Friday, September 27, 2013

recipe: sweet & salty cookies

I was looking for a new cookie to make. Something beyond just chocolate chip - something more. And I found it! I liked the odd combination of pretzel and potato chip and chocolate - I wasn't completely convinced I would like it until I took that first bite. And warm from the oven they were super good! I made these for a football party last weekend and got several compliments on them :) The only thing I would do differently is make them a bit thicker next time - I'm not sure if I should've chilled the dough first or what but they ended up spreading out as they baked. This is definitely a cookie I'll be making again! I found this recipe from Nestle's website.

What you need:
  • - 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • - 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • - 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • - 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • - 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • - 2 large eggs
  • - 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • - 2 cups coarsely broken rippled potato chips
  • - 1 cup small pretzel twists, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
  • - 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (optional)

  • What to do:
  • "Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine flour, 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 morsels, potato chips, pretzel pieces and peanuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely." 

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

book review: "truth seekers: the machine" by bill myers

"What if...actual conversations in the Bible were recorded in surrounding rocks and pottery? What if...we could play back those conversations and listen in? Not only has Dr. Mackenzie's brilliant and quirky group of brilliant scientists found a way to play them back, they've invented a machine that creates such super-realistic holographic images (when it's not fritzing out) that you actually think you're there. Imagine hanging out with Noah and his floating zoo, or seeing Jesus' miracles firsthand!"

I've read some of Bill Myers adult books and liked them so I was excited to read this Young Adult book! I think he does a great job of writing to his audience - the style is geared for that young group as is the way some of the text is bigger than the rest. The point of view alternates all through the book with the two main characters, Jake and Jennifer. While I wasn't overly crazy about the book, it's definitely one I would recommend to kids. It sort of reminds me of the Frank Peretti series for kids. And I'll admit at the end of the story when Jake and Dr. Mackenzie are able to see Jesus on Palm Sunday, I couldn't help but get excited. I've not read a book like this before and am curious to see what adventures the rest of the series holds. 

I received a copy of this book from The B & B Media Group, Inc. for my honest review.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

mission statement

I went to Guatemala this summer for a mission trip and God changed something in me. I've been on two other mission trips but this was my first time out of the country. We had an amazing time and I'm slowly figuring out how to take all that happened and let it influence what I'm doing now that I'm back home. One of the biggest things that has helped me was to write a mission statement. I got the idea from Paige Omartian's book,  Wake Up, Generation. I reviewed the book after being home about a month and feel like the timing was truly a God thing. It was long enough that I had rested up from the trip and was finally thinking "I'm back. Now what do I do?" Why is a mission statement important? Because it drives what you do. "...your mission is the root and heart of what you do. It's your reference for every decision; it's your reminder and confidence of what God has called you to." Want to change the world? Write a mission statement to help guide you and then go for it!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

book review: "wake up, generation" by paige omartian

This is one of those books that makes you think. All of us have the incredible gift of this life but how will we use it? I went to Guatemala on a mission trip in July and have been trying to figure that question out ever since. Being able to review Paige's book has helped guide me in this process and be able to really figure out what my mission is. "Defining your mission is a big undertaking, but it's one of the most profound things you'll ever do. Your mission is the platform that God has given you to build your life upon. Now, I in no way want to give the impression that our lives are based on any "platform" other than Christ. What I mean is that your mission is the root and heart of what you do. It's your reference for every decision; it's your reminder and confidence of what God has called you to do." She talks about some of the reasons that we don't pursue that mission. One of those is that we like comfortable. "When we are stuck in our comfortable way of life we are blind to the world around us. We are blind to needs, problems, ideas, truth, and people. Most tragically, we are blind to the way that God desires to use us to impact the world." Paige gives examples of people who are making a difference and those stories inspire me. This is a great read - it challenges you to do more than just think about you but to look at those around you who you can impact. You can learn more about Paige and her story from her website

I received a copy of this book from Christian Review of Books for my honest review. 

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

best cookie recipes

I made cookies the other night...and they ended up in the trash. It was a very disappointing experience. I used Betty Crocker's cookie mix but for some reason, something went horribly wrong. The sides were starting to brown but the middle was still gooey. Normally I use the pre-made dough in the dairy section and it's fine. So, what are some of your best cookie recipes? I will say one of my favorites is the JIF peanut butter cookie recipe. Those never last long in my house when I make them :)

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Monday, September 2, 2013

diy: duck tape clipboard

Duck Tape has come out with a whole bunch of really fun designs - it's not only gray tape anymore. I was at Walmart the other day and bought a roll of mustache Duck Tape. I bought a clipboard from Target (Walmart was sold out! It was only about 50 cents more at Target though) and then wrapped the board with the tape. I started right below the clip at the top and wrapped it completely around, letting it overlap just a bit where the ends met. And that's it! It was super easy and I'm really excited at how it turned out! Duck Tape also has a polka dot pattern that I have my eye on next :)

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