My move to Maine was exceptionally different for me. My work wondrously brought me across this country, LA to Boston, North and South, and everything in between them, and as home base, the State of Texas in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well to which was totally enlightening, exhilarating and fulfilling to me.

With NO limits for adventures and experience in the past 40 years. It expanded my mind and curiosity enormously in cultures, customs, societies, scenery, people, foods {OMG!!!, the foods}, celebrations, living standards, architecture, work developments and many other opportunities that one can imaging and absorb in this country, as well as curating my own PHD in knowledgeable life lessons alone.

Living out of a suitcase, of course, my wardrobe is nowhere near what it should be to be permanent in this State….Mama insisting on bundling up in four or sometimes five layers of clothing just to make it to our next destination certainly baffled and yet entertained me at the same time. Kind of reminded me of when as young in’s, with my little sister Jasmine, [Circa 1960’s], preparing us go out and play in the white winter snow and chilling cold of Canada.

In line with comfort, everyone I encounter, graciously (with excitement in their voices) kept telling me that I would adjust eventually, but in reality, I wasn’t prepared for the 10 or so below we experienced last year’s October-November…or the many inches of snow in October. Our winters in most Southern-Western states are comfortable, 50-55, often into the high 70’s or so, and if it was chilly, just a light sweater or light jacket was needed. In Maine, warming up needs hot chocolate and big warm chocolate chip cookies. Hot chocolate in a mug always had little marshmallows floating around. How much fun was that, and did they completely melt before you scooped them up to eat? Uhh, No!

Let’s talk about the cookies, who doesn’t love a cookie? When your packing cookies, you always have friends….These simple and easy to make just absolutely blew me away!!!… The most amazing taste and texture, perfect distribution of chips….soft and gooey inside, slightly crispy on the outside, rich in taste, and has a hint of chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder. YUMMM… The red food coloring gives the dough a rich and vibrant red velvet color, and the secret for not making a flat cookie is to scoop out a ball of dough, divide it in half and stack it like a small snowman. These will bake into gorgeous round, thick and chewy cookie. You will not believe this amazingness….Happy Fooding!

The Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

12 Tbsp. (3/4cup butter), melted

1 large egg and 1 yolk

2 Tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. red food coloring

2 cups flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 Tsp. baking soda

1/2 Tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat to 350*. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner.

In a large bowl or stand up bowl mixer, beat together, brown sugar, sugar and butter until combined. Add egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and food coloring and mix until combined.

Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined. fold in chocolate chips. Scoop dough into 1 inch balls, and divide in half and stack on top of each other like mini snowman.

Bake 12-14 minutes, or until top looks dry and very lightly brown around the edges. let cook for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack