Monday, May 21, 2012

SRC: Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It's that time again, time for another Secret Recipe Club post!  It's always so much fun browsing my assigned blog to find a fabulous recipe to make.  It's also challenging as there are SO many great recipes to choose from!  This month was no exception.  I was privileged to have the blog My Catholic Kitchen.

Beautiful Veronica resides in Virginia, and I've enjoyed getting to know her through reading many of her posts.  I can see her and I have alot in common.  Be sure to visit her blog, you will be inspired.

I chose Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, and oh my are they delicious!!  My friend Keyti said they were the best cookies she ever had.  I lost count of how many she ate, but obviously they were a hit.  I thought they were perfect for that chocolate craving.  Does anyone else get that or is it just me?  :-)

So here we go with the recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour**
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening (I used butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oats
1 cup coarsely chopped Ghiradelli dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet chips, just what I had)
1 cup chopped walnuts  (I omitted)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the shortening and the two sugars together in a mixer.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again.  Next add your  flour mixture, and mix until combined.  Add the oats and again mix to combine.  Fold in chocolate.  

Drop cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  

I want one right now.  But I put half my batch in the freezer to take to a gathering next week.  Can I wait?  ugh, I just don't know, they are sooo good!

Be sure to let me know what you think! 

**I found I needed to add an additional 1/2 cup flour.  My cookies were flattening out way too much, so the extra flour helped hold it together.  I recommend baking just one cookie first.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tropical Green Smoothie

I have been on a no sugar challenge, inspired by Tiffany at The Gracious Pantry.  I had been thinking a lot about cutting my sugar out, but honestly, I just didn't want to.  I don't eat a tremendous amount of sweets, but I was feeling quite bloated, and was finally inspired to maybe try and break the addiction I had.  I'm talking NO sugar here, no sweetners, no natural sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, or stevia, no artificial sweetners (even worse than sugar), nada, nothing.  You can read up on her guidelines on her website.  You are allowed sugar that is in fruit, as a matter of fact, you are to have 3 servings of fruit a day.

I was not up to 30 days when I first came across this.  So I decided, one day.  Just one day without any sugar.  Do you know how hard that is?  Sugar, or some form, is in just about everything!!  Even tomato sauce, even some meats!  Even my home made bread has sugar in it.  But, I was successful for one day, so I decided to do another day, and another, and so on.  I looked at this challenge one day at a time and it made it so much more manageable.  I figured, I did it one day, I can do it another.  And you know what?  It's been 3 weeks!  A couple of my sweet craving satisfiers, were Aveda Tea, and the following Smoothie.  The Tea is sweet, but it has absolutely no sugar in it, so that was in place of my coffee, which I just can't drink without flavored creamer!!  I found many recipe's at The Gracious Pantry for smoothies.  This one is inspired from Tiffany's Pineapple breezes recipe.  This is another 'loose' recipe, but I really don't think you can mess it up.  Loose just means I am totally guessing at my measurements here, so change them to your liking.  :-)

Also, this ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT taste like spinach.  I promise you!  I have even had some tasters and they really can't tell except by the color.  It is so good, and it satisfied my sweet tooth!  I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think.

1/2 cup pineapple chunks (in 100% juice)
1/4 cup of the pineapple juice
1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup of milk (kind of depends on how thick or thin you like it)
1 frozen banana (It doesn't have to be frozen, but this will help it be cold without diluting it with ice.  Make sure you peel and slice your banana before freezing it)
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs ground flaxseed meal
1-2 tbs unsweetened coconut
1-2 cups spinach (I promise you will not taste it!)

Throw it all in the blender.  I use the 'puree' button on my blender and I let it go at least 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes.  I don't really care for spinach pieces in my smoothie, it's supposed to be smooth, right?!

My results of this no sugar challenge?  No afternoon grogginess, you know when you can't stop yawning?  And, my pants are kind of big (please no eye rolls from the people that know me-haha), I've had alot more energy and am enjoying my food more.  :-)

Serves 1-2.  Enjoy!  Be sure to let me know if you try it and what you think.  :-)