Doubly Chocolate Cookies

I LOVE Chocolate, I could eat it everyday. I especially love dark chocolate. Luckily it's one of the few things that I can be fairly sure is gluten free, so safe to eat. I've found a cookie recipe that when adapted to be gluten free is just what I need. It's a nice soft cookie, somewhat dense like a brownie, and has terrific flavor. I prefer them well cooled instead of slightly warm out of the oven, but that's how I like most of my cookies. My father who loves brownies asks for this cookie regularly, and it's one of the only chocolate cookies my lactose intolerant mother can eat (butter doesn't bug her and I use dark chocolate so no milk.)

I've tried making this recipe with a few different flours and a sweet rice flour/all purpose combo seems to work best. It helps the cookies hold their shape without having to add extra flour for omitting nuts from the original recipe.

So if you love chocolate as much as I do, and crave a cookie, try this recipe. It's the holiday season, I have a feeling Santa will be getting some of these under the tree this year. I'm sure he loves chocolate as much as I do.

Doubly Chocolate Cookies

8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
10-12oz dark chocolate chips (just because you can)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour (I use 1/4 cup sweet rice flour and 1/4 cup GF all purpose.)
1/4 tsp baking powder
(You can add nuts if you like, I prefer no nuts... 1 cups if you choose to and reduce the chips to 8 oz. instead of a full package.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put the semi-sweet chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until completely melted.

Add sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add flour and baking powder mix, well and then stir in your chocolate chips and/or nuts.

Let the batter hang out for 10 minutes or so. It'll thicken up a bit and be much easier to place on your cookie sheet. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes (I find 11 is perfect for my oven) or until puffed and shiny looking.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

A new habit.

Recently my husband has started working for himself. This is a great step for us and he's very happy and enjoying the journey immensely. While it's a little scary, it's also given me the opportunity to pick up some new habits. I've been having to cut expenses in various places. The first and easiest area to tackle was the grocery budget. Up until the last couple of months I would just go to the store whenever I needed some ingredients, would fill up the basket (mostly with impulse purchases,) and head out. I didn't have a plan and ended up spending quite a bit per month on groceries.

So I've started making a weekly menu. I usually do my shopping on Sunday and the menu I write up for the week runs Monday through Sunday. Just by making up a menu and sticking to those items I need to make those meals (and breakfast and lunch supplies as well,) while shopping, I cut my grocery bill by more than half. I was completely amazed. I also love not having to ask myself what's for dinner each night, I already know. So I thought I might share my weekly menu's with you, nothing fancy and you'll see that I plan for a leftover night, we're not big on leftovers for some reason and if I don't plan them, they don't get eaten. I do try to make something I haven't tried before at least once a week. This isn't a typical week of course, we'll be eating leftovers most of it.

Monday: Hearty vegetable soup.

Tuesday: Brats and Tots.

Wednesday: Venison Stew.

Thursday: THANKSGIVING!!!! Turkey, gluten free cornbread stuffing, green beans in mushroom wine sauce (my moms recipe and I'll be sharing it later,) roasted potatoes, gluten/dairy free pumpkin pie!

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Turkey Soup

Give making a menu a try. You may find that it works great for you, relieving the stress of having to figure out what's for dinner every night and maybe cutting your grocery bill a bit. I know I'm enjoying it and it's a habit I intend to keep.

Chicken Smoosh


A few months back my neighbor invited me over for dinner, it was very last minute. Last minute meals out almost never go well for me, eating gluten free and not at home requires planning and and generally some mild coaching, "Yes that's ok, no... that has wheat in it." I accepted and decided to make the most of it, after all Adam was traveling and I would be cooking for one if I declined, something I tend not to enjoy.

I walked out my front door and the 100 feet or so to her front door. The family greeted me, 2 wild little boys running around screaming. I've since come to learn that they love company of any sort. It felt good to have company and the prospect of sitting at a table with people instead of at mine alone was pleasant. We all sat down, bowls were passed out, spoons, and glasses.

"I hope you can eat this," she said. "I talked to Jennifer (another neighbor,) and she told me you can't have wheat so this is what I came up with."

"I'm sure it'll be fine," I replied with a smile. I was amazed that she knew of my dietary needs and had actually tried to meet them.

The dish she prepared was simple, crock pot magic. It was like a chili but it wasn't. It was very hearty and could stand on it's own, something I knew I would like to make at home. I asked her what was in it and she gave me a rough accounting, no wheat. I could eat. We talked, the boys misbehaved and the evening was enjoyed.

A few weeks later I decided I would try and recreate the dish for Adam. Once a week I try and do something in the crock pot. It's easy and there's usually enough for leftovers, a lifesaving trait for those nights I just don't feel like cooking or we're in a time crunch. I couldn't find an exact recipe on the internet so I took a couple of different ones and used them for a starting block. Here's the end result, named by my husband who is fond of the dish and feeling playful the night he ate it.

Chicken Smoosh:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed
1 - meduim onion diced
1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 - 15 oz can black beans
1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
15 oz sweet corn (canned or frozen)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chile powder
Salt to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a crock pot/slow cooker. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Top with cheddar cheese or sour cream and a side of tortilla chips if you like and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Pumpkin Seeds.

So it's the time of year that pumpkins are all around. Whether they are being carved, put in a pie or used for decoration you are probably seeing them everywhere. I love fall and the plethora of color that comes with it. I've even painted my kitchen pumpkin toast. As I take an occasional walk in the crisp fall air I see signs of the season everywhere and I love it. The sound of little children laughing all bundled up, leaves being raked, and birds chirping in bare trees as they get ready to fly south. All these things make the season right for me, I would go so far as to say I probably enjoy fall the most.

Every year I roast the measly couple of cups of pumpkin seeds I get from carving my halloween pumpkin. Sometimes it's these easy and quick little things that allow the feel of the season to creep in. This year I decided to try something a little different than my normal simply salted and roasted variety. These were adapted from another recipe I found and call for Worcestershire sauce, I use Lea & Perrin's as it is gluten free.

Gluten Free Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

2 cups pumpkin seeds (raw)
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Melt the butter and add all other ingredients. Mix well. Roast in a 275 degree oven in a shallow pan for 1 hour and moisture has evaporated.

If you like it saltier... by all mean change it up. I know next year I'll probably change it up a little as well, maybe trying to add a little heat with some chile sauce or cayenne. Cooking is an adventure, so enjoy yourself. Find a recipe you like and change it up just a little. That's how you start making the kitchen yours.