Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Thank you all for your great feedback on my last post - last week I sat down and wrote about all of them! There were 18 photos and it actually took awhile. When I finally hit publish all I saw afterwards was a blank screen. The post vanished! I tried to retrieve but for some reason it was gone for good. some point I hope to go back and redo it but for now I needed to do something else...something that made me happy!

It's recipe sharing time! These cookies look like your standard peanut butter blossoms, right? But no, there is a big big difference and it's a difference big enough to make this one of the yummiest cookies I've made in awhile.
Instead of peanut butter, the dough has....Nutella in it!

I love Nutella! It is basically it's own food group in our family because my love for it is echoed in each of family member's heart.

We put it on a banana for breakfast, on toast, on a ritz cracker (perfection when you add a slice of banana to go with it), in crepes and for special occasion we use it to make one of my husband's favorite dessert, Bomboloni de Nutella - which are super good and yummy but the process is a bit involved and not something we make when it's just the four of us. This cookie recipe is really easy and absolutely delicious. I actually think I'll make them at Christmas time since my kids aren't fans of the peanut butter blossom.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Smooches
Original recipe here, courtesy of Giada

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella) - can use more - I used a heaping 1/2 cup, maybe closer to 3/4 cup
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies in
1 (9-ounce) package of chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped (recommended: Hershey's)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, place the chocolate hazelnut spread, butter, and both sugars. Using a hand mixer, cream the ingredients together, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and blend until incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated.

Shape the cookie dough into walnut-sized balls. Rolls the balls in the sugar. Place the cookies on a heavy cookie sheet about 4 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Quickly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Be careful with the cookie time - it's better to undercook them slightly and allow them to continue cooking on the pan afterwards. They are best when soft!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Take your pick!

So what do you think? This is a pretty random collection of pictures taken from my iPhone over the last month (click on it to see them larger). Which ones do you want to know more about? Come on, the Barbie is begging to be explained!!! Let me know in the comments and I'll start posting!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Are you watching?

Yesterday afternoon a friend sent me a link to streaming video of a Bald Eagle's nest. Two little eaglets (yes I knew that without looking it up, but yes I did look it up because I wasn't 100% sure) had already hatched and number three is due any day now.

Here's a picture from my computer...

It is super fascinating. The kids and I have it up on the screen all the time and Catherine was singing a song about Eagles being our best friends. The bird...not the football team! At one point last night we saw the eagles about to dine on some fresh food....Ella thought it was a rat but Catherine figured out quickly that it was a fish. The eaglets are soooo soft and fluffy (looking that is, I haven't been out to Iowa where the nest is located to confirm they really are) and so cute.

It's been like having our own little science lesson here at home, which is especially nice since Ella has been home all week with yet another bout of bronchitis.

Here's the link. Just a warning, it's fascinating AND super addicting! Don't say I didn't warn you if you find yourself stuck in front of a computer for hours on end tomorrow.

Let me know if you check in and if you get to see baby #3 hatching.

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