Monday, December 19, 2011

Hello, Monday

hello car finally getting fixed for FREE (hopefully, for good)

hello coffee mid-afternoon with my little sister (have i mentioned how glad i am that she is home???)

hello to finishing up my Christmas shopping & lots o' sales

hello busy Christmas Eve (work & 3 services)

hello to a long over-due hair cut (last one was LAST CHRISTMAS. I am bad at this...)

hello to the end of super crazy shopping days...

hello to Christmas in 6 days!!

hello to 50 hr work week...(grumble grumble...) and a thankful heart for the work

hello to family being (almost) all together for our last Christmas before my little sis gets married

hello to my darling katie coming home from college

hello to seeing friends & family

hello to taking the time to remember that our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father & our Prince of Peace has come to save us

{i am really loving the 'hello, monday' link up! it makes me stop & take time to think about what i want to do and what i'm looking forward to doing throughout the week. it's a good way to ease me into making lists, without getting overwhelmed. [unlike my sister who LOVES lists...] i may not be thrilled about everything on this list [is anyone every thrilled about 14hr work days??] but it all reminds me to be thankful for what i have. and that is always a good thing}

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmastime PSA

We interrupt this week's lack of posts due to Laura's insane work schedule (she is getting ready to leave for a 11+ hr work day) to bring you this announcement:

My little sister is on her way home RIGHT NOW!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

You may now go about your day


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cheer: Holiday Baking

It's officially Christmastime.

I made my first batch of cookies while listening to Christmas music.

My work schedule is pretty tight this week so today was the only good day to roll up my sleeves and break out my mad baking skilz. (Yesterday would have also been a good day, if I hadn't slept most of it away...)

Baking doesn't ever seem like much of a chore to me, but there is something special about it when Christmas music is playing. I do a little dance, get flour and cocoa powder all over the place, eat some cookie dough and then dance some more. It's just what I do in the kitchen and I have to say I love it!

I found this fantastic Nutella cookie recipe over the summer and it has quickly become a family and personal favourite. Plus? Chocolate + Nutella + cookies? What is there NOT to love???

I know this isn't a baking blog...but I also know there are no hard and fast rules to my blog. Like blogging once a week? Twice a week? Twice a month? Whatever! So in an effort to share some of the Christmas Cheer Sarah is talking about right now, I give you the star of my holiday baking -- Chocolate Nutella Cookies!

I found this recipe at Our Best Bites...but they found it over at Two Peas and Their Pod.
(The librarian inside me says I need to give credit to EVERYONE!)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
2/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract (you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla if you can’t find or don’t like hazelnut extract)
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup milk

*I just use extra vanilla cause not everyone is crazy about hazelnut. I have no idea why not, but those are the cold hard facts.


Preheat oven to 325°

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Set the mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the extracts and beat for another 30 seconds or so. Add the Nutella and beat until smooth.

With the mixer running, add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the milk, mixing until combined completely, then add the remaining flour mixture and mix completely. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 15 minutes (and as long as 2-3 days).

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and place them on the lined cookie sheet, allowing about 2″ between the dough balls.

Lightly press the dough balls with the bottom of a drinking glass and then bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are crackly on top and soft, but starting to set. Remove from the oven and allow them to stand for about 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*I did the whole press-the-dough-balls-with-drinking-glass but it didn't work so well for me. Do whatever the Spirit leads you to do.