Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's me again!

Hey guys, I know it's been a long time! I'm still here, but life always gets so busy, and all I want to do when I get home from work is make dinner (not even make it sometimes!) and sit on the couch and watch an hour of TV. Lately, I am so tired I start falling asleep around 8:30, which is too early to go to bed! So I make myself stay awake until around 9:30 or 10, and then it's actually a normal hour to go to bed. Exciting huh? On the weekends, I am usually doing all my errands, like grocery, laundry, cleaning the house, and now that it's warm - mowing the lawn!

We bought our first house last August, and it's been SO nice to have a big yard for Wyatt, more room, a bigger kitchen, and privacy (not hearing your neighbors every time they come home). Having a garage is pretty awesome. It's all the things we didn't have for the last 8 years in an apartment that are amazing to have. So I am just enjoying living here and trying to decorate and make it feel homey, slowly but surely. 

There are some things we still need to do, like paint the whole inside of the house, before I can hang pictures, but we'll do it eventually. It's a lot more to keep up with than an apartment, so things take a lot longer to happen. One thing I'm trying to learn about is gardening, but I have a black thumb... I think that's what you call it. So I am not the best at keeping plants alive. I also wish decorating came easily to me, because it's hard to decide what will look good in a house before buying it, and matching everything. It kind of gives me anxiety! But I am slowly getting it decorated in here.

I've baked some things here and there in my new big kitchen, including these Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies from Sally's Baking Addition. If you like maraschino cherries, then you will love these cookies! We were talking about renovating the kitchen this summer, which would be awesome since it's a little old and outdated. But that might have to wait until next summer, so I'll make do until then.

I am pretty excited that it's finally warm outside, although this weekend it's been raining and in the 60s! But it will be warm soon....

Okay, I'll leave you with some crazy sleeping Wyatt pictures in his favorite spot, and this picture of Wyatt when he graduated from his obedience school class. Can you believe he sat there with all those other dogs so calmly? It's amazing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Oatmeal Cranberry-Orange Cookies for the FB Cookie Swap

This is my 3rd year participating in the Great Annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I love that the organizers make it super simple for people all over the country send cookies to each other, plus it's a surprise what cookies you end up getting! That makes it even better. I always love tasting other food bloggers treats after just reading about them all the time!

I wanted to make oatmeal cookies, but add some ZING to them. I remember buying these orange flavored dried cranberries from Trader Joe's a while back, so I was pumped when they were still selling them. I think cranberry orange is a flavor that people either like or don't like, but I really like!

Every time I make cookies for this cookie swap, the first batch doesn't look as pretty, so I'm glad that I have to make like 3 batches so I can give my best looking cookies to my 3 matches :) 

I also experimented with weighing flour for one batch and measuring by scooping flour for another batch. I think the scooping flour batch turned out better, which is the opposite of what people normally say! I just need to figure out how to convert recipes that only list cups as measurements.

I received some delicious and cutely packaged cookies from Susannah, Cherie, and Anne. Thanks ladies!! They were mighty tasty.

I am just so glad to be able to participate again this year. It was the only cookie exchange I did this year, so it was extra special.

Oatmeal Cranberry-Orange Cookies

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
8 ounces butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbls honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup orange flavored cranberries, dried (I got mine at Trader Joes, or you could soak Craisins in orange juice as well)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast chopped pecans on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Let cool.
In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together: oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add honey and vanilla. Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix just until ingredients are incorporated. With a spatula, stir in dried cranberries and pecans. Use a cookie scoop to put onto lined baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until they no longer look wet. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.