Thursday, December 22, 2011

GF Cookies

I baked a bunch of GF cookies over the last few days to bring to the families for the holidays. Here is what I made and my thoughts:

Crockpot Chocolate Peanut Clusters- These made A TON. Holy cow. I did use some butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips in place of 1 bag of the regular chocolate chips. These are yummy and addicting and would be great for any occasion.

White Chocolate Peppermint Crisps-This I kind of just made on the fly. I usually make peppermint bark with White chocolate chips and candy canes, just melt the chocolate down and stir in the crushed up candy canes and spread it on a flat pan to cool, then break apart. This time, I threw in some GF rice krispies and dropped little spoonfuls on parchment paper to cool. These are super super sweet, but fun for the holidays.

Oatmeal Butterfinger Cookies-I got this recipe off of Gluten Free Cookie Swap on facebook. Currently they are having their GF cookie contest, so I saw these and thought I would try them out. I really like them. They are a little crunchy but good. EZ however didn't care for them all that much. Here is the recipe:
1/2c butter [room temperature]
1/2c sugar
1/2c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Jules GF Flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 c gluten free oats
1 Butterfinger candy bar [the big kind!]
MAKES ~ 2 DOZEN (adapted from

1) Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2) Cream the butter and sugars together
3) Beat in the egg then the vanilla extract
4) In a separate bowl whisk the flour + baking soda + baking powder + salt together
5) On low, mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture then add in the oats
6) Add in the Butterfinger (after mashing it into tiny bits with a hammer outside [the hammer part and outside part is optional])
7) Drop 1 inch balls 1.5 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes until brown on the edges

Fantastic 5 cookies-Again from the GF Cookie Swap. These were by far the simplest to make as there is hardly anything in them, I choose to use hershey kisses to make them like PB blossoms, and they are decent. Some people said they were the best cookies they had ever had, and one of my friends loved them. I thought they fell apart pretty easily but had a decent taste.

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1c. brown sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1c. chocolate chips, reeses pieces, m&m's or other chips. (you can also choose to not put the chips in and top with a hershey kiss or reeses peanut butter cup immediately after taking them out of the oven.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together with a spoon until blended. (Do not use a mixer). Drop by spoonfuls (size depends on you) onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook 9-10 minutes. Let cookies cool before removing from cookie sheet.

Monster Cookies-I grew up making these with my mom and still have the recipe. My mom's recipe is practically identical, hers called for a little more peanut butter and a little more M&M's plus a bit of corn syrup. I took Paula's recipe and made it with only 4 cups oats as that all I had and did half as is with the recipe, then followed my friends advice and added a bit of cinnamon and added raisins and made the rest. This recipe made 7 dozen regular sized cookies even though she said it only makes 3 doz. I have a lot of these too but wow are they super good and so easy to make GF by using GF oats. Yum.

I also made a recipe for Banana Blueberry Muffins out of the book "Free for all Cooking" By Jules Shepard that my sister gave me for my bday. These are wonderful too! Oh man, I must admit, these are the best GF muffins I have had, SOOOO light and fluffy. Yummy. I have made a few things out of this book and so far all have been superb! Highly recommend it for any allergy issues. She has recipes for all sorts of allergy free dishes not just GF but vegan and eggs, nuts, ect. It is a great book so far!

Alright, enough about food! Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ramblings at 24 Weeks

How did I already end up at 24 weeks pregnant and plus a huge amount of weight, I don't know. Last week at the doctor when I stepped on the scale I had gained 10 lbs in the last month. I about lost it. I never had that much of a jump with P but the doctor didn't seem to care. Since then, I have worked out every day (but still have been eating cookies and ice cream.) :) I thought running was going to go out the window, but I am still able to run 3/4 miles 3/4 times a week. And managing to run 9:15-9:30 pace most days which is impressive to me for as much weight as I have packed on.

P still has no concept of what is going to happen. I finally said to her there is a baby in mama's belly the other day, but she could care less I think. She is happy as can be and is lots of fun. Running around and babbling up a storm. The talking is coming very slowly. She definitely says mama, dada, piper, all gone (all ga), more (she signs this too), papa, go, car (ca), dog (da), cat (kind of), bye, hello, hi. and tries to say a few other words for people she knows like her friends at school and in the neighborhood. She can also sign a few words too like please, more, baby. The cutest thing is her trying to say I love you which you can tell she says the I and love part but doesn't get you.

And she can do a few animal sounds, cow (which she only does mmmmm), bear (grrrrr) and lion (roar). Quite fun.

I finally finished up the semester of 4 tues/thur classes which was exhausting. My spring though will be super nice. Just one class that will meet 3 days a week but only for 8 weeks, so I am done at the beginning of March. It is a brand new class, but having only one will be super nice. I am hoping to get two papers written and submitted to be published though before baby number 2 arrives.

Last up a few photos:

Having fun in my new P sized chair:
I can fit inside a file box:
Loves to read:
Close up:

Helping decorate the tree:

Friday, December 02, 2011

Photo Shoot

We had a mini photo shoot at the end of October and got some great photos with Two Clicks Away Photography. Here are a few (minus the one we actually used on our xmas card so it can be a surprise). How can you not love her!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We have a lot to be thankful for, too much to even list. Sometimes when things get stressful or things are not going great, I become too self absorbed to step back and say that these are all little petty things that don't matter in life. It is always good to get a reality check sometimes that we have jobs and a house and can feed our family all of which all healthy. For all of that...Thanks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Odds and Ends

It got really cold out the other weekend so we found a beanie that we put on P and headed to the park. Our weekends usually consist of lots of park time and outside playing. And as usual she enjoyed it.

It has been warm though yesterday and today and today was grilled cheese and tomato soup day at school (yes, how does a 1 year old eat soup...) so we needed to send her in something that could handle lots of mess. Turn out she needed to wear her Math it! Yes, I am a dork I know.

Last but not least...tomorrow is the big day. We find out if baby number two is a boy or girl. Yup thats right for those of you who didn't know I'm preggers again. Baby 2 due date is April 9th. P will be a big sister in just 5 months! Yikes!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not Nice

At daycare, they try to avoid using the word No, and we try to as well at home. Instead when a child does something like hit or push or bite another child, they said "Piper that is not nice." And then they would say something like "Laurie, tell Piper that is not nice." (if she had hit me or something).

Now we have yet to use this at home, and no P doesn't ever get sent home with a report that she is hitting/biting or anything. But I have witnessed other kids doing this when I drop her off or pick her up. The other day, P was chasing Killer around and pulling his tail and we told her that that was "not nice". She immediately pointed to the cat and said "not nice" (is P language, which sounds more like nah nye), and she even shakes her finger a bit and her head. It is quite funny. We tried not laughing and explaining that Kitty was being nice, that is was her that was not nice. But that didn't work. Now, sometimes she just points to the cat and says "nah nye". It cracked me up last night in the middle of dinner when the cat walked by and there she goes. Too cute.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011

Luckily my sister gave us Amelia's old costume, so we reused and put it on little P. She had a blast walking around outside seeing her friends. And then just took to sitting on the porch with us and we let her have her first sucker, a dum dum, which she did quite well at. Many people said she could be either a monkey or a bear...either way, she was quite cute!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Picking Farm

We headed out to a local farm that has animals and a tractor ride, a little maze, some bubbles and a pumpkin patch. P seems so shy when we take her places she has never been. It takes her a while to warm up to any place.

Styling in the wagon:

Oh, goats! Even though we went in to pet them (along with other animals) she didn't want to touch them. :)

Close up in the hay on the tractor ride:

Walking through the maze (she loved the flowers)

Lots of pumpkins:

This is the one I picked:

It is so funny that she doesn't smile in new places. We thought for sure she would be excited to see the animals since she loves looking at books and points out the cow and goat and horse and chickens and everything. She is very go with the flow though and while hesitant she still just follows along with what we are doing. But get her in an environment she knows, like at home or at the playground and she is smiles galore. Last night she was miss chatterbox too and actually said dada and mama correctly and attempted kitty. We are making progress. :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back to the Beach

We headed to the beach for a few days and we had perfect weather. Highs in the low 80's and sunny, it was beautiful. P had tons of fun!

Claire and P riding the bike:
Loved being in the sand:

Walking around with dada:

Played in the tidal pools and had lots of fun:

She thought it was fun to have the waves crash into her:

I love the beach:

Family photo:

In brief other news: She had her 15 month check up and is in the 90th percentile for height and in the 50th percentile for weight. She seems to be interested in trying to talk a little and can repeat some sounds pretty well or she tries. Typically her response to anything is "dah".

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fun on the farm

Little P turns 15 months old today. The words are coming very slow, but she seems to be making progress with mama and dada and doing them correctly along with trying to say other words and sounds. She still loves reading books and we sometimes read about 10-15 a night which hanging out. She has become more picky with foods and gets a bit crazy at the table when she doesn't want what is on her plate. She has started to figure out the spoon pretty well and the fork is slow, doesn't quite understand the stabbing part. She also has decided that all her teeth should come in now so we have the top and bottom molars working their way through (which leaves us with cranky P).

We headed to a fall farm last weekend with some friends. I didn't have my camera, so thanks to them, they took some cute pictures of P!

Crawling through the tunnel:
P and J:
Riding in the cow train:

Wanted to ride again: (looks like she had more fun with him!)

Monday, October 03, 2011


We went to Charlotte the other weekend to visit some friends of ours. We had a good time.

Claire teaching Piper about acorns....promptly followed by P then wanting to eat the acorns:

We headed to the playground at the park and they both enjoyed running around:

Then we had a battle of who could make it down the slide first (they both seem super excited here)

Then we tried out a helicopter carnival ride. After putting them both in the ride, EZ pumped them up with a few high fives:

And they were they went around, we kept saying "yeah" and clap your hands, so of course they did...