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The Great Cookie Experiment: Week 3

DS1 chose today's cookie recipe.  When I couldn't find Toll House's mint and chocolate chip mixture anymore, I decided to give the Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips a try.


I will probably try them in this recipe, one that we loved.  For today, we used the recipe on the back of the package.

Andes Creme de Menthe Chunk Cookies

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package (10 oz.) Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
2 2/3 cups sifted all purpose flour

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.  Stir in Andes Baking Chips and then flour.  Chill approximately one hour in refrigerator.  Measure out approximately 1 oz. of dough.  Form ball and slightly flatten.  Raise oven rack one level above middle and bake on non-stick baking pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.
Yield:  about 4 dozen cookies

Ratings:
Me - A, just a little bit dry, but I can probably remedy that by reducing the flour ever so slightly next time?
DS1 - A, liked them!
DH - A-, good with a glass of milk.

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Friday Favorite: Java


A hot cup of coffee mid-morning is one thing I can't seem to give up.  I've been trying to cut back on the caffeine, though.  Lately, I've been mixing just a tiny bit of this Eight O'clock Hazelnut into my decaf. (also Eight O'clock) and it's delicious!  I'm not big on flavored coffees, but this is just the right amount of extra for me!  Hazelnut or vanilla have always been two flavors I don't mind (as long as they're not in the form of the sugary syrups).  DH and I have tried different coffees over time and have found we really like this brand!  No more Folgers.  I do like getting some organic coffee from a local coffee shop once in a while, but I usually pick some of this up when I'm grocery shopping since it means one less stop on my errand list!

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Livin’ Out Loud

Life has been loud for me lately and I've been feeling the need to find some much needed quiet somehow.  This afternoon, after a rainy, stay-inside kind of morning, I somehow managed to get all three DS's to take a nap at the same time!  We've had a couple of late nights in a row and they add up for our boys over time.  Today, with its rainy disposition, is a great day for a nap!  (Now, how come I can't seem to convince myself to take one?!)  I squeaked out a quick, easy card.  Nothing outstanding, but a card, nonetheless.  Creative therapy is the best!  :)

I added sparkle to the wings with my Spica pens to give it a little extra pizzazz, but my photo doesn't show it very well.

Supplies:
Stamps - Unity (Quiet Essence)
Paper - Paper Trey white CS
Ink - SU Basic Black
Accessories - Spica pens (clear, gray), Copic markers (W7, W9, Y11, Y13, Y15, 110)

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Happiness is…

...beautiful voices singing beautiful music.

...an afternoon nap.

...photography that tells a story and makes you smile.

...the funny conversations of children.

...bright, cheerful colors.

...a gentle breeze on a beautiful day.


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The Great Cookie Experiment: Week 2

Another batch of cookies has made its way into the freezer today.  It was my turn to pick a new cookie this week and I chose some with toffee bits since I do enjoy toffee now and then.  They turned out chewy and soft, which I like, but these won't be a part of my recipe book.  They were worth a try!

Brickle Drop Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1-1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) Heath Bit 'O Brickle Toffee Bits

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.
2.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl until blended.  Add eggs; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended.  Stir in toffee bits.
3.  Drop by heaping teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool slightly; remove to wire rack.  Cool completely.
Yield:  About 6 dozen cookies.

Ratings:
Me - B, not very flavorful other than the pieces of toffee that you happen upon with each bite.  Might have been better if I'd dipped it in coffee?!  :)
DS1 - B-, okay enough to eat an entire cookie, but wouldn't make them again, if given the chance.

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In Stitches

What a day!  My shoulder is sore tonight from a minor excision that I elected to have done this morning and I forget about it until I'm lifting DS3 onto my hip or reaching overhead.  Two weeks and then I'll go get the wonderful stitches out.  Always a good feeling to have those gone!  :)

We've had some wonderful company the past couple of days and it's been nice to be unplugged a bit from the computer!  I did manage to stamp a couple of Father's Day cards this morning, though, when I realized that, if I was going to get them to their destinations on time, I'd best be getting them in the mail today!  Oh why do I procrastinate so much?

I used this week's Sketch Challenge sketch over at Splitcoast Stampers to help me along today!  A nice, easy sketch that yielded a result I'm happy with.


Supplies:
Stamps - Paper Trey (Warm Happiness, Pond Life sets)
Paper - SU Peach Parfait, Chocolate Chip CS, Basic Grey DP (Mellow), Cosmo Cricket DP (Wanted)
Ink - SU Peach Parfait, Chocolate Chip
Accessories - SU Chocolate Chip marker (faux stitching), foam squares (popped up the main image panel)

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A New Week

What a wonderful way to start a new week!  Today's weather was absolutely beautiful and we took advantage of it by going on a family walk this afternoon.  I think a lot of people had the same idea because we couldn't find a parking spot where we usually find plenty of them!  DS3 is teething again and is a bit cantankerous lately, so we headed home afterward to eat supper and get him to bed.  He missed his morning nap this morning too, so that added to his complaint list.  :)

I played along with today's Featured Stamper Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers.  There are so many talented individuals over there that it's a bit overwhelming sometimes to pick just one card to CASE for this challenge!  I love to gallery gaze, though!  I haven't made a coffee or tea themed card recently, so thought I'd make one today!


Supplies:
Stamps - SU (Tiny Teacup)
Paper - SU Basic Black, Basic Gray, Real Red, Paper Trey white cardstocks
Ink - SU Basic Black, Basic Gray, Real Red
Accessories - red gemstones, baker's twine, foam squares (popped up the cut out main images as well as the entire main gray rectangle), Cuttlebug embossing folder

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The Great Cookie Experiment: Week 1

I've been wanting to try some new recipes this year so that I can add some variety to our cycle of family recipes.  It seems like we're beginning to eat the same things over and over again!  Time to mix things up a bit!

Since our cookie recipes seem to consist of chocolate chip, peanut butter or sugar (& the many variations thereof), I'm going to attempt to try a new cookie recipe every week for the rest of the summer.  I'll bake a dozen and then the rest of the cookie dough balls will go in the freezer for when we have company or want some fresh cookies without messing up the kitchen!  I'll share.  I promise.

Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups (10 oz. pkg.) Reese's Peanut Butter Chips

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.  Stir in peanut butter chips.
3.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes.  (Do not overbake; cookies will be soft.  The will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.)  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.  About 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Reviews:
Me:  B+, liked the chewiness and the peanut butter chips idea with chocolate, but I think I'd rather have real peanut butter with my chocolate!  :)
Kids:  A-, liked the peanut butter chips a lot, but not the chocolate cookie so much.

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Beautiful Gray

Today is a quiet day on the home front.  DH left early this morning to take a class he's been wanting to attend for a while now.  I'm glad he got the opportunity!  A DF and I always take one Saturday per year and have a Girls' Day Out, so I find myself wishing he could go do something for fun some Saturday and enjoy a day to himself doing something he likes to do for fun!  Guys need a day like that now and then too, you know!  :)  He's been under a bit more stress than usual at work lately, so this is the perfect time for him to take a break!

It's a gray day today with temperatures quite cool for this time of year, but I'm not complaining!  Love being able to throw on a sweatshirt in the middle of June!  In honor of the color gray, I made a gray card this morning.  I've always loved Stampin' Up's Basic Gray, especially paired with white!


Supplies:
Stamps - Hero Arts (Dandelion), SU (Short & Sweet, sentiment)
Paper - SU Basic Gray CS, SU DP (Patterns Pack II)
Ink - SU Whisper White
Accessories - SU white ribbon, gemstone

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