a Cook at Heart

practical tips and recipes for busy cooks

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cravings are funny. I rarely crave sweet things like chocolate bars and candy. Usually my cravings lean toward salty and crunchy like chips and nuts. The exception to this is when I’m trying to lose weight. Whenever I’m trying to drop some pounds, chocolate cravings come from out of the blue for things we rarely buy, like Snickers bars or Reese’s Peanut Butter Big Cups. A few days ago one of those cravings hit me and I was determined to find a  semi healthy alternative that would satisfy me. Consulting the Weight Watchers website, I found this recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I know that

Strawberry Cobbler (quick version)

For the past 5 days, it’s been raining in Nashville. Not just drizzling or sprinkling rain, but hard down pouring rains that make you want to stay in the house. When I’m stuck in the house and bored, I like to bake. Since we’ve started eating differently, I’ve been trying to make our recipes  a little cleaner. Adding some whole wheat pastry flour and coconut palm sugar to replace some of the white flour and sugar was a little experiment. It turned out to be delicious if I do say so myself. Whole wheat pastry flour adds some nice texture and gives it beautiful brown color.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out on almond butter all of these years. Mentally, I’ve always lumped it into the same category as natural peanut butter. Not fresh ground peanut butter. I’m talking about the gross stuff you see in the store with the layer of oil on top that needs to be mixed. Yuck. I ran across a recipe recently for homemade white chocolate almond butter that sounded simple yet amazing. For fear of burning up my food processor trying to make it, I opted for buying Whole Foods freshly ground almond butter instead. Oh my god, it’s delicious. I bought the

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

I love me some cookies. When I heard about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap I couldn’t join fast enough. I’ve been on a diet  weight reduction and lifestyle change plan for the past 5 weeks so I’ve been dreaming about chocolate chip cookies and sour cream and onion potato chips. You may call it self sabotage,  I prefer to look at it as baking for a good cause. The $4 fee for joining the swap was donated to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer which supports research for pediatric cancer research. Win, Win, Win.  Also Oxo gave all participants the coolest little cookie spatula I’ve seen. Thanks Oxo. How It

Soul Food Sunday – Southern Sweet Potato Pie

Every holiday I can remember growing up involved a homemade sweet potato pie with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. No we didn’t eat pumpkin pie – it was sweet potato all the way for our household. Before I moved away from home, there were a handful of dishes that my mom made me master- fried chicken, fried pork chops, grits, and sweet potato pie. How’s that for southern. It was kinda like a rite of passage. This is a slimmed down version of the pie I grew up eating. Mom made it with melted butter but I stopped using that years ago. For a different twist, add

Green Tomato Crostada

Sometimes I see a recipe that I just have to try because it sounds completely amazing. I heard about this recipe on KCRW’s Good Food podcast. Evan Kleiman is a pie a junkie like me and every year she does a Pie a Day Contest. She even has a Pie a Day App. She did an interview with Adrienne Kane who wrote a book called United States of Pie and this one of the recipes they discussed. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I had never heard of green tomatoes being used in a sweet pie. I’ve always thought of them as more of a

Dulce de Leche Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

It’s hot in Nashville. A couple of weeks ago, the weather went from uncomfortably warm to hot as hell overnight and frankly I wasn’t ready. I’m not sure anyone can truly be ready for temperatures over 100 degrees. There have been all kinds of heat related illnesses around town – mostly stemming from dehydration and we’re officially in a drought.  When you step outside it feels like someone is holding a 50 foot blow dryer and blowing it right in your face. The day the temperature hit 109, the city pretty much stayed indoors under the air conditioning. Thank you Lord for the gift of air conditioning. I have made a conscious