Posts by My Family of Four

SAHM and wife sharing recipes, money saving tips and family fun ideas!

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are by far my husband’s favorite cookies! They are crispy, buttery bites of heaven!

all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, 1/4 cup water, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

2.
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3.
Bake until cookies are golden brown 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Quarantine 2020

Hello all!! I know I have been MIA for some time, but this unfortunate quarantine has bought about some, if not a lot, of free time. I am struggling with being a teacher and occupational therapist for my boys, but I am trying to stay positive!

I would love to hear about some of your kid boredom buster ideas! Please share! 😊

My Favorite Freebie Sites

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love freebies!

My quest for free items begins with a few of my favorite websites:

http://www.freestufftimes.com

http://www.hip2save.com

http://www.freebieshark.com

I have received some pretty awesome freebies from these sites over the years! There is no way I could ever remember all of them…..but some of my favorites were a Circulon skillet (Amazing! btw), chocolate covered fruit from Edible Arrangements, tools for my husband, an engraved Stella Artois glass, and a costume jewerly locket.

 

Brown Bear Oatmeal Cookies

Best Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 packets of instant maple flavored oatmeal
  • Chocolate chips for eyes and nose
  • Additional sugar for bear snout

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet pan with silicone baking mat or spray with cooking spray
  2. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or in large bowl with hand-held mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oatmeal packets. Add to butter mixture all at once and mix on low until combined.
  4. Read Assembly directions below and portion out by rounded tablespoons onto prepared sheet pan, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges just begin to turn golden, about 9-11 minutes.
  5. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Assembly:

For each Brown Bear you will need three (3) small balls of dough and one (1) larger ball of dough. The large one is for the face. Two (2) small balls of dough are for the ears and the last

Madelines – a Traditional French Cookie

Madeleines are a traditional french cookie. They are also very quick and easy to make! They are delicious for breakfast with coffee or tea or for dessert! The best part is that everything is done within one saucepan! The only downside is that you do need a traditional Madeline pan, but they are easy to find online or in a baking/craft store. Once you see how easy and delicious these cookies are, they will soon become a family favorite!

Ingredients:

• 1 stick butter (unsalted)

• 2/3 cup sugar

• 3 eggs (room temperature)

• 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour

• Zest of a lemon

• 2 tsp baking powder

• Pinch of salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt the butter.

Once melted, remove the butter from heat and let cool.

Add sugar to the cooling butter.

Whisk together sugar and butter, until thoroughly blended.

One by one, add the eggs and incorporate into the mixture.

Add the flour, half at a time, and mix well.

Add a dash of salt, the zest of the lemon, and the baking powder.

Spoon the batter into a madeleine pan; filling to 1/2 full. They will puff up while they bake.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until

lightly golden around the edges.

Enjoy!

Freebie Round-Up

🔸Text message: VALPAK to 727272 to get a code for a Free Redbox DVD, Blu-ray, or Video Game Rental. The code expires 2/28.

🔸https://grubburgerbar.com/grublove/ -sign up for the Grublove Loyalty Program to get a Free Entree at Grub Burger Bar. It should come in a few hours or so. They have locations in California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas

🔸https://www.walmart.com/cp/baby-registry/1229485 -click the baby welcome box link on the left side  and fill out the form to get a Free Walmart Baby Welcome Box. If you’re on a mobile device you might have to request the desktop mode in your browser to receive the baby box.

🔸https://dunkinsamples.com/?utm_source=DS008 -answer the questions and fill out the form to get a Free Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Sample. You can choose from ground coffee or 2 k-cups. Not valid in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

🔸http://cdn.mercurymagazines.com/121-121000036/index.html? -fill out the form to get a Free 2 Year Subscription to Money Magazine.

🔸http://shop.lego.com/en-US/minibuild-registration? -register now for a Free LEGOFighter Jet Mini Model Build at LEGO stores on February 5 & 6. For Children ages 6-14 only.

🔸https://usa.loccitane.com/kiss,82,1,94721,1326104.htm?-show this offer in store to get a Free Mon Amour Gift Box at L’Occitane stores with no purchase necessary. Expires 2/14.

🔸Free $10 off Lane Bryant coupon. Text message: TRENDY  to 552255 to get a $10 off  $10 in store purchase code. 

Enjoy your freebies! 😊

Easy DIY Lollipop Party Decor

These lollipop trees are such a cute and easy party decor idea… and kids really love them! Every time I make them for a party they are picked clean by the end of the event! You can buy craft styrofoam cones and balls at your local craft store., usually only for a few dollars each. I recommend buying the very large bag of DumDums and plan accordingly depending how many you need to make.

“Black & White” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by the traditional NYC Jewish bakery black and white cookies Black & White Cookies I decided try to make a chocolate chip cookie version!

They were beyond delish and I loved how pretty they look!

I started with my Chocolate Chip Cookies and separated the dough into two batches. I added a heaping tablespoon and a half of cocoa powder to one of the batches and mixed to incorporate. I then added 1/2 of white chocolate chips to the double chocolate chip dough. Roll each batch into a ball, cut in 2 pieces and then into four and then into 6 and so and and so forth until there is no more dough. So the same for the regular chocolate chip dough. You should have an equal number of pieces. Gently put together one piece of chocolate dough with regular dough and gently roll to incorporate.

As with traditional chocolate chip cookies, bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes for large cookies and 8-10 for smaller cookies. (I always go for large 😊)

Fresh out of the oven! (Excuse the runaway chocolate chip!)

Enjoy!! They truly are delish!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

4 medium-size sweet potatoes (avoid oblong shapes)

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 maple syrup (good quality)

1/4 milk or heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Reusable piping bag and star tip ( Ateco 829 star tip)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Scrub sweet potatoes under running water. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray and bake until tender, around 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before cutting open lengthwise, gently separating. Scoop out the flesh using a large spoon (leave enough on the “shell” so the skin holds its shape) and reserve shells.
  3. Mix together on medium speed the potato flesh, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and butter. Add milk slowly. Mix until the ingredients are completely combined and the puree is smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set the potato skin bases upright on the tray and pipe in the mixture to the sweet potato skin. Alternatively, if you do not wish to pipe the mixture you can add with a spoon.
  4. Place the potatoes back into the oven. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Baked Three Cheese Mac n’ Cheese

A smoked gouda spread that I found in a gift basket gave me the idea for a three cheese ( gouda, mozzarella and cheddar) mac and cheese recipe.

The basket below I bought at CVS for 50% off in the Christmas Clearance aisle. It was originally $24.99, reduced to $12.49 and I had $5.00 in CVS rewards, so I only paid a little over $6.00 and the goodies were delish!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small macaroni
  • ½ cup butter divided, plus extra for buttering the dish
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup gouda cheese 
  • 1/2cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 ½ quart or larger casserole dish.
  2. Bring 4 quarts and 1 tablespoon salt to a rolling boil. Add macaroni and cook until just al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain well. Do not overcook and do not rinse macaroni.
  3. Return pot to stovetop. Over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter until foaming. Whisk in flour and cook until bubbling about 1 minute; should be a sand consistency.
  4. Whisk in milk and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
  5. Fold in macaroni and stir until combined. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  6. In a medium bowl, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in microwave. Stir in garlic and parsley. Add breadcrumbs and toss until evenly coated.
  7. Pour breadcrumbs over macaroni. Bake until sauce is bubbling and breadcrumbs have browned, 25-30 minutes.