Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Oatmeal Cranberry-Orange Cookies for the FB Cookie Swap

This is my 3rd year participating in the Great Annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I love that the organizers make it super simple for people all over the country send cookies to each other, plus it's a surprise what cookies you end up getting! That makes it even better. I always love tasting other food bloggers treats after just reading about them all the time!

I wanted to make oatmeal cookies, but add some ZING to them. I remember buying these orange flavored dried cranberries from Trader Joe's a while back, so I was pumped when they were still selling them. I think cranberry orange is a flavor that people either like or don't like, but I really like!

Every time I make cookies for this cookie swap, the first batch doesn't look as pretty, so I'm glad that I have to make like 3 batches so I can give my best looking cookies to my 3 matches :) 

I also experimented with weighing flour for one batch and measuring by scooping flour for another batch. I think the scooping flour batch turned out better, which is the opposite of what people normally say! I just need to figure out how to convert recipes that only list cups as measurements.

I received some delicious and cutely packaged cookies from Susannah, Cherie, and Anne. Thanks ladies!! They were mighty tasty.

I am just so glad to be able to participate again this year. It was the only cookie exchange I did this year, so it was extra special.

Oatmeal Cranberry-Orange Cookies

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbls honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup orange flavored cranberries, dried (I got mine at Trader Joes, or you could soak Craisins in orange juice as well)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast chopped pecans on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together: oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add honey and vanilla. Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix just until ingredients are incorporated. With a spatula, stir in dried cranberries and pecans. Use a cookie scoop to put onto lined baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until they no longer look wet. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

WIAW and BBQ Chicken Nachos

I'm still not doing too well on the WIAW posts. I forgot to take a picture of my lunch, doh! Plus today is Thursday instead of Wednesday, so it's really a WIAT post. But nobody would know what that means, so we'll pretend it's Wednesday!

I try to limit myself to Starbucks once a week. I know, some people would say that is a lot, but some people go there daily! I have the Starbucks app since you get a few rewards every now and then, so I had a $2 off a breakfast sandwich that I used to get this ham, egg and swiss croissant sandwich. It was pretty good, and I usually don't like to eat this heavy of a breakfast. Then I had the pike place roast coffee, which has a burnt taste/smell sometimes... but it's nice a strong which I like!

Lunch was just Deans cottage cheese with pineapple and mango, and vegetable soup from Trader Joe's. Here is my substitute picture.

Redesigned Dean Foods sour cream and cottage cheese packaging adds stackability, and scoopability.

For dinner, I made BBQ Chicken Nachos from The Floating Kitchen. I received delicious cookies from Liz last year in the Great Annual Blogger Cookie Swap, so I've been following her blog ever since, and her pictures are amazing! They make me want to try every single thing she posts.

My phone pictures are not the best, but you get the idea. This was really simple to make, especially if you buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. I even got a 1/2 rotisserie chicken since it only calls for 2 cups of shredded chicken. It was the perfect amount.

BBQ Chicken Nachos

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cups barbecue sauce
  • 12 ounces tortilla chips
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of Cheddar, Mozzarella and Jack)
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • pico di gallo
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with the barbecue sauce until well coated.
  3. Spread about half of the tortilla chips out over your baking sheet. Top with half of the chicken and half of the cheese. Then add the remaining chips and repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove. Top with pico di gallo and avocado, or serve on the side. Serve immediately.
 Recipe adapted from The Floating Kitchen

For dessert, I made Salted Carmel Bread Pudding from the frozen section at Trader Joe's. This isn't a picture of that (it's wasn't that pretty, trust me), but I had to share this because it's the most delicious French Toast Bread Pudding from a little coffee shop/deli I went to the other day. I loved that they put mint leaves in the whipped cream! It added a little punch to some of my bites. Mint should definitely be used in more dishes.