just a Chi-town girl

it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Yesterday I made some yummy cookies to pair with a fancy dinner.  Below is the recipe for you to try out.  It’s a twist on the traditional nestle recipe.  This time I used white chocolate chips and cashew pieces for half of the batch and milk chocolate and butterscotch chips for the other half.  They say they will last a week in the fridge, but I guarantee they’ll be gone way before then.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar (half light brown, half dark brown)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 cups of chips, nuts, etc.


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugars and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in goodies. Take heaping tablespoon and drop rolled cookie dough balls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Makes ~30 cookies.

BAKE for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. I do one pan at a time in the highest rack possible because our oven tends to burn the bottoms.  Be sure to see what works for you, and rotate your pans to provide even cooking.

julia child would be proud

Check out my team post on the Facets blog this week to create your own yummy beef bourguignon dish using the good old crock pot.  

beef bourguignon

I also baked some cookies for dessert. 

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot"

Check out my article in the most recent issue of the Facets Magazine — pages 77-80 — to find out about New Year’s Celebrations around the globe

Awesome blog

This delightful blog is at the top of my most visited list. Check it out if you love kitties as much as I do!

I always knew I was royalty!  Make yourself into a princess, too!

My new boots have arrived! 50% off retail price c/o shoestation.com with a promo code

Feels like 23?  Thank goodness I found my winter hat last night!

'ello, governor

This is my inaugural blog post, so I’ll give you an idea of what’s in store.  First, there will be recipes (my favorite is below) because I adore baking and eating sweets.  I will also be writing about technical things (exciting news, gadget reviews, etc.) because I’m a bit of a tech nerd.  Lastly, your eyes will be graced with tales and pictures of my three “children.”  The Mr and I are parents to two cats and a dog, and they are the loves of my life.  I won’t promise to blog as often as I could or with the most thrilling content, but I will try not to bore you :)


Bodacious Banana Bread

Banana bread from scratch.  I looks, smells, and tastes delicious, and I hope you have as much fun with it as I did.  This would be a great breakfast or snack throughout the day.

banana bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.  

Mix 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted sweet cream butter until combined. Then add in 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 large eggs.

Set aside mixture, and move on to your bananas.  Peel and mash 3 large bananas until slightly chunky.  It should be reminiscent of stage 2 baby food.  You will add this back to the mixture and stir until well combined.  You can use small bananas, just keep in mind that you want approximately 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana.

After the mixture is smooth, add in 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Next, add in 2 c. all-purpose flour.  It is best to add this slowly, one half cup at a time.  Mix until blended.  Do not over-mix, or your bread will be less light and fluffy.

Once you have completed the above steps, pour mixture into loaf pan and place on middle rack of oven.  It will take 60-75 minutes and can be checked by inserting a toothpick in the middle.  If it comes out clean, it is done baking.  When it is ready, carefully remove the loaf pan from the oven and set aside for at least 15 minutes.  When both you and the bread are ready, cut and enjoy!!

This recipe makes 12 - 3/4” slices, and nutrition information can be found below (per slice).  I never said they were good for you…

237 Calories
75 Calories from Fat
8.5 g Total Fat
5 g Saturated Fat
0 g Trans Fat
3 g Monounsaturated Fat
.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat
55 mg Cholesterol
270 mg Sodium
39 g Total Carbohydrates
2 g Dietary Fiber
20 g Sugar
3 g Protein



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