Recipe: Ranger Cookies Redo

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Oatmeal, rice krispies, cereal, chocolate chips, m&m, cookies

While we were visiting our friends last week, I thumbed through their cookbooks one evening. Just something I do. Some people like reading fiction, non-fiction, I peruse cookbooks. So I stumbled upon a cookie recipe that reminded me of monster cookies, or everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies. What caught my attention was the crispy rice cereal (okay, Rice Krispies, everyone!). I thought the texture might be a weird, interesting contrast. I also thought, will all the rice get crunched up and smooshed into dust? They did not… the cereal added a fun crunch and for my kid and me who have nut allergies, it’s a welcome change!

I checked out a few recipes and found that three cups of flour would make the batter very crumbly and dry, so I took out a cup. Original recipes did not include chocolate chips either. In this batch we made it festive and added spring colored M&M’s. I also used butter instead of shortening, and omitted one cup of shredded coconut. Please feel free to put it back in, I just didn’t want my son’s friends complaining. Next time around I’ll add it.

Ranger Cookies
Yields 24-36

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, softened at room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats, not instant
1-3/4 cups crisp rice cereal
1 cup M&Ms or chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut (Optional, and if you add this, decrease the chocolate chips by 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl and add to the butter-sugar mixture. Add oatmeal, cereal, and chocolate chips (and/or coconut). Mix well. Drop by tablespoons on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Mugshot Monday: It’s Finally Spring

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This week’s Mugshot Monday is full of pics from last week – Spring Break. It goes by so quickly, doesn’t it? My family and I didn’t go anywhere too far since there’s a big trip in the works this summer. We didn’t want to bust our vacation budget, nonetheless we filled our week with kid-friendly activities at Goldberry Woods.

It’s so fun just hanging out, eating, drinking and laughing with friends! All our kids ran around the woods and only came in when they were hungry, or they wanted screen time. Imagine eight kids huddled around one computer screen! It’s the new fireside chat by the radio – and if you get that reference, kudos to you.

Mugshot Monday: 3/31/2014

At Goldberry Woods

I had a good weather day which meant… bicycle maintenance checks!

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Bicycles all cleaned up at Goldberry Woods

My hubby and our friend held a science lab for the kids… DIY calorimeter. Awesome.

Springtime at Goldberry Woods. Science class.

DIY Calorimeter at Goldberry Woods

Somehow I got the kids to doodle and draw with me. Hehehe.

Drawing. Doodling. Zentangles. Julie Tiu.

We even had some time to walk around the property… checking out the seedlings in the hoop house (greenhouse)!

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Seedlings at Goldberry Woods

… walking on one of the trails.

Springtime at Goldberry Woods

Now we’re back home. Everyone’s at work and school. Today, I’m finishing our taxes (crossing fingers!). My head was spinning from papers, so I took a small break outside with a cuppa.

I thought, “What a cool reflection in my mug! Oh, look, my grass is actually turning green!”

The Spring miracle.

Mugshot Monday: 4/7/2014

This week, stay tuned for a “vintage” recipe redo and some Easter artwork!

Mugshot Monday: March Madness (at home)

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Mugshot Monday: 3/24/2014

I’m writing in bits and pieces this morning, because my head is filled with choppy ideas. Sometimes “choppy” is all I have. Life right now feels like it’s disjointed, but all are good chunks of time. If you’re a reader out there, hope you’re flowing along better than me. :)

Hosted an “open craft table” night at home with a few pals. Definitely want to do more!

Watching March Madness and playing our annual family bracket pool. Winner picks dinner out.

Stitched a postcard for the Great Stitched Postcard swap.

Preparing to teach a paper flower workshop at TeaLula this week!

Working on another Subway Art piece for a lovely lady who won it in an auction for Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge.

Participating in the #showusyalists journal challenge. Five lists in five days, and lots of fun.

Getting ready to visit friends over Spring Break at Goldberry Woods.

Helped out a friend join Pinterest and the Twittersphere. Won’t you welcome her?

Mugshot Monday: Waiting for Spring

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Another two-fer mugshot post…

Our days continue to be busy with activities, so I’m looking forward to a little break. Now whether or not it’ll feel like spring, that’s to be determined. It seems we can’t get past this warm sun-snow-freeze cycle. (Curse you, Polar Vortex!)

Mugshot Monday: 3/10/2014

Snow finally melting, except more snow on the way (March 10, 2014)

So, while I’ve been juggling the day-to-day life happenings, I’ve also been trying to sneak in some creative time when I can. I just finished my One Little Word activities for February. Got a thumbs up from Ali Edwards, herself! Eeeee.

Mugshot Monday: 3/17/2014

In case you missed out on some baked goods yesterday (like I did), feel free to check out my Irish Soda Bread and Irish Stout Coffee Cake recipes!

Monday Mugshot prompts: The Precinct

Super-easy Crescent Roll Cheesecake

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Lemon Cheesecake Crescent Roll Bars

This might be my quickest dessert offering next to Crazy Cake. I made this all the time with my mom, and eventually it was my responsibility to bake this for the big family dinners. This cheesecake cuts into squares and travels well which means… easy to bring to potluck meals! (I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve actually baked this. Maybe 15 years??)

Here’s the breakdown.

2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
Juice and zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
Egg white (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Open one package of crescent rolls, unroll dough leaving it in its rectangular shape. Place the dough on the bottom of baking pan and pat in place, stretching out gently to make into the bottom crust. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Use a hand or stand mixer to blend the ingredients until smooth, then beat on high for two minutes. Spread this mixture on the crust.

Open the remaining package of dough, and in the same manner as the bottom crust, place the dough on top of the cheesecake mixture. At this point, you could beat an egg white and brush on top of the dough. Bake 20-30 minutes, until top is golden brown, and toothpick placed in center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the cheesecake before serving.

This yields (24) 2″ squares.

Mugshot Monday: On Location at Dixie Kitchen

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Mugshot Monday: 3/3/2014

Day off for the hubby, so we hit up places that kids don’t necessarily enjoy, like The Spice House, grocery shopping… you get the idea.

This place seemed like the perfect spot for lunch given that the next day was Mardi Gras. Oh, how I love me some Cajun and creole dishes. Beignets were a lovely, pillowy, powdery, doughy end to some finger-lickin’ good eats. Thanks for lovely lunch, Dixie Kitchen!

More goodies here: Recipe for Lent, Broccoli side dish

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