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20 minutes to home-baked cookies

The kitchen is a great place for mommy-and-me time. (©iStockphoto.com/Yvonne Chamberlain) The kitchen is a great place for mommy-and-me time. (©iStockphoto.com/Yvonne Chamberlain)
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  • Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Spicy Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce, 8/27/14

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:49:39 GMT
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
    Gary DukeAlley Oops4 tomatoes, chopped2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 onion, sliced thinlysalt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste4 eggsfresh mozzarella cheese, cubedparmesan cheesefresh basilbread slices1. In a sauce pan, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, add the tomatoes and seasoning to mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for an additional 15 or 20 minutes.2. Uncover sauce and gentle crack the eggs evenly around your tomato sauce. Place ...More >>
  • Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Summer Shrimp Salad, 8/25/14

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-08-25 12:49:13 GMT
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
    Capi PeckTrio'sServes 41 1/4 lbs. large Gulf shrimp in the shell2 ears corn on the cobs, steamed, grilled or roasted/ kernels removedFor the dressing:2 cloves garlic, smashed1 1/2 t. cumin1 t. paprika1/2 t. cayenne pepper1/2 c. lime juice1c. olive oil1/2 c. cilantro leavessalt to tasteCombine all dressing ingredients in bowl or jar. Whisk or shake well to combine. Set aside.2 Haas avocados, sliced1/2 c. cilantro leaves8 cups arugula or other greens of your choice?1 half Vidalia or sweet onion...More >>
  • Tuscan Grilled Chicken Pasta, 8/22/14

    Tuscan Grilled Chicken Pasta, 8/22/14

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:20 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:20:29 GMT
    Brandon DouglasServes 4· ½ cup grilled Chicken· 5 slices Salami· ½ cup sliced Grape tomato· ½ cup Spinach rough chop· 2 cups uncooked small pasta shells, orzo or macaroni· 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced· ¼ cup olive Oil or butter· 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese· 2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade· 1/4 teaspoon salt· 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepperDirections1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil. Remove from the heat. Drain pa...More >>
    Brandon DouglasServes 4· ½ cup grilled Chicken· 5 slices Salami· ½ cup sliced Grape tomato· ½ cup Spinach rough chop· 2 cups uncooked small pasta shells, orzo or macaroni· 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced· ¼ cup olive Oil or butter· 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese· 2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade· 1/4 teaspoon salt· 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepperDirections1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute garlic in olive oil. Remove from the heat. Drain pa...More >>

By Jorj Morgan
 

A skinned knee, poor quiz grade, or best friend turned foe are all great excuses for a little mommy and me time. Scoop her up into your arms, stand her on a kitchen chair, and pull out that bag of chocolate chips hiding in the back of the cupboard. Spend the next 20 minutes of quality time baking homemade chocolate chip cookies - just you and your baby. Soon you will be sharing a big glass of cold milk, warm-from-the-oven cookies and a memory that she will never forget.

Start by involving your child in the idea of baking cookies. Of course, you can open a store bought bag and hand her a cookie, but you would miss an opportunity to do more than assuage her dark mood. Children and home-baked cookies are a tradition. Connecting with your child in kitchen activities is a way to develop skills like sorting, measuring, adding and subtracting. Baking cookies is a good way to introduce time concepts. Stirring and dropping the cookies is an example of fine motor skill activities. Working together, hand-in-hand is an excellent example of teamwork. Here is a terrific way to spend time together that offers an educational opportunity with the added benefit of a good treat.

Here are some fun tips to make cookie baking a breeze. Start by locating all of the ingredients you need, and placing them on the counter. Sort the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, etc.). Use a measuring cup and measuring spoons to scoop up the correct amount of each. Digging and pouring will keep a tiny mind occupied while unhappy memories recede.

Soften butter in the microwave or better yet, substitute with a solid vegetable shortening that blends easily and quickly. Use an electric mixer to cream the sugar into the shortening. Be careful to occupy little hands with other interests while you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Perhaps counting those little chocolate chips would be a fun task. Toss in a cupful of uncooked oats to the batter to give the cookies a chunky texture.

Now comes the fun part - adding those luscious chips to your chunky batter. Pour them in - or drizzle them around the side of the bowl. You may choose to count them as they're added; one for mom, two for the bowl, and - how many are being crammed into her giggling mouth?

While the cookies bake, join together in a quick clean up. Kitchen fun includes reinforcing chores and taking pride in completing a task. Don't forget to ask for a soapy hug or a bubbly kiss.

When the oven timer winds down and the buzzer finally buzzes the cookies come out of the oven smelling just like you remember them from your childhood. Pour a couple of glasses of chilled milk, sit down at the table, and offer her the first gooey bite. As her cheery smile reappears, you relax. Enjoy this special moment made possible by a well-spent twenty minutes!

Get the recipe: Jorj's Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jorj Morgan is the Lifestyle Director of BlueSuitMom.com and the author of At Home In The Kitchen, a cookbook due in spring 2001.

 

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