"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

So these are probably my new favorite cookie! Super chewy, great flavors, perfect summertime cookie. Not the prettiest picture, sorry! The only change I made to the original recipe is that I doubled the amount of coconut and added an extra egg. I'm glad I did because I think it prevented the cookies from spreading too much like the original recipe says they do. I didn't have trouble with that at all. I can't wait for an excuse to make these again!

Chewy Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c.butter, softened
1 ½ c. white sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lime
3 tbsp lime juice
1 c. shredded coconut, toasted*
½ c. sugar (for rolling cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, lime juice and lime zest. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and toasted coconut until fully incorporated. Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar until evenly coated. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned on the edges and slightly doughy in the centers. Let stand on cookie sheets for a couple minutes before moving to cool on wire racks. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

*to toast coconut just put in an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch it closely, it goes from white to burnt really quickly!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's probably time I tell you...

...we're moving!! Hooray! It's been in the works for several months now but I haven't made the official announcement on my blog yet. So here it is! Just about 6 weeks to go and we'll be out of our little 855 square foot house into more square footage that I have ever dreamed of.

It's got 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a 2 car garage....my girls will each have their own room! Poor Amelia's been living in our walk in closet since she was born. Works for now! This house is such an enormous blessing and has come at just the most perfect time in our lives.

And the coolest part is that it's the house my husband grew up in. His parents are about to become empty nesters and recently snagged themselves a swanky condo and gave us an awesome deal on their house! I am beyond excited and I have SO many ideas for our new place that I can't wait to get started on. I'm sure I'll be sharing lots of them with you in the near future :)

P.S. This is my 300th post!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

I made these for Easter this year for the kiddos and my sister who can't have gluten. I think everyone else gave them a try, too! I was happy with how they turned out but I thought they could definitely be more Nutella-y. The hazelnuts and chocolate chips on top are a must!  It gave the that great Nutella flavor. I'll make them again but I'll try 3/4 cup of Nutella instead of 2/3 next time.

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 c. butter (plus more for the pan)
10 oz. bag marshmallows
2/3 c. Nutella
6 c. Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped, toasted hazelnuts

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Once mixture is smooth, remove from heat and stir in the Nutella. Next, stir the cereal in until well coated. Coat the bottom and sides 13x9 pan with a little bit of softened butter. With butter on your fingers, press the cereal and Nutella mixture into the buttered pan. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and chocolate chips in an even layer all over the top and press firmly with your fingers until they're no longer lose, but attached to the top of the treats. Allow to cool at least 1 hour, cut and serve.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter...a day late!

We had a lovely Easter! How about you? My sister, her husband and their three kiddos have been in town for the last week and we've been having a great time with them! We had a big family lunch and egg hunt yesterday. It was a fun, relaxing day.

I wore a dress voluntarily for the first time since my wedding...and heels, too! Randy had a new outfit from Forever21 and the girls both wore ruffly dresses I found them at thrift stores. Don't we all look cute?? ;)

I was in charge of dessert and I made Nutella rice krispie treats (for the kiddos and my sister who can't have gluten) and then a 3-layer carrot cake for everyone else. Recipes coming soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Glazed Bell Peppers and Snap Peas

It's a fact that I'm no good at coming up with side dishes. I usually just throw a salad in with our meal, which isn't a problem at all, but it gets a little routine after a while. This last week I challenged myself to make a new side dish with every meal. This was our favorite one! I found this yummy recipe in my South Beach cookbook. I loved it because it used two of my favorite veggies plus balsamic. Gotta love balsamic! It's really pretty and colorful, too.

Glazed Bell Peppers and Snap Peas

3 c. snap peas, ends trimmed
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-2 inch slices
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Splenda (or 1 tsp. white sugar)
1 tsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the snap peas, bell pepper and water into a skillet with a tight fitting lid. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, or until most of the water is gone and veggies are crisp-tender. Remove the lid and allow any remaining water to evaporate. With the heat over medium, drizzle veggies with the olive oil and add garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes., until the garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the glaze, combine the vinegar and Splenda in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until mixture is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and toss with the veggies until evenly coated. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings,