Cookie Science! Creating the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – Post 1
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
Sugar winner: 1 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Egg winner = 1 whole large egg + 1 large egg yolk
What are your thoughts on these elements that go into cookies?
Any opinions on butter, sugar and eggs?
I’m Seeing Changes from my Workout Program…but it’s NOT What You Think.
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?
Easy Stir fry with New Costco Finds!
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?
Easy Broccoli Salad
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 least favorite veggie to clean?
Sneaky Ways to Heal your Guts
1. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies high in fiber! These vegetables literally SWEEP out the intestinal tract. Please use caution as vegetables such as these are NOT going to be easy on your digestion if you are going TOO much as it may be TOO stimulating to your system. so if you are following LOW FODMAPS these are NOT the right foods for you! But that is another post in itself! (more to come in another post if you would like!)
2. Adding spices like minced ginger and tumeric – these two seasonings are super high in antioxidants and anti inflammatory and have known to heal the body! Tumeric is a BRIGHT yellow seasoning that has also been known to treat Diabetes Type 2, Arthritis, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, reduce stress and much more! Ginger also has a TON of health benefits! Just a few include fighting cancer, is used as an anti-nausea, lowers cholesterol, soothes muscle pain as WELL as calming digestion issues!
3. Please note the spicy sauces and garlic and onions may also be upsetting to the GI – just depending on where you are at in your gut health!
Ok – the last couple days has been on the go – but all good stuff (can you tell? um…I mean I did start with COOKIES!)
Food Prep, Weekend So Far and He is One!
1. Use unsalted butter! Bring that AND your eggs to room temp before you start
2. Don’t over mix the flour in – it should be JUST until it’s combined
3. ALWAYS parchment paper – easy cleanup and even baking!
4. Chill the dough overnight…It might feel hard to wait but it is so worth it. SO MUCH FLAVOR
5. The cookies will look under baked – and that is ok! Pat them down lightly with a spoon and then sprinkle on some sea salt….let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 3-5 minutes before moving to the cooling rack
6. Don’t forget to add plenty of chocolate to your dough – I like to mix semi sweet and dark chocolate. Chopping up chocolate bars is amazing too!
What are your favorite cookie baking/making tips?
Made it home by six and relaxed with B for awhile! We watched American Sniper and then ended up going to the bar and grill down the street and meeting up with some friends. I was nearly sleeping on the floor BUT sucked it up and went anyway!
Here is how I made it!
– 1/4 cup egg whites, a pinch of stevia, cinnamon, almond extract, 1 T Vanilla Shakeology and a splash of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk! Whip that all together and I used a piece of Sara Lee Whole Wheat Bread to soak it all up and then cooked like french toast! (duh!) Topped it off with almond butter and raspberries…the best! And of course I had to have some eggs too!
Spent the rest of the morning working on a coach things! Getting a new client started right in her workout program and nutrition regimen and answering facebook messages and emails. Had to also get the present wrapped that I got for my favorite and newest ONE YEAR OLD! One of my besties’ little man turned one 🙂 So me and B went to his party for a bit in the afternoon!
Nine years ago today was my first half marathon! Today I have no idea how far I went, how fast I went and man that wind today was killer! (welcome to ND. ha!) – but you know what? I can honestly say that it felt good to just go out and MOVE. THAT is what activity should be about people. No obsessing over numbers, times, distance – but just a celebration of what we CAN DO.
Prepping some side salads, roast some broccoli, marinate some duck, sloppy joes and homemade paleo buns too!
Will post more about that later…
How is your weekend so far?
What have you been up to?
Best part? I cooked once and this meal has already been eaten in two different ways!
Air Fryer Chicken and Steak Fajita Bowls
Here is how it went down!
1. Cut up your proteins! I chose chicken breasts and venison steak and sliced them into even strips. Added them to a bowl and seasoned with Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning – but use whatever you have on hand! (I’ll post the link to the seasoning below)
2. Set your air fryer to 400 degrees and start! I let it run for about 4 minutes and then sprayed the basket with cooking spray before adding the meat.
3. Let cook for about 6 minutes and flip the chicken and steak! Cook another 6 minutes and remove. (I like my steak medium rare … so cook to your own liking)
4. Meanwhile… get going with your veggie while the meat is cooking. I used 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, a container of sliced white mushrooms and half of an onion sliced into strips. I added all the veggies to a bowl and seasoned again with the Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning.
5. Clean out your basket of your air fryer – and now spray again before adding all the veggies. I cooked them at 400 for about 10 minutes and shaking them up about half way through.
layer one: a few greens! (I used a favorite chopped salad mix)
layer two: all the meat!
layer four: a drizzle of chipotle ranch and hot sauce
layer five: a few crunched up nacho chips
You could also add any of your favorite fajita toppings! Some ideas are guacamole, shredded cheese, salsa, black beans – whatever comes to mind.
Best part of this? It was made multiple ways – You could also add the fixings to a tortilla!
Do you have an air fryer?
What are your favorite toppings?
How would you make your fajita bowls? or do you prefer tortillas?
A Wedding in Four Months? Are you Crazy?
After visiting the venue we sat down and had a big conversation about the benefits and negatives of the place…and we decided to put a big YES on it. We set up a meeting with the caterer we work with.
Another big thing? (no pun intended … ) BUDGET. Google docs has a premade template we used for wedding planning. We sat down and created an estimated budget. I had to have a cold one or two while we did this… we wanted to make it nice, make it fun but make it reasonable and nothing outrageous!
One of the other first things? Creating a guest list. We did this in the google doc – starting with closest family…and working our way outward to friends. Also having to figure out our wedding party was so hard! I knew a few of my friends wouldn’t be able to be a part of it due to other commitments on the day of or before our wedding. Decided on our people and I sent out some cute invites for them! They already knew anyway…because I did ask per phone 🙂 When you don’t have much time to work with you have you don’t mess around!
I asked B what he wanted to be a part of intimately when planning and what things he did’t mind me just going for – I didn’t want to just start doing things because we are a team! But I also know him and know he doesn’t want me to ask about every specific detail.
Two rules we and I have had.
1. He told me “You aren’t allowed to pull the panic button unless someone is actively dying.” Noted babe.
2. Make a decision and go with it. Something I told myself from the beginning because we BOTH have a tendency to hmmmmm and haawwwww over things.
Start scheduling things and making decisions.
Schedule engagement photos – get them back – make the invites – get them and SEND THEM.
Created a wedding website for RSVPs and wedding details.
Make a hotel block – research what i the best deal in the area.
Decide on cake and food.
I kept it simple and let the bridesmaids get their own dresses – just told them the color.
Found a dress at the first place in 45 minutes and bought it off the rack.
Stay organized throughout the process.. I have an ongoing list that I check things off as I do them each day – If somethings takes like a half hour to do – DO IT NOW and don’t just wait until the week of! Need bride make up? Go buy it now. Need to wrap bridal party gifts? Perfect go do it now. Need to pack the decor in totes? Great do it. Oh and amazon prime and etsy are amazing.
Hope this helps you all get an idea of how we have been going about it, not stressing too much and just enjoying it. Something I remind myself EVERY day is how pumped I am for our MARRIAGE – the wedding is just one day! 🙂
How long was your engagement?
Anything surprise you after reading this?
Punta Cana 2017
It was a long day of traveling which is always the worst part! We flew MSP to Charlotte and then Charlotte to Punta Cana. We arrived around 3:30 pm their time and it was sunny and 80 degree. Palm trees, sunny skies, happy people…how can you go wrong? OH and did I mention that it was LITERALLY SNOWING when we left MN??? They had to de-ice the plane before we flew out!
When we arrived at the Hard Rock we were greeted with live music, a dude on rollerblades that lit up like rainbows, batman driving a batmobile and were handed fruity delicious cocktails as we came into the lobby. I’m dead serious about all of that.
Once we checked in we made our way to our room! We stayed right on the beach which was PRETTY FAR from the main lobby…oh well – I guess we got our steps in! AND we were close to the ocean!
After getting settled in our room we got ready and ventured out to explore a bit, say hi to the ocean and get some FOOD. SERIOUSLY traveling makes a person so hungry! We ended up eating at a cafe because it was just right there – but the food wasn’t the greatest! (oh well) – at least the drinks were good! We also checked out the huge welcome ceremony and grabbed dessert there! There were soooo many people! We were in bed so early this night … we had been up since about 3 am with little sleep the night before!
Core de Force is one of my FAVORITE workouts and it was a blast to be able to workout with Joel and Jericho live. ALSO I wasn’t sure what I would think of the new Shift Shop workout – but I honestly think CHRIS is what makes the workout awesome. The moves remind me a lot of athletic training and everyday felt like leg day! (good thing leg day is my favorite! ha!) Check out his motivation and drive HERE – this is actually a video someone took from the event and he actually took someone on stage with him!
Eventually we ventured up to the ocean area! The others wanted to play sand volleyball so we went up there to make a team and find someone to play! (I was content watching!)
At the beach we grabbed a snack too! There is ALWAYS food around. Absolutely no excuse to go hungry! Even at the ocean then had grills going with kabobs, fish, burgers, hotdogs, nachos, pizza (their pizza doesn’t have sauce and had corn on it! interesting right?) There was even ICE CREAM! I’m sure there were other things too!
After a beachy afternoon we went back to our room to clean up and meet up at the steakhouse. I was HUNNGGRRYY. The food was much better here! I went with fresh salmon and steamed veggies!
OH WELL! We will just call it part of spring cleaning!! – We did another LIVE Core de Force this day and a Shift Shop workout! Cardio and strength training both workouts. They had Shakeology available between workouts and after and you BET I sucked that thing down SOOOO FAST!
SERIOUSLY – there is anything here! We also had a mini bar in our room with anything you could ever dream of wanting…I wish I had this service at home!
On the last night at the resort they had a big farewell party for us coaches! Unfortunately due to the weather it was moved from the beach to the indoor huge ballroom. But the show must go on! We went back to the room and got ready for our final night!
Let’s just say morning came soooooo fast. We headed back to our room about 10 pm and our alarms set for 3 am! We had to check out the hotel and be on our shuttle to the airport at 4 am (keep in mind this is like 3 am back home!) –
We made it to the airport and stood in the longest line EVER to check a bag. SERIOUSLY that was the longest part of the whole airport experience and I was super nervous we weren’t going to make it to our gate in time..but long story short…we did!
Despite the rain our flight was on time! Yay! We were even on the same plane as all of the super trainers: Joel, Jericho and her family and Chris Downing was actually sitting right behind us on the plane. I was pumped about it, but B told me to quit being such a stalker…
Not going to lie…that layover of 4 hours in Miami sucked! We were exhausted and just ready to be home! But our flight was on time again…yay! We landed in Minneapolis at about 4:30 pm so even a little ahead of schedule. My luggage made it too which is always a win…but my luggage bag is pretty destroyed. Anyone ever seen how they handle luggage? No wonder it had a HUGE RIP in it… BUT if that is the worst thing we are good shape! We found the car and hit the road for our four hour drive home…but hey. We were closer!
We were absolutely STARVING!!! I wanted something FRESH (B inserts eye roll here) He dropped me off at Subway while he grabbed a burger down the street. I seriously had the guy put everything on it – INCLUDING two chicken breasts and scarfed. plus two cookies. and a diet coke (random craving)
Apply here to find out more…
Until next year – Riviera Maya here we come April 2018! Will you be joining us?
What is your favorite place you have ever traveled?