Tag Archives: food

brownie cookies for Valentine’s Day


Last night the tall hormonal kid decided that she needed something to give to the boyfriend for Valentine’s Day. Our family operates like that. If you need something, wait until the last possible moment to announce it. At least we had been warned that there is a boyfriend. The dad is still working on the shock of that.

These cookies are an easy shortcut and make a good impression when the girls have friends over for weekend sleepovers. They look and taste complicated, but they are simple and quick to make – even the tall kid can manage them. She did tell me that I should write the recipe down so that it’s easier to find next time. Next time might even have a little forewarning.

Brownie Mix Cookies

Printable Version

  • 1 box of brownie mix (519 grams)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or use a silpat on the baking sheet).

Combine brownie mix, flour,and chocolate chips in a bowl. Add in the oil, water and eggs (lightly beaten) and mix together. Drop by spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. I like to roll them into balls and flatten them slightly with a fork. The dough is sticky, so if you are rolling them into balls, you will have to stop and moisten your hands with water occasionally.

Bake in preheated oven until cookies are just set, about 9-10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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an easy 3-ingredient chili dip

chili dip

The dad entered a chili contest at our town’s Winter Chill Festival this weekend and came home with just a small container of leftovers for us to share. His two batches of chili (one super-spicy and one mild) were among the most popular of the 15 business entries, which explained the lack of leftovers. The winner still has not been announced, but he is hoping to place somewhere close to the top. He wants bragging rights.

Because there wasn’t enough to make a meal out of, we settled for our new favourite chili dip. We’ve made it several times during the holidays and it has been devoured quickly each time. It fits my criteria for party recipes – fast, few ingredients and easy.

3-Ingredient Chili Dip

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups of chili (or one can of chili)
  • 1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350F. Spread the softened cream cheese evenly on the bottom of a small casserole dish, 9″x9″ cake plate or a deep pie plate. Layer the chili on top of the cream cheese and top with the grated cheddar. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

This is an easy dip to take to a workplace potluck as well and can be easily heated in a microwave for 5 minutes instead of in the oven. It can be made spicy or mild, depending on the chili that you use and or whether or not you use a spicy cheddar cheese for the topping.

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our best chocolate chip cookie recipe


Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking a few sweet things to take to the island cottage with us this weekend. The girls have some friends coming to stay overnight tonight and we had thought that we’d take them with us to the island. We’ve  now decided against it – the dad saw that my walking and balance are sub-par right now and suggested we have a vacation at home instead. We have a fire pit in the backyard, a swimming site less than a mile away and a nearby creamery to take the girls to for ice cream. If we can find some, we might set off some fireworks after dark. It all seems like a reasonable substitution. The girls didn’t protest too much. They can take their friends riding, too – they love play the role of teacher when it comes to the horses.

Anyway, this is the recipe that I used, then made changes to suit my own preferences. As usual, I’m recording it here so that I can find it easily for future reference. I liked this recipe more than others that we’ve tried because the cookies stay uniform in shape and size, and they’re just the right thickness – not too cakey, and not flat and spread out. They’re rich and buttery, with crisp edges, and a soft but chewy inside. You might have to make cooking time adjustments depending on your oven – mine has a convection fan, so I’m not sure how that affects cooking time, but if you take the cookies out just as the edges are browning, they are done.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Printable Version

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, chocolate chips, and nuts. Add to the batter and mix well.

Drop by large spoonful’s onto ungreased pans (the cookies came out rounded and nice if I first rolled them in a small ball and flattened then slightly with a fork or spoon afterwards – either way works).

Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

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