3 Homemade Chocolate Desserts

3 Homemade Chocolate Desserts

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

In our household, my children are Sweet Mr. 8, Salty Miss 6, and Sour Miss 4.

Give them their choice of a brownie, chips, or fruit snacks, and Mr. 8 goes for the brownie while Miss 6 grabs the chips and Miss 4 takes the fruit snacks.

Though they will eat chocolate, my girls prefer fruit-based desserts like strawberry shortcake or a bowl of fruit. They both also like jello and vanilla or strawberry ice cream.

On the other hand, my son likes fruit but prefers to create his dessert with fruit on top of ice cream with a brownie. 😉

If you have a chocolate-lover in your household and need a bit of inspiration, then check out these 3 homemade chocolate desserts that look amazing:

3 Homemade Chocolate Desserts

The pan éclairs are one of our favorite desserts. Though I’ve never tried it, one can make homemade graham crackers. If you make your own graham crackers, please leave a comment to let us know the results.

To chocolate-lovers everywhere, enjoy these delicious, refreshing, and sweet desserts. Happy creating!

Question: What is your favorite chocolate dessert? 

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Recipe: Chocolate Chip CookiesI’ve been baking up a storm in our new oven. Having replaced our range during my daughter’s teacher’s last week of school, we had to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week with her which had to include a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

As I have been asked more than once for our chocolate chip cookie recipe, I will document it and share it with you.

Now, this recipe was passed down from my grandmother to my mom, from my mom to me, and I will pass it along to my children as well.

I am not sure where my grandmother received the recipe, but it is delicious. In addition to making chocolate chip cookies, I use this recipe for our M&M cookies, butterscotch chip cookies, and the white chocolate chip cookies.

Using our KitchenAid mixer makes whipping up a double batch of these chocolate chip cookies a breeze. Once the batter is made, I form the cookies using a melon baller to keep the cookies uniform in shape. I then slightly press the round ball of dough into a cookie shape and bake. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approximately 4 ½ dozen cookies

Ingredients

½ c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
1 well-beaten egg
1 ½ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ – 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ c. chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Thoroughly cream shortening, vanilla, sugar, and brown sugar.
3. Add the egg, beat thoroughly.
4. Add the dry ingredients.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
6. Drop from a teaspoon or melon baller onto greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake in 375° oven for 11-12 minutes.
8. Wait about 1 minute after baking before moving to a cooling rack.
9. Let cool and then store in an air-tight container or cookie jar.

This recipe has brought our family hours of bonding time and enjoyment. We make dozens of cookies throughout the year and find this recipe worthy of repeating year after year.

As my daughter’s teacher requested this recipe, I was thrilled to share it while breaking in our new range with multiple batches of chocolate chip cookies. If you are getting an urge to bake, then your family and friends will help you devour these amazing chocolate chip cookies. Happy baking!

Question: What recipe do you have passed down through your family’s generations? 

Getting Lost in the Checkout Line

 Getting Lost in the Checkout Line

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

With rain checks, loyalty cards, sale prices, paper coupons, e-coupons, bag credits, and children, it is no wonder one gets lost in the checkout line.

Though I can navigate the coupon process at checkout, I apparently cannot remember my children.

Yes, you read that correctly. You see, we were shopping at Publix this week.

Miss 3 had been happily sitting inside the grocery cart until we reached the checkout lane. At that time, she wanted to help load the groceries onto the conveyor belt and asked to get out of the cart.

Getting Lost in the Checkout Process

In unpacking the cart, I reached in, picked her up, and let her out of the cart. At which time, she began to roam.

I was in-tune with our cashier as I dealt with the rain check, loyalty cards, paper coupons, and e-coupons. As we checked out, the employee started pushing our cart out the door. I check for Mr. 8 and Miss 6, and we went to the van.

Upon getting the van open and transferring the bags from the cart to our trunk, I realized that Miss 3 was no longer in the cart. Panic set in as I realized that I left her inside the store.

Recovering from the Checkout Process

Sending Mr. 8 to rescue her, I waited to see them both exit the store. When they emerged, a lady was with them. The customer was so nice as Miss 3 found her when she realized we were no longer at checkout.

Miss 3 went up to this customer and told her she was lost. The customer waited with her for a minute or two before Mr. 8 arrived to get her. To make sure Miss 3 got to me, the customer followed my children out of the store.

I thanked the customer and apologized as I had forgotten Miss 3 was out of the cart. The customer was glad to help, and I was so proud of Miss 3 for being brave when we got separated. I apologized to Miss 3 for leaving her and told her how proud I was that she found help immediately.

Thankfully, this is the first, and hopefully, the last time, I will exit the store without all three of my children when they are with me. Getting lost in the checkout line happens to adults as well as to children.

Had I paid more attention, I would have discovered Miss 3 was out of the cart. However, I was dealing with coupons, receipts, and rain checks, and the cart was pushed in front of me to the van.

As you save your family money and watch the savings at the register, remember your children without getting lost in the checkout line. Keep paying attention!

Question: Have you ever accidentally left a child somewhere?

An Entertainment Backup Plan

An Entertainment Backup Plan

Photograph Credit: Fotolio

After today’s events, I am considering creating an entertainment backup plan. Lest you think Murphy hits our home each time we entertain, let me assure you that we entertain quite a bit without incidents.

Tonight was not the case. Everything was going well. I had picked up the pizzas from Papa Murphy’s this afternoon, the house was cleaned, and homework finished.

With the oven preheated, I placed the pizza on the top rack, set the timer, and sat down to rest.

Ahh!

The Incident

Paul came home and was hanging up his jacket when we saw a flash in our kitchen. Checking the light bulbs for outages, we found none. Not seeing anything else, we wrote it off to a power surge.

About 20 minutes later the timer sounded, and I went to the oven. Well, everything was dark.

At this time, I realized that the flash was from the oven. Paul reset the breakers, and then we checked the unit. The oven light and the stovetop worked fine. However, the oven had shorted out. Bummer!

Thankfully, I have wonderful neighbors. I called up one and explained the situation. In typical southern hospitality, she invited me down to use her oven. I enjoyed the time listening and playing with her children while the pizza finished baking.

Considering a Backup Plan

Our dinner turned out well, got off to a little late start, and we had a great night. We are not sure how we will fix the oven. But for now, the rest of our week sports a cooktop menu, so we are good to go.

Though this experience turned out fine, I began thinking about what I would have done had my neighbor not been home. I had called my nextdoor neighbor first, and she was not home. But the second neighbor I called was able to help me out.

Not that I plan to keep numerous options available when we entertain, but I have started thinking about our entertainment backup plan, which definitely includes my fantastic neighbors.

I’m thinking that I might want to choose a cooktop, oven, and freezer/microwave option. Of course, if the power goes out, then I’ll need a grill option. Happy creating!

Question: Do you have an entertainment backup plan? If so, would you be willing to share it?

Weekly Menu Plan: February 17-22, 2014

Weekly Menu Plan: February 17-22, 2014

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

In getting back into our routine from some restful and relaxing days last week, I should have created our weekly menu plan over the weekend.

However, I didn’t, and there’s no going back.

The nice thing about planning our menu week by week is I can start the week on whatever day I can menu plan. For the days I missed, I just fill-in what we ate. 

Is this method cheating? No way! I’m starting where I am, giving myself grace, and focusing on the next 6-7 days.

Rather than throwing in the towel for the entire week because I didn’t start when I wanted, I just grabbed a pencil on Monday morning and took a trip to our refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

Using the ingredients I had on-hand, I wrote out our weekly menu plan to kickoff a busy week.

Breakfasts

  • Cereal
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Cheesy toast
  • Fruit

Lunches

  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Sandwiches (PBJ, grilled cheese, turkey, ham, etc.)
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Monday: Cheese tortellini with Alfredo sauce and vegetables
  • Tuesday: Open-faced pork chop sandwiches and vegetables
  • Wednesday: Entertaining with Papa Murphy’s pizzas, salad, and dessert
  • Thursday: Pan-seared chicken with gravy, rice, and vegetables
  • Friday: Roped sausage, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables
  • Saturday: Steak-um sandwiches with onions and mushrooms, chips, and fresh vegetables

Keeping flexibile within our plan, we may rearrange the order should we feel a need. With a tentative plan, we can make changes knowing we have all the ingredients at home.

These meals are scheduled to land on our plates this week. If you post your weekly menu plan, then please leave a link in the comments for our inspiration. Happy planning!

Question: What’s cooking at your home this week?