Yummmmy Part 1

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'd like to share one of my two favorite cookie recipes. I'm probably going to talk a lot, so if you just want to cut to the chase, the full recipe is at the end of the post. But without further ado, I give you:
Aunt Connie's Glazed Oatmeal Cookies.

My Aunt Connie can cook better than anyone else in my family. She does it all. Cooking, baking, sewing, raising a garden, raising chickens, canning, preserving, crafting, creating.... I want to be her when I grow up. (Except for the raising chickens part.) Anyway, the chances are high that she found this recipe from a magazine, newspaper, church cookbook, or flour sack, but it doesn't matter to me. These are HER cookies, and they always will be.

In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs. I'm not certain what difference it makes, but Aunt Connie says 2 eggs, beaten. So beat 'em.

To that, add...are you ready for this? 1 cup of Crisco shortening (don't worry, there's no butter, but we're not done yet...) and 2 cups of light brown sugar, packed. No. That's not a typo. That's TWO cups of brown sugar. Add 1 tsp of vanilla and cream it all together.
While you're creaming, I'll tell you something my Aunt Connie says: Always keep a stick of cream cheese in the fridge, cause you never know when someone might pop in, have surgery, or die. These things make sense to me, because really, you never know when the situation might present itself where you need to whip up a Dessert. And people popping in, people coming home from hospitals and funerals are all good reasons to whip up a Dessert. To her rule, I add: Always keep brown sugar on hand, for the same reason.

Once you get done creaming, it will look like fluffy yumminess. I attribute this to the Crisco, but maybe it's all because we beat the eggs first.

Now you might want to get out a separate bowl to sift these dry ingredients. Aunt Connie probably does. I, in my haste to eat these delicious cookies, just dump it in the bowl, but Aunt Connie was always getting on me for being impatient when I was little. You need 3 cups of oats, 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda. Combine these in a separate bowl and slowly add them to the fluffiness, or just gradually add them as you see fit. I won't tell Aunt Connie.

Once it's all good and mixed up, cover your bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.

You really must wait for them to chill. And for the record, I like to use Air Bake cookie sheets lined with parchment paper when I make cookies. I'm not sure if Aunt Connie does that or not, but I know she would approve.

Once the hour has passed, preheat your oven to 350* and get your dough out as well as a small bowl. Pour about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into the small bowl. This measurement is nowhere near exact. Just don't overdo it or you'll waste sugar. Something Aunt Connie would never do.

Spoon out some dough and roll it (yes, in your hands) into a golf ball size. Roll the ball in the powdered sugar, and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat until your sheets are full. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Amazingly, the powdered sugar has melted into a yummy glaze. Cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack, or just transfer them to your mouth. These are absolutely delicious when warm.

I told you she's a good cook, that Aunt Connie.

Aunt Connie's Glazed Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: 48 cookies

2 eggs, beaten                               3 c oats
1 c Crisco shortening                 1-1/2 c all purpose flour
2 c brown sugar                           1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla                                   1 tsp baking soda
Powdered sugar                           1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream eggs, shortening, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine with oats. Slowly add oat/flour mixture to cream mixture. Mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour. Roll into golf-ball sized balls, roll balls in powdered sugar, covering the dough. Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes. Cool on sheet 2-3 minutes, then move to cooling rack.

Boxing match

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

DSCN5075The current state of our apartment.

Not really.  They’re all nice and neatly stacked now.  This is just what it looked like after I brought the boxes up from my car and threw them wherever.  Don’t be judgin’.  YOU try to carry 18 boxes up 3 flights of steps in the least number of trips possible.  It was definitely a “ahhh-get rid of them-my fingers are about to fall off-I’m so out of shaaaaape” moment. 

But it made for a dramatic photo. 

Isn’t moving grand?

How to make a little ‘mad money’

Monday, March 9, 2009

I mentioned previously about the UPS man bringing a surprise package for a survey and I said I would explain more about what types of programs I do.  Last July or August I signed up with a variety of different survey/mystery shopper websites and, in the end, MySurvey and BzzAgent turned out to be the best.  I really recommend these programs, especially if you have young children.  It seems they are always looking for moms to join!

I have made about $60 from MySurvey since I started last summer.  It’s not much, but it’s just a little something extra.  Each survey earns points and you “cash out” when you have 1000 points, or $10.  Then about 4-6 weeks later, you get a check!  Occasionally their surveys will offer to send you a sample product to test and take another survey on.  I have gotten two of those so far; one for a microwaveable meal and one for laundry detergent. Obviously, the amount of surveys you get varies with your demographics.  If you have a husband, I recommend using his info as your “primary” information because it seems like the men get more surveys.  Probably because there aren’t as many of them signing up for things like this.  

The other program, BzzAgent, isn’t a money maker, but you can get some free stuff to try and some exclusive coupons.  The only drawback to BzzAgent is that the longer you are a member, the better.  I didn’t get anything the first couple of months I was a member and quite frankly thought it was a waste of time, but over time you earn seniority for product campaigns.  They are awarded on a first come-first serve basis, so if you get invited to a campaign, act fast!  Since last summer, I’ve done two programs with them.  One was for Smucker’s Uncrustables, where I received coupons for free boxes and other cents-off coupons to use or share.  The most recent is the Scrubbing Bubbles campaign, where they sent me a free automatic shower cleaner, $5 off starter kit coupons to share, and the toilet gel thing plus more coupons. 

I’ll share more coupon and product sample resources next week!

The Internet’s Just Crazy Like That…

Sometimes I read blogs and I get lost in BlogLand.  Before I know what’s happened, I’ve added 5 more feeds to my Google Reader.  Those feeds multiply like rabbits, let me tell you. 

When I discovered the world of quilting bloggers, I think it started with Crazy Mom.  I’m not sure how I ended up there, but I think it had something to do with her free motion tutorial.  Then she mentioned someone, who mentioned someone, that ultimately created that ginormous list over there –> on the Blogs I Read list. 

Today I found another, Taylor, by way of A Quilt is Nice.  (See what I’m doing?  I’m secretly making YOUR feed-reader multiply like rabbits…shhh…)  Oh the places you can go. 

Here are just two more things I’m enjoying today--

Rachel Cox has posted some pictures of quilts made for the Mountain Baby Blanket project and I am in LUV with this one:And How About Orange linked to Smashing Magazine’s March wallpaper post. This is now on my desktop:


I just love that little bird.

Except the Lord build the house...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Photo from freshome.com - Upside-Down House in Poland

We have been house hunting for almost 18 months. I'm not kidding. It has been an emotional rollercoaster.

We almost bought a house in January. My first word of advice? Get a home inspection. It's well worth the $400 or whatever the going rate is in your area. You'll see that house in a whole new light. You might even decide to cancel. We drew the line when the inspector strongly recommended a structural engineer. On brand new construction.

Making the decision to plunk down an offer the first time was nerve-wracking. Getting burned and having to start the process all over again was depressing. It was confusing, too.

See, we had prayed about the first house for several weeks and the whole time it seemed God was pointing us to buy it. We loved the house and its location. We were able to negotiate a great price, and would be left with only one month to go on our apartment lease after closing day. It really felt as though God was holding out his hand and saying "here, here's your house." So when the red flags started popping up with the home inspection, we were scared--was this a test? Should we have faith and go through with it anyway? The bottom line however, was that we didn't have any peace about the home until we cancelled and our earnest money was returned.

A few weeks ago we started praying again that things would be clear--where should we live? Should we buy a house or not? Should we not even look in this area? Did God have plans to move us further away?

And then this other house came along.

Just what we wanted. New construction, great floor plan, incredibly reputable builder. And without any fanfare or big displays of greatness, God has quietly moved and caused this purchase to go so smooth and so seamless. We're getting an even better home than the first one. We close in about 21 days and our apartment lease is up March 31st. No overlap. And now it really does feel like he's whispered "Here's your house. I told you I'd take care of it." God does everything perfectly in his own time. Just wait on the Lord!

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:19


Monday, March 2, 2009

Here are a few more pictures....

Toss it up and make...

Quilt Salad!

The strips coming together...

This weekend...

Well, I'm fighting with Flickr. I'm about to break up with him, but this post is managing to work out okay, so, I'll go easy on him for now.

Anyway, this is what I worked on Saturday morning. I LOVE L-U-V this pattern and I L-U-V strip piecing. I put together all of the large strip sets and cut them into 2.5" substrips. It took about 2.5 hours to sew the 7 large sets and cut them into subsets. If you can't tell, the solid yellow is my accent color. Now the fun part will be randomly picking up strips and sewing them together.

Did I mention I L-U-V strip piecing? And this fabric? And pretty much everything about this quilt that I think my head is going to pop when I get it all finished?!

And I need to take more pictures!

Flickr hate

I hate flickr.

I hate that I used to be so good at coding html/css junk and now I feel like I've totally lost my touch.

I just want to get it right.