Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Feels Good Being Perfect

This is all that was left of the 30 cookies I made last night

In the words of Jay Z: "Can I get an encore, do ya want more?" I have been on the quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and last night the clouds parted, and my search was over. I started out looking for ingredients that would make the cookies super soft, and I stumbled upon Cornstarch. The first batch I made using Cornstarch was noticeably softer, so I knew that it would be a staple ingredient for future recipes. However I was still left feeling like all the recipes I tried could be better. I tried using bittersweet chocolate(which is what most of the recipes recommended) but evidently I am partial to semisweet chocolate chips. So with most of my ingredients set in stone, I overheard on a cookie blog to use Instant Vanilla Pudding in your cookie batter to make it creamier and softer. I knew that this could very well be the final step in my quest for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Before I unveil the first recipe that I put together myself, I must remind you that everyone has different taste buds and therefore different ideas on what makes the "best" chocolate chip cookie. These are, in my opinion the best chocolate chip cookies ever. I will say that the New York Times cookie was just as good, but not as realistic to make with things you have in your pantry at all times. So here you go, my version of the best chocolate chip cookie. Enjoy!

Shammy Says "Hard work really does pay off"

Caroline's Chocolate Chip Cookies


3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 box of Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3. Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Let rest on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, until firm enough to not fall apart. Move cookies to a cooling rack and let cool slightly.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Oh Thank Heaven for Key Lime Pound Cake

Perfect dessert...or breakfast

I love lime. I love pound cake. This recipe was a hit before it even finished baking. I am not a big fan of cake, it never really tempts me. However, pound cake is a different story. Pound cake is one of my weaknesses because it is super moist and dense. With the combination of the key lime flavor, this dessert just made it to the top of my dessert list. It was surprisingly easy to make and I had everything on hand, which rarely happens. I cut the recipe in half because I knew it would make entirely too much. It is actually a perfect amount in my opinion. Next time I make it I will use a tad less sugar, which is what most of the reviews suggested. Also I will double the glaze because that's just the way I do things. The glaze MAKES this cake. I have eaten five slices since finishing dinner about four minutes ago. One other note I will include is that it says to bake for one hour and fifteen minutes, but I ended up taking mine out after one hour and it was perfect. I also didn't have a tube pan(which is what the recipe calls for) so I used a loaf pan. The loaf pan may have shaved a few minutes off the cook time, so take that into consideration.

Shammy Says "Moist and Delicious"

The Holy Grail of Spaghetti


Delicious. Creamy. Crunchy. Cheesy. These are a few words that describe this pan of perfection. I simply can't put into words my love for creamy casseroles involving noodles. This is a spaghetti casserole and it is one of the best dishes I have ever made. It is noodles, meat sauce, a cream cheese mixture, parmesan cheese, and french fried onions. My husband and I both licked our plates clean. I used whole wheat noodles, extra lean ground beef, Ragu, 1/3 fat free cream cheese, and fresh grated parmesan. It isn't as fattening as it tastes, I promise. The only mistake I made was pouring the french fried onions on before I finished reading the directions. You are supposed to bake it first for twenty-five minutes and then put them on for the last five minutes of baking. Don't make my mistake, unless you want to spend an extra ten minutes picking out each onion. That and the fact that if they cook too long, they can break a tooth. In conclusion, I declare this recipe one of my top five favorite recipes, and that is a very big deal. You have to be creme de la creme to make that list. Congratulations Baked Spaghetti, you passed the Shammy test with flying colors.

Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Shammy Says "Make this yesterday"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five Stars and a Second Post!

My beloved SunRise Tacos

Alright, I have blogged about Broken Egg Cafe once already, but I figured any place this good deserves a second post, on a different menu item of course. I get the SunRise Tacos most of the time because, well, go try them and you will understand why. If you can't already tell from the picture, it is the most delicious breakfast ever. Sausage, eggs, cheese, and tomatoes in a flour tortilla topped with a generous dollop of sour cream, with hash browns on the side. We have eaten here too many times to count and I have yet to have a bad experience. The food is always freshly cooked, AND they have a drive-thru! You have to call your order ahead but the fact that they have a pickup window is truly amazing. If you are anything like us and you live in your pajamas on Sundays, then Broken Egg is the place for you, and they are open until 2:00pm for you extra lazy people :)

Broken Egg Cafe Website

Shammy Says "Now I'm hungry"

Tijuana's Grill and Cantina

As you can tell from the above picture, the food was disgusting

I am always skeptical to try new Mexican restaurants. I have my places that I like and I rarely venture out of them because I am usually disappointed when I do. My sister told me about this place and raved about how good it was, and since she's never steered me wrong before, I acceded. I shall start with the salsa, since that is normally my main concern when eating Mexican fare. It was delicious. So delicious that we went through two baskets of chips before our meal arrived. The queso was good, but not the best I've had. The guacamole was very impressive and flavorful. We ordered the Chicken Tacos and they were different than anything I have ever had, in a good way. The chicken was seasoned perfectly and they were served atop corn tortillas with a side of pico de gallo. Overall I was very satisfied and will definitely be adding this place to my list of Mexican restaurant choices.

Tijuana's Grill and Cantina Website

Shammy Says "If I had three thumbs I would give this place three thumbs up"

Two Words: Guacamole and Bruschetta

Yes it tastes as good as it looks

I love Bruschetta. I also love guacamole. I can make meals out of both. When I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, I was more than intrigued. Actually it was really a no-brainer deciding to make them. Guacamole Bruschetta? Who wouldn't love this? It was fairly simple to make, just alot of chopping and dicing, but the final product didn't fail me in the taste department. I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone!

Guacamole Bruschetta Recipe

Shammy Says "Tasty and light--if you don't eat ten pieces"

Monday, September 12, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade Cookies


I love lemon in just about anything. Lemonade, lemon pie, lemons with salt, and now lemonade cookies. I spotted these on Pinterest yesterday and decided I HAD to make them. They were very easy to make, and very fun to decorate. They are not overwhelmingly lemony, but coming from me that doesn't say much. After all I eat lemons plain, with lots of salt. If you are not a lemon person, you won't care for these. However if you do like lemon, then these are the perfect cookies for you! They are creamy, soft and the frosting is nothing short of heaven in your mouth. I fell in love with these and will definitely make them again, but next time I'll serve them with lemonade, and make a double batch. DELICIOUS.

Lemonade Cookie Recipe

Shammy Says "One of my new favorite cookie recipes"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm terrified at how easy this recipe was...

Warm, fresh, delicious

You know that saying "too good to be true?" Well these were not, they were too simple and wonderful for me to believe. A can of biscuits, a little bit of oil, sugar, cinnamon and butter? That's all it took for me to make my own homemade donuts. Inconceivable! Now I will say that I need to work on the recipe a couple more times because apparently I didn't fry them long enough. The center was a bit doughy, so I threw them in the oven to cook them all the way through. Still, they were divine. The recipe is below, you're welcome.

Homemade Doughnuts Recipe

Shammy Says "I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing that I can make homemade donuts in less than 5 minutes...?"

Thursday, September 1, 2011


They LOOK scrumptious, unfortunately they were not.

I really dislike when this happens; a recipe looks and sounds amazing, but after all your hard work it falls flat in the taste department. With a title like "Glazed Donut Muffins" you would think that this recipe would be a no brainer. If you thought this, like me, you were wrong. As these were baking, they smelled just like a glazed donut, I was even tempted to stick my head in the oven and try one as they were baking, that's how good they smelled. Once they were glazed, I dove in for a hot one. No fireworks, no taste explosion, nothing. If I could describe them in a few words, I would say they were thick, heavy, and too nutmeg-y. Don't waste your time on this recipe if you were thinking of trying it, but I will tell you to try the Peach and White Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe that I blogged about a few weeks ago. THOSE were amazing. They have fruit and chocolate in the batter, which undoubtedly makes them creamier and less dry on the inside after being baked. They were wonderful, and these were NOT.

Shammy Says "I'm disappointed that a recipe containing the words 'donut' and 'glazed' could be such a let down"