Saturday, 26 September 2015

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Chocolate no-bake cookie ingredients 

52 Weeks of Cookies: Week 13

Not only are these ones delicious and easy to make but if it is still super hot where you are it doesn't require you turning your oven on (it does require you to use your stove though).

You can find the recipe on Frugal Farm Wife

I followed the recipe exactly without an issue.

Chocolate no-bake cookies
I want to give these cookies a 10/10 I really do... BUT.. they have one minor flaw.  
You have to keep these cookies refrigerated or else they will turn into a pile of mush.  
Because of this... and only because of this I'm giving these cookies a 9/10

If you have some suggestions for how to stiffen them up a bit I would love to hear them... perhaps adding more oats?  I think these would be great in bar form... and if they were stiffer I would throw one in bag to eat at work (or on the way home from work).

Next time I try making these I might try adding in some coconut.

My favourite cookies are the ones I made last week: Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, 21 September 2015

Last Weekend at the Lake

Still haven't been up to much lately... it's been a slow start to the school year but I really, really, REALLY hope things start picking up soon.

What have I been up to?

John and I made these delightfully colourful popsicles.  We added a simple syrup to the pureed fruit... but I don't think it is necessary.  We used kiwi, a mango/peach combination, and strawberry.
pureed fruit popsicle

We got back to John's place after life group last Wednesday and his sister had a collection of dress up hats and glasses for a photo booth... naturally we spent some time playing dress up.

playing dress up
With nothing much to do during the day I've taken to going for afternoon walks.  Luckily, there is a lovely park not far from my place that I can walk to and enjoy!

I spent one last weekend at the lake.  It was such a beautiful weekend consider we are over halfway through September already (where was this gorgeous weather on the long weekend!?!).


We did some fishing before dinner on Saturday (much like all the other times I went fishing on this lake... no one caught anything).

Then something happened to the motor so we started paddling back (thankfully we were nearly back by this point... but not so close that we would get back in under an hour).  My attempts at getting the other people fishing to tow us back to the docks by blowing a whistle to get their attention was useless... but my prayers were answered when another boat came to our rescue!
getting towed

And, I played some telephone pictionary with my students on Friday.  To see the full round to go with this picture click here
telephone pictionary

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 12

Folks, this is a good one.

You'll find the recipe for this delictable number Well Traveled Wife

I made the dough for these cookies in the morning and then stuck it in the fridge until later in the afternoon.  The recipe didn't say to do this and I'm not sure if I had ever done this before.  It isn't necessary though.  In fact, I would advise against it.  Putting the dough in the fridge made the dough super stiff and nearly impossible to scoop out.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are one of John's favourite cookies (and mine too)

I have a feeling I won't get away with only making these once this year.

obviously if they are so wonderful they deserve a wonderful rating
... it's not every day you see that!

Check out last weeks S'mores cookies!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Life Lately

Other than having my first sub day last Friday (I've got another half day booked for this Friday) I haven't been up to too much... I wish I was getting called more often.

I was on for snack at life group last Wednesday so all of this made an appearance there.

Some apple nachos

And some S'mores, Mississippi Mud Pie, and mystery cookies

We've been having some unseasonable warm weather lately (I think on Sunday it was supposed to get up to 30 degrees!) so John and I headed to the beach to play some frisbee and fly a kite.  We stopped in at 3 different dollar stores for the kite and none of them had... so we stuck with the frisbee.  What we didn't factor in was how windy it was so it didn't really work out too well for us.  So we went on a walk, chased snakes, built sand castles, and John was smart and wore shorts so he was able to go in the water (at least up to his knees).
Naturally, I left my phone in the car for all of this.

Next weekend it is back to the lake!  

Saturday, 12 September 2015

S'Mores Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies:  Week 11

I don't know what the weather is like where you live but over here it has started to cool down.  

Which just so happens to be the perfect temperature for campfires/bonfires!

BUT... if you are like me you don't like the smell of campfires (I know, I know I'm completely crazy).  So I found a cookie to make up for all the missed S'more opportunities.

You can find the recipe I used on Baked Perfection

A few things... 
I didn't measure out the chocolate chips but I think I over chocolate chipped these (if that is even possible)... next time I would put in fewer.
When I make cookies I use 2 different cookie sheets.. one always takes longer than the other and I always start with this one because it is larger.. for these cookies this meant an extra couple of minutes after you put on the toppings... I also noticed while taking them off the pan that they started to crumble a bit at the beginning but the last ones I took off weren't... so I would just leave them on the pan for an extra couple of minutes.  With my 2nd pan I left them on a little too long and they dried out a little or got over baked... so just be careful!
For the chocolate pieces I simply broke up my chocolate bar the way it was supposed to be and then snapped each of the pieces in half again.  Easy peasy.

Just before adding the chocolate and marshmallows
I LOVE that the marshmallows got a little toasted.  How authentic!
I found that the graham cracker crumbs and the cinnamon give these cookies a little something something.  
I think they would be great without the extra chocolate and marshmallows and I think that is what I would do with these... just turn them into another version of chocolate chip cookies.
But... my rating?
Because they are still quite good!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Labour Day Long Weekend at the Lake

Most people that know me know that I am NEVER EVER available to hang out September Long weekend... why?  Because I am always at the lake for a family gathering.  This year marked 30 years that I've gone (at least I can't remember a time that I haven't gone).

John and I had every intention of leaving the city around noon on Friday (I convinced him to take the day off just for this) but there was a lot of running around that he had to do that morning (plus washing his boat for any invasive species that the boat might have picked up in the Winnipeg River system).  I think we ended up leaving around 1:30.... getting there around 5 which is slightly later than what it normally would have taken us because we had to drive the first hour or so on the highway at about 70km/hour because of a massive downpour (I'm talking everyone pulling over to the side of the road kind of downpour).

But we got there and checked into our cabin that we were sharing with my cousin, sister, and brother in law (and 2 dogs).  
When we got there it wasn't raining so I showed him the sights and we sat down to a delicious dinner of soup and pizza buns.

The weekend didn't have great weather but our cabin managed to squeeze in as many activities as possible!

Saturday afternoon we decided to attempt a 13km hike.  We starting at the top and were working our way down... we thought the fog was lifting as we continued on the hike but on our way back we realized that wasn't the case... because we were right back in the thick of the fog.  Our faithful leader to keep the bears way was one dog and the other one was somewhere near the back.

Still all smiles because at this point we likely aren't even halfway through

It's hard to tell in the pictures but there was often a pretty steep drop off to one side of the path
(don't worry.. we all made it out of the hiking trail relatively unscathed).

Lots of going down and some going up.  I am likely the shortest one in this hiking group and here I appear to be some kind of giant.

We walked along the road back in hopes that it wouldn't take so long and we would make it back in time to get things ready for dinner (because we eat it all together... about 30 or so of us this year).  On the way back it was about 95% uphill and I was feeling it in my back for a couple of days!

But here we are (well I'm behind the camera) exhausted from our long walk!
"Look exhausted everyone"
"So we'll just look like ourselves?"

Saturday evening after we were all showered we all decided that we definitely deserved an evening in with some movies... so we set up a laptop and watched a movie and ate snacks.  
I fell asleep.

Sunday morning we went with my parents to the bison enclosure and we just so happened to go at the exact right time to see a bunch of bison!
(there were a lot more than I managed to capture with my camera)

My mom says that we had been here before... I just don't have much memory of it.
(as in I have no memory at all of it)

When we turned around to head back the same way we went in (maybe about 20 minutes later) there were no bison to be seen at all!... which is why I say that we went at the right time.

Later Sunday afternoon we were debating on going to watch the Bomber game at a local restaurant or taking the boat out.  
We decided on the boat option because John had pulled it all the way from the city!
(this ended up being the better option because the Bombers ended up losing anyways)
So we all changed into our Bomber gear (well everyone but John who apparently doesn't have any!) and headed for the public boat launch.

We had been pre warned that they were doing inspections for invasive species (like zebra mussels) but because John had already washed his boat we thought we would be free and clear to head out.

Unfortunately, because his boat had been in the Winnipeg River system we weren't so free and clear as we had thought we would be.

Here his boat and trailer are being steamed cleaned just in case (about a 30 minute job).
Luckily, they do this for free so that people don't lie about having used their boats in different waters

It looks like a beautiful day but the waves were a little large and we all got pretty wet on the boat ride back to the docks.
Luckily, I had decided to bring a bunch of extra towels from the cabin and a blanket of mine 
(I hid under the blanket for the majority of the bumpy ride back)

My job before a boat ride is to be in the boat and drive it towards the dock and then hold on until John comes back... I'm still working on doing a decent job of all of this.

My job for after the boat ride is to pull the boat our of the water which is what I am about to do here...
I was a little nervous because you launch and pull the boat out of the water on sand here and I didn't know how that would work for traction... after a few attempts I managed to get it out.

Monday morning John went out and bought cinnamon buns for our cabin at the local bakery (because what's a trip to the lake without some delicious cinnamon buns?) and then after breakfast people started to pack up and leave.

John and I took one last stroll around the place and left around noon.

People would ask me what the highlight of my summer was and I always told them that I didn't think it had happened yet... because I knew September Long would be great.  

And it was!

It doesn't matter what the weather is like when you are surrounded by great people (and great food).

Hope everyone's long weekend was as fantastic as mine!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

52 Weeks of Cookies: Week 10

You can find the recipe that I used on Culinary Chat

These ones sounded like a delicious idea and when I sampled one they were pretty good

A couple of things:
I did not have salted butter...I also didn't add extra salt to the recipe because of my saltless butter

Confession: I actually use margarine and not butter at all!

I left my dough in the freezer overnight and made them the following afternoon.
Some of my caramels were a little on the older side... how do I know they were? They were REALLY hard to cut up.  Some of them were on the newer side and nice and chewy.

Ok, so I attempted to flatten the cookies originally before putting the caramels on them but they just started to fall apart on me!  So I jammed in the harder caramels and smooshed on the chewy ones...  then I reformed the cookies into balls.

I put exactly 2 caramel pieces on each cookie... it almost ended up being perfect

Confession: One cookie only got one caramel piece.

You can kind of tell which ones had the hard caramels versus which ones didn't... the soft ones kind of melted into the cookie and the hard ones didn't.

In theory these sound like a delicious treat and although they were I'm not so sure about these.
The caramel is going to get hard and impossible to chew.  
I just know it.
So, I guess one should always have a microwave handy to pre warm these up?

And the mess!
Let me tell you about the mess
Those caramels melted all over my pans and then cookie pieces stuck to them when I was trying to get the cookies off the pan.
Then everything stuck to that flipper/lifter tool that no one knows what it is actually called.
I actually had to regularly scrape off all the caramel cookie goop that was stuck to it.

I'm sure there is something better out there!
(and I know for a fact that I have other caramel cookie recipes just waiting to be made!)

So, I'm giving these a 7/10
because I'm holding out for something better.

Hope everyone is having a lovely start to their long weekend!
I'm at the lake (with my family and these cookies)... we'll see how many [cookies] make it back home.

Last week I made some Oatmeal Cookies that I think you should try out 
(just add in some fun extras to the recipe)