Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yum!!  I made these with mini chocolate chips, but then a few days ago I made them again with regular chips.  Both versions came out just fine.  These are super good!

Recipe is from Tasty Kitchen by mommahen- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2       cups Flour

1       cup Quick Or Old-fashioned Oats, Uncooked

1       teaspoon Baking Soda

½       teaspoons Salt

1        cup Butter Or Margarine, Softened

1       cup Packed Brown Sugar

1       cup Granulated Sugar

1       whole Egg, Slightly Beaten

1       teaspoon Vanilla Extract

¾       cups Libby's Solid Pack Pumpkin

1       cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Cream butter; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop a heaping tablespoonful of dough onto lightly greased or parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake 13 – 15 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Temptations

I got this recipe off of the Reese's bag.  They are simple to make.

About 40 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures

1/2  cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2  cup creamy peanut butter

1  egg

1/2  teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon salt

1.  Heat oven to 375ºF.  Remove wrappers from candies.  Line small muffin cups (1-3/4 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups, if desired.

2.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut buter, egg and vanilla until fluffy in large bowl.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place one in each paper-lined or ungreased muffin cup.  Do not flatten.

3.  Bake 10- 12 minutes until puffed and lightly browned; remove from oven.  Immediately press peanut butter cup in center of each cookie.  Cool completely in muffin pan.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Post Office

I often find myself at the Post Office.  I love to send letters and notes to friends and family and I also ship a ton of cookies to military personnel through an organization called 'Baking GALS' and another called 'Tell Them Thanks'.

So, it is no surprise that I often buy stamps.

The other day I went to my new post office and asked to see their stamps.  I enjoy picking out a new stamp every time I go, you know, to mix things up.  The Post lady only brought out holiday stamps...  Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

I asked her if those were the only stamps they had at the moment and she said yes.  I didn't feel like purchasing a holiday stamp just yet.

Before I could tell her this she pointed to the Kwanzaa sheet... which was missing two stamps, and she said to me, "If you want these, I can get you a new sheet."

I guess because I am Black (half Black), that means I celebrate Kwanzaa.  Ha ha.  Sometimes, people are really dumb.

Since I am only half black, I guess I only half celebrate Kwanzaa...  I use 3-1/2 candles.  (The only reason I know they use 7 candles for this holiday is because of a book I read for my children's literature class in college.)

This is when I would like to shout...  My mom is White!!  My most of my family is White!  And you are really dumb!  Come out from underneath that rock... right now, open your eyes, the sky is blue and some Black people don't celebrate Kwanzaa!

P.S.-  I always thought Kwanza was spelled just like that Kwanza...  I was very wrong.  It is KWANZAA.  Never forget that second 'a' after the 'z'.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I had never set foot inside a Marshalls before, in my life.  That is until the other day when I was wasting time before heading to the USO for my 8pm- Midnight shift.

I have been missing out!  What great things Marshalls has!

I loaded up on items for my art student raffle prizes and I also got a Nike sports jacket for $30 when it is normally $75!  Wow, what a deal!

How come no one told me about this before?  There sports section in amazing... Puma, Marc Jacobs, Adidas, Nike, Champion.  I think I will be getting all of my running stuff there from now on.

If you have not checked out your local Marshalls, do yourself a favor and go there now... right now...  I mean it!  Ha ha.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ben Harper Concert Photos

Here are the photos from the Ben Harper concert I went to in September!

So good!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Easy Rocky Road Brownies

You may or may not know that I like to cook, but I love to bake.  I really think it is my specialty.  I bake an awful lot and I discover and uncover many recipes within a given week or month.

Recently when getting supplies for some goodies for Operation Baking GALS, I picked up come Hershey's Halloween candy.  Luckily, two of the bags came with recipes.

Here is one of them:

Easy Rocky Road Brownies

38- 40 Hershey's Miniatures chocolate bars, unwrapped

2-1/2  cups miniature marshmallows

1  cup chopped nuts (I used Pecans)

1  package (13x 9 family size) brownie mix


1.  Heat oven to 350ºF.  Cut each Hershey's miniature chocolate bar into 8 pieces.  Stir together marshmallows, chocolate bar pieces and nuts; set aside.

2.  Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.  Bake brownies 2 minutes less than recommended baking time; sprinkle marshmallow mixture over brownie surface.  Continue baking for 3 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and lightly browned.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Using wet knife, cut into squares.

The name does not lie, they are super easy to make!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am in Love With...


I got these cute glasses a while ago, but now that I am in my own place, I am getting to use them for the first time.

They even fit inside each other just liked their famed Russian Doll cousins (Matryoshka).

They are perfect for small, medium, and large thirst moments!

I love them more than my luggage (Thank you Steel Magnolias for the reference).!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm singing in the... CAR!!

What a glorious feeeeeellllliiinnng!  I'm singing in the car!

There is something you should know about me.  I love to sing.  At all times, always.

It becomes especially loud and exuberant in the car.  I sing whole heartedly, passionately, and loud!

There are times when I won't sing and those times are when I think the people in the cars next to me can a) see me and b) hear me.  I usually won't sing when there are friends in the car with me, unless they are singing too.

Recently I drove to San Jose with Stacie because we were running the Rock n' Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon and... I... sang.  I believe Stacie said, "Your voice is very robust."  I think that was her way of saying I was being quite raucous.  Ha ha.

I sing like this, because it feels good.  It releases something, makes me happy and lifts weight off of my shoulders.

What do you do to relieve stress in your life?

Monday, October 10, 2011


To many, 1941 just marks our entry into a well known war for our country.

For me, it is a bit more personal.

In 1941 my grandma was 11 and her father was serving in the Navy as a Chief Warrant Officer.  They lived in Hawai'i... Peal Harbor to be exact.

It was two days before Pearl Harbor was bombed, that my grandma and her family were sent to San Diego. It all could have ended there.  My grandma could have been killed, therefore not living long enough to create my blood line.

Without my grandma, there would be no me.

It is moments like these that I am thankful for God's hand in our lives.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are you still married?

Believe it or not, I heard a man ask a lady this at the gas station two weeks ago.

Yes, I was standing there pumping my gas, when this guy pulled up on the other side of my pump.  A lady was already parked at the pump behind him.

He got out of the car and said, "Hey Mindy*. Are you still married?"

She kind of looked at him like... oh great it's this guy again.

She answered yes and the man proceeded to wash her windows and make unwanted small talk with her as she pumped her gas.

I just wanted to shout, "Man, get a clue!!"  He clearly wasn't wanted there.

He could still be holding her hostage at the pump for all I know...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Amazing and Wonderful STAR LAB!

There are many things I remember from school when I was growing up.  The soccer games, classes, fun times with friends, vigorous academics... but something that really stands out from all of that is the Star Lab.

Have you ever heard of that?  Any time it was at the science fair I begged my mom to let me go inside.  It was even better when the star lab got set up in a classroom and our teacher got to take us inside during a regular class day.

The Star Lab is so amazing.  It is this silver colored dome.  A fan at one end inflates it and all the students get to crawl through a tunnel to get inside.  Once inside, the most amazing thing happens.  All of the students sit eagerly along the edge of the dome and in the center is a cylinder.  The teacher turns the light out, but then turns on a light at the center of the cylinder... and... amazing-ness is born!

Constellations are splashed onto the sides of the dome!  The stars come alive!

I remember sitting there in complete amazement.  There was something about being inside, so close to stars which are normally so far removed... so distant.  If I could experience this again in my lifetime, I think I would again be in awe.  It is just so magical.

Star Lab do you still exist?  If so, can you come to a school near me?

It does exist and now it is in digital form...  good news  Star Lab is only $ 44, 995.  Yikes!  I cannot imagine any school could afford that these days and that makes my heart sad, because the kids are really missing out on this one!

Images found on Google.