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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cookie Recipes: Oatmeal-Raisin

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!  Ours was really nice--we were very busy.  We spent a day at the beach and then I got to surprise my friend, Jennifer, at her baby shower.

As promised, I have some recipes to share with you today!  Again, the two cookies types of I made were oatmeal-raisin and chocolate chip cookies.  Today, I'll share the oatmeal-raisin recipe. 

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies (Betty Crocker)

Prep: 15 min
Bake: 9-11 min per sheet
Yield:  Appx 3 dozen

2/3 Cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soada
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3 cups  quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins, chopped nuts or semi sweet chocolate chips, if desired (I only desired raisins)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Beat all ingredients except oats, flour, and raisins in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon.  Stir in oats, flour and raisin
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 9-11 minutes or until light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

I must say, that I was amazed at how wonderful these tasted.  Oatmeal-raisin cookies are my all-time favorite cookies and I didn't realize that I was capable of baking some that tasted so good!  When I was younger, my brother and I would go to the grocery store and get our favorite oatmeal-raisin cookies to indulge in...these reminded me of those cookies!

I hope you enjoy as much as I did...or we did.  I forgot to tell you that they were a HUGE hit at the event we went to!

Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Dozen Desserts


Check this out!  Look at all of those pan edges and corners to make lots of tasty, chewy brownie corners.  Obviously I'm not the only one on this planet who loves brownie corners.  Has anyone ever seen this before?  I know I haven't.  I have a sister who I think would love this!  If you click on the "Source" link below the picture, you can find out where you can get it.  I really think this caught my attention because I've been baking a lot lately.

For some reason I caught the baking bug this week.  I haven't baked this much since high school--I guess a little more free time will do that for you!

What was on the baking menu for this week?  Well, we waited a little too long to eat a few bananas.  In my brain, brown bananas + free time = 2 dozen banana bread muffins. Yeah, 2 dozen!  Thankfully, my husband took those to some guys at work.  I was so relieved he did that so they wouldn't sit in our kitchen just calling my name!  Well, a couple of them got my attention before they left the house.

Then a friend asked if I could bring dessert for a large group event this evening.  I was trying to think of something I could make that a lot of people would enjoy that I wouldn't have the chance of ruining while transporting it.  Cookies!  I made 2 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies and 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  My culinary guinea pig, AKA my loving husband, gave them 2 thumbs up!  Although, I think the chocolate chip cookies could stand to have a little more "chew" I think they turned out pretty well also. 

2 dozen muffins and 5 dozen cookies.  I think this puts me up a huge notch to becoming more domesticated!

I'll share some recipes next week, so keep your eyes open for them!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

First Time Salmon

I was lounging by the pool one lazy afternoon with my friend and we were discussing what we were going to make for dinner that evening.  *Side note...I feel so weird saying that.  I rarely ever "lounge by the pool"...end side note*  Anyway, my friend mentioned salmon as a dinner option and I confessed I hadn't, yet, conjured up the courage to try that one.  I love salmon, but I've never made it on my own before.  I've tried all sorts of other fish--just not salmon.  Well, I did it.  I cooked salmon for the first time!

There's an amazing fish market about 2 miles from my house so I headed there to pick up a few fresh salmon fillets at a really decent price.  I seasoned the fillets with salt, pepper, basil, and a light vinaigrette mix and stuck it in the oven to bake.  A bit later...ta-da!  The salmon was ready to plate and serve. I complimented the salmon with a special rice dish and some steamed asparagus.  

Sorry this picture is absolutely terrible.  I was in a bit of a rush.  My husband and I were a little hungry and anxious to try the meal! 

Was it a success, you ask?  Yes!  I will be trying this one again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Help Needed...What Color?

Last month, I found this mirror at a thrift store and bought it for $3.00.  I'm trying to think of a good color to paint it.  Any ideas, thoughts, support?

Friday, July 15, 2011

What One Dot With a Tail Can Do


Oh boy, did I need this laugh today!  I've been doing a lot more writing lately; with more writing comes more editing--LOTS of it.  I'm the kind of person who likes to check, re-check, check the re-checked, then re-check the re-checked that I checked before...and on it goes.  It can be a bit much at times.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the weekend and to giving my brain a bit of a break :)

Happy Friday!!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My New Place of Residence


Hello, my name is Kirsten and I live in the grocery store.  I feel like I should be introducing myself this way.  I've been to the grocery store almost every other day this week!  Alright, so that may be a slight exaggeration...but not really.  I underestimate the amount of food needed to sustain my husband and myself for a week.  When I lived alone, I knew exactly how much I should buy and cook to make it last for a week.  Now, I'm just confused.

I need to learn how to cook for more than one person and make those meals stretch...& stretch looong.  I knew the food situation would be tricky with my husband--not because he's a picky eater, but because leftovers hardly stand a chance past the next meal.  I'm actually really flattered that he loves my cooking and doesn't hesitate to dive right in.  But I like to make good use of my time and running to the grocery store every other day just isn't cutting it anymore.

I did receive some training during a brief "internship" when I stayed with my sister and her husband for a couple of months after she gave birth to their twin daughters.  Cooking for 4 adults (including my mom) was much different than cooking for just me.  But there's something really different about it now.  I think it's because there was that two month block of time while he was away for his training and I kind of forgot how to make meals last for more than one person.  Anyway, it's time to get out of that mentality and it's time for a new strategy!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Before and After Pics the Master Bedroom Project

Okay, so I finally get to share my before and after pictures of the master bedroom project!  I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but I kinda fell off the radar and didn't have the chance to post them. Remember my idea board and budget limit post?  My budget limit for this project was $50.00.

Here's a before shot of the bedroom.  Not a bad job by my husband :).  But the way the bed was situated didn't allow much light to come through the window nor did it give ample space to make use of nightstands on either side of the bed. I asked if he'd mind if I changed some things up and he told me to go for it...so I did!

With a little bit of a "domesticated" touch, I moved the bed away from the window to allow more light inside.  I also spruced up the dresser a little bit to add some color to the room and I put a mirror we already owned in the corner for a little extra flair and depth.

There was a huge open wall in the room that I wanted to make use of--it was just calling my name!  

I brought the bed away from the window & put it on the big open wall.  You may remember that I loved the idea of hanging pictures above headboards.  I printed some wedding pictures off and hung them above the bed.  I'm a huge art fan, so I put some pieces I already owned on that wall as well.  There was just too much room up there not to do it.  

I bought a couple of small lamps to put on the nightstands & used a couple of extra throw pillows from our living room.

And one more before picture...

 Do you notice anything about the "After" picture below?  Maybe the piece hanging on the wall?  It was my thrift store treasure that I found a few weeks ago!

My good friend, Chrissy, recommended that I paint the room since paint can always have a huge impact, but I just couldn't bring myself to put paint on the walls in our current home since we'll be here for less than a year.  I had the same thing cross my mind when I thought about putting curtains up. I was tempted to buy a new comforter set, but that would've taken me way outside of my price range, and I own a couple of nice ones that are tucked away in storage right now.  At the very least, I should have displayed the patterned side of the comforter--whoops!  Oh well.  Let's tally up the cost and see how I did sticking to the budget!

Lamps: $9.99 each x 2 = $19.98
Lamp Shades: $7.99 each x 2= $15.98
Picture Frames: $1.00 each x 4= $4.00
Pictures Printed=  $15.00 

TOTAL = $54.96

Not too bad.  I was only over by $4.96!  I think I could have cut back on costs by finding a better deal on getting the pictures printed and looking for better deals on lamps & lamp shades.  Either way, this project is complete.  On to the next one!  

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Back!


Hey Everyone!

I'm looking at the date today and looking at the date of my last post.  Holy cow, where has the time gone?!?  A couple of weeks ago my husband got back from two months of military training.  It was tough to see him go since we only had 2 weeks together between my arrival from NY when I got to finally live with him.  Although I found a lot of things to keep my busy/entertained while he was gone, I missed him a ton!  But wow how time flies when your husband is home from training!

So I have a few posts burning holes in my pockets that I can't wait to share with you this week.  One is the unveiling of the before/after pictures of the master bedroom makeover.  You may remember me sharing my idea board and budget limit in a previous post. If not, check it out!  I've also been trying out a lot of new recipes that have been huge hits in our home--can't wait to share them all with you!  I'm now a housewife with a husband in the house again!  A lot has changed and I have a lot of posts to catch up on :).

Until next time,

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