Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cowboy Cookies

E Cowboy Cookie

For Christmas this year my friends and I decided to do baked goods for our annual "Girls Christmas" instead of gifts. Sounded good to me as I had already planned on giving some Mason Jar Cookies as my gift anyway. I just needed to find a good recipe.

I found this one over on Bakerella's Site. They looked really good and very simple. And they were!

E Cowboy Cookie jar

I gave them to 5 people and realized afterward that I never actually made the recipe myself! Oops! So, I decided to try it out this past weekend.

Much to my delight they were VERY easy to make and super tasty!

Cowboy Cookies

1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oats
3/4 cup M&M's
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3-1/2 cup chopped pecans (I didn't use this and there would have been NO WAY they'd fit in the jar
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup butter (melt slightly in the microwave)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients (Basically a 1 bowl cookie mix! Awesome!), mix together well. Roll into 1/2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

E Cowboy Cookies 1

They turned out great!  Definitely a keeper! They oats gave it a really nice texture instead of just regular chocolate chip cookie (which I totally can't make...) They are also jam packed with chocolaty goodness. Nobody's going to be fighting over the one with more chips with these cookies! Mmmm, delish! 
E Cowboy Cookies Stacked new

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


From time to time I like to do some photo shoots with my dogs.  I know. I'm a dork.

This past Sunday they were especially cooperative. The pictures definitely aren't anything fancy. I do what I can with my point and shoot. Maybe someday we'll have a nice camera *hint hint!* to play around with and then maybe a decent computer to make sure the pictures actually look right! 

They are just too cute not to take a million pictures of though.  Ted is 10 months old now and Missy is a year older than that!  We just love them to bits.

E Ted Sitting 10 months

E Missy Lounging

E Ted looks sideways

E Missy

E Ted and Missy Sleeping

E Missy and Ted Sit January 10

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fitness Update

Well, it's been a few months since the fitness challenge has ended. It sure doesn't seem like it. I feel like it was just yesterday I was being told I was "skinny fat" and having my stomach pinched by a stranger in front of a photographer and journalist....

I am not going to lie to you all, the holidays were rough. Real rough. I was doing pretty well up until the actual holiday. Then it all went downhill-ish.

Hospital food + Christmas +Fast Food+ New Years + Blizzard + No Gym + Stress Eating = 5 pounds.

I was LUCKY it was only five pounds.

Last week I kicked it back into gear and lost two of those pounds and feel like I'm back in control. It was sketchy there for a while.  It's just crazy how fast you can go back to the way things were. At first when I'd eat junk I'd feel bad and sick and disgusted with myself. After a while that goes away and it all becomes normal again. I had to really knock some sense back into myself and throw out all the junk. Let me tell you, throwing perfectly good Christmas cookies in the trash is hard!  But now I'm back in the gym 5-6 times a week and eating my normal food.  The weekends are still iffy, but not nearly as gluttonous as they were there for the past 3 weeks.

So, here we go again.  I know I can lose those other 3 pounds no problem and I'd really like to add a few more after that too, since summer will be here before I know it. Plus I have that race coming up in March that I've got to get ready for (which is a 10K by the way. I kinda forgot to mention that in my initial post! Ha!), so getting my cardio in has a little extra motivation behind it.

It does still feel really good starting 2010 off to such a good start!  As I keep telling myself : Snacks-Bad. Skinny-Good!

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Race of 2010: Booked!

I have officially signed up for my first race of 2010.  Rock the Parkway!  It's the inaugural race, so I thought that might be kind of neat!

The "Parkway" that they are talking about is Kansas City's Ward Parkway. The fanciest, schmanchiest street in town!  Or at least people like to think it is.

I'm just happy that it's not super hilly!

Here's the "official description":
There is something for everyone at the inaugural Rock The Parkway on Saturday, March 27, 2010.  The event features one of the most beautiful tree-lined courses in the country, along Kansas City's famed Ward Parkway, and features regal mansions, classic gardens, gorgeous fountains, and expansive reflecting pools throughout the 5K, 10K and half marathon courses. 

Well then. 

I think I'll be ready for the race, no problem.  Since I've been lifting weights, running has become a LOT easier. It's amazing! Last night I did 4 miles on the treadmill. I didn't run the WHOLE time, but I ran more than most of the time, so I'm feeling pretty good.  I just worry that it will still be super cold at the end of March. It's always a crapshoot at that time of year.

We shall see!  I'm excited! 

Now I need new shoes!

PS: Um, 'scuse me Blogger, but where is the spellcheck button? It seems to have gone missing with the new format. Not cool.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

I wonder how many blog posts are going to have that title?  Probably a lot.

Anyway, yep, it's getting pretty cold here.  It's not so much the cold that's bothering me, it's the snow.

It. Won't. Stop. Snowing.

I finally decided I should try my hand at shoveling. Since, you know, I've never shoveled before. Heh. Yeah. Spoiled. Plus I was working from home and was in desperate need of a break.

I got all sorts of bundled up. Long johns, jeans, long sleeve tshirt, sweat shirt, brother's old ski coat, two pairs of socks, head band ear cover thingy, hood, ski gloves, rubber boots.  I was READY!  I dug into the first scoop and my first thought was "Holy Hell! Snow is heavy!"  Our driveway is loooooong and three spaces wide.  I decided from the get-go that there was no way I was shoveling that third space.  The wind was blowing in just the perfect direction to build up some nice 2.5' to 3' high snow drifts right where my car would back out, so I had my work cut out for me.  Over an hour and a half later I totally lost steam. I threw in the towel after I realized I had just yelled "God Damn You Piece Of Shit!!!" out loud.  Oops. Sorry neighbors! I finished what I could.  It's definitely not pretty and I never even scraped the concrete, but at least we can get the cars out. I came inside and took off all my layers only to discover I was sweating my ass off!!  How is that possible?! It's like 4 degrees out!

Then I started shaking.  Not because I was cold, but because I was so worn out.  I'm in probably the best shape of my life, but damn, that about did me in.  I don't think I'll need to do any shoulder or back exercises the next few days.  (I'm currently trying to ignore the fact that I just looked outside and all the snow drifts are already piling back up.  Zach can do it next time!)


So I came inside and warmed up? Cooled off? I don't know! THEN I started getting really cold.  All I wanted was some hot chocolate. GOOD hot chocolate. I hate the mix stuff. Gag.  So I whipped out my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and found a really easy, really quick, and REALLY tasty recipe.  Ahh heaven.

hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped OR 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (which is what I used)
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups milk

1) In a medium saucepan combine chocolate, sugar and 1/2 cup of the milk. Stir over medium heat until mixture just comes to boiling. Stir in remaining milk, heat through, but do not boil.
2) Remove from heat. Pour into mugs and add whipped topping or marshmallows.

This makes about 6 servings so I cut it in about 1/4...ish.

hot chocolate frothe

Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cinnamon Bread - Take 1

**Edit: Might be helpful if I give you the baking directions. Ha!

Cinnamon Bread Take 1 close up
I'm a sucker for Cinnamon Bread. Ever since I was in college at Northwest. Nothing could make my day better than a quick trip over to Java City for a cup of steaming hot chocolate and a slice of their cinnamon bread. I'm not quite sure what it was about it, but it was delicious.

I've now decided that I will find the perfect cinnamon bread recipe. I was shocked to find though my quick google search that not many exist. Definitely nothing that resembled my college treat! So, I will just have to invent it on my own.

First up I found a recipe on I didn't have all the ingredients it called for and there were a few that I wanted to tweak, so I'm considering this recipe my own!

Cinnamon Bread
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Strudel Topping:
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp butter

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat for around 3 minutes. Pour into greased loaf pan. Combine strudel topping and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

cinnamon bread take 1 up top

I'm not sure what I do wrong, but I cannot for the life of me make a strudel topping. It always turns out to be more of a paste like consistency. I use cold butter, so I'm not sure what's going on here. Any tips?

I also tried to get the perfect cinnamon swirl through the middle, but as you can see, that didn't quite work out either.

cinnamon bread take 1 inside loaf

The bread did taste really good though. However, it could be better. Stay tuned for the next try!

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States