Categories
Food

Cookie Science! Creating the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie – Post 1

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Let me clarify – To me that means Chewy, doughy, soft, chocolatey, buttery, salty awesomeness. Its crazy how much baking truly is an art and takes practice and experimentation to get the “results” that you are looking for. Plenty of flour, sugar, butter and love have went into (and spritzed around) my kitchen lately as I’m determined to create my own favorite recipe!

Cookie Science! Creating the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – Post 1

Not all cookies are created equal! There is RARELY a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is identical to another one. I have a few “go to” recipes for cookies, but lately I have been trying different combinations of the elements that go into the ingredients in different combinations in order to find my perfect one.

This will likely be a series of blog posts – but here is a start!

First Ingredient… BUTTER – and more specifically…UNSALTED butter. Unsalted butter is used so that you can control the amount of butter in the recipe. Every brand of butter is different and no two sticks are for surely the same amount…so in order to maintain control… Unsalted it is! I buy my butter at Costco and store extras in the freezer!

Now – melted or softened to room temp???

The above cookie is made with semi melted butter…meaning that some of the stick was melted, but the rest of the stick remained shaped, but soft. There are also recipes that call for just “room temperature” butter – Meaning leave the butter out long enough so that when you press on it, your finger leaves an imprint.  I have NOT had the best results with using butter this way as I felt that cookies were too “tough” for my taste.

Browned butter is another technique I use fairly often when baking. To brown butter you add the butter to a saute pan that is set on the stove top to medium/low. Let the butter melt while stirring it and it will eventually start to bubble and foam. Keep a close eye on the butter so that it doesn’t start to burn..but starts to turn a golden color with flecks and you will notice a toffee like smell (mmm…) Remember to stir continuously! Once it reaches that beautiful golden color remove the pan from the burner and pour the butter into a glass bowl to let cool for about 15 minutes before adding to your cookie recipe. You don’t want it to be piping hot or boiling when you add it!

Butter Winner = Browned butter melted or just melted unsalted butter

Next element: sugar .. or I mean sugarS. I like a CHEWY cookie so I use more brown sugar than white granulated sugar – Like a 2:1 ratio. In my cookie recipe I have been using 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. Make sure your brown sugar is packed into the cup tightly! I tend to go with the light brown sugar, but there is also dark brown sugar which contains more molasses giving it a more distinct flavor. Some recipe call for equal parts brown and white sugar and some even do that more white sugar than brown – those are going to be your crispier cookies –

Sugar winner: 1 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

Next element… eggs! Eggs also have many options! I use a large size egg for all of my baking. Most recipe call for two whole eggs. My favorite? 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk. These make the most moist cookies! (sorry..I hate that word too!) Another tip – make sure your eggs are room temperature. Warm butter + cold eggs ay = scrambled eggs….ISH! – to hurry up this process I add my eggs to a bowl and fill it with hot water and let them sit for about 5-10 minutes before adding to my cookie dough.

Egg winner = 1 whole large egg + 1 large egg yolk

Ok … enough for today! Next round I’ll go into vanilla and the elements that make cookies puffy and/or chewy!

What are your thoughts on these elements that go into cookies?
​Any opinions on butter, sugar and eggs?

Categories
Food Health

I’m Seeing Changes from my Workout Program…but it’s NOT What You Think.

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so many times you start a new nutrition program, workout routine or other healthy change for the goal to make changes to your body… and years ago when I started running I would be lying to you if I said I hadn’t hoped for that. But now it’s different. I’ve been doing a workout program called Shift Shop the last few weeks and just yesterday I looked in the mirror and saw a huge change. I could seriously cry.

I’m Seeing Changes from my Workout Program…but it’s NOT What You Think.

It’s not a change in my figure. A change in muscle tone or growth. It wasn’t a change in the number on the scale. Or even abs starting to show.

It was looking at myself in the mirror and realizing that I felt good in my own head.

I have STRUGGLED with some workout programs because I feel like I’m doing it because all the other coaches are doing it and promoting it … so wouldn’t I too? And to be honest when I’ve done insanity workouts I didn’t like them. I did for a while, but go BURNT out with all the jumping and intensity and scream in your faceness. And at first I thought The Shift Shop was going to be something similar.

But I’m determined to go outside my comfort zone. I don’t want to be that person at the gym for hours or the girl running miles on the treadmill because she feels like she has to.
If you WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT you have to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Chris Downing is a different type of trainer. I did his workout LIVE in the Dominican Republic on the rewards trip. And he just has a way of speaking to you. He’s humble. Understanding. Down to earth. And the SHIFT he talks about it making one WITHIN you. Because you are WORTHY of everything you desire. And it goes much farther than six pack abs.

So for the last month I’ve been doing post on instagram and facebook about confessions. Confessions of my struggles with perfection. Just being me. No facade. And yesterday I finally feel a realization surfaced. I’ve been pushing play in this program for a different reason. I’m pushing play because doing something that is hard to me and overcoming it feels good. Knowing I CAN do something I commit to doing feels good. It feels like I’m sweating my way into a meditation and after I feel BETTER.

I’m working on a SIX PACK MINDSET. Not abs.

Are you ready for a CHANGE?!? I would be BLESSED to introduce you and be a part of these changes within too.

Quick form to fill out here and let’s work TOGETHER

What is on your mind today?
What changes internally have you been working on?
Do you struggle with things like this too?

Categories
Food

Easy Stir fry with New Costco Finds!

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Raise your hand if you like easy meals that are done in less than 30 minutes – taste delish and are actually good for you? OH and you can use up what you have in the fridge? – STIR FRY!

Easy Stir fry with New Costco Finds!

raises both hands in the air… ha! Stir fry is awesome….especially because you seriously can’t mess it up! So flexible – (unlike my personal self…ha!)
So I didn’t get it ALL from Costco – here are what I set out to use with it! The frozen stir fry veggie mix was from Costco. I believe this huge bag was like $7 only and it has a great mix of veggies: pea pods, broccoli, carrots, peppers, zucchini, beans and mushrooms. I also grabbed this can of minced ginger! Ginger is a highly anti-inflammatory food and with the gut issues I’ve been having lately I’ll take any healing food I can get! I also grabbed this bottle of liquid coconut aminos! Coconut aminos is similar to soy sauce, but this one is soy free, lower in sodium and gives you a different taste – something new right?
this was a Costco find! Its ramen style noodles made with only TWO ingredients – which is awesome in my opinion. It is gluten free – I’m not gluten free, but for those that have celiac or have an irritation to gluten this would be a great option for you too!
Ingredients: organic brown rice flour, organic millet – one serving is a half piece and the size of the pieces are about the same size as the regular ramen noodles I remember from growing up! Yup. I was that child that LOVED the chicken ramen noodles from the store! haha!
Bone broth…have you heard of it? I know it sounds gross! But like I was saying I have been reading and researching a ton on gut health! (more to come on that later) So bone broth is just that! So what is so special about it when it tastes just like regular chicken or beef broth? It contains a ton of collagen protein and it is broken down in the purest and simplest form so your body doesn’t have to do the work and can just simply be absorbed. It supposedly has some magical gut healing powers – and I’m all for that!
here is the finished product on my plate – i sprinkled on some daiya shredded cheese and some nutritional yeast too! … ok ok …I’ll share the recipe finally!
Now the How To…
Let me know what you think when you try it!

How do you like your stir fry?

Are you interested in gut health or have you had any issues yourself?

Any fun Costco finds?

Have you tried bone broth?

Feel free to pin and share this image or link with a friend!
Categories
Food

Easy Broccoli Salad

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An easy and versatile dish that is perfect for the holiday weekend or any time!

Easy Broccoli Salad

I used to make this salad ALL the time, but it has been so long! I think it’s because I hate cleaning fresh broccoli. Note to self: next time buy the pre-cleaned, pre-stemmed kind in the produce refrigerated section! You can easily use other vegetables you have on hand…some other ideas: cauliflower, carrots, peppers, zucchini, egg plant, peas – Feel free to add extra cheese, use shredded vs. the chopped or leave it out altogether. Really..do whatever you wish to suit your preferences.
Gather all of your ingredients and get to cleaning and chopping! Toss all of this into a large bowl. All of these “measurements” were guesstimations – SO really you can’t screw it up.

In a separate smaller bowl add all of your dressing ingredients. Regular white vinegar would work if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. I used stevia to sweeten, but feel free to use regular white sugar, another sweetener and I think even honey would work too. Combine all of the dressing ingredients and add pepper to your own liking! Dump the dressing on the veggies and stir it up! Put it in the fridge or eat right away – ENJOY!

What is your favorite dish to bring to family get togethers?
What is your least favorite veggie to clean?