Winter Break

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter break has officially begun. The kids at school have been so excited these last few days. It has been almost impossible to get them to sit in their seats long enough to get anything done. It is so nice to have this time off. Tomorrow we will be going to visit my nephews and help them make cookies for Santa and give them their gifts.

Oh yeah, did I mention the cabinets are in? Ryan, his dad, and his brother installed them this weekend. We still have some work to do, like the molding and kick plate. We will be ordering our counter top on the day after Christmas because they are running a sale.

We are getting there. I tried another cookie recipe that went over well. I tried two actually, but Ryan said the other ones tasted like dog treats!:) I think I used too much flour. I didn't realize until after that the recipe said to spoon the flour into the measuring cup rather than pack it in. Oh well, they looked cute.

The other cookies turned out delicious. They are Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Cooking Light. They are not too peanut buttery, which I like. Ryan liked them a lot too. The favorite so far is still the Molasses cookies though. I'm making more tomorrow.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies:


3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in mini chips. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

128 (32% from fat)
4.5g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.2g,poly 1g)
Kathy Farrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2008

It's Beginning...

Friday, December 19, 2008 look a lot like Christmas.

I got a surprise in the mail yesterday. Thanks to Robin..........

.........he's mine

The cabinets also arrived this morning. Guess what we'll be doing this weekend:)

One more (beautiful) thing before I go. Check out Yulia Brodskaya's work.

photo from here
Have a great weekend!

Recycled Paper and a Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I mentioned last week that a friend at work was coming into our classroom to teach a lesson on paper making using discarded materials. It was meant to be a fun, creative way of teaching the kids about recycling and conserving natural resources. Well, she came and the kids had so much fun. They each got to make their own sheet of paper. She gave up a lot of her time in the classroom and at home setting this up for the kids. As a little thank you, I used her paper (the flower and lining of the box) to create a little box containing a thank you and some chocolates:)

We finally got our tree last night! It has been raining a lot here lately. We have been trying to pick a dry night to get our tree and last night was the night. Now it feels more like Christmastime around here. Tonight we will decorate it and wrap some presents. I made dinner (if you can believe it) so that we will have more time after Ryan gets home to relax. The cabinets come tomorrow for the kitchen and I am really excited to see them.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Decorations

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can you believe I am just now hauling up the Christmas decorations from the basement? With all of the drywall and floor finishing done, the dust cleaned from every surface in the house, I can finally get to it. We don't even have a tree yet! I started out this season strong, even had a few gifts in October . Then, just that quickly, I was way behind. Oh well, I'll just get to enjoy the tree well into January:)

Avast Ye!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A pirate birthday is in the works for a good friend of mine. I have some chocolate and vanilla cupcakes in the oven, nothing fancy. I am in love with baking lately. Can't seem to get enough of it. Cupcakes and chocolate coins will be her pirate booty on her birthday tomorrow. And since I had to just about slap her hand away from a cupcake I had a few weeks ago, I know she will like this treat!

Learn some pirate slang!

A Perfect Friday Night

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hanging out with Ryan, drinking a glass of pomegranate wine, looking up songs we like on youtube, and making a pot of meatballs and gravy for a late dinner:)
Have a great weekend!!

Bad Dog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The floors are in and sanding and finishing them tomorrow. They look awesome. Ryan blended them into the hallway and did such a good job.

This is what I came home to this afternoon. Ryan had left a bag of peanuts out and Lady thought that meant they were for her:) I really can't complain though, she is such a good dog.

Not Your Traditional Christmas Colors

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kristina's color challenge this week is full of beautiful, pastel colors. I thought of my Bazzill Bling pastel card stock. Since I still need many cards to send out this Christmas, I decided to try these non-traditional colors for that purpose. I know what my mom would say, "Blue is not a Christmas color", but I have to disagree. I think they came out lovely.

A few more cards I made using Kraft card stock that I will forever have in my stash. Love the stuff.

Tomorrow, a friend of mine at work and I, will be teaching the kids how to make paper with recycled materials as part of a lesson on conserving our natural resources. I am looking forward to it!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The cookies came out so good. Ryan and his dad loved them! (I had no idea ground clove was so expensive)

First Snow

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We worked on the floors all day yesterday. We hit a snag that held us up a bit, but we finally came up with a plan that worked perfectly. All I'll say is that nothing in this house is level, plum, or square:) (you can see the paint color here too) Ryan's dad came to help today which gives me some time to get some laundry done and try the molasses cookie recipe. The dough is in the freezer now.

By the time we stopped working, last night, it was snowing! Lady really needed her walk since we had sort of neglected her all day. Sometimes she is so puppy-like. She loves to hop around in the snow.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Molasses Cookies

Friday, December 5, 2008

photo from

A new recipe to try. Ryan really likes molasses, so I thought I'd try to make these molasses cookies for him. I'll let you know how they turn out! The kitchen is painted!! I decided to go with Pale Bamboo from Behr. I love the way it turned out. We are going to start putting in the hardwood floors tonight. I'll post updated pictures soon. Here's the recipe. Let me know if you try it.

4 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Cooking spray

Combine brown sugar and shortening in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Cover and freeze 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°.

Place water in a small bowl. Place granulated sugar in another small bowl. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip one side of each ball in water; dip wet side in sugar. Place balls, sugar side up, 1 inch apart, on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information

66 (27% from fat)

2g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.5g)








Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2005

Fun In The Snow

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I was remembering, today, how much fun my brother and I used to have playing in the snow. I don't even really remember it being cold, just FUN! My mom would be at the ready to trade our wet, snow clumped mittens for a new pair fresh from the dryer. Then, when we had played all afternoon, we would come in and watch TV under the blankets, in our long underwear and drink hot chocolate. Those were some fun days, better yet if it was a day off from school. I made this explosion box album to fill with pictures of a day like that. It's in my Etsy shop.

I hope we get some snow soon!

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