Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just one drop of Chocolate can make the world Blossom

I feel like I'm getting a bit lazy... Due to the lack of interest and energy I was experiencing this evening, I didn't want to run any errands for ingredients (or I guess I should say make Richard run for ingredients), so I decided to base my cookie selection off of the resources I had available.

Thursday 3/31

The "Peanut Butter Blossom" Cookie

 I almost always have everything I need to make this delectable cutie and tonight proved just that.
 This morsel has easily maintained it's status in Jeanell's "Top Five Favorite Cookies". I don't know why I put things in quotations or just referred to myself in the third person... I guess I just want you to know how serious I am about those things that I enjoy. :)
This baking session ran quite smoothly, so again, I am pleased to announce, no misfortunes came my way.
I also need to be truthful and tell you that I could probably make this recipe with my eyes closed. No, I'm not bragging, JUST SAYIN'... (I hope you appreciated that one Richard)
I should take this moment to let you know that I didn't arrange the kisses just for the photo shoot. I always do this. Just like I always stack the Reese's Cups. It just makes me feel more organized alright. 
Most often than not, I have leftover dough. I usually can get "70-something" blossoms before running out of kisses, therefore, I allow The "Peanut Butter Cookie" to make it's entrance.
Can I count this as my Friday Cookie?   I'm Weary :)
**Yes Melissa I will send you the recipes, you just let me know which ones you would like.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick and Easy (and don't say "like your Momma")

I had to think of something easy for tonight, due to the fact that I needed to spend most of the evening preparing for a work presentation. I also had to factor in something that might please my "tasters" who have been requesting something with peanut butter, so I decided I'd go with this little mouthful of JOY.

Wednesday 3/30
The "Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup" Cookie 
My Sister In Law Natalie introduced me to this little cookie and I loved it at "first bite".
One great thing about tonight... I don't have to admit any mistakes! :)
 The best dough to use- Pillsbury cookie dough. (you know... the pre-made dough in the tube)
 Just slap the dough in a mini muffin pan, bake, stick those yummy peanut butter cups in after you take your pan out of the oven and....
I know I probably could have given tonight's recipe a little more effort, but then again, somethings gotta give.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Because Everbody Needs a Gopher... Mine just so happens to be my "Pumpkin"

Another first attempt at baking this recipe, and certainly not my first choice to eat.  Thanks to my sissy Rachel I was able to find and jot down a recipe, she also let me call her repeatedly with stupid questions. She is very patient. :)  

Tuesday 3/27
The "Pumpkin Chocolate Chip" Cookie

I am proud to announce that I only had to make one batch of dough. No "forgetting" or "doubling" the ingredients. 

I am not proud to announce that when I did go to mix the ingredients together, I found myself out of FLOUR (a pretty big part of the mix), Unsalted Butter (come on now, who uses this), and noticed that my can of pumpkin was EXPIRED as of April 2004 (hmmm, almost as old as my youngest son).

This is the part in the story when I put my "woe is me" acting skills to use, 
and call upon my personal gopher for assistance.
 Me: Oh great! I am missing like three ingredients for my cookies.
Richard: Do I need to make a run for the store?
Me: (BIG exasperated sigh) No, it's okay, I'll just go. 
Richard: (no comment)
Me thinking: Why isn't he commenting? Can't he tell that I really don't want to go. 
This trick works for my mom.
Me: I'll wash the pan in the sink if you'll go to the store. (it was my night to wash anyway, genius right?)
Richard: I'll wash the pan, and then I'll run to the store. 
-This is why he is my "Pumpkin"-
**Side Note: I did wash the pan. Now take back those thoughts about how mean and needy I am. :)
Needless to say... This is probably my least favorite so far, mainly because I've never been a  big fan.
I was thinking that I've seen a much fluffier looking pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and wondered what I could have done differently to make mine look a little fluffier. 
Is fluffier even a word? Anyway, suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Curse you Cream of Tartar, Curse YOU

I know I've already posted once today, but I thought I'd better get my 2nd cookie up before I begin another busy work week.  

Monday 3/28
The "Snicker-doodle" Cookie

I've had this cookie a time or two, but have never baked the recipe. I was quite pleased with the final turnout, and I only swore a couple of times.
Remember how I don't make mistakes... (or at least take pictures of them)
I just happened to forget the eggs and the Cream of Tartar in the mix the first go around. 
(cue the swearing)
So I dumped the first mix down the garbage disposal and started again.
The second time around, I mixed 2 TBSP instead of 2 TSP of cinnamon with my sugar. 
(cue some more swearing)
Luckily this was an easy fix and luckily I caught it before rolling the balls of dough in it. 
I can only imagine how that would have tasted... Gross!
This cookie has never been one of my favorites, but as I mentioned above. I was quite pleased. 

I've never had a "Snicker-doodle" right out of the oven until tonight.
Oh Mercy, it was WONDERFUL.

"Cookie Madness" and The "Lorraine"

     As of yesterday :) I decided to designate this week as "Cookie Madness", not only in honor of "March Madness" and my love of the time this consumes :) (in all seriousness,  I really don't mind watching the "good" games, and basketball "is" actually my favorite sport to watch on the tele), but to also broaden my horizons with some different cookie recipes.
I tend to stick with making the "family favorites",  so I thought this would be interesting (interesting for me anyway) and who knows? maybe we will be able to add some new favorites when all is said and done.  
(I think I'll still take one or two of the days and make our favorites, just as long as I stick to my goal of a different one for each day)

Okay, so this really doesn't have anything to do with "March Madness", but I thought the title would be fitting just for the mere fact that I really don't have a whole lot of time to spend on baking this week. ( I sometimes wonder why I continue to add unimportant things to my agenda) :)

Sunday 3/27
The "Lorraine" Cookie
I grew up enjoying this cookie thanks to my Grandma Soeldberg, but have not once made it myself. In fact, after many years of telling myself I needed to get the recipe, I finally found it in a family cookbook in my very own cupboard (just yesterday afternoon). :) Go Figure.
  I always wait until the first batch is done (with any recipe) to gauge time, turnout, etc... 
It's a good thing too.... I forgot to put the walnuts in the first batch. 
**Fortunately for those viewing this, I do not take photos of my mistakes. I wouldn't want your perception of me to reflect such non-sense. Hee Hee (I don't like using the phrase "LOL")
and last... The DELIGHTFUL frosting...
There are only 2 left, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Then again, maybe I better go check the outside trash.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Home Therapy

Where to begin? (this seems to be the question of the day for me lately).  Let's rewind to about 8 months ago... August 2010, when after much deliberation which involved a whole lot of prayer, tears and advice, I decided to let the older boys move down to experience life with their dad.  Many of you already know this and many of you are probably tired of hearing about this, but I sure do love and appreciate those that continue to be of moral support to me.

Alright, I promise I'm going somewhere with this...

When I decided to let the boys move down, I didn't realize or I guess I should say, even fathom the mental/emotional state that I would soon experience.  I had this constant feeling of worry and unhappiness.  I felt like a big part of my life was missing even though I knew I hadn't really lost anything. I had this overwhelming feeling of anger. I hated thinking that  because of the distance, I was going to miss out on some of the most memorable moments such as dances, dating, sporting events etc...   I would start to think about some of my more challenging years with 4 kids under the age of 5, driving here, there and everywhere to get them to all the activities they wanted to be involved with. Always working opposite shifts while they were younger so that they would never have to go to a sitter or daycare. The nurturing given and relationships that were developed as the years went forward and the lessons learned through all our experiences, both good and bad.  In my selfish world, I felt everything was UNFAIR!

I share this with you because I realized this was a problem that I needed to fix and quickly. (I was not very enjoyable to be around)

As I started to think about what I could do to better myself, I decided that
First... I needed to not only continue but put a lot more emphasis on developing a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father.  He is the perfect example of love and forgiveness, two areas that I could really use some improvement in.
Second, I needed to re-develop relationships with the people I love and care about and let them help and support me and even more important express and show my love for them.  In other words, my stubbornness needed to make a quick exit.
And last, I needed to involve myself with those things that I enjoyed doing but would always take a back seat due to one reason or another.

This is the part in my story where I would love to say that I've been  "MIRACULOUSLY"  cured.  But I can't.

What I can tell you...  as I try (and TRY is a pretty big word for Jeanell), I am realizing that I may never be able to  fully relinquish some of those feelings and frustrations that exist, but as I am learning to focus on those things mentioned above,  I've started to not only feel at peace but develop a deeper gratitude for...

My Family
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of everyone, but you get the general idea. 
I never have to look far if I need some words of encouragement or a best friend,
My Interests
(I won't call them Talents just yet)
I am always trying to think of different ways to make my house a home.
 So naturally, I am trying to put my negative energy to good use.
I've developed a great love for photography and have enjoyed taking pictures of my babies. 
(and other people too)  :)
I have re-started working on my goal to play (and play well mind you) all of the hymns and primary songs. I have told myself I was going to do this since my teenage years. (long ago)
I am determined to continue my love of decorating for the seasons and holidays. 
(something I failed terribly at in 2010)
I've worked on mingling the OLD with the NEW
(I've loved having actual pieces of memorabilia in my home)
It's also been fun adding some pink, although probably more purple to a whole lot of masculine. 
(I'm not going to lie, this was my favorite project and not just because she's been sharing a room with Dad and Mom for 2 years)
Because of 2 very important men in my life, I've developed a love for running.
(I've only participated in one official race, but am making it a goal to do my marathon)

My Spirituality
Always a work in progress for me, but I love that I can turn to my Heavenly Father whenever and for whatever I may need.
The more I try to develop and work on being closer with him, the more eternal perspective I seem to be gaining. (trust me, I've really needed this)

My Life
I love this kiddos with all of my heart. I want them to make good choices and I want them to be happy. I feel blessed to be their mother and even more blessed because these cute things are mine for eternity.
I love this man with all of my heart and soul.
 He is genuine, kind and loves me unconditionally. 
He has helped me make it through some of my tougher times over the years 
and has become my very best friend.
It is important that you find someone to bring out your better qualities and he continues to do this for me.
I can't imagine my life without him.
So while my therapeutic process might consist of many different people, places and outlets, I am finding that I don't have to look beyond  the comforts of my own home and those things that I have already been greatly blessed with to feel genuinely HAPPY. 

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