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Simply the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

If I haven’t said it before, I have made at least 30 different versions of chocolate chip cookies. That said this recipe below is by far my most requested recipe!

In fact it’s the only recipe I have memorized by heart because I have made it so many times. I have been fine tunning it for years. My mom always says I don’t like to share my food but I do love to share my recipes! This one is for you Kathy 😊!

We are gearing up for our yearly Topsail NC road trip and I asked my nephew what cookies I should make. Despite I already knew the answer before I asked the question… CHOCOLATE CHIP Aunt Nelli ❤️.

This Recipe Yields: approximately 5 dozen cookies using number 60 scooper.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter  (room temperature)

¾ cup brown sugar (not packed)

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 small (96g) box jell-o vanilla instant pudding or white chocolate

2 large eggs (room temperature)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (penzey’s single strength)

2 3/4 cups All purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 (12 ounce) bag semi sweet chocolate chips (I used Aldi Brand this time but ghirardelli is always a winner too)


1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment cream together the butter, pudding, and both sugars. On a slow speed, add the eggs (one at a time), and vanilla extract to incorporate.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually on  a low speed add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.

3. Lastly add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chips are spread throughout dough evenly.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

5. After 45 minutes have elapsed preheat oven to 350. Keep the dough in the refrigerator. Prepare 1/2 sheet baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

6. Drop on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I use a number 60 scoop to make them uniform.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes; longer for really large cookies. (13 minutes is usually the trick to my oven)

Let the cookies sit on the pan for about a minute and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy because they won’t last long !

Lucy’s Dog Bisuits

Lucy is my 17 week old English Blockhead Lab. Before I ventured back to Pa my boss in NC made Lucy treats for the road trip. She loved them! My boss was kind enough to share her recipes with me. I believe this is a combination of Gunther’s Blend, her Schnauzer.

I compiled a few recipes into one. Once these are devoured I will make another batch and post.

These have to sit overnight in the oven and Lucy girl knew it and wouldn’t stop barking at the oven. 

I did let her sneak one. After all she is a good girl!

This recipe yield 123 mini dog bone biscuits (1 1/2 inch)


3 cups of whole wheat flour

1 cup Oat brand

1 1/3 cup Corn Meal

1 cup natural crunchy peanut butter

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup skim milk

3 eggs, separated (one is for the egg wash)

Canola oil (optional for soften up the dough)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Parchment paper line two half sheet cookie sheets. Set aside. 

2. In a large bowl mix together first three ingredients (all the grains). Set aside.

3. Place the peanut butter in a medium bowl microwave for 30 seconds stir and repeat once more. Add the milk and chicken stock to the melted peanut butter.  Lightly beat two of the eggs in small dish and add to the liquid ingredients and whisk together.  

4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry using a spatula mix until no dry residue remains. Cover with bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. 

5. Once the dough has rested lay a few hand fills of the dough on pastry mat or lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickeness and cut the biscuits out. Now I did add a teaspoon or two of the oil on my hands and worked it into the dough. The dough is dry. I added it to prevent cracking. 

6: Place the cut outs on the prepared baking dish. I was able to fit 45 per sheet pan using a 1 1/2 inch mini bone cut out. You can use any shape you want. The local dog bakery here in town uses circles. I found one antique cut-out  in the shape of a bunny I’ll use next time. 

7. Before placing in the oven brush with egg wash. The thicker you cut them the longer they need to bake. I went on the thicker side and baked mine for 20-23 minutes. 

8. Let the cookies dry on a drying rack. Once completely cooled and oven cooled as well place the biscuits back on the baking sheet and let dry out over night in oven. 

9. Next day place in airtight container and share with fur friends. 

Pumpkin Oat Bars

We had a special birthday in the office the other day and one of her favorite things to eat is pumpkin flavored treats . Luckily I still have a stock pile of puréed pumpkin in our freezer from our generous neighbors . I love using pumpkin purée in baked goods.

Sometimes I like to add it as a mystery ingredient for moisture and other times I like it to be the star of the show . Puréed pumpkin is a very moist and packed nutrients. It is a perfect substitute to swap out some unnecessary fat with oil or butter in a baked good. Pumpkin is high in vitamin A and bonus only 30 calories per 1 cup cubed. 


1 cup pure puréed pumpkin

1/2 cup steel cut oats

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup puffed wheat cereal

1 cup raw sugar

1 oz chocolate hazelnut spread

1/2 cup peanut butter 

1/2 cups dried craisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 by 9 baking dish with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Thoroughly mix together in a large bowl the first 7 ingredients and then fold in the dried cranberries. 
3. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Spread the batter evenly into the baking dish. 
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 
5. Allow to cool, cut into 16 bars, and enjoy!

Lemon Ice Box Pie


This year I was in charge of the pies and rolls for Easter. My mom hosted Easter dinner and allowed me to help with these few items to help her in the kitchen.  I love baking so I was anxious  to try a few new recipes.  

I love using my grandma’s pie dish so I was pleased to make the pies. It makes me feel like she was with us this year sharing the meal and memories.



16 Lemon Flavored Oreos

3 TB unsalted butter, melted


1 (8 ounce) packet of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 can (14 oz) of sweetened skim condensed milk

1/4 cup of egg white substitute

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 TB boiled (this will take about 3 lemons)

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp gelatin


1. Place the Oreos in the food processor and pulse. Slowly add the butter and incorporate.

2. Place the mixture into a standard pie dish and press into dish. Place the dish into the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. In the meantime prepare the filling. In stand mixer beat with paddle attachment the cream cheese, egg substitute and sweetened condensed milk.

4. Mix 3 TB of the hot lemon juice and dissolve the gelatin in the hot juice. Mix the gelatin until it dissolved. Set aside.

5. Add in the lemon juice and zest to the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the gelatin mixture.

6. Pour the filling into the pie dish, cover with saran wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Keep chilled prior to serving




Applebutter Pork with carrots & haricot verts


I love Sundays and especially I love to use my slow cooker on Sunday’s. I attribute this dish to Sunday classic slow cooker home cooked meals. This dish literally takes three minutes to get ready before you’re off to enjoying your Sunday. There is no reason you can’t number one afford this dish or not have time for a home cook Sunday dinner. 

 This past Sunday it was nearly 70° outside and I couldn’t bear staying indoors so this was perfect to put in the slow cooker and be off to enjoying the sun in the strip District.

One pork loin or tenderloin 1 to 2 pounds

3/4 cup of apple butter

2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

One bag of baby carrots (approximately 2 cups)

2 cups of fresh Haricot Verts or Green beans 

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder 

1/8 tsp ground pepper

4 quart crockpot 


1. Place the carrots and on the bottom of the crockpot. Place the pork on top of the carrots.

2. In a small bowl mix the Applebutter,  pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar. Place the marinade on top of the pork.

3. Turn the slow cooker on low. Cover and allow the slow cooker to slow cook the meat for 7 1/2 hours. On the mark of the last half-hour (7.5), add Haricot verts. Allow them to steam for the last half an hour which would make the pork cook for a total of eight hours. 

If you don’t like haricot verts use broccoli or another favorite green. 


Nanny’s Cornflake Crust 


 My husband’s Nanny Kessman used to make this classic baked chicken dish with cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs. My husband mentioned she would make this family favorite for every holiday. Even when he was growing up she baked this entree. 

This dish comes out very crunchy on the outside and moist in the center without the grease. The pasta sprinkle adds a lot heightened flavor. 

The other day I recalled this dish and thought I don’t think we have ever made it. What a perfect quick dinner recipe that pairs well with actifry fries and a many steamed veggie. 


3 thin slices pork chops or thin chicken breast 

1 1/2 cups of cornflakes, then crushed

1 TB pasta sprinkle or Italian seasoning

1 large egg

1 TB skim milk

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Take a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and then place a wire rack in the inside of the pan on top of the parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Take two shallow small bowls. Place the crushed cornflakes in one mixed with pasta sprinkle. In the other bowl place the egg and beat it lightly with the milk. 

4. Take the meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the meat in the egg wash enough to coat entire piece. Allow excess to drop off and then place the meat in the cornflake dust. Flip the meat and allow to coat both sides. Place the fully coated meat on the rack inside the pan. Repeat with remaining meat. 

5. Bake the meat in the center of the oven at 350 degrees. Set the timer for 12 minutes and flip the meat and bake for 12 more minutes. 

**The internal temperature of the pork should be 145 degrees. The chicken may take longer.If baking chicken the temperature should be 165 degrees. 


breakfast Stromboli


Josh loves a savory breakfast meal whether it’s for breakfast or dinner. This is a good twist on a breakfast pizza and now a family favorite!


1 lb of home made pizza dough or frozen (thawed)
1 cup shredded smoked pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
1/4 lb of breakfast sausage
1 egg
1 oz of skim
1/2-1 tsp poultry seasoning ( i used ruth ann’s from penzey’s)


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place your pizza stone in the oven while it heats. Let it heat for an hour.
2. In a large pan season the sausage with poultry seasoning and brown the sausage until no pink meat remains on medium heat. Once fully cooked pour meat into dish ( I like to line it with paper towel which removes some of the fat). Lightly cook the peppers and place them on top of the cooked sausage.
3. In small bowl mix the milk and egg lightly season with more poultry seasoning. Pour into medium heat skillet and scramble eggs. Once eggs are fully cooked remove from heat and set aside.
4. Take dough and roll it out into a square on a lightly floured surface. Place the meat down evenly in the center of the dough in forming a rectangle. Top with pepper evenly and also with egg evenly. Lastly add the smoked hot pepper cheese. Fold the dough with corners first and the longer sides second. Place the dough fold side down on the hot stone (I like to put cornmeal down to help prevent sticking). Brush with olive oil. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes (until outside becomes lightly brown).  Yield: serves 4

Mom’s Mouthwatering Mac Salad


Oh boy, oh boy it only took 6 years to fully get all the secrets to this treasure. My mom has been making this Mac salad for longer than I can remember. My husband adores this salad and when we have it in the house he eats it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No joke!! Okay maybe not breakfast.
The first time I asked her for the recipe she only gave me bits and pieces. Every time she made it my husband studied her process and he would say oh you put “that” in it as well?! Eventually we acquired the entire recipe.

Let me just say it is not a summer family gathering or holiday potluck without it.

Love you mom


1 box of elbows Dreamfileds Pasta cooked according to box (this pasta is awesome it is a whole wheat but cooks white) big secret for incorporating whole grains at a picnic

1 small can of black olives, diced

1/4 cup chopped carrots

2 small container of grape tomatoes (cut in half)

6 hard boiled eggs (plus more for decoration)

1/2 cup chopped celery (about to stalks)

1/2 cup yellow onion chopped

2 TB fresh chives

2 TB fresh parsley

6 turns on the pepper mill

4 turns on the salt mill

6 small sweet pickles

1/2 cup light mayo

1/2 cup light miracle whip

1/2 cup light sour cream

2 tsp prepared mustard

4 TB sweet pickle juice

2 TB table sugar

This recipe yields 4 quarts of Mac salad !

1. In a large bowl that fits a sealable lid, mix all liquid ingredients together along with fresh herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.

2. Then add chopped eggs and noodles to the paste, use spatula to fold in the liquid ingredients. Then fold in the chopped vegetables to fully incorporate.

3. Top with decorative slices of hard boil eggs and a few grape tomatoes.

4. Keep cold and on ice bath at the picnic! Don’t forget your food safety !

Banana Nutella Overnight French Toast


1 loaf banana yeast bread TOH ( cup into 1 inch cubes) or any sweet bread

3/4 cup Nutella 

2 bananas ( cut into slices)

4 cups of skim milk

2 eggs

6 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure maple syrup 

1/2 tsp ground Vietnamese Cinnamon  

9 by 13 oven safe pan and spray with cooking spray 


1.  Place half the cubed bread into 9 by 13 dish. Take every other piece and apply scant Nutella. Face Nutella side up.  

2. Place slices of banana on top of bread. Spread evenly.  


3. Take the remainder of bread cubes and spread scant amount of Nutella on one side of the place and face down. 


Set aside.

4. In a large bowl whisk milk, egg, egg whites, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  


5. Pour liquid evenly overtop the casserole and cover overnight in refrigerator. 


6. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to placing in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake uncovered for an hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until an knife comes out clean. 

Meatloaf Cupcakes


My husband loves meatloaf! By far one of his favorite comfort foods. I always use a very lean ground beef at least 93/7. I added some whole wheat bread crumbs to add some extra fiber and used egg substitute to decrease extra cholesterol and calories.

This recipe yields 6 large muffins sized mini meatloaves.

Leftover mashed potatoes 1 1/2 cups
1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion chopped
2 TB bacon bits
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1.5 TB Worcestershire sauce
1.5 TB low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos if you want to cut the sodium down more
1.5 TB egg substitute or 1 egg white
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 1b 93/7 extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cooking spray large muffin tins.

1. Take a small skillet and sauté onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent on medium heat. Make sure stir occasionally.

2. In a large bowl add beef, egg substitute, soy, Worcestershire sauce, bacon bits, bread crumbs, cheese, and finally cooked onions and garlic.


3. Massage meat with hands to incorporate ingredients. Be careful not to over mix the meat.


4. Use size 8 scoop ( 4oz / half a cup) to perfectly portion the meat mixture into the tins.


5. Now top meat mixture with 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes. (If you want to add extra flavor sprinkle with cheese or fried onions but that will add additional calories for those who are counting).


6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees.