Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies



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I just wanted to share this flat & crispy chocolate chip recipe with you. I prefer a more soft, thick, bakery style cookie. Landon prefers the flat and crispy kind. I have to admit…these are pretty good. I kind of felt like I could eat more because they were so much thinner than my normal cookies. ha ha. Behind this jar of cookies is my new favorite kitchen tool. Thank you mom and dad for the ipad! I am loving it using it OFTEN!


Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 egg & 1 yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips or M&M’s (semi, dark or milk…your choice!)


Preheat oven to 325.


Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly. Mix the sugars and the melted butter. Add the eggs slowly and mix. Add vanilla.


Sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate.


Drop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 11-14 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.



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Edible Pineapple Flowers


Martha Stewart….you are so clever. I loved this idea for cupcake toppers. Aldi had their pineapples on sale for $.99! I was so excited to use half of my pineapple for these flowers. I whipped up a batch of hummingbird cupcakes and topped them with the pineapple flowers. The only thing I did different was place them in muffin tins after they were finished in the oven to get the cupped flower effect. Go HERE to make these beautiful flowers!

Hot Cross Buns

Our family enjoyed Hot Cross Buns for breakfast this morning. It is an old English Easter tradition that I have always wanted to try. I saw them on The Pioneer Woman’s site a while ago and knew that was the perfect recipe to start out on! It is her cinnamon roll base (YUM) filled with cinnamon and raisins. It is pretty tasty! Go HERE for detailed instructions. Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! Happy Easter!
Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients:
For the buns:
2 c whole milk
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 c flour
1/2 c (additional) flour
1/2 t (heaping) b. powder
1/2 t (heaping) b. soda
2 t salt
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c raisins (i used a little more….we like raisins)
For the egg wash:
1 egg white
splash of milk
For the glaze:
1 egg white
powdered sugar
splash of milk
Instructions:

Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.

Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.

Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)

Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees

GLAZE

Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.

Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

ICING

Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.

Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.

Low Fat Crunchy Granola



I decided to fill my cookie jar with something healthy this week. The cookies just kept calling my name, and I needed something guilt-free to snack on. I LOVE this granola recipe…it is super simple and quick to make. It is also very customizable. Just add your favorite nuts in place of the almonds. Add dried fruit, toasted coconut or dark chocolate chips after baking. Mmmmm. It is a great, crunchy topping for yogurt, salads or ice cream! This is a recipe for a small batch since I am the only one who ever eats granola around here. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
Cooking Spray
2 c rolled oats
1/3 c brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 T water
1 t vanilla
1/2 c almonds, or your choice of nuts
Preheat oven to 275. Lightly spray your baking pan with cooking spray.
Combine the oats and nuts in a large bowl.
Microwave your brown sugar, water and salt in a microwave safe bowl for one minute. Stir in the vanilla. Pour on top of the oat mixture and stir until the oats are covered.
Pour onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Blessings

The last few months have been a stretching time for our family. There have been many different circumstances that have occurred that have caused me to question God. Why have the girls been sick for the last 3 months? When is our house going to sell? Why does my family and my closest friends have to live across (or OUT of) the country? The Lord has really revealed to me through these questions and through my discontent, about how little I trust His goodness and grace. His word promises me that he will withhold NO good thing from me. His word promises me that HE has a plan for my life…plans of GOODNESS…of HOPE and a FUTURE (Jer. 29:11). I have been so anxious about seeing our house sold. That may, or may not be God’s plan for our lives right now. I have to trust that whatever the outcome, that He is in control and is to be glorified. I have to think on TRUTH. I am just praying that I can live our Phillipians 4:6 in my life right now. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

I just love the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. Every time I get in the car, I pray that it will be on the radio. About a week ago, Landon’s mom gave him the song on a CD to practice for a special. So now, I just listen to the song over and over to my hearts content. Every time I hear it I cry….and not just cry…but BAWL. I’m sure the other drivers on the road just think I’m a crazy, weepy lady….I don’t care! This song reminds me of God’s goodness and love. If you haven’t heard it….go listen to it HERE.
“Blessings” by Laura Story
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,
It’s not our home
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

TEN months

Lily & Lauren at 10 months

My sweet Lauren

My sweet Lily!

Where has the time gone? My girls have gotten so big…all 3 of them. I can’t believe Lily & Lauren will be 1 in less than 2 months. If I think about it for more than a minute, I start to cry. I know that every stage of their lives are sweet, but I just love to hold and cuddle my sweet little babies. I am desperately trying to enjoy every single minute in our very fast-paced lives!

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing


I just wanted to share my favorite salad dressing with you! I eat salad on a daily basis…and I never get tired of this dressing. It is SO easy and really compliments a fresh sumer salad. My usual salad consists of Romaine, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mandarin Oranges, Feta, Grilled Chicken and Granola or sliced almonds. Hope you enjoy!

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 c mayonnaise (regular, lower fat, fat free)
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 c sugar (or splenda or stevia)
1/8 c white vinegar
Poppy Seeds

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until smooth!

Enjoy!