Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 76: Lemon Drop Cookies

There is something about a lemon cookie that makes me think of summer. Maybe it was eating them by the box full while at dance camp while I was in high school? Sweet and tangy, lemon cookies are always a favorite.

It has been a few weeks since I linked up with Deb at Focused on the Magic of Disney. This weeks theme, "C". In my world "C" stands for COOKIE!

While taking pictures of the Lemon Drop Cookies, Mickey made a special appearance.

This is a simple recipe, sure to please. I found it helpful to dip the cookies in lemon juice before covering with powdered sugar. Start with 1/2 tsp and add more as needed.

Lemon Drop Cookies

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use Kosher)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (use more as needed)
    1. Cream butter and powdered sugar
    2. Add egg and lemon juice
    3. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and salt
    4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
    5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    6. Roll dough into a pall and place on the cookie sheet
    7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    8. Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 1 minute remove to cooling rack
    9. While cookies are still on the cookie sheet mix together powdered sugar and lemon zest.
    10. Before cookies are completely cooled cookie in lemon juice then cover in powdered sugar.

    Cool and enjoy!

    Don't forget to sign up for The Cookie A Day Challenge's Get Mooooving Giveaway! You could win a $50 Mastercard, A Magic Bullet Blender, a got milk? baseball hat and more! Click here to enter :) 

    Don't forget to check out the other posts from Deb's site. Great pictures ans stories about the wonderful world of Disney!

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Tuesday Blog Hop

    It's time again to link up your favorite cookie recipies.
    Hop around, have fun and discover some great recipes and fun blogs!

    Don't forget to enter The Cookie A Day Challenge's Giveaway for your chance to win a $50 Mastercard, A Magic Bullet blender and some cool got milk? swag! Click here to enter.

    How to link up:

    1. Follow The Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Google Friend Connect (located on the right side bar)

    2. Grab The Cookie A Day Challenge Button and place it in your post or sidebar help to spread the word. This hop will be open EVERY TUESDAY :)
    The Cookie A Day Challenge

    3. Link up your post by following the Linky Tool instructions

    4. Comment on my post after you link up so I know where to find you so I can follow back

    5. Hop around to the other blogs and please leave comments :)
    Link your cookie (or any other sweets) recipe every Tuesday at The Cookie A Day Challenge

    Day 75: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with a Tall Glass of Milk, and The Cookie A Day Challenge's FIRST GIVEAWAY!

    Growing up in Michigan I have been to my share of what I like to call, education farms. Farms where I can take the boys to hold baby chicks, see a goat and even pet a horse. However, last Friday, thanks to The Michigan Dairy News Bureau, I was able to tour a Michigan Dairy Farm.

    We took a tour of Goma Dairy located in Marlette, MI which is run by the van den Goor family. Immediately I was impressed. Gertie van den Goor welcomed us and began to introduce her family and explained how her family became dairy farmers. She then went on to give us a little history about her family's farm. The currently milk 3,000 cows and take pride in their care for these beautiful animals.

    Before we could begin our tour we were required to slip on surgical foot coverings. The purpose of the this is was protect the cows from any diseases we may track in. I thought this was very smart! Keeping healthy cows is important to to the milk production. As any mom knows, once a child brings a virus into the house it is very difficult to keep the other kids healthy. This seems to happen to us every November as the flu season starts to peek in the elementary schools. I couldn't imagine having to protect 2,999 other cows from getting a virus that starts in one!

    We saw where the cow's feed was stored, then went into the barn. The cows were happily eating and paid little attention to the group of bloggers all snapping pictures of them.

    After seeing where the cows spent most of their time we moved on to the milking station.
    The cows knew exactly what to do and the workers were so fast! The the cows were hooked to a machine and the pumping began. What stood out most to me was that once the cows were attached to the milking machine, their milk was never touched by human hands! It goes right from the cow to the truck, fantastic!

    Cows being milked

    Milk goes from the tubes down to the basement where it is pumped into more tubes

    In the basement, the milk is pumped into the large silver tube and moves to the cooling tubes.

    The milk goes directly into the truck!
    We ended our tour with a delicious lunch in the barn. I learned a lot form my first dairy farm experience and give a lot of credit to the people who choose this as a career. It is truly a labor of love. We were lucky enough to be joined by Dairy experts; Deanne Kelleher an registered dietitian, Dr. Ron Erskine a veterinarian and Katie Dellar Facebook's Dairy Mom. The knowledge they shared was invaluable!

    What goes better with a warm batch of cookies then a nice tall glass of milk?! I decided to make a classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. The warm soft chewiness of this cookies is complemented so nicely by milk!

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yoke
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg or all spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg or all spice, baking soda and salt, set aside
    Cream together butter and sugars
    Add egg, egg yoke and vanilla
    Slowly stir in flour mixture
    Mix in oats, raisins and walnuts(optional).
    Place a teaspoon sized drop of dough on a cookie sheet
    Bake for 8-10 minutes
    Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute
    Remove cookies to cooling rack to complete cooling


    It's Giveaway Time!!!!
    The Cookie A Day Challenge is giving away a Get Moooving dairy gift bag that includes:
    • A $50 MasterCard Gift Card
    • A Complete Magic Bullet 17-piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System
    • Reusable Grocery Bag
    • got milk? Baseball cap
    • Dairy Themed Socks (adorable!) 
    To qualify for the giveaway you must:
    1. Like The Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook and/or Follow @cookieaday on Twitter or  subscribe to The Cookie A Day Challenge by email.
    2. Like the Michigan Dairy News Bureau on facebook (to have your facebook like count, please comment on the Michigan Dairy News page that The Cookie A Day Challenge sent you) or subscribe the The Michigan Dairy Bureau's You Tube Channel
    3. Comment on this post

    Giveaway Rules
    1. You must be a US resident to win (sorry)
    2. You will get one entry for EACH site you like or subscribe to. Total possible entries 6!
    3. The winner will be chose at random
    4. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of your Get Moooving Dairy Gift Bag. 
    5. Contest ends July 31st, Winner will be notified by August 2nd.
    6. Good Luck!!

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Day 74: Banana Walnut Cookies

    It's summer in the D and it is a H-O-T!!!

    With the rise in temperature our bananas have been riping much quicker then normal. So what is a mom that bakes cookies everyday to do???

    Banana Walnut Cookies!!!

    1/2 stick of butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    2 smashed bananas
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup oats
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp allspice
    2 cups chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    Cream together butter and sugar
    Add egg, bananas and vanilla; mix well.
    Slowly stir in oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
    Mix in walnuts.
    Place teaspoon sized dollops of dough on a cookie sheet
    Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    Remove to cooling rack

    Cooking Matters

    I'm back and have so much to write about that it's hard to know where to begin.

    Before we left for our vacation I officially accepted a job coaching our local high school's JV dance team. This is important to note because I now have a whole team of girls to share the COD with in addition to my boys. FUN!

    Noah had another wonderful experience with the JrNYLC program. He met some great new friends and I swear he was 3 inches taller and his voice was deeper when we picked him up!

    Boston was amazing! Adam flew out late on Wednesday evening to meet up with us. We picked up Noah Friday morning and headed into the city to stay for the night. We had dinner at the Ye Old Union Oyster House (I could write 5 posts just about that it was so delicious and fun.)

     and Dane created "Lobster Boy"

    We even stopped in Niagara Falls for two nights on our way home. I was happy that I had something to do Monday night or we may never have come back ;)

    We arrived home with enough time to unload the minivan, take a quick shower, grab my apron (wasn't sure if I would need it) and make it to Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit. There I attended my first event with Share our Strength's Cooking Matters.

    Let me just say, this class and organization was worth coming home for! I truly believe in a healthy balanced diet. This program has found a way to successfully teach people how to make healthy changes.

    As I entered the building I was greeted by Jake, one of Cooking Matter's Chef Volunteers. He gave me a brief tour of the space and showed me where the test kitchen was located. The organizers decided to move the mock class from the test kitchen to the main area of the where house because it was so warm.

    More people entered and we were able to sample some healthy and delicious snacks. Mango Salsa, tabbouleh and hummus all made from scratch. Along with fresh fruit and low-fat cheeses. Once everyone arrived we took out seats.

    On each seat was a canvas Cooking Matters reusable shopping bag filled with some informative material and some really cool signs (I will get to those later).

    We were welcomed by Sara Mills, the program's manager. Who filled us in on who they where and what they did.

    Cooking Matters provides a series of 6 classes for adults, teens, kids and families. The goal of these classes is to teach families how to eat better for less. It is also through these classes that the participants learn how to prepare certain healthy foods. At the end of each class in addition to the knowledge they just gained, EACH participant leaves with the ingredients to make the meal from class.

    Once Sarah briefed us it was time for our mock Cooking Matters class. Vani Sohikian, Gleaners Cooking Matters Coordinator began the class with some nutrition information. So, you know that food pyramid we all know??? Well, (in my best Italian accent) forget about it!

    The new national food guideline is called My Plate and looks like this:

    I was completely surprised. I had no idea the guidelines changed and am happy they did! I think this is a great way to teach balanced eating.
    Well, where do cookies fall in this new guideline? Some, possibly all of them. For example, today I made Banana Walnut Cookies (recipe to follow). This recipe would fall under the grain, fruit, dairy and protein categories. When making things at home you are in charge of the ingredients and the amounts.

    We then moved to Jake Williams, our Chef for the evening. After a quick knife lesson, a few of us maned our stations and started chopping veggies.

     Our meal was Barley Jambalaya, and it was very good. Simple fresh ingredients and very tasty!

    What I loved most about this class was the chance to see how Cooking Matters works. I love that they teach about balanced eating. Even cookies :)
    I am inspired to help and to promote and to do everything I can to get this deserving program the recognition it deserves. I will be attending more events in the near future and will be talking about them often (Disclaimer: this is not a paid affiliation, just think they are awesome!)

    Another quick shout out has to go to Dorothy Hernandez. She is putting together a great opportunity for local bloggers to engage in the Cooking Matters Process. She is fantastic!

    Now, back to those signs I mentioned above.

    I came home excited about the class and was looking through the information provided and found some great signs. I talked to the boys about the program and then had an idea.

    Why not treat the signs like Flat Stanley? We are going to have others answer the questions on the signs, take their pictures and share the pictures with #cookingmatters. Follow through twitter or instagram.

    If you are in the Detroit area be ready to be asked what's your favorite fruit or why Cooking Matters. These signs will be traveling through out the summer so be ready!

    This program is only as good as it's volunteers and they are awesome!
    There are many volunteer opportunities available check out the link below. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me and I will help if I can.

    For more information about Cooking Matters click here.
    Like Cooking Matters on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Tuesday Blog Hop

    It's time again to link up your posts!
    In honor of the weekly Mom Chat, this week any sweets can link up, not just cookies.
    Hop around, have fun and discover some great recipes!!

    How to link up:

    1. Follow The Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Google Friend Connect (located on the right side bar)

    2. Grab The Cookie A Day Challenge Button and place it in your post or sidebar help to spread the word. This hop will be open EVERY TUESDAY :)
    The Cookie A Day Challenge

    3. Link up your post by following the Linky Tool instructions

    4. Comment on my post after you link up so I know where to find you so I can follow back

    5. Hop around to the other blogs and please leave comments :)

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012


    Pack up the mini van! We are going to Boston!

    Last year, Noah was nominated to attend the JrNYLC (Jr National Young Leadership Conference) in Washington, DC. He came home from school one day so excited that he was selected to go! Adam and I knew nothing about the program, until it came. A very official letter from the Congressional Youth Leadership Council explaining in detail the wonderful opportunity Noah had been given.

    As great of an opportunity as this was, we were not about to let our 11 year old travel to Washington DC solo. So we made a family trip of it.

    From that trip, Noah was recognized again and was invited back to attend the JrNYLC Alumni conference. This time in Boston. He is busy seeing Plymouth Rock, The Mayflower II, Salem, and the Freedom Trail. In addition to attending leadership workshops about tolerance, team building and freedom. He is even spending the night on the USS Salem!

    Since Adam had to stay back to work the first part of the week-Dane, Ian and I are making the best of being in the Boston area. We did a Fenway tour yesterday and are heading out to Wingaersheek Beach shortly. Dane is hoping to bring home a new pet, Ian is just hoping the "Cape Cod" shark is gone ;)

    We took a picture on the first day of Noah's trip last year, and again this year:

    JrNYLC Washington DC June 2011

    Jr NYLC Alumni Boston

    Look how they have grown!
    Now off to the beach!

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Day 73: Chili Dark Chocolate Cookies

    Sometimes I feel like trying something different. I was watching one of my favorite food shows, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and while in the kitchen the cook was going through his famous chili recipe. Then it came. The cook pulled out his secret ingredient, cocoa powder!  Hmmm. Chili and Chocolate? Why not!

    I put was beginning to put this recipe together when I realized I didn't have chili powder. So I ran up to the corner market with the boys. I also needed a few other things, so it was worth the trip. As we were checking out the cashier smiled and said to the boys: "Looks like you are have some homemade chili for dinner"

    Ian shook his head at her and said, "No, that's for our cookie!"

    The cashier didn't believe him. Then Noah and Dane chimed in. "Seriously, our mom is using it for our Cookie of the Day."

    She looked puzzled, "What's the cookie of the day?" she asked.

    Then it happened. It was the first time since I started this project that stopped to think about what this challenge means to the kids (besides the obvious desire for cookies). For a good 10 minutes I listened to all three of my boys explain The Cookie A Day Challenge. Each one of them had something different to say.

    Noah talked about how I started my own website and then proceeded to explain how I knew nothing about websites (he's right).

    Dane told her about the time I was on the radio and he thought I sounded like a professional.

    Ian went on about how Adam got me a new fancy camera last year for Christmas and now I never put it down. He said he loves trying to sneak into the pictures the most (you will see some of his antics below)!

    The cashier then pointed out the obvious, "And, you get a new cookie EVERYDAY!"

    When we got home I continued to bake and when this batch was finished I gave each one of the boys and extra cookie.

    As much as I get caught up in making the COD/taking the pictures/editing/writing/posting and promoting the blog that shopping trip reminded me of something. This is about my boys. To listen to them talk about what I am doing and be proud of it reminded me of how we, as parents, talk about or kids accomplishments. Cool.

    This cookie is a MUST try! The chili taste is subtle and the chocolate is rich.


    Chili Dark Chocolate Cookies
    Add this recipe to ZipList
    Printable Recipe

  • 1 1/2 bars of Ghirardelli 72% Cocoa
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar plus 1 TBS
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Chili Powder

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    In a double boiler or sauce pan placed in a pan with a little water, melt chocolate and butter together.

    In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla.
    Sift flour, baking powder and chili powder together.
    Fold melted chocolate into the egg mixture.
    Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
    Place teaspoon size drop of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    Cool on the cookie sheet 1 minute. Remove to rack to complete cooling.

    Oh! And remember what I said before about Ian? Well just an FYI. I have to edit his fingers out of way to many of the cookie pictures. This time, I left some of them in.

    At least he is a good sport about it :)

    Have you subscribed to The Cookie A Day Challenge yet? I am currently in the beginning stages of a web page re-do. Please subscribe so you don't miss a delicious cookie once it's complete! Also, you can like the Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook, follow on Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram.

    Tuesday Blog Hop

    It's time again to link up your posts!

    1. Follow The Cookie A Day Challenge on Facebook, Twitter and Google Friend Connect (located on the right side bar)

    2. Grab The Cookie A Day Challenge Button and place it in your post or sidebar help to spread the word. This hop will be open EVERY TUESDAY :)
    The Cookie A Day Challenge

    3. Link up your post by following the Linky Tool instructions

    4. Comment on my post after you link up so I know where to find you so I can follow back

    5. Hop around to the other blogs and please leave comments :)

    Have Fun and Get Baking!

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Fun New App

    Created with PhotoShake! This may be my version of a photo a day!

    Day 72: No Bake S'more Treats

    The heat continues! Still not wanting to turn on my oven, I am all about the No Bake Cookies this week!

    My boys LOVED these S'more Treats. Quick, easy and super delicious!!

    I have mentioned before that I will see something at the market and try to figure out how to make a cookie out of it. Other then the baking isle, the cereal isle is the next best stop for inspiration. Rather then crusing up graham crackers, I used a honey graham cracker cereal. Easy!

    No Bake S'more Treats

    1/4 cup of butter
    1 bag of marshmallows
    5-6 cups of honey graham cereal
    1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
    2 Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars broke into pieces

    Grease a 9x11 baking dish
    In a large sauce pan melt butter over medium/low heat.
    Add marshmallows and sir occasionally until melted.
    Remove form heat.
    Add honey graham cereal to the melted marshmallow two cups at a time, stir.
    Stir in mini chocolate chips
    Place mixture into the baking dish.
    Press into the dish using a piece of parchment paper.
    While mixture is still hot,  place broken Hershey Bar pieces through out the dish.
    Cool, then cut and Enjoy!

    I promise you, once these are cut they will dissapear!!!

    Thank you to all who have voted for The Cookie A Day Challenge as a Top Mommy Blog!
    We have moved up to number 5 in our category!!
    Please keep voting (you can vote as many times as you would like). All you have to do is click on the picture below, thank you again for all of your wonderful support of this crazy little challenge :)

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