Congo Bars

Happy Monday! Just sharing a recipe for Bakerella‘s Congo Bar’s with y’all! If you haven’t tried it yet, please do. It is delicious. It is quick, easy and tasty. The only change I made was the baking time and temperature. Go HERE to see her original recipe. Have a great week!

Congo Bars (bakerella)
2 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c butter, softened
1 lb brown sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
bag of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts or M&M’s..mak your own version!
Grease a 13×9 pan. Set the oven temp to 325.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
In a another bowl cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time mixing on low between each addition. Add the vanilla.
Slowly add the flour into mixture until well blended. Stir in the chips.
Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes. Just watch until it is golden brown and the middle is set. She bakes hers at 350 for 30 minutes. I just like mine this way because the edges stay soft and not so well done.

Famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry for the lack of recipes lately! Things have been very busy around here! I tried the New York Times Cookie recipe a couple weeks ago. I have been itching to try this recipe, and was NOT disappointed. Let me just say this…IT IS AMAZING. It wasn’t easy just letting the dough “sit” in the fridge for 36 hours. I was very tempted to take a bite here and there. It was definitely work the time and waiting though. These cookies were perfect. I didn’t get a very good picture of them, but they are about the size of my hand. Soft in the middle and full of chocolate chips. I used bittersweet like the recipe called for…I LOVE dark, rich chocolate. If you prefer something milder I suggest using semi-sweet or a mix of the two. Hope you have time to try this recipe soon….it is delightful!
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
2 cups minus 2 T cake flour
1 2/3 c bread flour
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c plus 2 T sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet disks, at least 60 percent cacao content (or use semi-sweet or dark chips)
Sea Salt (optional for sprinkling on top)

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugars for about 5 minutes until very light.
Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently still in chocolate pieces. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 minutes. Dough can be used in batches and refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop 3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet (6 to a sheet). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. You can also make these smaller…just use a cookie scoop and bake 10-12 minutes!
Pull them out of the oven and enjoy a HUGE, warm cookie.

a crazy roller-coaster ride

Last wednesday I lost my wedding ring. We tried not to focus too much on finding it until after the girls’ birthday was behind us. We have turned the house over several times since then with no luck. I love my ring…most of all the sentiment behind it, and hope it turns up in the move. Thank goodness for such a beautiful picture our photographer took at my bridal portraits so I can remember it.

We signed a contract on our house Tuesday night! Praise the LORD!

After much praying, searching, comparing and VERY late nights we signed a contract on the house we have had our eye on for months late Thursday night.

Last Friday my baby girls turned ONE! We had a great time celebrating!
Last week we were all holding on for “dear life”! This week we are still trying to take everything in that took place last week. The house that we are in a contract to buy is our dream house. We would love to live in it if God sees fit. We know if it is not HIS perfect will for us, He will take it away. This house has such a neat story that I will share with you all sometime. All the inspections have been completed and we are waiting for everything to fall into place! Please keep us in your prayers as we are scheduled to close on both houses July 8th!

Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Fresh Blueberries. I love them. I eat them in my salads, oatmeal and by the handful. I added them to a brown sugar oatmeal cookie recipe that I love and threw in some blueberries and white chocolate chips. I love the juiciness that the blueberries bring to this cookie!

1/2 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c oats
1 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 c blueberries
1 c white chocolate chips
Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar.
Gently fold in the blueberries and chips.
Drop by tablespoon onto lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown.

Paula Deen’s Favorite Chocolate Pie

I just love my Paula Deen Chocolate Magazine. I have made several things and they NEVER FAIL! Best thing about this pie is there isn’t a pound of butter in it…that makes it healthy, right??? I had a frozen pie crust and a tub of cool whip that were taking up too much room in my freezer….so I decided to make this pie! It is cold, smooth, creamy and CHOCOLATE! It was a hit at our house and I wanted to share this easy recipe with you!
Paula’s Favorite Chocolate Pie

1 refrigerated or frozen pie crust, baked
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/8 t salt
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 c milk
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use semisweet if you don’t have bittersweet)
1 container of cool whip (i used lite!)
Bake the pie crust as directed.
In a large sauce pan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Add to the sugar mixture whisking until smooth. Bring this to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly (YOU DON’T WANT SCRAMBLED EGGS!). boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, whisking until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the crust and chill for 4 hours. Top the pie with cool whip and sprinkle some cocoa powder or chocolate chips over the top! Enjoy!!

just a year ago…

Brooke couldn’t wait to meet her “babies”

Oh this was about 2 days before I had the babies. Ready to POP!
Our little family of THREE!

One of the happiest moments of my life…meeting #2 & #3
Just a year ago I was anxiously awaiting the date of our scheduled c-section set for June 10, 2010. The week was filled with trips to the doctor, special ultrasounds, and visits to the cancer treatment center for vitamin infusions. I spent a lot of time laying in bed and floating in the pool to keep those girls baking as long as possible. We tried to spend as much time with Brooke before we rocked her world by adding TWO babies to our little home. I remember just crying on our bed with Landon the night before the big day. I was feeling every emotion possible…I was excited, fearful, nervous, anxious, and relieved we had made it so far. Let’s just say my pregnancy was so physically painful I did not take any pain medication stronger than tylenol after my section. It just didn’t seem like anything in comparison to the previous 36 weeks. Every minute of those 36 weeks was completely worth it and forgotten when I heard those little cries in that operating room. It all seemed like such a little sacrifice for such a BIG blessing.
Today….almost a year later I am in awe of how I can love 3 little girls SO much. They have each brought such joy to our lives. Parenting has shown us how inadequate we are without the Lord’s strength. He has provided for our every need and has given us the strength and love to get through each day. We are excited to celebrate this first year that the Lord has graciously given us with our sweet little girls.

Party Planning…Bittersweet

Every time I sit down at my desk to craft something for Lily & Lauren’s party I just can’t start it. I usually just cry. Ha ha. I will blame it on the weaning…these hormones are out of control. I am usually WEEKS ahead of planning any sort of party…even the little details. I know I am not saying good-bye to the girls….but I feel like I am saying good-bye to the sweet baby stage. I have gone into their rooms every night to just hold them while they are sleeping. Instead of crafting and cleaning, I have been playing with them during the day. Right now I have 6 big eyes staring at me while I write this, and 4 little hands throwing cheerios all over the floor. I am trying to hold on to every minute…
Random fun fact – Over the last 358 days we have used approximately 5,475 diapers. You are Welcome Huggies.
On the other hand…I am VERY excited to celebrate their first year with us. I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that we have TWO babies. Two babies that sleep, eat, giggle, play, get in trouble and GROW together. As we say “good-bye” to the baby stage we say a big “HELLO” to the toddler stage (times two). Oh my is all I have to say to that.
Landon and I feel so blessed to be parents of 3 wonderful little girls. We are thankful for the opportunity God has given us to be parents and never expected 3 years ago that He would bless us with so many sweet little girls to share our lives with.