Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The Nerd has been working extremely long hours lately (last week, he put in 67 hours), so I wanted to do something nice for him.

His absolute favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin, so I started combing the Internet for recipes.

When I found this one for thick and chewy cookies, I knew I had found *the one.*

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (I often use a half teaspoon, but I like more salt in my baked goods)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugars, butter, egg and vanilla.

  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix well. Add the oats and raisins and stir together well.

Drop by the tablespoon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. They should be about two inches apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges have just started to turn brown. The centers should still be a bit gooey.

Let them cool for a bit to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 2
Enjoy!

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, I am *not* currently holed up in my hotel room at the JW Marriott in San Antonio (for a work conference) writing this blog post instead of networking and hanging out with others from my company. Not me! I am a social butterfly, and definitely *not* a wallflower. :)

And I am certainly *not* going to use this Not Me! Monday post to share a little about the *ridiculous* weather we have been having back home. Not me! I would *never* write a funny blog post about something that would make *normal* people embarrassed.

You see, it’s rained *a lot* the last week back home.

So much, in fact, that our back yard now looks like a jungle.

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And I have *not* given my poor, over-worked hubby a hard time for how badly he needs to cut the grass, even though he put in 67 hours at the office last week. Not me! I would *never* be so insensitive.

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And I did *not* laugh when I walked outside, only to find that Kaylee *refused* to walk in the tall grass and get her paws wet. Not me! I would *never* rush inside to find my camera to take photos of that silly dog.
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After a while, though, laying on the window sill was just *too* boring for this little ol’ dog. So off in the grass she went!

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Yes, my friends, the silly beagle is *eating* the grass. I guess she got so tired of waiting on The Nerd to do it she decided to take matters into her own paws. 
Unfortunately, she threw up all of the grass she ingested later.
A *special* surprise for her mom. Yay for me!

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Georgie was *not* a fan of the high grass either.

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It completely covers up his feet.

At least his radar ears are free to hear phantom sounds from which he must defend the house.

I often find myself telling him that there’s *nothing* there.

Then I realize that, once again, I’m talking to my dog.

Well, folks, I’m off to a full day of meetings at the conference.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, and thanks for looking! 

In My Mailbox

It’s here! It’s here!
I am so, super-excited because this week I got Linger by Maggie Stiefvater in the mail!
It is so, so pretty!
And the ink inside is *green*!
Squeeeee!
Since I last posted about the release mix-up, Maggie has announced that they moved up the official release date to July 13. So, if you don’t already have a copy, you can get it soon!
AAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDD!!
I have big, big news!
I’m sure to tear through Linger in the next week (I mean, I literally *can’t* wait!)
But – I won’t be posting my review until Saturday, July 24.
Why?
Because I’m going to be part of the Linger release blog tour, and I’ll be *interviewing* Maggie Stiefvater that day!
Can I squee again?
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I am so, so excited!
My interview questions were a bit different from the normal author interview questions, so be sure to check back to hear the questions and her answers.
Are you excited? I AM! :)
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.
Happy Sunday!

Not a Mommy Blog

I may have mentioned my super-cute niece, River, a time or two.

You guys probably think I’m nuts for posting her photos all the time.

The truth is, this isn’t a Mommy Blog.

It’s an Auntie Blog.

No, not an anti-blog.

An Auntie Blog, you know as in the lady who spoils *other* people’s children. (And, apparently, photographs them and posts the photos online for the whole wide world to see.)

You see, I *love* Mommy Blogs.

MckMama? Heck yes. Can’t get enough of the MSC.

As Tabitha struggled with the demands of being a new mom, I was right there with her.

I laugh as the Screwed Up Texan posts about the antics of her boys.

And giggle as Holly paints a picture of her animated life.

I adore the stories told by the Pioneer Woman of her life with her kids on the ranch.

But me? I have no stories to tell of my little ones.

I have no little ones.

Hopefully, that will change sooner or later.

I’m crossing my fingers for the sooner, rather than later.

I keep telling The Nerd that we need to have a baby so I have something to blog about.

He then tells me I can just write about River.

**Sigh**

I’m working on him, though.

Someday, this world will be graced with our blond-haired, blue-eyed babies with heads the size of Jupiter.

Oh, have I not told you about my husband’s rather large head? Um, yeah. Let’s say that birthing his babies is going to be fun.

And when our large-headed little ones enter this world, they’ll have this to look forward to:

Oh can’t you see my babies running around in that?

Until then, you’ll just have to make do with photos of River and her soon-to-be sibling, little baby pumpkin seed.

Did I mention that I *want* one?

Happy Saturday!

I like to think of myself as an “auntie” blogger, instead of a “mommy” blogger.

Dill Pickles

I have a thing for pickles.
I love them.
I grew up eating them. When we were little, my siblings and cousins would go over to my grandmother’s house and she would always have pickles stocked in the fridge. We’d eat them all and drink the pickle juice.
We called it “silly juice” because it made us laugh and giggle.
That was probably just a side-effect of six cousins all getting together, and not the pickle juice.
But I like to think it was the pickle juice.
So when I found this recipe for home-made dill pickles from Annie’s Eats, I knew I had to try it.
These pickles are crisp and have just the right flavor.
They are seriously good, even if you’re not a pickle addict.
Dill Pickles
Adapted From: Annie’s Eats
Ingredients:
3 cups Water
6 tbsp. White vinegar
3 tbsp. Kosher salt
 Minced garlic
Fresh dill
Mini cucumbers
Directions:
Stir together the water, vinegar and kosher salt until the salt is dissolved to make the brine.
Slice up your cucumbers.
And sprinkle a little dill in the bottom of a jar.
(I used this Freeze-Dried Dill, which uses the same proportions as fresh dill, because fresh herbs often go to waste in my house.)
Fill up the jar half-way with cucumber slices.
Sprinkle in some more dill, and fill up the rest of the jar with cucumber slices.
Then, add some minced garlic on top.
Pour the brine into the jar until the cucumber slices are completely submerged.
Put on the lid and refrigerate it for at least two days.
Yummy.
Can I just eat these right out of the jar?
Yes, I think I’m going to go do that right now…
Enjoy!

Friday Finds (4)

Welcome to another edition of Friday Finds. I hope you have all had a great week! 
I’m getting ready to head out of town for a work conference, and haven’t had much time to browse the Interwebs for contests and giveaways.
Know of some I should feature? E-mail me!
In the meantime, here are two giveaways I’m hosting this week:
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Earlier this week, I got the chance to interview Erin Kellison about her debut novel, Shadow Bound.
She kindly offered to send a signed copy of the novel to one of my readers!
Seriously, go enter this contest! 
 
And may the odds be ever in your favor…
 
 

Because I love July, I’m giving two people the chance to win their choice of a dozen hot summer reads.

The best part? The more followers I get, the more winners there will be!

Right now, there will be *three* winners. If I reach 200 followers, a fourth winner will be added.

Check out the contest details and don’t forget to enter!

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If you’re here from the Blog Hop, welcome!

*****

And to my fellow paranormal junkies from Follow My Book Blog Friday  — welcome!

If you become a follower, be sure to leave a comment letting me know! I’ll follow you back!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

Happy Friday!

A True Artist

Maggie Stiefvater is an artist.
She composed the music for the stop-motion video book trailer for her book Linger.
She decorated an acoustic guitar with Shiver art and will be giving it away at the Linger release party.
And now, she has promised to doodle in every copy of Linger that is pre-ordered from Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virgina before July 20.
Can I tell you how excited I am about this?
‘Cause I really, really am. So excited, in fact, that I’ve ordered autographed copies of Shiver and Linger to give away on the blog later this month.
Are you excited now?
You see, a bit of drama unfolded over Twitter this past weekend.
Linger was not supposed to be released until July 20.
But last Saturday, Maggie posted on her blog that she was getting barraged by e-mails from readers who pre-ordered copies of Linger from Barnes and Noble online, saying they had received notice from the bookstore that their order had shipped.
Wait…what!?!
It’s true. I can’t wait to read this book, so I immediately went online and ordered a copy for myself.
It still hasn’t arrived, but that’s ok.
While I’m happy to have the opportunity to read Linger a bit earlier, I’m a little sad for Maggie. Her launch party was planned for July 20. She has events planned all that week and the next.
I would imagine the day of your book’s release is a highly-anticipated occassion in an author’s life.
And now, hers has just kind of fizzled out.
Fans won’t be lining up at store opening the day of release to get their copy — they can go to Borders right now and pick one up. It’s true. I saw them on the shelf yesterday at Borders in Arlington, Texas.
Not to mention the unfair advantage these large chain bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc) have over our lovely Indie bookstores.
I hope that fans of Maggie and her books will still make the release week special for her. Lend her your support. Go order the book from Fountain Bookstore.
And, finally, attend her signings and release events.
I know I’ll be at the Austin event with bells on.

What’s the Question?

As the wife of a Nerd, I appreciate the genius of Douglas Adams.
I *love* The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so much, I like to think of my iPad as a Guide.
Seriously, I’ve tossed around the idea of making an app that flashes “Don’t Panic!” across the screen.
Wouldn’t that be cool?
But I digress.
The latest Internet craze is Formspring.me — a forum where you can ask *anonymous* questions of your friends!
And I’ve jumped on the bandwagon.
Ever wonder about my favorite flavor of ice cream?
**cough**cough**Tin Roof**cough**cough**
How many computers we have in our house?
**cough**cough**four, not counting the iPad**cough**cough**
Or, really, anything?
Oh, and don’t forget to enter the Shadow Bound giveaway and the July Book Extravaganza over on the book section.
Happy Thursday!

Steak Kabobs

One of the best things about summer is grilling out.

And I love how you can customize kabobs to suit any taste.

Got a picky younger brother? No problem. Just let him make his own.

This is seriously one of my favorite summer meals.

Steak Kabobs
Marinade Source: All Recipes

 Ingredients:


 
For the kabobs:
2 lbs of stew meat (or steak, cubed)
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 yellow onion
Metal or wooden skewers

For the marinade:
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 1/2 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp meat tenderizer

Directions:

 

Whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Put the meat in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.

Refrigerate four to 24 hours, until ready to grill the kabobs.

Cut the peppers and onions into large chunks.

You could even use pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries if you want.

Assemble the kabobs with the veggies and meat.

Be sure you soak the skewers according to the package instructions so they don’t catch fire.

Then, load those bad boys up on the grill.

Cook ‘em until the meat is brown and the edges of the veggies have started to darken.

Doesn’t that look like the perfect summer meal?

Enjoy!



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