Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

On Sundays, my daughter usually likes to make something in the kitchen. So of course I am all for that. She has become quite the little baker. A couple of weeks ago she decided to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins from scratch. They turned out pretty tasty if I do say so myself.

chocolate-chip-muffins

These Chocolate Chip Muffins have a great texture and consistency and are nice and moist but a little crispy on the edges, which in my opinion is a pretty good combination. Throw in some nuts or craisins in addition to the Chocolate Chips and you can kick them up another level.

chocolate-chip-muffin-recipe

Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 cups chocolate chips (depending on your chocolate needs)
  • nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease twelve muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  6. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  9. Now bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from tins to finish cooling.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/04/chocolate-chip-muffins-recipe.html

muffin-recipes | theidearoom.net

These were a hit and if you double the recipe, you can freeze them and save them for later. We did just that and the kids were able to save some and throw them into their school lunches or grab as a quick and easy after school snack or a quick snack on their way to ballet or lacrosse practice.

chocolate-chips

These Chocolate Chip Muffins would also make a great addition to a shower or dinner party! But be sure to grab one while you can because these will not last long!



Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of my husband very favorite desserts.  He has been super busy lately and has been busy working hard for our family.  So we wanted to make him something to let him know how much he means to us.

cheesecake-recipe

My oldest daughter is enjoying baking and working in the kitchen so she set out to make her Dad these delicious…like super delicious, Raspberry Cheesecake Bars.  If you are not a fan of Raspberries (who doesn’t love Raspberries?), simply substitute the Raspberries for Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, or Boysenberries.

cheese-cake-recipe

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 10 graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Cheesecake Filling:
  • Two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsps. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with tinfoil and then spray with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the Cheesecake crust. Crush the graham crackers the old fashioned way or run them in your food processor blender and then put into a medium bowl.
  3. Melt your butter and pour into your crushed graham crackers and add your sugar.
  4. Mix the crumbs together and then press firmly into the bottom of the tinfoil lined pan making sure the crumbs cover the entire bottom.
  5. Bake the crust in a 325 degree oven for 11 minutes until firm and a little golden. Set aside and let the crust cool for 15 minutes.
  6. While the crust is baking make your cheesecake filling.
  7. Beat your cream cheese till smooth. Add 2 eggs and beat well after each egg. Beat in the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until fully incorporated.
  8. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the cooled crust and then drop the raspberries on the top of the cheesecake.
  9. Make the streusel topping in a separate bowl by cutting the butter with the flour and brown sugar. The mixture should be lumpy with small clumps of butter left.
  10. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake.
  11. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Topping should be browned and the center slightly jiggle-y when finished. Chill in the refrigerator (or freezer) for at least an hour before serving.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/03/raspberry-cheesecake-bars.html

cheesecake-recipe

*Please excuse the bad cell phone pictures.  These were taken when I didn’t have my new camera to replace my broken camera.  I have a few more projects still in the line-up that I need to post before posting my projects taken with my new camera!

These are really some of the best cheesecake bars I have ever tasted.  My husband LOVED them.  He added these to the top of his favorite dessert list, so that means something.  If you love cheesecake, you need to give these a try.

cheesecake

They would be perfect for a shower or party luncheon when you need to bring a great dessert.  Be sure to chill and pull out right before serving so that the cheesecake stays firm and perfect!



DIY Whipped Body Butter Recipe

I am really excited about today’s post! Still working with bad cell phone pictures…bear with me. My camera finally arrived and I am excited to start learning it. The bad pictures are killing me! First world problems. Anyways…winters are really dry here and I am loving this amazing Whipped Body Butter recipe I have been playing around with.

body-butter

I finally got the right combination to make this smooth and creamy body butter. It was a lot of fun experimenting and was definitely out of my comfort zone. I did a bit of research first and found a lot of the same basic recipes but wanted to incorporate coconut oil. Coconut oil is such a great oil for your skin and is the main oil I have to use due to my food allergies.

whipped-body-butter-recipe Ingredients:

1 cup Cocoa Butter , grated

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1/4 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 Cup Almond Oil

 

Instructions:

1.  Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil in a double boiler or in bowl placed in a saucepan of boiling water.

2. When melted completely, add almond oil and vanilla.

3.  Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until slightly hardened (about 20-30 minutes)

4.  Whip with your hand mixer until smooth and creamy

5.  Place into a container.

6.  Makes about 1 cup

7.  It will harden a bit more due to the coconut oil.  Simply scoop some out and it will melt in your hand so that you can rub it into your skin.

homemade-lotion
It makes your skin feel so smooth and soft and it smells so yummy!  My husband who usually has nothing to do with my sugar scrubs uses this now on his hands at night!  But let’s just keep that between us…mmmkay?!

Coconut-oil-uses

if you would like to download these Whipped Body Butter Labels, click on the link below and follow the directions carefully.

{Whipped Body Butter Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

Other Idea Room Sugar Scrubs/Bath Salts you might be interested in checking out:

Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

Lavender Sugar Scrub

Frankincense Sugar Scrub

Myrrh Bath Salts

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

Citrus Bliss Sugar Scrub Cubes



Best Chocolate Chip Cookies…for reals

So…you can tell what kind of a week I have been having by the posts I share.  This week has been a tough one for a few different reasons.  Like I mentioned before, I fell off the food allergy wagon…but I picked myself up off the ground, dusted myself off, and am working on climbing back on.   I was also sick yesterday, which is why there was no post.  I spent my working time in bed asleep!

best-chocolate-chip-cookie

In my self pity I decided to try a recipe I had been given from my friend Stacy who swears that these are THE. BEST. CHOCOLATE. CHIP. COOKIES. EVER!  Since I was already off the bandwagon, I thought…why not take the challenge and see if these cookies really are the best chocolate chip cookies.

best-chocolate-chip-cookie

And since my daughter has been wanting to bake goodies for my blog, it was the perfect recipe for her to bake up.  You guys…these are good and dare I say it…one of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes I have tried.  I think they are my new favorite…now I just need one of you smarties out there to turn this recipe into a gluten free version since I am getting back on the allergy bandwagon.

best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies…for reals

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • one (3.4 oz.) package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (according to your chocolate needs)

Instructions

  1. Cream together butter and sugars till smooth.
  2. Add in egg and beat well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients one by one and mix well.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop into balls on a greased cookie sheet. I like to use a medium ice cream scoop so the cookies come out the same size.
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/02/best-chocolate-chip-cookies-reals.html

best-chocolate-chip-cookie-recipe

I would love for you to try these out and add your own vote as to whether they are your new favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies!!  Better stock up on some ice cold milk!!

Do you prefer a little Peanut Butter with your cookie?  Maybe our favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie is more your style.  Heavens…there is enough love to go around…how about both?

peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookie



Chocolate Donuts

Chocolate Doughnuts…or if you prefer…Chocolate Donuts…are one of my all time favorites.

Like if I could have only one dessert ever for the rest of my life…I would choose devil’s food chocolate cake donuts.  The richer and denser, the better.  You know, like those chocolate donuts behind the glass case in the gas station?  Yeah…those.  My all time favorite Chocolate Donuts are from Dunford Bakery.

chocolate-donuts-5_thumb.png

I can’t eat junk food like I used to…so I have to be really careful about what I eat and how often.  I try to limit my bad food choices to special occasions and then eat something that is totally going to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings.

chocolate-donuts-6_thumb.png

Remember when I shared with you my food intolerances?  Yeah that…well, I haven’t shared a lot more about that here with you because there hasn’t been a lot of great progress in that area of my life.  Apparently I am not very good about eliminating 7 MAJOR foods from my diet permanently.  I did super fantastically for eight months and then had a little bit of a break down.

Can I just tell you how exhausting it can be?…thinking, analyzing and planning EVERY. SINGLE. THING you can or can’t eat.  I was going through some personal family struggles and I just didn’t feel like I could continue the rigid diet I was on.  I had a teensy little “tantrum” and pity party for myself and gave myself a little “break”.

chocolate-donuts-7_thumb.png

I was fine for a while and was hoping that I would suddenly be cured and be able to eat some of my favorite things again.  But slowly and surely, I began to feel some of my old symptoms coming back.  Sigh.

So, I am working my way to getting back on track and allowing myself to accept the failures along with the victories.  I have hope that we will get my food issues sorted out.

chocolate-donuts_thumb.png

And, well, at this point you are probably wondering why I am rattling on about my food allergies in a post dedicated to chocolate donuts.  I am not really sure…other than I like them and can no longer eat them, and when the kids wanted a little snack, we thought it would be fun to make our own donuts…so we did.

And if you like chocolate donuts, you might want to make some too…just make sure you eat one for me.  I understand these are pretty good.  Not as good as my Dunford Bakery donuts…but good enough that you just might whip them up next time you get a hankering for a chocolate donut.

Devil’s Food Cake {Chocolate Cake} Recipe

1/2 cup butter

3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup water

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

 

Glaze Frosting:

1 cup of powdered sugar

2 – 4 Tbsp. of milk

 

Directions:

  1. In a small pan melt the butter or margarine with the unsweetened chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Cream together the sugar and the eggs until light in color. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat well so the eggs do not cook.  Add 1 cup boiled water (still warm) and blend well. Mixture will be very liquid.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the chocolate mixture and blend well.
  4. Mix together the vinegar and the milk and stir into the chocolate batter.
  5. Heat donut maker that has been greased and then bake donuts according to the pans directions OR bake in a donut pan for the suggested time and degrees according to the size of your pan.
  6. Let donuts cool on a wire rack until warm and then dip into the frosting glaze mixture.

flourish_thumb.jpg

 

chocolate-donuts-2_thumb.png

If you could have only ONE dessert ever again…what would it be?



Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Dinner time is a pretty busy time at our house with a couple of teenagers and their schedules.  As a family though, we always try to eat dinner together, even though it can be difficult some nights.  So I have been forced to come up with some dinner options that are quick and easy.

shrimp-scampi

Shrimp Scampi has been a dinner that ALL of the kids have enjoyed, which is not always an easy with 7 different palates.  So when a meal is enjoyed by ALL, it gets thrown into our recipe rotation, like this Shrimp Scampi recipe.

shrimp-scampi-pasta

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs raw shrimp (peeled and deveined) or pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 lb angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add shallots and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes stirring constantly so they don't burn.
  4. Add shrimp to skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until they are pink in color.
  5. Add wine, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook for another two minutes.
  7. Drain pasta and rinse with hot water.
  8. Pour shrimp mixture over the pasta and toss together.
  9. Serve immediately.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/02/shrimp-scampi-recipe.html

quick-dinner-ideas

This is a very quick and easy recipe that you can whip up on a very busy night.  It takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish to prepare this meal…and it saves us from getting a “quick” meal from a fast food place that may not be as healthy of a choice.

What are some of your favorite FAST meals for those crazy weekday nights?


Grapefruit Sugar Scrub Recipe

There are a few things that I get obsessed with…right now it’s Grapefruit.  I am LOVING it!  It is perfect right now.  I have always been obsessed with citrusy fruit and the scent of citrus.  It smells so fresh and clean and makes me feel happy and invigorated.

Sugar-scrub-recipe

You know how much I enjoy making my sugar scrubs and I had yet to make one with Grapefruit…so here it is ;)!

homemade-sugar-scrub

Grapefruit Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup raw sugar

up to 1/4 cup almond oil

3-4 drops Grapefruit

1 drop of food coloring (no more or it will stain skin) or drop of raspberry juice

2-3 drops of Vitamin E (optional)

Directions:  Mix the sugars together and slowly add the almond oil until you reach the consistency you like.  I like my scrubs less oily so I always use less than a 1/4 cup.  Add Grapefruit Essential Oil, food coloring and Vitamin E if adding.  Mix thoroughly and store in an airtight container.  Good for up to 3 months if kept bacteria free.

To use:  Rub a little bit of the scrub on your body or between your hands with a little bit of water.  Rinse with warm water to remove excess oils.  It will give your skin a nice exfoliation and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth and smelling fresh and clean.  Great for use in the shower or bath and before bed time.

citrus-sugar-scrub

I, of course, want you to have these fun labels to add to your own containers.  I have made them available as a free download to get them you will need to read these directions very carefully. *I only offer then through Facebook due to misuse of my free labels and copyright due to people selling them or posting as their own.  Sorry about that.

To download the Grapefruit Sugar Scrub Labels click here:

{Grapefruit Sugar Scrub Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

DIT-sugar-scrub-recipe

You can buy your favorite high quality/food grade Essential Oils from my favorite DoTerra Rep here:

DoTerra’s Essential Oils

Julie Crowell is so helpful and is happy to answer any questions you may have.  Her contact information is on her site or you can email her at [email protected] .  Tell her Amy sent you!

Sugar-scrubs

Other Idea Room Sugar Scrubs/Bath Salts you might be interested in checking out:

Lavender Sugar Scrub

Frankincense Sugar Scrub

Myrrh Bath Salts

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

Citrus Bliss Sugar Scrub Cubes

mothers-day-gift-idea



Molasses Cookies

One of my favorite cookie recipes, other than our Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are these Molasses Cookies.  I like them because they are soft, moist and chewy…and they taste so good.

molasses-cookies

I prefer mine without the cream cheese icing drizzle, but my kids love the icing drizzle and it does make it pretty for a party if you are going to be serving them up to your guests or friends and family.

Molasses-cookie-recipe

Molasses Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter or butter flavor Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Mix together in a large mixer molasses, buttermilk and eggs until creamy.
  3. Add in the butter and then mix in the dry ingredients slowly and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden in color. Do not over bake.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/02/molasses-cookies.html

molasses-recipes



Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake



My oldest daughter, who is almost 12, decided she wanted to start helping me behind the scenes here with this blog of mine.  I thought…why not?!  She is a pretty good little baker and really enjoys it (all except for the cleaning up part).  So we decided that I would pay her a small fee each time she baked something that I could share here with you.  Her first gig?…this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake.

Lemon-poppy-seed-cake

She did a great job…and I made cleaning up after part of the “job”!  The cake tastes great and the best part is that I didn’t have to make it or clean up afterwards…and she is learning some great skills!

Lemon-poppy-seed-recipe

Good thing I have three girls…a momma could get used to this.  I wonder how long it is going to last?!

Anyways, this cake is perfect for an after dinner snack or to serve up for the next bridal or baby shower you have.  It comes out really pretty, especially with a nice thin coating of icing (powdered) sugar.

Lemon-poppy-seed-bread-recipe

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

1 yellow cake mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup melted butter

1 small box of Vanilla Pudding mix (just the powder)

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. lemon extract or rum flavoring

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the eggs in a mixer.  Add the water, cake mix and butter and mix together.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix for 5 minutes.  Pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Leave in pan until cooled before turning out onto a plate.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Lemon-poppy-seed-cake

We found poppy seeds in our local grocery store in the spice section in case some of you have a hard time finding them.

But remember…if you have a job interview, you might want to hold off eating this poppy seed cake until after.  (Random Elaine Benes reference from Seinfeld) ;)

bundt-pan-recipes

Lavender Sugar Scrub Recipe



Today I am finally sharing my newest Sugar Scrub Recipe.  I love experimenting with new Sugar Scrubs and when we use up the last one, it’s time to come up with another one.  This time I chose to make a Lavender Sugar Scrub.

Lavender-Sugar-Scrub

But I think I am finally losing it… Last night I finally sat down to edit these pictures that I had sitting on my camera for the past several days, and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get them to download.  The computer wasn’t even recognizing my camera card.  Then I searched through the house to find the download cord only to find that wouldn’t work either.

Lavender

So I gave up, ate a snack, and then went to bed.  This morning I was determined to figure out the problem…after the kids went to school of course and you know what?  The camera photo card was sitting in my other computer.  Gah!  Haha!  It’s amazing what a good night’s rest will do for your brain.

Sugar-scrub-recipe

So, my camera card is not corrupt and all is well and the bonus?  I get to share this recipe today and you get to make some!  You might want too because the Lavender smells amazing! This Lavender Sugar Scrub would also make a great Valentine’s Day gift!

Lavender-Sugar-Scrub

Lavender Sugar Scrub Recipe

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup raw sugar

up to 1/4 coconut oil melted (or almond oil) as needed

1 tablespoon dried Lavender (optional but recommended)

3-4 drops DoTerra Lavender Essential Oil

Directions:  Mix together the sugars and slowly add the coconut or almond oil while stirring.  Pour in as much oil as you need to get your desired consistency.  I do not like my sugar scrubs too oily so I always use less than 1/4 cup.  Stir and mix thoroughly.  Stir in the essential oil and the Lavender.  Store in an airtight container.  Lasts up to 3 months if you keep bacteria and germs out of the scrub. To use:  Rub a little bit of the scrub on your body or between your hands with a little bit of water.  Rinse with warm water to remove excess oils.  It will give your skin a nice exfoliation and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth and smelling like Lavender.  Great for use in the shower or bath and before bed time.

Make-your-own-sugar-scrub

I, of course, want you to have these fun labels to add to your own containers.  I have made them available as a free download to get them you will need to read these directions very carefully. *I only offer then through Facebook due to misuse of my free labels and copyright due to people selling them or posting as their own.  Sorry about that. To download the Lavender Sugar Scrub Labels click here:

{Lavender Sugar Scrub Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

lavender-essential-oil

You can buy your favorite high quality/food grade Essential Oils from my favorite DoTerra Rep here: DoTerra’s Essential Oils

Julie Crowell is so helpful and is happy to answer any questions you may have.  Her contact information is on her site or you can email her at [email protected].  Tell her Amy sent you!

Other Idea Room Sugar Scrubs/Bath Salts you might be interested in checking out:

Frankincense Sugar Scrub

Myrrh Bath Salts

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe

Chocolate Sugar Scrub

Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Brown Sugar Scrub

Citrus Bliss Sugar Scrub Cubes