So Much to be Thankful For!

I realize this is a little late in coming but I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday filled with lots of great food and spent with the people who mean the most to you.  I also hope you took some time to reflect on some of the things you are most Thankful for.  I have several but here are a few.

My amazing husband who works hard to put a roof over our head, food on our table, and a safe place for our perfect little Angel to grow

My parents, and my hubby again 🙂

Our sweet boy who has made our world so much better : )

I am so Thankful for all that I have and I count my blessing every day.

We had a smaller Thanksgiving this year (we are used to cooking for what seems like several ppl every year) but it was nice to only have to prepare for 5 and really get to spend some quality time together.  My parents came down from Ohio, and my brother came up from the city too.  As usual…we indulged in some delicious food and may have over-eaten just a little bit!

Stuffed : )

Friday morning a family tradition lived on as my Mom and I braved the crowds and shopped on Black Friday while Daddy and Grampa Paul watched Garrett

Showing Grandpa how I roll

and Saturday we picked out our Christmas tree and decorated the house (one of my all time favorite things : )

New Things!

I absolutely Love the Holiday Season and I always try to enjoy every minute because it seems to pass by too quickly every year, so….I like to get a jump start : )

Our baby also turned 5 Months old on Thanksgiving Day but I will devote another post to that so this one doesn’t run on for too long!

Have a Great Evening!!

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(Chipless) Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Palmer Cousins

I have a pretty large extended family and I grew up in the Midwest, which means that throughout my life I’ve consumed massive amounts of meat and potatoes, and being a Brunner (maiden name) who was fortunate enough to live close to family and have lots of family get togethers; No meal was complete without some kind (or multiple kinds) of desserts.  And so my obsession with sweets began at a very early age.

Some of the Brunner Cousins

My Grandma Brunner was the master at preparing enormous quantities of food for our big family and she could bake with the best of them so I looked up to her and just knew that one day I wanted to cook like she did.  And still…to this day…my Mom makes the best Chocolate Chip Cookies.  She’ll swear that it’s all in the baking sheet…….but watching her for so long made me realize that it’s not just the baking sheet but also the little bit of extra love she adds to every batch : )

I got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas back in the 1980’s…and the rest is History.

I can’t take credit for this recipe because it’s the Nestle Tollhouse Recipe found on the back of their chocolate chips.  However, I know so many people who use this same recipe but regardless I don’t think I’ve had a single batch taste exactly like the previous one prepared by a different person.  I guess everyone has their own tips and tricks.

So…here are a few of mine

Nestle Tollhouse (Chipless) and Chocolate Chip Cookies

First things first….preheat your oven to 375 degrees and gather your your ingredients

  • 2 sticks of margarine (or butter) room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (make sure it hasn’t been open more than a month or so)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate Chips (added to your taste)

First…

Make sure your margarine is soft enough that when you press your finger into it is leaves an indentation, but is not melted.  In my experience, if I am in a hurry and try to microwave it to soften it and it melts a little bit…my cookies end up flat and crispy around the edges, rather than light and perfectly fluffy all around. Instead of microwaving try this tip or trick open your margarine and cut into pieces to make it come to temperature more quickly

Next…

Add your room temperature margarine brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla into your electric mixer and beat until creamy…then add your eggs one at a time until you have something that resembles this

Then…

Combine your flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and gradually add it to your sugar mixture, then mix by hand (so you don’t get flour all over the place, and so you don’t over mix your batter)

Line your baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and first drop chipless cookie dough by rounded spoonfulls onto your sheet (my hubby and my brothers prefer their chocolate chip cookies to be chipless) which basically makes them sugar cookies…..only better : ) and bake for 9-11 minutes depending on your oven

In the mean time…

Give a quick Hello and a Thank You to your Hubby for keeping your son entertained

Add your chips to your remaining cookie dough

Let the delicious smell of your cookies fill your home with sweet goodness as they bake.  Then pull them from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and move them to a rack to finish cooling before sealing them in an air tight container, ziploc bag or cookie jar (this helps to keep them soft, chewy, and delicious for days to come)

And Finally…enjoy them after dinner with a big glass of milk : )

What is one of your favorite go to desserts?

Typical Weekend…Brewton Style

Everyone says that when you have a baby your life changes, and I 100% agree with this statement; life is different.  Everything takes longer, and spontaneity pretty much goes out the window(at least right now it does.)  We have to plan everything, and then adjust our plans if Garret decides to throw us for a schedule loop.  And although our son (and our little family) play the most important part in our life we don’t want to let go of the things that we have always loved to do.

There are a few things that are pretty common around our household on the weekends.  We always do some things around the house but this weekend was extra special because our new dining room set was delivered!  Mind you, my china cabinet is still sparse because I haven’t put our dishes in yet, and our chandelier still needs to be lowered : )

Yay!!

We  enjoy spending time outside, by the lake!

One of our family photos taken by http://www.photographsbyandrea.com

And taking our dogs up to our dock so they can play catch with Dad.  (Garrett hangs out in his Baby Bjorn and we walk around and sometimes take pictures)

Ready

Set

 Go
 
 

 Repeat

We also love to entertain!  We do it as often as possible and that usually means I get to bake : )

Saturday evening we had some friends and their son over, but I had a busy day and didn’t have time to bake anything homemade so I bought some chocolate chunk cookie mix, that took 5 minutes to throw together, and called it a day.  Not homemade, but still made the house smell delicious!  Now Sunday is a different story, but more on Sunday’s dessert next time.

It is late and this Mommy needs to get to bed!

 

What are some of your favorite weekend activities?

First Halloween

I hope everyone had a great Halloween and got lots of Goodies to munch on for the next few weeks : )  I remember growing up (with my 3 brothers) that after we went out to trick-or-treat, it felt like we had Halloween candy forever afterwards.  I’m pretty sure my Mom would throw a little bit away every day so it didn’t last as long : )  At least that’s what I plan on doing once our little guy starts trick-or-treating!  He won’t need much candy because he’s so sweet already : )

Sweet Little Monkey!

 Our Halloween festivities actually started on Saturday with a little get together at our friends Nate and Susan’s house.  We have several friends who all had babies within a few months of each other so we got the kiddos together and took a few photo’s!

The babies and their Daddy's

 And then there’s this one which I think may be my favorite….I can only imagine what these two would say to one another if they could talk

Sup Dude...I see your Mom made you wear a silly costume too

 I made some pumpkin flavored cupcakes to share with everyone (and although I forgot to take pictures while I was cooking them…this is what they turned out like : )

Homemade pumpkin cupckaes with cream cheese frosting : )

 

 We had a nice time at the Kennedy household, and look forward to many more playdates to come in the future. 

Halloween Evening was a bit crazy at the Brewton household.  Garrett was a very needy little boy all day yesterday.  If he was awake he wanted to be paid attention to and if you weren’t paying attention to him he let you know!  Needless to say we were pretty busy all day, so much so that I didn’t even get to the store like I had planned, nor did we go to a Halloween Event at an outdoor mall close by! Lucky for us there a few good take out options to satisfy my Italian craving last night.  Between a cranky little boy, trick or treaters, and dogs that did not like the constant ringing of the doorbell we had to scarf down our food in between rings.  I was exhausted by the end of the day, and actually excited when 8:00 pm rolled around and I could turn off my outdoor lights. 

Regardless, it was an eventful first Halloween for our little man, and we look forward to dressing him up again next year and walking the neighborhood with him in tow : )

Now….on to preparing for our favorite holiday…Thanksgiving!!!!

Did you do anything exciting for Halloween?

Are you as anxious as I am to get the Holiday Season underway??