There are too many good places to eat in Chicago, burgers to try, wine to pair, and bake shops to peruse with a kid in a candy shop fascination, and honestly just not enough meals in the day! To remedy this predicament I find myself day dreaming about occasions far in advance that I can use as an excuse to try every food venue in a ten block radius. Ten blocks? you may be thinking. Isn't that quite a lot of walking? Well, think, you can eat a course, walk a bit, eat, a course, walk a bit, repeat... until you have simultaneously filled a day with food, enjoyment and exercise, the two extremes balancing each other out perfectly. This is a common dream of mine, which so far has not become a reality. Instead, I have combined this list of the top ten places I want to try next. This was pretty difficult so to compromise I will have to follow up with a list of just pizza.
Today I made the most delicious cookies. I am completely serious, they were the MOST delicious! and I am quite the connoisseur of cookies.
I found the recipe HERE and followed the recipe pretty much to a tee.
Perfect Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
No, this will not be a baseball themed post as I know next to nothing about baseball. Instead it will involve not one but two making messes opportunities. Since I have not posted any Make Something Monday posts since I have been at Camp and this was my first day back in Augusta, it seemed appropriate. Plus I needed to be extra busy in order to drown out my sadness and longing for my campers.
1. Stepping Stones- Cheap Style
I have been meaning to do this for a while now and the materials have just been sitting around in the garage for at least 3 years so today seemed was the day! My mommy and I decided to make some extra large stepping stones for her garden. It was easy, cheap and great for a sunny summer day!
-1 bag of concrete mix
-pizza boxes, the size you want your stones to be, I used extra large pizza boxes like the ones from Cosco
-assortment of plates, glass, tiles (stuff to break up to decorate your stone), I bought some cheap plates from Goodwill
-big bucket or wheelbarrow
-shovel, any size will do
1. Prep work: break up all of the plates, glass, tiles, etc. by wrapping them up in a towel and hitting them with a hammer until broken into desired sizes
2. Mix concrete int he big bucket or wheelbarrow, follow directions on bag. Make sure it is wet enough to pour smoothly into boxes but not too soupy. Shovel concrete into pizza boxes, smooth out with back of shovel.
3. Press colorful pieces into the concrete. The design possibilities are endless.
4. Wait to dry. All done!
It was that easy! Now my mommy has two new giant stepping stones for her garden for about 4 dollars of concrete and about 6 dollars worth of plates
2. Chocolate Cinnamon Sour Cream Drop Cookies
These turned out so delicious! I found the recipe in one of my mothers cook books, 365 Cookies. They were not what I expected, they are sort of like cake cookies and the flavor was sweet but not too rich.
2 oz. Unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove and set aside once melted.
3. In a large mixing bowl, creme together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Beat until batter is light. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
5. Mix nutmeg into sour cream.
6. Add the flour mixture to the batter, 1 cup at a time, alternating with the sour cream. Mix well.
7. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of batter onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies have browned around edges. Remove from oven.
8. Let cool.
Today I just wanted sweets, that is all I could think of all day. I needed something delicious and fast but also I wanted something new. So I decided to try a recipe off my Pinterest. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Pinterest! I love to look through it and pin stuff. Most of the time though I do not get around to actually doing any of the new ideas, its really a bummer. Lately I have been trying to do more and make more rather than spending my time sitting around on my laptop.
I chose to make these Chocolate Raspberry Pie Bars. They were delicious and actually turned out like the picture and recipe had said. Sometimes my pinterest baking turns into a pinterest fail, but not this time! You should definitely get off your lap top and try this recipe out!
So this is a late night Monday post, but none the less it is still Make Something Monday! Today I decided to do a little experiment in the kitchen and make a delicious appetizer. Pictured below is the melty goodness right out of the oven. They were a great start to the rest of dinner. Also the bright colored peppers made for a very festive, happy mood!
Southwestern Pepper Bites
makes about 16 "bites"
prep time: 10-12 mins
cook time: 8-10 mins
- 1 bag of mini bell peppers
-1/2 of a small container of cream cheese ( I chose low fat cream cheese so that I could pretend I was being healthy)
-1/2 cup of Salsa of your choice
-1 small can of minced black olives
-1/2 cup of chicken, cooked, shredded (I had the chicken left over from a previous recipe so it is not calculated into the prep time)
- 1 cup of Mexican Blend shredded cheese, or any cheese of your choice
1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. cut in half and clean out bell peppers, lay them out on an oven safe pan
3. mix the cream cheese, salsa, olives and chicken in a bowl until consistent
4. fill each half pepper with the previous mixture
5. sprinkle each "bite" with shredded cheese
6. bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and pepper is tender
I hope you enjoy this quick little dish!
P.S. I apologize for the poor quality pictures, I have not yet unpacked my Cannon from Clemson yet.