The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

Last week, I made some cookies for a bake sale. I pulled out my favorite stand by chocolate chip recipe and tripled it. These are dense and moist in the center with a bit of crunch on the outside, which is just the way I like them.

I thought about eating all the batter, but I decided against it. I know I’m not supposed to eat the batter since it has raw eggs in it and blah blah blah. But, I’ve been eating cookie batter, cake batter, brownie batter, etc etc etc since I was old enough to stand on a chair at the kitchen counter and help my mom or my grandmother stir. Old habits die hard.

So, I thought I’d share this recipe with you because the world needs one more cookie recipe. I didn’t create this recipe, but I found it online a couple years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. Anyone I make them for loves them too! It’s one of those things where you just can’t stop eating them, especially if you have a glass of milk.

See what I mean? Yum. Okay, enough blathering on about how good these are. Here’s the recipe!

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies {recipe very slightly adapted from here}

1/2 c butter
1/2 c white sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c peanut butter {either chunky or creamy, depending on your preference}
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 tsp salt {I bump it up from the 1/4 tsp she calls for to bring out the flavors just a smidge more}
1/2 c rolled oats
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350*F. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Stir into the wet batter until just moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

And there you have it. Cookies! Lots of cookies! Don’t say I didn’t warn you :-)

Question of the Day
What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Chocolate chip? Peanut Butter? Something else? Share in the comments!

Fun Friday Five!

1. This website. I love her sass and her bluntness. She makes me laugh and she makes me not take things so very seriously. Thank you, Jamie Mendell for the head’s up!

2. This. It’s like she has a video camera in my brainheartsoul {I know that isn’t really a word, but I made it up anyway}.

3. 10 Tips for Real Food Newbies. Totally worth the read, even if you’ve been eating real food for awhile.

4. This quote.

5. And then this post from Sarah Wilson. My favorite part is this quote from the author, José Micard Teixeira.

I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.

And then this part, from Sarah herself.

But the principle is one I’ve found myself organically practicing in the past year or so. It’s not that it’s an effort; I simply can’t coexist with people who don’t nourish me. Nothing against them. We just don’t fit together right now.

This is something I’ve slowly been working on within the last few months. It hasn’t been easy, but I am worth it.

Question of the Day
What’s your favorite quote of all-time? Share in the comments!

Another Year Older….

I turned another year older last week and I am hoping that I’m another day wiser. Sometimes it seems like the wisdom doesn’t arrive as quickly as the time passes. I know the wisdom isn’t quite catching up with the years because I get all bent out of shape before my birthday rolls around and then the day arrives and it exceeds my expectations. I have no clue why I get so verklempt over it. *work in progress*

This stunning masterpiece arrived at my cubicle on Friday morning. It’s so stunning and gorgeous and filled with so many different flowers. There are birds of paradise, anthurium, sunflowers, dahlias, roses, orchids, daisies and gladiolas. The very top of the gladiolas are as tall as the bottom of my rib cage. I’m 5’9″ so they’re probably about four feet tall. It’s so beautiful and I certainly did not expect it.

If this isn’t a happy face, I don’t know what is. Folks, I’m grateful for the people who love me. I’m grateful for my friends and for my family. I’m grateful for flowers and emeralds and dinners out and for the knowledge that I am very much loved. Don’t get me started on that necklace and the earrings!

The knowledge that I am very much loved doesn’t come with the gifts. Don’t misunderstand, I adore the presents I received, from the flowers to the jewelry to the gift cards to the chocolate. I love it all. I love it because it’s not about the presents. It’s about the love that went into the giving of them.

There’s lots and lots of love in my life, and I certainly do not take any of it for granted.

I’m not explaining this properly. Bollocks. Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend, spent with friends who are like family and my most cherished loved ones. I wouldn’t have traded any of the time spent for the world.

I need to figure out what to buy with my gift cards. I don’t need anything! Not really. I guess the point of gifts is that they are not needed.

Question of the Day
What do you buy with your Amazon gift cards? Share in the comments!

For the Love of the Light

I couple weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I realized that my feed is a little on the dark, intense side. Honestly, I’m not depressed. Not at all. I just have been in a rut and have been editing my pictures a certain way. In an effort to break out of the norm, I started using different filters and I’m really enjoying the creative process more. I’ve also been playing with my macro lens and that is always a fun time. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to lately.

Yogi Tea always has the best quotes on their tea tags.

A blossom on my adopted African violet.

Stock blossoms in their spicy pale pink breathy simplicity. I love their fresh air and subtle beauty.

Question of the Day
Do you get stuck in a photography rut? How do you get out of it?

Fun Friday Five!

This week, I’ve found quite a few things about knowing yourself and how that can really, truly help you out in life, relationships, finances, just about everything. Ready to raise your self-awareness? Enjoy! {Number 5 is just pure fun, so enjoy it!}

1. Dressing Your Truth. A friend of mine pointed this out to me, along with the following discovery in number 2 below. I spent a week participating in both courses, which are free right now. They both proved enlightening and I now know a few more things about who I am that I didn’t know before. And, I also know that it’s okay to be who I am without any judgment from anyone else. I really want to take the longer courses!!!!

2. My Energy Profile. Watch this video for an explanation:

3. Skin Mapping from to. & fro. and Batty’s Bath. Reading this post tells me why I have occasional acne along my jawline. I am not at all surprised.

Image from here.

4. This post. All of it. Even the writing exercise. And the video.

5. I won’t lie, I had to look this up because I had no clue who it sings it. This is such a fun video and it looks like they had a great time making it.

Question of the Day
How do you shake off the dust and pick yourself up by your bootstraps?

Green Chile Chicken

I found the recipe that I referenced in yesterday’s post! For some reason, I couldn’t find it in my frenetic online search. What I like about this recipe is the flavor combinations and the fact that you can make it take 20 minutes to cook, or you can make it take 45 minutes. I changed the chiles to make it take a little less time, but if I were to make this on a weekend, I would definitely roast my own chiles and take a bit longer. I’m going to use her picture because mine wasn’t nearly as pretty.

Image from here.

Doesn’t it look delicious? Yum. I’m salivating just looking at it. Also, I love that plate. Anyway. The recipe.

Green Chile Chicken {adapted from Tasty Kitchen – original recipe here}

1/2 c olive oil
3 T lime juice
1/2 c Chipotle peppers In adobo sauce (more to taste), run through your garlic press
2 cloves garlic, run through your garlic press
1 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
1/2 t black pepper
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, filleted {or you can use the breast fillets that are pre-cut}
2 small cans roasted, diced Hatch green chiles
1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
refried beans, for serving
cooked rice, for serving
pico de gallo or salsa

First, make the marinade for the chicken: Combine olive oil, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk until it’s totally combined. Pour into a large ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Seal the bag, smush it around to coat the chicken, and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours (overnight if possible.)

Saute the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Turn the chicken over, and on the cooked side lay on a spoonful of diced chiles and a nice slice of cheese. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the chicken to finish cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, until it’s totally done in the center. The cheese should melt on its own; if it needs a little help, invert an iron skillet over it (or put the lid on the skillet, if using).

Remove the chicken from the skillet and serve it with rice and beans on the side. Top the chicken with a spoonful of pico de gallo or salsa.

And there you have it. A nice, flavorful meal. The boy really liked this one and deemed it worthy of making again.


This Week

I haven’t blogged this week because I’ve been spending all of my time on the Dressing Your Truth and My Energy Profile sites. I’m fascinated by the concept and a lot of it makes so very much sense. I’ve ordered the book, which should arrive tomorrow.

I’ve also eaten far too many donuts. So, there’s that.

Whispers of change
Shadows of truth

Obscure mutterings in the light
Soft, subdued rumblings

I made a delicious chicken recipe that I want to share with you, but I can’t find the recipe online, so I’ll have to type it up later. It’s delicious and it’s so simple!

Stay tuned!

Question of the Day
How do you keep yourself organized? Do you schedule posts are do you wing it? Share in the comments!


Condensation tea bubbles.

Here we are in the last third of the year. Fall seems to be a time of introspection for me. I become more introspective and reflective. I sit on thoughts, emotions and plans, waiting until just the right time to speak them aloud, to carve my space in time, in this world. And I drink a lot of hot tea.

It’s true. I drink more tea in the fall than I do during any other season of the year. I spend more time writing in my journal and just being quiet, settling into myself, so to speak. It sometimes seems that September is the beginning of the year for me, since my birthday falls within that month. Perhaps that is why I grow more introspective, thinking about what I’ve done thus far and where I’ve been. And then thinking about where I want to go and what I want to do.

Perhaps more importantly, these days I have been thinking about how I want to feel. From the way I was raised, I haven’t felt able to freely put much stock in my feelings. I’ve always been taught that my feelings are wrong and cannot be trusted. Feelings aren’t truth. Feelings should be squished down and not emoted. Feelings shouldn’t be felt.

Snort. Harrumph. I call bull honky.

I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself with this in the last few years and I’ve come quite a long way with allowing myself to feel, knowing that feelings in and of themselves are not wrong and they can be trusted, and making myself more of a priority.

It takes work, folks, and most of it isn’t pretty. Through my Intuitive Eating challenges, I learned a little bit about sitting with my feelings and not running to the kitchen every time I felt something uncomfortable. I learned that it was okay to feel what I was feeling and I didn’t need to stuff it down along with a bag of cookies or chips or whatever I had on hand. Learning how to feel again, how to know what I am feeling and how to process through my feelings and emotions is a lesson hard learned. This has been the most difficult part of learning to eat intuitively, and that is as I thought it would be. Removing “good” and “bad” labels from food was easy compared to feeling.

I seem to do a majority of this kind of work in the fall. The time is coming when the moon is already up at 5 pm and the days are getting shorter. I haven’t felt the cool, crisp autumn breezes yet, but I am certain they will arrive closer to the end of the month.

Autumn seems to me like the season of death for nature. The grass turns brown and the deciduous trees shed their leaves. The deer and elk shed their velvet on their antlers. It seems to be a time of death for me too. I shed off the old, let the things that have run their course die, reexamine what works and what doesn’t, filter through bits of information to see what I can use. Sit down, write, feel, let it all out. Get rid of the stuff that isn’t right, isn’t true, isn’t real, and take in the things that are.

It’s odd to me that my year seems to start over again in September. I wonder if others feel the same about their birthday month. Perhaps not. Maybe it’s just a month where I have begun to feel more grounded in myself than in other months. Perhaps it is a month where it is easier for me to do more work on myself. Perhaps the fact that I turn another year older during September makes the month a natural starting over point.

I am glad for the time to reflect and to drink copious amounts of tea. There’s just something about drinking tea and thinking that seem to go hand in hand. Don’t you think?

So I says “My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” And we had the tea and the affairs too…. ~ Charles Dickens, “Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy”

Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty. ~ James Norwood Pratt

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. ~ T’ien Yi-heng

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~ Thich Nat Hahn

Question of the Day
What is your favorite kind of tea? Share in the comments!


Fun Friday Five!

I found quite a few interesting and thought provoking things around the web this week. Here are a couple of them, sprinkled in with some more light-hearted goodness. Enjoy!

1. This song. I’ve had it on constant replay since Tuesday, when I found it whilst looking through a friend’s Facebook photos. {I know you all do that too, so don’t judge me.} I’ve listened to a few more of their songs and Lord Huron is quickly becoming a favorite.

2. This post from one of my favorites. My favorite part of the whole post:

Writing is a painful and unlovely thing. It takes work. It is how I say “Goodbye;” Hello;” “It hurts;” “I don’t know;” “I love you.” It is how I’ve sorted through a tangle of relationships and emotions and truths. It is the process by which I get at something real and good and even holy. Writing is an act of spiritual necessity.

I write for the same reasons, though not with the same eloquence and words that she does. Most of what I write doesn’t see the light of day, and for good reason. Still, this paragraph stuck with me and will, for a good long while. “Writing is an act of spiritual necessity.” For me, it is, along with walking in the woods or hiking to the top of a mountain or just being out, in nature, alone.

3. This recipe for Fire Cider. The boy currently has a head cold, so I’ve been dosing him with coconut oil twice daily, rubbing clove oil into the soles of his feet at night, putting a drop of eucalyptus oil under his nose and putting him to bed early. Poor kid. This stuff takes a month to get good and potent, so I think I’ll make a batch to keep on hand for the winter. It seems like it would kick a head cold in the rear and send it out the door.

4. This post on mindfulness from Foodie Loves Fitness. Especially this:

Image from here.

This entire post is worth the read. Her words served as a great reminder for me to be present in whatever is going on right at this very moment. There is beauty in the present and I’ll miss it all if I don’t pay attention.

5. This post on body image from The Nashville Narnian. Her words ring true.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy the beginning of fall, or for those in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy the beginning of spring!


Starting Conversations with Myself

A couple of days ago, Danielle LaPorte released her Desire Map app called Conversation Starters.

Image from here.

Basically, with the purchase of the app, you get a whole bunch of questions you can use to start a deep, truthful conversation with a friend or loved one. Or, you can do what I’m going to do and use them to start a deep and truthful conversation with myself via my journal. Honestly, it’s far easier for me to have conversations with other people because I can throw a wall up and not think twice, though I will admit that throwing walls up has gotten harder in the last few years. But still, I know I need this exercise in reflection and truth. I need to learn to be honest with myself and not feel guilty about it.

So. Enter pokey questions via Conversation Starters. Check out this question:

Image from here.

Anyone want to take a stab at that one? Me neither, but I’m going to.

Check out the video:

Couldn’t you just listen to her talk all day? She has such a beautiful voice. She makes me want to answer the questions I shy away from. And that is precisely what I need.

Question of the Day
Have you downloaded the app? Would you consider it?