Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Mug Cookie

You know those times when you have a hankering for a freshly baked cookie but you don’t have the desire to make a whole batch AND you’re way too impatient to wait for them to bake? Enter the “Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug“. It takes about 2 minutes to throw together and it cooks in less than a minute in the microwave. Within no time you will have a delicious, warm, ooey gooey cookie to enjoy!

I came across this recipe on a community forum board (shout out to  NervousNell for posting) and I immediately went into the kitchen to give it a try! The recipe was developed by Melissa from the No. 2 Pencil baking blog and the original recipe can be found here: Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup .

I like super soft, almost raw in the middle cookies so I under baked my cookie by just a few seconds but if you prefer a more baked cookie, microwave it for the full 60 seconds. I also used dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet but either will work just fine in this recipe. While this wasn’t the most amazing, knock your socks off cookie I’ve ever eaten it it was definitely yummy enough to satisfy my craving while also controlling my portion size. No worries here about pounding 25 cookies in ten seconds!! This is a “one and done” serving so you can enjoy this sweet treat without any guilt that you overdid it.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbs of firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • small pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • scant ¼ cup of all-purpose flour (slightly less than ¼ of a cup)
  • 2 heaping tbs of semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for topping

Instructions

Melt butter in the microwave. Add in the sugars, vanilla, and salt and stir. Add in the egg yolk, stir. Add in the flour, stir together until well combined. Add in the chocolate chips and give a final stir. Top the cookie dough with a few more chocolate chips.

Cook in microwave for 40-60 seconds. Do not go past a minute or the cookie will be over baked. Serve warm.

Quick and Easy Coleslaw

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True story. I love coleslaw but I hate mayonnaise which is a bit of an issue when you buy a store made coleslaw. They are usually drenched, mushy, soaking in liquid and taste like mayo and pretty much nothing else. I find it wholly unappetizing which is why I’ve tried out countless homemade versions in an attempt to find one that is on the drier side, remains crunchy, and has a flavor profile that extends beyond just mayo. Enter my “Quick and Easy Coleslaw“.

I am not really sure how or where I came across the original recipe but I’ve tinkered with it so many times now using ideas from various other coleslaw recipes that at this point, I’m taking all of the credit for this one! This recipe is super easy, and I do mean SUPER EASY, to make. You can pull it all together in just a few minutes and instead of “who knows how old it is store bought coleslaw” you can serve this crunchy, fresh one at your next BBQ or get together.

Ingredients

  • One bag of coleslaw mix (you can find this with the bagged salad mixes in the produce dept)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

Whisk together the mayo, sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth and well combined. Toss with the bagged coleslaw mix until evenly coated. Let the coleslaw chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors can combine. Serve cold. This will keep about 2-3 days in the fridge.

**TIP** – The bagged coleslaw mixes are great but I have found that on occasion the pieces aren’t shredded enough and I don’t care for huge pieces of cabbage in my coleslaw. To fix this, I simply use my kitchen shears and snip the coleslaw while it’s in the bowl (before pouring the dressing on it) until I’m happy with the size and shred. 

 

Garlic Oil Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

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This is my go to dinner when I need something quick and easy. It’s absolutely delicious, very versatile, and even my kids love it! The key to this dish is in the garlic preparation, you don’t want to just chop up raw garlic and toss it in or ((GASP)) use something like garlic powder. I always use fresh garlic and I cook it until is softens which allows it to take on a nice, mellow flavor that really enhances the flavor of the meal.

For every pound of pasta I use a full head of garlic however, if you like a more subtle or even stronger garlic flavor feel free to use less or more depending on your taste. You can also switch out the sausage for thinly sliced chicken or even mini meatballs.  Don’t like broccoli? Use spinach, zucchini, kale, or whatever produce you prefer.  I happen to love penne pasta but you can make this recipe with angel hair, spaghetti, rigatoni or any other pasta that suits you. You can really experiment and make this dish your own.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta, any
  • 1 lb sausage links (I like sweet sausage with fennel)
  • 1 head of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bag of broccoli florets (I like the Bird’s Eye Steam Bags)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.

In the meantime, smash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife, give them a rough chop and add them to a small saucepan. Cover the garlic with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and turn the stove to medium high heat. Once the oil starts to bubble bring the heat down to low and let the garlic cook until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the garlic infuse into the warmed oil.

Thinly slice the sausage or remove from the casings all together. Heat up a small pan on medium heat and drizzle a little olive oil in. Add the sausage and cook until nicely browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set aside and reserve the cooking oil.

Remove the garlic from the oil and using kitchen sheers, mince up the softened garlic. Add the garlic back into the oil and then prepare the broccoli. Allow the broccoli to cool for a minute and then chop the stems and discard.

Drain the pasta and add to a large bowl. Tear a handful of basil leaves and toss them in along with the sausage, broccoli, grated cheese, and a pinch of red pepper. Drizzle in some of the oil from the sausage pan along with all of the garlic infused oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss until everything is evenly coated and combined. Adjust your seasonings, sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

**Note** – I always keep fresh basil on hand in my freezer. Buy a bunch of basil, tear off the leaves, wash, allow them to dry in between paper towels, and then toss them into a Ziploc bag and freeze. Whenever a recipe calls for fresh basil just grab what you need and crumble it right into whatever you’re cooking.

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Whiskey BBQ Cocktail Meatballs

whiskey bbq

These little meatballs are always a huge hit at parties and holidays. They are the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and there is no way you’ll be able to eat just one! If you’re feeding a smaller crowd, you can easily halve this recipe and yield the same delicious results. If you’re short on time you can use a bag of frozen cocktail meatballs however, to achieve the best results, make them from scratch. Homemade meatballs are so easy to make and they have a VERY noticeable taste and texture difference from their frozen counterparts. You can use whatever homemade meatball recipe you normally use, just be sure to roll them smaller so they are cocktail size.

Also, a good whiskey will make for an extra good sauce so choose something that you would drink on its own. Don’t run out and buy some expensive bottle of whiskey just for this recipe however, also realize that the $5 bottle you have on hand might not make for the smoothest, richest flavor. I’ve used a few different whiskeys for this recipe but my personal favorite is Tullamore Dew. It has a really nice, well rounded flavor and it really makes the sauce sing!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs cooked cocktail meatballs, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c whiskey
  • 1 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients in medium sized saucepan and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer slowly until the sauce is thickened. About 20-25 minutes.

Adjust your seasonings to taste, if you prefer a very spicy sauce then add a little extra black pepper.  Also, if you like a stronger whiskey flavor, add the full 3/4 cup of whiskey however, you can cut it back to the 1/2 cup if you prefer.

Once the sauce is thickened add the cocktail meatballs and heat them through. Allow them to lightly simmer in the sauce mixture for 40-45 minutes so that they have a chance to absorb all of the flavors of the sauce. Don’t let them go too long or the meatballs will become mushy and fall apart. Serve hot.

**NOTE** – These meatballs can be made in advance, they are even better the next day after they’ve had a chance to sit in the sauce overnight. To reheat the meatballs just place them in a saucepan over medium low heat until they are nice and warmed through. Give them a few gentle stirs during reheating so that they warm evenly and don’t burn.