Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sparkling Wine, and A Duck Dynasty Chia Pet

This weekend has been an eventful one with a couple holiday parties, great friends, white elephant gift exchanges*, awesome food and many drinks.

(*Side note: Did you know that they make Chia Pets with Duck Dynasty characters? That’s the gift we ended up with at one of the parties. Just a warning, don’t be surprised if that present gets re-gifted.)

At the party last night, I wanted a bubbly drink to be festive. I opened the Cavicchioli 1928 Sparkling White, which was given to me to try. It is an Italian sparkling wine, but it’s not Prosecco. This wine is produced from 100% Malvasia grapes in the Modena region of Italy.


This very aromatic bubbly tasted just like it smelled: light, sweet and fruity. Personally, I thought it was too sweet for my taste, but I think most crowds of women would drink this up like it was going out of style. (Price range $12-15)

I capped off the weekend by baking my grandma’s one and only chocolate chip cookies that I’ll be taking to our Christmas Eve get-together. These cookies have been a traditional Christmas staple in my family for years. Christmas isn’t Christmas unless my corn is mixed in with my mashed potatoes, and I have a couple of these cookies for dessert!

I know a lot of people who would like to have the recipe for these cookies, so I’ve included it below. Since I’ve started baking these, I’ve modified the recipe to include more chocolate. What makes these cookies so moist is the French Vanilla instant pudding.



  • 1 cup butter Crisco (I modify and use 1 cup of unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small pkg French Vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp boiling water (I just use luke-warm water, and don’t really measure)
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 (12 oz) pkg chocolate chips (I use Nestle Toll House Chunk Chocolate Chip)
  • Olive oil spray


  • Turn on oven at 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, mix together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
  • Add eggs to the mixture and stir.
  • Then, add the package of French vanilla instant pudding, vanilla extract, boiling water, soda salt and flour. When you add in the flour, I recommend mixing in one cup at a time to make the dough more manageable.
  • Add in the chocolate chips. If you like nuts, you could also add those at this time.
  • Grease cookie sheets with olive oil spray, roll dough into small balls, place on cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy these cookies with some bubbly and Christmas music for the perfect holiday pairing!

All and all, it was a festive weekend. Oh and by the way, Carolina Panthers just made it into the playoffs, first time since 2008. That made the weekend even better!


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