Everyone’s Favorite Recipe….Chocolate Chip Cookie

This is the cookie that I make far-too often at my house.  And, I’ve got the stretchy-pants to prove it!

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Heat oven to 375.  Combine 3/4 Cup brown sugar, 1/2 Cup sugar, 1/2 Cup shortening, and 1 stick butter.  Cream, and then add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 egg: blend.
Stir in 1 3/4 Cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir well, and then add 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips (private selection is terrific). 
You can substitute: semi-sweet, dark, white, m & m’s for the Milk Chocolate chips.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto Ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-10 minutes.

Mmmmm….. Veggie Pizza

We make our own pizza almost every week.  My recipe is so easy and quick, that I can have it on the table in about 40 minutes.  It’s fun to serve it on the weekend or for family Movie Night or football games!  I can’t eat take out pizza, because I’m lactose intolerant and chemically sensitive.  I just never know what additives and unnatural flavorings have been added. 

Making pizza at home is great because I know exactly what I’m eating.  You probably have your favorite, too.  My recipe can be altered, by changing to a blend of white and wheat flours.  I love being able to customize the toppings, too.  I fix a plain cheese for one pizza and added a veggie-lovers for the other.  On my end of the pizza I substitute Soy Cheese.  It’s really good once to get used to the taste!

I started with my basic recipe : For 2 thicker crust pizzas, I double the recipe. 

Heat 1 Cup water in a microwave-safe cup @ 50 seconds.  Add 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1 Tablespoon yeast.  Let this sit for 5 minutes and foamy.
Add 2 1/2 Cup Flour, 1/2 Cup cornmeal, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 Tablespoons oil.
Stir and then knead with added flour until smooth and elastic.
Coat large bowl with cooking spray, and put the ball of dough in.  Then, spray lightly the dough.  Cover bowl with lightweight towel and set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450. Coat pizza pan with a little cornmeal.  Spread dough over pan.  Then add toppings.  We add pizza sauce and then cheese (optional: add any toppings you like).
Bake 10-20 minutes (adjust for your oven)  Mine is hot!
You’ll love it!!!
Saute veggies in a small amount of oil:
     We used: chopped onion, red bell pepper, and fresh mushrooms .
Gooey and Delicious!!!
Plain Cheese is great, too!!!

Cool Fall Evenings call for a Hot Bowl of Soup

Are you enjoying cooler fall weather?  Many parts of the country are.  I am so happy that fall temperatures have arrived in my hometown.  The cooler days and nights are one reason that Autumn is my favorite season.  I look eagerly each day for a turning leaf, though it’s a little early.  The mums are blooming and a few maples are spooted with orange leaves in the top branches.

All this makes me want to bake and prepare crock-pots full of soup.  My family loves Potato Soup served with corn muffins.  This recipe is so easy.  You can make it as thick or as thin as you like, by adjusting how much milk you add.

Potato Soup
Pour one carton of Chicken Broth into a pan. (I buy MSG free broth)
Peel and thinly slice potatoes.  Add to broth as you go.  Stop cutting potatoes when the pot is full enough to still cover the potatoes with the liquid. 
Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are soft (about 25 minutes).
Don’t drain the broth, but take the pan off the stove.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture, but leave some potato “lumps”.
Now, pour in 1/2 cup milk (or you can slowly add more until you get the thickness you prefer.
Add salt and pepper and chopped chives (optional).
Enjoy !!!

Baking With Coconut Oil

Do you bake with Coconut Oil?  I won a 32 oz. jar of Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions.  I’m always a little nervous about trying new substitutions when I cook.  I used this oil when making my BBQ sauce recipe last week.

 BBQ Sauce
Mix together with a whisk:
1C ketchup
1/4 C water
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 C brown sugar
3 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic ( I just use 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 pinch up to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you decide how hot you like it)
(I only use a pinch)
Pour sauce over chicken and bake until done.  Tenders 30 minutes at 350 or longer for breasts.

My family liked it, but we all noticed a big difference in the flavor.  I wasn’t a fan of the added sweetness.  Maybe it didn’t agree with the brown sugar.

Yesterday I made Blueberry Muffins, substituting the canola oil with melted coconut oil.  The batter was thicker than usual, but the taste was delicious!  The texture seemed slightly more dense, so the muffins didn’t crumble.

Blueberry Muffins
2 Cups all purpose flour ( I used half unbleached white and half wheat)
1/2 Cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix the dry ingredients.
Add 3/4 Cup milk, 1/3 Cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil (melted), and 1 egg.
Mix in wet ingredients, and then fold in 1 Cup blueberries.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Let me know how you have tried cooking with Coconut Oil.  I would love some great tips!

A Good Afternoon

Yesterday started with a headache.  Thankfully, it went away in the afternoon.  After three days of migraines, this was an indescribable blessing!  I couldn’t get over the feeling I had….no pain in my head.  I made every minute count after that.

I lit my autumn-scented candle and began cleaning.  I was able to vacuum one floor and my son volunteered to do the upstairs.  I cooked a big dinner for the family and made two loaves of pumpkin bread.  We began eating it as soon as it came out of the oven.  There’s nothing better at my house!

 Does your family like Pumpkin Bread?  Here’s my recipe:

Cream 1 Cup Oil with 3 Cups sugar.  Blend 4 eggs and 1 can of Pumpkin into the mixture.  Next, add 3 Cups flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons baking soda.  Add 2/3 Cup of water.
After mixing well, grease 2 loaf pans and divide mixture into pans.  Cook 1 hour or until done at 350. 

@2013, copyright Lisa Ehrman

I love Coconut Yogurt

I really love Coconut Yogurt.  I came to try it because I need to avoid dairy products.  Coconut yogurt is very expensive to purchase in stores.  I’ve never found it any cheaper than $1. for one cup.  This high price convinced me to purchase a yogurt maker.  I’ve seen so many moms making their own yogurt online!  Surely I could do this, too.  Here’s how my first experience turned out.

Well,  I first made the mistake of using processed coconut milk.  That doesn’t work at all.

After that failure, I followed the directions!  Duh!  I followed this recipe I found online.

Heating the milk, while checking the temperature
After many hours, the yogurt was ready to enjoy!

Italian Bread Bowls

We love this recipe at Christmas. On Christmas Eve we make these and fill them with home-cooked soup.  Delicious, filling, and cheap!


 Italian Bread Bowls from Allrecipes.com


Original recipe makes 8 bowlsChange Servings
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.

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