Friday Night Baking

What do you do for excitement on Friday night? I like to bake. Yes, baking on a Friday night.

My most favorite dessert of all time is cookies, especially chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I know, I’m a simple gal.

I have tried a lot of cookie recipes, yet I still keep going back to the recipes on the back of the Toll House package or the Quaker Oats container.

Dave prefers milk chocolate chips, but I’m a semi-sweet chocolate chip lover. How about you?

They bake to perfection – chewy, just the way I like them. How about you?

They stay fresh (and chewy) in our cookie jar for as long as there are any left. Such a great feeling to have homebaked cookies in the house! Now I’m ready to start my weekend.

Weekend Recap

We spent the first half of Saturday cleaning the house and catching up on laundry. To make these chores fun in some small way, I decided to wear my newly designated cleaning shoes.

I know, it’s barely 30 degrees around here and our yard is still covered in piles of snow. But I am ready for Spring, so I am wearing flip-flops around the house!

I made carrot cake cupcakes from a recipe in the Women’s Health magazine. Yum-O! I would highly recommend this recipe!

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 pound grated carrots

1/2 cup golden raisins (only on my cupcakes – Dave doesn’t like raisins)

4 oz. light cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (only on my cupcakes – Dave doesn’t like nuts in his food)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

Beat brown sugar and oil, adding one egg at a time. Stir in yogurt, carrots and raisins.

Mix into flour mixture.

Spoon batter into muffin cups 2/3 full. Baking 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Whip cream cheese and sugar. I added a splash of milk too. Spread over cupcakes.


Enough with the weekend domesticity and chores! I was happy to find some time and energy to work on a couple sewing projects, including new products for my shop, so I’ll be back in a couple days to share those with you. Hope you enjoyed the weekend too!

Slice of Donut Cake Anyone?

I saw this cake pan at William Sonoma and HAD to have it!

We love cake and we love donuts, so why not make them at the same time?!

First we made a batch of cake batter. Then we divided the batter in half, filling each of these cake pans about 2/3 full, and baked according to the recipe.

We added a little chocolate frosting to the middle to hold the two halves together.

Dave did such a fabulous job frosting the top of the donut cake to make it look like an actual donut. Next up, sprinkles!

This was such a fun baking experiment and delicious snack for a Saturday afternoon.

Anyone care for a slice?

Good Recipes Make Me Happy Today

We had a couple family get-togethers over the weekend, so I didn’t have much time for sewing. Darn it! At least I was able to make time for baking and cooking. I found this recipe for monster cookies while perusing through the Better Crocker app on my iPhone.

They are super easy because of the ingredients. Check this out:

1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix

1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 eggs

2 cups candy-coated milk chocolate candies (I used mini MnMs)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except candies until soft dough forms. Stir in candies.

2. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 1/4 cupfuls dough about 3 inches apart. I used an ice cream scooper, so they are as big as the palm of my hand!

3. Bake 12-13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove and cool completely on wire racks.

They turned out soft and chewy, which is just how I like my cookies. Plus the recipe is super duper easy!

* * * * * * * *

We tried this new recipe for Taco Bake, which I found in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine from 2008. We don’t eat casseroles too often in our house, but this one was so delicious (and easy) that I had to recommend it!

I changed the original recipe, which called for making a batter with yeast. I didn’t feel like dealing with that so I used the recipe on the back of the corn meal cannister.


1 pound ground chuck (leaner than ground beef)

1 package taco seasoning

1/3 cup water

Brown ground chuck. Add taco seasoning and water, and mix well.


1-1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup Quaker Enriched corn meal

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 egg whites or 1 egg

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.


1 cup chunky salsa

1 cup shredded cheese

1 cup corn chips, partially crushed

MIX batter ingredients together and pour into greased pie plate.

TOP batter with taco meat filling. Pour salsa evenly over meat; sprinkle with shredded cheese and corn chips.

BAKE at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

I was looking forward all day to having leftovers on this Monday night! Since both of these recipes turned out so good and did I mention easy, I suppose that makes up for my lack of time to work on sewing projects over the weekend. But I am already looking forward to next weekend when Dave has agreed to do some of the cooking so I can do some sewing!

Fall Duties

CORRECTION: I forgot to include the 3/4 cup brown sugar in the recipe I posted below! (Thanks Amy!) I’m so sorry about that! I hope I didn’t mess up anyone’s baking adventures.

We spent a lot of time this weekend working on many Fall duties, especially yard work. We are usually so enthusiastic in Spring to get out into the yard and plant new things and tend to the gardens. But now it’s just tiring and not as much fun anymore!

We had to stop at the garden center to pick up some bulbs and fertilizer for the lawn.

pumpkin display2

They had the coolest pumpkin displays set up next to their entry way.

pumpkin displayI bought a few more tulip and crocus bulbs to plant around our new trees. Then we spent a lot of time raking, mowing, and cutting down the dead foliage.

crocus bulbsBecause of all that yard work, we didn’t have the energy or time to go on our usual Sunday hike. I didn’t do a lot of sewing either, but I had time to make a batch of Apple Spice Cookies, which taste even better than plain old oatmeal cookies. My husband doesn’t like fruit so I didn’t tell him they have chopped up apples in them. He didn’t notice and he loves them. Ha!

Apple Spice CookiesIf you’re interested in trying these cookies, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 small apples, peeled and chopped (2 cups) (I used Macintosh)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter, shortening and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Beat in oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and flour, scraping side and bottom of bowl until blended. Stir in apples.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls about 2-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown and centers are set. Cool 2 minutes on pan.

Drizzle with vanilla glaze… and enjoy!

Hope you all enjoyed a nice weekend too! I’m off to get some rest before Monday gets here.