe calls for.  i made a mad attempt to try scooping the baking powder out of the flour i dumped it into…i think i ended up taking out more flour than the actual baking powder {oops}. and then i added the 1 tsp of baking soda in…so who knows what really ended up in there. annnnd even still, the cookies came out flawless.  {they only lasted 2 days in our house. . .yeah,  the recipe yields about 42 cookies}

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oh, and the second time i made them, my brown sugar got a little too much air {dried out} and would not pack down in my measuring cup… so instead of packing down the sugar, like a good baker knows to do, i just filled the cup too full & dumped it on in.  voila, cookies still came out beautifully. see?  foolproof.

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i want to call them “chocolate chip cookie buttons” because they are cute as a button.  these are not the cookies that you put in the oven and a minute later they get super thin & spread out & run into each other, nope, these little guys puff up and come out looking all adorable & petite, like buttons. and that’s especially great for those of us baking at elevation…it’s not easy to make pretty looking baked goods in the mile-high city!

::how cute!  & yep, that's an Idaho quarter::

::how cute! & yep, that’s an Idaho quarter::

lastly, totally unrelated to cookies– check-out the beautiful flowers that matt got me this week {tulips are my favorite!} just had to share because i think they are so gorgeous. {& yes, i know that i am the luckiest girl in the world ♥}

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now, where’s that arm workout? read below, it’s part of the recipe! {& really only for those of us who are lucky enough to not own a fancy shmancy kitchen aid mixer with a paddle attachment…}

Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe slightly adapted from: Apple A Day

ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached white flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .75 cup butter at room temperature {1.5 sticks}
  • .75 cup brown sugar {packed}
  • .25 cup coconut sugar {regular granulated sugar can be subbed here}
  • 1 egg {large}
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • .75-1 cup milk-chocolate chips

directions

Preheat oven to 350°

Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt into a small bowl, set aside.

Arm Workout Warm-up: In large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, and coconut sugar.  {Those of you with a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment can use that here, but you’ll miss out on the arm workout!}

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::the beginning of creaming the butter & sugar::

Blend in egg and vanilla.

The Arm Workout: Add flour mix to large bowl in three parts.  It will feel pretty dry, and at times, impossible to mix, but I promise you that they will turnout!

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Scoop cookie dough with a spoon and roll into balls. Place cookie dough balls onto baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Bake in a 350° oven for 8-10 minutes. {time may vary depending on your oven}

note: the tops may not brown but you will see the edges turn golden.

Remove from oven, let cool.  See how long you can go from devouring the entire batch {our record is 2 days} … enjoy!

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any comments, suggestions, or questions can be directed to Rachel at: nomushroomshere@gmail.com
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race update {no recipe}

well i ran the half-marathon that i was telling you about in my energy bar post —

and though i didn’t run it quite as fast as i was hoping, i still PR’d.  i’ll attribute that to my super amazing energy bars.  … Just kidding, i didn’t eat one the day of my race {because they were all gone by then}. but they were great during my training runs!

::crossing the finish line::

::crossing the finish line::

a big thanks to matt {my guy} – he was a trooper & played camera-man.  so awesome because he just mysteriously appeared at almost every mile, camera-ready, cheering us on. seriously, what a guy.

::blowing a kiss to matt::

::start of the race – blowing a kiss to matt::

so just a note to let you know that i’m still here…still running…still baking/cooking.  the entire month of april was crazy for me -hence the lack of posts- but i have a good one coming soon . . .

c o o k i e s {chocolate chip}.

stay tuned! :)

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Running {energy} Bars

i’ll be running a half marathon on april 7 {eeek! that’s soon} with one of my good friends, Courtney — she’s my race-running buddy :)

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and even though it’s my 6th or 7th half {yeah, i lost count…}, i am still learning new ways to train and fuel my body to prepare for a successful race.

one thing i struggle with is a good pre-run meal.

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last weekend, i went to a few stores nearby to check out their “energy” bar selection.  there were a few that looked great, but then i looked at the ingredients.    meh.

and then there were some that were all natural/had organic ingredients, but then i looked at the price tag.  geeeeez.

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so i decided it was time to make my own homemade Running Bars.  i love it because you can control the taste – like your bars to be sweeter? add a bit more honey.  like a nuttier taste? add a dab more almond butter. you can’t go wrong doing it yourself!

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the perfect pre-run {or pre-walk/jog/workout/climbing/yoga/etc.} bar!

Running Bars

recipe adapted from: No Meat Athlete’s “Ultimate Energy Bar Formula

**No Meat Athlete’s website is awesome. take a minute to check it out — he provides a formula {not a recipe} for making delicious energy bars. This recipe below is one that I created from the formula, with a few tweaks to the ingredient amounts.

ingredients

  • 15oz Great Northern Beans
  • .5 cup almond butter
  • .25 cup raw honey
  • 1 small banana
  • .25 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • .25 tsp sea salt
  • 1 .79oz packet Garden of Life Raw Protein in Vanilla {or 1 serving of your favorite protein powder}
  • .75 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • .5 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

directions

Preheat oven to 350°  –  Grease a 13×9 glass baking dish with a dash of oil.

Using a food processor, pulse beans, almond butter, honey, banana, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt until smooth.

Add protein powder, flour, oats, and coconut and pulse again until combined.

Spread mixture into pan.  Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

…Enjoy!!

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Lemon Bars

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during my 3-month-haitus from the blog… matt and i went to mexico! it was my first warm-weather-tropical trip, ever.

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we had the time of our lives: 6 days of  f u n.  no itinerary, no work, no cell phones… just unplugged & relaxed. {heaven}

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oh, and don’t forget the bottomless cervezas and piña coladas that we enjoyed while lounging on the beach.  tough life.

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anyway, being back in denver isn’t awful. but there was a big snowstorm to welcome us home… it made me miss the warm beach, a lot. so what better dessert to make than refreshingly tart & summery lemon bars?

lemons in the snow!

lemons in the snow!

we kept busy during the sunday snowstorm; as you can see from the picture above, i lined up lemons in the snow and took pictures of them… while matt used the lemons to practice his juggling…

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yep, lemons are good for more than just lemonade.  they keep us entertained and they make lemon bars.  and lemon bars make our tastebuds happy :)

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these tart, lemony bars can help the winter blues… just bake ’em, let them cool, open the oven door, put a chair next to it, sit back, and enjoy your lemon bars by the warmth of your oven…i guess a fireplace works too {we don’t have one of those}

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*to bring back a little taste of mexico, i dusted some bars with shredded coconut {unsweetened!} and i was not disappointed.  i will now be concocting the perfect Coconut Lemon Bar recipe… stay tuned {coming Summer of 2013 ;) ha!} but until then… enjoy this recipe!!

Lemon Bars

recipe slightly adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

ingredients 

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for the crust:

  • .5lb unsalted butter, at room temp
  • .5 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

for the filling:

  • 5 large eggs at room temp
  • 1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice {about 4-5 lemons}
  • 2/3 cup flour

+ confectioners sugar, for dusting

directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

For the crust:   cream the butter and sugar until light.  Combine the flour and salt.  Add flour to the butter until just mixed.  Gather dough into a ball and using floured hands, flatten it and press it into the greased baking dish, building up a .5″ edge on all sides.  Chill.

Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until very lightly browned.  Let cool.

For the lemon filling: whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour.  Pour over the crust and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or about 5 minutes beyond the point where the filling is set.

Let cool to room temperature, use sifter to add a dusting of confectioners sugar.

Enjoy!!

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Phases {+ Beet Red Juice}

well, its been quite some time since my last post, i’m glad you’re still here reading!

to start this new “phase” of the blog…i’m going to get a little wordy on you… here goes:

i seem to be a person that goes through a lot of phases.  there are the silly little phases, like my drinks of choice – one week i will drink black coffee and lattes every day and then once i tire of that i’ll switch to hot green tea with honey, or cold fizzy kombucha, or sparkling water, or on and on, but they are always in phases.

and then there are the bigger phases, like this blog — i get really into it for a couple months and post a few times a week, and then i find something else to fill my time {yoga & running} and the blog gets no love. this cycles and cycles with all different hobbies.

and then there are the phases of life.  our family dog died unexpectedly this morning – he was a young 2.5 years old. our hearts are b r o k e n.  currently i’m still in the denial stage, and the thought of going home and him not being there to greet me with a big sloppy kiss and his tail wagging like mad, makes my heart drop.  {he was my parents’ dog, living with them in Idaho}

he really was the best dog, everyone loved him. you would have too.

Jersey, when he was a little pup

Jersey, when he was a little pup

so please, hug and love on your pups a little extra today.

other than being in a mourning phase, i am also currently in these phases:

  1. juicing. i was fortunate enough to be gifted an awesome juicer for christmas from my parents {thanks mom & dad}. i can’t stop juicing; orange juice, green juice, beet juice…i just love it. see the bottom of this post for a delicious ‘beet red’ juice recipe…
  2. hot yoga-ing. what more can i say? i stress less, my body feels good, and i love the heat!
  3. running. training for another half-marathon coming up in april.
  4. sparkling mineral water. yep, my drink of choice these days. who knew that there were two types of sparkling water? one chemically carbonated, and one natural — the bubbly natural mineral water is so refreshing. here is the kind i like best.

i hope the above 4 are not really “phases” because i want them in my life forever, but who knows, maybe i’ll kick yoga out for pilates, or substitute running with biking {my knees might appreciate that one!} anyway, i wanted to share that with you…and invite you to think about the phases in your life, you may be surprised to find a few ;)

Now, on to {what i hope is} the long-awaited next NMTK recipe…

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Beet Red Juice!  hold on — don’t run away just yet — even if you hate beets.  i dislike beets almost as much as i despise mushrooms {almost} – and that’s saying a  l o t.  but there’s just something about juiced beets. . .

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maybe it’s the gorgeous color that keeps me from tasting the dirty beet flavor, or the lemon & ginger added in, or the fact that you don’t actually have to chew it, but whatever it is, i actually love beet juice.  and that’s an awesome thing, because beets are a wonderfully healthy root vegetable.

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but, there is one thing to keep in mind when juicing beets — they can turn your urine red. don’t be alarmed {i was!} this may be getting a little too personal, but the first time matt & i  juiced beets, i noticed that my pee {‘urine’ feels really formal here} was a light pink color.  then i went for a run and afterward noticed my pee was a red color and i panicked… just a quick google search will calm you down – i’m no doctor though {and neither is google}, so do your own research or talk to your MD if you’re concerned! ;)

yes, it really is that deep red color with a hot pink foam! gorgeous.

yes, it really is that deep red color with a hot pink foam! gorgeous.

and now, pee color aside… one of my favorite juice recipes:

 Beet Red Juice

an original recipe from: Matt & Rachel’s Kitchen

ingredients

  • 1 red beet with stalks {or if yours don’t have stalks, that’s okay too}
  • 4 stalks celery
  • .5 cucumber
  • 4 or 5 carrots
  • 1 or 2 apples {i find 2 can be a little too sweet unless they are small. we like pink ladies & fujis}
  • 1″ piece ginger
  • .5 lemon

directions

juice beet, celery, cucumber, carrots, apple and ginger according to your juicer’s directions. squeeze half of lemon into juice with citrus hand-juicer.

stir. pour over ice. enjoy!!

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*this recipe is meant for a juicer only. not for blenders, food processors, or the like.

love & miss you like crazy Jersey, may you Rest In Peace

jersey xmas

as always, any comments, suggestions, or questions can be directed to Rachel at: nomushroomshere@gmail.com
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