Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Favorite Cookies

I am running low on things to post for right now, so I am going to share my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It is a combination of recipes. I just kept substituting ingredients until I came up with one I liked.  Feel free to substitute ingredients as you see fit.  The kids like M&M's instead of chocolate chips.

          1 cup buttered flavor shortening
          1 1/2 cups brown sugar
          2 eggs
          1 tsp. vanilla
          2 1/4 cups ap flour
          1 tsp salt
          1 tsp baking soda
          1 1/2 - 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

I generally mix the first 4 ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients.  I add chocolate chips last.

Bake at 375 for 7 minutes.  Take them out of the oven but leave them on the pan for 3 more minutes.  If you choose to take the cookies off the pan immediately, they will be doughy.  If you choose to bake them for 9 minutes, they will be crispier.    

Just an idea of what to do with extra cookie dough over at bakerella.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

teachable moments and little helpers

So we have begun a new year and I am still planning out my goals for what I would like to see this year hold for me and my family. Of course I already have a few of the basics lined out on paper, such as get up earlier, lose weight, stick to a schedule, be more organized, etc. - you get the point. Now I am filling in the details and those details seem to hit me right in the face sometimes, making sure that I know that that area of my life needs some improvement. 

So here are two specific goals for this year (and hopefully they will improve with every year):
* more teachable moments with my kids
* encouraging my kids to be helpers

It's funny how when you have one child, you can take all the time in the world to watch a bug. To see where it goes, follow its path, discuss what kind of bug it is, and maybe even make a life lesson out of it. But now with three kids, it seems as though I barely have enough time to keep one kid from slaying the bug with his sword (which I am thankful for when there are spiders around) and keep another kid from picking up the bug and loving it, all while trying to get the smallest kid to even pay attention to it, let alone to try to teach them anything about the bug.

These ages are GREAT for teaching. So I am looking for opportunities to teach my kids and to make daily life activities or chores as we know them - fun! My children beg me sometimes for me to let them help me. Unfortunately, my first response is not always "yes". I know that I can get things done a whole lot faster by doing a job by myself, but what will that prove? Granted, there are times when this needs to be done, but most of the time I would say that the more help the merrier! By allowing them to help, I am creating a sense of accomplishment, providing an opportunity for learning organization, teamwork, and the list goes on, not to mention the family time we spend together while cleaning!