Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

When I am able to be home when my kiddos get home from school, my youngest daughter loves coming into the house to smell something yummy and 9 times out of 10, it is a variation of this cookie recipe. I have made it with every chocolate chunk or other chip variation you can think of but today I made them with chocolate and peanut butter swirled chips (because they were so cool looking!). I love drop cookies because they are so simple to make and they always bring a smile. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Please note that I try to use local Vermont products when possible - you will see the Vermont products that I used in parentheses next to the ingredient.

1 cup butter (Cabot preferred)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg (Shadow Cross Farm preferred)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur preferred)

11 to 12 ounces chocolate chips or coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or any type of chip you like!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chips.

2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons (I like to use a cookie scoop - it is one of my favorite kitchen tools) 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use parchment paper - it's the best and less clean up!) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I have adjusted this time to 12-13 minutes but you should use the recommended times from the recipe and adapt according to your oven). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

slightly and lovingly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow and Simplicity

This morning I awoke to our youngest daughter, Samantha running around the house with definite excitement in her voice. It had snowed for the first time this season in our quaint little town of Fletcher.

There's definitely something magical about the first snowfall of the season. It makes everything feel just a bit more cozy and makes you want to make a yummy casserole that will warm your family's tummies and put a smile of complete joy and satisfaction on their faces. So....that is exactly what I did! I threw together a very comforting Shepherd's pie - definitely not the fancier version, just my plain old hamburger, onions, corn and potato. Very plain, very delightful.

I find that most of the time it's the simple things that reap the best rewards. I strive for simplicity in my life and I truly find the most pleasure in those moments.

Winter is creeping in...keep it simple...cozy up with the family and enjoy every sweet and simple moment!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Picking picking in, that is when you have three kiddos and 2 of them are teenagers! We purchased 2 giant bags to go apple picking and it probably took us a whopping 15, maybe 20 minutes to collect enough apples to fill those bags.

We went to the lovely and quaint, Chapin Orchards, which is about 10 minutes from our home. Last year, we decided to go apple picking in mid October, and when we got there, they were done with apple disappointing. So, I promised my girls we would make sure to go earlier next year. I can't believe it's already next year! Time flies when you are a busy you all know. Well, we ended up picking out some pumpkins as well and I later went out to Morrisville to a lovely little shop, Bailey House and picked up some mums to complete the traditional decor for the front porches (we actually have two due to a recent addition of a mudroom - so worth it!!!!!)

This picture is of our youngest daughter, Samantha. In this shot, she is trying to pick an apple with the help of her father. I can't remember if I took this picture or not but either way, I thought it was a great shot and wanted to share it.

Until next time...Happy