Saturday, August 27, 2011

Italian Cream Sodas~

Fill glass half full with ice
Add 1/4 cup of simple syrup flavoring (I like Torani and the fruit flavors work best)
Add 1/4 cup of half and half
Add 1/2 cup of soda water
Top with whipped cream ( Redi-Whip in the can is easy)

(The soda pictured above was made using Torani's orange flavored simple syrup. Tastes like a Dreamsicle!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School

Lucas- Kindergarten / Zachary- 3rd grade

Well the day passed with only a few tears (mostly mine).
Shockingly, Lucas brought home the Gold Star for having the cleanest desk. I should have photographed it as that will likely be the last time he receives the award.

And in case you were wondering, apparently there are no cute girls in either class.
(Mom!!! uggh!!!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chili Chocolate Cookies

My sister who lives in Albuquerque (and is possibly the only person who still actually reads this blog) was telling me about a local cookie bakery that she visited not long ago. One of the cookies she sampled included chocolate and chilies and she loved the unique flavor. Soon afterwards I came up with this cookie that I think is both out of the ordinary and delicious.

Chili Chocolate Cookies~

2 sticks butter, cold cubed and unsalted
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp Mexican vanilla (ok to use regular vanilla too)
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground chili peppers (SEE NOTE!)
1 bar chili chocolate, coarsely chopped (SEE NOTE!)
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Mix in vanilla and eggs one at a time. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda and chili pepper powder. Mix this flour mixture into the creamed mixture until just barely incorporated. You should still see some streaks of the cocoa/flour in the dough. Add the coarsely chopped bar and the chocolate chips in by hand. Bake at 350 on parchment paper lined baking sheet until just barely set. Allow to cool on pan for one minute and then remove to plate to cool completely.


This is the Chili Chocolate bar that I used. You can find them on the candy aisle of the grocery store.

Don't use Chili Powder which incorporates garlic, onions etc. I found this ground chili pepper jar in the baking section aisle of the grocery store near the other spices. It is only chili peppers without added spices, etc. I use 2 tsp but you can used more or less to your taste.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just Stuff~

We literally got all our boxes in the door of our new home and then left for vacation.

Tennessee was beautiful.

I would move there today.
It was so relaxing and we really needed a break from the chaos.

I have always wanted to see a bear in the wild and finally did.

Now we are knee deep in boxes, but so glad to be in the new house with several weeks of the summer left to unpack.