Monday, April 17, 2023

Cookie Monday - Monster Cookies

Welcome back to Cookie Monday!  This week we are making an oldie but a goodie! – Monster cookies!  The “new age” everything cookie is called “kitchen sink” cookies, but Monster cookies will always be my favorite.  I loved these cookies as a child and when I made them for Christmas last year, I decided I need to add them to the regular rotation!  Why only enjoy your favorites one time of year?! 


Bill of Materials:

½ C Butter

1 ¼ C Brown Sugar

1 C Sugar

3 Eggs

¼ t Vanilla

2 t Baking soda

2 C Peanut Butter

4 ½ C Oatmeal

½ C Chocolate Chips

½ C M&Ms


Since I am in the process of cleaning out my pantry (check out my other pantry clean out cookies), I decided to use up some leftover M&Ms from Christmas (Tip: sort the colors and use red for valentines and the green for St Patricks’ day).  Since these cookies are just for myself, I don’t care if they are green.  I’m keeping the red ones for the Fourth of July!  Comment below – I want to know if and how you use out of season items? 

First, cream the sugars, butter, and vanilla.  I used to not cream my sugar and butter and throw everything into the bowl at once, but I have learned that it really does make a difference.  Please cream your sugar and butter!

Then add the eggs and baking soda.  Then add the peanut butter and oats.  Once this is mixed, add the M&Ms and Chocolate Chips. 


Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes – don’t over bake these cookies, otherwise they will dry out! 


Thursday, April 6, 2023

Welcome Mat Upcycle


I have welcome mats (doormats) at each of the exterior doors of my house and I usually switch them out based on the holiday or season.  Sooner or later, they start to fade and show wear and tear from use. 

One of my favorite doormats was rubber mat decorated with flower pots.  After several seasons it was faded, but otherwise still in good condition.

I wanted to upcycle the mat and give it a bit more life by painting the mat.  Before I could add paint, I needed to clean it.  I went to work by spraying with some multi-purpose cleaner and scrubbing.  This step took some elbow grease, but I was able to get a lot of the dirt and grim off the top of the mat.

From there, I took basic acrylic paint and mixed a few colors of green for my “succulents” and then a simple white background, and light brown pots.  After several layers of paint and letting it dry over night, I sprayed the top of the mat with a clear spray paint so it wouldn’t run when walking on it.

After several months, I can say it is still in great condition.  I might try this on a few other mats that are still in good condition but the design is fading a bit. 

Let me know what you think!

Monday, April 3, 2023

Cookie Monday - Dr. Pepper Cookies


Welcome Back to Cookie Monday!

This week I was working on clearing our some old items in my pantry and fridge.  I had a couple packs of Diet Dr Pepper left over from when I stopped drink soda several months ago.  Instead of wasting soda, I went online to see if there were any recipes or idea to use soda for baking.  I have used use soda/beer for beer bread and saw that people have used soda and cake mix to make baked goods, so I decided to try this out since I also have an abundance of cake mixes in my pantry. 

I didn’t find an exact recipe for cookies, so I decided to just try it on my own.  I took one cake mix and one can of soda and mixed them together.

Bill of Materials:

One Cake mix

One Can of Soda

The mix was extremely thin, more of a batter for cake than cookies, but I decided to try cookies anyway!  Why not, right?

I baked my first article of six cookies without spraying my non-stick pan.  The cookies came out soft and moist like a top of a cupcake!  I was hoping they would firm up a bit after cooling, but they did not.  

These cookies were so soft causing an issue when trying to scoop them off the pan.  Several of them broke into crumbs.

I decided to see if spraying the pan would crisp up the bottoms and firm up the cookies.  After spraying the pan, the cookies were easier to remove from the pan, but still extremely soft.  You can see the difference between the cookies that had the pan sprayed vs the one that didn't.  The cookie on the top did not have cooking spray and the cookie on the bottom did.  

Although these “cakies” were delicious (cakies instead of cookies - get it?), I will probably make a few changes to this recipe in the future - like less Dr. Pepper.

Stay tuned to what I plan to do with the rest of my pantry leftovers. 

I want to try Dr. Pepper cupcakes and beer bread next! 


Thursday, March 30, 2023

DIY - Foaming Hand Soap (EASY!)

I love the pretty labels on foaming hand soap -for some reason, they are cuter than just regular ol’ soap that have the pictures of the fishies.  But, they can be really expensive!    However, I learned a cool trick to refill your foaming soap bottles with cheap liquid hand soap.


Take your empty foaming soap container and fill it about 25% full of your liquid hand soap.

Fill up with water!

Done!  Now you can enjoy your cute foaming soap containers without the price!

I wouldn’t do this with soap that states it is antimicrobial or antibacterial – these have special ingredients and diluting them would change the mix. 


Monday, March 27, 2023

Cookie Monday - Flour Sifter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to Cookie Monday!

I bake a batch of cookies each Monday to have throughout the week for lunches, as well as a sweet treat after work.  This week, while in the process of making my weekly bread loaf, I remembered that my new flour sifter came with a cookie recipe on the bake of the label!  I decided I wanted to try this new cookie recipe and thought I would share how I approach baking any new recipe!

Recipe on the back of the label:

First, make sure you have all the ingredients (or a good substitute) before you get started.  You wouldn’t want to get half way through the recipe and realize you don’t have baking soda, etc. 

Second, follow the recipe as close as possible/record what you changed – why? 

1.       Because if you like it, you’ll want to be able to reproduce it,

2.       If you don’t like it, you’ll want to be able to change what you didn't like about it in the future.

But you can’t do either of these things if you don’t know what you did to begin with.

For example – I usually don’t measure vanilla (because more is better, right?) in my regular go to chocolate chip recipe, however I measured for this new cookie recipe so the amount of vanilla isn't a factor in how the recipe turns out. 

For my first time baking these chocolate chip cookies, I used butter instead of margarine because I don’t use margarine. 


Also, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to use sifted flour or packed flour.  Since the recipe came on the back of the sifter label, I sifted it and measured how I do for my bread.  On average, sifting flour causes the measurement to be less than when it is packed.  

I made a note of both of these "changes", so I had notes for next time.

Third, when ready to bake, run a First Article of your cookie dough through the oven.  Never heard of a First Article before?  It is a term used in manufacturing when you change a process or mix and you want to see how it turns out before running the entire batch.  I do this with new recipes so I have the opportunity to make a quick change if possible.

To do this, you just put a few scoops of dough on one pan to bake first, so if there is any issue (burning, spreading, etc) you don’t ruin the whole batch. 

I thought the cookies spread out too much while baking my first article, so I put the dough in the fridge to firm up a bit. 

After another round using the firmed dough, I thought the cookies were still a bit large, so I decided to use a smaller scoop. 

Fourth, write down any changes or notes from baking the batches and any changes you would want to make in the future. 

I thought these cookies are extremely thin which makes for a good cookie when warm, but after they cooled they were extremely crunchy.  Still good, but not my target cookie consistency.  

I prefer a bit of a softer cookie, so next time I make this recipe, I am going to try packed flour instead of sifted and see if that makes a difference!  


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...