5/24/11

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is another weakness for me....Chocolate Chip Cookies!
I have actually been searching for a good Chocolate Chip cookie recipe, but couldn't find one. Then one day Josh's cousin brought us some chocolate chip cookies. They were big and chewy and DELICIOUS! He had been over at our neighbor's house cooking cookies with their daughter.
After that first bite I was hooked....I HAD to get the recipe.

 So after bugging and nagging and annoying our poor neighbor for the recipe, I finally got it! (OK I really didn't bother her too much)

My Mom was just up here visiting and I introduced her to this cookie recipe. We ended up making probably 4 batches of these cookies. I no longer have any butter in my house because of these cookies! haha
A grocery store run is much needed :).
I have one more cookie left from my last batch, but luckily I have some dough already made sitting in my fridge just waiting to be baked.

Just a little bit of info. about these cookies.
*I mix my butter and sugars first and beat them for a few minutes (until the mixture is a whiteish color). Then I add the vanilla and water. Last come the eggs, which I add one at a time beating well after each one.
*For this recipe you add 2 1/2 C. flour and then you add some more flour (usually about 1/2 C. more) to make a firm dough. My last batch I decided to measure the amount of flour I used. It ended up totalling: 11.25 oz. (9 oz. + 2.25 oz.)
*I add about 1 1/2-1 3/4 C. of Chocolate Chips. The recipe asks for 1 1/2 pkgs. This just depends on what you like.
*I use a heaping medium cookie scoop (= heaping 1 tbsp.) for these cookies. You want a bigger sized cookie.
*My cookies usually bake for about 10 minutes.

I am going to continue making these cookies and experiment with the amount of flour. Once I have perfected the amount of flour I will update the recipe with the flour measured in cups and oz.

Do you have a kitchen scale??
My wonderful hubby bought me a kitchen scale 2 Christmases ago and I absolutely LOVE it!! If you don't have one I highly suggest you get one.

(please excuse the flour...I probably should have cleaned it a little better before taking a pic.)
I think mine came from Kmart. Nothing fancy, but I love it.

I told my Mom about my scale and she told me she didn't know what she would use one for. We decided to give her one for Christmas and she now knows what I was talking about when I told her she needed one.
Seriously...Go get a scale!

Yep...that was my last cookie (notice 'was').
Looks like I need to bake some more.

Alright, so there you go, a new Chocolate Chip cookie recipe to try. And believe me you'll be making them often. Thanks Ashley for the yummy recipe!!


Ashley's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Combine:
1 C. Butter
¾ C. Sugar
¾ C. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Water
2 Eggs

Mix well, then add:
2 ½ C. All-purpose Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Mix until combined and then add extra flour to make a firm dough (usually another ½ C.)
Add 1 ½ packages of Chocolate Chips (you can do as much or as little as you want).

Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes.

**Peanut Butter chips are delicious in these cookies as well as a Butterscotch/Chocolate Chip mixture.

Enjoy!!

5/11/11

New to Coupons

I have recently had someone ask about couponing. They are just getting started and wanted some tips on what to do and some links to sites that offer coupons and help with couponing.

There are several ways you can coupon.
1- You can continue to grocery shop in the same way you always have, except you begin to use coupons on items you usually buy.
2- You can use coupons to try new products.
3- You can watch sales and purchase items when they are sale and you have coupons. Because these items are less expensive then normal, you are able to purchase more than just one of these items. You can then store the extra items so that next time you need that item you have it on hand. Over time you will spend less money because you are buying things at a better price. (Or this helps free up grocery money for items that dont frequently go on sale but that you like to splurge on.)

There isnt really a right way or a wrong way to coupon. You can use coupons in whatever way you are comfortable. I usually try to do #3 but the year after my twins were born I could only handle doing #1.

Where to get coupons
Most major Sunday newspapers have coupons each week. You can also find coupons online; however, be cautious of the sites that you visit. Recently, I have had 2 family members get viruses from coupons.com. There is also a lot of fraud surrounding coupon sites. I try to visit only well known sites such as the manufacturers, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com, and grocerysmarts.com. Some of the manufacturers have websites for the individual product names such as General Mills, Kraft, Yoplait but they may also have a website that brings all the products together such as eatbetteramerica.com. Many grocery stores have websites that offer coupons as well. Many websites will require you to sign up to receive coupons. To protect my email address and not be bombarded with emails, I created a new email account exclusively for my couponing. I can sign up with companies but I dont have to look through their emails everyday. Before I go grocery shopping, I check my coupon email account to see if any products that are on sale have sent me an email or coupon.
Some couponers like to cut out and/or print every coupon they come across. I find this exhausting. I know what items my family likes and what they dont. I only cut/print coupons for those items. If an item is new, I will cut one coupon and purchase it when it goes on sale. This allows me to try the new item at a better price and then I know if I will purchase it again.

Pinchingyourpennies is a great resource for any couponer. You can search deals by state. Each state has a forum. I dont know how the other states forums work but the utah forum has a thread for each store each week. The administrators list the good deals and rank them on a 5 star rating system. If you are unsure if a price is a good deal or not, these forums are a wonderful help. They will also list any coupons that are available for the sale items.

Store policies
Every store has different policies. Some don't accept online coupons. Some accept competitors coupons while others don't. Some match prices and other don't. Don't be afraid to ask the store employees if you have questions, but please dont be rude to them. They will be more willing to help you if you are kind and patient with them.

Remember that there are others who like to purchase good deals as well. Be considerate of others and don't clear the shelves by buying the entire stock when an item is free or almost free. Purchase what you honestly can use and leave the rest for the rest of us. : )

I hope this helps those who are new to couponing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Happy Couponing!