Who loves Girl Scout Cookies?

This week I picked up my girl scout cookie order at work. I brought home 4 boxes – 2 Tagalongs, 1 Thin Mints, and 1 Samoas.

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(anyone surprised that I buy all the chocolate covered varieties?)

Girl Scout Cookies are delicious and special, probably because you can only buy them one time a year. Tagalongs have always been my favorite. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter!

My history with Girl Scout Cookies began in the early 1990s, when I was a Brownie, with an international Girl Scout Troop in Great Britain. We shipped a huge order of cookies across the Atlantic Ocean for our hungry American friends to buy from us :)

My brownie career only lasted a year, followed by many more years of living internationally, sans-cookies. (biscuits are the british term for cookies). Of course, in Australia, we had Tim Tams, which are every bit as good as a Girl Scout Cookie!

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Back in the US for high school, I looked forward to buying girl scout cookies each year. Coincidentally (or not?), they always come out around the time of my birthday. In fact, one year during college, I flew home for my birthday weekend, and distinctly remember the box of Tagalongs sitting in the car seat when my parents came to pick me up. By the time we arrived home, the box was empty (oops!).

So herein lies the difficulty with these delicacies. The boxes are small (less than 2 dozen) and the taste so good, you find yourself running through your supply in no time at all, and then having to wait a full year. Oh, how I envy people who will still have some cookies in their house come the hot summer months. What? You still have Girl Scout Cookies? Mine were long gone, months ago!

And so, here are my top 6 cookie guidelines, being a Registered Dietitian and all, as to how to enjoy your Girl Scout Cookies guilt-free

  1. Buy one batch and one batch only. Choose the cookies that you LOVE, and wait all year for. If the cookies aren’t special to you, then don’t bother (this is why I don’t understand who’d buy the Trefoils. Shortbread is not special!)
  2. Follow the “one open box” policy. If I seriously had all 4 varieties of cookies in open boxes, I’d be in trouble. Instead, I have opened the Thin Mints, and will leave the Tagalongs and Samoas for a later day, week, or month (hopefully!)
  3. Freeze the unopened boxes. This way, they will last longer, and you’ll be less tempted to binge-eat. Unless you love frozen cookies. This is one time I’ll be thankful for my cold-sensitive teeth :)
  4. Savor the cookies. Sit down and plan to eat your cookies. Get out a couple, put them on a plate, and really enjoy them. Practice mindful eating, people, and you’ll be more satisfied with each bite. Do not hide in the pantry, stuffing cookies down your throat before someone finds you. I’ve been there and it’s not pretty.
  5. Drink with a glass of milk. Milk makes everything chocolate better, and also adds important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and protein. image
  6. Set a cookie goal date. This is the day that you still want to have a cookie in your house, uneaten. I have chosen Easter this year, which is April 24. Very reasonable.

This gives me 52 days in which to enjoy the 62 cookies that I have left.

Which results in a 1.2 daily cookie ration.

However, I will be out of town for 5 days in March, so really I have 47 days to eat the 62 cookies. This is a bigger ration of 1.3 cookies per day, which lets me eat 1 cookie during each week day and 2 cookies per day on the weekend.

If you’re not a Type A, neurotic, Sheldonite like myself, ignore the previous ramble and just slow down and enjoy the cookies :)

A post for the nerds

I finished my high-school teaching today. There seems to be a big difference between first and second block kids, and third and fourth block kids. I guess they woke up :(

My two classes weren’t nearly as fun to teach today. The kids talked non-stop and didn’t even allow me to finish my presentation in the 90 minute blocks! I mean, I appreciate their questions, but sometimes they were just talking for the sake of talking, and we all know I’m not the best disciplinarian (basically one of the top reasons I didn’t go into teaching).

Best parts of my teaching today?

Scenario one:

Me “Who knows why fat is important in our diet? Why do we need to eat fat??”

Student “It’s important for our phospho-lipid bilayers”

Oh nerds, bless them. That was me 6 years ago :)

Scenario two:

After class, a girl came up to me and shared that she was a member of the local TOPS chapter (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) and was interesting in getting one of my little fast-food nutrition info booklets. The one I brought to show them was small and pocket-sized, and I had gotten it free at work. I feel like such a jerk for not just giving it to her.. it’s not like I use it very much. But instead I just told her to look them up online and find where to order them. Elizabeth!!

Nerds in the kitchen…

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Aren’t these gel electrophoresis cookies great! I put them here in honor of my sister, who just secured a research assistant position making the gels for a graduate student who’s studying why some monkeys are colorblind and others aren’t. There’s lots of monkey DNA to be analyzed!

Not to brag, but back in the day (high school nerd alert, again) I was quite the master of electrophoresing. I won “best technique” at the science fair :)

Non-Nerd News…

Sheff has been out in the backyard, staring at some type of animal in the back field that I can only tell is either a groundhog or an armadillo. Interesting.

We’re all packing up and getting ready for my big birthday weekend in Athens, GA! The dogs are going to the nearby doggie hotel, and I’ll be driving solo (finally a break from hours of dog breath! haha)

German Chocolate Cookies

Happy Friday morning everyone (or whatever time it is when this is posted)!

My cookies last night were wonderful. I’d never made cookies this small before, but the bite-size actually worked quite well when you just want a little something sweet. And 85 kcals a cookie ain’t bad either! The recipe was taken from the September 2009 issue of Better Homes And Gardens, and I made no modifications at all! It was actually from their Good and Healthy Food section, so my jaw didn’t drop at the amount of butter and eggs or anything like that.

So here’s the line up of ingredients:

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  • 1/4 cup butter (half stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt (all in bowl 1)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla (not pictured)
  • 2/3 cup AP flour (bowl 2)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (all in bowl 3)
  • 3 oz dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted (all on cutting board)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on med-high for 30 seconds
  3. Add bowl 1 (sugar, baking soda, salt) and beat until well combined.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined
  5. Add bowl 2 (flour)
  6. Stir in contents of bowl 3 (oats, flax meal and cocoa powder)
  7. Stir in cutting board ingredients (dough should be really thick now)
  8. STP82389 Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets
  9. Top with additional coconut and chopped pecans (I just used coconut)
  10. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are just firm and tops are set
  11. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes 35 cookies.

Each cookie: 85 kcals, 4 grams fat, 11 grams CHO, 2 grams pro.

Enjoy with a glass of milk – or, like me, with my iced coffee :)

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BTW: my formula for iced mocha which has worked quite well….

4 oz (1/2 cup) chilled coffee

2 oz (1/4 cup) skim milk

2 oz (1/4 cup) low-fat chocolate milk

Pour all over ice and stir to blend. Makes an 8oz drink for 60 kcals. Much better (financially and calorically) than what you get in the coffee shop!

It was a pesto kind of night…

I am so proud of myself for my latest adventure. My mom and sister went out to dinner last night, leaving me to cook for myself. Don’t feel sorry for me, there are many times when I’d much prefer to be left to my own devices with a kitchen full of food, and no one’s food interests (or probably disinterests) to keep in mind.

Trying to figure out what to eat… I looked outside at my pitiful basil plant, who doesn’t enjoy the texas heat anymore than I do. I felt I should save the poor dear and allow it to become the star of my meal. So… I quickly googled “pesto recipes” and decided to make my own pesto. Mmm Mmm Mmm.

My recipe:

  • 2 cups basil leaves (here’s where I ran into problems… more on that later)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • salt and pepper (we don’t measure such things)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (also a problem)

And no, I didn’t hand crush/chop this, I didn’t use a mortar and pestle, I used my lovely CuisinArt food processor which did a marvelous job. You basically start with the basil, pine nuts, salt, pepper and garlic and pulse. Then stream in the olive oil to make a nice paste, and then add the cheese last. OK, so the problem is I don’t know how to measure 2 cups of basil leaves. I practically stripped my plant naked, but the leaves could either be one cup really packed, or 2 cups very loosely packed. I didn’t feel like investigating the matter, so I just chucked it all in the food pro. It all looked lovely and pesto-y, until it came time to stream in the EVOO, of which I had measured out 1/2 cup exactly (I am an RD2B remember). After just adding 1/4 cup, it was already looking too oily, so I stopped. I guess I really hadn’t used enough basil! haha.

In the end, I had wonderful pesto linguine for dinner. I also had pesto for lunch today, on top of some crusty ciabatta bread with melted mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Mmmm :)

Update on the cookie adventure: the dough is resting now, and the cookies will be baked tomorrow. I don’t know how many cookies will actually survive to the oven, since my family members keep disappearing to the garage with spoons….