Baby Inspiration Part II

Christmas Cookies!

I spent yesterday afternoon baking cookies for the "cookie swap" at work and also to give to my parents and in-laws! I made a few different kinds of cookies that I had never made before and they came out great! I think lots of people have had the peanut butter cookies with the hershey kiss in the middle...so I will share my recipe for the other kind I made...peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies with hershey kisses! This recipe was amazing and I got it right from good ole Pinterest! 

Here's what you'll need:
- 1 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour - 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa (such as Hershey's Special Dark) - 1.5 teaspoon baking powder - 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt - 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, cut into chunks - 1 1/4 cup sugar - 3 eggs - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract - 1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling - Hershey's Kisses  
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, continuously beating on low until combined.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for an hour (at least 30 minutes if that's all you have!). Gently roll each heaping teaspoon of dough in powdered sugar before placing on cookie sheet LINED WITH PARCHMENT PAPER. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and immediately press hershey kisses in the center. Allow to cool thoroughly. Enjoy! 

cooks2

Baked Apple Crisp Oatmeal

Fall makes me want to cook all day every day! Last night I came across this baked oatmeal recipe on Pinterest and absolutely HAD to try it out with some of the apples I picked this weekend! Chris and I usually eat oatmeal in the morning and I decided it was time to jazz it up a bit since it can get slightly monotonous/boring. Today, I was SO excited to eat breakfast and sample my creation! Wanna know the best part about this dish? It's baked entirely in the crockpot! You just set it and forget it! Chris absolutely loved it (he gave it a 9/10 on the rating scale haha!) 

Here's what you do:

Peel and slice about 5-6 apples and layer on the bottom of the crockpot. Disperse 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 2 cups oatmeal, and 4 cups of water on top. Do not stir. Cook on HIGH for 4.5 hours. For the last 30 minutes, add the topping which consists of: brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and butter. In the morning, heat it up and serve! 

It will look like this before you put the topping on:

oatmeal2

Topping: 

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 stick butter 

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

This morning's breakfast! Yum!!

oatmeal

Wifestyles Of The (not) Rich and The (not) Famous...

Nowadays if you want to set aside a weekly "date night" that involves going out for dinner, a movies, drinks, etc...the night can get pretty pricey! I have gotten creative with a few inexpensive date ideas and honestly, most of the time they end up being more fun than a stuffy dinner or movie anyway! Happy to share with you some creative ways to spend time together without breaking the bank!

1. At-Home Movie Night:  You can do this for under $10! Rent a few red box movies, buy some popcorn and a few boxes of candy and there you have it! You can set it up really cute for your man...post a "Welcome To Movie Night" with the DVD's, candy, and popcorn all on the table, and blankets/pillows on the couch ready to go! It will make an ordinary night seem exciting!

2. Go On A Picnic: This could be a really romantic Saturday or Sunday afternoon Fall date. Bring a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers...pack a few blankets, one to sit on and one to cover up with...and just enjoy each other's company. You can do this for under $20! (Maybe even cheaper depending on the bottle of wine you get :))

3. A Day At The Museum: Now that we live in Boston, there are so many cool exhibits and museums that we can go to!  The best part? Most are FREE! You can have a whole day exploring with your love for zero dollars. I would encourage you to research your area to see what you find...you'll be surprised how much you can do right in your own backyard!

4. Build A Living Room Fort: How many of you did this when you were little? Why did we stop just because we're adults? This is SO fun and doesn't cost a single thing. Create a blanket and pillow fort in front of the TV...make some snacks to eat in your "fort", then either talk or find a movie to watch on demand! Date night for $5!

5. At-Home Spa Treatment: You want to really surprise your man? Have candles lit, soft music playing, and lotions, scrubs, and massage oils lined up for when he comes home. Tell him to soak his feet in a warm sudsy water bath, give him a nice foot massage and scrub. While he's soaking his feet, massage his shoulders with oil. He will be pleasantly surprised and maybe even return the favor!