30 December 2009

Cookie Recipes

I have been told that I am one of the few people my friends know that still make cookies for Christmas. It is fun to make cookies with my children and it is a learning experience for them. So here are some of the recipes I used to make cookies this year:

Cowboy Cookies (I got this one at a cookie exchange for the Girl Scout leaders)

Beat 1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Crisco
Add 2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oatmeal
small pack of chocolate chips

Spoonfuls onto cookie sheet
Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes (maybe less)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (I have had this recipe for so long I don't even know where it came from any longer)

1 cup butter, melted 1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar 6 oz chocolate chips
2 eggs 1 cup nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Beat melted butter until homogenized. Add brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla and blend well. Add salt, baking soda, flour and mix well until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by teaspoon full onto cookie sheet lined with brown paper. Bake in 350 degrees oven for approximately 9 minutes.

Sugar Cookies (I got this one from my mom)

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

Sift dry ingredients together. Add shortening. Mix with a fork. Add unbeaten eggs and vanilla. Roll out very thin on floured board and cut with cookie cutters. Decorate tops if desired with colored sugar or nonpareils. Bake in a moderate oven of 375 degrees F for 8 minutes. May ice with colored icing, if desired.

No Bake Cookies (I got this from my friend Nancy Morgan)
1/4 stick butter (2 Tbsp)
2 cup sugar (1 cup white and 1 cup brown)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk (I use Soy milk)
Bring the above ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly, turn off and let cool one minute, then remove from heat. Add 1 cup Peanut Butter and 2 1/2 cups oatmeal. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool. Add oatmeal to the heated ingredients first and then the peanut butter.

Neiman Marcus Cookies (I got this from an email. My mother made them for my wedding reception and I made changes that I liked. The changes will be in italics.)

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
5 cups blended oatmeal - I don't blend it
3 cups chopped nuts (optional)
24 oz chocolate chips
1 8 oz Hershey bar - grated
(I use a mixture of Dark Chocolate Chips, White Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch chips, Milk Chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips in place of the grated Hershey bar and the straight chocolate chips)

Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender until it is a fine powder. Cream the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Add this to the wet mixture slowly. Add chocolate chips and Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on 375 degrees F. This recipe can be halved.

Peanut Butter Cookies (This is another recipe I got from my mom)
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt

Mix together 3 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda and salt and set aside. Thoroughly mix first four ingredients. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Stir in peanut butter. Add remaining ingredients a little at a time. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes.

I also make Buckeyes (those are the peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate) and brownies for Christmas. Then I give these to people as an additional part of their present. These cookies do not take a lot of time, but they mean a lot to the people who get them.


Photo updates

My in-laws, husband and children. The whole clan, minus one (my youngest sister-in-law)
My brother-in-law. It looks like he is trying to take a photo, but he is actually looking at photos of his daugher. This is his first year without her. His ex-wife had her for this Christmas, he is supposed to have her next year.
My nephew loves his cousins (my girls). He plays with them nonstop when they get together. When I was their age, my older male cousins would hide from us and refuse to be around us.
My youngest sister, and her dog with my girls. My daughters love their aunts, uncles, cousins, but it seems like they never get to see them.
This is the hat that I finished for my neice. She likes the color purple and I really like this pattern. It is from Wendy Knits book. It is a very simple hat and fits my daughter's head perfectly and since my neice is only 6 weeks older than my daughter, it should fit her well also.
This is the photo of my girls with Santa. The girls couldn't wait to get at him and my youngest even sat on his lap this year. Last year, she wouldn't even get close.

27 December 2009

Santa, Christmas and Family

It has been a busy 4 days. Let me say, Happy Birthday, Margaret. My friend, who is also like a sister to me has her birthday today.

Now onto business. My DH and I took our DDs to see Santa. We put a wreath on my husband's family plot at the cemetary and then went to another cemetary to find my family's stones and make sure they were okay.

On Thursday, I made 4 batches of cookies: Peanut Butter, Cowboy, Chocolate Chip, and Oatmeal. These were added to the presents to share. My brother-in-law's were opened by everyone else and eaten before he even had a chance at them. Poor guy. He is really sweet.

On Friday, Christmas day, we went to my mother, my friend (that I call mother) and my mother-in-law. Poor lady thought I was upset with her. Not sure why I would even consider such a thing. When we told her where we were and what we were doing she understood our lateness. But we helped her out as soon as we arrived and supper was served as usual.

My other brother-in-law came into town. It is so good to see him again. He is looking good. He got the chance to visit with his neices and he is going to a football game on Sunday. He should have a good time. We shared photos.

My DDs all got Children's Dictionaries. My middle DD even started using hers to look up words.

I made many dishcloths to be given as gifts. I even gave one to my brother-in-law who is in visiting. He had not received one before and so he was saying that as a blanket it was small. My husband let him know that he would be envied because I have a hard time keeping any for myself since every time I get one finished they fly right out the door.

I also finished my neice's hat. Now I only have to finish her penguin, her blanket, her scarf and her clown. She needs lots of knitted love. We don't get to see her very much and she is so sweet. I may have to teach her how to knit. For now, I will continue to teach the neighbor's children and my children. I am in the process of teaching my youngest DD to tie her own shoes. She accomplished it once, but then stopped.

The girls are so intrigued with their gifts, it was hard to get them to do anything else, yesterday. We should be up for resting today after church. We will have to see what the day brings. Have a happy Christmas season (I was reminded that the season does not end until Three Kings Day) and a good Sunday.

22 December 2009

Krohn Conservatory and GingerBread Houses

On Monday, the Preschool classes at the school my DD3 attends made "Ginger Bread Houses." This is a yearly event for the classes and the children have a lot of fun. Today, they had pajama day and ate popcorn and toaster pastries and watched a Christmas movie. The children love this and it starts their holiday off with a lot of fun.

On Sunday, we took the children to the Krohn to see all the beautiful plants that they put together for the people. Just gorgeous. I just love poinsettias, but due to cats and children, I know that I won't have any in my house for some time to come. But I can always go to the Krohn and look at them there. Enjoy.

So much to do, so little time

So much has been happening. My DH and I took our DDs to the Horse and Carriage Parade in Lebanon, Ohio. It was wonderful. So many horses and carriages and people really get into the event. My favorite was the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who and the Rein Horse. It was a great day, but sad also. It seems that there had been a fire in one of the barns, many horses perished as well as two men. Very sad. Pray for the families affected.

Then Saint Nicholas visited our girls. He brought them books (they love to read) and a few cars and a Fur Real Friend baby. DD3 is still carrying hers with her. DD1 sleeps with hers. DD2 takes hers, puts it down and walks away and then we go back to get it.

Sick children have been keeping us busy. We spend a lot of time visiting the doctor, just to get a note. Our school district is so strict on how many days a child can miss, but don't want them when they are ill. My children have been so busy fighting me on getting ready, that they have missed their buses and then I have to drive them to school. The oldest and the middle and youngest all start at the same time and are about 7 miles apart school wise. Makes for an interesting commute.

Basketball practices have started. Each girl is on a team and the younger two will play against each other for one game. It will be a lot of fun to watch them play. My older two practice at Urbancrest Baptist Church and my youngest practices at Praise and Worship. This keeps me busy during the week.

While at DD3's practice, I taught a 4 year old girl how to knit. She loved it so much. I finished the item and then gave it to her mom (she is a neighbor and church member). Her mom had even taken a photo of us working on it together. She said she is going to save it in her memory book.

I have been very busy making gifts, but I still have such a long way to go. My family and friends are a true blessing and I am very glad to have them. I just wish I had more time. I feel like I am constantly busy and no down time.

My Girl Scout Troop worked on a Service Project collecting food for the Lebanon Food Pantry. They didn't collect a lot, but the troop is small and young and the day of the collection was very snowy. So I am not worried. They did the service project and they had a good time.

My DH and I took the girls to the Krohn Conservatory. They have an awesome display for Christmas and the girls were able to see a really wonderful Creche. It had live animals and life size display. They had a good time.

My DD2 is upset that I did not attend her school party, but I explained that her younger sister would have to attend and she said that she didn't want me. My DD1 was a little upset that I had not attended her school party, but I explained to her that her sisters would have had to attend and she said she was glad I hadn't come also. My DD3 had her gingerbread making on Monday. She made a cute house. Then when we were home, she ate all the candies off of it.

Last day of school is today. It is going to a be a long 2 weeks of no school. I will have to come up with some interesting ways to keep the children busy until school starts again. McDonald's will only work for so long. The space is smaller and more confined than it used to be so not as many children can play as before. Going to other places have to be economical.

When I get the photos downloaded I'll put up the photos from the Krohn. Such a lovely place. I will also put up some of the photos from the Gingerbread making. The moms that I am friends with and I just put our cameras out and take photos and then send them to each other. We have a good time.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

03 December 2009

St. Nicholas Day and The Horse and Carriage Parade

St. Nicholas day is just around the corner. I am so excited for this day to come. My girls don't really get excited about it, but my oldest girl said she wants to sleep near the fish tank. I asked her why and she says she has to protect it from St. Nick. I said why, she says because he might take it back since they hadn't been very good this year.

Also, Lebanon, Ohio is having their Annual Horse Carriage Parade on Saturday. Keeping fingers crossed that the girls stay healthy. We have yet to see it live.

For those who have little children go to www.northpole.com, your children can write a letter to Santa and play games and read stories and color pages. Very nice set up.

Have a good weekend all.

Wish me luck. I will have 2 extra children in my house tomorrow.