Sunday, March 16, 2014

The best Monster Cookies......EVER!!

The best Monster Cookies......EVER

These cookies are my husband and son's all time favorite cookie, by far.  These are requested for poker night and also to go up to Seattle Pacific University for my son's floor mates.  I originally found the recipe in Gooseberry Patch's 101 Homestyle Favorites Cookbook.  Gooseberry Patch is one of my favorite recipe resources and their 101 Cookbook series is AWESOME!  I have them all and have found so many of our favorite family recipes from them, I highly recommend this series.

OK....back to The Best Monster Cookies....EVER.  This makes a really big batch of cookies so you can either half the recipe or the dough freezes well.  I always like to have cookie dough in the freezer so that when I need homemade cookies quick, I've got the dough all ready to bake.  A lot of times, I just put the dough in a container and then defrost it and drop the dough by teaspoonfuls on the baking sheet.  You can also drop the dough on a cookie sheet and freeze the cookies in individual servings to make taking it out of the freezer even faster.

This recipe is so easy, you just mix the ingredients in an extra large mixing bowl in the order listed.

I always like to get all the ingredients out before I get started and put them away as I use them to help me not miss any ingredients.  

YUM......Peanut butter

and M&M's, the best part of the monster cookie.

Here they are, all golden and out of the oven. I know that monster cookies are normally bigger but I like to have a normal sized cookie so that I can have more than one.  It's one of the many mind games I play with myself :).

Here is the recipe.  ENJOY!

The Best Monster Cookies........EVER!

6 eggs, beaten
1 c. margarine
3 1/2 c. (or 16 oz package) brown sugar
2 c. sugar
2 T vanilla
6 T corn syrup
3 c. creamy peanut butter
4 tsp baking soda
9 c. quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. peanuts
1 1/2 c. candy-coated chocolates

In a large bowl, mix ingredients in order listed.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 16 minutes, until golden.  Makes 10-12 dozen cookies.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


with a St. Patrick's Day Twist

I love any dessert with chocolate pudding in it!  Then add cream cheese and chocolate cake mix and I'm all in.  My husband had poker at our house last night and I decided to make this Chocolate Cream Dessert for the guys.  It was a big hit.

The first layer has chocolate cake mix, butter and eggs in it.  

Cut the butter and cake mix together until it looks crumbly like this.

Then add the egg and mix well.

Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

Here it is, all baked in it's awesome chocolateyness!  Let it cool completely.  When it is completely cooled, it is time to make the next layer which has cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and whipped topping (and food coloring if you like).

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until nice and smooth.  Then fold in 1 c. of the whipped topping and add some food coloring if you like.  I added green since it is almost St. Patrick's Day. I was tempted to put some mint extract in there as well but my husband isn't really a mint fan and I didn't want to ruin the dessert for him.

The I spread the cream cheese mix on top of the crust and refrigerated it for a couple of hours.

Next, I whisked together the milk and pudding mix and let it stand for a few minutes to thicken up and then poured it over the cream cheese mixture.  The last step is to spread 3 (or more) cups of the whipped topping
on the top carefully so that the chocolate doesn't show through. I also put some mini chocolate chips and green sprinkles on the top for fun.  

The nice thing about this dessert is there are so many different variations that you could come up with depending on what flavors you like or what holiday is coming up.  How good would this be in the fall with spice cake as the base and pumpkin pudding?  I saw some instant pumpkin pudding last year, now I know what I would make with it.  Here is the recipe, ENJOY!


3/4 C. cold butter or margarine
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-8 oz. package cream cheese
1 c. confectioner's sugar
food coloring (optional)
4 c. whipped topping, divided
3 c. cold milk
2-3.9 oz. instant chocolate pudding

In a bowl, cut butter and cake mix until crumbly.  Add egg and mix well.  Press into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until smooth.  Fold in 1 c. whipped topping and add food coloring if you would like to add some color.  Carefully spread over the crust and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk and pudding for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes until slightly thickened.  Spread over the cream cheese layer.  Top with remaining whipped topping.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Sprinkle on some sprinkles or mini chocolate chips to make it pretty.  Then cut into 24 squares.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Heart Clothespins


I love doing new things for Valentine's Day.  Pink has always been my favorite color so I love to be able to decorate for Valentine's Day.  I saw a company was selling some clothespins with hearts on them and thought, "I can do that!".  This was a really easy project and I really like the way the clothespins turned out.  The possibilities are endless!  I might have to try some shamrock ones for St. Patrick's Day.

You will need the following items:

Clothespins--any size, I used some medium sized ones that I found at Joann's but regular sized ones would work as well
Package of wooden hearts-also found at Joann's
Red and Pink paint
Wood stain (optional)
Glitter (optional)
Mod Podge

I started by painting the wooden hearts and while they were wet, I sprinkled on some glitter.  That technique was easy and it worked great.

While the hearts were drying, I used a Q-tip to put stain on the clothespins.  Let them sit for a few minutes and then wiped the extra stain off with a paper towel.  So simple.  Then I let everything dry for a couple of hours.

Once they were dry, I put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the hearts to seal on the glitter.  Let them dry another hour and then attach the hearts to the clothespins with a hot glue gun.

The project was especially quick and easy.  I'm looking forward to giving some Valentine cookies with the clothespins attached to some of my co-workers.  That will be another post :).

Friday, January 17, 2014



I saw a hanging globe light on Pinterest a while ago and knew that I wanted to try and make one.  It took some time because I was having a hard time finding a cheap enough globe to give it a try.  I didn't want to purchase a $10-$12 globe at the Goodwill and then ruin it.  Finally, I found an old globe at a garage sale for $1.  I was able to get the lighting kit at Ikea for around $6 and was ready to get started.  I know that you can also purchase the hanging light kits at places like Lowe's, Ace Hardware and Home Depot but they are a bit more expensive.

 This was a simple project that only needed two items, the globe and light kit.  I also needed a box cutter and decorative washi tape.

This is the light kit that I purchased from Ikea.

This first thing that I did was separate the globe at the middle where it put together.  After I was into the project, I realized that wasn't necessary and wished that I hadn't done that.  Good information for next time :).

I traced the light fixture on the top and then used a box cutter to cut out a hole in the top of the globe.  I found that it worked well to score it once and then go back and cut the piece out.  This was really pretty easy since the globe was cardboard.  Once I had the hole in the top, I was easily able to put the light in the top of globe.

Using a longitudinal line as a guide, I cut a larger hole in the bottom of the globe.  This was the first hole I cut and then I realized that not enough light was coming out so I cut around another line.  I put the two parts of the globe together and turned the light on to see if I was happy with the amount of light coming out of the bottom.  I had to tape the bottom and top of the globe back together with some scotch tape which doesn't look great up close but from far away you can't really see it. I definitely won't do that again.

The last step in the process was to take some washi tape and put it around the bottom edge to finish that cut edge.  I used about 6 inch sections of tape and it went on quite easily.  All in all, this was a quick, easy and inexpensive project.  I love the way it looks in my office/tv/craft room.  I am definitely considering making another one to try and sell at the antique store that my bestie, Beth and I have space in.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What will I do with my life?

I am coming to a crossroad in my life.  I have a son who is a sophomore in college and a daughter who is a junior in high school.  The last 20 years has been spent working my life around their lives.  Working only during school hours or when my husband is home, making myself available to help with the activities that they participate in.  In just 18 months, it will potentially be my husband, dog and me in the house while our kids are building their own lives. 

Will they still need us?  YES!  That has been proven the last year while Kyle is in college.  It will just be different, it won't be as much of the day to day and I'm really happy about that.  Our goal was to raise children that would go out into the world and make lives for themselves and be productive members of society. 

With that change comes me at a crossroad.  Do I want to find a full-time bookkeeping job and be out of the house 40+ hours per week?  Can I start a homebased business that will help us meet our goals but not take me out of the house for so many hours out of the week (I will still have a dog at home after all) and give me flexibility when the kids are home ? 

I'm hoping that this blog will help lead me to where I want to be.  Could I blog as a job?  That would be a dream.  To be able to craft, cook and share my ideas with others.  This is the beginning of the journey to see where I will be two years from now.

Here we go.....................