Tuesday, April 24, 2012

S'mores Cookies

 Sunday we grilled out with friends.  I have really been enjoying the beautiful weather and our pergola!  We have spent many hours outside already.  I was looking for a quick and easy cookie recipe when I stumbled across this one.  I had everything in my pantry, including all the chocolate that was in Brooke's Easter candy stash.  Landon said they were great - except for the cinnamon.  It was a little weird to him.  I thought the cinnamon was unusual for a chocolate chip cookie recipe right AFTER I added it.  I'll leave it out next time.  Brooke had no complaints.  My sweet little girl who had the same bite of chicken in her mouth for almost 2 hours, devoured 2 of these in about 5 minutes.  That girl doesn't eat anything fast.  Hope you enjoy this recipe, as well as many summer nights to come!

S'mores Cookies

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (i used salted and cut the salt in half)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (i will leave this out next time!)
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. 

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon (if using). 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I didn't chill the dough, and they turned out fine!)
Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart.  Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. 

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

I must have been in the muffin mood yesterday.  I made a batch of Nutella banana muffins in the morning for the girls to eat fo breakfast.  While I was in the pantry looking or the Nutella, I found this:

Oh my.  I laid the girls down for a nap, and whipped up a batch of these Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins.  I love having muffins in the freezer for the mornings when I don't have time to make breakfast for the girls.  Here's the recipe...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Baking Bites)
2 1/4 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c brown sugar
6 T Butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c peanut butter (dark chocolate, regular, crunchy)
2 eggs
1 c milk (i used skim and they turned out fine!)
3/4 chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 375.  Line or grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth.  Pour over the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in the chips.

Divide the batter between muffin cups - fill them up to the top!  Add a couple chocolate chips to the top of the batter too! The will dome nicely this way.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back when you press it.  

Cool....and enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Pergola Project

Our backyard before:

 Landon dug up all the brick and we sold it on craigslist.  :O)  Phil, Landon & Derek poured the concrete in that area, and we were ready to build!  

When I say "we" I meant "they".  The only part I had in the project was to pick out the design.  I looked up pergolas on google searching for the perfect one. I fell in love with the pergola pictured below (minus the shutters) and showed it to Phil (My father in law).  This one really caught my eye because of the curved arches. I wasn't sure if he would be up for building it, but he had the plans drawn the next day.  I'm pretty sure ours looks identical, and it also saved us at least $3,000.  

The men hard at work.  

I'm so excited to reveal our finished product!  I can't wait to string some lights and make this a fun party place!  We are already enjoying it  SO much!  A HUGE thank you to Landon's dad and my hardworking husband for putting a huge smile on my face every time I look into our backyard.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Choosing Gratitude


I'm reading the book "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh Demoss for the second time this week.  It is an amazing book, and it is teaching me a lot.  If you have time, you should definitely pick up this book and read it!

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 3:

"Oh Lord, please forgive me for so often being forgetful of your goodness, for acting as if I deserve anything more (or different) than what I have received, for sinfully comparing myself and my blessing with others', for being oblivious to so many expressions of your grace, and for allowing roots of pride and ingratitude to grow up in my heart.

Forgive me for the many times and ways I reflect negatively on Your character and Your goodness, by verbalizing discontentment and murmuring to others.

Grant me a spirit of true repentance and heart that is always abounding, overflowing in gratitude towards you and others."

Wow.  Do i ever need to APPLY this to my life, memorize it and pray it 10 times a day.  When I am cooking for picky eaters, cleaning up after babies who throw their food on the floor, get up several times in the middle of the night to tend to Brooke who is struggling with night terrors, when I feel unloved, when I start to compare, when I feel hurt.  I want to be thankful to God for EVERY situation that He allows in my life.  The ones that I enjoy are the easy ones to be thankful for.  It is the trials that I need to give thanks to Him so that my heart will be changed and I will see that I am right in the middle of His will.

Buy the book here.  I wish I could post everything that stands out to me...but that would be the entire book.  so go buy it...it's a goodie.  :O)