Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a confession:  I haven't made straight-up, all-American chocolate chip cookies in years.  Years.  Do you want to know why, peeps?  Because my sister is, basically, the patron saint of chocolate chip cookies.  Hers are the best, and I knew I could never live up to them.  Back in June she promised to send me some, but it's now nearly September (I just choked a little) and I have yet to receive those holiest of cookies, so I had to make my own.  And now I've decided that mine are better.  You're off the hook, sis - there's a new badass cookie-maker in town.

In a bowl combine:

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. ground organic flax seeds
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. corn starch

Whisk them together and set them aside.  In another bowl (I used my stand mixer) combine:

3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened

Then incorporate 2 eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Add the flour mixture into the sugar mixture slowly (I did 1 cup at a time, or so), then stir in 2 cups of dark chocolate chips.

I used a medium scoop to portion the cookies out evenly, then baked them at 375 for ten minutes.

They were a huge hit with the F, and with me, and SO MUCH BETTER than my sister's (I haven't had hers recently . . . ahem . . . so this may be a biased opinion).  They were big, slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, and you'd never know they had flax seed in them.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

And since I'm upgrading my cookies, I think I should upgrade my black bootie collection, as well:

Narciso Rodriguez via Barneys

My years-old BCBG booties just pale in comparison to these lovely things, and who doesn't love a gold side zipper? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Quickie Friday: Blueberries and Cream

For some reason, after I've eaten a delicious, healthy meal, I usually want to destroy it with dessert.  And it doesn't even matter what kind of dessert . . . I just require a little something sweet to balance out the meal.  Last week, I found myself with a pound of blueberries and some cool whip, and figured I'd make do.

It turned out to be even better than I expected, thanks to a little grated semi-sweet chocolate, and I didn't feel like I over-indulged or ruined a day of healthy eating with something completely outrageous.  That's a win-win.

I am also going to put these in the win-win category:

They'd be great with my black skinny jeans, and I could walk around work singing "Blue Suede Shoes" and do my drunken-Annie-on-an-airplane walk from Bridesmaids.  If that's not a win-win, I don't know what is!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apple Pie Oatmeal

The F, who will eat most everything (not on his to eat list:  most Asian foods, sauerkraut, calamari), will not eat oatmeal.  At one point I was trying to assist him in making better breakfast choices, and I whipped up some oatmeal with blueberries and brown sugar for him to try - he was disgusted.  I have never tried again.

I, on the other hand, freakin' LOVE oatmeal.  I could eat it every day (and do, most days) in any of a number of varieties.  Normally I just eat it with some brown sugar and cinnamon, but I received this recipe in my inbox and decided to give it a whirl.  It was delicious, it made a TON of oatmeal (I have cut the recipe in half ever since), and it was super-filling.

My final product didn't turn out nearly as pretty as the food-photographer-tweaked image at the link above, but I am certain it tasted as good as it was supposed to.  And now I can convince myself I'm eating like a celebrity (I'm looking at you, Giuliana Rancic!!!)!

I can also picture my girl G sitting down to the breakfast table to eat her oatmeal (before rushing out of the house to film E! News or Fashion Police) wearing these:

Giorgio Armani via Saks

And because I think she's great and we would make great pals, I obviously need a pair, too.  Call me, Mrs. Rancic!  We can eat breakfast together wearing matching boots!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spice-Rubbed Pork Skewers with Tomatoes

Full and up front disclosure:  this is not a dish that I will ever make again.  Not because it was bad (I loved it) but because it wasn't wildly popular with the F (his palate doesn't lean towards Asian food flavors) and I prefer to make crowd pleasers as opposed to crowd "meh's."

I will say, however, that this recipe was both easy and light, making it ideal for those who love pork, love to grill, and love soy sauce, tomatoes, and sesame oil.

The other bonus - this recipe was FAST.  The pork is sliced thin so it doesn't take long to cook, and you know it's time to eat when the tomatoes start to char and burst.

There are few things that I enjoy (produce-wise) as much as a tomato charred on the grill.  That is one thing that I will do again and again, even if this recipe never makes it back into the fold.

Another thing that I tend to do again and again, despite my better judgment, is go shopping-CRAZY at the Nordstrom pre-fall anniversary fashion insider (or whatever they call it) sale.  The store has areas tented off where only fancy customers (myself included) can shop, so I picked these up:

Franco Sarto ankle booties

image via, at Nordstrom here

I don't have any shoes this color, nor do I have many ankle boots (only one pair, if you can believe it, and in black) so these had to come home with me.  The allure of the super secret special tent didn't hurt, though.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Favorite Things Thursday: Dining Spaces

On a totally different note than I normally take on this blog, I thought I would show you a little piece of me, and a favorite part of the new digs:  my dining room.

Please ignore the F's large white shoes in the background, as well as that God-awful light fixture.  The F didn't think we'd ever eat in our dining room (we have a breakfast bar in the kitchen) but we eat here every night, and I eat my english muffin at that table nearly every morning.

The big window and the shelves full of books don't hurt my love of the room, either.  I am a lady who likes sunlight and books, both in abundance.  Once the light fixture is replaced, this may become my favorite room in the house!

Because this isn't something that I've done before, I'd love to know what you think, peeps, so tell me . . .

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quickie Friday: Grilled Squash

I LOVE having a grill.  Seriously.  This whole home-ownership thing has many perks, but the pool, grill, and big kitchen are by far my favorite.  The F and I grill everything.  EVERYTHING.

First and foremost being vegetables.  I have done many variations on this (last night I grilled tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash and it was AMAZING) but the process is always the same:  slice veggies, toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and grill.  So easy and so YUM.

I need these.  Seriously.  I realize I'm a little late to this party, but these are cuter than all of the other fold-up flats I've seen, and I love a .gif.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chipotle Lime Tilapia with Avocado Cream

Did you think I was joking when I said I'd be adding tilapia to the repertoire?  I wish! 

This recipe, found on pinterest (obviously), made the cut a few weeks back, and it was substantially better than my first attempt.

The tortilla chips gave the fish a nice crispy texture, and the heat from the chipotle pepper was awesome (I used extra adobo sauce for more heat). 

I served the fish (with heaps and heaps of avocado cream) atop Mexican rice, and I also whipped up a side salad topped with salsa ranch (salsa + light ranch + more adobo sauce = good salad dressing).  Tilapia is going to become a regular part of the rotation in our house, I'm afraid, so I'm learning to adjust.  Thank God for pinterest and all of the fishy ideas, or I'd be lost (and still eating chicken . . . happily).

Speaking of fishy, I really need some rain boots.

Burberry via Neiman Marcus.

Fish = water = rain = rain boots.  Got it?  Or has my prolonged absence totally skewed my logic?  Both?  Either way, I like that these are a slightly more rock and roll version of a traditional rain boot, but with all of the practicality of a standard wellie.  Gotta add these to the wish must-have list.

Monday, August 6, 2012

She's baaaaaaaaaaaack.

Don't you hate it when a short hiatus turns into a long hiatus and a long hiatus makes you think that your readers won't even care that you're back since you've been gone for so long so why bother?

Well, I'm bothering.  Regular posts return Wednesday.  I've missed you.