Saturday, September 24, 2016


I bring cookies to almost every event I go to. I secretly watch and see which ones go the fastest.  Not because I think mine are better than anyone else's, but because I want to know what people like so I can make them again or put that recipe in the round file. So, about a month ago I brought these babies to a youth dance and they went flying off the platter. Kids and adults were grabbing them, then suddenly they were gone. I didn't even get to save one for my friend.  I posted a picture on Instagram and someone asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd put it out there for all to enjoy.  Make sure you give the cookies room to puff up and spread during baking by only putting 12 doughballs on each cookie sheet.  I usually double this to get 6 dozen, so I'd guess one recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

(kristine, I give up on the picture for now...I'm doing this on my phone, so for now you can see the pic on Instagram 😂)
Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1/2 cup shortening (half of a cisco stick)
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp sugar (additional)

Cream butter and shortening until smooth, then mix in 1 1/2 cups sugar until combined. Add the eggs and mix until everything is well blended.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Pour into creamed mixture and beat just until it's all incorporated. The dough will be soft and fluffy.
Mix cinnamon and additional sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Shape dough into 2 tsp-sized  balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Set on silpat lined cookie sheets, 12 per pan (3x4) because they'll spread as they bake.
Bake at 400F for 8-12 minutes, until set. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.
You might want to double this recipe because they go fast!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes with Best Ever Chocolate Frosting

 Hmmm, looks like I have taken several years off blogging…Yikes! I should probably should just start a food blog since pretty much all I put on Instagram and Facebook is food and pretty much all anyone wants to know about my life is food related anyway. But, I don't have time right now and I know at least a few of you are dying to make these amazing cupcakes. Right. Now. So, here's the recipe. (adapted from who did the hard work of figuring out the proportions etc.) 
Hope you like them!

My friend says he licks his phone when I post pictures of my food…I just wish I could add a scratch and sniff feature.  

Best Ever Chocolate Cupcakes 
3 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs plus 1 additional egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare muffin tin with paper liners (this makes 14-16 cupcakes). No need to spray with Pam.
In medium glass bowl melt butter, oil and chocolate chips in microwave on half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool
In another medium bowl combine all dry ingredients and whisk together until well mixed. Set aside.
In large glass bowl combine eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and blend with hand mixer until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and blend until well blended. Then add half the dry mixture, half the sour cream, then the rest of the dry mixture and the rest of the sour cream. Mix lightly, just until everything is incorporated. Stir in hot water all at once, and stir with wooden spoon or spatula just until everything is smooth.
Using a large spring-loaded ice cream scooper, scoop batter into cupcake liners.  Bake 16-20 min, until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean, without fudgy crumbs.
Cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Best Ever Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup salted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-3 Tbsp light sour cream
3-5 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt, as desired

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder together.  Using stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium-high until creamy,  scraping down sides, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and slowly add sifted sugar and cocoa mixture, alternating with sour cream and milk until the frosting is of desired consistency.  Add vanilla and pinch of salt, as desired. After all ingredients are incorporated, beat on high speed until light and smooth, at least one minute.  Spoon into piping bag using 1M tip (or any decorating tip you like) and frost cooled cupcakes.

I tripled this and made 36 huge cupcakes plus a 9" layer cake. I only doubled the frosting and only had enough to frost 34 cupcakes.  (My kids didn't mind and ate one without frosting, too.)  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

May 2012.  Ryan, Becca, Andy, Dave, and me in our backyard.  We love living in California.  Next year I hope Alaina will be with us...she is doing some hard work right now and couldn't be here.  I am grateful for my beautiful family and thankful I am a mom!
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ward Conferences 2012

This is my first year of Ward Conferences as the Oakland Stake Young Women's President.  I have the best counselors and secretary ever and we are having so much fun planning for our meetings.

We decided to meet with the just the YW so we would have more time and could address any concerns they had.   We put some great quotes up on the board and talked about them with the girls.  Since we met with each Ward individually, we made about 9 sets of breakfast muffins and fruit trays.  I was afraid I was making life difficult for my Presidency and said I would make all of the food myself because I didn't want it to be store-bought, but they were all happy to jump in and helped make things every week.  They are the best!

We played a personal progress game, made by the lovely Kelley.  The girls seemed to really enjoy it and did a great job discussing the questions.

We made our own poster-sized version of "MormonAds" with my favorite inspirational quotes and amazing photographs taken by the brilliant Marianna! We also had them made into 4x6 prints so the Young Women could take them home if they wanted to and a leader reported to me later that some of the girls had put them on the covers of their school binders to remind themselves of what is most important.

"If this isn't your castle, you're not my prince."

"If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?"

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

"Dream big!  Don't give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW."

I love these Oakland Stake Young Women!
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Priest/Laurel Formal: Mormon Prom

Priest/Laurel Formal March 17, 2012

Marianna, Kelley, me, Julie

Awesome Oakland Stake Young Women's Presidency!  I love these ladies :)

Our Stake was in charge of the food for the Priest/Laurel Formal (Mormon Prom) and spend the entire evening in the kitchen and cleaning up but it was worth it!  The Young Men's Presidency was great too and built a two-tiered structure so the food would be on two levels and they built a tubing structure over the food and hung twinkling lights from it to add to the ambiance.

BBQ meatballs


Shamrock ravioli (it was St. Patricks Day, after all)

Chocolate Fountain!

I didn't take pictures of the rest of the food or the dancers, but the kids ate almost everything. I made over 500 parmesan prosciutto puff pasty sticks, and we had cheesy bread, veggie trays, and more.   It was great to see over 400 kids, 16-18 year old boys and girls, in modest prom attire and dancing appropriately.  I am thankful I have the opportunity to work with such great youth!
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finally!: Part 1, The Pantry


After years of not making time for it, February was clean out the pantry month for me...sad it actually took me two weeks to do it!  

Kind of embarrassing to see what is in my FOOD supplies, miscellaneous holiday crafts, every shape cookie cutter ever made...what a mess!


Now lets see how long I can keep it clean, with the help of my kids :)
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Candyland Dance January 2012

Marianna, Kelley, me and Julie

The Oakland Stake was in charge of the January youth dance and we chose Candyland for the theme.  I borrowed some decorations from a great friend and we set up the church gym like the Candyland game. 

This is the awesome photo backdrop Mica painted. The pictures all turned out so cute.

Gumdrop Mountains

The candy buffet was a hit!  

Giant lollipops and gumdrop trees

Candy Cane Lane

We decorated the walls like the game board.  We had a great Queen Frostine corner, but the picture didn't turn out.
The dance was a great success and all the kids had a great time.
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