Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hey...hope all is well. Here's a few of my favorite recipes to make in the kitchen with your kids. I always enjoyed being in the kitchen with my daughter. Now that I'm a grandmother (aka...Gege) I cannot wait to do these recipes with my grandson Davin. Just remember to have fun with your kids...decorate an apron together as a weekend project. Your local craft store has them all ready made for about $3.00. For that "little man" in your life make his a mini tool bag. The cookie recipe is a great snack for your "big man" during game day. Enjoy!

Gege's Granola Bars:  1 can Fat Free sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
                                  1 cup peanut butter
                                  2 cups Old Fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
                                  1/2 cup chopped pecans
                                  1/2 cup chopped walnuts
                                  1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
In a non-stick pan warm the condensed milk stirring constantly. Add peanut butter and oatmeal. Cook on low until it breaks away from the sides while stirring. Add pecans and walnuts and remove pan from heat. Spread into a buttered glass baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into bars. Delicious and healthy!!!
TIP: Great snacks to take to that Saturday game or even to work. Just wrap each bar in a plastic snack bag.

Gege's Extreme Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour                              1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup instant oatmeal                                 2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda                                       1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt                                                     1 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter                  1 cup bits 'o brickle (toffee bits)
3/4 cup granulated sugar                          1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375*. combine flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, toffee bits and pecans. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown (ovens vary). Cool on baking sheet for about 2 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
TIP: For a perfect cookie shape use a ice cream scooper. Spray with cooking oil if dough sticks to scooper.
Line baking sheet with Parchment paper for even cooking.

TWIST:  Cookie bar version...Prepare recipe as above. Grease a 15x10 jelly-roll pan or deep cookie sheet or line with Parchment paper. Spread dough evenly into pan. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan. Cut into bars.

Ultimate ice-cream sandwich...Prepare recipe as above. Let cookies cool completely then freeze cookies for about 15 minutes in a container. This will allow the ice cream to spread easier. Choose cookies that are even in size and spread about 1/2 cup of your favorite ice cream on top of cookie. Use softened ice cream for easier spreading. Place additional cookie on top and wrap with saran wrap. Place wrapped cookies in freezer container and freeze until set.


DESIGN TIP:  Decorating your child's room can be fun and a little hectic. To make things a little easier have your child write down 5 of his/her favorite things that he would like in the room. Now choose 3 of the items to start with...save the other 2 items for those "good incentive" times. Personalize the room and make it inviting using their favorite colors. I love to create a "reading area" just using a comfy chair (bean bag) a fun accent lamp and comfy throw to snuggle with. You are creating that special place that your child can have some moments to themselves and encouraging reading habits. This is also a great time for you to do those tasks by yourself :-)


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~Sending you thanks and blessings from my home to yours