Friday, January 13, 2012


Have you ever felt as though you have a secret identity? I do, although it's strange because I never tried to keep it a secret. But I have learned of late that many of you are not aware that I sincerely enjoy cooking and baking. I've always been this way. I remember begging my mom to let me dump in the powdered cheese for mac 'n cheese. Even that was exciting to me. So imagine my surprise when my own sister asked, "When did you turn into Betty Crocker?" I didn't know what to say. What's even more strange, is even though it is a passion of mine, I've never shared it here in my little home in blogland. Maybe that's added to the mystique.

So I am here to say, I enjoy to cook and bake. Yep, that's me. I spend countless hours reading through cooking blogs. Pretty interesting, eh? Now don't be confused. Just because I enjoy it, doesn't mean I'm the best at it. I like simple recipes. Minimal, on hand ingredients. And when I say bake, I mean things of the cookies and cakes variety. I have never tried my hand with anything requiring yeast. For some reason it scares the bejeezes out of me. But it is on my list of things to help me out of my comfort zone and to master. But that's another post.

Now to the good stuff right? Here is one of my very favorite recipes. I've been told these cookies are better than ones purchased in fancy bakeries. You'll find that hilarious when you see how easy they are. Also, I found this recipe in blogland. I have no idea where. I'll try to find it, so credit may be given where due.

Coconut Macaroons

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (14-16oz) flaked coconut
2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets. (And I mean GREASE!) Mix first three ingredients and drops onto cookie sheets. (I suggest greasing up your digits, too before dropping.) Bake 10-15 minutes until edges of coconut are lightly brown. (I like them closer to 15.) Sprinkle with chocolate chips if desired. Or let cool and dip in melted chocolate chips.

Easy right? I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it...but only kind of. :)

*I found it! I can't believe I found the original recipe. So the credit goes to Madigan Made here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Peanut Butter Bars...aka Heaven

Hello there! So there was this one time, that I had everyone I know under my total control. How did I do this? With my magical...Peanut Butter Bars! Actually, they aren't under my control, it's just how I get invited to parties. ;) When I'm invited, they are also invited. After each gathering, I get multiple requests for the recipe. So I figured it was time to share it with the world. You will die when you see how easy they are.

I got the original recipe from a cookbook given to me by my mother-in-law. It was one complied by her work. I love the title, "Miracle of Cooking." Which I guess is fitting considering her work is the surgical unit at the American Fork Hospital. Anyhoo, thanks Teresa Risher for contributing your recipe. I like that all the ingredients are things I have on hand. I did make a few changes to it. I mean, I don't have a jelly roll pan, so I changed the pan size which required changing the cooking time and the likes. I also doubled the frosting. mmmm.... So here is the recipe as I make them:

3/4 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup peanut butter (separated into 3/4 cups)
1 T vanilla
1/3 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

Cream margarine and sugars. Add eggs, 3/4 cup peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Spread in greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. It will be light brown on top and slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. While still warm, spread with remaining 3/4 peanut butter.

When cool, frost with:
4 cup powdered sugar
4T cocoa powder
1 1/2 t vanilla
Milk for consistency (I like a consistency that will be stiff and slightly grainy looking, but do what you like.) Add just a few teaspoons at a time, it can easily be too much, quickly.

Happy baking!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Family Pictures

I am awful about pictures. I take them but never print them. I haven't done any album organizing since Hunter's blessing. That's four years. Sad. At least I have them.... Real family pictures are even worse. Other than our engagements, we have only had pictures taken once. It was with my family, so we just happened to get one of the two of us. I feel horribly for never haven taken any with just the three of us. But we are turning a new leaf. Here they are, our first family pictures in seven years. Let's just hope they aren't the last :D Enjoy!

Here's to getting them into frames!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm getting Whiplash

This binky is actually from the days of Bubba. He wasn't too keen on it because of the little bumpies on the nipple. It's supposed to be good for teething. Yes well, after one or two attempts, it ended up in the toy bin. Now being Coop's domain, can I tell you how much he loves this thing? I swear when he's digging in there, this is what he's looking for.

Yes, it's cute and all. It looks like a gigantic smile. But when it catches your peripheral vision...scary. I keep thinking that he's injured and bleeding. Sheesh, you'd think after the hundredth time of whipping my head around I would know it's just the bink.

I just don't have the heart to take it from him. Oh well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And there is One More

I spend much time in these parts speaking of my wee boys. I don't think I've taken much time to mention my third not so wee boy. Here he is. My Scotters.

Although we started out a little more like this.

I give you permission to laugh at the cheesy background and pose. You may also laugh at our baby fat cheeks. I was all of 20, he not much better at 24.

Full of love and a false sense of reality, this was 7 years ago. A lifetime right? Ha, ok. No.

In those 7 years, we have had our fair share of fun. Countless jobs, college, 4 moves, 2 kids, 3 cars, health scares, and even a layoff or two.

What's funny is I am a passionate person and don't usually have a problem speaking my mind, but I have a hard time putting us into words. Just these few sentences here have made my heart nearly explode and brought tears to my eyes. It has made me pause because my fingers can't put forth-well what that response is all about. It all just becomes cliche. The classic words used to describe the relationship a couple share become hollow and meaningless.

I can give you this...however insignificant these words may seem... Maybe it will somewhat express how I feel and you may understand who he is. If not, that's ok, as long as I do.

At the end of the day, I love how we're just the right heights for my face to fit in his neck. That I never go to sleep without a hand on my hip. He doesn't say a word when I ask him to check the doors for the third time in a row. He works an extremely stressful job with ever changing hours. He knows just how to take care of me when I'm sick (including running to the pharmacy at 2am...again). And oh the way he looks at me with his puppy dog eyes.

He is my Scotters. Maybe that's why I don't speak about him much around here. He's mine and I selfishly don't want to share him.

Big Guy has had Enough

Coop has reached several milestones in the past month. Some of the biggest include crawling, sitting up, feeding himself, and pulling himself up. Needless to say, I've been scrambling to keep up. Both in terms of his safety and my own emotions. With four years between babies, I seem to be out of practice. He appeared to be gung ho for all new things until his first time sitting in a shopping cart. He seems to want no part of it.

He laid his head down with must frustration and sighing, only lifting it once or twice with much coaxing.

His face says it all.

I think I'll give him a break for a few weeks. It looks to be too much too fast for him. Secretly I wouldn't mind a little slow-mo myself. Ok, not so secretly.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is it Everything I Wanted?

Yes, and no. But mostly yes. ;)

Uh, oh... here is someone else being all philosophical about mother/parenthood... uh, no.

I'm not here to analyze parenting struggles and offer suggestions. I'm just gaining my own perspective on my feelings. Right? Right. This is my journal of sorts, remember? I hope that's enough disclosure and prefacing to avoid any and all ugliness.

Moving ON!

A few thoughts...

Motherhood has been what I expected in a lot of ways i.e. lots o love, laughing, playing, crying, cuddling, frustration, pulling hair out, doctor appointments, sleepless night, birthday parties.

What I didn't expect (maybe you did, you're most likely quicker than me) is the tornado of emotions attached to all of it. What do I mean by that? "Let me splain, no there is too much, let me sum up." (Sorry for the quick movie quote, I couldn't help myself.)

The simultaneous emotions in an expected situation. Like pure joy and anguish as you watch your baby learn to crawl. You want to cheer and encourage but yell at them to knock it off and be your newborn again. Or how about getting them ready for school for the first time. Wait, what? School?

Oh, then there's their health. We all "know" there will be illness or heaven forbid something more serious wrong at times. I opted out of the prenatal testing for many reasons. Now having dealt with a more serious issue, I know that was the right choice for me. Had someone told me ahead of time that my son would have seizures, any preparation I attempted wouldn't have made it any easier. (Which reminds me that I've never written an official post about that. I really should.)

I think you get my point.

There is nothing anyone can say or any book to read that explains the emotions. When you look at your child and have a physiological reaction of losing your breath because your love overwhelms you. Or the yearn that turns you inside out while holding your child when they've been sedated. Or the pain of sleepless nights caused not by a crying child, but trying to deal with all the emotions thrown at you.

Now this post is much longer and full of more randomness than truly necessary.

But really, is it everything I expected? No.

Is it everything I wanted? Yes, even if I didn't know I wanted it. The good, bad, ugly, and everything in between. Because it's mine. No one's experience will be exactly like it. I am grateful for it all, yes even the seizures. *cringe* No, I'm not wishing them on him, but it wouldn't be mine without them. :)