Quality Ingredients Wednesday, Jun 1 2022 

A favorite cookie in my family is a simple twist on the famous Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. Everyone asks for my version. They say it is special.

I follow the regular recipe with one exception. Well, actually, two. I use chunks of both white and semi-sweet chocolate. I also omit the nuts.

I believe these cookies are so delicious partially because of the two types of chocolate, but mostly, it’s due to the quality of the ingredients. I use sea salt, pure vanilla, and organic sugar, butter, eggs, and flour and chocolate from a specialty chocolate shop (Graham’s Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream) in my town. The cookie is delectable because of the decadent ingredients.

That is the way with life. Exceptional details raise the ordinary to extraordinary.

Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Butter (Softened)

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Large Eggs

2 cups Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup Nuts (chopped)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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Cinnamon Rolls Friday, Mar 21 2014 

If the aroma of fresh-baked bread lures you to the kitchen, cinnamon rolls in the oven will get you running. I have a recipe that works every time. Some patience is required with all yeast breads. You have to let the dough rise twice, but the extra time and simple steps are well worth it.

I mix the dough in a bread maker, but it also can be done in a mixer with bread hooks or by hand. If you don’t use a bread maker, use warm water and allow the yeast to soften in it before adding to the other ingredients. Let me know how your yummy rolls work out.

* * *

Buttery Cinnamon Rolls

Begin by mixing the ingredients for the bread dough. (This dough recipe also makes delicious loaves and rolls.)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons dry milk
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

Allow the dough to rise.

Divide dough into three pieces. Roll each section into an 8 X 9 inch rectangle.

Spread each rectangle with ¼ cup butter. Sprinkle ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/3 cup raisins if desired, evenly across the dough.

Roll up the dough lengthwise keeping it as tight as possible. Pinch to seal.

Cut into 1 inch pieces.


Place on greased baking sheet or baking dish.


Allow to rise for about one hour.

Bake in a 374°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese or vanilla frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. If consistency is too thick, add a couple drops more of milk.


©2014, Mary K. Doyle

It’s in the Sauce Thursday, Aug 29 2013 

Barbecued chicken and pork taste oh-so-much-better basted in sauce. But the biggest dilemma is in choosing which one to buy. Stores give serious shelf space to the endless varieties available, and yet, I haven’t found one I really like.

I make my own barbecue sauce. It’s quick and easy to prepare and I can get it as sweet, tangy, smoky, or spicy as I want.

Following is a basic sauce that starts with ketchup. Adjust it to your taste. Consider adding other ingredients such as onion, garlic, finely chopped peppers, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, hickory smoked salt, celery seed, mustard, or jam. You also can add other sauces from your refrigerator including a little salad dressing, sweet and sour sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Worcestershire, or steak sauce.

Try making some barbecue sauce yourself. You’ll be surprised how good and easy it really is.


BB Sauce.Ingredients

Barbecue Sauce Starter

1 cup ketchup

2 Tablespoons oil

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

¼ cup vinegar (I usually use fig balsamic)

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

BB Sauce.1

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. For a thicker sauce, continue cooking until desired consistency.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

Fig Balsamic Monday, Nov 5 2012 

My salads are a big hit and it is all because of my secret ingredient. Instead of regular vinegar I use the most fabulous tasting fig balsamic. It’s rich and fruity. The difference in recipes is quite noticeable.

I purchase the fig balsamic from The Olive Mill, a local shop. Their products are also available online: http://www.olivemillgeneva.com/  (15.50 for 375 ml or $26.35 for 750 ml bottle.)

I am a free-hand cook who rarely follows a recipe except for baked goods. Last night I made a broccoli slaw with the fig balsamic and wrote down my ingredients and measurements for you. Adjust to your taste. This recipe may contain too much salt.

Broccoli Slaw

1 12 ounce bag of broccoli slaw (mix of broccoli and carrot)

1/3 cup chopped green onion

½ cup light olive oil

1/3 cup fig balsamic vinegar

¼ cup sugar

2 Tablespoons seasoned salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Optional: 1 small minced jalapeno pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. You will have more dressing than needed. Spoon desired amount over the slaw. Toss.

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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