Oatmeal Cookies With A Sweet Surprise

oatmealcookiesI was feeling a little down today so I headed to the kitchen to change my attitude.

What better way to do that than bake some cookies?

Not content to make the usual “off the lid of the oatmeal container” recipe, I decided to tweak it a bit and came out with a cookie that smelled fantastic while it was baking, let me sneak in an ingredient my husband says he doesn’t like but I love (coconut), and went great with an ice cold bottle of Guinness while I settled in to watch USC Basketball play Providence #BeatTheFriars.

Oatmeal Cookies With A Sweet Surprise

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1+1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 (12 oz) package milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup packed shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of stand mixer (or a medium bowl if using a hand mixer) cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Mix on low speed for about a minute, then on medium for an additional minute until light and creamy.
  3. Add the eggs mixing on low between each addition. Mix on high for about a minute. The mixture should be pale yellow and very fluffy.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing on low until the flour disappears. Add the oats and mix on low again, just until blended.
  6. Add the coconut and chocolate chips mixing on low just until blended.
  7. Use a medium-sized cookie scoop (overflowing the scoop a bit) and place the dough on ungreased non-stick baking sheets about 2″ a part.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until the tops and edges start to turn a light golden brown.
  9. Remove the cookies sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool about 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a plate to finish cooling.
  10. When cookies are completely cool, store any you haven’t eaten in a tightly sealed container on the counter.

If it matters, the cookies even got my labs’ seal of approval.  After I spilled half a bag of coconut on the kitchen floor, which my labs were more than happy to help clean up, they were hounding around when they came out of the oven.  I gave them their own “cookies” but my black lab wasn’t satisfied with that and, even though she was SO BUSTED, I caught her standing up at the IMG_1743counter, as quietly as she could, eating as many cookies as she could (1 big one) before I got to her to get the plate out of her reach!

Before I get #HateMail, I know chocolate is bad for my babies, and she only got 1 cookie before I got her away from the plate, so don’t call the ASPCA on me.  It wasn’t dark chocolate so it was “less” bad, she’s a 90 pound dog so plenty big to handle digesting the minimal bit of theobromine in the maybe 5 chocolate chips in the cookie she managed to eat.  I love my dogs much more than I love cookies.  If you want to make them puppy safe just leave the chocolate chips out of a few.

If you use Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: things like health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a very active page on Facebook you can visit too: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood



Hula Mac

la%20coliseum-uscThe college football season is 6 weeks old and finally, this past Saturday, I got to go to a game.  I love college football season and missing six games sucked, so I was really anxious to get back into full tailgate mode.  I was warned by my fellow tail gaiters, not to overdo it, which I did, but it was SO worth it!

Because the LA Rams are sharing the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with the USC ramscoliseumdayTrojans for the next 3 years, while their new stadium is being built in Inglewood, there are a few game weekends when both teams will be hosting home games.  This weekend happened to be one of those weekends which meant USC would be kicking off at 1:00 PM in order to give the Coliseum crew time to the complete stadium changeover that meant an early (and shorter) tailgate.  That’s always a challenge, but additionally, Southern California was in the middle of another hot and dry spell which makes bringing and keeping food fresh during the hours on the hot asphalt the hardest task.

Our friend Greg was making a Hawaiian sandwich/burrito/wrap filled with Portugese sausage and fried rice so I wanted to make something that would compliment that but would be easy to prepare, easy to transport and easy to eat while standing around with other football fans.

Hula Macaroni Salad

  • 16 Oz Spiral Pasta
  • 1 – 20oz Can Pineapple Chunks Drained (Reserve Liquid)
  • 3 Cups Cubed Ham
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion (About 3 Onions)
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • Reserved Pineapple Juice from Canned Fruit
  • 1 – 6oz Container Vanilla Greek Yogurt (Non-Fat)
  • 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBLS Sugar
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Remove from heat, drain and rinse in cool water.
  2. In large bowl combine the pasta, drained pineapple, ham, carrots and sliced green onion.
  3. In a 4 Cup measuring cup (or bowl) combine the reserved pineapple juice, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar.  Whisk until well combined and sugar is dissolved.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and use a rubber spatula to distribute throughout.
  5. Refrigerate at least an hour to allow dressing to thicken and flavors to combine.

To make this a truly portable side dish, I combined the pasta, ham, carrot, green onion and pineapple in a gallon-sized Zip Bag and them poured the dressing over the contents, sealed and refrigerated.  Made it really easy to put into the cooler until time to serve.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood


Indulge Without Feeling Too Guilty This Weekend

Clean-Eating-CupcakesI try to stick to a mostly clean diet of lean meats, fish, fruit and vegetables during the week, but come the weekend all bets are off.  I am an admitted carb fiend and the weekend gives me just the excuse I need to indulge in as many “bad for me” foods as I can get my hands on.  I justify it by swearing that my weekday workouts will offset the weekend damage, although it never quite works out that way.

For once, I’d like to wake up the morning after a game without seeing a puffy face in the mirror, regretting a night spent drinking like we’re still in college, and trying to force my rings over chubby salt swelled fingers.

With USC playing an away game in Tempe, Arizona this weekend, I won’t be cooking for our usual tailgate crowd of 15-20 pre-game partiers.  It’ll just be two or three of us in front of the TV watching the game Saturday night, so, if I work it right, sneaking a healthier choice or two into the mix may not result in a game time mutiny (and call to have pizza delivered) at my house.  Fingers are crossed I can get away with it.

I’ll give into the boys’ need for “football food” by getting them all-beef hot dogs (Yuck!) to grill and devour with baked beans and whatever chips and dip they insist on eating.  After I’ve satisfied their need for game day stadium food, I’ll clean all of that crap food up and ease them into the experiment by baking up a gluten free cheesy bacon jalapeno bread (aka Cheesy BJ Bread) to snack on while we are watching the game.  If there is any left over, it will be great toasted and served with scrambled eggs Sunday morning.

jalapenoGluten Free Cheddar Bacon Jalapeno Bread

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9″ x 5″ Loaf Pan.

Whisk together 2 Large Eggs, 1/4 Cup Melted & Cooled Unsalted Butter and 1 1/2 Cups Room Temperature Buttermilk and set aside.  In a hot frying pan, cook 6-8 Slices Thick Cut Bacon until Crisp.  Drain and cool then roughly chop the bacon and add to the buttermilk mixture.

In a large bowl combine 3 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, 2 TBLS Sugar, 1 1/2 TBLS Baking Powder, 1 1/4 tsp Salt, and 1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper.  Add 3 Jalapeno Peppers (seeded and diced) and an 8 oz pkg of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (2 Cups) to the flour mixture.  Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with just a few dry crumbs.  Cool in pan 5 minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

I don’t think I’ll get a lot of grief for the bread.  It’ll smell great and they’ll never notice it’s Gluten Free if I have enough cream cheese, sliced jalapenos and maybe even some guacamole for them to slather on it.  Maybe they’ll be so happy eating the spicy, cheesy bread that they’ll start mindlessly nibbling without complaint on the vegetable tray that’ll be sitting beside it.

A girl can hope.

If you are on Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to, recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a page on Facebook you can visit too:  https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood