Friday, February 26, 2010

Healthified Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from a site (eatbetteramerica) I stumbled across one day last semester when I was in search of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (and my boyfriends). This was unfortunately not his favorite but quickly became a contender for one of mine. Of course no cookies are healthy but these are supposed to be a healthier version with 21% fewer calories • 42% less sat fat • 14% less fat than the original recipe. It honestly does not make too much of a difference but it makes me feel like it does! 



              Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup and 2 tbs baking splenda 
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup  semisweet chocolate chips
The splenda can be replaced with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar if you prefer.

Heat oven to 375°. In a large bowl mix together the splenda, brown sugar, butter, oil, vanilla, and egg. Gradually beat in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough on a cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until light golden brown. 


It is that simple and probably takes about 30-45 minutes total. My roommates think they are addicting, and I would have to agree! But beware they are not your average chocolate chip cookies, the wheat flour gives it a slightly different taste but one that I love!

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I am going through the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World with my discipler and absolutely loving it. This week we studied the chapter discussing distraction, discouragement, and doubt. Satan's favorite ways to trap us into believing his lies that we are not good enough and Jesus does not truly love and care about us. How often do you find yourself asking God why don't you care? The interesting thing is that it isn't that He doesn't care it is that we don't fully believe and trust Him. Satan talks us into becoming distracted that we are so busy, too busy for precious time with the Lord. We quickly become discouraged that we aren't doing enough or simply that things aren't going our way. This is when doubt can quickly creep in making us feel worthless and like no one cares. Fortunately we have this amazing book filled with His word that we can always look to and seek wisdom from our Father. 


"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Raspberry Stuffed Chicken


Ingredients:
  • 4 Chicken breasts 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 24 Spinach leaves
  • 4 Tomatoes (medium-large)
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Toothpicks
Preheat the oven to 400°. Dice up all of your spinach leaves and set aside. Take each tomato and cut the top off. Dice up the tops and set aside. Empty the tomatoes so that they are just the shells. Take your piece of chicken and with a sharp knife cut along one side in the middle of the breast. Be careful not to go all the way through. Pick up the top piece of your cut and place a little spinach, tomato, and mozzarella in each pocket. Use toothpicks to secure the top and bottom of the now stuffed breast. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the chicken. It does not have to be Montreal chicken seasoning but any other kind you like and sprinkle to cover the breast. Pour the raspberry vinaigrette dressing or I have also used balsamic over the chicken, place on a broiling pan and in the oven for 45 min-1 hr. When I cook just one breast I do it for 30 minutes but the more breasts the longer it needs. 

Ingredients for sides:
  • 4 medium sized red potatoes
  • 4 tomato shells (left over from the ones you used for the chicken)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 8 spinach leaves (left over from the ones you used for the chicken)
If you wanted to make these sides as well they are very simple. I just diced up the potatoes put them on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them. Place in the 400° oven for 30 minutes. The tomato shells I filled with the remaining spinach and a sprinkle of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Those can be place in the oven with the potatoes when there is about 5 minutes remaining on the timer. 

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Today I was not feeling well and really should have been doing more homework than I have. I took a nice nap and was in the mood to cook. I searched the refrigerator for something I could do pretty quickly that would also be nourishing. This is what I came up with, the ingredients can easily be interchanged with a different type of cheese, dressing, or vegetable. If I have mushrooms I like to put them in the chicken as well. 

Isn't it funny how we can be feeling ill or just crummy but there is always something that can make us feel better? It could be a tv show or movie, friends or family, even a good book or nap. Aside from these materialistic things my favorite thing to make me feel "better" is remembering the love of my savior and the joy that it gives me. No matter what has happened, how I'm feeling, or what is going on I know that I can always count on His love. It  is a feeling that surpasses any other and thankfully one that never fails. 

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Beginning

I cannot believe that I am starting a blog. I cannot guarantee that it will last long and will probably not be updated too frequently. With all of my school work it is hard to find a lot of time to cook and then to write about it. I love to cook and bake and was just thinking it would be neat to record everything that I do or most of it. So this is somewhat experimental, just work with me!