Honey & Sea Salt Almond Butter

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Can you believe that until a little over a year ago I thought that I didn’t like peanut butter?! Like, I despised the stuff. I would eat peanut butter cookies, and Reese peanut butter cups, but could not stand the consistency of the butter itself. I set out to force myself into liking it (it turns out I do this with a lot of different foods, actually) and bought some natural almond butter to start off with. I surprised myself, and ate the jar rather quickly. Then, I bought some natural peanut butter… same thing. I still don’t really love the processed, “extra-smooth” stuff, but I don’t hate it either.

Natural nut butters can be pretty pricey in grocery stores, so I started making my own. It is ridiculously easy and WAY more cost effective (I buy almonds in bulk at Costco). Plus, I actually think that the homemade version tastes better.

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I may have eaten this entire jar in under a week… I found myself putting it on everything! Almonds are healthy, even if they are technically “fats”, and since I do not eat a lot of meat, I usually let myself have unlimited amounts of other proteins. So I put it on apples, rice cakes, toast, bananas, in smoothies, and most often, by the spoonful. It is just the most perfect little snack! Also, it’s usually okay if you eat it really quickly because it is so easy to make more – BUT I got way too into food-processing on Sunday and burnt the motor of my mini food processor so I’m kind of panicking now… What will I do when I run out?!

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I have had really good luck with making almond butter, and the consistency has been great every time. In my experience, just do not over-roast your nuts, and if after 10 minutes they haven’t gotten smooth, keep pureeing! First, the nuts will get crumbly, and then they will begin to clump together (you may have to use a spatula to scrape the edges of your food processor), but eventually it will get nice and smooth.

I love almond butter so much that I haven’t tried making any other nut butters, but I will be soon (I hear cashew butter is ah-mazing), so keep following along if you are interested!

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Honey & Sea Salt Almond Butter:

Makes 1 small jar. 

2 cups Raw, Whole Almonds

1 tbsp Honey

1 tsp Sea Salt

1. Heat oven to 275 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread almonds out on baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until almonds are lightly browned and have a sweet, roasted flavour.

2. Add almonds to a food processor. Puree almonds for 5 – 10 minutes, until they reach a consistency that you like for your almond butter.

3. Use a spatula to scrape almond butter into a bowl. Add in honey and sea salt, stir well to combine. Store almond butter in a small jar in the fridge for a few weeks (if you don’t eat it before then!)

Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Spinach

Should I call this a casserole? I’m not really sure what makes a casserole… a casserole. This is about 100 times better than any casserole I’ve ever eaten, but it does kind of look like one. You can decide on that one.

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I usually make homemade gnocchi, like I did here, but I had this whole wheat version that I bought out of curiosity at the Italian Centre Shop and then kept forgetting about, so I decided to finally put it to use. I looove homemade mac and cheese, so I decided to try combining the two, and then added spinach to make myself feel better. Just because you are a broke college student it does not mean you need to resort to “KD” if ya know what I mean.

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This recipe fits firmly into the “comfort food” category, which if you read this blog often, you will know is a category that I am very fond of. I am especially fond of it right now, since I am fighting a cold and feeling a bit under the weather and it is SO cold outside (AKA I want to be in bed at all times but can’t be).

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I think this is actually a lot healthier than your standard homemade (or store-bought) mac and cheese. I mean, it has a bit of butter, a bunch of cheese, and a lot of carbs, but a girl can only restrict herself so much, you know? It is melty-cheesy-creamy delicious, and you need that once in a while (at least I do).

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Baked Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Spinach 

Makes two servings

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp All Purpose Flour

1 cup 1% Milk

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

1/4 tsp Worchestershire Sauce

1/4 tsp Dried Mustard Powder

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

1 1/2 cups Uncooked Gnocchi (homemade or store-bought)

1 tsp Olive Oil

2 – 3 handfuls Fresh Spinach

1 tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs

1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and then whisk in the flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk; stir in the salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce, and dried mustard powder. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking for 1 – 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted.

3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in gnocchi. Cook until gnocchi floats to the top of the pot, then remove and add to pot with cheese sauce to combine.

4. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add in a couple of handfuls of spinach and cook until just wilted. Combine with gnocchi and cheese sauce.

5. Spoon gnocchi mixture into a medium baking dish (I actually used a loaf pan) and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.

6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese sauce is nice and bubbly. Top with salt and pepper to taste,  and serve hot.

Favourite Lunch: Avocado Toast

Today, I wrote the last exam of my undergraduate degree. In a week, I start my final clinical placement. In a little over two months, I will be done. Where does time go?  I mean, I am SO excited to be a Registered Nurse and there is literally nothing I would rather do and I know I’ll love it so much. But I am also terribly sad that my university life is going to be over… You might have to bear with my ranting and reminiscing about how great these past four years have been a bit over the next few months.

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I decided to share a simple recipe (if you can even call it that) with you today. I eat this pretty much every day for lunch, along with some almonds, chickpeas, a hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, etc. Notice how all the pictures are kinda different? That’s to show how I ate it on different days (smart). The most random combinations of foods are sometimes the best ones, right? Right.

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I actually don’t really know how this recipe came about. I think it started with the avocado on toast, and the sriracha naturally followed. A little olive oil, some salt & pepper… yum. You could mash the avocado, but I like to keep things simple, and slicing it works totally fine.

I actually don’t even know how to describe the taste of this to you, because it just tastes like all of the ingredients combined? But in a good way? (Duh) You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand, especially if you love avocados and sriracha as much as I do, so you should definitely give it a try!

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Avocado Toast:

Makes one serving

1 piece of Bread (preferably a nice, sturdy, whole wheat),

1/2 an Avocado

Sriracha Sauce, to taste*

1/2 tsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

1. Toast bread to your liking.

2. Slice half of an avocado four times length-wise, then use a spoon to scoop it from the skin.

3. Place the avocado sections on your toast. Squirt on a little sriracha. Pour on the olive oil (try to do it evenly). Top with salt and pepper. Eat immediately.

* You can also use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, or one of your preference. I just love Sriracha!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Today we are pretending it is still Christmas time and that it is still cool and totally normal to eat cinnamon buns for breakfast and cook with pumpkin again. Oh December, you are lovely month.

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Umm… they disappeared fast!

I actually made these delicious cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning at my dad’s house. I prepared them the night before and popped them in the oven while everyone was opening presents. My step mom made some quick scrambled eggs with all kinds of yummy vegetables and veggie sausage.  We ate blissfully and thought about how great life is and paid no attention to anything else.

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That’s how it should be when you eat, isn’t it? Thinking about the food you are eating and the company you are keeping, and not worrying about anything else. I usually find myself sitting in the living room watching tv and chatting with roommates while I eat, which is nice too, but sometimes I long for a nice family dinner.

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Anyway. These cinnamon rolls are actually kind of perfect. We ate them right out of the oven, and they were unbelievably soft and gooey. They were super nice and moist, not even a little bit dry. The pumpkin flavour works so well in a cinnamon roll, and it was the perfect extra “something” for a Christmas treat. I topped them with a simple cream cheese frosting, which made them even MORE delicious, somehow. They definitely require a bit of work, but sometimes that bit of extra work is worth it, right? (In this case, YES!) I ended up halving the recipe, because we were leaving for Hawaii soon after. I wasn’t sure whether it would work out, but it totally did! For the full recipe, see the link.

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:

Adapted from Pioneer Woman 

Makes 12 

Dough

3/4 cup Whole Milk*

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1/4 cup White Sugar

1 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast

1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree

2 cups All Purpose Flour

1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

1/4 cup (additional) All Purpose Flour

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp (heaping) Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Filling

1/4 cup Butter, melted

1/4 cup White Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Ginger

Frosting

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened

2 cups Confectioners Sugar

1/4 cup Whole Milk*

2 tbsp Butter, melted

Make the Dough

1. In a large saucepan, combine whole milk, vegetable oil, and sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin puree until combined.

2. Combine 2 flour with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

3. After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in 1/4 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until totally combined

Make the Rolls

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a sheet of paper towel over your hand, coat a glass baking dish with softened butter.

2. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour and handle it/flour it until it’s easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle.

3. Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together sugar, brown sugar, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Sprinkle this all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter.

4. Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down.

5. Slice 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and place them in the buttered pan(s). Allow them to rise for 20 minutes, then bake for 15-18 minutes or until nice and golden brown around the edges.

Make the Frosting

1. While the rolls are baking, making the frosting by combining all the frosting ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you’d like a thinner icing.

Finish the Rolls

1. Ice the rolls as soon as you take them out of the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (if you can possibly wait that long).

* I did not have whole milk, so I substituted using skim milk and half and half cream. Add 4 tbsp of half and half to 1 cup of skim milk, mix well, and then measure out 3/4 cup to use for the recipe. In the frosting, I just used skim milk.

Lavender London Fog

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t actually know anything about making lattes/cappuccinos/good coffee in general. Is that a weird way to start off? Maybe. I certainly do like to drink them, and I like to think that I can differentiate pretty well between a good drink and a bad one, but I have zero training in making them. I actually have always wanted to be a barrista at a fancy coffee shop. One day I will, I think.

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I’ve said it before – my Capresso milk frother is one of my favourite Christmas presents ever. It is literally the easiest thing to use and it helps me convince myself to spend less money at the cafes that are so plentiful and lovely in my area. I can also make drinks that do not totally suck, which makes me quite happy.

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I’ve got a weird sort of obsession with lavender. It started about a year and a half ago when I was in Vancouver with my dad and this cafe had a lavender latte on their menu. It got me hooked. I started to  specially request it at my favourite cafes at home (I actually made one run out of the syrup they were using…) and if I am somewhere that has something “lavender” on a menu, I must try it. It’s gotten to the point where my friends specifically point out lavender things to me, or buy them for me if they see them. It’s pretty great.

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I feel similarly about Earl Grey Tea. I recently bought an Earl Grey Tea Apple Jelly at a local bakery, and I am in love. I’ve also made Earl Grey Tea cupcakes, and drink plain old Earl Grey Tea almost daily. Yet somehow, the idea of a Lavender London Fog did not occur to me until a barrista recommended it to me a couple weeks ago. I mean, DUH. Why didn’t I think of that?! The two flavours are actually meant for each other, I’m pretty sure. So I made one.

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Lavender London Fog

Makes 1. 

1 Earl Grey Tea Bag (or loose leaf)*

1 cup Water, boiled

1/2 cup 2% Milk, frothed

2 tsp Lavender Syrup*

Optional: pinch of Raw Turbinado Sugar

1. Boil water. Place tea into desired mug (preferably a large one).

2. Add milk to frother, or use a hand frother. Froth milk. (Froth is a weird word?) At the end, add in 1 tsp of lavender syrup and froth a little longer to combine.

3. Pour boiled water into mug over tea bag. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag. Add in 1 tsp of lavender syrup.

4. Slowly, pour frothed milk into mug. Top with turbinado sugar. Serve immediately.

* I love Stash brand Double Bergamot Earl Grey Tea

* I used Monin Lavender Syrup

** In the future, I would love to experiment with culinary lavender. I’m not sure if it would work better to mix some in with loose leaf earl grey tea, or to make a homemade syrup and add it, like this recipe at A Beautiful Mess.   I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Carol’s Cheddar Biscuits

I have had the most lovely weekend. My friend from high school came up to visit, another friend and I made omelettes for a big group of (tired?) friends on Saturday morning, and today I visited my favourite bakery in the city. I’ve been surrounded by friends, yet I have managed to accomplish everything that needed to be done. Weekends like this remind me of how awesome my life is and how lucky I am.

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I promised that I would be sharing this recipe soon. These cheddar biscuits have been a favourite of mine since I was very small. They are my step moms recipe, and I’m not entirely sure where they came from – if I had to guess, I would say an old Company’s Coming cookbook.

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For Christmas, my step mom put together a book of her favourite recipes, and I was so happy because I get a lot of my cooking inspiration from her. She has been vegetarian for 25+ years, and although I am not really vegetarian, she showed me from early on in life that it can be done well. It’s also super nice to have all the recipes that I love from her in one place so that I don’t have to search through my iPhoto to find a picture she texted me 3 years ago (seriously).

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The first time I made these biscuits, I was shocked by how easy they are. They take less than half an hour, (including baking time) to whip up and are perfect for dipping into pretty much any soup. They are simple, but perfectly light and fluffy, and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. They also freeze well, so you can pop one out whenever you need something cheesy, buttery, and delicious.

Carol’s Cheddar Biscuits

Makes 12 

2 cups All Purpose Flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

2 tbsp White Sugar

3/4 tsp Salt

1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil

3/4 cup Skim Milk*

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add in cheese, and stir to coat.

3. Make a well in the centre of the bowl, and add in milk and oil. Mix until just combined.

4. Roll out dough on a flour surface to 3/4-1 inch thick. Use a glass to cut into round biscuits.

5. Place biscuits onto an un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 12 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden. Serve warm, with butter.

* You could also use 1%, 2%, or whole, but I have not experimented with almond or soy milk yet

Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Soup

I’ve decided that every month this year, I am going to add a new healthy habit to my life. Not necessarily to do with my immediate physical health, but I guess my overall well-being. Every day for 30 (or 31) days, I will dedicate myself to this habit. After that month, I am hoping that it will become part of a healthier lifestyle, something that I do naturally or without totally dreading it. I’m probably going to exclude June and July since I will be travelling for the majority of those months, but maybe I could think of something creative. At the beginning of each month, I will announce what I will be doing, and I encourage you to try as well! Let me know if you have any ideas.

For January, I am currently doing what I anticipate will be the hardest of all of the “healthy habits”. I am currently on Day 11/30 of 30 days of running. I got the idea from a friend of parents, and I am currently forcing one of my best friends, Shelby, to do it with me. All that it requires me to do is run, for at least 30 minutes, 30 days in a row. I can do it outside, on a track inside, or on a treadmill. If I feel like it, I can go for longer. I try not to pay attention to my speed, but just focus on running. I’ve mostly been going outside, since the weather has been surprisingly mild around here lately. I’m using the Nike+ app to track my runs and share them with Shelby.

I am hoping that at the end of 30 days, running will be something that I actually (kind of) enjoy. I don’t expect to go every single day after this month, but I am hoping that 4 or 5 days will become a habit for me. At this point, running every day is starting to become a routine, and I don’t totally hate it, so I think I’m heading in the right direction! If you are considering trying this, remember that the first week is totally the hardest.

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Now that we are totally off topic, I present to you – Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Soup. This recipe popped into my head because I had no idea what to make for supper and not very many groceries. I was craving something with mushrooms, and because I am myself, I obviously decided on soup. Except I didn’t want that creamy, Campbell’s type soup that everyone is always looking for. My memories of that soup are not positive, because like I have said, I was the pickiest child on the planet.

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Think of this soup as the beautiful, flavourful child of French Onion Soup and Campbell’s Mushroom Soup. Maybe that seems weird. But trust me, it is delicious and those caramelized onions will have your house smelling SO goooood. The slow cooking of both the onions and the mushrooms really bring out their sweet, robust flavours, and you hardly need anything else in this soup. Which makes it incredibly easy AKA my fave.

Oh, and you see that fancy little biscuit on the side? Just wait. You will be learning about those little guys very soon.

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Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Soup

Serves 2 (or 4 as a side) 

Adapted from: The Hidden Pantry and Humblebee and Me

3 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Sesame Oil

1 large Onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly

1 pound Mushrooms, sliced (any variety)

2 cloves Garlic, minced

2 tbsp All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Dried Thyme (or 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, if you have it)

1 litre/4 cups of Vegetable or Chicken Broth

2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice

1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes, until soft, deeply caramel in colour, and very sweet smelling. Remove from heat.

2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the sesame oil and allow to heat, then add sliced mushrooms. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they are tender and lightly golden in colour. Add minced garlic to the mushroom mixture, and sauté for another 2 minutes.

3. Add the mushroom/garlic mixture to the saucepan with the caramelized onions. Add in 2 tbsp of flour and combine to coat the mixture. Add in thyme and salt and stir to combine. Turn on heat to a medium. Add in 750 ml of vegetable or chicken broth. Pour the other 250 ml into the skillet that you used to cook the mushrooms and stir it around for a bit, making sure you get all of the dark, sweet stuff that is stuck to the pan (deglaze the pan), then pour this in with the rest of the soup.

4. Bring the soup to a boil, then decrease heat to a simmer and let cook for at least 20 minutes. Before serving, add in 2 tsp fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with fresh bread and butter, or a biscuit*.

* You could also serve this similarly to french onion soup. Heat oven to a broil, pour the soup into oven-safe bowls, top with sliced baguette and swiss or asiago cheese. Put the soup into the oven for about 2 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Four Corners Lentil Stew with Sesame Brown Rice

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Have you guys read The Kinfolk Table yet? I am obsessed. I mean, I love cookbooks more than your average 21 year old, but this one is my new favourite. It is a collection of beautiful recipes, but it is also so much more then that. The authors travelled to Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Portland, and the English Countryside to share food and collect stories from the people who contributed recipes. The book emphasizes the relationships that surround eating, shifting away from fancy recipes and table decorations.

This particular recipe was shared by Sarah Britton, a Holistic Nutritionist in Copenhagen, Denmark. She also has a lovely food blog that I will be reading a lot of over the next few days, and you can find that here.

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This recipe in particular called out to me because I have a thing for lentils lately, because I think Indian Cuisine is delightful, and because the sesame rice intrigued me. Also because, like most of the recipes in The Kinfolk Table, it seemed very simple.

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It turned out just as well as I imagined it would and made the whole house smell delicious. I have been eating the leftovers for four days now and I still love it, which I think is saying something. The rice, in particular, was SO simple and would be perfect with stir fry, served with tofu, or in a salad.

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Four Corners Lentil Stew

Serves 4 – 6. 

Adapted from The Kinfolk Table

1 cup Red Lentils, picked over

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 large Onion, finely chopped

1 tsp Salt

5 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced

1 tbsp Ground Cumin

1/4 tsp Cayenne

4 large Tomatoes, chopped

1 Lemon, sliced into rounds or 1 tbsp Lemon Juice 

3 cups Vegetable Stock

Optional: Fresh Cilantro, Scallions, or Parsley for garnish

1. Rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.

2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, three of the lemon slices (or lemon juice), the stock, and the lentils.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

4. Squeeze the remaining lemons over the stew and season with salt to taste. Serve the stew over the sesame rice and sprinkle it with the garnish, if using.

Sesame Rice

Serves 4. 

Adapted from The Kinfolk Table 

1 cup Brown Basmati Rice

1 1/2 cups Water

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Sesame Seeds

1. Rinse the rice under cold running water in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Combine the rice, water, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 to 60 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2. While the rice cooks, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat in a small skillet, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until lightly golden. Fold the sesame seeds into the rice.

Big & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I apologize in advance. Unless you resolved to become a better baker, to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe, or to eat more dessert, eating these cookies probably won’t go along with your New Years Resolutions (I think those first 3 options sound way better anyway).

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I, however, believe that moderation is key. And these might just be the best cookies I have ever eaten. So you should definitely make them ASAP, people!

I have tried dozens of recipes for chocolate chip cookies and these are by far the best. They are, like their name suggests, the perfect amount of crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  They won’t flatten out on you, and as long as you don’t leave them in the oven too long, they will not become dry and hard.

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I made these two days in a row over Christmas (for different groups of people!) hence the green and red m&ms and snowflake tray. Everyone commented on how delicious they were – definitely not just your average chocolate chip cookie!

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Big & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Allrecipes 

Makes 18 large cookies

2 cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

3/4 cup Butter, melted & cooled

1 cup Brown Sugar, packed

1/2 cup White Sugar

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg, room temperature

1 Egg Yolk, room temperature

1 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips (or m&ms!)

1. Melt butter and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat together brown and white sugar and the melted (and cooled) butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

4. Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, then beat again. If your eggs are cold, you can run them under warm water to bring to room temp.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine well. Add in chocolate chips.

6. Form 1/4 cup balls of dough for larger cookies and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Alternatively, you could put them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

8. Place 6 dough balls on each sheet and bake for 12 to 16 minutes. They should be lightly golden brown, but no darker. Even if after 16 minutes, they do not look ready, THEY ARE. Take them out (clearly, I speak from experience…)

9. Remove immediately from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Serve warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container.

Hawaii Trip

I am finally back! Well, I was home on Sunday, but I am here now. Are you guys ready to get back into the swing of things? I certainly am. I am VERY happy and excited to be spending the last semester of my nursing degree on a post partum unit – I looove babies, and I think I will really enjoy all of the education is involved in post partum nursing. However, I have a ton to learn before I start that in February, so it is going to be a very busy month.

As happy as I am to be home, I am definitely going to miss that Hawaii weather. And beaches. And sunsets. And pools and mai tai’s and surfing and turtles and my family etc. etc. etc. Hawaii has got to be one of the most amazing places in the world.

I’m going to share a few photos from my trip and sit here reminiscing in my freezing cold basement, drinking a nice hot latte, and wearing a toque (okay, the toque more to do with my lack of showering this morning than the weather…)

And don’t worry, lots of recipe posts coming soon!

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Where I spent the majority of my time…

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The combination of the volcanic rock and the bright blue ocean is incredibly beautiful

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This was (part of) my breakfast – clearly resolutions didn’t start until the 6th!

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The most lovely coffee plantation – I looove Kona coffee!

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This was at the Captain Cook monument, the coolest place to go snorkelling. I managed to step on a sea urchin while we were here and had to hike uphill for an hour or so afterwards. Fun times.