Throwback: Winter Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Have you seen these chips? I was so excited when I discovered them the other day at the grocery store. I just had to try the recipe printed on the back of the chocolate chip bag.

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I love chocolate mint and these cookies do not disappoint. Be warned- unless you are a huge fan of mint (like me!), these might be a little too mint-y for you.The cookies have a distinct mint flavor and the dark chocolate chips and chocolate cookie base are delicious. We also thought that the texture was perfect.

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They are awesome and they would be fun to bake for your friends and neighbors for Christmas.

Me-want-cookie.

^^^Words to live by!

Winter Mint Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups Nestle Winter Dark chocolate and mint morsels

Preheat oven to 325*

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 11 – 13 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then let cool on wire rack until completely cool.

Makes about 3 to 4 dozen, depending on the size of your scoop.

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Jordan and I enjoyed a couple straight out of the freezer today and they were amazing!

Cindy

Throwback: Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

My Daughter and I- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

I love using my Crockpot, don’t you? I feel so accomplished when I have dinner made before I even eat breakfast. The other day I was heading out the door at 7:00 am and since I wasn’t sure when I’d be home, I needed to find a quick and delicious meal to stick in the Crockpot. The trick was whether I had the ingredients or not. This recipe fit the bill. I found it on Taste of Home and I just made a few minor changes.

My Daughter and I- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew 1

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Ingredients:
6 medium red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cups diced baby carrots, diced into large pieces
Approximately 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted – the family size. I think it’s about 30 ounces.
Pepper
Italian seasoning

Directions:
Wash and cut potatoes and place in the bottom of your crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Next cut up the carrots and place into the crockpot on top of the potatoes. Layer the chicken over the veggies and sprinkle with a bit of pepper and Italian seasoning. Then spread the entire can of cream of chicken soup over the top of the chicken and sprinkle a bit more seasoning to taste. Cover and turn on low and cook for 6 or so hours. I then stirred the stew and broke up the chicken into bite sized pieces. I added a bit more seasoning and let it cook a bit longer.

I served in bowls as a stew, but you could thicken the sauce a bit if you prefer. I served this with steamed broccoli, salad and biscuits.

Cindy 

Throwback: White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

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You might have noticed that I didn’t post a Treat of the Month for November. I was late, but I finally made Danae apple crisp, which was super yummy. But I never got around to posting the recipe- sorry!

To make up for it, here’s the yummy December Treat of the Month recipe. These are so delicious and simple! A perfect treat to wrap up and give instead of Christmas cookies.

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White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

1 bag of pretzel rods

1 bag of meltable white chocolate pieces

sprinkles

Melt chocolate on low heat in microwave- I heated it for 30 seconds at a time and stirred in between- it took a bit, but I felt like it was easier than doing it on the stove-top.

Once chocolate is completely smooth, dip individual pretzels and sprinkle with sprinkles. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Jordan

Throwback: Navy Bean Soup with Ham

My Daughter and I- Navy Bean Soup with Ham

I made this delicious soup the other day with the leftover ham bone and ham from Christmas. I was so excited to make it and then we had a sudden change in weather so we were enjoying bean soup after a chilly winter 89* day degrees! Crazy!

What I really liked about this soup was how creamy it tasted – but there wasn’t anything creamy in it. I’m not sure if it was just the beans or how they were cooked or what, but it was amazing and so easy!

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Navy Bean Soup with Ham 

Ingredients and directions:

2 lb of dried white beans, I used navy beans
6-8 cups of water

1-2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 -5 carrots, peeled and diced in large pieces
5 stalks of celery, diced
2 -3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ham hock, extra fat remove from the outside of the hock
4 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
2- 4 cups of water
Italian seasoning
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort the beans. Add 6-8 cups of cold water to dried beans. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans. Side Note: If you don’t have time to do an overnight soak, try the quick soak method: Rinse and sort the beans. Add 6-8 cups of water to dried beans. Bring water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans.

I did the quick soak method and I didn’t let the beans stand for an hour – maybe 30 minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.

Heat the olive oil in the pot you soaked the beans in – why make extra dishes? Add onions, carrots, & celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a bit. Now it’s time to get everything into the crockpot. Start with the ham hock, I would recommend removing any visible fat. Then pour the soaked and drained beans in. Next add the veggies that you had cooking, pour in the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Finally add a bit more water to make sure everything is covered. I completely filled my big crockpot. Cover and cook on high for several hours to get everything bubbling along. I turned it down to low after about 4 hours. It’s better to not open the crockpot a lot while cooking, since all the heat escapes, but I would suggest stirring from time to time and try to remove the ham bits from the bone while stirring. About an hour before serving I removed the entire ham bone from the soup and let it cool a bit and removed any additional meat from the bone. I then removed the excess fat from the top of the soup, there was just a bit that I ladled off. I fished around in the soup for any excess bone bits, large pieces of meat, fat etc. Finally I added some cut up leftover ham to the soup and tasted it to see if it needed any additional seasoning. Let ham pieces heat through. We served our soup with bread and salad.

It sounds a bit labor intensive, but I promise it’s not! The soup would have been hearty and delicious without the extra ham pieces, but I had the leftovers and wanted to make it extra chunky. I’m not sure why I felt the need to sauté the veggies first. I’m sure it would have been delicious if everything was just dumped into the crockpot.

 

Cindy 

Throwback: Homemade Dark Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Jo-Jo’s

 

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So a sad turn of events happened around here. First the happy part. Jordan was gifted with a box of dark chocolate covered peppermint Jo-Jo’s from Trader Joe’s. Have you tried them? They are worth driving 45 minutes to get to the closest Trader Joe’s to buy them. So here is the sad part – we went to Trader Joe’s for these amazing cookies only to find that they were sold out. What?! How could they be sold out already? The poor guy working there seemed like he had explained this unfortunate situation to many people. Remember the movie The Little Mermaid where Ursula sings that song, “You Poor Unfortunate Soul”? I felt like that. In case you don’t remember Ursula sings, “You poor unfortunate souls, in pain, in need.” I was truly in pain, in need.

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^^^I may be a bit biased, but aren’t ours so much prettier?

So what’s a girl to do? Make her own. So here they are. We bought Cool Mint Oreos and dipped them in melted semi-sweet chocolate and then sprinkled a few crushed peppermint candy canes on top. Delicious!

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Homemade Dark Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Jo-Jo’s
1 package Cool Mint Oreos
1 package semi -sweet chocolate chips
Crushed candy canes

Melt chocolate chips in microwave. I did mine in a two cup measuring cup. Melt at 50% power in 45 second increments, stirring in between. Dip Oreos in melted chocolate. This part is really messy and takes some persistence to get the cookie fully covered in chocolate. Place dipped cookie onto a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy cane pieces, pressing in a bit to be sure that they stick. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator until chocolate firms up. Try to not eat the whole tray by yourself! I was able to make 20 dipped cookies, more had I not completely covered my hands with melted chocolate.

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Cindy