Friday, March 15, 2013

Stress Eating by Elvy Howard

As a few people who know me, know, I’ve been feeling a little stressed lately, due to the, ahem, publishment  (I know, publishment is not even a word) of my book, Love on a Half Shell (I’m supposed to insert a link here to the Amazon page where you can get it. Evidently it’s impossible to not promote yourself enough.)

Feeling the stress of this reality, of having worked most of my life towards this goal, only to find out I am completely freaked out that it is actually happening, has prompted my latest urge to Stress Eat.
I have strategy to not weigh three hundred pounds, and one component of it is, thou shalt not imbibe high-fructose corn syrup of any kind. So, if I’m gonna eat anything like cookies or cake, I gotta make it. 
Another strategy in my plan, if I’m ever so stressed that I actually take the time and effort it takes to make some kind of goody, I’ll also have the time to be smart about it, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (with optional walnuts) is the smart answer. The reason? They are delicious and even I, in a state of being able to eat the entire house, can’t eat more than six of these. Because they fill you up. And you poop good too, a second benefit to counter-act symptoms of highly stressed individuals. 

 So I’m giving this gift to you, anyone else who gets stressed out there. Enjoy!

De-Stressing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking soda (not powder)
-1 tsp salt
-two sticks butter (I use salted), softened
-two cups packed dark brown sugar
-one egg
-one tablespoon vanilla
-two teaspoons vanilla/nut/butter flavoring
-two tablespoon of Cinnamon and one tablespoon of nutmeg
-three and a half cups rolled (not instant) oats (I love the organic brand I get in the bins at Good Foods Grocery)
-one cup of organic raisins and an optional cup of chopped walnuts for people lucky enough to be married to someone who LIKES walnuts.

In your mixer, beat the butter for at least three minutes. Add all the sugar and beat it for at least three more. Mix in the egg, the flavorings and slowly pour in the flour/baking soda/salt/spice mixture.
When all mixed, put in the oatmeal, raisins and optional walnuts. You may need your hands to accomplish this.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Use parchment paper on cookie sheets or on baking pans. Parchment paper is the bomb and if you’ve never used it, you owe me five dollars for telling you about it. Or, you could go to and buy my book instead.

I use the little ice-cream scoop I bought just for this purpose. But you can use your hands to make walnut sized balls you place on the parchment sheet I already got you to buy, and then flatten them out some with the palm of your hand, and bake. 

Here comes the cool part. If you like chewy oatmeal cookies, bake them for around ten minutes until they are very light brown. 

If, like me, you like them crisp, cook them for around fifteen minutes, or until very brown, let them cool for ten minutes on the parchment and then put them on a rack to finish cooling.

You can’t eat over six, I promise. 


Elvy Howard's debut novel, Love on a Half Shell, is available in print and e-book at Amazon, Barnes&, and coming soon to other online retailers . 

Love on a Half Shell
Three parts love, two parts grit...the perfect recipe to save a family.


  1. Aww, Elvy! CONGRATULATIONS! And, deep breath, de-stress. So happy for you on your debut novel and, in typical Elvy manner, even in distress, you've shared something with others. Thank you for the cookie recipe, though I prefer my grapes crushed and fermented rather than dried, crinkly and baked. LOL Though they look awesome good!

    1. Thanks Denise, and I'm with you on the best way to eat grapes.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS on the release of your novel! I say just give in to the high-fructose corn syrup this once, then go back to baking, (and writing the next book.) Oatmeal Raising cookies are my FAVORITE!!

    1. Mine too!If you don't count toll house, sugar, snickerdoodle, and other varieties of cookies. Thanks Sofie - I'm looking forward to meeting you in person

  3. Man, those cookies look good. :-)

  4. You know, it's a rare blog where you can find a good book and tips about pooping better for your health! ;-) Thanks, Elvy!

  5. That's right Tracey! And the older you get, the more these issues mattter (in other words, one day, you'll see)

  6. Yea! Bout time! I have been waiting and waiting for your book to be published! Should be on my Kindle when I get home. And will want my paperback signed by the author. I am so proud of you and you have been so busy with everyone around you. How about sit back with those fermented grapes and take a long awaited and deserved break.