Thankful: Thanksgiving 2015

As Thanksgiving is fast approaching, 

I have been reflecting on what I am most grateful for this year.

It is interesting that year to year, my list isn't all that different, however,

 things seem to be listed in a different order depending on life and circumstances. 

This year, my thoughts are short and sweet. 

I am most grateful for the things of this life that are 

everlasting, unwavering & steadfast.

This year, my gratitude is for my faith in a higher being and Elder Brother.

One that allows me to cast my fears and doubts aside 

while giving me hope to look up.

And my gratitude also lies in my family. 

Those who know me best, who bring joy to my life & who are my greatest treasure.

...and butter...and cream cheese...also great treasures in my book. 

Happiest Thanksgiving to You and Yours
{Also grateful for dear friends with amazing talents. Print by Lisa at Hand Lettered Designs & photos by Lindsey at Baby Love Photography}


Muffins: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

3-1/3 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
1 Cup Melted Butter 
1-1/2 Cups of your favorite Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat your oven to 350. 

In your stand mixer, mix pumpkin and butter. 

Add eggs. 

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. 

Add dry ingredients to mixer and mix until incorporated. 

Fold in chocolate chips. 

Line cupcake tins and fill each cup 2/3 of the way. 

Sprinkle the tops of each cup with granulated sugar 
(this makes the most delightful little crunch at the top. Don't skip it. Or do...but I tell you, you're missing out). 

Bake 20-25 minutes.



Dressing up your cookies

It sounds like a silly question, but have you ever tried to dress up your cookies? 
I'm talking your classic chocolate chip, peanut butter, & oatmeal? 

This is one of my favorite gifts to give because...well, who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie? Especially a delicious one with a twist!

Today, at church, I was in charge of bringing a little treat to all of the teachers and leaders of the children's Sunday School (we call it Primary), and then also bring a treat to a meeting later this evening.

I had a busy weekend and wanted to bake something that would be fast and delicious. Oatmeal Cookies it was. I love a good oatmeal cookie- add a dip of chocolate or frost with cream cheese frosting and it takes it to a whole new level & satisfies adults and kiddos alike. [See my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip recipe under Bakehouse recipes & leave out the chips]

To Dip:
Microwave 1-1/2 cups of your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of Crisco in a glass bowl for 1 minute. Stir vigorously and microwave in additional 15 second increments until melted. Take your cooled cookies and dip until your heart is content. I added some Guittard real Chocolate sprinkles and I placed the dip cookies on parchment paper to set.

To Frost: Make Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 8oz block of cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
Mix until creamy, then add
3 cups of powdered sugar
Mix and scrape sides and make sure you have no clumps.
Frost or Pipe on cooled cookies, then place in the refrigerator to set.

Place Cookies in a cute parchment bag, add a little "Thank you" label to close the bag- then tie a little baking twine- for no other reason than it's cute (but just as delicious without). I was having this internal struggle at 12:30am knowing that the cookies would be appreciated just fine without the twine, and yet the twine prevailed (so much for simplifying). Baking twine is just one of those things that makes me happy- and I'll gladly own the craziness that is

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there anything more delicious than an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie? 

Nothing to me says comfort like a warm, chewy, slightly undercooked oatmeal chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. 


Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to that goodness… 


Cookies are my jam. I’d take a delicious cookie over any ole’ piece of pie, cake, crisp, you name it. Cookie wins in my book. I have had the hardest time deciding what my “signature” go-to oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe is. I have made DOZENS of recipes. Nothing I’ve made lives up to a few of my bakery favorites…until possibly now. I have played with this recipe and tweaked it here and there and by golly, I think I have it.


4 large eggs room temperature

4 sticks of butter room temperature

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons vanilla extract (yes that says tablespoons)

6 cups old fashioned oats

3 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 cups milk chocolate chips 
(or semi-sweet, or whatever you fancy, butterscotch, white chocolate, peanut butter…there’s no bad choice here friends)

Begin by creaming your butter and sugars. I love to use my Bosch 
(and just so ya’ll know, the Bosch is on sale at Costco…for much cheaper than I bought mine for AND with way more included. Seriously. If I could buy you one, I would. It’s that fantastic).

[Public service announcement over]

After your butter and sugars are creamed, add your vanilla. 

Then your eggs-one by one until incorporated.

Sift flour, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add and only mix until incorporated. Don’t over mix here.

Then add your oats and then your chocolate chips. Don’t over mix here either.

Scoop dough with a cookie scoop (or a big spoon) and place on your cookie sheet.

Here's the kicker

Refrigerate your dough balls for at least 2 hours. I know…this doesn’t seem fair. BUT, it helps so your cookies keep from spreading too thin, and keeps that crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside goodness going on. Try it.

But try some dough first.


When you are ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 8-11 minutes.

Mine were delicious at about 9.

Brown on top, gooey in the middle- TO DIE FOR

Nothing makes your house feel like home like the smell of cookies baking in your oven. If you time it right so the kids are smacked in the face with such aromas when they walk in the door from school…you might even become their favorite over Dad…for at least a minute or two.


Pumpkin Bread

This is a keeper. 

Truth: I made this for my kids lunches. I ran out of bread for sandwiches and time to go to the store. I remembered at 10:30PM so I quickly whipped up a batch and a half (which gave me 4 large loaves) and my kids have been in heaven (and I still haven't been to the store) all week!

Pre-heat oven to 350

3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Oil
4 eggs
 2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Cinnamon
3 1/2 Cups Flour
Nuts Optional (I love chopped Pecans)
1 bag Chocolate Chips

In your stand mixer, beat sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, soda, spices, and flour. 
Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated. 
Add Chocolate Chips and Nuts and give it one last stir.
Pour into greased Loaf Pans.

Bake 1 hour for large pans & 30-45 minutes for small ones.

Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner and every snack in between.
Nothing says November like Pumpkin Bread. 

This recipe will make 2 large loaf pans and 4-5 minis.