Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 4th is National chocolate chip cookie day.

For some reason, I did not bring a chocoate chip cookie recipe when we moved to Slovakia.  My friend, Joan Britton, gave me this recipe and told me the dough was really thick (her recipe called for one egg), but was the best recipe.  I could not find chocolate chips there, so I just cut up chocolate bars.

We took them to work to share and I often left out the chocolate for our friend who was allergic to it.  The cookies are still very good without it!

When we moved overseas again, the eggs were smaller and we discovered two eggs worked very well.  We also could not find brown sugar, so we started using molasses instead.  Even though we can get brown sugar here, we prefer being able to adjust the molasses to our own personal tastes.

Ginger Beer Concentrate

I never had ginger beer until we lived in Swaziland.  It was a great drink for hot days, but we did not make it often.  The recipe our friend gave us was very good but required the mix to ferment a few days before drinking.  We rarely planned far enough ahead, or we let it sit too long, so enjoying ginger beer was rare.

Then we discovered this recipe.  We often make extra base to freeze.  It defrosts quickly and is a nice beverage to enjoy on lazy summer days.

We prefer this with sugar, but it also tastes good with raw honey.

Another version that we enjoy is replace the water with very strong peppermint tea that has been cooled and strained.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Date Sugar

I discovered some date sugar at a discount store and really wanted to try it.  I had read that you could interchange it with brown sugar, but it did not mix in as well as regular sugar did.

We decided to start with our favorite cookies and experiment.  The cookies are soft and cake like, but very good!  I thought they were a little to sweet, so next time I will reduce the sugars.  But everyone else thought they were perfect.

These cookies work well with regular flour if you do not want them gluten free.

Rhubarb Pie

Growing up, I can only remember eating strawberry rhubarb pie.  I was happy to learn that plain rhubarb pie is so much better than strawberry rhubarb!

Allan and I were given this recipe many years ago when we were first married.  This is the pie we make most often and will eat it often while the rhubarb lasts.  We also try to freeze some rhubarb for a special treat later.

 

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

We could not buy bagels in Swaziland.  So, I learned how to make them. It was always fun to surprise the single guys with fresh bagels when they got home from work.  This was a favorite recipe that I made often.

While you can use all purpose flour, the high gluten bread flour makes a much better bagel.  If you do not have bread flour, add a Tbl of gluten to the mix.

To change the bagel crust some, either add 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar or 1/4 cup instant malted milk powder to the the boiling water before adding the bagels.

Old Fashioned Saltine Cracker Toffee

Andrea loves Saltine crackers.  She was very happy to discover this easy candy recipe that uses the crackers to add a nice crunch.

These double easily, but Andrea recommends not making more than you want for the day because they are very addictive and you will easily eat more than you plan. 

Great Grandma’s Pizzelles


Grandma Bea would make pizzelles and store them in tin coffee containers. After she died, my parents bought a pizzelle maker and passed the recipe on to Andrea.

Caramel Popcorn

Jan 19th is national popcorn day. What better way to celebrate than with a fresh bowl of caramel corn?

Mango Lassi

Very good drink on a hot day or after an Indian meal.