Dad’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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made these cookies on Saturday afternoon – ooey gooey chocolate & peanut butter chip cookies using my dad’s well tested recipe. I see a lot of “dessert” on social media that’s trying really hard to be healthy with vegetables hidden inside, modifications to make them vegan, keto, whole 30 approved (the list goes on) but I am always skeptical about how satisfying those desserts can be.
These cookies aren’t like that. They don’t have any hidden veggies in them and they don’t require any fancy ingredients. In fact, everything you need to make them you can find at Dollar General (Is this a good benchmark to rate a recipe by? Let’s discuss this later 😬). These cookies have REAL butter, REAL chocolate, REAL eggs and guess what, they were REAL yummy! 😋 .

I also think they have a place in a REAL healthy diet as well. I ate one, thinking about my Dad and tried to remember just how many times we made these same cookies growing up. Then I ate a second one because I was proud of how well they turned out and they always taste best straight from the oven. 🍪 Then I put the cookies away, washed the dishes, and went back to my moderately active lifestyle and healthy eating patterns with absolutely no guilt about my ooey gooey chocolate & peanut butter cookie consumption ☺️

And due to popular demand, you can make them for yourself!

  • 3 cups flour or gluten free flour blend (I use King Arthur’s)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (or 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips.
  1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt in small bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and sugars.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs and combine until smooth.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Stir in chips.
  6. Bake at 350 ° for 10-12 minutes.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, maybe more if you don’t sample too much of the cookie dough. I like to take them out of the oven after 10 minutes and let them rest on the hot cookie sheet for about 90 seconds before transferring to a wire rack for cooling.

Got Milk?

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of South Carolina FarmerThe Magazine of the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation

When new products hit the shelf sometimes we for some reason mistake them as better than their predecessors. As a dietitian, I am often asked, “shouldn’t I be drinking {insert alternative milk beverage here}.” As more and more alternative milk beverages have been introduced on the market it’s easy to believe that these products are somehow better than the cows milk they are supposed to be mimicking. The dairy aisle at the grocery store now is stocked with milk made from almonds, soybeans, coconuts, cashews, hemp, rice, and peas. Although these beverages share the same name, they do not share the same nutrient content. 

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Harvest Meals 2018

Corn silage harvest is over a month behind us and I’m finally getting my notes together about this year’s lunch meals! If y’all were following along on instagram, you saw that I helped to feed our hungry crew through out the week. I wanted to put all of the meals in one place so that y’all can reference them for your own harvest meals (and for my own reference too!) I made a few notes about where I bought certain things, what was homemade vs premade and a little feedback from the crew too.

Day 1


  • Sub sandwich with ham, cheese, mustard, mayo
  • Veggie sticks & ranch dressing
  • Apple
  • Potato salad – premade from Walmart
  • Lance Crackers

Farmer Feedback: Perfect amount of food, but unlikely that everybody ate the veggies. Dietitian Feedback: Easy to prepare and could be done ahead of time (early morning) and stored in the fridge until lunch time as nothing needs to be served hot.    Continue reading

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream Cake

My husband was born with a very selective sweet tooth. He doesn’t get very excited about cookies, cakes or brownies but boy oh boy does he love some ice cream. We celebrated his birthday last weekend with this ice cream cake. One of the reasons this ice cream cake is so good is because of the quality of the ice cream. I grew up in Maine and was completely spoiled living so close to Gifford’s Ice Cream. When it came time to choose a wedding dessert that my husband would like (and would also be gluten free for me) it just made sense to serve Gifford’s Ice Cream. A few months after our wedding we found out that Lowe’s Foods (about 45 minutes from us) starting carrying 1 quart containers of Gifford’s! We shared a quart of Moose Tracks for our one-year anniversary and it just made sense to use this ice cream for a special occasion like his birthday too!  Continue reading

Silage Harvest 2018

This week over on Instagram I have been talking a lot about “silage harvest” and posting pictures of the lunches we have been cooking up to feed our hungry crew. One of my followers asked a great question: “What is silage used for?” and I decided to give this one a little more in-depth answer!


In short, silage is any forage that is harvested, stored, fermented, and fed.

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Why our family won’t participate in Meatless Monday, but its OK if you do (Part 3: Research Round-up)

If you’re just joining me, each Monday I’ve been taking a closer look at the claims of #MeatlessMonday and specifically how beef has earned it’s place as part of a healthy diet. To learn more about the #MeatlessMonday movement check out part one here.

Last Monday I talked about my past life as an anti-beef eater and more about how beef is a nutrition powerhouse! As a dietitian I take my responsibility to be an evidence-based practitioner pretty seriously, always depending on research to guide my recommendations and beliefs. There are two studies (BOLD: Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet and the Beef WISE study: Beef’s Role in Weight Improvement, Satisfaction, and Energy) that have been published somewhat recently that support including beef as part a heart healthy diet.

The WISE study was conducted last year at University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. Almost 100 overweight or obese participants completed a sixteen week weight management program that included regular moderate intensity exercise, behavioral strategies, and controlled diet. One group was to eat four or more servings of lean beef each week while the other eliminated all red meat. When all was said and done, both groups lost equal amounts of total weight and fat mass while improving health metrics such as total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure. (A few limitations – most study participants were women, short duration of only 16 weeks) – if you want more of the nitty gritty you can read the full text here.

The BOLD Study (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) was published back in 2011 and set out to see if including lean beef in the “DASH” diet plan would provide similar results. The DASH diet is known to lower risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol by encouraging intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds while limiting saturated fat, refined grains, added sugar and red meats. To compare the effects of each diet, 36 participant followed the four diets for five weeks each: HAD , DASH , BOLD, BOLD+.

  • HAD (Healthy American Diet – includes full fat dairy, oil, butter, refined grains
  • DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)
  • BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) – similar to DASH diet but included 4oz lean beef per day as primary protein source.
  • BOLD+ (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet with high protein) – Similar to BOLD diet but included higher protein overall and average of 5.4oz lean beef per day

At the end of the study, it was found that eating a DASH-like eating pattern without or without lean beef would still lead to a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by a similar amount (~10%).  Link to full text here.

I think the key component of both of these studies is that they were looking at lean beef vs all red meat. Red meat typically describes beef, pork and lamb and includes processed meats (think sausage, bacon, hotdogs) that are higher in fat and sodium and wouldn’t qualify as lean (less than 10gm total fat with 4.5gm or less of that being saturated fat and less than 95gm cholesterol per 3.5oz serving). I wouldn’t recommend staying away from all “red meat” but choosing cuts wisely, like lean beef, and being mindful of portion sizes and frequency when selecting processed red meats, like bacon 🙂

And just for fun here are some pictures of me eating a taco – one of my favorite ways to eat beef 🌮🌮🌮


Simple Sustainable Swaps


👈🏼 Gatorade & Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (picked up at the gas station mid-morning)

👉🏼V8 Energy & Ritz Peanut Butter Crackers (grabbed on the way out the door at 6:30am)


Before we got married my husband NEVER ate breakfast. He didn’t see the value in waking up any earlier than necessary to make something to eat so mid-morning he would stop by the gas station for a gatorade and a candy bar.  Continue reading