Life. We tend to think we have it all figured out, don't we? Our flight plans filed, we find ourselves happily headed down nice balanced paths when all of a sudden a fork, or a rock, or even a flood appear out of no where bringing a diversion we didn't expect. Taking us off our current path and onto another, we sometimes find this new path easy going and blossoming with flowers, however other times we find ourselves fighting to regain our footing in an attempt to get back into balance.
Early December brought a bit of a tumble off of our happy, balanced path when my usually healthy husband found himself visiting the ER twice in three days with the second visit ending up with emergency surgery. After an emotional 5-day hospital stay he headed home two days before Christmas with even more questions and an understanding that we have no understanding of how to efficiently work the current medical system.
While he's doing much better, he's been off work for some 4 weeks and will probably see a few more before he returns to filing flight plans for real (he's an airline pilot). Thankful his issues aren't life threatening, Liv and I have settled in to make him comfortable with he's healing and stretch of time on the couch.
Looking for pick-me-up entertainment, Liv took the remote from his hands, fired up HULU on the computer and caught him up on Season 2 of our favorite show - MasterChef Junior. And just in time as the premier of Season 3 aired last Tuesday, January 6 at 8/7c on Fox.
|Oona from Season 2|
But within minutes 9-year old Oona had him wrapped around her little finger with her confident come backs, kitchen finesse and irresistible personality. 12-year old Sean left us in awe of his restaurant-quality precision and skill, and who could resist 8-year old Abby's love of all things jelly bean?
Judged by the esteemed Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich (whom I read is leaving the show sometime in 2015), MasterChef Junior doesn't go easy on the contestants aged 8-13. With critiques that would bring adults to their knees, these kids take it and move on to the next challenge with their heads held high simply oozing skills that I can only envy. Really... how many kids enjoy pâté let alone know how to whip one up?
Finishing up our binge watching of Season 2, we caught the premier of Season 3 last Tuesday (January 6th - 8/7c on Fox) and I love that my husband is totally hooked, even telling us that we will have to wait to watch the show all together when he goes back to work in a few weeks.
Meeting the kids in the first episode I must admit I'm somewhat missing the kids from last season, but I also enjoyed seeing the new personalities begin to shine with the first Mystery Box Challenge. I loved how the kids brought different ideas from the same ingredients with final dishes ranging from entrees to desserts.
Jenna's Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango Mint Compote had me itching to whip up a batch of my own, and Jack's Chard-Wrapped Salmon is tucked away in my mind for a future date. If only I had the recipe... because unlike him it's not something I'm capable of just whipping together like he did.
|Nathan... from San Diego!|
|8-year old Riley... he's adorable! And talented.|
Opening the box we found goodies the treats including a recipe from Season 2's winner, Logan! I almost feel kind of like he and I are cooking buddies... right?? Hot Coco Milk Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies, he's brilliant!
Rounding out our MasterChef Winter Warm Up Box we received two MasterChef Junior Mugs, 4 chunks of chocolate on spoons, and jars of marshmallows, crushed candy canes and caramel chips... all perfect to go with Logan's Chocolate Chip Cookies and warm us to our toes as we enjoy the show.
MasterChef Junior Warm Winter Giveaway
And MasterChef Junior wants you to have a care package too! Together we are giving away the same box of goodies we received to warm you up while you watch an episode of the show too. Here's how to enter:
- Open to residents of the United States only.
- Giveaway ends January 16, 2015
- Leave a comment below with your favorite new contestant, or if you haven't watched the show something you cooked when you were little.
- Please leave an email address so we can contact you if you win!!
- For an extra entry leave a comment below after you Tweet the following : Have you entered Liv Life's #MasterChefJunior Giveaway? #MCJWarmWinter http://livlifetoo.yummly.com/2015/01/season-2-masterchef-jr-winner-logans.html
- For another extra entry pin to Pinterest from this post and leave a comment below telling me you did.
- Giveaway includes: Recipes, two MasterChef Junior Mugs, 4 Wooden Spoons with Chocolate, 3 jars toppings (marshmallows, crushed candy cane and caramel)
|Liv Life's #MCJWarmWinter Cookie Instagram! (Logan even liked my post... now we really are recipe buddies!! @logan.jr.chef )|
Our thanks to the kids of MasterChef Jr. for helping us heal and getting us back into the kitchen!!
Logan's Hot Coco Milk Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies
So... MasterChef Jr. Season 2 Winner Logan and I are recipe buddies!! Well, sort of. Our favorite recipe card in the care package was this chocolate chip cookie recipe. We adapted it to our dairy-free life and omitted the Coco Milk Crumb part, but I have to say the cookie recipe is hands down one of our favorite ever!!
Recipe by MasterChef Season 2 Winner Logan Guleff
Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
1 1/3 cup butter, softened (we used 1 cup Earth Balance)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 oz chocolate chips
1/2 batch Hot Coco Crumbs (we omitted)
Coco Crumb Ingredients
1/2 cup hot coco mix
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp powdered instant coffee
6 Tbs melted butter (I think I would reduce this to 2 Tbs....)
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
To make cookies only begin with step 5
- To make Hot Coco Milk Crumbs, preheat oven to 275º
- Mix together the hot coco mix, powdered milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and powdered instant coffee Then stir in the melted butter and mix until it turns into clumps.
- Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then spread the mixture onto it. Bake for about 10 minutes.
- When it comes out of the oven, melt chocolate chips on top (I would sprinkle chocolate chips over and allow them to melt from the heat). Once cooled, break the clumps apart to form nice clumps.
- To make cookies, heat oven to 375º.
- Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy and whipped.
- Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth.
- Stir in first the chocolate chips, and then the Hot Coco Milk Crumbs, gently fold them into the dough.
- Using a spoon, drop dough onto parchment covered cookie sheets (we used silicone mats)
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.