One Smart Little Cookie is a collection of everything that brings inspiration, comfort and beauty into my life and home.
I love to create a beautiful home and enjoy it with my family.
It is sharing
what I love to do; baking and cooking in a healthier way without sacrificing flavor
, crafts,
party planning, activities, organization, and home decor.

Being a "Smart Little Cookie" is not about being perfect, it is about knowing how to enjoy life and family to it's fullest~to your fullest.
Due to my creative process, my home gets messy, my kids play in their jammies-all day sometimes (the terribly relaxed days tend to be my favorite),
and my hubby has become much more patient and supportive over the years with all of this.
In fact, he often has his own creative ideas and we both find ourselves anticipating our upcoming projects together~love him!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house, but I've rejected denial, and with a toddler who is a budding creative type herself,
I feel accomplished when the dishes are in the dishwasher before naptime (not mine, hers).
I've accepted the fact that "spotless" cannot mean what I have always
envisioned in my mind, at least not with kids,
and I would rather enjoy my kids and beautiful home, than a spotless, sterile home.
I have learned to take each day, one day at a time, and everyday should leave us feeling inspired and more contented.
The day should leave us, whispering in our ear, "the day has been as well as it could have been done, and it has been done well."

Go ahead and take a bite, indulge yourself and try my recipes and crafty creations in your own home.
I hope to inspire you to feel like the "Smart Little Cookie" you are!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

German Brown Mustard Dip

A little odd to see a healthy veggie snack on a sweet-treat blog? Well, I do love to eat my fruits and veggies! This is a Smart Little Cookie way of eating healthy AND enjoy some treats! This is a little something I threw together late this morning for a snack and I want to share it!  I love brown mustard, and wanted to mellow out the flavor just a little to go with my yummy baby carrots...Yum!

The Recipe

1 T German Brown Mustard
1 T Fat Free Ranch Dressing
Cut up veggies

Combine brown mustard and dressing together, mix well. 

Smart Little Cookie Tip:
Use your favorite brown mustard in place of the German Brown if you'd like.  I purchased my yummy German Brown Mustard at Whole Foods. In place of the ranch dressing, you could use sour cream or plain yogurt.  This is an equal parts recipe, so you can easily make more or less.

So Simple, and So Delish!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

 Today, I wanted to make my daughter's some yummy cookie dough for a fun after school treat.  I was ready to whip up a batch, and sadly discovered I'm out of vanilla extract...
so, after much thought, my 2 year-old daughter and I decided almond extract would be a wonderful substitute for vanilla.  
I've lightened up the recipe...a girl should be able to eat her cookie dough without all of the guilt, right?
I also made this completely egg-free, making the cookie dough safe to eat.    
Almond extract is the perfect flavoring in this recipe! 

The Recipe

1/2 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread       1 cup plus 1 T unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar                                                    1/4 t salt
1/3 cup brown sugar                                          1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t almond extract                                          1/2-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, salt and baking soda together, mix well.

Beat the butters and sugars until well blended, add almond extract.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Smart Little Cookie Tip:
This recipe is very versatile.  If you would like to store the cookie dough, place it in a covered container to refrigerate, or, in a freezer safe container or freezer bag and freeze. These also bake beautifully into delicious, soft cookies! Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.
To use this recipe in ice cream, use your favorite sweet cream base and follow your ice cream makers manufacturers instructions.

For the original Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream recipe,

Fabulously Delicious!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

Some days are just meant to have the flavor of lemon in them, and these pretty little yummies are the perfect treat for today.  They will sweep you off your feet!
Makes 2 dozen

The Recipe
1 lemon                                                                1 3/4 cups sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour                        2 large eggs
2 t baking powder                                                 2 egg whites
1/2 t salt                                                              
1 cup skim or 1% milk
6 ounces non-fat lemon yogurt                              Frosting:
(or, 6 ounces non-fat plain yogurt with                  3/4 cup I Cant' Believe It's Not
 2 t lemon zest mixed in)                                                    Butter Spread  
1 t lemon extract                                                  16 ounces confectioner's sugar  
3/4 cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spread          2 T lemon juice (from zested lemon)     
1 T butter, softened                                             1/2 t lemon extract            

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  
Zest lemon peel (about 2 teaspoons).  Juice lemon, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix well with a whisk until completely combined.  In a measuring cup, whisk together milk, yogurt and lemon extract, set aside.  In a large bowl, beat butters and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each.

Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture.  Start and end with flour mixture, mix well after each addition.  Fold in 2 t lemon zest.  Divide batter evenly into each cupcake cup.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one, comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Beat butter, confectioner's sugar, reserved lemon juice and lemon extract.  Mix until smooth, adding more confectioner's sugar as needed for desired consistency.

Smart Little Cookie Tip: 
If you like, or even love the flavor of lime, like I do, substitute 1 lime in place of the lemon in this recipe for both the cupcakes and the frosting.  You could also use 4-5 key limes for the equivalent of 1 lime-You can never go wrong with the flavor of key lime! Yum!!!

Avoir un jour succulent de citron !
Have a luscious lemon day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pumpkin Custard

Today is April Fools Day, one of my favorite holidays, and it has been snowing for two days where I live.  Apparently, Mother Nature has a very good sense of humor.  So, when Mother Nature gives you lemons on April make Pumpkin Custard!   I love pumpkin, and I for one, do not believe it's to be enjoyed only a few months out of the year.  Why not in April, and May, and June, and July?  
This is one of my family's favorite desserts.  It's Absolutely Delicious, 
and, Oh! My home smells so Heavenly, and yours will too! 
What better way to enjoy this fun day of trickery!
8 Servings

The Recipe

1 1/4 cups sugar                                                     2 large eggs
1 t salt                                                                   4 egg whites
2 t ground cinnamon                                               1 15 oz. can 100% pure
1 t ground ginger                                                         solid-pack pumpkin
1 t pumpkin pie spice                                              1 12 oz. can fat free
                                                                                      evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In small bowl, lightly whisk eggs and egg whites, set aside.  In large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, egg mixture, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix well with a whisk, until completely combined.  Add evaporated milk slowly to pumpkin mixture while mixing until completely combined.

Using a ladle, pour pumpkin mixture into 8 individual ramekins.  Place ramekins on cookie sheet and place in oven, baking at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes.  Turn oven to 350 degrees F. and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  When cool, place in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Top with whip cream and place a pecan, walnut or a dusting of cinnamon on top.

Happy Indulgences!