Posts Categorized: Recipes

Aryn’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!


One of the things on my “30 Before 30” list was to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. I was a bit naïve when I wrote that – there are many different types of chocolate chips cookies, and I’ve now decided one shouldn’t necessarily discriminate – but this one is my go-to, and pretty darn good.


It all started with my mother-in-law, Bev’s, recipe. It’s a winner on its own, but I wanted to cut some butter and add some oats. Then I had the GENIUS (pure genius, I tell you) idea to start making double batches and freezing dough balls.


Simply put a reusable baking liner or parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, scoop out dough balls (I use a tablespoon), and put in the freezer. (Usually they’re balanced on some frozen vegetables, a pack of bacon, and frozen ravioli in ours!)


When they’re frozen solid, you can move them to a container for easier storage (we use yogurt containers). Then, when you feel like a chocolate chip cookie, you can just pop a few on a cookie sheet and bake – no need to thaw. Viola! Fresh cookies in 10 minutes! Because no matter how perfect a recipe, a fresh chocolate chip cookie is better than a day-old one. For sure. (I would pin that sh*t if I were you…)


So, without further ado: the chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Preheat oven to 375

Cream together:
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C butter

Add 1 egg and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix.

Mix together dry ingredients (I just add them to the top of the wet dough, but stir up the dry stuff on top before I mix it all into the wet stuff):
1/2 tsp salt
1 C flour
1 C rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda

Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. I always eyeball them, but if I’m making a double batch, I add nearly a bag! I like chocolate. You decide what’s best for you, but I will tell you that these cookies hold up well to lots of chips.


‘Cause these things are important to know.

Optional: Roughly chop 1/2 C cranberries and add to dough when you add chocolate chips (I stopped adding cranberries after Roxie was born because the extra step – cutting board and knife, etc – seemed to be too much work, but they do add a nice element if you’re into that sort of thing!)

Scoop balls onto cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Usually I bake about a dozen and let them rest on the pan a couple of minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. The rest, I freeze!




Peanut Butter Puddles… Recipe!

PB Puddles

Peanut Butter Puddles

…because it is definitely baking season again!

Here’s an old cookie recipe for Peanut Butter Puddles that a friend of Benji’s came up with several years ago. It has made the cut several times in the personal cook book and moving-across-country adventures, so we decided we should share it with you! The thumb-print aspect and puddles add some fun tasks for little hands to help as well –  Enjoy firing up that oven and staying warm…

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips (yep, again!)
1/3 cup peanut butter +/-

-Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter (from wet ingredient list) together slowly in sauce pan or double boiler.
-Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl
-Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl and add this mixture to your slightly cooled off melted PB/Chocolate chip mixture.
-Place wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined into a nice cookie dough.
-Drop by Tablespoon size and leave a thumbprint in the middle of each dough ball to form a small pool…
-Put a dab of extra peanut butter (you choose how much!) in each thumbprint and bake for 12 minutes (or less) at 350F degrees.

You can use creamy or chunky peanut butter of just about any kind – to make these super over the top, try the “grind your own” bulk peanut butter from the Oneota Food Coop (or another food coop!). Smucker’s natural is also a decent option, or of course whatever you have on hand! Feel free to experiment with amounts or add your own spices for the holidays (cinnamon? peppermint pieces? Whoohoo!)



Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala


I know this is in no way “authentic” tikka masala. I use cream cheese in place of heavy cream, for one. Um…pretty sure they don’t do that in India. And I cook it in a crockpot. But it’s good! And it’s easy! I think I’ve finally (after the “terrible” trial of making and eating this over and over again) nailed this yummy, comforting recipe for you…so without further ado:

Aryn’s Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

Prep Chicken:
• 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh, cut up into 1-2 inch pieces (TIP: no need to cut off the fat…you want it there to keep the chicken from drying out…and I use a kitchen scissors to do the cutting…so much easier!)
• 1 tsp kosher salt (regular is really just fine though)
• 1 Tbl ground coriander
• 2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 Tbl garam masala (you can find this in the bulk section of our local co-op…check yours, or the spice section of your favorite grocery store)
• 3/4 plain yogurt
Cut up chicken and mix up with above ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for now.

Everything else:
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 cans (16 oz) garbanzo beans (chick peas).
TIP: If I only have 2 lbs of chicken, I add a third can of beans. This is a saucy recipe and my kid LOVES spicy “bongo” beans!
• 6 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 large piece of ginger (2-3 inches in size), peeled and grated
TIP: really do use a grater…it makes it so much nicer
• 1 Tbl kosher salt
• 2 Tbls garam masala
• 1 lg can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
• 1 Tbl sugar
• 1 tsp cocoa
• 1 whole jalapeno, washed, stem removed, and pierced several times with sharp knife
TIP: Make sure the jalapeno doesn’t explode…or it’ll be super hot. Remove it if it’s starting to fall apart. If you make chopped, pickled jalapenos (we do), just throw a few pieces in there instead with a bit of the pickled juice. Yum!
• 8 Tbl butter (Yes, that’s a whole stick…you need it all. Just cut into Tbl and pop into slow cooker.)

Later (about 30 minutes before serving… do this right before you make rice!):
• 1 brick (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed up
TIP: I actually use Neufchâtel and it’s totally still great
• 1 Tbl coconut oil (if you’ve got it…it’s a nice addition…could be optional though)
• Juice from half a lime


1. Put all the “everything else” ingredients into the crockpot. Then put the chicken mixture on top – don’t stir it in. Why? Chicken can dry out in a crockpot, so keeping it father away from the heat source is best. It will clump together initially, but will break up when you stir it in. I tend to stir it in about halfway through cooking (yes, I open my crockpot while cooking, gasp!)…if you’re not home, it’s fine to just stir it in when you add the cheese.

2. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. So if you work out of the house, it would be good to have it all ready to go in the fridge, then come home for lunch and put it on.

3. 30 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped up cream cheese (or Neufchâtel), coconut oil, and lime. Cook rice.
TIP 1: I always make double the rice I need so we can use it for leftovers.
TIP 2: We like to use basmati rice and add in some frozen peas at the end of the cooking. It adds some sneaky vegetables to the dish and stops the rice from getting overcooked!

Stir up the tikka to make sure all the cheese is melted and serve over rice, and maybe with some naan and a bit of plain yogurt if you’d like (we like).