I just love cookies. Love them. I love all kinds of cookies. I love trying new recipes and I love the recipes that I have made for years. I love starting a batch of cookies in the afternoon so that the aroma fills the house just as the kids are coming home from school. I love packaging them up to give to friends. I love packing them in my kids’ lunches. They are sweet, they are tasty and they are portable. I have cookie moods. People often ask me what my favorite cookie is. It depends on the day!
Recently one of my favorite nephews stopped by with his wife for a visit. I have a real soft spot in my heart for this one. When he was younger he used to come and sleep over at our house. His ready smile and happy nature made him pretty easy to love. He’s all grown up now– tall, strong and handsome. When I see him and he gives me a hug, in many ways it’s much like a hug my own sons would give me…it’s a little tighter and a little longer and it’s packed with genuine care. At any rate, the other day he was visiting and before he left he asked me if I had a good oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe. We tried to define which kind of oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Does it have cinnamon? Is it cake-like? Is it flat? Does it have raisins? I have so many great oatmeal cookie recipes, but this one is one of my all-time favorites.
This cookie is thin and chewy, no raisins and no cinnamon. Oh, it does have plenty of butter. Here you go, Brandon. And since a picture is worth a thousand words…
My husband likes to stack cookies…
and pile cookies. I kept telling him I needed them lined up nice and neat on parchment so that I could drizzle them with chocolate. They needed to dress themselves up a bit because they were going to a neighbor’s house.I like using white chocolate for this as well. Do it or don’t–they are your cookies!
He laid them out for me on the parchment like I asked. I drizzled and when I turned around he had stacked cookies again. So I took a picture.
And because a taste is worth more than a thousand words, you should make yourself a batch. This makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies. Have fun!
5.0 from 1 reviewsThin and Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesPrep timeTotal timeThis buttery chewy cookie is the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip treat!Author: Shanon BalserRecipe type: CookiesServes: 40Ingredients
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups quick-cooking oats
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, cream together softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time until well-mixed.
- Add soda, salt and vanilla and mix, taking care to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that all ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Add flour, mixing just to combine.
- Add oats and mix on medium speed for 20-30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add chocolate chips and mix just to distribute.
- Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes in a 375° oven. (Mine took about eleven and a half minutes.
- Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
**I like to dress these cookies up a bit with drizzled white or milk chocolate. Melt chocolate in a seal-able plastic bag and microwave on low until the chocolate is melted. Snip off a tiny corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the cookies if desired.
Pasta. Comfort food. Family-style. Leftovers. Make-ahead. This dish covers so many of the elements required of being a mom and the one in charge of dinner. Because I love to cook and I love to bake you might imagine that I spend blissful days in the kitchen listening to Sinatra, happily cooking away. This just isn’t the case. I have a busy family. I try to help my dad. I watch my granddaughter several times a week. I help my son with homework. I love a chance to either visit or have my other granddaughter and grandson come to visit. Sometimes I clean the house. I’m busy with my church activity. I enjoy taking my son lunch. I write to my missionary. I work in the yard. I want to take a yoga class. I go to baseball and football games. In other words, I am a lot like you. Life can be hectic and sometimes you need something simple but incredibly delicious for your family. That is why I enjoy making and serving this dish.
To me, days have moods. Part of the reason that this recipe is awkwardly lacking in photos is because I made it on a very overcast day and had next to no lighting. The mood of the day called for something that would fill the house with a delicious aroma while providing something filled with flavor and substance to a family who felt like eating their dinner in pajamas. This dish was a perfect choice. Bake or pick up a nice crusty loaf of artisan bread to serve with this dinner. And then, tomorrow, enjoy the other half of why I love this dish–leftovers!
Three Cheese Pasta BakePrep timeCook timeTotal timeThis pasta bake is a great make-ahead dish. Pasta as a comfort food always works.Author: ShanonServes: 12Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound hamburger, Italian sausage or both or go meatless
- 2 14 oz cans tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound fresh mozarella, cubed
- 2-3 cups mozarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 15 oz tub ricotta cheese
- 1 16 oz package of ziti or penne pasta
- additional cheese for topping
- white pepper
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and saute until softened.
- Add minced garlic and continue until garlic is just browning.
- Add beef in crumbled portions to the onions and garlic and continue to saute until the beef is well-browned.
- Remove from heat and add ricotta cheese and stir to incorporate.
- Return to heat and add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and reduce heat to simmer.
- Stir in Italian seasoning, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Simmer for about 10-15 minutes while you prepare your noodles and cheeses.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it has reached a full boil, add 1 Tablespoon of sea salt and add the noodles.
- Cook the noodles until they are not quite done, usually shortening the cooking time by 2 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Cube 1 pound of fresh mozzarella.
- Grate 2 cups additional mozzarella.
- Grate 1 cup parmeson cheese.
- In a large baking dish (larger than a 9 X 13 if you have it) begin layering your Three Cheese Pasta Bake starting with a thin layer of sauce, followed by one-half of your noodles, one-half of all cheese and one-half of your sauce. Repeat the process.
- Top with additional cheese, a sprinkling of Italian seasoning and a little white pepper.
- Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
- Allow the bake to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
**this is great to make ahead and refrigerate or freeze
There are times when you want to make something really special for dinner. You want a restaurant-style experience without the price and without hiring a babysitter. I have six kids. Most of them are grown and gone but I remember those early years of motherhood with fondness and sometimes fatigue and frustration. We didn’t always have the budget for a nice evening out and we didn’t always have a babysitter available. Enter the rosemary and garlic marinated steak. This meal has been served on many special occasions at our house. Events like anniversaries, birthdays and New Years Eve are ones that quickly come to mind. Sometimes we would put the kids to bed and make dinner and other times we put out our best dinnerware and had a beautiful etiquette-teaching meal. My favorite steak to use is a 2-inch thick porterhouse steak but the process for any steak is the same and it always packs big flavor. Use whatever steak you have available to you or splurge and ask the butcher to cut you a nice thick porterhouse.
Start by placing sprigs of fresh rosemary on both sides of the steak along with several slices of fresh garlic. Wrap the steak and refrigerate for about 8 hours.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to start cooking the steak remove it from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Heat a heavy (cast iron if possible) to medium heat and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Sear the steak on both sides WITH the rosemary and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat and add 1/2 cup red wine, apple juice or bouillon. I found this nice little cooking wine that I used because I don’t have alcohol in the house. 🙂 Preheat your oven to 375°.
Simmer 2 minutes while the oven is heating. Place the steak, uncovered, in the oven for about 25 minutes. Turn the steak every 10 minutes. Cook to your desired doneness. During the last 5 minutes of cooking place a tablespoon of butter on top of the steak. That’s just a delicious idea.
Remove the steak from the oven and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving. This is where I add a bit of salt to the steak. Cover with a piece of foil to keep the heat in. (The steaks I made today were plated as individuals, not sliced.) While the steak (or steaks) are resting, we will work on the sauce that is poured over the steak for serving.
Remove the large sprigs of rosemary from the pan. To the drippings add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 2 green onions chopped, 1 rounded tablespoon of jalapeno jelly and 1/4 cup additional red wine or your substitute. If I don’t have jalapeno jelly handy I use 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes with about a tablespoon of brown sugar. Look at us making rational substitutions! Whisk together until well incorporated over a low simmer.
Pour warm sauce over steak and serve immediately. You know what is a great side dish for this steak? Loaded Red Potatoes! Garnish with fresh rosemary.
Look at your calendar and see what special occasions you have coming up in your life. My kids still remember feeling so important when I cooked this for them as young children. Something I couldn’t afford to do with them at a fancy restaurant became a happy memory.
Steak with Rosemary and GarlicPrep timeCook timeTotal timeWith just a little preparation you will end up with a delicious restaurant quality steak. Make it for a special occasion in your family.Author: ShanonRecipe type: Main DishIngredients
- Steak, your choice. I love to have a butcher cut me a 2-inch thick porterhouse steak. For this post I used 4 rib eye steaks because I was feeding a crowd.
For The Marinade
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
- olive oil
- ½ cup red wine or use apple juice or sweetened broth
For The Sauce
- drippings from pan
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup addition red wine, apple juice or broth
- 1 rounded tablespoon of jalapeno jelly or ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Layer steak or steaks with sprigs of fresh rosemary and garlic slices.
- Wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours.
- Remove the steak from the fridge 20 minutes before you are ready to start cooking.
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat.
- Brown steak, with rosemary and garlic, on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until it develops nice color.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet and add red wine.
- Simmer 2 minutes.
- Put the skillet with the steak/steaks in the oven for approximately 25 minutes; turning them every 10 minutes.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking place 1 pat of butter on each steak.
- Remove from the oven and place on a plate.
- Lightly salt the steak and cover with foil.
- To the drippings in the pan add tablespoons butter, soy sauce, green onions chopped, jalapeno jelly and ¼ cup additional red wine.
- Over low heat whisk together until completely incorporated.
- Slice the steak, especially if you are using the thicker porterhouse cut. Or plate the steaks you have cooked an individual steak for your guests.
- Pour sauce over the cooked steak.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary.
- Great with Loaded Red Potatoes.
The other day my father called us all together for a family meeting. He has cancer. He wanted to talk to all of us about the way his estate would be settled when he dies. I was assigned dessert for the dinner portion of the meeting. I decided on nostalgia and made these cookies for the event. It was great to be together with my brothers and sisters and my dad. They are amazing people and I am a better person just because I am related. My dad opened the meeting saying something like “When I die and things are settled I want you to make your mother proud.” He ended the meeting by telling us that none of the “things were his and none would ever really be ours. “Everything belongs to God.” At any rate–I made the cookies and I’m pretty sure that they brought back more than a few good memories for my family. So I decided to give them a re-post. If you haven’t made these yet, give them a try. I’m sure you will have a new family favorite of your own.The photo above was taken this particular occasion. You will notice yellow sprinkles on a few. On the last 2 dozen cookies I added lemon extract, lemon zest and a few lemon chips. They were a delightful twist to an old favorite.And now the re-post…..Fair warning; this is going to be serious.I love the kitchen! I love dishes, dishtowels, kitchen gadgets, family conversations, recipe books, oh yeah…I also love cooking/baking. It’s just a little something that I picked up from the hours I spent in the kitchen with my mom when I was growing up. You will hear a lot about my momma over the years. In fact, it’s because of her that I started collecting my favorite recipes to put on a blog ! She is the reason for so many things. I’m not really ready to talk about it yet, but my mom passed away a couple of months ago. She was my biggest cheerleader and inspiration. She was also my editor. I don’t know how objective she was about my writing but I do know that she had me correct a few misspelled words now and then. Mostly she would just read through the post and then call and tell me how wonderful I was. I miss that. I miss her. Wow.I thought it might be appropriate to come back to blogging with a recipe of her mother’s. I was one of the youngest of the grandchildren and my memories of my grandmother are sketchy at best. What I do remember of her, though, was complete kindness and really encompassing hugs. I wish that I had the same memories as my cousins and siblings about these cookies, but my memories come from my own mother making these unique cookies. I’m told that grandma would bake them in her wood burning/coal stove and then store them in a big roaster. Grandkids and friends alike were welcome to stop in and dip their hands into the roaster for one of these nostalgic cookies. I’ve collected a lot of recipes over the years and I’ve never run across one quite like it. I find these cookies to parallel a grandmother in many ways; they take time, they are sweet and they bring happiness to all around them.I made these cookies shortly after Momma died. Somehow digging out this recipe and laboring with love over them made me feel closer to both her and grandma. I took a few to a cousin and dropped some off to my brother who always claimed to love them most. I reintroduced them to my own children who had no memory of this cookie and was glad I had taken the time to share a memory.Make them for the people you love. Take a few minutes and tell them a story about your own grandmother. There’s just something about the kitchen. I feel close to my momma there. She wrote a post for me in the spring and asked me to post it in the fall. That will be my next gift to this blog and any who love their mother and grandmother. If you will notice these ingredients are so simple and most surely found in most pantries– nothing fancy here except the finished product.
The first thing to remember is that this is a sticky dough. Refrigerating the dough for at least 2 hours makes it manageable, so there’s no reason to get all excited and preheat the oven when you crack the eggs…
The happy ingredients:
In a large bowl ( and I mean Large bowl) cream together:
1 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
2 cups canned milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans * optional (Okay I have a confession: I don’t love nuts in these cookies so I make them in stages and add nuts for those in the fam who love nuts or are nutty…)
Remember, the dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 2 hours. I always tell my girls to do a test batch of cookies when they start baking, just to see how the shape holds. If you feel like it needs more flour, toss it in!
I’ve never been successful using a cookie scoop with these cookies. I always use either two spoons or a spoon and knife. This would be called the “old-fashioned” way of shaping cookie dough. This is how we did it in the old days. My momma taught me that.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and drop cookies onto parchment-covered cookie sheet or greased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the top springs back when you tap it carefully with your finger, avoiding burning yourself. Come on and try it. If grandma could manage this in an old coal stove 80 years ago I think you can do it! If you can’t handle that do the standard insertion of a toothpick coming out mostly clean. You are baking the equivalent of a mini-cake here. Some of mine will turn out flattish and some will turn out nice and rounded. Either way they will melt in your mouth and flood your mind with a million happy memories.
Cool 2 minutes on a cookie sheet before moving to them to a cooling rack, or as grandma did; a dry, clean dish towel.
Frost with vanilla frosting of your choice. Grandma Reba’s recipe is below. I always use her recipe when I make these cookies, flour and all. 🙂 There are some things you just don’t mess with. You will want to frost them while they are still slightly warm so that the frosting sort of runs down the sides just a bit. Sprinkle them with chopped walnuts if you love walnuts.
Share a few… because that’s what your grandmother would do.Grandma's CookiesThis old fashioned cookie is well worth the effort. Cake-like in texture, this cookie evokes memories of days gone by and visiting with good friends and family.Author: Shanon for Grandma DunsdonRecipe type: CookiesIngredients
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 cups canned milk
- 5½ to 6 cups flour (sometimes even more if it is humid)
- *optional chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 square butter softened
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1½ package powdered sugar
- canned milk to desired consistency
- Cream together sugar and shortening. Add salt, soda, vanilla and eggs just until blended. Carefully incorporate flour and milk. Add chopped nuts if desired and reserve a few for sprinkling on the top of the cookies if you are nutty. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically to make sure that you the dough has mixed up nice and even. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees until the edges brown and the top of the cookie springs back when touched.
- Cool until just slightly warm and frost with vanilla frosting. Top with chopped nuts as desired.
There you have it….a memory.