Friday, September 17, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Cookie with Peanut Butter Chips


2 cups butter, softened
4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 3.9 oz (4 serving) instant chocolate pudding
4T unsweetened cocoa
5 cups flour
2t baking soda
2t salt
10z package peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 375

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  One at a time, add eggs and beat well with each addition.  Add pudding, cocoa, soda, salt and mix.  Add flouur one cup at a time.  Mix in peanut butter chips.

Use a small cookie scoop and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until tops are cracked.  Remove and cool completely on cookie sheet.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pizza Pockets / Calzones

I was looking for a new lunch item for my kids, and made them some pocket pizzas.  Because, cold pizza is ALWAYS a good meal.  But, pizza is expensive!  And, I used this really cool pocket meal thing I just ordered from Avon as well. 

It was a HUGE hit with the kids, and I also made some for me for work.  I brought one in to my friend, and she claims the bread was so heavenly it has divine restorative powers.  Hmmmmm.

2 T yeast
2 T sugar
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 t salt
2 T italian seasoning (I love pampered chef's!)
2 T garlic powder
6 cups flour

Disolve yeast and sugar in warm water in mixing bowl.  Add seasonings, oil, salt and flour a cup or so at a time until dough is well blended.  Allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.

1 lb italian sausage
1 can spaghetti sauce
Mozerella cheese, shredded

Brown sausage, drain.  Add sauce to blend.

"Toppings" as desired
Endless ideas!  I even found some mini pepperoni!
I LOVE black olives and mushrooms
Best part - you can make each kid their own special blend.  YEAH!  Everyone gets the pizza they want.

Putting it together
Take balls of dough, depending on the size of calzone you would like to make.  Roll out to about 1/4" thick.  If you're going to use one of the pie molds (which the kids love) use the cutter side to cut the two pieces, then place one on the mold, fill will sauce mix, cheese and desired toppings.  Place the other piece of the dough over then seal closed.
Or, rolling into a circle, fill will sauce, cheese and toppings, fold over and seal.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool on cookie sheet, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Capturing August Photo Winners

Well, I only had three people enter my photo contest.  And while I admit I'm a little sad, I decided that each of these three is going to win a prize!  So, if you're not local to me, then I need you to email me your mailing address and I will be doing some baking this weekend with a goody package made just for you!

The winners are:
I chose this picture from the ones she submitted because I agreed so much with her caption. She said it best when she said "Doesn't every parent love to see such expressions of joy on their child's face and hearing their squeals of laughter?"  This picture truly captures the fun and spirit of their excitement and enjoyment in the month of August, 2010.

She submitted some amazing pictures documenting her journey's in August.  However, I happen to know the subject in this one and know just what a triumph it was for both her, her team AND their manager for him to allow them a rainbow mohawk for accomplishing a goal.  Rock on!

Submitted by the one person I haven't ever actually met, she captured some amazing pictures and now I feel both a kinship to her, as well as a desire to visit where she lives!  With a true love of history, this picture captures the idea of so many memories, stories, and also a striking image that something that once used to be so vital for the existance of a community can easily fall by the wayside.  So many lessons to take away from this picture.  I love it!

Thank you all for your entries!  Stay tuned later this week for September's contest!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Season of Celebrating

September is my birthday month, and I'm planning a big party to combine sharing this with a housewarming at the new farm.

As I was thinking about it, I wanted to find a way to use the celebration time to share with others the many blessings my life has brought me.  After pondering a few ideas, I came up with this one.

I want to collect items to donate to my son's special education classroom to provide tools specifically for the increasing number of autistic spectrum students. 

There are two ways you can contribue. 
  • Item Purchase - I have created an Amazon wish list and you can select something in particular that you would like to donate.  Purchase it and it will be shipped to me.  I will collect all items and bring them into the school.  (I will be sure to post pictures).  AUTISM WISH LIST
  • Donation - You can make a donation of any amount.  This amount will be directly used to purchase items from the autism wish list.  DONATE HERE
Please note - I am not a non-profit organization and these donations will not be tax deductable. I am simply a mom wanting to find a way to give back and support the schools that have so well supported my son.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crabmeat Artichoke Dip

This is one of my favorite appetizers to bring or make for any gathering.  I usually double it, because it always goes quickly!

1 8oz package softened cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8oz package imitation crab meat, chopped
1 cup parmesean cheese
1/2 cup sliced green onions, with tops
1t lemon peel
1/4t pepper
1/4 cup chopped red pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Blend together cream cheese, mayo and garlic.  Add chopped artichokes, crab meat, parmesean cheese, green onions, lemon peel and pepper, mix well.

Bake 25-30 minutes (45 min if doubled) or until a golden brown around the edges. I usually use a deep, round stoneware pan for this, you can use a variety of sizes, etc. The thicker it is, the longer it will need to bake.

Sprinkle with the pepper and additonal green onions.  Serve with crackers, pita chips or fresh bread.

This is also good toasted on an open face sandwhich, with lots of extra cheese sprinkled on top.  (Oh, I love cheese).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

August Photo Contest Submission Guidelines

I hope you were better at taking pictures last month than I was.  I admit, I just got overwhelmed getting the kids ready for school and the end of summer craziness.  I do want to applaud your efforts for any attempt that you made!

Here are the updated contest submission process and guidelines.

1) Become a fan of my Facebook page by clicking THIS link and then the 'like' button.
2) Upload a picture on the Wall like this:
3) Once the picture is uploaded, click on it and it will take you to the picture. 
4) Click "edit caption" and include the following information (this is your submission form and MUST be included)
  *  Date taken
  *  Subject(s) of the picture
  *  Why this represented your day
5)  Cross your fingers for good luck!

  • Pictures must have been taken in August of 2010 by you
  • You may enter up to 5 of your favorite pictures of the month
  • Deadline to submit is Friday, Sept 10, 2010
*Note* By submitting a picture you are giving me the right to use the image on my website, blog and facebook page.

Winner will need to provide a physical mailing address within one week of annoucement and will receive a gift basket of some of my favorite goodies!

Looking forward to seeing all of your great entries!