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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Surprise! and some Recipes

Sweet Surprises from My Daughters
Ria has been drawing some really sweet pictures on her Magna Doodle. The pictures are ususally a preggie stick person (me) with a sun, some birds, a house, grass, and the words, "I Love You" across the top. She presents these pictures to me as surprises.

"Mama, I have a surprise for you!"

"Oh? Ok. I'm ready."

"But first you have to close your eyes."

"Ok, they're closed."

Ria moves into position in front of me, holding the picture up for me to see (usually in front of her head). "Ok. You can open your eyes and look now."

And then I respond to the picture she has presented to me.

If that's not cute enough for you... well, I'm just sad for you. But I do have more.

Last night Kathryn came to me holding the Magna Doodle with the drawn on side facing her. She kept saying, "Eye." She's been able to say this word for a while, but hasn't really used it much unless she's saying, "I." I could tell she was saying the former rather than the latter because she kept pointing at my head. It took me a minute to connect the idea that she was presenting to me a surprise, in Ria fashion!

When I finally got it I asked Kat, "Do you want me to close my eyes for a surprise?!"

As usual for Kat when I have correctly interpreted her request, she got a REALLY big smile on her face and nodded her head in the way that makes her whole body shake.

So, I closed my eyes and said, "Ok. My eyes are closed." Since the Magna Doodle is pretty huge for Kat, I also put my hand out to take it from her rather than make her hold it up for me.

She placed it in my hand and I asked, "Can I open my eyes now?" Kat doesn't say 'yes' yet, so I just assumed she would be nodding her head, which she was, and opened my eyes to look at the picture she'd given me.

I commented on how lovely it was and what a special gift she'd given me with great enthusiasm in my voice and face. She was just THRILLED. She seemed almost to vibrate with joy... in the same way she gets super happy and excited when she's playing her "Bye bye" game and I welcome her back with great joy and affection upon her "return" from wherever she's been. It is such a joy to feel her joy!!!

So, I mentioned a couple days ago that I'd tried out two new cake mix cookie recipes and would share them when I could. I'm finally remembering and able to do it! YEAY! It hasn't taken me weeks to get to it!!! ^_^

Now, for the first, you could easily "google" cake mix cookies and get a basic recipe and use it with a chocolate cake mix. But I didn't want to use one of the chocolate cake mixes in my Food Storage closet because I'm trying to work out of 'on-hand pantry supplies' before I heavily dip into my closet stuff. So, in my cupboards I have a couple cake mixes on which the USE BY date was approaching, so I had to remove them from my FS closet. No problem, that's why I check through the stuff periodically! The problem is that the cakes were BUTTER and YELLOW. I REALLY wanted some chocolate cake mix cookies. So, I made an alteration and what I've had thus far is AWESOME!!!

Preheat oven to 350 F
1 box butter cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cocoa (I used Hershey's)
Mix all ingredients together well. Roll in hands to form balls. Roll balls in sugar. Place on baking sheet (I use stones, so I didn't need to grease, but if you use metal, you might want to coat with butter or oil) and bake for about 10 minutes. When finished the cookies will have spread slightly and developed cracks in the sugar coating. The first time I baked this recipe I did the perfect time (right around 10 minutes) and the cookies were soft and chewy... my preference. The second time I baked them a little too long, but not till they were totally burned. They were quite dry and brittle... seemed more like store-bought cookies than anything, but still VERY YUMMY!

If you decide to try this out, I would LOVE feedback!!! :)

CORNBREAD COOKIES using JIFFY corn muffin mix
Preheat oven to 350 F
3/4 cup butter (I used margarine and I think I should have gone with butter... the dough never firmed up as much as I would have preferred)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 package JFFY corn muffin mix
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and beat well. Add the rest and mix well until blended and smooth. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes. Portion and roll into a ball (will be slightly sticky) and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.

The first time I baked this recipe I took the cookies out when they were just barely turning golden around the edges and they were fabulous. It's almost the flavor of sugar cookies and corn bread, I think. They taste really great, to me, and add a new and wonderful way to use this JIFFY mix that I love to have in FS!

The second time I took them out a little later - when the edges were pretty dark and I'd thought I burned the cookies - but the cookies are still soft and chewy and wonderful. This may be due to the margarine I used (even when cold it it quite soft), but it may be just a really easy recipe to keep chewy (my preference for cookies).

If you try it out, let me know what you think! ^_^

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