These are the cookies I bake when I want a favorite to take to the office or to a get-together.
2 cups sifted flour (sift flour, then measure)
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups oatmeal (I like quick 1 minute – texture preference)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 package white chocolate chips
1/2 package milk chocolate chips
Nuts – optional – we like chopped pecans
Sift together and set aside flour, soda, salt and baking powder. Blend together shortening, butter and sugars. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and blend well. Add oatmeal, vanilla and chocolate chips (and nuts, if adding). Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet covered with freezer paper. Flatten cookie with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until just turning brown.
I have baked this cookie for years! I couldn’t tell you where the recipe first came from but each version is different. The nuts and chips can change the flavor. I love the white chocolate and milk chocolate combo.
We had family coming by for lunch and I couldn’t decide what to make. I didn’t want to make sandwiches. . . . . I didn’t want a heavy meal. . . . Adults and kids. . . . Casual. . . . Healthy. .. . Fun. I decided upon a salad bar with everything you’d need for a delicious SouthWest Salad. I made shrimp, chicken and steak for folks to choose from. That was easy to prepare. I cooked the meats separately in oil olive with Cajun seasonings in my nonstick skillet. You can see that the other bowls contained spring mix, mandarin oranges, shredded cheese, tomatoes, spicy black bean and corn (mixing frozen corn with seasoned black beans and Cajun seasoning), chipotle ranch and ranch salad dressings and tri-colored tortilla strips (grocery salad dressing section). I made corn mini-muffins (see my earlier post for recipe) and added a colorful bowl of fresh fruit. You MUST also include tortilla chips with salsa (I included a purchased Cajun seafood dip too!)
Not a lot of work – a nice variety of food and a lovely lunch with family who we just don’t see enough! Another bonus? It was all made ahead of time. All I did was pop the meats in the microwave to heat them up a little before we ate. I might try the same thing for a casual dinner and increase the amount of meat and add taco shells to the menu. And a key lime pie. Yum.
I grew up knowing that we might have a deer wander into our yard – not at all that unusual for farms in the Midwest. Well, having a manatee in our backyard is not all that unusual. We’ve had a family of three show up repeatedly – here is one of them up close and personal by our boat lift on the dock. I have heard them called the “teddy bears of the sea” and have thought that is a perfect description. It always tears at my heart to see the boat propeller marks on them. You can see the marks on this one. They are big, gentle, friendly, lovable, so-homely-they-are-cute mammals that move so slowly that they grow algae and barnacles on them! What’s not to love?