Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I love oatmeal raisin cookies. I also love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! So put them together and you get this delicious combination in a perfect cookie! My daughter will always choose oatmeal chocolate chip over oatmeal raisin, and she claims to not like oatmeal raisin cookies much at all, but these cookies with the chocolate mixed in have kept her hands trying to reach for the cookie container often. :)

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

*2 sticks of butter, softened
*3/4 cup granulated sugar
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*2 eggs
*1 1/2 tsp vanilla
*1 tsp baking soda
*2 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 1/2 cups flour
*3 cups oats
*1 cup raisins
*1 cup chocolate chips

Using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars, until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add baking soda, cinnamon, and salt to the batter, mix well. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Switch to a wooden spoon (or rubber spatula) and stir in the oats. Finally, add the raisins and chocolate chips, and mix well. Bake at 350* for about 8 minutes (using a small scoop) or about 9 minutes if using a medium scoop. When you take them out of the oven, they should look not quite done, just put the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Then remove cookies from the pan onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. Enjoy!

~Erin

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Books...

I just finished a great book. It was called "When In Doubt, Add Butter." I've got to admit, the title caught my attention first, then the picture on the cover. I decided that I wanted to read it before I even knew what it was about. But honestly, can you blame me...???





I was so not ready to let go of these characters when I finished reading this book. I usually get my books from the library, and I still find it strange that when I bring a stack of books to the counter, they just give them to me with a promise to return them without any money exchanged. I am a lover of books, not just reading them, but having them fill my various bookcases, but buying them got way too expensive so now I reserve actually buying books to a select few special titles. This one I was sad to return to the library. I wanted to keep it on my bookshelf. Here is the book description, from Amazon.


 "From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Always Something There to Remind Me comes a delicious new novel about the search for true love and all the ingredients that go into it.

As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.
There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an ├╝berwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.
For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and---oh yes---butter."

Here are some other books that I have read recently and highly recommend... 

"Who Loves You Best" by Tess Stimson

"Still Missing" by Chevy Stevens

"Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris

Now I must find another book to read. Any suggestions??? 

~Erin


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bye-Bye Summer....

My daughter started school this week, which means summer is over, no matter what the calendar, or the weather, say about it. I still can't believe she is officially a 5th grader now. This is the first year that I managed to get through putting her on the bus without shedding a tear. At first, I was happy and proud of that fact, but then I decided that I would feel a little sad over not feeling too sad. I don't try to explain my emotions! Just roll with it....

Here is my girl and one of my nieces enjoying a sunset last weekend...


Sunset-time has always been a favorite of mine. Love it! It's getting earlier and earlier though as the end of the year comes nearer. I can just start to see a slight changing of colors on some leaves. I love the Fall. Football season has started (go Steelers!). Another thing that has started... making school lunches.


My girl bought lunch the first day of school, but this is what she brought to school for the second day. Seems like a lot of bread, eh? At least two of the breads are homemade though, banana bread (in the container by itself which was for snack) and zucchini bread to go with lunch. I am loving the Chobani Yogurt in the squeeze tubes for lunches (http://chobani.com/products/tubes-swirlin-strawberry-banana/), makes it easier and I don't have to worry about putting spoons in her lunch bag and hoping they find their way back home. ;) Another thing I found that I love is these water bottles (http://coolgearcan.com/can_16oz_everday.html). They are super cute, they close good and tight, and they keep the water nice and cold!

Of course, a post wouldn't be complete without some mention of the guinea pigs, so here is a new photo collage that I put together of them...


~Erin