Best Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you want an old fashioned Toll House cookie, make these…

  • 2 ¼ c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter
  • ¾ c brown sugar
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional
  • Oven 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl or kitchen aid mixer.
  • Add vanilla and eggs; mix well.
  • Add flour, baking soda and salt (mixed together in a bowl) to the mixture.
  • Add chocolate chips (and walnuts if desired) just to blend.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon, or cookie scoop, to lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 11-13 minutes.

*Or try these, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 c flour (I added ¼ c buckwheat flour to total 2 ¼ c)
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter (lactose free)
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c beet sugar (white sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, semi sweet or 70%
  • 1 c chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • Follow directions above, except Dorie says bake them at 375 for 10-12 minutes.
  • It depends on your oven; go with what works for a slightly crispy edge and chewy center.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been working on these for awhile… wanted them to be cakey and light, and taste like pumpkin muffins. These hit the spot with a cup of tea on a Fall afternoon.

  • ½ cup butter
  • scant 1 ½ cups sugar ( I used brown mixed with coconut)
  • 1 egg
  • scant 1 cup of pumpkin (if you use a full cup, just add a little more flour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour (if you use one with xanthum gum, they won’t be as light and cakey)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ( I use Enjoy Life)
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla, and then add the pumpkin. Mix the dry ingredients together in a smaller bowl, and add them, mixing just until blended. Add chocolate chips.
  • Drop by tablespoon, or small scoop onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Press slightly with palm of your hand to flatten and form rounded cookie.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350.

Note: If you use a full cup of pumpkin, you may need up to 2 ½ cups of flour. It depends on the kind of gluten free mix you’re using. I make my own with brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. Bob’s is good, but has xanthum gum, so use less and don’t mix a lot.

Apple Crumb Cake

What to do with all these fresh apples? Maybe a crisp, or a crostata, or maybe this delicious apple cake! Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe, mine is gluten and lactose free, and totally organic, with a divine crumb topping. Everyone deemed it delicious, so it’s a keeper!

Heat the oven to 325 and grease a 9″ round cake pan with butter or non-stick spray.

Apples:

  • 3 small-medium apples, peeled (or not), cored and cut into 1/2″ wedges.
  • Toss with 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. sugar, and juice from half a lemon; set aside.

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. beet sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 c. flour (I mixed 1/3 c. teff flour in but plain GF flour is fine)
  • Whisk butter, cinnamon, sugars, and salt until evenly mixed. Add flour with fork until it’s incorporated; it will be thick; set aside.

Cake:

  • 6T butter, softened
  • 1/2c beet sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, yogurt, and vanilla and beat until combined. Sprinkle surface of batter with baking powder and salt, and mix well. Add flour and mix just until it disappears.
  • Scrape batter into greased pan and smooth top. Arrange apples on top, slightly overlapping, and add any remaining juice. Sprinkle crumb topping over the top, leaving some larger chunks.
  • Bake until a toothpick comes clean, or when you stick it in an apple, it’s soft, or when you see juices bubbling around some apples…about 55 minutes, depending on your oven etc. I had to bake mine an extra 15-20 minutes just fyi.

Cool on a rack and cut into wedges. Enjoy!

This cake keeps at room temp for 3 days with a loose cover over it, or wrap it well and keep it for 6 days in the fridge. Mine was gone in 3 days!

Raspberry Muffins

I love picking raspberries in September at Old Frog Pond in Harvard, Ma, and when I do, this is one recipe I have to make with them. Adapted from Silver Palate’s Good Times Cookbook, they are delicious! I almost always have streusel topping in the freezer ready to go, which makes this go even faster. You can also omit the topping or just sprinkle with a little turbinado sugar if you’re in a hurry. The lemon zest is nice in the topping though, so do try it sometime!

  • 1 ½ c Gluten free flour
  • scant ¼ c beet sugar
  • scant ¼ c light brown sugar
  • scant 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4-1/3 c lactose free butter, melted
  • ½ c almond milk
  • 1 1/4- 1 ½ c fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Streusel Topping:

  • scant ½ c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c gluten free flour
  • ¼ c oat flour
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 T melted butter, lactose free

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or melted butter.

  • Whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and melted butter.
  • Stir and mix together just until combined.
  • Quickly and lightly, stir in the lemon zest and raspberries.
  • Distribute equally among 12 muffin cups.
  • Make the streusel topping…
  • Combine the flour, oat flour, sugar, lemon zest, and melted butter in a small bowl and stir with a fork until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp on each muffin.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until tester comes clean.
  • Enjoy! Or freeze a few for another time!

Summer Pizza

adapted from theKitchn.com

I’ve made this pizza several times this summer and now that the corn, tomatoes, and squash are abundant, I’ll be making it even more! My version is gluten and lactose free, but you can use a regular pizza crust and cheese if you like. I love the pure veggies and basil garlic oil taste myself…delicious!

  • 1 frozen GF pizza crust (I like Cappello’s)
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ears of fresh corn (about ¾ cup), cut from the ears
  • 1 small-medium zucchini or yellow squash, thinly peeled into ribbons
  • 2 oz plant based cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 440.

  1. Chop basil leaves and place in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic, salt and olive oil and mix.
  2. Place the red onion, tomatoes, corn, and zucchini/squash in a medium bowl.
  3. Add 1-2 T of the garlic basil oil to the mixed veggies.
  4. Put pizza crust on parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Spread/brush garlic basil oil on the crust to edges.
  6. Arrange veggies on top evenly.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  8. Bake 11-15 minutes until edges are brown.
  9. Top with more fresh basil leaves if desired.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!

Chewy Brownie-like Cookies

Slightly crispy on the outside, chewy in the center…just the thing if you need a little chocolate pick me up, like if you have a migraine!

  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ c brown sugar (or half beet sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ c flour
  • ¼ c dark cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips; ½ c melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and beat in.
  3. Add 1 egg, and beat til light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.
  5. Melt ½ c chocolate chips; stir til smooth, and add to sugar egg mixture quickly.
  6. Add flour mixture in and blend til just mixed.
  7. Add ½ c remaining chips.
  8. Scoop into golf size balls and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake 9 minutes and check…do not overbake.
  10. Remove when edges are done and center looks slightly wobbly.

Cool and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Equal Exchange and King Arthur flour recipe)

These are a nice variety of basic chocolate chip cookies. Adding some Teff flour added a nutty taste that I liked. You could use buckwheat flour instead or just go with all purpose flour, your choice! They are crispy on the edges and chewy inside, which I love! If you want them chewier, take them out sooner. They will crisp up after they cool…yum!

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c beet sugar
  • 1 c unsalted butter, lactose free
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c flour, gluten free mix (part Teff, about 1/3 c)
  • 2 cups Equal Exchange semi-sweet or 70% chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars, salt, vanilla, almond extract, vinegar, and baking soda until smooth.
  4. Add the egg, and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour and chips and thoroughly combine.
  6. Spoon or scoop 1 1/4” balls onto prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake 11-12 minutes.

Easy Veggie Stir Fry

Make the sauce: Whisk together the sauce ingredients, making sure cornstarch dissolve; set aside.

  • 1/3 c water
  • 2 T Tamari sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 T minced or grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Make the stir-fry:

  • 2-3 T safflower or coconut oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into diagonal 2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, ends trimmed, large pieces halved
  • 1-2 medium red or yellow peppers, cut into strips, about 2 inches long
  • 8 ounces shitake or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it. Drizzle 1-2 T of the oil around the pan and swirl. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, and stir fry 2 minutes. Add 1 T oil and add peppers, snow peas and a pinch of salt. Stir fry 1-2 minutes; add garlic and stir fry 1 minute. Stir the sauce and pour into the pan, stirring constantly, until thickened and the veggies are coated, about 1-2 minutes. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles. Top with cashews if desired.

This is good with so many different veggies. I’ve used celery, zucchini, carrots, bok choy, so use what you have or want and enjoy!

Yoga Nidra is My Refuge and Anchor

As I reflect back over this past year of changes that Covid has brought into our lives, the one thing I attribute to making the most difference in my life is Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra with Jennifer.

I’m prone to stress and worry, and have tried many ways to cope over the years. I started meditating when I was 23 years old, and have practiced various forms, as well as trained in two styles of meditation. After dabbling with yoga for many years, it’s now become a regular practice for me: focusing on breath helps me to slow down. I love to dance, and walk as well, and all of these practices have helped to tame my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), manage my anxiety, and keep me resilient. Until yoga nidra took me to a whole new level…

I met Jennifer at Kripalu Center a few years ago and took a couple of yoga classes with her over the weekend. I loved her warm and easygoing presence, and immediately signed up for her newsletter. When Covid hit, I began attending her online yoga nidra classes – and have been with her ever since! In the beginning, I did about five classes a week – her voice melted me! I was hooked. I found such peace and utter bliss each time I did it, I just wanted more.

Being a yoga practitioner and daily meditator, I thought I knew what relaxation felt like in my body, until I found deep healing bliss with Divine Sleep ® Yoga Nidra. During the practice, I find I am extremely relaxed, yet aware, as Jennifer guides me through all the different layers of my being – body, breath, senses, with contrasts like hot and cold, and her beautiful journeys filled with imagery – all while feeling safe and secure.

I often doze off and Jennifer explains that this is quite common, and that ‘my body would get whatever it needed’, and so it does! She said this deeply relaxed state was the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s relaxation response to stress and is crucial for healing. I feel an inner sense of calm that I had never truly experienced before.

Practicing yoga nidra with Jennifer continues to be a blessing! I have several of her recordings on CD and listen to the Insomnia Track to put me to sleep almost every night. No matter what my day has been like, hearing her voice relaxes me, and makes me feel peaceful inside.

Jennifer is gifted, and I’m so grateful she chooses to share her gifts with me and so many others in person and now online. Her yoga nidra has been my refuge and anchor this past year and has become such an important priority in my life, and I can’t imagine that ever changing. In fact, I took her Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra 40-hour online training in January as a 70th birthday gift to myself, and I can’t wait to share it with others in my community.

My daughter is in Guatemala, so sharing yoga nidra with her online is a great way for us to connect now.

I look forward to taking more of Jennifer’s workshops. I love her relaxed teaching style. She radiates compassion in every class and makes learning fun! From Five Element Yoga® and Immune Boost Mondays, to Mudras and of course, Divine Sleep®, I’ll be there with her as my guide. Her classes are always informative and interesting, and it always helps keep me balanced and healthy in body and mind.

My husband said to me the other day, “You seem happy almost all the time now…it’s really nice, and I like it!” He’s not one to give compliments, so that felt big! And my favorite yoga teacher in my area has said to me several times that I’m her ‘poster child’ for being positive through Covid.

I guess I have weathered this year well partly because I accepted it, as it presented itself, one day at a time. I’ve found that I enjoy being more introspective. And I believe Jennifer is part of the reason. Her positive, generous spirit is contagious. She’s so welcoming and gracious and brings joy to others. So thank you Jennifer, for being my guiding light this year.

May Spring Renewal…with Yoga Nidra
We can’t meditate in person, but we can meditate together on Zoom! It’s easy to sign up for Zoom, (zoom.com) and then I’ll send you a link via email so you can join this guided meditation. Everyone is welcome, no prior meditation experience is necessary!
If you’d like to join me for this special Celebration of May meditation — please email me and I’ll look forward to seeing you this Friday, May 7th, Noon-12:30 pm on Zoom!

It’s Time For A Change

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Some mornings, it’s hard to get out of bed. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been restless, feeling unsettled sometimes, and not sleeping well. I know why- the uncertainty of the upcoming election, Covid numbers on the rise again, worrying about my kids, and hoping everyone’s health remains strong… And how the holidays will be different; what will that look like? I’ve been so positive throughout this pandemic, I know this is just a phase I need to go through, and like everything, this too will pass.
Does this happen to you too? We all have anxiety about something, right? What helps you get through these periods? For me, practicing gratitude, doing yoga, meditating, and getting outside for walks are the things that center me. And if I can walk with a friend, so much the better!
Cheryl Richardson asks herself, “What’s good about today?” If you can stop, breathe, and think of simple things that make you happy, you’ll notice a shift in how you feel. She says, “Life can be fairly simple when we stop making it complicated. It’s all a matter of running the right program on your internal computer.” So while obstacles occur, and tough things happen in life, you can choose to switch the program to find the joy. Which is just what I’m doing…
You Can Always Begin Again…

Invitation to Begin Again…a Meditation
We can’t meditate in person, but we can meditate together on Zoom! It’s easy to sign up for Zoom, (zoom.com) and then I’ll send you a link via email so you can join this guided meditation. Everyone is welcome, no prior meditation experience is necessary!
I hope you’ll join me for this special meditation that I wrote, Begin Again, next Friday, November 6th, Noon-12:30 pm on Zoom!