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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Flourless Monster Cookies

I'm always looking for gluten free cookie recipes because of Max's hockey buddy and decided to try these.  I did the first batch almost exactly as she instructed.  They were tasty but they were a bit crumbly.  The recipe creator suggested flipping them and continuing to cook but I really don't think that would have been possible.  So, I tried spraying the pan with a cooking spray and letting them cool a little while on the pan and that helped but wasn't completely successful.  I made them about the size of a golf ball and only slightly flattened before baking and that also helped a little more.  My kids really liked them but I'm not sure I'd make them again because to be honest, they irritated me a bit.

But since I promised that I'd be making the recipes I've been saving over the years, I thought I'd give you "my" feedback.  I'll get back to you with the other recipe I found on another day.

Here's what you'll need:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C dark brown sugar ~ I only had light
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sugar
1 t salt ~ I didn't add this
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 C peanut butter
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
4 1/2 C old fashioned oats ~ not instant
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C white chocolate chips ~ I used butterscotch
1/4 C peanut butter chip ~ I used M&Ms
1/4 C toffee pieces ~ I didn't use


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  2. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars together in mixer (about 3 minutes).
  3. In a large bowl, toss oats, cinnamon and baking soda together.
  4. Add eggs to butter & sugar mixture one at a time. Make sure the eggs are mixed in well. Add vanilla and salt. Mix to combine.
  5. Add the oat mixture to the bowl and then slowly add the "stuff" and mix until it is incorporated. No need to worry about over-mixing because there is no flour.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the cookie dough onto the lined baking sheets. Space them about two inches apart. Flatten the tops a bit with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle with fleur de sel if you wish, I did not.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes - turning halfway through the baking time. Cool on a rack but sneak at least one while they are warm.
Here's the dough

 Ready for the oven
 Done.  Make sure they are COMPLETELY cool before you bag them up.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Chipotle soup

This is a repost but it's what's on the menu because the weather is cold and I need something to warm me up.

I was surfing around on blogs that I read from time to time and found this soup on this blog. This woman does it all but most importantly she makes a wonderful soup. Seriously, don't be scared of the pumpkin in the title. I'm not a fan of squash/pumpkin soups typically but this soup didn't taste like your "typical" soup. It was almost buttery in flavor and I called it Chicken Chipotle until people tried and liked it.

I only changed a couple of things and my recipe reflects that. If you want her orginal, click on the link above.

2 T Butter
2 T. Olive Oil
1 Onion chopped
Hanful baby Carrots, chopped
3 stalks Celery
3 cloves Garlic
2 boxes Chicken Stock~Aldi was having a sale or it would have been 8 cups water/8 bouillon cubes
14 oz can Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix~I don't know what that means but thought I better leave it, we only have cans of Pumpkin in MN as far as I can tell, no pie mix? Just make sure the ingredients on the can is just pumpkin and you'll be good to go)
3 c. cooked Chicken ~ I actually used leftover crockpot Turkey
2 large diced Potatoes~I cut them about as thick as my finger so they didn't fall apart while cooking
1/2 c Barley
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
2-3 T honey
2 Chipotles chopped very fine (it comes in a small can in the mexican section of the store and is packed in a heavy sauce)—I like spicy food, if you don't start with maybe a half of a pepper first.
1 C light Sour Cream or plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 C Heavy Cream~I used Whipping Cream that wasn't whipped, you buy it by the milk
salt and pepper to taste~ If you're trying to watch calories, I've also used fat-free 1/2 and 1/2 and it was still good, just not as creamy.

To begin, saute the celery, onions, carrots and garlic in the oil and butter until carrots are almost tender. Always salt as you go along and then adjust the salt at the end. Don’t wait til the very end to add salt or your dish will lack a depth of flavor.

Then add chicken stock, pumpkin, chicken, potatoes, barley and all the spices. Cook at medium to high heat for about 45 minutes to an hour or until barley is tender (if you use quick cooking Barley, it's done in 10-15 min). Turn heat down to simmer. Add sour cream or yogurt and whisk so that no lumps remain and then add cream. Taste and reseason.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Carving

Dylan heading to school 5 hours away was a bit of a transition but it's one we all made eventually but I miss him extra in October because we had our traditions.  Cookie baking, decorating and of course when it comes to pumpkin carving.  I could see the wheels turning when he started carving but he makes it look so easy.  And he always made something different and fun.

 You can't tell from the picture but he carved brains on the top.

Every year I also remember picking him up at pre-school on an October afternoon when he was 3.  The teacher pulled me aside and asked if everything was ok at home.  I told her it was.  She asked if Dylan was ok.  I said that I thought so and asked why.  She pulled out a big cut out orange construction  paper pumpkin that Dylan had drawn a face on.  He had also drawn tears down the face.  She pointed at the tears and said, "see why I'm concerned"? 

Dylan came out and I said, "Nice job on the pumpkin sweetie but why does it have tears"?  He looked at me and said, "Well wouldn't you be crying if someone was carving your face"?  I agreed I probably would, smiled at the teacher, took his hand and we left.  Lesson learned to always ask and not assume..even with a child.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Justice for Daisy

I came across this article

I’ll bet that when you raped Daisy Coleman, you had no idea that almost two years later, Anonymous would be looking to hold you accountable. I’ll also bet that you had no idea it would blow up and become a national story. Thanks to social media, we all know what you and your predator friend, Jordan Zech, did on that cold, fateful night in January 2012 in Maryville Missouri.
Young girls are easy prey aren’t they? They’re often desperate for attention from boys, and the popular football players in a small town are like celebrities to them. Young girls become even easier prey when they first discover alcohol. They haven’t been around long enough to realize that people under the influence tend to make poor decisions that they would NEVER make while sober. And predators like you and your friend, Jordan rely on that don’t you? That is precisely why you forced Daisy to drink from the “bitch cup.”
JordanHere’s the fly in your rape ointment: THE INTERNET! Facebook is why the entire nation knows that you are a rapist. It is also why we know your grandfather, Rex Barnett, a Republican state representative, claims that the dismissal had nothing to do with political influence and the prosecutor on the case, Robert Rice, said this about your decision to rape Daisy, “Teens were doing what they wanted to do, and there weren’t any consequences. And it’s reprehensible. But is it criminal? No.”
Information for Rep. Rex Barnett HERE.
There are small towns like yours all over this country. The high school football players are held up and treated as local gods. Some – thankfully not all – adults use you to relive old glories. They are bored with their uneventful, mundane, 9-5 lives, and when someone like you, a star athlete, rapes a young girl, people look the other way. Both men and women do it. They don’t want to acknowledge that you are a rapist because it destroys their ability to live vicariously through you. It’s too uncomfortable to look at reality. So they look the other way and they blame the victim. We saw it with Stuebenville. Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond raped Jane Doe and what happened? She got death threats and was slut shamed. CNN pundits were more concerned for the rapists’ future than Jan Doe’s. The world noticed. And we are now focused on you.
You raped Daisy and you confessed, but somehow, you are not facing charges. Your grandfather Rex knows Sally Hayse – the woman who fired Melinda Coleman, Daisy’s mom, from her job. Hayse complained that Melinda was causing stress for other co-workers, so Melinda was fired. But you and your family don’t know anything about that, right? You’re the innocent ones, right? Grandfather Rex also knows the prosecutor Robert Rice – you know, the guy who all of a sudden dropped the case. Hmmm, sounds pretty suspect, wouldn’t you say?
But it gets worse. People phoned the Coleman family and threatened physical violence after the rape was reported. Then mysteriously, the Coleman home burned to the ground. But you’re innocent, right? It’s just a total coincidence that Matthew Barnett – related to a prominent politician, and a star athlete in a small town – raped a very young girl, and all of a sudden, horrible things started happening to her family after it was reported to police.
Here’s the deal Matthew, Jordan, Rex and Robert: The public is not going to allow for this to quietly go away. We know that’s want you want. And Robert Rice, SHAME ON YOU! If you were at a party and someone forced you to drink a large amount of alcohol out of a “bitch cup” and then sexually assaulted you, left you outside in below freezing temperatures and vomiting, you might have a different definition of “criminal.”
RexAnd Rex Barnett, in case you missed it, your grandson tweeted this after the rape: “If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.” If you aren’t hip to the young people’s jive these days, D stands for “Dick.” Your grandson not only raped a 14 year-old girl, he clearly is under the impression that all women are after his penis and that even if he rapes a young, underage girl, it’s okay because she really wanted it. This is justifiable to you? I think you have a rude awakening coming.
Perhaps the Barnett family is also aware that people online have taken to reviewing the restaurant where Matthew works on the website, Yelp. Ouch. Must hurt, though not as much as being raped and having your house burn down.
Sadly, small town rapes happen all the time and are ignored. Jocks who are treated as gods have gotten away with it, but finally, the tide is turning. Social media has a huge part to play in how we are dealing with rape culture. I would have never known of you, Matthew, if it weren’t for Facebook. I live thousands of miles from you but now, I and millions of folks are aware of how your community and your family operates. And here’s the thing: As long as you live, your reputation as a rapist who confessed to the crime will be available to any woman who may be interested in dating you. It’s as easy as entering your name in a search engine.
Maryville Missouri, just like Steubenville Ohio, is a perfect example of how rape culture will change as we move forward. While we wait for better legislation regarding rape, We The People will be your jurors. We will shame you and we will call you out. We will make sure that young girls like Daisy are not alone. There are Facebook pages dedicated to making sure rapists pay – especially when law enforcement is corrupt or cowardly. This notion that women and girls are nothing more than objects for you to molest and disregard is coming to an end – and it’s long overdue.
Let this also serve as a warning to anyone who believes they can commit rape and get away with it. Not only is Anonymous ready to make sure you pay, the entire country is ready to make sure you are held accountable. We are pissed off and sick of it.
Matthew, I hope that justice is served and you are punished along with your friend, Jordan. I hope you understand that what you did was criminal, and the fact that the Coleman family moved away because of your actions weighs on you until the day you die. You deserve to go to prison. You need counseling and therapy. You are not a god. You are a rapist and We The People are here to make sure you never, ever forget what you did. We won’t allow it and neither will search engines.
A Facebook event has been created titled Justice For Daisy – please join and get involved HERE.
From the event’s founder:
Many are messaging asking how they can help with #Justice4Daisy. Here’s the MOST helpful thing that you can do that will also make a HUGE difference in finding justice: Put pressure on Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice who is responsible for closing the case without it being heard. Contact his office at (660) 582-8285 and ask for the case to be reopened or for Rice to turn it over to the Attorney General’s office. You may also email Rice at You may also send daisies to the courthouse at 305 N. Main, Maryville 64468. Hold Rice accountable for the decision he made that has created a true injustice.

while reading another blog and I immediately felt sick.  I encourage you to click on the links and read about what happened to Daisy Coleman on a cold night in January 2012 and the events that followed.  I am sick.  I am sad.  I am angry.  I am beyond words ANGRY!  I cannot imagine having something like that happen to my daughter and have the legal system completely disregard and let these rapists off. 

I can only hope by sharing her story these rapists will eventually be prosecuted!!  It won't give the Coleman family their life back or erase that night from Daisy's memory but hopefully it will give them some closure and peace.  Mostly I hope that by posting this, they know that they aren't alone in their fight for justice!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Frankenstein Cupcakes

I think I'll make these for dessert on Halloween. 

What you'll need:

Cake Mix made according to directions for cupcakes
24 Large Marshmallows
1 Bag of Green Chocolate Melts from Michael's
48 Green Tic Tacs
Can of Chocolate Frosting

Melt your chocolate melts in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir, stir and stir some more. Typically it will look like it's going to be lumpy but if you keep stirring the melts will in fact melt. If they are still chunky, try another 15 seconds. The thing with chocolate melts is you don't want to over cook, or it will dry up and you won't be able to dip. The "safest" way to melt the chocolate melts in a double boiler. I am not a fan of that process because it takes a LOT longer. But if you want to be "safe", try that route.

So, you've got your chocolate melted. I used a wooden skewer and poked the marshmallow and then dipped it like fondue and tap, tap, tap the stick against the side of the pan to get the extra choocolate off. Then gently pushed the marshmallow off onto wax paper, push from the top because you'll be covering that up with frosting. Sorry about not having photos of that process but my trusty assistant wasn't feeling well. Immediately push a tic tac into each side of the head and allow to cool. If you want to use a spoon, you can do that instead. Decorate the face of Frank.

When the heads are dry, frost your cupcakes. Push a Frank head into each cupcake and pipe some hair on. I used a leaf tip, but you can use any tip you want.

In hind sight, I would put them so they are standing up to dry so Frank doesn't get a flat back of his head.
Make the scary face!

Pipe on the hair...All done and ready for fun!

Kathleen Grissom’s Molasses Cake

This was September's book choice and 9 out of 10 LOVED it.  The other one liked it:)  We had a great discussion and a yummy dinner.

And, then dessert was served.  There is a recipe in the back for Molasses Cake.  It reminded me of a gingerbread cookie and needed a little more sweet in my opinion so I made a yummy fresh whipped cream with powdered sugar instead of regular.  The bonus was that my house smelled like Christmas:)


  • 1/2 cup butter softened

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup milk ~ I used skim

  • 1 cup molasses ~ I used mild flavor

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 dashes ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt ~ I did not add salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or use a mini cake pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Add the milk and the molasses. Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 45 minutes for the 8 inch square pan or 25 minutes for the mini cake pan, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I double the recipe and baked in a 13x9 pan for about 40-45 minutes.

To make the whipped cream

Small container of Whipped Cream
1 t Vanilla extract

Whip it until it's firming up. Add 3/4 Powdered Sugar and whip until stiff. It's PURE heaven

Monday, October 21, 2013

Carving Pumpkins

It's a my FAVORITE month!! I wanted to get you excited to carve your pumpkins!!
I put this tip on a couple of years ago but wanted to do it again because it makes life SO much easier!! Cut the bottom out of the pumpkin. Scoop out seeds with a big spoon, a scoop or your hands. Lots of room to move around now AND you don't have to worry about the bottom of the pumpkin not being level. Put candle under on ground and put pumpkin on top. No more burnt fingers trying to get the candle lit too:)

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Mommy Brag

Every once in awhile your child does something that makes you realize that they've grown up. 
I  received an email from a FB friend from back in the day.  She moved back to a suburb close to Minneapolis 2 years ago with her family.  Her daughter is a junior and found herself with a cancelled date to homecoming 5 days before the dance, would Max consider going? 
I asked, he thought about it for a few minutes and said he would.  He didn't know anyone at the school and he met her about an hour before this photo was taken.  He had fun and even went to an after party for a little bit. 
Yep, not only is my baby growing up, his heart is continuing to grow with him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cake Pops

You need:

1 cake mix prepared according to directions and cooked in a 13x9 pan. I used a white cake mix and colored it Orange with food coloring
1 can of Cream Cheese frosting..yes, I said CAN
2 14 oz bags of Chocolate melts ~ we preferred the colored white chocolate variety over the milk chocolate
Extra frosting or chocolate or sprinkles to decorate but honestly, they are good with just the first dipping

Cut your cake in 1/4s and crumble a 1/4 at a time. Make sure you don't have any big lumps

Add 3/4 of the can of frosting. Pioneer woman suggested that instead of the whole can and I have to agree, 3/4 can made them moist enough.

Doesn't look to appetizing but they are YUMMY. Start making your balls. You'll have to wash your hands off about every 10 because you get sticky. I made these about the size of walnuts. One of those mini cookie scoops would be perfect but I couldn't find mine.<

Makes about 70 balls I would guess..I didn't count. Put them in the freezer for one hour to harden
I used the double boiler method because I wanted to follow directions. I later figured out what I already knew, 1 minute in my microwave does the trick.
Melted and ready for business
Take your cake balls out of the freezer and start dipping. Roll them around like fondue and kind of bang the stick on the side of the pan to get off excess chocolate. Use another skewer to push the ball off, add a bit of chocolate to cover your hole.
The second time I made them I simply used a fork. I put the ball in the chocolate and moved it around with a spoon. I kind of scooped it out with the fork, banging the fork on the side of the bowl. The tines on the fork allow for the excess chocolate to easily come off. Much easier.
The chocolate hardens pretty quick because the balls are frozen

My ugly but tasty pumpkins
But I used sucker sticks, white melts and made Spooky pops.  Those are cuter in my opinion.  I also use an upside down colander to dry.  Just dip, stick and move on to the next one.
Put them in a pot with a styrofoam ball and Halloween treat!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beef Barley Soup

The temps dropped this weekend and it rained off an on and it was time to make some soup.  I've made beef barley before but this one a touch different.  That's the beauty of making soup, you can make it different but similar and the result is always YUMMY.

I had some leftover Crockpot Beef in the freezer and decided to go from there. I would also like to note that I don't have the right amount left over from one crock pot of beef. I keep a container in the freezer and add to it. When the container gets full, I make soup! The crockpot beef gives it a little extra flavor because it has the sauce/gravy with it.

Here's what you'll need to get the party started:

4 C of Crockpot Beef
7 C Beef Broth ~ I use 7 cups water and 7 beef bouillon cubes
1 Soup Bone ~ this is just a bonus.  I happen to be at the butcher and grabbed one.  It just gives your soup a little more depth but completely not necessary.
1 small Onion chopped
2 Carrots chopped
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
4 cloves Garlic chopped
2 Potatoes chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic minced
1 T Italian Seasoning
2 t Basil and Oregano
3/4 C Frozen Corn
2 C Fresh Green Beans
1 C Barley ~ I used quick cook

Put beef, broth, soup bone, chopped garlic, carrots, onion, tomatoes, spices and bring to a boil. Add leftover beef and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for an hour.  Add Barley, potatoes, green beans and corn. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Dinner is served! Or you can put in a crockpot, put in the fridge and reheat for tomorrow, takes about 4-6 hours to get to proper temp on low.

Chop your potato
My Grandma didn't make soup but I've heard from a few people that it tastes like the one their Grandma did:) Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Caramel Apple Cake

One word...YUM!

What you'll need:

2 Eggs
1/4 C Butter
1 C Apple Butter
1 C Sour Cream ~ light
2 t Vanilla
1/2 C Sugar
2 C Flour
1/2 t Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
1 C Apples chopped small
1/2 C Caramel Bits ~ they are little caramel balls made by Kraft...if you can't find them, it will be good without.

Mix all the ingredients together and put into a sprayed bundt pan. Cook for about 40 minutes at 350 until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto a plate. Drizzle Apple Butter Frosting and serve.

Apple Butter Frosting
1/4 C apple butter or 1/4 C apple sauce
1/4 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar
2 T milk
2 t cinnamon
2 C sifted powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the apple butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and the cinnamon and bring to a boil, still stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until thick enough to spread.

Chopped Apples

Dough all mixed up, add chopped apples

Spread in the pan

out of the oven