Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 85: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

During this challenge I have realized a few things.

     1. I really enjoy baking.
     2. I really, really enjoy taking pictures of the things I make.
     3. I really, really really enjoy the world of food blogging.

I have met some unbelievable people and been given some wonderful opportunities. These people are doers. They are creative, resourceful and supportive. I feel like we all have something to offer and we all share in each other's accomplishments. All while sharing recipes and stories.

Another great resource for sharing is pinterest. You can see something that looks good, click pin, and have a new recipe to share! So simple and so valuable...especially for those of us who often misplace notebooks full of recipes. [click here to follow The Cookie A Day Challenge on pinterest]

Everyone has their "happy place". Mine has always been in the kitchen. I am my best me when I can be creative and make something for my family and friends. To think of it, that's the reason we decided to remodel our kitchen in the first place. No matter how many people we had over, and how small our kitchen was, we would ALWAYS end up there.

While on pinterest, I saw the most fantastical (I know that's not a word) image of a cookie dough brownie. So I went on a hunt to find a recipe. I came across a few, but ended up adapting one from Recipe Girl. I used a different brownie base and reduced the cookie dough. To see Recipe Girl's original recipe click here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Yields 12 Brownies
Printable Recipe
Zip List

Brownie Base
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup of DARK brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup of dark cocoa powder (like Hershey's 100% Cacao Special Dark)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 stick of butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBS milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 11x7 pan
Mix together melted butter and sugars
Add eggs and vanilla
Slowly mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Pour in pan and bake  20-30 minutes until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While brownies are cooling mix the cookie dough.
Cream together butter and sugars
Add milk and vanilla
Slowly mix in flower (a little at a time)
Stir in mini chocolate chips
Cover the brownies with cookie dough and refrigerate.
Melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top before serving.

 Up Coming Events:
Fall Fun and Howling Halloween Link Party, October 5th!
Come join me and my fellow co-hosts as we link up all that is fun and fabulous about fall!
Should be a howling good time!!!

Second Chance to Dream
Makin My Apt Home
Condo Blues
Domestic Randomness


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 84: Applesauce Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It feels good to back to a schedule. The boys are settling into their school and sports schedules. I once again have time during the day to get caught up on my never ending home "To Do" list.

One of the items on my list has been to join Family Foodie at her weekly #SundaySupper chat. Earlier in the week, I saw this week's theme was apples. I had just made the most delicious Applesauce Walnut White Chocolate Cookies, and decided I was going to make sure this was the week I joined!

If you are looking for some recipe ideas for all those apples you just picked, this is the place! Follow the #SundaySupper recipe board on pintrest or follow #SundaySupper on twitter. The live chat starts at 7:00pm.

I am bringing these:

Zip List
Printable Recipe

1 stick of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 Cup of natural unsweetened applesauce
2 tbs water
1 cup of walnuts
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees
Sift together dry ingredients-set aside
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy
Add egg
Slowly stir in dry ingredients
Mix in applesauce and water
Add walnuts and white chocolate chips
Drop teaspoon sized dollops onto an ungreesed cookie sheet
Bake 12-15 minutes
Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute
Remove to cooling rack.

These were best stored in an air tight container in the fridge.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 83: Almond Butter Agave Cookies with Sea Salt

If you read the About page on this blog you would know that my husband is an endurance runner. Since I wrote his bio a few months ago he has completed another marathon where his PR'd (Personal Record) and this past weekend completed The North Face Endurance Challenges Ultra Marathon. That's a whole 50 miles he completed!!!!

To say I am proud of his accomplishment is an understatement. Adam is constantly pushing himself to do better, to be better. He would wake up at 5am to get his runs in before he went to work. Most of those days, he would then work an average of 10-12 hours. When he would come home he would switch gears to dad mode helping with homework, picking up from practices and even finding time to help train Noah's soccer team. Once the boys were off to bed we would finally have a chance to catch each other up on our days. Talking, laughing and connecting.

To most running 50 miles is crazy. To be honest, when he first told me he registered for the Ultra I was upset. All I could think about was how it was going to impact my life. Kinda selfish, I know. Now that Adam is an Ultra Marathon Finisher - he finished in 10:41- I see even more the positive impact running has had on our family's lives.

The way Adam put it, when you are running for that long you are physically and mentally stripped down. You realize what's important in your life and you discover the type of person you want to be. His drive and accomplishments have proven to the boys and I that with hard would and dedication, anything is possible! Even qualifying for a "Mega" Ultra Marathon lottery which is 100 miles...I will keep you posted on if he gets picked.

Mike, Adam and Dean Celebrating their accomplishment

One of the biggest issues endurance runners face is figuring out how to take in nutrients. Adam and I have worked together to create the perfect running cookie. He had them while at the ultra, and I made the peanut butter version for Noah's soccer team to have in between tournament games.

This is a simple recipe and quick to make.

2 Cups Natural Almond Butter
1/2 Cup Agave
2 Eggs
Sea Salt
Mix Almond Better, Agave and eggs together
Place in the fridge for 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Roll dough into balls ans using a fork make cross stick patters
Add a pinch of sea salt to the cookie
Bake 8-10 min until set.
Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, remove to rack.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cooking Matters Michigan Extreme Food Makeover Challenge Part 2

Have you ever had so much going on that you feel like your are forgetting something?

On Friday morning when I got my Extreme Food Makeover Challenge I was so focused on making my dish, taking pictures of it and recording the recipe that I forgot something....THE SECRET INGREDIENT!!!

Back when I signed up to do this challenge, I was explained the rules. One of which was that one of the secret ingredients needed to be used in the meal.

I completely overlooked this important detail when I was making my dish. When I saw the posting on Cooking Matters Michigan's facebook page revealing the secret ingredients, I was already in Traverse City.

To be fair to my fellow bloggers who all followed the rules and used at least one and some all of the secret ingredients, I am officially bowing out of the voting.

I will however, ask that you still vote for your favorite Blogger Extreme Food Makeover. The dishes all look so delicious!! I know who I would vote for if I could :)

This challenge was a part of a summer long blogger program to bring awareness to the wonderful work Cooking Matters Michigan does.
To learn more about Cooking Matters follow them on Twitter (@cmdetroit), like them on facebook and/or
follow the Cooking Matters Michigan Blog.

Thank you for all of your support and votes!! Even though my dish is no longer in the running, your votes will still be counted towards the gift card drawing.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Cooking Matters Michigan Blogger Extreme Food Makeover Challenge

When I saw my assignment for the cooking matters Extreme Food Makeover Challenge I was pumped! Lasagna!!! Back in May Ian celebrated his First Communion, and his dish of choice to serve to our guests....lasagna. I made enough lasagna to feed the small army I like to call our family. The kicker, however, is that the lasagna I usually make is loaded with heavy cheeses, noodles and sauce. Not the most balanced meal.

I decided to make over my normal recipe by adding fresh veggies and using low fat cheeses and whole grain noodles. I then paired it with a simple salad and finished it with a delicious healthy cookie.  Since we were leaving for a soccer tournament up in Traverse City (where I am currently writing this) I had to use a lot of ingredients I had on hand.  Luckily, I had made a pot of tomato sauce this past week so had some stored in the freezer.

My submission for Cooking Matters Michigan’s Blogger Extreme Food Makeover Challenge:
Eggplant Zucchini and Portobello Lasagna with Meat Sauce.
Mixed Greens and Michigan Apple Salad
Power Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Cookies

Eggplant Zucchini Portobello Lasagna with Meat Sauce
(this recipe can easily be adapted to a vegetarian dish by using a tomato sauce)




1 tablespoon Olive Oil
½ Onion
1 Clove of Garlic
1 medium sized Eggplant
1 Zucchini
1 cup of Baby Portobello Mushrooms
Fresh Thyme, Oregano and Italian Parsley
2 Cups of Tomato Sauce (I used a homemade meat sauce but any tomato sauce will work)
2 Cups Low Fat Shredded Mozzarella
½ Cup of Mascarpone Cheese
1 box of Organic Whole Wheat No Boil Lasagna Noodles


1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees
      2.      Chop onion, and garlic.
      3.      Heat a large pan, add olive oil, swirl to cover the bottom of the pan
      4.      Add onion and garlic, cook over medium heat until onions are a golden color.
      5.      While onions and garlic cook, chop eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms
      6.      Add to pan and cook 3-5 minutes
      7.      Chop and add fresh herbs

      8.      Remove veggies from heat
      9.      In a bowl mix together cheeses
     10.  Add a little sauce to the bottom of a  13x9 baking dish
     11.  Lay noodles overlapping on the bottom of the pan
     12.  Cover with 2 ladles of sauce, veggies then cheese.
13.  Top with another layer of noodles
14.  Repeat steps 12 and 13 until noodles are finished.
15.  Top with a final layer of sauce, veggies and cheese.
      16.  Cover with foil and bake 30-45 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
      17.  Let cool cut and enjoy

Mixed Green Salad with Michigan Apples


Red Leaf Lettuce
1 Large Michigan Apple
2 Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
Lemon Wedge
Salt and Pepper

1.      Chop and wash lettuce
2.      Wash and chop apple, add to lettuce
3.      Cut string cheese into cubes and add to lettuce and apples.
4.      Squeeze lemon wedge over salad
5.      Salt and Pepper to taste

Power Peanut Butter and Sea Salt Cookies

2 Cups of Natural Peanut Butter
½ Cup Agave
2 Eggs
Sea Salt

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.      In a large bowl, mix Peanut Butter, Agave, and eggs together.
3.      Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes
4.      Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet
5.      Using a fork make cross stich pattern
6.      Bake for 8-10 minutes
7.      Remove from oven and add sea salt to the tops of the cookies
8.       Cool on cookie sheet for one minute then remove to a cooling rack to complete cooling.


I had so much fun participating in this Blogger Food Makeover Challenge. The Voting is now live!

You can check out all the makeover dishes on Cooking Matters Michigan's Website.

You can vote one of three ways:
1. Comment on your favorite dish's post (but make sure to say "I Vote for....")
2. On Twitter to @cmdetroit simply tweet your vote
3. Comment on Cooking Matters Michigan's facebook page.

Voting starts today and will end Wednesday September 19th. Everytime you vote you will be entered in a daily drawing for a gift card! Vote now and often!!!

By the way........


It was worth the trip to Traverse City, U13 Boys Select Champs!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 82: Easy Funfetti Cookies

The cookie baking has been in full force this summer, the blogging...not so much. I cannot wait to share all the fun cookies we came up with. I received cookie help and inspiration from so many different people and places the past few weeks.

I also have an additional news to share in the next few weeks...stay tuned, it's huge!!

Our summer consisted of a lot of little league baseball (GO REDS!) followed by PAGs (Party After Games), dance camps, multiple vacations, and two beautiful out of town weddings. One of our favorite summer activities happened every Thursday evening. Dane and Ian both played in our city's baseball league. A few years back some very wise parents created Thursday PAGs-Party After Games. After our Thursday game we would all gather at a team member's home and enjoy the beautiful summer evenings.

I wanted to bring a cookie that was both kid friendly and easy to make. I decided the easy way to go would be to make a funfetti cake mix cookie.

Zip List
Printable Recipe

1 box of french vanilla cake mix
1/4 cup of melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour cake mix into a large mixing bowl
Add melted butter and eggs, stir.
Fold in candy sprinkles
Roll dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet
Bake for 8-10 minutes until set and slightly cracked
Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute
Remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
Store in an air tight container (if there are any left)

These cookies were so popular they lasted only a minute! I should have made more.

Tomorrow I will be participating in another Cooking Matters Blogger Event. I can't wait!!!
I will be competing against other local bloggers in an Extreme Food Makeover challenge. I had the pleasure of judging a teen EFM challenge over the summer. What these teens came up with was refreshing!! The purpose it to take a seemingly unhealthy meal and give it a healthy makeover.
Our challenge will be announce via twitter tomorrow morning. So if you are not already following on twitter (@cookieaday), this is a great time to start.
Once us bloggers complete our food makeover we will post the recipes and pictures with Cooking Matters Detroit. Readers will then get to judge who's dish "reigns supreme!"

The hardest part of this challenge (for me) is getting everything done before we leave tomorrow for Traverse City for Noah's soccer tournament!!!

Extreme Food Makeover Challenge....It's On!