We have a tradition in my house.  A market day tradition.  Not the farmer’s market mind you, but the specialty market.  It’s a pricier, fancier grocery store that in addition to Campbell’s Soup also sells hard to find cheeses, local organic meats and, when seasonally appropriate, local produce.  They make the best desserts too.  I kinda love the place.  While you might go broke buying the Campbell’s Soup, it’s well worth a visit for perishable goods.  My staple purchases include organic milk and butter rolls, yogurt, cheese, cheese spreads, my favorite gluten free breads and baked goods, sweet rice flour, The Husband’s favorite peanut butter and chocolate cereal, organic chicken, ham at the holidays, salad greens, mushrooms, peaches, chocolate bars, pretzel bread, ten dollar a pint ice cream (and worth every penny), cornbread, Naples-Style freshly made pizza, fruits and veggies and of course pretty much anything from the bakery.

The kids and I hit the market up almost once a week.  It’s the only place I will buy salad greens anymore so I try to make it often enough to keep the fridge stocked for lunch.

I started a tradition there this summer allowing Sweetey Petey to pick one item from the bakery each visit.  His top pick so far has been a black and white cookie the size of my hand, but he has branched out into brownies and cupcakes and more. Size has been irrelevant since he knows he has to share.  That’s my lead-in to no, I did NOT allow my almost three year old to eat that ENTIRE cookie.

Here’s this week’s pick.  The chocolate chip crazy cookie.

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Thick frosting sandwiched between two homemade chocolate chip cookies, rolled in sprinkles, edible sugar glitter, and miniature chocolate chips, and drizzled with both white and dark chocolate.

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We shared it after dinner and The Husband asked me if I had bought two.  Bwahahahaha.  Ummmm no.  That cookie was huge.  He did suggest we divvy it up based on body weight though.  This actually made sense to me (Sweetey Petey by no means needed to eat a third of that cookie) and proved to be the only time in the past four months I almost regretted the 20 pounds I’ve lost since I was cleared for exercise after Baby Charwee was born.

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Sweetey Petey chose wisely this week.

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Have a Wacky Wednesday all!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:   Would you pick a cookie, a brownie or a cupcake from the bakery?  Or a cream horn.  I’m always crossing my fingers for the cream horn!

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I don’t always have a back story for my recipes, but today I’ve got one.  Maybe not a crazy exciting one, but a back story nonetheless.

Once I hit the super pregnant stage I started having weekly appointments with my doctor.  Back in the day we all went as a family in the late afternoons, but I then switched to early mornings instead.  Morning appointments are always faster since there’s been less time for the office to get behind.  I’m in and out and the toddler gets some extra alone time with his dada.  Since I’m gone before Sweetey Petey wakes up, dada gets him dressed and fed and takes him to work till my appointment is over.

One of my last appointment before Charwee was born went faster than normal so I actually beat my boys to work.  Dada had already promised The Pete he could come into his office to color on his white board, but it was an extremely short visit.  When after a few minutes I tried to put The Pete in my car to go home, well . . . let’s just say he was less than pleased.  There’s no question about it, he’s a dada’s boy all the way.  I asked The Pete what would make him happy (other than dada of course because that was his first answer) and his response was “COOK!”

“Alright,” I said, “how about we make cookies?”

“Okay,” said The Pete.

“What kind would you like to cook?” I asked.

“Choc chip!!” The Pete said excitedly.  “Choc chip!!”

“Choc” chip cookies it was then.  Considering my toddler’s love for “choc” chips and his propensity for shoving things in his mouth, I immediately knew they had to be egg free.  As much as the toddler loves looking for eggs in the chicken coop and helping to stir the scrambled eggs in the mornings, I certainly didn’t want him nibbling the “choc” chips out of raw egg filled cookie dough.

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I lean toward gluten-free desserts and normally I would attempt an almond flour cookie first, but I was out and my Honeyville order hadn’t arrived yet.  I had plenty of coconut flour but coconut flour needs eggs.  Gluten-filled cookies it would be then!

I did a quick Google search when we got back to the house and landed on this recipe.  I had most of the ingredients and knew I could modify it slightly enough to fit my taste preferences.  Also, I added rolled oats to help ease the guilt of making cookies in the first place.

And I gotta say, this recipe turned out awesome.  Seriously.  These cookies don’t need eggs and I don’t need to worry if my kid (or I) want to nibble on the dough.  Which we both did.  I will be adding these cookies to our family’s recipe binder and we will be making them again.  And you should too.

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Egg-Free “Choc” Chip Cookies

slightly adapted from this recipe


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup white granulated sugar (No this is not a mistake.  The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar which I thought I had but turned out I didn’t so I added molasses to compensate.  And I think the flavor turned out even better than had it been brown sugar.  So just go with me here, mmmmm K?)

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 1/2 cups cake flour (The original recipe called for all-purpose but I was out of that too.  So you could probably use all-purpose and be fine if that’s what’s in your pantry.)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon roasted cinnamon (Okay, okay, I know.  You probably only have regular cinnamon.  I get it, but I would HIGHLY suggest you splurge on the roasted cinnamon because it’s AMAZING and you will never go back to regular cinnamon again.  Ever.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla (Make it the good stuff people, not the imitation junk.)

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup “choc” chips (Feel free to add some extra here because little hands may pick a few out before you get the cookies baked.  And by may I mean will.)

1/3 to 1/2 cup rolled oats (Oats are good for you so thus these cookies are good for you.  Right?  Right.)

The Haps:

This is a kid friendly recipe so if you have children, let them help!  I let the toddler do most of the stirring, but did pull out the hand mixer and stepped in to get the dough ball rolling.

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Cream butter, sugar and molasses.  Mix in flour, baking soda, roasted cinnamon and salt in three parts.  Mix in coconut oil and vanilla.  Once combined, stir in chocolate chips and rolled oats.  Eat some dough because you can.  It’s alright.  I give you permission.  In fact, I insist you do this.  Drop whatever is left by rounded tablespoons onto a Silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

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My best guess is that this recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.  That’s if you don’t eat any dough first.  Which we did.  So again, 2 dozen is my best guess.

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If guilt isn’t something you struggle with and you are simply looking for a straight up “choc” chip cookie recipe to keep in your back pocket, just omit the rolled oats.

Also, please heed my previous warning on baked goods and the great outdoors.

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Despite the fact I know it’s a delicate balancing act to photograph food outside, a thin tightrope to walk balancing a heavy camera and a heavy lens all the while keeping your eye on the cookie prize . . . I still managed to drop an entire plate of cookies in the snow.

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I still managed to eat them too.  Fortunately this accident happened while I was still pregnant and still had my snow craving.  Now that Charwee has joined us, I’ve lost all appetite for the fluffy white flakes that fall from the sky.

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I think both the cookies and I are ready to say farewell to winter for awhile.

– Joanna

P.S.  It’s nap time as I typed this post up and just as I finished I heard the toddler wake up and start chattering over the monitor.  What’s he saying you ask?  He’s saying “I cook!”  So maybe we’ll be making these cookies again sooner than I’d thought.

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite thing to cook with kids?  If you don’t have kids, what’s your favorite thing to cook with your spouse or your friends?

Today’s random food picture of the day is a warning to food bloggers everywhere . . . especially those like me who prefer to shoot their edible subjects in the great outdoors.

If you take your cookie out in the snow . . .

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said cookie will get covered in snow.

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You can still eat it of course.  And while I LOVE SNOW, snow does make for a slightly soggy cookie.

Let this be your official warning.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite TV show.

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Way back around Valentines Day I got the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook.  So far I’ve only made one recipe . . . The Birthday Layer Cake.  I turned the recipe into cupcakes for my Grandma’s 90th birthday though.  My nephew said he liked them better than Panera’s Mac ‘n Cheese.  That’s high praise from a five year old.  High praise indeed. 

No, I did not take any pictures and I stink for that but I plan on making this recipe again.  I did borrow a pic from the Momofuku webpage so you’d have something pretty to look at.  Here’s what the real deal looks like.

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This one recipe contains four parts.

1 recipe Birthday Cake

1 recipe Birthday Cake Soak

1 recipe Birthday Cake Frosting

1 recipe Birthday Cake Crumb

It’s the Birthday Cake Crumb I’d like to talk about.

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It’s Saint Patrick’s Day which means I am obliged to show you something green.  So this is my favorite cookie.

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I wish I had a recipe for you, but I don’t.  Our local specialty grocery store sells them and as far as I know that’s the only place to get them.

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Sweetey Petey wants to say Happy Saint Patrick’s Day by showing you the fun craft he made at the library.  And by he, he means me, because he mostly likes to take the lid on and off the glue stick while I make the craft.

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Supermom hosts Kids’ Reads on her blog one Wednesday a month and I gotta say these posts get more challenging every time I go to write one.  It’s not like I don’t have lots I could say.  After all, my 15 month old now LOVES to read books!  He picks one out of his stack of favorites, turns around and slowly backs up till he plops into your lap for a good read.  Unless he has chosen Let’s Dance Little Pookie, then he expects to be picked up and sang and danced with.

The problem here is that my schtick is to find the funny and kids reading books aren’t all that funny.  Unless I were to make beeping noises as he backed up into my lap (I totally do by the way) then it might be kinda funny.

So here is me and my sad camera phone’s attempt to find the funny in one of my kid’s favorite books, Waiting for Cookie.

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It’s just a little foam covered board book that has clearly been well loved.  Let’s begin by reading the book together shall we?  It’s short, but will require a bit of effort on your part as each of the four characters that speak needs a different voice.  Prairie Dawn, for instance, is quite high pitched and honestly, a little trampy sounding.  Here we go.

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If I start off every Foodie Pen Pals post with “the end of the month sure sneaks up on a challenger” would any of you notice?

Well it does, it sneaks up.  It sneaks up like The Snoops sneaks up on an opened peanut butter jar and pounces.  But we’ll get to peanut butter later.

First, let me remind you all what it is I do here.  Foodie Pen Pals is my thing, my schtick, my bag baby.  I take the box, the whole box, and amaze you all with my culinary creation.  I do this by ripping off the Food Network show Chopped.

Except there are no other challengers to battle, it’s just me fighting against myself.  I can be very competitive so it’s not as easy a win as you might think.  Don’t get me wrong, I win.  Every time.

Round 1: The Chopped Challenge

Round 2: Mini Meals

Round 3: The Copy Cat Challenge

Round 4: Big Balls

That brings us to Round 5 and Carma.  Yes, Carma not Karma.  Carma is a lovely reader from Ashland, Ohio – Midwest in the house – and she sent me my Foodie Pen Pals Box, my mystery ingredients, my inspiration.

Based on the post card she included I had kinda hoped for cheese, but cheese probably doesn’t travel well in a Midwestern summer.  I don’t know where you all hail from but it gets flippin’ hot here.

Instead I received a bag of sweet potato chips.

Gluten Free Lucy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Seed and Fruit Mix.

Brown Rice Marshmallow Treats and Mango Pineapple Iced Green Tea Mix.

All gluten free.  All delicious.  All opened up and enjoyed well before the competition ever started.  I like to know my ingredients, really know them.  By the time the end of the month snuck up on me I had about a half cup of each left over.  No problem.  I can work with that.

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Back on Wednesday when I was jabbering on about raspberries,

I mentioned I would be back on Monday to talk about Raspberry Chocolate Pecan Almond Flour Thingamajigers.  Right then, so here I am, true to my word.

You may be wondering why  I call them Thingamajigers.  What are they exactly?  A cookie?

A muffin?

Neither?  Both?  I considered going the cutesy route and combining names, like Brangelina or TomKat.  Okay, maybe TomKat’s a bad example because like Tom and Jerry, they just weren’t meant to be together.  The only cookie muffin combination I could come up with, however, was “coffin” and that just doesn’t sound yummy in a baked good.

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