Homemade-Better Oats + Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Two work days down…only one to go before I get to enjoy some vacation time! Yay!

IMG_0092.jpg

Breakfast this morning was extra yummy thanks to two homemade ingredients.

IMG_0108.jpg

homemade almond butter

IMG_0094.jpg

and homemade granola.

I know it seems like a lot for so many homemade things to be in my eats, and two years ago I would have scoffed at myself like…really…WHO makes their own almond butter. But, I do. And it’s easy. You could do it too…promise.

IMG_0119.jpg

The almond butter and granola made the oats over the top.

IMG_0111.jpg

By the way, the chic-turquoise spoon really helped breakfast taste better, too. hehe

In today’s bowl of oatmeal:

  • extra-thick oats
  • milk
  • water
  • chia seeds
  • cocoa powder
  • banana
  • chocolate chips
  • coconut flakes
  • homemade granola
  • homemade almond butter

Nom!

IMG_0123.jpg

In other news, Bailey has figured out a new trick.

IMG_0127.jpg

He has mastered the art of finding the coziest, plushest, and most comfortable spot on any resting area. Note his body stretched across two pillows and one blanket. Nice, dog…nice.

IMG_0131.jpg

Hubby picked up Which Wich for lunch for us, but I added some cooked veg to complete our meal – steamed cabbage and baby carrots.

IMG_0138.jpg

Pickles.

IMG_0141.jpg

Plus a WW chicken sandwich, BBQ sandwich, lettuce, pepperoncini.

IMG_0147 copy.jpg

The boys are liking the new couch.

IMG_0157.jpg

Oh and I have a new dough ball flavor for you!

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Inspired by Annie the Baker

*Be sure to check out the original – chocolate chip dough balls – click for recipe*

*Update – I’ve made a new variation – Butterscotch Oatmeal Dough Balls! Click for the recipe*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup toffee chips (I used Heath)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold toffee and chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small sorbet scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
  7. Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

IMG_0171.jpg

Oh yes! Another tasty dough ball flavor comin atcha! Booyah!

IMG_4904.jpg

I brought a couple dough balls to Zumba tonight. Gina and Jane thoroughly enjoyed them. :)

Btw, zumba class was awesome! I’m now on 3 days in a row! I’m not teaching this week, but I do still go to classes of other instructors. I helped lead Aaja Soniye and Alright. Alright is one of my new faves. It’s a hot Pitbull track and I highly recommend downloading it because it’s F-U-N!!! I just wish I could show you our dance to the song.

IMG_0183.jpg

On my way home from class, I swung by Pasta & Provisions to get some fresh spaghetti.

IMG_0184.jpg

Oh and some of their famous rosemary foccacia.

IMG_0200.jpg

Hubby and I did a simple spaghetti dinner tonight.

IMG_0193.jpg

Is anything better than fresh pasta?

IMG_0203.jpg

Maybe dough balls? ;)

One more work day and it’s turkey time! I’m also looking forward to spending some time with family and hopefully picking up some of my unfinished crochet and knitting projects. I’m oh-so-good at starting them and not-so-good at finishing them. lol

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Where are you going or how far away from home?

An Artistic Look at Life and Death at Alcatraz

[nggallery id=5]

(click on the photos above to see larger versions of the image – after that you can use the left/right links to navigate)

Alcatraz has had many past lives as a fortress, prison, and refuge. On this island, death can be seen in the dying of the prison, the park’s grim past, the memory of those who passed here, and the decaying of buildings and structures. Yet, Alcatraz, itself, has been born again, this time as a national park. Millions of visitors breath new life into the island every year. Beautiful plants garnish the island and flourish in their spaces. Buildings and structures are slowly being restored. Vitality visits, explores, and inhabits the island where life and death meet.

I created this gallery to share some photos from my visit to Alcatraz in November 2010. Because I was intrigued by the strong images of life and death I found there, I wanted to tell the story of my observations with my photos. I’ve been editing the images for a couple weeks now, but I’m so excited to finally be ready to share them. I hope you enjoy the photos. :)

Thin & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe + Zookies

I wish I could have spent all day today baking and cooking like I did yesterday. The bad news was that I had to work today. The good news was that I have a short work week thanks to Thanksgiving! Hooray!

IMG_0040.jpg

For breakfast, I made a pared down version of my quinoa breakfast bowl by just dressing some quinoa with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. I fried a local egg up and topped the quinoa with it. You guys have to try fried eggs with quinoa (that is, if you eat eggs, of course). The flavors go really nicely together.

IMG_0051.jpg

I really wanted to eat some of my chai-granola, which I made yesterday…

IMG_0047.jpg

….but it will have to wait.

IMG_0050.jpg

I can’t wait to dig into this stuff. Hubby has already picked up yogurt so I can enjoy my granola later this week. Squeeee! :)

IMG_2019.jpg

Did you celebrate Starbucks Monday? I got a gingerbread latte. Nice and spicy!

IMG_0054.jpg

And lookie what I have…

IMG_0059.jpg

Zookies! That’s right. My friend Erica went to Roanoke this past weekend and picked up some more Zookies for me from the Healthy Cake Man that we visited last time. What a doll! She knows I loved these things!

IMG_2020.jpg

I got to thank Erica when I went to Zumba tonight!! There’s nothing better than kicking off the work week with a fun and energizing workout.

But, since she’s reading, I’ll say it again…thank you Erica!! :)

IMG_2014.jpg

(Here’s the photo I sent Erica via email this morning along with something about Zookies being part of a complete breakfast. What? They’re made with zucchini!! ;) )

And in case you’re wondering, yes…I ate all the Zookies. I had some with breakfast, some for a snack and some for a pre-workout snack. I may have a wee piece in my purse, but that will probably not last long tomorrow. Mmm.

IMG_0061.jpg

Post workout, hubby and I split 2 pieces of pizza – cheese and veggie, so we basically each got one slice.

IMG_0065.jpg

I steamed up some organic cabbage and baby carrots till crisp tender to get my veggie fix. I just drizzled them with a wee bit of real, melted butter, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

IMG_0068.jpg

And even though I took my butterscotch dough balls (have you tried this flavor yet?? omg…they’re so good!) to work today, there were two left by the end of the day – just enough for hubby and I to each have one.

So far, so good. Only 2 more days in my work week and than it’s holiday time!

***

Since I’ve had three people ask for my chocolate chip dough ball fail recipe, I decided to just go ahead and post it. :) In truth…though they were not what I was going for, they were really, really tasty. Thin, chewy, sweet. They were awesome cookies.

Thin + Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened, but not melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet morsels

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar till light and creamy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, salt, baking soda.
  4. Mix wet mixture into dry mixture, careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently stir in semi-sweet morsels, without overmixing.
  6. Use a sorbet (or smaller than normal ice cream scoop) to evenly measure mounds of cookie dough on a sheet of parchment, spaced about 3-4 inches apart measuring from the edge of the mound, not the center (they spread a lot).
  7. Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them.

***

PS I’m hoping to post those Alcatraz photos tomorrow! I’ve worked really hard on them, so I can’t wait to share! :)

***

Have you started your Thanksgiving prep yet? If yes, what are you doing?

Related Posts with Thumbnails