Who doesn’t like a…

winning chocolate chip cookie recipe? I tried this recipe for the first time this Christmas, and the cookies turned out to be my favorite chocolate chip cookies (from Christmas with Southern Living 1997)!


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

1 (11.5 oz) package semisweet chocolate mega-morsels (I used dark chocolate chips)

1 cup walnut halves, toasted (I used chopped pecans)


1. Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well.

2. Combine butter and coffee granules in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until butter melts and coffee granules dissolve, stir occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

3. Combine butter mixture, sugars, egg, and egg yolk in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in mega morsels and walnuts.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2″ apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 F for 12-14 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Won’t you join me…

One of the routines that I personally enjoy tremendously leading up to the holidays is putting up my spring/summer dishes in early October, and switch them out with my fall/holiday dishes.  I like to do this on a day when I am by myself, and enjoy the beauty of the different plates, cups and saucers etc. as I am switching them out.

Now that that is accomplished, and the weather is gradually getting nippy… won’t you join me for a bit of apple crisp (yes, we still haven’t gotten tired of the countless rounds of apple crisp I have been making, hahaha!) accompanied by something hot to drink, served in a fall theme?

Have a wonderful autumn weekend, everyone.  I will be back on Monday!


Easy Apple Crisp

Much to my delight, my sister-in-law brought me some home grown apples over the weekend. Can you spot my “leaning” Tower of Apples?

I have been making rounds of Apple Crisp with the apples. The recipe is as follows:

5 cups sliced, peeled apples
2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ginger
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

For filling, place fruit in a baking dish, stir in sugar.

For topping, in a mixing bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle mixture over filling.

Bake in 375 F for 30-35 minutes. It is that easy!

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desire.


Also, Arlette has graciously awarded me this (thanks, Arlette!!!):

Arlette is an amazing crafter — do hop on over to visit her — you will fall in love with her creations, I promise!!


I hope you have a very wonderful Wednesday, my bloggy friends! Do drop me a line and let me know of your visit.

A bit of “special”

I set out to make an ordinary dinner special. I started with the basics:

My “secret “in making the dinner special is simply adding some details to the tablesetting…:

… and some prettier serving pieces:

Not too long after, food items began to materialize:

Now, I present to you the “star” of the show — Mexican Casserole (now you see why I called it an ordinary dinner) — it wasn’t Chicken Cordon Bleu; it wasn’t Porterhouse Steak; it was just a hearty cheesy Mexican Casserole that happened to be a favorite in my house:

The little bit of effort in setting a nice table sure made an ordinary dinner extra special. Here is my recipe:

A bag of corn tortillas

5-6 cups shredded cooked chicken

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 can water

2 cans 4 oz green chilies

1 medium can sliced olives

12 oz block of marbled cheese (Monterey Jack and Cheddar), or 1 1/2 blocks of 8 oz blocks, shredded

Chopped Jalapeno Peppers (to taste)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

Salt, pepper, chili power and ground cumin to taste

For garnish (optional) – extra olives, cilantro, tomatoes and sour cream

1. Heat soup, water and green chilies on stove top.

2. Meanwhile, mix chicken together with onion, olives, tomatoes, and chopped jalapeno peppers. Season with salt, pepper, chili power and cumin to taste.

3. Layer the bottom of 9″x12″ baking dish with corn tortillas.

4. Top with half of the chicken mixture, and then half of the soup mixture.

5. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on top.

6. Repeat layering one more time with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, soup mixture and cheese.

7. Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes.

8. Garnish if desired.

We had Apple Enchilada for dessert to keep with the Mexican Menu. Husband was very pleased, and therefore, I am pleased! :)

Have a wonderful day, everyone — do stop and enjoy some cheese if you remember! :)

Have you had your 3-5 servings of vegetables today?

For this Friday’s Show and Tell hosted by Kelli, I would like to show you my Sculpted Ceramic Vegetable Bowl from Italy. It sits prominently every year on my counter top during the summer time:

You can see how realistic-looking these ceramic vegetables are:

So, what is your favorite vegetable? Is it broccoli, or cauliflower?

Okay, how about garlic and onion, or even scallions?

Do you care for cabbages?

You’ve got to love snap peas… and perhaps even eggplants?

I enjoy just about any vegetable. So, it’s a bit hard for me to single out one vegetable as a favorite….

I would also like to share with you a recipe for broccoli casserole:

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together broccoli, corn, and onions. Stir in sour cream, soup, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. In a separate bowl, toss together stuffing mix and melted butter. Spread broccoli mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish and cover with stuffing mix.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through and browned on top. Sprinkle remaining 1 3/4 cups cheese on top and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Enjoy your choice of favorite vegetables, everyone – even if they aren’t showcased in my vegetable bowl!