Monday, December 20, 2010

In the kitchen: Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe

from Martha of course!
Another favorite of mine!

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (for rolling)
Making the Crinkle Cookie Dough

In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt until well blended.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined. If necessary, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well blended.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until blended.
With mixer on low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and milk until just combined.
Divide the dough into quarters, wrapping each with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours.
Baking the Crinkle Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Remove portions of cookie dough from the refrigerator one at a time.
Divide the portion of dough into 16 1-inch balls.
Place each of the sugars in a shallow dish.
Roll each ball in granulated sugar and then in confectioners' sugar to coat completely.
Place the cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake, one cookie sheet at a time, until the cookies flatten and the tops form cracks, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container, between layers of parchment or wax paper for up to 1 week.
This recipe yields about 5 dozen Chocolate Crinkle (Crackle) Cookies

AND since I didn't take a picture of any of these this year.... here is a little treat I made for Lucy's K Class party last week.
White Chocolate Marshmallow Snowmen.
White Chocolate Marshmallow Snowmen
Saw the idea on the internet somewhere.
Three marshmallows on a stick. Dipped in white chocolate, with some eyes and a nose. I think pretzels would be cute for arms but I didn't have any!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

"The Christmas season is wonderful in many ways. It is a season of charitable acts of kindness and brotherly love. It is a season of being more reflective about our own lives and about the many blessings that are ours. It is a season of forgiving and being forgiven. It is a season to enjoy the music and lights, parties and presents. But the glitter of the season should never dim our sight and prevent us from truly seeing the Prince of Peace in His majesty.
Let us all make this year’s Christmas season a time of rejoicing and celebration, a time when we acknowledge the miracle that our Almighty God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world!" - BY PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Saturday, December 18, 2010

In the Kitchen: Christmas Cookies: Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

One of mt favorites I make every year!

Makes about 4 dozen

* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup boiling water
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
* 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Friday, December 17, 2010

In the Kitchen with Christmas Cookies: Lemonade Cookies

My SIL Jen asked for some of my favorite cookie recipes for Christmas. Soooo here's one to start.

Lemonade Cookies

Lemonade Cookies (new to me this year but I loved them!)
from Maire Barfuss
1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
Pinch of salt
1/2 can thawed frozen lemon concentrate
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda

Mix margarine, sugar and eggs. Add lemonade, flour and soda. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. (original recipe said 400 but it seemed to high of a heat for me, so I changed it). As soon as you pull them out of the oven you brush them with more lemon concentrate and sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Winter Play

dec 9- snow play

I am in the count down until Regan comes home.
This Friday.

Friday, December 10, 2010


As we were walking in today at lunch time after picking up Alden from school.

Lucy: "Hey, who smells like Grandma Davis?"

Mom: " What does Grandma Davis smell like?"

Alden: "Potatoes!"

Mom: "Grandma Davis smells like potatoes?"

Alden: "Well she IS a gardener!"

Mom: "I don't think Grandma smells like potatoes"

Lucy: " I think she just smells like an old lady"

Mom: "What does that smell like?"

Lucy: "ummmm bread and.... potatoes?"

dec 8- christmas reflection

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Around our house.
Lots of puke going on.
And not a lot else!
Except looking cute :)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lovely Links

I found some super cute things to share.

One: these camera bags oh MY I'd love one! Look at how CUTE they are!!!!!!

Two: Read this right here that the great photographer Erin Cobb wrote about taking a picture a day. I am trying to do again next year.

Three: Look at these lovely necklaces. As always classic and beautiful!

Four: Rebecca is doing some great blogging this december. I am going to be doing a post next week.

Five: Look at this GREAT idea for a gift. Love love love it! and Alden would sure love to get it! (and so would Lucy!)

Six: A fun game of Holiday Bingo we are going to play tonight that you can download and print to play with your kids.

Seven: I love these ornaments here

Eight: I love books. A LOT. A couple I've got my eye on. Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision and Vision Mongers.

Anything online caught your eye lately?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Photo Talk: Christmas Bokeh

I assume you've seen the word Bokeh before? At some point. People loooove to throw it around. Like me I do! :)

"Bokeh (derived from Japanese boke ぼã', a noun form of bokeru ぼã'ã‚‹, "become blurred or fuzzy") is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field."

Sooo really it means the fuzzy stuff in the background of pictures! :) Like in this one. You can see it easily in this one. All those little circles on the left side - Bokeh!

One of the great things about Christmas lights is getting cool bokeh from your tree lights!
See this picture is pretty... but no bokeh.
the 2010 Tree

Want me to teach you how to take some bokeh? GREAT :) This is NOT going to be in photographic talk. (well unless we use the word Bokeh... but we can now since we already discussed that right! ;) )

The first thing is that you need to take off your automatic focus. It needs to be in manual. Then you put it out of focus so much that small circles appear. Then you take a picture.
small bokeh
f 9.0 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #3
See how this one is lighter? Cause I was shooting more wide open with my aperture.
f 2.8 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #4

Medium Bokeh
f 4.0 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #1
This one is the same as number 2 it is just zoomed in more, and the viola bigger circles.
BIG bokeh
f 2.8 1/8 ss
ISO 500
Bokeh #2

Does that make sense??
And wanna try some and show them to me?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Spiritual Sundays

"Daughters of God know that it is the nurturing nature of women that can bring everlasting blessings, and they live to cultivate this divine attribute. Surely when a woman reverences motherhood, her children will arise up and call her blessed (see Prov. 31:28).

Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.

Oh, how we pray that every young woman will grow up to be all the wonderful things she is meant to be. We pray that her mother and father will show her the right way. May daughters of God honor the priesthood and sustain worthy priesthood holders. May they understand their own great capacity for strength in the timeless virtues that some would scoff at in a modern, liberated world for women." - Margaret D. Nadauld The Joy of Womanhood

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


1. I feel overwhelmed lately with how kind people are to me. I am undeserving but so thankful. The birthday celebrations, some one brought me a cake and another offered to make me one, people calling to watch my kids so I can have some alone time, the calls, clearing the snow from my drive way. So much more. It has all made me feel a great desire to do more for others.

2. I loved Regan's post yesterday. If you didn't read it, go read it and tell him how funny he is :) Ah i just love that guy. And I am sooooooooo excited that he is coming home for a few days tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. I am one photoshoot away from being completely caught up on editing. And I couldn't be MORE happy about it. Recently I have taken less of my kids cause of the overwhelming amount on my plate to edit. I have edited 7 shoots in the past 2 weeks and 2 of them were weddings. That is a LOT of time in the evening doing editing. But since Reg has been gone the whole time I was alone and just hunkered down and did it!

4. Yesterday my friend took Lucy and Eli for the whole afternoon. (See #1) I went out to eat and read a book, went to the library on my own and did a whole bunch of shopping for Christmas and some for me. It was mmmmmmmarvelous. And Eli was so excited to see me when I got back that he was so happy during his normal crazy time. Loved it!

5. Today we are starting our Christmas advent tradition of reading a Christmas book each day until Christmas and doing a craft or treat or activity that coordinates. I hope to post about each one as we go along, but really I am not putting any pressure on myself about it!

6. Speaking of #5 I don't know if you've noticed but I've decided that I was putting too much pressure on myself about blogging. It is so silly. But I was trying to do it all the time just cause I said I was going to. And well, frankly it doesn't matter. Reading my scriptures before bed, more important. Hanging out with my hubby, more important. Going to be at a good time, more important. I am trying to change the part of myself that puts unrealistic expectations on me. We'll see how it goes. Not just with blogging. But with everything. It'll be a on going project. Really it has been brewing for a while and really this talk really hit home with me. Read it. I am going to work on making better choices and not just overwhelming myself with stuff, as I am sooooo good at doing!

7. I just watched some cheesey girl movie last night that reg would have HATED. I always watch shows he doesn't like when he's on call or out of town. But I'd rather have him home. (see #2)