Friday, February 25, 2011

"Decadent" Chocolate Raspberry Oat Bran

I had a request in the comments section for the recipe for my Chocolate Raspberry Oat Bran so I figured I'd just make a new post about it instead of responding in the comments.

As I mentioned before, I love oat bran because it's smoother than rolled oats, but you could easily do this with rolled oats as well. The cooking time would just vary a bit.

I really don't know if this even qualifies as a "recipe" but here it is nonetheless!

"Decadent" Chocolate Raspberry Oat Bran
source: me

1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1/2 a banana, thinly sliced
1/3 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

1 tablespoon Nutella or other chocolate nut butter

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small pot and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-high. Stir vigorously every minute or so until it thickens to the consistency that you want (usually mine takes about 5 minutes). The raspberries and the banana will completely disintegrate into the mixture so that there won't be any chunks (though if you want chunks you could just add the raspberries or banana later).

Once the oat bran is cooked, serve and top with a dollop of Nutella.


MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Here are my MilSpouse Friday Fill-In answers! (For more info on the Fill-In visit Wife of a Sailor's blog.)

1. Aside from no deployments, what is one thing you would want to make the MilSpouse life “perfect”?
I think being able to stay in one place for a longer period of time would be great. Less moving! Like maybe once every 5 years instead of once every 2-3 years. :)

2. Just how many peppers did Peter Piper pick?
No idea....but if I was able to pick as many peppers as I wanted I would definitely go with 10. :)

3. If you could have any career in the world with nothing holding you back, what would you do? Food critic! I would love to get paid to travel and eat. Or host a travel show!

4. Do you have a service oriented tattoo and if so what is it. If you don’t what would you get? Nope. I'm wouldn't get one.

5. Imagine a block of time has opened up in your busy day for you to take a class in anything you like. What subject would you choose?
Photography. I keep meaning to take a class but I just never get around to it!

So for all you non-military spouses out there...what is YOUR dream job? Leave your answer in the comments!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

The love for soup continues (despite the fact that it definitely feels more like Spring here in Southern Arizona)!

I saw this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup on the blog Food, Fitness, Fashion and I immediately bookmarked it. Well, that was back in SEPTEMBER and I'm just now getting around to making it. Sheesh!

This turned out great! It was really light and yet still filling, thanks to the pasta and meatballs. Alex wasn't a huge fan of it but he's not really a soup kinda guy....he'd rather have something manly like chili. :) He did admit that he really liked the meatballs though....surprise, surprise! (not!)

Anyway this was really good! Make it!

Gotta run now because I'm actually blogging from the Tucson airport as I wait on my flight to Houston. I think we're getting ready to board. Woohoo! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Italian Wedding Soup
Source: adapted slightly from Food, Fitness Fashion

1 lb. ground chicken or turkey breast (I used chicken)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons egg whites
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
4 cups baby spinach
10 cups low sodium chicken (or veggie) broth
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl, using your hands to incorporate well. Scoop out a teaspoon of meat and roll the mixture into mini meatballs with your hands. Repeat until all the chicken has been rolled into mini meatballs.

Pour the broth into a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add the meatballs. Let the meatballs cook in the broth for about 6 minutes.

Add pasta and let it cook for about 10 minutes (or however long it takes for your pasta to cook). Once pasta is tender, add the 4 cups of spinach and let it wilt (about 2 minutes). Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Day in the Life of Ashley's Stomach

I subscribe to a lot of Healthy Living blogs in which the author documents every food that they eat every single day. While it may sound a bit over the top, I actually love reading these blogs because it gives me ideas of what to eat and make and it helps me compare my healthy habits with others.

While I could never keep up with the stress and time it takes to document everything I eat, I figured I could handle doing it for just one day. So without further adieu, I present you with A Day in the Life of Ashley's Stomach:

Chocolate Raspberry Oat Bran (made with frozen raspberries and half a banana....and a spoonful of Nutella on top). And my always-necessary cup of coffee.
I love oat bran instead of oatmeal because it's smoother...more like the consistency of grits. And I love my Chocolate Raspberry version because it seems decadent, but it's really not!

Lefovers: a link of Italian chicken sausage, spaghetti squash & peas. I love leftovers for lunches!

A Ruby Red Grapefruit!
I am LOVING grapefruit these days. It is so sweet and juicy and amazing. I eat them just like an orange (only I remove all the membrane parts too because they're bitter). It's a time consuming and messy snack but it's so worth it!

Italian Wedding Soup (recipe coming soon)

And a whole wheat biscuit with honey & margarine on the side. Actually I had two of these.

Two Gingersnaps. I almost always have to have something sweet after dinner, but I try to keep it small. These two gingersnaps were only 60 calories total.

So that's it for that day in my stomach!

Now, keep in mind that I almost never eat the same thing two days in a row since I'm easily bored with food (except for grapefruits...I eat one of those every day lately). Also, I really try to base my eating off the concept of "intuitive eating"....which means really paying attention to what my body is telling me. If I'm hungry for two snacks in the afternoon then I let myself have two snacks. And vice versa as well, if I'm not hungry then I wait until I am before eating.

The point I'm trying to get across is just that seeing one day of my eats is not really an accurate representation of how I eat all the time. But it's still fun!! :)

What do you think about my eats? Weird? Good? How does this compare to a day or your eating?

Fontina, Caramelized Onion & Pancetta Pizza

A funny thing happens when you have a food blog (whether it be any good or not). Your friends and family start thinking of you as the "Foodie" in the group or the expert on all things cooking and/or baking.

While it's certainly flattering, I am far from an expert. But I do have a strong passion for food and I do love to cook and bake (and eat!). And because I'm passionate about these things, I have a food blog so I can share my experiences in the kitchen with all of you (whether you like it or not). :)

So when my friends email me or Facebook message me and say "I have a recipe you just HAVE to make!" I consider that to be their equivalent of a food blog. They made something amazing and they want to share it with someone....totally understandable! Plus, I get the benefit of trying something new and then blogging about it to share it with all of YOU. It's a win-win!

My friend, Lindsey, sent me one of those Facebook messages last week about a pizza. But this was not your average pizza, as she explained in the message. It is a sauce-less pizza topped with caramelized onions, fontina cheese and pancetta. She admitted that she was skeptical about the lack of sauce and the odd combination of toppings, but she assured me that it was a wonderful result.
She was right.

Holy. Yum.

The recipe hails from the gods over at Cooking Light....seriously, CL recipe developers: I love you. You never fail me!

The most amazing part of the success of this pizza is that it has very minimal amounts of meat (pancetta) in it and The Hubs STILL LOVED IT! What?!? Who is that man?!

I will warn you that caramelizing onions is a task that must not be rushed, so allow yourself about 30 minutes to complete that part of the recipe. If you rush it, you'll end up with either burnt onions or non-caramelized onions. But once that part is done, it's really just slapping on the toppings and popping it in the oven. (You could even caramelize the onions in advance and have them prepped and ready for the night you're making the pizza!)

Mmmm...caramelization takes time!

Also, if you have trouble finding pancetta in your grocery store (like I did), check your deli meat counter! They had it there at mine, though they had no idea what I was talking about until I pointed to the package of pancetta in their counter and said "That pancetta....that you have right there." ::::eye roll::::

For the crust, this time we decided to go the lazy route and bought a package of fresh wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's.
It was so good!! We usually make our own dough, but honestly lately we've been less than impressed with our dough-making attempts, so this was a nice change!

And please, if you haven't tried Fontina cheese before, do yourself a favor and go get some NOW! It is so good!
Infinitely better than plain old mozzarella and well worth the slight increase in price!

Fontina, Caramelized Onion & Pancetta Pizza
Source: Cooking Light (my adjustments in red)

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pizzas--we just made one 12-inch pizza (serving size: 2 slices)

Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
8 cups sliced onion (about 3 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme --I used 1 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
Thyme sprigs (optional) --I used fresh basil
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Prepare the Pizza Dough according to directions and roll out.

While dough is rising the second time, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions, thyme, salt, and white pepper; cook 25 minutes or until onions are browned, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Brush each prepared pizza crust with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; top each with half of onion mixture. Sprinkle cheese and fresh basil over each pizza. Bake at 475° for 9 minutes or until crusts are crisp. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

CALORIES 238 (28% from fat); FAT 7.3g (sat 2.7g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.7g); IRON 2mg; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 87mg; CARBOHYDRATE 34.8g; SODIUM 300mg; PROTEIN 8.6g; FIBER 3.1g

Cooking Light, OCTOBER 1998

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Survey Says....

I saw this fun little alphabet survey on a few other blogs and decided to partake! I love reading these and "getting to know" fellow bloggers a little better!

A. Age: 25

B. Bed size: King...I don't like being crowded or touched when I'm sleeping so a King bed is a necessity to keep our marriage happy. :)

C. Chore you dislike: Washing dishes!! I feel like it's a never-ending cycle (because I cook so much).

D. Dogs: Libby, our lovable mutt (5-ish years old)

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee.

F. Favorite color: Blue? Pink? Purple? Green? Yellow? It depends on my mood!

G. Gold or silver: Silver.

H. Height: 5' 5"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Nothing! I was more of an athlete (and I have no musical inclinations whatsoever!)

J. Job title: Well, when I had a job (before the move) I was a Marketing Specialist. Now I'm a Hobo (or a Stay At Home Wife). :)

K. Kids: None yet, but we hope to have some in the future!

L. Live: Currently (and briefly) living in Sierra Vista, AZ. But I will forever be a born and bred Texan!

M. Mom’s name: Shari (this is a random question)

N. Nicknames: Ash, Da-Da (my dad calls me a nickname for "daughter"), Sha-Sha (my cousins called me that before they could say "Ashley" and it stuck), Smoochie Pants (LOL), Smashley (we won't go into that one). The list goes on but I can't remember them all right now.

O. Overnight hospital stays: I don't think I've ever stayed overnight at a hospital....? Well, except for when I was born obviously. I know one time I had a killer stomach bug and ended up staying for several hours but I don't think it would be considered "overnight".

P. Pet peeve: I have a lot of pet peeves. People who post insensitive things on Facebook (and also people who post too much info on Facebook), nose picking (I seriously throw up in my mouth whenever I spot people picking their nose), loud people in public who have no concern over the fact that they are disturbing me, unappreciative people, my husband leaving his shoes where I can trip over them, anyone who touches my things and/or moves them (I'm very possessive!), people who don't listen and/or make every conversation about themselves....I could go on and on!

Q. Quote from a movie: "There's no crying in baseball!" --A League of Their Own

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty! (even though both of my parents are lefties!)

S. Siblings: Younger brother, James, 22 years old.

T. Time you wake up: Ummm....well.....I'm unemployed, remember? So it depends....any time between 7:30am and 9:00am. This morning it was 7:30!

U. Underwear: Sorry to get TMI here, but I HATE wearing anything but thongs. It's not for the sexy-factor, I just think they're wayyyyy more comfortable and less annoying. Plus, I hate visible panty lines!

V. Vegetables you don’t like: Hmmmm....I don't think there is one! I love all veggies! Oh wait! Maybe fennel? I actually haven't ever tried fennel but I have a feeling I wouldn't like it since it supposedly tastes like licorice....yuck!

W. What makes you run late: My memory. I have the worst memory ever so I'm constantly trying to get out the door and going "Oh wait! I almost forgot my ____!"

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Once I had an X-ray on my wrist because I was having issues with it when I played turned out to be nothing. Oh and I had a CAT Scan of my head once to make sure it wasn't damaged after a pretty bad fall. (Can I blame my bad memory on that fall?)

Y. Yummy food you make: I think all my food is pretty darn yummy (usually)! :) See blog archives for proof.

Z. Zoo animal favorite: Hmmm....probably tigers or lions.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Have you tried Quinoa?

Have you tried quinoa yet? Did you know it is pronounced like "keen-wah"?

My answer to both of those questions was "no" up until recently. But now I'm enlightened about the deliciousness of quinoa and the proper pronunciation....yay for education! :)

Quinoa is not only tasty, but also very healthy. According to

Quinoa is a complete
protein, which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs. Complete proteins are rare in the plant world, making quinoa an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans, or for anyone looking for healthy protein source. It's also high in iron and calcium, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, as well as fiber.
That's a pretty awesome grain!

The basic way that I cook quinoa is to combine 2 cups of water or chicken broth (I prefer broth for the extra flavor) and 1 cup of quinoa in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Easy peasy!

Basic quinoa is great and can be used for many different things, such as this Parmesan Spinach Quinoa.

This is a great way to spruce up quinoa and add a healthy dose of veggies!

Parmesan & Spinach Quinoa
Source: Tasty Kitchen


• 1 cup Quinoa
• 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1 whole Small Sweet Onion, Diced
• 2 cloves Cloves Garlic, Minced
• ½ teaspoons Salt
• 1 cup Sliced Mushrooms (omitted)
• ¼ cups Dry White Wine
• 1 bunch Fresh Spinach (I used a few handfuls of bagged baby spinach)
• ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese, Fresh Stuff PLEASE

Preparation Instructions

Cook quinoa as directed on the box, but please use chicken broth or stock. It adds a lot more flavor than water.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and the salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté for an addtional 5 minutes. Add the white wine and turn the heat up to medium-high and let simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Add spinach until wilted down. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the quinoa is cooked through and wine has simmered off the mushroom/onion mixture, add the quinoa to the skillet and toss with the mushroom mixture. Add the parmesan cheese on top.

Side note: This is a very hearty side dish, and could easily be made into a main dish by adding some grilled chicken or tofu!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Workout Review: Jackie Warner's Power Circuit Training

Yes, another fitness-related post. What is wrong with me!?

I've just been feeling especially motivated to work out lately....maybe it's the fact that it's the New Year or maybe it's that I'm unemployed right now (and therefore have nothing better to do), but I am really becoming a bit of a fitness junkie!

And I must say, I'm seriously liking the results. I've dropped 5 pounds and I just feel overall more toned and tight than I have in a long time!

A lot of that "tightness" and "toning" I think I have to thank this lady for:

I had heard good things about this workout DVD and was contemplating purchasing it, but then I discovered Exercise OnDemand. And whaddayaknow, they were currently offering this workout for free! Awesommmme! I love when things work out like that.

So I've done her full-body power circuit workout a couple of times now and let me tell you, this is no joke! It is mostly all strength-training (look elsewhere for cardio) done in circuits based on the muscle group that you're working (such as hamstrings, shoulders, etc.). Each muscle group consists of three different exercises, and then you "Power Burn" through all three of them again for a shorter period of time. "Power Burn" is appropriately named, because I certainly felt the burn! The whole workout takes about 40 minutes to complete.

For this workout you will need one or two sets of dumbbells (you could do it with one but I like having two so I can switch from heavier to lighter on some more challenging exercises). I used 5 and 8 pound dumbbells and that seemed just right for me. If you're just starting out with strength training, I would go with 3 pounders. :)

This really is a great strength workout! I loved that Jackie didn't just use all the "typical" strength moves, like pushups, tricep kickbacks, etc. A lot of her moves were new to me, but I liked them even better than the traditional moves.

My Exercise OnDemand says that Jackie's Power Circuit workout is only available until 2/21, so I may just have to buy it after that.

Side Note: As much as I love Exercise OnDemand, sometimes you have to sift through a lot of crap to get to any of the good stuff. I mean, sorry, but "Booty Roll" and "Booty Pop" aren't exactly my cup of tea for a workout.

In case you're interested, here is my general workout schedule right now:

Monday = Run/Walk intervals on the treadmill for 40 minutes
Tuesday = Jackie Warner's Power Circuit Training
Wednesday = Run/Walk intervals on the treadmill for 40 minutes
Thursday = Jackie Warner's Power Circuit Training OR one of my other DVD's (30 Day Shred, The Firm: Get Chisel'd, etc.)
Friday = Run/Walk intervals on the treadmill for 40 minutes
Saturday = free/rest day
Sunday = Workout with Hubs....usually at the gym on Post

I'll also throw in some yoga about 2-3 times a week...typically just something I find on Exercise OnDemand.

Keep in mind I get bored very easily, so this is a VERY loose schedule. I'll often plan on doing one thing but then that day I just decide to do something else. As long as I'm working out in one way or the other, I figure it doesn't matter what I do! :)

Anyway, sorry to go on and on about working out. I know this is out of character for my blog, but it's what I'm most passionate about at the moment. Hope I didn't bore you too much!

Have you ever done at-home workouts? If so, what is your favorite?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Healthier Buffalo Wings & Broccoli Stuffed Potato Bites

I had a request from my friend Kim to post the recipes for the food that we made for the Super Bowl. I know I talked about needing a detox the day after, but in reality that was more from the volume of food I ate, not the unhealthiness of the food.

The food we made were actually healthier versions of two favorite "football foods":

Buffalo Wings....

and Potato Skins....

Alex was in charge of the Buffalo Wings.

He used Alton Brown's recipe for Buffalo Wings, which involves first steaming the wings and then baking them at a high temperature in the oven.
It's a bit labor intensive, but it really does result in wings that are healthier and just as delicious as their fatty fried counterparts! We actually both commented that we may even like these better than the typical fried version.

They were so good! He even made them healthier by decreasing the amount of butter called for in the recipe and increasing the hot sauce.

The only downside to the making of these wings is that the oven was smoking so much while they were baking that our fire alarms (every single one in the house) were going off for 10 minutes straight and we couldn't seem to get them to turn off, even with every window and door in the house open. It was stressful, to say the least. :)

I was in charge of the "Potato Skins", which were a recipe that I found in the most recent edition of Rachael Ray Magazine (no, I don't subscribe, but I do sometimes purchase it if I see a lot of good looking recipes).

She calls them "Hot Potatoes", but I think calling them "Broccoli Stuffed Potato Bites" is a more accurate description. They're basically a healthified and vegified version of Potato Skins, made in bite size form.
These were also a bit labor intensive, first requiring you to boil the potatoes, then cool them, then cut in half, then scoop out the insides, then assemble the "stuffing", then place the stuffing back inside the halved potatoes, and then bake them. Oh and you also had to boil the broccoli, cool it, and then chop it into tiny pieces for the filling.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure they were completely worth all the effort. They were tasty, but I think they lacked a lot of flavor. If I were to do them again I think perhaps incorporating barbecue sauce (or some sort of sauce) into the stuffing would have made them a bit more special. Or maybe they just needed a more flavorful dipping sauce (I just served them with greek yogurt as a topping).
If you're interested, click the link for the recipe for Rachael Ray's "Hot Potatoes", aka Broccoli Stuffed Potato Bites.

What are your favorite "football foods"? Did you cook anything for the Super Bowl?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 Book List

I'm starting a 2011 Book List, to share with you the books that I've read in 2011 and what I thought of them. I rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 stars and usually include a small review (no spoilers). I will update the list as more books are read throughout the year.

To see the books I read in 2010 please click here.

1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - 3 stars. This was a weird book. I can't say I didn't like it, because I was certainly intrigued by it, but it was just plain old weird. Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler's Wife) certainly has quite the imagination and can write beautifully, but the premises of her books are just so out there. I will say, that this is the first book in a long time that left me completely perplexed at the much so that I immediately logged on to the internet to see how other people interpreted the ending. It wasn't a book that I will gush over and feverishly recommend to friends, but I am glad I read it nonetheless.

2. The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsche - 4 stars. This book is one that I actually downloaded for free off of Amazon one day, without knowing a thing about it. (I'm a sucker for the free downloads....that's also how I discovered Fireflies in December, which ended up being one of my favorite books of all time!) Anyway, I downloaded it, but then just let it sit in my Kindle for a few weeks until I finally started to read it. It sucked me in with the mystery of unexplained murders and accused witchcraft. At times the descriptions were a bit too graphic and made me cringe, but overall I really enjoyed the book.

3. Cartwheels in a Sari by Jayanti Tamm - 4 stars. This is a memoir of a woman's life as she grew up in a cult, governed by an all-powerful "Guru" in Queens, New York. It was fascinating to watch the way the Guru keeps such control over his "disciples" and the brainwashing that went with it. I really enjoyed reading the book and learning about the extremes that people will go to for the approval of the "divine". At times I even found myself overwhelmed with emotion for the choices that Jayanti was facing.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Detox Smoothie

This morning I was in dire need of a Super Bowl Detox.

I blame these:

And these:

And definitely these:

And we can't forget the (unphotographed) margaritas. Ouch.

A smoothie made with all kinds of nutritious stuff thrown in fit the bill perfectly for a little healthy pick-me-up after a night of indulgences.

Have you ever seen the so-called "Green Monster" smoothies? Well, this was definitely a Green Monster.

Don't freak out on me. It doesn't taste tastes like a normal fruity smoothie. What makes it green is the big handfuls of baby spinach that add great nutrients, but add no flavor whatsoever.

The best thing about a smoothie is that you can make it however you want and use up fruit that's on it's last leg. In my case I had half a container of fresh blueberries that were about to go to Fruit Heaven, but instead got to become part of this scrumptious and nutritious smoothie. That's a much better way to go, if you ask me! (We'll just ignore the fact that they got pulverized in a least it was a quick death!)

Here's what my smoothie was composed of, but feel free to get creative with your own and use up what you have!

Super Bowl Detox Smoothie
source: me

1 banana (mine was frozen)
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Double Chocolate Caramel Cookies

I've been bad.

Very bad.

I had a bag of these begging to be used:

And a dinner party to go to tonight so I decided to bake something to bring to the party.

Double Chocolate Caramel Cookies. Ohhhh baby. Yum.

These remind me of a treat that my mom used to make all the time affectionately known as "hiphugger brownies". They were chocolatey, melty, caramely brownies and called "hiphuggers" for obvious reasons. These are the cookie version of those indulgent brownies.

Double Chocolate Caramel Cookies
makes 64 small cookies

2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup caramel bits or chopped up caramel squares
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Set oven to 350°F.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar. Add eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in caramel bits and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until set. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

I actually did the calorie count on these, just because I was curious, and was surprised to find out that 2 cookies was only 184 calories. I guess I expected them to be much worse than that. (Granted, I did make the cookies pretty small, but still!)

184 calories per two cookies means....I'll have six. :)

Someone was hoping for me to drop some cookies on the floor so she could partake:
But I'm saving them for myself. Oh and I might share some with the people at the dinner party tonight.