Friday, July 29, 2011

Chocolate No Bake Cookies Recipe - when the sweet tooth hits!

This is an old recipe that I have had since I was in Third Grade.  I can remember this being the first cookie I had ever made, and the teacher bringing in her electric burner and pot while we made them in class.

Here it is in all its glory!  Ha!  I am taking these to my son's friend's house for a playdate today.  So easy and fast to whip up and you usually have the ingredients already on hand!  Love that!  My 6 year old helped, until I added the peanut butter (he is not a fan).  Posted below is the grown up version of the recipe.

Chocolate No Bake Cookies

1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups oats

Measure oats into large bowl. Rip off a piece of Wax Paper and put it out on the counter. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, milk, and salt in pot. Stirring constantly, heat over medium until mixture begins to boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Turn off stove, and add peanut butter. Stir until completely combined. Add vanilla, and stir again.
Stir in oats until oats and chocolate mixture is combined.

Spoon out onto wax paper. Let cool completely.  I used a small cookie scoop to spoon out the mixture.  Half of this recipe makes PLENTY of cookies!  Even enough to share!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicago Trip - Family, Food and a couple of great finds!

Our family just got back from the beautiful city of Chicago for our summer vacation!  We have not been up there for a couple of years.  We all flew up and stayed a week, visiting with family most of the time.

One day we were driving out and happened upon a nice big Goodwill store in Indiana.  Oh, I wish I had a lot of time to look around, but went right to the basket area and look what I found!  A beautiful miniature basket around 8 inches long!  It looks like an antique to me!  I think it had $2 on it.

Right near the basket was this crock.  I turned it over and it had a raised inscription of 7005 on it, and knew it must be old.  Upon further investigating, my $2 vase turned out to be a Zanesville Stoneware piece valued around $45!  WooHoo!  I love it!

It was actually chilly in the evening the first couple of days we were there.  The guys played bags, the kids had fun catching up with their cousins and my sister in law Diane and I sat freezing by the fire!  They made fun of this Floridian, because I was saying that 59 degrees was cold.  :P  We enjoyed the crisp night air, and seeing the fireflies out.  We don't get those in Florida!  Ryan and Alivia tried catching them.

What else do you eat when you go to Chicago, except PIZZA!!!!  Oh my, when we got off of the plane I made my husband stop at a pizza place for a slice of deep dish for lunch, then one of our family gathering nights always includes a pizza night from Aurellio's, so I got my share then as well!!  It is SO good!! 
On the way to my sister in law Susan's place, we pass by one of Al Capone's old brewery's, which is now a car shop.  I like the painting they now have on the wall there.  This is in Thornton, IL

Another look of the old Al Capone place

When visiting family, we do a lot of sitting and eating up there.  Ha!  I gained 6 pounds in one week alone!  Italian Sausage, Lasagna, Mostaccoli, Chicago Pizza -- time to work off the extra weight!  Here is Danny and Sarah sitting on the front porch with my niece Catherine.

Danny and Sarah flew up for our reunion weekend, and on Sunday they had to fly out.  Here they are showing their train tickets, as they went downtown to sightsee and eat deep dish pizza at Gino's East with Uncle Tom and Jon.  They also saw the Bean and the new Marilyn Monroe statue, before heading to the airport to catch their plane back home.

All of the Cousins from Rick's Family together 
A fun Pyramid Picture

Always sad to come home from seeing family!  I wish we all lived closer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!!

Happy 4th of July!! 
We are celebrating with family and friends.  Good food, good drink and good fun!!  The Rocket Scientist got a new grill and was dying to try it out, so we have ribs, steak and corn on the cob on the grill, I made my mom's potato salad recipe and a new summer pineapple salad recipe, made some brownies and Sarah brought some Patriotic Krispy Kreme Donuts!!

The centerpiece up above only took me a little bit of time to make this morning.  I got the planter from Goodwill, bought the flags from Wal-Mart and used some floral foam to put it together, adding blue raffia as filler inside! A super easy certerpiece with no gluing involved!  Inspired by Martha Stewart.