The Best Soft 

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

By Melissa Spelts

 I found this recipe on pinchofyum.com and it’s become a new favorite in our house. These cookies come out very soft and thick. If this is a combination that you like, try this recipe. 

Preheat oven to 350. Bake 9-11 minutes. 

8 tbsp. of salted butter (softened)

½ c. white sugar 

¼ c. light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla 

1 egg

1 ½ c. all purpose flour (add more flour if the dough isn’t crumbly)

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt (but I always add a little extra) 

¾ c. chocolate chips

Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat on low speed until just incorporated,10-15 seconds or so (If you beat the eggs for too long the cookies will be stiff). Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. It should form one large ball that is easy to handle. 

At this point add chocolate chips. I dumped mine into my mixer or you can use your hands to turn them in. Make into to balls and cook until golden brown. Do not over-bake. 

Easy Baked Ziti 

By Melissa Spelts

This recipe makes me think of Ryan’s mom. I first had baked ziti at her house. She’s the best cook ever. I’m always excited when this is on the menu at her house. It’s a very simple meal to make. Perfect for busy spring nights when your days are full of running. 

1 lb. ground beef 

1 32 oz. jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce 

1 16 oz. jar Alfredo sauce 

1 lb. noodles (if you plan ahead grab ziti noodles or use what you have. My mother in law has used spaghetti noodles and it was yummy).

½ yellow onion diced

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350. 

Spray 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Pre-cook noodles. Brown ground beef with onion 

Combine browned beef with spaghetti sauce (warm) 

When pasta is cooked, drain excess water. You want pasta as dry as possible. Combine cooked pasta with Alfredo sauce. Pour pasta mixture into bottom of 9×13 dish. 

Cover pasta with spaghetti sauce mixture 

Sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes (spray inside of the foil with nonstick spray so the cheese won’t stick to it). 

Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

Let it rest for about 5 minutes after taking out of oven.