Friday, August 24, 2012

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookie

I may have mentioned before regarding my new addiction.  

Remember these?

yeah. . . those life changing muffins with that incredible dark chocolate peanut butter swirled in?

Oh yeah!  

So, to add to my addiction I made these.
 Guess what.

They look as good as they sound!  I promise.

If I wasn't in the process of making batches after batches of cookie dough for a certain future 4 year old's birthday, I would probably go make some now.

Oh wait, I should probably go make some dough instead of sitting here blogging and getting distracted between Facebook and Pinterest?  Speaking of Pinterest.  Have you checked out my boards lately. . . some super cool things I want to do.  Maybe I will share some of them with you. . . maybe after E's party. . . there's a lot of baking that needs to be done.

See. totally distracted today.  yep.  I think I will leave you the recipe and go make a chocolate cake.    Tomorrow I will make some cookies (let's hope!).

Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies
adapted from here

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed, of course!)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup dark chocolate peanut butter (yummmmy!)

:: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cookie sheet with your favorite lining tool (silpat, parchment paper. . . really, whatever your heart desires to make your cookies not stick).

:: In a mixing bowl, combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla.  Mix well until nicely blended.  Add flour baking soda, and salt.  Drizzle Peanut Butter on the top of your dough and swirl it around with a butter knife.

::  Chill dough for about 15 minutes (although, I think I may have skipped this part).  Roll dough in balls and place on baking sheet.  Using a fork, press the balls down to flatten slightly (It wouldn't be a peanut butter cookie without the trademark criss-cross, right?).

:: Bake 7-10 minutes.  Make sure your cookies rest for a couple of minutes before moving them to your rack.

:: Pour a glass of milk and enjoy a nice, warm cookie.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

some sewing {for Camryn}

I am not exactly sure where August went.  Seriously.  It's already the 22nd and am really getting stressed that in just a few short weeks, I will be the mother of a 4 year old, be starting to home-school preschool, early morning soccer games,  and fill up our calendar with plenty of fall traditions. . . . including pumpkin spice lattes.  

In the mean time, the past few weeks my house has been cleaned, messed up, cleaned, disinfected, and cleaned again.  For the past, 3 weeks someone in my house has been sick.  Miraculously, my husband has managed to squeeze by with out catching any kind of bug entering the house (although he has managed to kill some creepy crawly ones!).  I really want to start September germ-free and healthy. . . we'll see how that goes!

In the meantime, let me share with you a baby gift, I made last month for Ethan and Weston's new little cousin. . . a girl!  Girl things are just so much fun to make and this one was no different.  I found two cute shirts on sale at Children's Place and came home to my fabric stash and created!  

This is my new favorite thing. . . I took the pattern for the applique and backed it with a coordinating felt and made a little taggie with it and filled it with plastic bags.  Super cute. . . and super fun!

Well, I am off to enjoy a few more moments of peace and quiet before the kiddos wake up from their naps.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Banana's anyone?

It's Wednesday.  It's hot (I'm talking so hot my car's temperature reader still says that it's 78 degrees. . . LIAR!).  And banana's just aren't making it long enough.  Really, it's one of the downsides to summer.  Gotta have bananas. . . gotta eat them quick. . . oh wait. . . you can make these:
Seriously.  These just might be are my new favorite muffin.  Yep.  They combine banana bread goodness with one of my new favorite baking/eating products.  Have you ever had Peanut Butter & Co.'s Dark Chocolate Dreams.  Seriously.  Go to Target as soon as you can get there.  It's seriously make a bad day awesome kind of deliciousness.

Okay, here's the recipe. . .

Dark Chocolate Dreams Banana Muffins
Source: gingerbread bagels

1 1/2 cups flour
1  tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp Dark chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter (I used a little more)

:: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

::  Sift dry ingredients together, set aside.

:: Mix together sugar, butter, mashed bananas, and egg on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
:: Slowly add in dry ingredients until just combined.  Remember. .  the more you mix, the tougher the muffin.

:: Line cupcake pan with liners.  Scoop batter into each cupcake liner.  Place 1/4ish tsp peanut butter on top of each muffin. Swirl around with a knife.

:: Bake for 18 minutes.  Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling wrack and indulge with a tall glass of milk.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The carrot seed week

Confession: this post has been loaded for 3 weeks!  Seriously slacking here on this end.  VBS was last week, and honestly standing  out in the triple digit heat all day morning wore me out.  I was in charge of all the elementary games and it's hot here. . . really hot.  In fact, on Friday, it's was supposed to be over 108!    So, I did a lot of vegging in the afternoons while the kiddos were napping.   Okay, so that was a lot of rambling.  Then my wonderful husband whisked me off to the beach for the day. . . I got to wear a sweatshirt. . . AWESOME!  So, I am going to focus. . . finish this post . . and go cuddle with my almost- 4 year old and my feverish 18 month old.

I am really enjoying this phase in life with my boys where I get to use my education background.  It's a lot of fun seeing Ethan's love for books and learning grow daily.  A few weeks ago, we spent some time with the book, The Carrot Seed.  It's a fantastic book based on the simplicity of a little boy planting a carrot seed and everyone telling him it won't grow.  But, despite all the "it won't grow"'s he heard, he kept weeding and watering until he had a gigantic carrot to share.  It's a great book for kids to hear over and over again.  Not only for the perseverance theme but also because it is so simply written and illustrated that it is easy for a preschooler to start retelling the story themselves.

We also added the book, Carrot Soup into our carrot activities.  Lots of fun! We did a lot of art projects as well as reviewing the letter c.  Here are some of the fun things we did this week.

Handprint Carrot: Trace their hand and arm all the way to their elbow.  Then have your child paint it with tempera paint.  You can also paint their arm and hand and do a hand print carrot, which is what I wanted to do, but Ethan wouldn't let me put paint on his hands. 
Baby Carrot Writing Practice: We used baby carrots and practiced writing our C's and our name. 

M&M Carrots: I found the printable here.  It was a lot of fun!  A great way to sort M&M's and a great excuse for chocolate in the morning. 
Carrot Painting:  We painted with baby carrots instead paintbrushes. 
We also painted with Carrot stems. . . If you can't find any at your local grocery store, I found some amazing  Organic ones at Whole Foods!
Word Book Page:  We just started our word book.  So, we glued some construction pieces of paper down to make a carrot and then he wrote the word (I had it written on a wipe board so he could see what it looked like. )
Carrot Muffins:  I will post this recipe soon!  They were good!  
More Carrot Painting

Okay, so those were our Carrot Activities.  We had so much fun. . . I highly recommend it! I hope to be back tomorrow with another blog post. . . wish me luck.


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