Just Right Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}

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A new cookie has taken the lead as my favorite cookie – oatmeal chocolate chip. The old favorite was chocolate chip. I know, it’s not much of a difference. And yet, that simple addition of oats gives the texture and flavor something special that I just love.

Of course, this meant I needed to come up with a recipe so I could make the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies just the way I like – a little chewy. I started with this recipe for butterscotch oatmeal cookies that I made a couple years ago with good success, but I made a couple changes, also looking at my dough ball recipe for some ideas. I liked the flavor and chewiness of those butterscotch cookies, but I wanted to reduce the sugar and make them less flat, plus I wanted to make far fewer cookies. I played with the recipe over several batches, about 8 or 9 over the last couple years. I started by halving the butterscotch cookie recipe, adding flour, and reducing the sugar amounts. The first couple tries were decent but not great. I thought simply adding flour would make the cookies less flat, but it didn’t work as I expected. I tried some batches with far less sugar, far less flour, different amounts of butter, using baking powder instead of baking soda, and many other variations. Each try was just okay but not just right. I tracked my adjustments and made notes along the way. Most recently, I tried doing some google research.

I did some online searching for how to make cookies chewy, and it turns out sugar is one thing that that helps make them chewy (so much for reducing it lol). Apparently using melted butter and baking soda instead of baking powder helps, too. So, I tried a couple more times, tweaking things all along the way. The final result is what I’d consider a “just right” oatmeal chocolate chip cookie – a little chewy, a little soft, and a little crispy all in one delicious package.

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5.0 from 1 reviews

Just Right Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}
 
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The ingredients are simple and the results are delicious. They whip up pretty quickly, too! I started with this cookie recipe and experimented, analyzed, and re-experimented, and re-analyzed over several batches until I was happy with the results. According to some google research, melted butter, sugar, and baking soda help give the cookie a chewy texture, so keep that in mind if you modify the recipe at home, especially if you like chewy cookies, too. Be sure you use kosher salt or reduce the amount if you use table salt instead. And mini chocolate chips distribute better than large ones, so I was able to reduce that amount versus the ¾ cup of the regular size chocolate chips I’d recommend. Hope you like these cookies as much as I do!
*Vegetarian, vegan options listed below*
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup quick-cooking oats (old-fashioned would probably work just fine, too)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt (reduce amount if you use table salt, maybe ¼ – ½ depending on how you like your cookie flavor)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly (vegan – sub Earth Balance or similar product)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (vegan – sub a flaxseed egg)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (or use ¾ cup regular sized chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three baking sheets with parchment paper. Note: I could bake all the cookies in one batch with 2 shelves and 3 baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, add oats, flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to evenly combine.
  3. In a medium bowl mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Make sure butter mixture isn’t too hot so it doesn’t cook the egg when add it, and add the egg and vanilla. Whisk to evenly combine.
  4. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and gently mix with a large spatula. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Using a medium sized sorbet scoop (2 tablespoon), scoop dough and evenly distribute on baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches of space in between each ball of dough.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets to room temperature. Enjoy!

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Happy baking! Thanks for reading!

Which do you prefer: regular chocolate chip or oatmeal chocolate chip?

Cinnamon Maple Peanut Butter Cookies {Recipe}

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New Holiday Cookie Recipe

Here’s another idea for a great cookie to make this holiday season – melt-in-your-mouth Cinnamon Maple Peanut Butter Cookies.

When I saw some organic peanut butter on sale for $1.99 a jar, I knew I had to get some. Specifically, I had to purchase some so I could experiment with a recipe I’ve always wanted to play with – the classic peanut butter cookie. In researching the recipe, I discovered there are two main types of peanut butter cookie – with and without flour. While the idea of a flourless peanut butter cookie sounded interesting, I decided to work up a batch that had flour. But, I wanted to change it up a bit. I used maple syrup for the sweetener and added a touch of cinnamon.

The maple syrup gave these cookies a really interesting and smooth texture. In fact, I first thought these cookies would be a fail. I noticed when I was rolling the dough balls in a bowl of cinnamon sugar that the dough was wetter than I thought it would be. It wasn’t difficult to work with, just not as firm as I expected. And the baked up cookie crumbled a little easier than I would have liked. The worst part – I’d made an experiment recipe to take to a pot luck hot dog party with some of my friends. Oh no…would they hate them?

I went ahead and brought the cookies to my friend’s house and hoped for the best. I didn’t ask any of them what they thought of the cookie because I felt like that would fishing for compliments and they’d say they were good even if they thought they were terrible. Still, several of my friends told me the cookies were really good. I didn’t believe them. Surely, they were being polite. Then, one of them told me how much she liked the flavor twist. She wasn’t sure what it was but when I confirmed it was maple syrup and cinnamon, she got really excited and said she loved maple syrup. Things were looking promising. But, I was still unconvinced that the cookies were worthy of being shared here on the blog.

It wasn’t until we were headed back to the kitchen to get our tupperware to take home that I believed this recipe could go up here on The Chic Life. As we entered the kitchen, there was a man standing there I’d never seen before, and he was gobbling up the cookies and saying they were delicious and that it was like they “melted in your mouth.” Yesssssss! For a stranger to say he liked the cookies without knowing I made them, that had to mean they were good. I told him we brought them and offered for him to take some before we left. He quickly grabbed another two. I offered more to my friends who had hosted they party, and they took some more, too. And with that, it was decided – I would share the recipe with you guys!

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Oh, and that whole crumbly-texture thing…definitely more of a melt-in-your-mouth quality. That’s what I’m going with, at least.

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Cinnamon Maple Peanut Butter Cookies

I switched up the flavors of the class peanut butter cookie by using maple syrup as the sweetener and adding cinnamon for a little extra kick. Rolling the dough balls in a cinnamon sugar mixture helps drive the cinnamon flavor home. The resulting flavor is familiar but new. The texture isn’t chewy, but more of a melt-in-your-mouth bite.

Prep time:
Bake time:
Total time:

*Vegetarian*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (preferably raw)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk dry together
  4. Mix butter and peanut butter till creamy (I used a handheld mixer). Add maple syrup, egg, and vanilla and mix till just combined.
  5. Mix wet into dry till just combined (careful to not overmix).
  6. Use small sorbet scoop (or two spoons) to form small balls (about 1″ in diameter). Dough will be very soft, but gently roll each ball in cinnamon sugar mixture and return to baking sheet. Use a fork to press criss-crosses into the top of each cookie, pressing gently. Cookies should be about 1/4-1/3″ tall/thick.
  7. Bake 8-12 minutes depending on oven temperature variation (if using 2 racks in oven, rotate baking sheets halfway through baking process) Note: Mine were done at 10 minutes

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More Ideas

Here are more holiday cookie ideas:

And be sure to check out this holiday cookie round up by Snappy Gourmet (click).

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Your Feedback

And I LOVE your comments! Thank you so much for your feedback – whether you stop by here and leave a comment, post on my Facebook wall, tweet me, or email me. I love hearing from you!

Here’s a sweet comment from Facebook about these cookies – Thank you so much, Nicole!:

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And here’s a comment on Pinterest about this hot chocolate recipe – Thank you, Sherene!:

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Christmas Vacation

I got some last minute shopping done yesterday morning. I woke up super early to beat the mall traffic and take advantage of the extended hours. The strategy totally worked as the mall was almost empty. Yes! I have all my gifts lined up…now, I just have to wrap all of them. One of these years I’ll get this done earlier.

We’re getting ready to head out to visit my family for Christmas. I have the next week off from work, and I’m SO excited! I’ve been hoarding these days all year, and I’m so ready for a vacation! I’m hoping for a good mix of downtime with our families with some time to get stuff done at our house.

Reader question: Christmas gift shopping – what’s your style – early or late?

Also, what are your plans for the holiday season?

Honey Granola Emergency Cookies Recipe

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The vote for the next TCL recipe was close, but based on comments, the cookies seemed to be the winner. The Facebook vote winner was the mystery muffins, so those will be coming next!

You guys are familiar with my emergency cookies, right? I created the original recipe (click to view) when I wanted to have almost-instant cookies without relying on the prepackaged goop. Hubby and I used to have those ready-to-bake cookies in the fridge almost at all times. But, since I’ve gotten more and more into clean eating, I’ve been working on avoiding pre-packaged food-stuffs as much as possible. So, they got kicked to the curb.

One night, when I was really feeling cookies but didn’t feel like putting the effort into the whole batch, I wondered if I could make something from scratch that didn’t take too long. Something that could be almost as fast as the processed ready-made stuff. I mixed up a couple things using ingredients that were clean and relatively quick, and the emergency cookies were born.

In my opinion, these emergency cookies aren’t quite as good as a full batch. Some short cuts were taken, like using oil which is ready to pour rather than measuring butter (or Earth Balance) and having to melt it and dirty up another bowl, etc. But, those short cuts plus the fact that the recipe only makes 4 cookies total = quicker cookies. And these cookies are all about speed. Oh, and speed and the fact that you’re still making them from scratch so you get to control the quality of your ingredients, too.

As for this version of the recipe, I was experimenting with two things:

  1. How would honey work in a cookie recipe?
  2. Could I put leftover granola into some cookies?

Turns out both work, and they work well! So, if you’re looking for a new flavor, try using honey as your sweetener (the cookies will be really sweet!). Have extra granola? Throw them into some cookie batter. I added chocolate chips to my cookies, but I also think these cookies would be great with nuts in place of the chocolate chips. Yeaaa Honey Granola Pecan Cookies sounds pretty awesome. Maybe next time?

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Honey Granola Emergency Cookies

This recipe is perfect for when you want cookies and you want them fast. That is…when you want cookies for two. If you want cookies for a lot of people fast, I suggest prepping and ahead, making a double batch of these dough balls (or any flavor), and keeping them in the freezer for when you need a quick fix. Actually, that works for any number of people. But, if you didn’t prep ahead and you’re craving cookies NOW, try this clean eats version that is almost as fast pulling out a processed, ready-to-bake ball of dough from the fridge.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 14-16 minutes
Total time: 19-24 minutes
Yields: 4 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon (I’ve used unbleached all purpose and spelt with good results) (sub coconut flakes for the 1 tablespoon flour for a fun variation)
  • 1/4 cup leftover granola (a less chunky kind will work best)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used canola – feel free to sub softened butter or Earth Balance/vegan sub)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup for vegan option)
  • 1/8 teaspoon molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chip (or sub nut of choice for a different flavor)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, granola, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine (or use a fork to stir).
  3. In another medium bowl combine oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla extract. Whisk till evenly combined (or use a fork).
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and gently stir until all flour absorbed, careful to not overmix. If you’re feeling particularly lazy (like I was the first time I made this), go ahead and your chocolate chips with the wet mixture and skip the next step.
  5. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Evenly distribute to 4 mounds. Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are just browning or to your texture liking. Allow to cool till they’re safe to touch and enjoy!

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Did you like the recipe? Please consider clicking the Like button on this post or sharing this post with your friends using one of the buttons at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading!

Reader question: What emergency cookie flavor would you like to see next?

Not So Sweet Heart-Shaped Cookie Cake for Two

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Love is in the air!

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Or maybe that’s just the smell of sweet baked goods glowing gently from your oven? ;) I know I made a little something-something today for my sweetie. ;)

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Check out the beautiful flowers hubby got me for Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait for all those lilies to bloom!

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Hubby and I had a late lunch at Earthfare while we were out running errands. I had chicken noodle soup and salad.

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Then we took a pit stop at Barnes & Noble for some snackage and magazine browsing.

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I had a bite of hubby’s coffee cake.

It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to make a coffee cake from scratch some time. I’ve done a quick coffee cake before (click), but I want to do one NJ style next mirror.

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I actually snagged a vegan chocolate chip muffin from Earthfare before we headed to the book store.

I don’t know if you do this, but when I find something I like, I look for it relentlessly, no matter the odds. I say odds, because for awhile I thought Earthfare had canned these delicious little muffins. One day I was seeing them there all the time, the next…no mas. *sad face* Seriously, I’ve spent the last few months making sure to swing by the muffin case on my grocery trips to look for this little guy and for the last few months, I’ve been disappointed. But today, just as I was giving up on my scrumptious little treat, there it was! Score!

Perhaps I should come up with a recipe to replicate them just in case, eh? ;)

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Hubby and I were pretty tired today, so we did a cheat meal and got a rotisserie chicken for dinner from Earthfare. We also made micro-baked potatoes with butter and dried herbs, plus steamed organic broccoli with a drizzle of real butter.

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I know I said I was tired, but not too tired to bake something sweet for Valentine’s Day.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about cookie cakes lately…I don’t know why.

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But…I knew I just had to make one for V-day…heart-shaped of course.

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I also went for a Not So Sweet concoction because that’s how I roll.

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My frosting technique could use some work, but that’s another story. lol

Heart Shaped Cookie Cake for Two

Ok, so this cookie cake serves more like 4 or 5 people. But, it’s large enough so as not to be confused with a regular cookie and smaller than your normal cookie cake. I made this using a Not So Sweet cookie base, though the chocolate chips and buttercream frosting definitely add a sweet kick here. While the cookie is less sweet than normal, I didn’t want to mess with the buttercream. I’m not sure a Not So Sweet buttercream would go over, though I do have some ideas using sucanat to test the waters.

Be sure to set your butter out long enough in advance for your butter to come to room temperature…at least for the frosting part. You could probably microwave the butter to soften it a bit for the cookie base, but that won’t go over so well with the buttercream. Luckily, if you set the butter out when you start, by the time your cookie cake is baked and cooled, your butter should be close.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×12 heart-shaped cookie pan with non-stick spray. Line bottom with parchment paper and spray lightly on top of the paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light. Stir in egg and vanilla until well-combined.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until just combined (incorporate all dry flour, but be careful to not overmix). It will look like there isn’t enough of the wet mixture, but be patient and carefully combine.
  5. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour cookie dough into the baking pan and carefully press cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. It will be a very thin layer of dough. If you want, wet fingers and smooth dough.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are lightly brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  8. Let cookie cake cool to room temperature and decorate with buttercream frosting, recipe following (see below).

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Cookie cake always makes me think of my friends Justin and Emily. When they got married, they had a traditional wedding cake AND a cookie cake because Justin loves them so much. It was the only time I’ve seen a cookie cake at a wedding…and it was awesome! Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure Justin always gets cookie cakes for his birthdays, too (even the ones on boats).

Buttercream for Cookie Cake Decoration

This recipe makes just enough buttercream to decorate your Heart-Shaped Cookie Cake for Two. You may even have some leftover!

I used a stand mixer to do the work, but you could use a hand held mixer or even do it by hand.

Be sure to use the gel coloring recommended – the drop kind is too liquidy. You can get the gel color at stores selling cake decorating tools. I got mine from Michael’s.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 – 2 teaspoon milk
  • gel coloring of desired color

Directions:

  1. Starting on a low speed (so the sugar doesn’t go flying everywhere), whip sugar and butter together until just combined. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk, as needed, but in small increments, just until mixture comes together to desired texture.
  2. Use a toothpick to add a bit of gel color to frosting and mix in until evenly distributed. Repeat until frosting reaches desired color.
  3. Put frosting into a decorating bag with tip or decorating-gun-tool and decorate cookie cake as desired.

Do you prefer cake or cookie cake?

Christmas Tree Shopping 2010

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The holiday cheer is definitely in the air at the Chic house! With the holiday both speeding up and slowing down things, I had to ensure there was time for a TREE!

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Hubby and I headed out last night to pick out our Christmas tree. My family always purchased real Christmas trees growing up, but in recent years, my dad has decided that they’re too much of a fire hazard. So, they now do faux Christmas trees. I am still a big proponent of real Christmas trees because it seems more traditional, brings back fond memories, and makes the house smell lovely.

(Though I will admit, those pre-lit trees seem pretty darn convenient)

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We visited the Darrell Simpson Family lot, where they always have lots of beautiful trees.

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I also enjoy how festive their set up is.

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Trees galore!

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I’m glad hubby and I bundled up because it was freezing outside! I only wish I had worn gloves and a hat!

I didn’t feel bad for myself so much as the poor guys working there who had to be out there all day! I wanted to give them all blankets and hot cocoa…poor guys!

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Red, white, and green!

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On the hunt.

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I can haz dis one?

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Unfortunately, a giant Christmas tree is out of our price range and wouldn’t fit in our house anyways. Not to mention I’d have to double my collection of lights, tinsel garland, and ornaments for a tree that size. Hubby and I picked out a nice six-footer.

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We brought the tree home just as the sun was setting.

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I was super excited about getting at least some of the basic decorations up. I quickly put on an iTunes Christmas radio station in the background.

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First, the lights!

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Then, the tree skirt.

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Then, a moment to notice that I was purchasing a tree from a family who has been operating since 1941!!

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Next, a moment to remember I had cookies in the house.

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Yeppirs…tasty oatmeal chocolate chip.

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Upon remembering I had cookies, I did what any normal Christmas-tree-decorating girl would have done. I made homemade hot cocoa (from scratch).

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Oh yes! Hot cocoa and cookies…not for you Santa…not yet. ;)

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After a cookie, hot cocoa, and some tinsel garland, I decided to call it a night. Hubby and I will finish the rest of the decorations soon. Woohoo! Can’t wait to pull out my favorite ornaments! :)

Reader question: If you celebrate Christmas, do you prefer real trees or fake trees?

Holiday Speed + Simple Brussels Sprouts

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It’s that time of year again!

The time when things both speed up and slow down. The holidays are in full effect!

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I professed my love of staying up late (or inability to go to bed early) to my Facebook friends a few days ago. My new focus for December is to attempt to get things done at a more reasonable hour so I have more me-time and can go to bed sooner.

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Besides more sleep and more time to read, I’d also like to work on picking up some forgotten craft projects, like this crocheted ripple blanket I started roughly 2 years ago (whoa…has it really been that long?!).

I managed to work on it some Tuesday night, though I had to review my crochet books to ensure I was doing the stitches properly. It’s really been too long since I’ve crocheted!

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I’m also taking some time to pull out some holiday-related decoration and craft books to generate some ideas…should I have enough free time to work on some other projects.

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The holidays also mean baking for me. I know I’ve been baking up a storm with the dough balls and all, but I’d also like to work on developing some good old fashioned cookies.

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I am close to a great regular chocolate chip (something thicker than this thin and chewy one), but I also want to figure out a good oatmeal chocolate chip.

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These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from yesterday were pretty good.

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I actually had made a batch the night before that came out waaay too cakey for my liking.

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These were much closer to what I’m looking for, but are not quite right yet.

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A few more batches and we should be there. Hopefully, I don’t have to do 7 batches again, though.

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And for a random note, I’m really excited to check out this ball whisk by WMF – a freebie I got in my Foodbuzz swag bag.

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On to lunch. The bag of brussels sprouts hubby picked up was bigger than I thought. I’ve now gotten 3 meals out of it – 2 shared with hubby and the last one solo.

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For the second meal, I just did a quick saute on shredded brussels sprouts. We had this with Annie’s mac and cheese. It was a pretty light lunch, but very tasty.

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Simple Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2

I’ve seen shredded brussels sprouts in a few places, including in a Martha Stewart cous cous salad and (I believe) once in a reader comment. I was considering making roasted brussels sprouts on this day, but I didn’t want to wait very long to eat. Sauteed brussels sprouts are just as tasty as roasted brussels sprouts, but much faster. :)

Skip the butter or sub Earth Balance to make this vegan

Ingredients:

  • 10 brussels sprouts, cleaned, outer leaves removed, shredded
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • salt, pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat EVOO in a medium saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and shredded brussels sprouts and saute till leaves are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently so leaves don’t burn.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When brussels sprouts are cooked through, add butter to pan, stir as it melts to coat brussels sprouts.
  5. Enjoy!

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Next up…Christmas tree shopping! :)

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