Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cookie Recipe Three Ways!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
Espresso Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Raisin

This recipe is very versatile. I use this basic recipe for many kinds of flavors of cookies. I will share the three listed. To change up the recipe it is simply leaving out the chocolate chips and adding nuts or half and half of chip and nuts. Try butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips. The options are endless!!
Basic Recipe for Chocolate Chip (Makes about 30 cookies)
1 C softened butter
3/4 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz.)

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
In a separate bowl measure out flour, baking soda and salt using a strainer to shake all through as to mix well. Measure out the oatmeal and set aside.
With the electric mixer on add the flour mixture a little at a time until all is used up. Scrap down bowl.
Add the oatmeal and the chocolate chips and mix by hand with a large wooden spoon. Place by rounded  Tablespoons onto an un-greased cookie sheet or use parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them. At 10 minutes I check frequently as this batter can go from not done to burnt in just the matter of a minute. When they look golden brown take them out and leave on the cookie sheet for a minute as they firm up as they cool.  Transfer to cooling racks.

Oatmeal Raisin
Same basic recipe except don't add the chocolate chips. Add 2 cups of raisins instead. Also add 1 tsp. of cinnamon. Everything else is exactly the same.

Espresso Chocolate Chip
Same basic recipe except now add instant espresso coffee. You can find this right in the coffee isle at the grocery store. The brand is by MEDAGLIA D'ORO. It has a green lid. Add as much as you want. Don't forget this is coffee and these cookies will give you a buzz!! I add 1/2 of the 2 oz. jar for each recipe. Then I measure out half of the bag of chocolate chips plus two cups of chocolate covered espresso beans. These are found at Trader Joe's. Chop them up...but leave one whole for the middle of each
 cookie. They bake up pretty much the same way...keep an eye on them!  These are great for all of us "COFFEE LOVER'S" 
I use a combination of gluten-free flours to make them gluten free as well!!

I got this cookie recipe from my daughter a few years ago. I have never used another recipe since. I just keep tweeking it and changing it up. Chopped cherries and macadamia nuts make another good one!! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

We woke up to a crisp Fall morning. The forecast predicted rain for the day which made the clouds a perfect setting for the sunrise. When my husband opened the blinds he shouted out my name to come see the sky! I ran to the window and then ran for my camera! What an awesome way to start my Thanksgiving Day!!

My table. The white china was painted with gold 
and then fired in a kiln by my husband's
mom when she was in College back
in the 1930's. I don't have a complete set, but it
was still nice to use what I had. 

The food was good but the company was GREAT! My three granddaughters had lots of fun! They enjoyed the appetizer buffet table and hours of fun playing together. My oldest daughter was enjoying her Thanksgiving Day with her husband's family in the Southwest so we got on the computer and did a video chat with them. A shout out of "THANKS" to the inventor of this feature!!!  Then the whole family joined together and  played a game called Apples to Apples.  We had a blast! My daughter made her amazing pumpkin pie. Actually, it is the crust that is so amazing. I could not partake because of my gluten allergy but when I was cutting into it I could almost taste it. I did make myself a gluten-free pumpkin dessert with a crisp-like topping that did satisfy my need for pumpkin pie and was also mouth-watering! I enjoyed making memories with my family today.

My three granddaughters.

I have so much to be thankful for. My family is number one on my list. God has blessed me abundantly and my heart is very THANKFUL to Him.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trip To Deception Pass

Fun in the sand.

My daughter and my son-in-law brought their canoe.

Enjoying the view.

 Stopping to take a photo!

The beach is covered with driftwood.

My granddaughter beach combing.

Yummy smores.

I LOVE sunsets!!
I took several photos that evening.
Here are three of my best.

Deception Pass is GORGEOUS!!! It has both pine trees and the beach. I am a beach comber by heart. I have many collections from the beach which include shells, rocks, driftwood and beach glass. My granddaughters also love beach combing. We were there all day and into the evening. After the Bar-B-Q we made smores. Fun, fun, fun with my family!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ohio Zoo with My Sister and Family 7-11

My two nephews enjoying the fish!

This was far away...I zoomed in and got a good one of this Bald Eagle.

All that my little niece wanted to do was 
to go see those elephants. That was her only 
mission for the day.

The kids loved the monkeys. 
The monkeys loved the kids!
The monkeys went wild playing tag.
The kids laughed themselves into a frenzy!!!

This polar bear was a "BIG" ham!! He entertained us for a very long time.

My little niece loving the fish!

Hands on!

It was so hot the day we went to the zoo. Despite the temperature being over 100, we had a great time! 

The Garden Nursery 7-11

We spent the day at this nursery with my daughter
and her husband. I love walking through a nursery
on a sunny day. 

I love these blue glass topper's.
They have pole's attached to stick in the
ground in your garden.

I want this old bike in my garden!!

Where I Live!

I love the way the sun is reflecting on the water.

I took this one very cold and stormy morning. 
I had to bundle up with a scarf, gloves and a hat that 
morning.  It was in the 30's!!

There is a lot of driftwood on the shore where I go. This
is what is left of a tree stump that has been
slammed with the waves. Look closely to see the
rocks that were driven into it by the crashing waves.

The shore of this beach I go to is covered in rocks.
I took my friend Mary here to collect some
round smooth one's for some art projects she
was doing. 

Gorgeous Day!

This is from a cliff looking down between the trees.
There are about 200 steps down the side of a hill to get to
the beach. We go here to pick blackberries in season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Trip to Seattle

Look closely right next to the large white building on 
the right side. There was a Spanish ship in the harbor
the day we were there!

The first Starbucks.

They sale bunches of fresh cut flowers inside and 
tables of crafts and art. Fun!

Purple potatoes

Standing under the Space Needle
Every time I have ever seen the Space Needle in a movie or television show I have always wanted to go up in it.  I finally got my chance. From the top there is a 360 degree view of all of Seattle. I got a little woozy from the slight swaying, but it was worth the view.  A Spanish ship was in the harbor the day we were there.  
Pikes Market was our next stop. It is famous for throwing of the fish. The very first Starbuck's is also there. It is an open market with freshly cut flower's, crafts, shops, produce and lot's of food vendor's. I recommend making it a must see when you visit Seattle. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles

My niece looking at the Hollywood sign

The sky was clear except for a little smog along the skyline and the sun was warm as we walked up the hill to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The parking lots were full so we decided to park down the hill and walk up. I had been here a couple of times in my life but it was the first for my niece. My sister and her four kids joined me in California for a vacation. We did Disneyland and Tom's Farms and the beach together. Good times...good memories.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Visiting in Oregon

I walked several miles down this road.

I love taking the train to visit my best friend Mary in Oregon.  The photos are from a walk that I took out in the country country living!!! It was brisk but sunny and very good for the soul!