Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever!

I love cookies with cracks in them! These cookies came out perfect - just like the picture I saw on Pinterest. I found them on and the recipe is perfect because it just makes 12 large cookies. And I had all of the ingredients in my cupboard and refrigerator.


1 egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural or homemade - too runny)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
granulated sugar, for rolling


In the bowl of a stand mixer combine egg, peanut butter, butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat on medium until mixture is combined and creamy.

Add the flour, baking soda and pinch of salt. Beat on low speed until everything is incorporated.

Make 12 equal sized balls using a 1/4-measuring cup. Place the balls on a plate and press them down slightly.

Cover the plate with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to chill for a few hours.

Tic Toc - it has been almost 4 hours. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheets with Silpats. Place 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.

Roll each peanut butter ball in the sugar. Then place on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 6 cookies at a time. Each cookie sheet should bake between 10 to 12 minutes. Start checking on the cookies after 10 minutes.

The cookies are done when the edges are set and the tops are crackled. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then place on a wire rack to continue cooling.

These cookies are soft and chewy! While I was making these cookies I was thinking about my Grandpa  because he used to make peanut butter cookies and send them to me when I was at sleep away  camps.

Make these for the peanut butter lover in your life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baseball Candy Bars

My son plays on a baseball team that struggles each week. They have been fraught with injuries and they out hit almost every team they play. However, they continue to lose almost every week by just a few runs.

So I decided to make our Angel team some candy bars! These can also be made to look like basketballs, tennis balls, softballs , etc. Just wrap the candy bar in the background paper of your child's sport and use a marker to make the appropriate lines.

I bought a few of these bags of Hershey bars at Target.

The Hershey bars come in at least three different sizes. I used the medium sized bars.

I wrapped the hershey bars in white wrapping paper.

Using a red  a red Sharpie pen - mark the baseball lines and put the team logo in the middle of the candy bar. When making this project it is best to use flat candy bars like Hershey or Kit Kat bars.

Another fun idea is to wrap the candy bars in baseball wrapping paper. They have wrapping paper and scrapbook paper in almost every sport imaginable.

And if you don't want to wrap your candy bars - a fun thing to do is to put a whole bunch of Baby Ruth and Butterfingers candy bars in a basket and ask each boy if they are a Babe Ruth or a Butterfinger!

I hope our team wins tomorrow night! On the bright side - the boys on the team are really great kids and the coach is a good guy!

Go Angels!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Sunday

This Easter Sunday we will wake up in a hotel room. This is the first Easter in over 25 years that I will not be home. We will not be able to attend mass at our church. We won't be able to have an Easter egg hunt and Eater baskets at home.

We are staying at a five star hotel and I am bringing Easter baskets but somehow it won't be the same. And I am feeling a little sad.

My husband and I are going to a Bryon Ferry concert tonight and the kids will hang at the hotel. Then tomorrow we will go to an Easter morning Mass at another Catholic church. I am looking forward to the getaway and feeling sad at the same time.

During Lent I gave up sweets and when I get home I am planning on baking lots of cookies!

I home that everyone has a joyous and wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hockey Themed Gift Wrap

Last night Christian went to a party at Big Air for his friend's birthday party. His friend plays hockey so we bought him a Gamestop gift card and I put the gift card on a huge piece of cardboard with a hockey theme!

I save pieces of cardboard and I wrapped two pieces of cardboard in silver wrapping paper and taped them together.

I bought the hockey player cutout and candy at Party City.

I taped little pieces of candy all over the silver wrapping paper. Party City sells little pieces of candy 15 pieces for a dollar. In the upper right corner I taped the gift card and in the upper left corner I taped a NHL rubrics cube. The middle needed a little something - so I added a huge blue bow! I bought the bow and rubrics cube at Party City.

I hope this idea inspires you the next time you want to give someone a gift card!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baseball Snack

Tonight was our turn to bring snacks for the baseball team. We are planning on ordering pizza during the sixth inning and picking it up during the seventh inning.  The boys (13 and 14 years old) are really hungry after a game!

I bought some mini sodas, plates and napkins. But I had to make the boys some treats! I almost always make my baseball cookies. I make a round sugar cookie and once they have cooled I frost them with melted white chocolate.

Once the white chocolate has set - I add some red food coloring to the remaining melted white chocolate and put the red chocolate in a zipper top bag. Squeeze the red icing to the end of a corner and snipe off a tiny hole. Pipe the red laces onto the baseball. The red laces don't have to be perfect - the boys eat them so fast!

Once the chocolate icing has set. I like to package the baseballs into cellophane bags and tie them with a ribbon.

I also made some little Rice Crispy Treats.

Using homemade or store bought Rice Crispy Treats - cut them into tiny squares. Using some icing or little melted chocolate glue the little icing baseball mitt onto the Rice Crispy Treat. I bought the little icing mitt at Hobby Lobby.

I decided to add lollipop sticks, they wedge perfectly into the Rice Crispy Treat. Then package them with little plastic bags and tie them with a ribbon.

I hope this inspires you the next time you bring snacks for the sports team.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Have a Ball This Summer Treat Bag for Meals on Wheels

I bought these little bouncing ball party favors at Party City. And I made over 50 little Party Favors for a Meals on Wheels little summer treat. These will most likely be passed out at the beginning of June. The Meals on Wheels coordinator actually decides when they are added to the Meals.

Since these are going to separate households - they don't have to match. But if I was making them for a classroom or sports team - I would use matching paper. They also have these little balls in sports themes. I have seen baseballs, basketballs and soccer balls in this bouncing ball size! The basketballs would be cute for "March Madness."

I had a lot of red paper left over from Christmas and Valentine's Day.

I also had some turquoise paper left over from a Breakfast at Tiffany project.

Rainbow and green paper left over from a Noah's Ark and St. Patrick's Day lessons.

The little tag on each of the bag toppers says "Hope you have a ball this Summer!"

These would be cute to make for a classroom or school club and as I mentioned before - I would use the same paper toppers. Larger tags would also look cute on top of inflatable beach balls! Be creative!

I like to bring two months of treats at a time when I bring these to the Meals on Wheels coordinator.  Next week I will drop off the  May and June  treats Then I will immediately start working on July, August and September. I really enjoy making these treats!

However, I always like to make them a few months in advance - already my May, June and July are booking up with a lot of events and I am already starting to feel a little stressed. So it is nice to always be a little ahead on my Meals on Wheels commitment.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Restaurant Review - Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

I recently had dinner at Jimmy's Famous American Tavern in Dana Point. We had a wonderful experience. After reading some of the Yelp! Reviews,  I was unsure if we should even give this restaurant a try - I am so glad we did!

We were seated promptly (make sure to have reservations) I made my reservations on line. Many people were walking in (without reservations) and were told that the wait was over an hour.

We were given a really large and comfy booth. Our waitress came over right way and helped us select some wine and beer and we ordered the Southern Pimento Cheese Appetizer. It was described as cheddar paprika, roasted green chilies and tortilla chips. It was a perfect appetizer. Yum.  Now I want to google some recipes and try to create this dish at home.

Lately I have been ordering a lot of dishes with figs. I love figs! So of course I had to order the Pear, Black Fig Jam, Gorgonzola, Fontina and Arugula Fire Roasted Flat Bread. It was huge. It would make a great appetizer for a party of four or a main course. It was also fantastic.

My husband ordered the Santa Fe Burger  it had avocado, green chillies, jalapeƱos, Jack cheese, chipolte, aioli and came with fries. He said it was almost as good as the burger that he had at Gordon Ramsey's  BurGR restaurant in Las Vegas.

We also ordered the Skillet Mac & Cheese - it was really good. The menu said that it served two - but we couldn't finish it.

Our waitress cheerfully packed up all of our left overs for us to take home.

I am so sorry that I don't have any food photos - we went at 7 p.m. and it was starting to get dark outside and was dimly lit inside.

We are planning to go back for Brunch and I should be able to take some decent pictures!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fresh Fruit, Dried Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

I had this fantastic salad at the Nordstrom Cafe last week and decided to recreate the recipe at home. 

This was so simple to make and would make a terrific lunch to serve to your ladies who lunch or after a tennis match.  I made this salad just for myself - so you would need to adjust the ingredients accordingly to the number of guests that you are serving.


4 cups of  a salad Spring mix

3 tablespoons of goat cheese, cut into small chunks

4 large strawberries, cut into quarters

4 dried figs, cut into thirds

15 raspberries

15 blueberries

15 candied pecans

Fruit themed vinaigrette


Toss spring mix with two tablespoons of dressing. Or you might want to serve the dressing on the side.

Place the lettuce on the plate and sprinkle with the goat cheese, sliced strawberries, dried figs, raspberries, blueberries and candied pecans.

I bought the candied pecans at Trader Joe's.

I bought the dried figs and salad dressing at Sprouts.

My husband doesn't like figs - he was looking for something to eat yesterday and saw the dried figs and said, "Figs! Gross!"

The Pear White Balsamic Vinaigrette that I bought is calorie free! 

Let me know if you make this salad. I think your guests would be impressed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maracas For Meals on Wheels

I have been making little treats each month for Meals on Wheels. For Cinco de Mayo I made some Maracas. I think they came out really cute! Now these took me a long time because I made over 50 - but if you just wanted to make a few it shouldn't take very long!

I found this pattern on the Michael's website. P.S. it is a pattern for kids! But I made a bunch of copies and patterns out of cardboard.

I cut out scrapbook paper and attached it to the photocopy with a glue stick. Then I added stickers and adhesive rhinestones. Then every single Maraca was coated with Modge Podge.

It took the Modge Podge a long time to dry.

Once the Modge Podge dried the Maracas were completely stiff - I was able to cut them out.

I left a little white around the Maracas because I planned to add an edge of pearl ribbon. I bought the pearl ribbon at Hobby Lobby. It was in the fabric section and they had a ton of colors in the pearl style of ribbon.

I bought the colored popsicle sticks at Hobby Lobby and wrote on them "Happy Cinco de Mayo."

Then I hot glued the popsicle sticks to the back of the Maracas.

Then each Maraca got a little pearl ribbon hot glued around the Modge-Podged section.

The pearl trim - just adds a little something extra!

I had black, white and silver pearl ribbon. So each of the Maracas is just a little bit different. These were really fun to make. They would make cute decorations for your Cinco de Mayo party. They would also be cute place cards for any Mexican Fiesta!