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Doubletree hotel cookies (or as the kids call them: One Tree Hill cookies)

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when our family goes on vacation, it is an ordeal fun way to spend great time preparing and planning and enjoying our time and each other.

over the years, due to family size, money constrains and now just plain tradition, we have several things we do each and every time.

with exception of taking the family on a cruise last year for christmas, we typically go to the beach.

now that we have chuck in our lives (have you read before that he hates–i mean HATES sand?) we go to the mountains when we can as well.

this year will be both!

i used to cook ahead as much as i could to save on work at the beach. one year–don’t remember why, i just couldn’t.

the place we stayed had a grill and we planned our meals around that.

it was divine…and a divine inspiration, i might say

every meal was cooked on it….outside, on the sand, overlooking the beach, which typically coincided with sunset time.

i never knew what i was missing…boy, now i know. and i won’t be missing a sunset due to being in the kitchen again…..if i have anything to say about it.

one of our traditions became these cookies. i wanted something that we could fix there, eat fresh and not spend a lot of time making.

so.

i made the dough for these cookies, froze the balls, put them in a ziplock and voila. fresh, hot out of the oven cookies each night for dessert (ok..except for the nights we had key lime pie, and homemade ice-cream and roasted marshmallows.)…..

um…i think we may have had all of the above on our last night of cleaning the frig out.

these cookies are so so good. my friend, alicia, is a great baker. she found this recipe on top-secret recipes website. these are the cookies that the Doubletree Hotel used to leave in your room at the bed turn down. not sure if they still do, but it doesn’t matter to me now 😉

Doubletree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine.
Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda,
salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
3. Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon
juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add
the eggs and mix until smooth.
4. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend
well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and
mix by hand until ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Spoon rounded 1/4-cup portions onto an ungreased
cookie sheet. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. You
don’t need to press the dough flat. Bake for 16 to 18
minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the
middle. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep
soft. For the best results, chill the dough overnight in
the refrigerator before baking the cookies.

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hot fudge sauce

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i came upon this recipe so innocently. honest.

i was trying my best to cook more healthy. and found this amazing set of books. i think i have mentioned them before….the Sue Gregg Eating Better Cookbooks.

well…there are some healthy ones in there and then there’s this little gem

this is ALWAYS requested for birthdays that include ice cream (we have several who don’t like cake–go figure)

and….it calls for fructose. i buy fructose and keep it on hand for this recipe….and this one alone.

i have tried making it with sugar and it just doesn’t work.

try it

you’ll see. it is so good. it gets real thick and gooey once its on ice cream.

it’s love at first bite.

hot fudge sauce

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 or 2 – 1 oz squares unsweetened chocolate (to taste)
  • 1/3 c. crystalline fructose
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In saucepan melt butter and chocolate over very low heat. Whisk in fructose and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla

 

YUMMO!

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it’s a little crunchy around here…..

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not sure what it is

being without work/stable income for almost a year?

realizing how much junk we put in and on our bodies?

reading ‘7, a mutiny against excess’, by Jen Hatmaker?

not sure what it is, but i am more and more interested in making my own…whatever can be made at home…ok, not veggies. i have a purple thumb. but if i can make it from something that is ALREADY made, i am trying it.

here is a laundry soap i have made for a while now and really like it. it ends up costing .40 a gallon!!!! you just can’t beat that! i always pick the most natural, cheap brand i can and i end up paying more than 15.00 for maybe a gallon.

 

laundry soap

it only takes 3 ingredients–4 if you want an essential oil for scent

  • a soap of some sort,
  • washing soda
  • borax

the soap: i have used fels naptha. it is found in the laundry aisle. the other options for soap are ivory or another brand called, zote. any of these will work. if you use ivory or zote, you will need to use the whole bar.
washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate). it is a white powder. its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders. the brand to look for is arm & hammer washing soda. i find it in the laundry section of my grocery store. many people have a hard time finding this locally.

borax: borax is a naturally occurring mineral: sodium borate. It’s purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team.

i have found all items at my local wal-mart

NOW: to make it:)
1/3 bar fels naptha, or soap of choice
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~(this makes it easier to mix, but I have used 2-1 gallon pitchers)

grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. remove from heat. pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. next, add your soap mixture and stir. now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. use ½ cup per load.

~the finished soap will not be a solid gel. it will be more of a watery/jelly type mixture~the soap is a low sudsing soap. so if you don’t see suds, that is ok. suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.


if you DO want your soap to have some sort of scent you can scent this with ½ to 1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice. my favorite scent is called ‘creative blend’ that i get at sprouts

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what this boy is teaching me

we spent more than i care to admit several hours at a district track meet last night.  harrison, the youngest son, is excelling beyond my imagination in several events.  to watch him brings me such joy.

last night, he was one of a handful of boys who made the cut from their school to compete at the district level.  we all had great hopes of walking away with records and 1st place spots in most, if not all the events.

it didn’t really happen like that.  oh, he did well.

very well.

made this mama so proud.

but there was the one young man from another school that stayed just ahead of him, in. every. event.

we got home and i asked him about this boy that was just ahead of him in all 3 of his individual events.  he shrugged.  i asked if it bothered him that he lost to the same guy all 3 times.  his response has been in my mind and on my heart since…he said ‘ well, i need someone who will push me.  its not fun without the competition.’

spoken like a man.  and a competitor.  and a realist.

we all need someone who will push us just a bit further.  without comparison.  i am still not sure how the balance of that happens, but i am learning i need those in my life who will push me.  press me for more depth than i think i have.  stretch me into thoughts and actions that are a bit ‘out there’ for me in the moment.

i love this man {child}.  i love watching him grow and i love how he challenges me and pushes me just by him being himself.

 

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biscuits

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can one ever have too many biscuit recipes? i think not. and. while i purposing to eat raw and no grains, i find i can enjoy these a little here and there. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has started making frequent appearances on the table. the kids say they still like our old recipe better than this, but this is a welcome change for something different. they are very easy and pretty foolproof.

3 c. flour-I’m going to try a GF mix next time
1 1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 stick butter
3/4 c. buttermilk–if you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own! 3/4 cup milk and 2 tsp lemon juice or, my standby, apple cider vinegar. Works like a charm.
1 egg
1/4 c. water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and butter until crumbly. Mix in buttermilk, egg and just enough water to make a workable dough. Mix the dough until it is just barely combined (don’t over mix). Roll the dough onto a floured cutting board about 1 inch thick. Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter, or a 2 inch round cup. Place on a greased baking sheet (touching each other) and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 12-15 biscuits, depending how thick you make them.

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