Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

My younger son's favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle.  I am a chocolate chip and sugar cookie girl, so I never thought to find a quality snickerdoodle recipe.  Since Christmas is around the corner (literally) I've been on a baking frenzy.  We've enjoyed chocolate chip cookies, peppermint patties, sugar cookies and last week, snickerdoodles.

These cookies are large, soft and chewy.  If you are looking for a crispy cookie, this won't be your favorite recipe.  We like doughy cookies that really give you a stomachache...and these fit the bill perfectly.

Do not overbake. These may look like they need more time in the oven, but if you let them set on the pan a few minutes they are perfection.  If you aren't sure they are done, a toothpick in the middle will let you know if the cookies are cooked through.

  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mixture cinnamon (tsp) and sugar (1/4 cup) (set aside, in a bowl)
  1. In your mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in egg and vanilla, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into butter mixture, mixing well in between each addition.
  5. The dough should should not be too crumbly. You should be able to roll the dough into balls - if its too crumble add a little water.  If it's too sticky add a little flour.
  6. Roll each cookie ball in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  7. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies on sheet at least 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until the center is just set.
  9. Let cool 2 minutes on pan then transfer to a wire rack.
  10. Makes 12-15 cookies (depending on how large you make each cookie ball).


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Bingo

A few weeks ago, I went to Basketball Bingo. It was a fundraiser for the high school basketball team, and the prizes were giftcards to local stores and restaurants. I didn't win anything, but it reminded me how much everyone loves a good game of chance.

Recently my younger son brought to my attention that he didn't feel like it was "Christmas." He misses my older daughter being excited with him to find Stanley (our elf) and he feels like everything is rushed. Now that his sister is in Junior High, she's gone for school before he even wakes up.  

And let's just say he doesn't have the same bond with his younger sister. Finding Stanley with her would involve much bickering and maybe even some tears.

I can tell he misses his older siblings being home and being as excited about Santa as they used to be.  There is a difference in Christmas when there are less "believers" in the house.  We still rejoice over the true meaning of Christmas, and we still bake cookies and decorate the house. We've watched a few family movies, and we've donated gifts to needy families. 

There just isn't that chitter chatter about Santa's workshop and the reindeer.  It's different for sure. And while I explained to my son that Christmas is in your heart, and you have to work to keep that magic alive, I understand where he's coming from.

To get some excitement back into the house, I decided to set up Christmas BINGO tonight. I printed cards (you can find them free at Crazy Little Projects) and I bought some small and simple prizes.  I set out candy bars, Christmas socks, dollar bills, small toys and $1 scratchies. Christmas music was on, and the kids happily gathered around the table to play.

There was a catch as well.  After your first win, if you won again you had to gift the prize to another player. After all players had a prize, you could choose your own again unless you had two wins in a row.  A consecutive win meant gifting your next prize.

Tis the season of giving.

Tonight, it was all about Christmas Bingo. It was time we slowed down and had fun together, and tonight we did both.  There was no television or video games; after dinner we cleaned up and set up BINGO. The kids laughed and cracked jokes,and they knew for certain wins they had to gift their prizes.

And there were no complaints. They even were happy to let their sibling come up and pick their own prize. I felt the night was exactly what we needed.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week of family time and memory making!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

50 Stocking Stuffer Ideas

In case you haven't noticed, I'm big on Christmas.  I grew up one of six kids, and my parents had plenty on their minds every minute of the day.  Christmas was the time for "magic" in our house.  Gifts that we never expected (but wanted!) were under our tree, and our stockings were overflowing with goodies and toys.

I remember running down the stairs Christmas morn with my siblings, youngest to oldest, turning the corner and seeing our family room.  The memories still take my breath away.  The tree was lit, the gifts glistened and our stockings hung by our chimney with care.

My parents believed in big birthdays, and big holidays.  The day to day was chaotic, and days like Christmas were for our family.  There was love, laughs and plenty of "magic."

There still is.

Here, in in particular order, are some of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas.  Men, women and children all included.  Many of these originated from my stocking many years ago.

1. Coloring books
2. Markers/crayons
3. Slippers
4. Books
5. Pre-owned video games (oldies but goodies)
6. Candy (from the North Pole Candy Co. of course)
7. Stickers
8. Costume jewelry (girls)
9. Figures (army guys, zombie guys, Trash Packs, Strawberry Shortcake, etc)
10. Chapstick
11. Lipgloss
12. Slinky
13. "Build Your Own" sets from craft stores (airplanes, boats, etc)
14.  PlayDoh
15. Gift Cards
16. Tee shirts, rolled with a bow
17. Snow hats and mittens
18. Scarf
19. Socks
20. Underwear
21. Lottery tickets
22. Soap
23. Lotion
24. Gum
24. Fogless mirror for shaving (men)
25. Yo-yo
26. Flashlight (bedtime for kids, car for adults)
27. Energy drinks (adults, of course)
28. Pajama set
29. Hair clips and bows
30. Hairbrush
31. Small Lego sets
32. Journal
33. Water bottle (for the athletes/exercisers)
34. Tableware for kids (character plastic plates and cups)
35. Calculator
36. Sunglasses
37. Nail polish
38. Nail care/grooming set (men)
39. Coin purse
40. Small stuffed animals
41. Calendar
42. Magnets for fridge
43. Kitchen sponges, towels
44. Kitchen utensils (ice cream scoops, spatulas)
45. Deck of cards/small games
46. Coffee/Tea
47. Beef Jerkey
48. Kids Coupon Book (stay up late, extra dessert, trip to dollar store)
49. Animal Crackers (Barnum's of course)
50. Air freshener's/candles

Any other ideas?  Share them!  Happy shopping!