Monday, February 28, 2011

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

A recipe - a first for this blog! My friend Amy asked for my cookie recipe. I wish I could deliver both a copy of the recipe and a batch of cookies to her door, but as she lives far, far south of me, that won't work right now.

But here's the recipe, anyway. (Please note, I did not invent this recipe. I have no idea where I got it, but I didn't come with it my own little self.) Also, this is by no means a health-food recipe. It's a treat, not a breakfast.

1 1/4 c. flour, unsifted (Why? I don't know. But hey, less work!)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon (or more, if you're feeling it)
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar (Gasp! Sugar!), firmly packed
3/4 c. granulated sugar (Gasp again! More sugar!)
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3 c. Old Fashioned Oats
1 package (18 oz) Butterscotch chips (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Beat next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats & chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet (I use a Pampered Chef baking stone similar to this.) Bake 7-8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9-10 minutes for crispy cookies. If your oven is as unreliable as ours, start checking after 6 minutes.

My recipe says to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks. We don't actually have any wire racks so we take slightly doughy cookies and let them firm up on paper plates or parchment paper. Waxed paper will do in a pinch.

Makes...I'm not sure. It depends on how big you make your cookies. If Philip is making these we're lucky to get a few dozen. If I'm making them, we get more.

All you need now is:
Fancy goblet optional, of course.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Any action taken with these links could result in compensation for me.
Photo credits: www.sxc.hu

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Look-worthy Links 2/26/11 Edition

What a week! One of the many things that made this week a bit better - our modem & phone line seem to be "magically" fixed, without the repair man coming to our house.

Rather makes one think that the problem was on their end, does it not? Anyway, everything seems to be working fine now. And, despite my dramatics, I did have time to read a few blogs this week. Here are some posts that interested me (with a few pictures of Sweet Pea's first-of-several parties this week):
1. Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. This isn't a blog I'd follow (no need to get into why) but someone else linked to these this week and all it took was the title. Sounds delicious and not too difficult. Have to keep this in mind for those dire chocolate shortages (not that said shortages happen around here all that often!).

2. The 5 Best Toys for Kids. An ironic post, since we just had Sweet Pea's birthday and visits from various grandparents this week. (Read: we've been abundantly blessed with new toys, clothes, and, in my case, a new sewing machine!)
3. Forget Mandarin. Latin is the key to success. Polly and I are enjoying her Latin lessons. Occasionally, Philip steps in to correct both of us but that hasn't happened too often, since our curriculum is fairly gradual, allowing us to learn alongside each other. I don't know about Polly yet, but I can already see the benefits to learning Latin for myself.

4. Waiting on Your Late Bloomer. This sweet post is a wonderful reminder that children have their own strengths and will learn best when allowed to learn at their own pace. I haven't had to test my resolve on this question yet (so far my children have been on target for learning phonics or math skills) but it's good to be reminded with a success story every once in awhile.
5. How to Make a Franken-Blanket.What a great idea! Prince Charming and I could have used this early in our marriage. (Imagine much blanket tugging.) It's not so much that our internal thermostats are that different (although he's always a bit colder than I am) but we like different types of blankets on our bed. If you're wondering who won that particular tug-of-war, then the answer is: we compromised. However, our compromise still means we have two of his kind of blanket on the bed. Oh, well. At least we don't make the bed with the sheets upside down any more. (Ahem. Another difference we brought to our marriage. And some people thought there weren't any!)

6. Butterfly Specimen Art or Butterfly Wall Collage. I want to do something like this if / when we get the girls' room addition built. I think it would be sweet in the older girls' room. We'll see. First we have to actually build the room. There isn't any place to hang something like this in their current room - all the walls are already filled with art, shelves and windows!

So, what caught your eye this week? I'm a little behind in my blog reading but I'd love to catch up!

This post is linked to Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci. Come share your links!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Happens

A new baby arrives for close friends.

A death in the family for another set of friends.

A hurried visit from family.

A trip Downtown to the Theater.

A wild Wednesday.

A birthday girl.

A flat tire. In the rain. At night.

A baby gets another month older and about 2 months more ambitious.

Helping a friend.

Calling friends to help us.

Cleaning up.

Cleaning up again.

Water in the basement. Again.

Plans for a birthday party.

Plans fall through.

Plans for a birthday cake.

Birthday Cake Plan B. Or is it C?

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

Sorry folks, this week has been a real life week. I miss blogging. I miss keeping up with blogs and Facebook and Twitter and everything else.

Things may calm down next week. Or they may not. It seems like our lives have been full speed ahead since last Saturday night. I'd like a chance to breathe soon. In the mean time, will anyone coming to my house please not look too closely? At anything.

And if I sit down to eat and fall asleep instead, don't wake me.

Thanks so much.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!



Dear Sweet Pea,

It's hard to believe but yes, today you are four. Technically your sister was correct when she told you that you were still three. But as that was yesterday, perhaps you could forgive her now.

Because now you are four.

Four!

I can't believe how quickly these four years have gone by. Yes, I know that I ought to be prepared for that, after all, I've seen how quickly your older sisters have grown. But I wasn't. You were supposed to be my baby.

Even the addition of Little Lili hasn't really changed that. You are still my Baby. No matter how tall you are. No matter how high you can count. No matter how many songs you sing in front of church.

You'll always be my baby. Even if you do wipe off kisses sometimes. I know enough of them have sunk in.

You are sharp as a tack, quick as a wink, cute as a button and sweet as honey (when you want to be!).

Love you, BusterSweet Pea!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top 10 - Great Books to Good Movies

The Top 10 Tuesday theme this week over at The Broke and the Bookish is favorite book to movie adaptations. This is a difficult subject simply because most movie adaptations of books are not worth watching. (i.e. I don't even want to know what Jim Carrey is doing to my beloved Mr. Popper's Penguins.)

These pass my stringent adaptation guidelines:
Persuasion1. My favorite Jane Austen adaptations tend to be mini-series rather than feature films. But these two: Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility are the exception. Persuasion is the standard by which all feature length film adaptations of Austen ought to take a clue. Emma Thompson is the screenwriter the others ought to imitate. Other favorite Austen adaptations: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Northanger Abbey.

 North & South2. North and South. Yet another mini-series instead of a film. So, so good. Better than the book, in some ways and I almost never say that.

A Room With a View (Two-Disc Special Edition)3. A Room with a View. Sure, it's just a little bit dated now. But this Merchant-Ivory film is an example of why Merchant-Ivory became synonymous with quality.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Widescreen Edition)4. Lord of the Rings. I hate what Jackson did to Faramir and Sam and, for that matter, Aragorn (character assassination is not too strong a term) but I feel like Peter Jackson did love Middle Earth, even if he didn't understand it. Which is more than I can say for whomever is making those awful Narnia movies.

Little Women (Collector's Series)5. Little Women, with Katherine Hepburn or Winona Ryder. (I've seen the June Allyson version but it's not a favorite). Sure, I know the most recent version is a little too...um, modern, I guess is the term, especially as concerns Marmee and her feminist overtones (considering which actress was portraying her, I think we got off easy). I especially love the music and the portrayal of Professor Bhaer in the Winona Ryder version.

Little Dorrit6. Favorite Dickens adaptations (once again these are mini-series instead of feature films): Bleak House and Little Dorrit. Adapting Dickens is not easy, I would imagine. All those characters! All those implausible connections! But these two are very well done.

Henry V7. Favorite Shakespeare adaptations: Henry V. By Laurence Olivier or Kenneth Branagh. Stirring, because of the source material, but also because of the lead actors, the music, the violence. Oh, wait, I don't like violence. But anyway, these are good despite the violence.

Gone with the Wind (Two-Disc 70th Anniversary Edition)8. Gone With the Wind. Not a favorite, per se, but how can we talk about book-movie combos without talking about this one? Vivien Leigh and Scarlet and inextricably intertwined in my mind. If you don't like Leslie Howard's version of Ashley (I really, really don't) try to find a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel because he is great in that. Actually, that is a great adaptation in its own right, but they change the ending a bit, which is disappointing because the ending in the book is just so perfect.

Swiss Family Robinson (Vault Disney Collection)9. The Swiss Family Robinson and Mary Poppins. Sure, they're "Disney-fied" versions of the stories. But they both make for great family movie viewing. And, though I hate to admit it, I think Mary Poppins is actually better than the original books. That, folks, is hard to do.

Anne of Green Gables10. Anne of Green Gables. Yet another mini-series. Alters the story in unfortunate ways. But Megan Follows is a great Anne and Colleen Dewhurst is Marilla and that's all there is to that discussion.

So, what are your favorite book to movie adaptations? And please, please don't say Little House on the Prairie. No one yet has adapted Laura Ingalls Wilder to my satisfaction.

This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at the Broke and the Bookish and also Oh Amanda.
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Any action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. As always, I encourage you to check your library or Paperback Swap first - these books are worth it! Opinions are my own and you must read at your own discretion.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Look-worthy Links 2/19/11 Edition

What a week! Unseasonably warm days and (ahem) unnecessarily grouchy ones too.But no need to dwell on that! On to the links (and this week's pictures of Miss Lili Bug):

1. If you read one story this week, let it be this one. Do you ever feel like "the experts" don't know as much as they would have us believe? Well, the little boy in this story is challenging experts all over the world. He "should" be a "vegetable" or worse. But he isn't. Praise God for His infinite mercies and that the wisdom of this world is still being confounded.
2. These pictures captured Philip's imagination this week. I guess this could mean a lot of posing on the couch with my legs sticking straight out, if he decides to attempt the technique. {smile}
3.One thing we can expect in a houseful of girls: moodiness. This post about homeschooling girls and helping our daughters manage their hormones really encouraged me. Honestly, it also made me shudder a little bit. With 9 years between Miss Polly and Miss Lili, we are going to be "in the midst of it" for a long time.
4.Ever wonder how to make homemade sprinkles? Now we know.
5. These family picture magnets are cute and easy to make.Once again, if you get gifts from our family, try to forget I mentioned them. 'Cause they will most likely be showing up in a gift bag near you some time in the future.
6. This post reminded me of everything I loved about the book 168 Hours. We don't need more hours in the day, more days in the week or whatever. We need to wisely manage the time God has already given us. Sure, there's always something else. But if our priorities are right, then the right things are getting done and we can finish a day with a sense of accomplishment instead of grief.

So, what caught your eye this week?
This post contained one Amazon Affiliate link. Action taken with this link could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own and, as always, I encourage you to check your library or Paperback Swap first - this book is worth it!