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Super Simple Spaghetti Bolognese

Super Simple Spaghetti Bolognese

Have you ever slaved over a meal only to have your family either not eat it or simply give you that indifferent look while they force it down?  If you haven’t you’re lucky, however unfortunately I have had this scenario happen to me more than once. I can’t begin to explain my shock when I made this Super Simple Spaghetti Bolognese that my crew loved.  In fact they claimed this was the best bolognese I have ever made.   Uh, ok…noted, I will never slave over my more complex bolognese sauces in the future.

So let me explain how this Super Simple Spaghetti Bolognese recipe came to be.  I became discombobulated and dizzy on Monday.  I thought I was just experiencing a bad headache, however when I continued to feel like I was on a moving boat on Wednesday I decided to go to the doctor.  I can’t tell you how relieved to find out I had vertigo.  All I can say is I was sooooooo happy to be diagnosed with a medical condition and know that this was not all in my head.

Since I wasn’t able to get to the grocery store for some fresh ingredients (and because my family had not had a home cooked meal in days) I decided to throw together a spaghetti bolognese. Ingredients are simple pantry staples and there is no lengthy simmering of sauce and because I used 93% lean ground turkey the meal was low fat as well.

So here is my recipe for Super Simple, Fast, Budget Friendly Spaghetti Bolognese.  I hope you enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cornstarch

I adore chocolate chip cookies, so when I saw the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cornstarch I knew I had to give them a try .

I have made countless batches always searching for the next best recipe.  I am sure I will try other recipes on occasion, however this is hands down a new classic for me.  I got this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction website.  Click here to see her recipe as well as her absolutely stunning pictures.  

There are several differences in this recipe compared to others I have tried – the three being that you use melted butter instead of softened (which means NO mixer needed!!!!), one egg and a yolk as opposed to two eggs that most recipes call for and 1 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch.  I was a bit skeptical at first, however these have come out heavenly again and again.   The recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips.  I like to mix this up with part dark chocolate, part milk chocolate and part cacao nibs (to sneak in a little added health benefits.)

These cookies are chewy, soft and incredibly delicious.  They remind me of a Mrs. Fields cookie, but without the $2 price tag.  I hope you try these out and let me know what you think.  

CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES (uses cornstarch) – adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup  light brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, cacao nibs and/or some M&M’s

Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.  

In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.Roll the dough into balls, about 1-2 tablespoons each. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies


Lancôme Mascara Primer Dupe

I am obsessed with mascara primer.  One of these magical tubes will make your eyelashes longer, more voluminous, keep your mascara from flaking and conditions your lashes.  It’s magical I tell you! I have long used both the Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base – $25.50 and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer – 29.50, both I have equally loved. Although I have always found the cost offensive I just couldn’t give them up, until now.  I have discovered a dupe that is worthy of replacing both the Lancome and Dior versions…
Enter the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara.  Like the Lancome and Dior versions, the L’Oreal formula is white which provides the perfect canvas to have any color mascara you use stand out.  All three versions have a good size mascara wand to evenly coat your lashes with, although the Dior primer has a silicone wand while the Lancome and L’Oreal brushes use the traditional wand. I am not picky when it comes to the type of wand, however if you are you might want to take this into consideration.
The other important thing to mention as I rave over the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara that was released in June, 2016 is there are 890 reviews with a 4.6 rating on for this product.  The Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base has 169 reviews with a 4.6 rating and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer has a 4.5 star rating as well with 125 reviews. People are using this new product and raving about it compared to two tried and true versions that have been around for years.
One last thing to note, using a primer for your mascara is quick!  This extra step will generally take me around 30-60 seconds in the morning.  I apply to both eyes and then sweep my mascara right over. Some people wait, however I prefer not to because not only is it faster, but it also keeps the formula damp which for me gives a smoother application that is not rigid or too stiff.
If you love lashes as much as I do then you need to give this product a try.  If you don’t, still give it a try, it just might change the way you do your eye makeup moving forward.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur….I never knew this was something that could be concocted using some pretty basic ingredients, but it is.  I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled onto this super simple recipe on a cold December evening.  I had friends coming over and I wanted to serve some Bailey’s on ice along with some other fun cordials, but when looking for my rarely used bottle of Irish Cream I just couldn’t find it.

So who hasn’t been in this situation…you think you have something on hand, but when you realized you actually didn’t and needed it, was in a bind.  Well that is what happened here and I am not gonna lie, I was frustrated. In this case my husband had been using the velvety liqueur to add to his coffee before his morning golf rounds over the previous months.   Since I rarely drink Irish Cream I understand why he didn’t think to tell me we ran out, but in the moment I was annoyed.

I got over it and since almost ANYTHING can be found on the web I decided to see if there was an alternative and was stupid-excited to find out I could make it at home.   Not only did I find a great substitute from store bought Irish Cream, but I also realized that this would make a great hostess gift. Who doesn’t love homemade items? 

Easy, delicious and can makes an excellent hostess gift. It tastes better than Bailey’s, makes an amazing hostess gift and couldn’t be easier to make.  This recipe for homemade Irish Cream Liqueur is a keeper.

Pasta with Peas & Chicken

Have you ever been running around all day only to find that you look up and it is 5:30 and everyone in your house is hungry? I have to admit that this scenario plays out sometimes several times a week in my house, so I have a few recipes that I can always whip up in no time. These recipes include staple items that I always have in my pantry and fridge. This pasta with peas & chicken is one of my go to meals that is just perfect.

The combination of pasta (who doesn’t love pasta?), chicken (the perfect protein) and peas (frozen ones keep for a very long time) make this just that, a staple. The longest part of this recipe is waiting for that darn pot of pasta water to boil which can always be a drag when you are in a rush. I generally will throw in an extra item or two from my never ending “to-do” list which is helpful. Think laundry, lunges, dishes, helping kids with homework…you name it there is always something extra that needs to be done.

I definitely think that this is one recipe to keep in your arsenal. It will be loved by your family and in the event anyone has an aversion to peas, which my boys do, you can just omit them or separate their portion and add them in after separated. Without further ado, here is the recipe…enjoy!