Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fun in the Kitchen

 Learning how to use my kitchen is something that has been a work in progress for years. When I was 22, I moved into my first apartment and lived alone for less than  a year. I was so excited, I thought I would have so much fun cooking with my pink utensils every night. Yeah, not so much.
Turns out cooking for yourself is really boring and difficult. It's so much more motivating to cook for friends or boyfriend/fiance/husband.

This is me in my new apartment at 22. My friend Nicole gave me this Domestic Diva apron...was definitely not a domestic diva at the time.

I've mentioned before that I used to be a very picky eater. This means that I was only interested in cooking things I actually liked to eat. This is where my family gets the joke that I can't cook anything except pasta. (Can too!!)
At some point in the last month or so, I've noticed that I actually enjoy cooking and I look forward to it. I find it relaxing to come home and cook a nice meal and I seem to be doing it more and more. I don't know when this happened, but I like it. And so does my husband! 

I think my recent love of cooking started when Leigh and I got home from our honeymoon, where we ate every single meal in a restaurant for over a week. We were so sick of restaurant food that we've only been out for dinner two or three times since then. 
We also were gifted with awesome kitchen stuff from our amazing family and friends, so that helps! (More on my favourite kitchen gadgets later!)

Anyways, one of the things that helps me cook more is my beloved recipe book. I have given these as gifts before, you can buy pretty ones from Costco or make it yourself, but they are awesome!

                 To make one, just get a binder, preferably with a window so you can put something pretty on the front. Also buy some clear page protectors.

Then you can put all those pages you tear out of magazines into the book and it will look all pretty!
You can also put the recipes you print off the Internet in here. At the back. They're not as pretty.

I ended up making this one day after I (ok, Leigh) got sick of my giant piles of magazines everywhere. I do mean everywhere. I'm a magazine well as a book addict. But that's neither here nor there.
So I went through all my magazines and tore out all the recipes I wanted to make. I also tore out the articles unrelated to food to put into a different binder. I have been subscribing Oxygen magazine for years, so I now have tons and tons of healthy and "clean eating" recipes.

So that's my recipe book! Tonight I took it out to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, just for fun. Also because they make my hubby very, very happy.

                                                       Happy Husband Cookies
                                            (adapted from Canadian Living recipe)


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together rolled oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt - stir into butter mixture until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping 1 tbsp about 2 inches apart, onto prepared pans. 
If you roll them to little balls and then lightly smush them, they come out looking perfect.
Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until golden, about 12 minutes.
Transfer to rack; let cool. 

**I have made variations of these cookies and they always turn out great. You can substitute the chocolate chips for M&Ms or Reece's Peices. I have also used olive oil Becel because that's all I had and no one noticed. I always sprinkle some cinnamon into the batter but I've never actually measured how much.
This time I used 1/2 cup of Splenda and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and noticed no change in taste!

These cookies are very satisfying because of the oatmeal. Enjoy!


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