Random Things #1-5

1. My life has been a bit out of sorts lately. I've kind of felt like saying this:

Just kidding...sort of. Hey, everyone feels that way once in a while!
(Picture is Created and Copyrighted by Ann Taintor Inc.)

2. My graduate reading comprehension class is coming to an end this week and I will finally be able to get a little time back because I won't be writing one million papers. Parent teacher conferences will also be over by next week, which should free me up a bit.

3. I haven't been planning new and exciting meals...or even doing a lot of grocery shopping for that matter. I've been relying on my stocked freezer for many meals. That's why I'm all about the freezing. In fact, I have all sorts of wonderful freezing tips and ideas that I will eventually compile into a post or posts and share with you.

4. I would love some feedback on what you like seeing on this blog...

would you like to see on this blog?
What has been helpful?
Would you like to see more of an emphasis on planning ahead? recipes? local sales and specials?

Do you have any recipes or tips you want to share?
Comment or email me at cookingwithaplan@gmail.com

5. What I've been cooking to survive this week:

Monday - Turkey Bolognese Sauce that I pulled out of my freezer atop whole wheat spaghetti. I also made Chocolate Chip Cookies for my friend's birthday on Tuesday (see recipe below)

Tuesday - Apricot, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Panini's with Roasted Red Pepper Soup (I had a bag of the soup in the freezer and leftover goat cheese and apricot preserves in the fridge)

Wednesday - Turkey Chili (because, believe it or not, we haven't had it in a little while)

Thursday - I thawed a pork tenderloin from the freezer and plan to make a parsley and sage pesto to spread on it for roasting. I'll see how it works out and post the recipe if it's a keeper.

Friday - Go out to eat in pure celebration that the hectic-ness of parent teacher conference week is over. Perhaps to the The Olive Tree because I ate there last week and thought it was absolutely Heavenly.

Saturday - I got a whole pile of new cookbooks from the library...I plan to choose a recipe and give it a go on Saturday.

Chocolate Chip Cookies*
~Room temperature butter is a must for this recipe~
(not the best picture...it was taken with my phone while at school)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet choc. chips
  1. Place sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beat to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 sec. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to speed 4 and beat about 30 sec. Stop and scrape bowl.
  2. Turn to Stir Speed. Gradually add baking soda, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and mix about 2 min. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 30 sec. Stop and scrape bowl. Add choc. chips. Turn to Stir Speed and mix about 15 sec.**
  3. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, about 2 in. apart. Bake at 375 for 10-12 min. Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.
*This recipe is from the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer's instruction manual. Therefore, it's written to be used with the mixer. You certainly don't need a stand mixer to make this recipe. You could use a hand mixer or mix it with a spoon.

**At this point, I typically reserve some of the dough and roll it into teaspoon sized balls. Then I line them up in a freezer bag and freeze them flat. When I need cookies, I just pull them out the of the freezer, break them apart, and stick 'em in the oven. They just need to be baked a bit longer than unfrozen, but turn out just the same!


  1. In response to your need for feedback:

    I love the emphasis on planning ahead. I think that in this economy, one can really save money by buying on sale, cooking ahead of time, freezing, etc. I want to learn more about freezing - like I didn't know you could freeze the cookie dough or bread...lots more tips on this! I want to know how to freeze anything and everything in regards to food!

    Recipes and tips - feel free to share anything I post on my blog! :) And if I think of something specifically geared toward here, I will surely email you!

    I also appreciate that you mention local sales here and there - like ground turkey or whatever at the local Giant. I love looking through my circular, but we all miss things!

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Steph! I think I'll start posting more on local sales...and prep ahead tips.