Friday, August 14, 2009

Sparking It

In the ever-present phase of dieting, I'm (once again) loving SparkPeople.
It's been 3 weeks now, and I feel really reassured and confident that getting healthy (and smaller) is doable. I just input my foods, and voila, instant calorie count and nutritional info. I desperately need to enter in some exercise hours. Big, huge hole in the chart right now!! Soon to be rectified....

Now, on to fun things. Cookies for grandma. We're going to see Mema in a while and I think cookies are in order. (not that I shall EAT any beyond quality testing, mind you.) I find it ironic that my blog today includes both my dieting website and a cookie recipe.

Here's what I did.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chippers

1 cup oat flour (you may put oats in the food processor to get this if you can't find the flour)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (or 1 cup packed brown sugar)
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup freshly ground peanut butter (be sure to use natural if it's jarred. you don't want any extra sugar and salt.)
2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Cream the sugars and butter in a mixer until fluffy, add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix well. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in 2-3 parts, beating well to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Because these cookies have so much flour, they don't spread. There are two ways to cook these. I tried both, and really like the appearance of the scoop method. #1 - Scoop with a mini scoop and place on cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then press the cookies with the back of a spatula to flatten into 1/2" rounds. Continue to cook until brown. I like these better because they have a more uneven appearance, which is just overall more pleasant and interesting. They are also crispier on the outside and cakier in the middle. Method #2 will produce a crispier, flatter cookie. For these I rolled them into 1-1/2" balls and flattened on the cookie sheet before placing in the oven. They are uniformly smooth. To each his own...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Movie Night

Went to see Julie & Julia tonight. It was a blast. Although I'm an avid reader of Entertainment Weekly (who didn't love the movie) and I knew what to expect, it was still very enjoyable. Have to admit though, the Julia voice BUGGED. Found myself smiling just a little too hard at those parts...headache inducing smiles. Meryl Streep nailed the Julia. That woman is astonishing. The movie really restarted that cooking itch I get so frequently. It's been too hot and wild to cook lately. But it's about time again. Monday night I cracked open a jar of spaghetti sauce, boiled up some freezer ravioli and tore up some romaine. And my poor, sweet, deprived family actually gushed. M - "Thanks for cooking, honey!" G- "You made my favorite dinner, Mom." Gi- "Yum." Glad to know I haven't lost my culinary genius.

So, I've taken a little break from the blog lately. Just too, too crazy around here. Very ready to get back to it. I find myself composing little entries in my head, usually while in the shower or putting on mascara. For some reason mascara application is an introspective time for me. Gillian starts school next week, and Gabe the following week. In my delusional, end-of-summer frazzle I find myself wishing for the routine of the school year. I'll have to revisit this in 2 weeks and see if it holds.

What shall I cook on Sunday??