Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

A friend of mine told me about these cookies--what impressed me most was the short list of ingredients!  Wow, who knew?  In addition to the 3 ingredients in the photo, I also added a bit of pumpkin pie spice.  These taste just like the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that the bakery at my local grocery store make--I wonder if they use this short cut, too?  I didn't even bother getting out my big mixer--you can do this by hand.  They are very soft and cake-like and even Jeff liked them.

1 package spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
chocolate chips (to liking, about 1/3 package for us)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2.  Blend together cake mix, pumpkin, and spice; mixing well.  Add chocolate chips.
3.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls on prepared sheets.
4.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, let cool at least 5 minutes on sheets before transferring to wire racks to finish cooling.

Just for fun, I figured out some health information about these cookies.
Amounts are based per cookie (recipe makes 30 cookies)
Total calories: 98 calories
Fat calories: 10.8 calories (not grams)
Protein grams: 1.3 grams
Fiber grams: 0.7 grams
In comparison, this is less than 1/2 the calories for a regular chocolate chip cookie, much less fat, and more protein and fiber.  So easy, so good, so simple.

Potato Soup

We love this soup!  My roommate Cassie shared this with me years ago and I learned to make it like her--just estimating and adding as you go, but I've been told by my sister that it doesn't quite work at as well when they've tried to make it.  This time, I tried to pay better attention to amounts and such--maybe it will help!  Here's today's step by step:

More detailed recipe:
1.  Fill pot with water a little less than half full.  Bring to boil and add 3 chicken bullion cubes.
2.  Add cut up potatoes (I like big chunks, but I cut them smaller this time so it was easier for my kids to eat).  With 7 small to medium potatoes in the pot, the water should jut barely cover the potatoes (too much water can make the soup thin, this soup should be thick and creamy).
3.  Let the potatoes boil while you dice onion and celery, then add to pot.
4.  Add broccoli and cauliflower; I added a bag of each but first rinsed the bags in a strainer and left out any questionable pieces or really "steamy" parts of broccoli.
5.  Cook for about 5 minutes (it doesn't need to be a strong boil, just let it cook, but not too hot (so the potatoes aren't mushy).  Add cream of chicken soup and Velveeta cheese.
6.  Serve.

Original recipe:
1 ½ qt water
4 chicken bullion cubes (I sometimes cut it down to 2 cubes to reduce the salt)
2 cups cubed potatoes (I usually double that)

Boil, than add:
1 c diced onion
1 c diced celery
1 bag of frozen broccoli & cauliflower (fresh works, too, put in according to desire)

Boil for 5 minutes, than add:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 lb Velveeta cheese cubed

Enjoy! Also tastes great with chopped up ham!