Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Swig Sugar Cookies . . .

Have you seen the Swig sugar cookie recipe floating around the internet? Well, I did and I decided to try it out. I don't bake much at all and I must say that I was surprised at how easy these were to make and how deliciously good they turned out.
They are so close to the real thing, just slightly harder. Next time I'd try baking for 7 minutes instead of 8. I have posted the recipe below along with a picture of how they turned out.
The recipe made a ton and were just too good. I ended up eating two a day and have regretted doing that. I will make these again but next time I'll be taking them to my kids' school or giving them away to a bunch of people.
Swig Sugar Cookies
1 C Butter (room temperature)
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
2 T Water
2 Eggs
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Cream of Tartar
1 t Salt
5 1/2 C Flour
Cream together Butter, Vegetable Oil, Sugars, Water, and Eggs.
Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.
Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky at all.
Roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet.
Now its time to give these babies their signature rough edge.  Put 1/4 c of sugar and a pinch of salt in a dish (this is in addition to the sugar and salt listed above.)  Stick the bottom of a glass in it.  This is going to be your cookie press.
Firmly press it into the center of your dough ball.  You want your dough to spill out over the sides of the glass.  If there is a lip it’s even better.
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.    Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool put them in the fridge in a sealed container.
Sour Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 C Sour Cream
Approx 1 2lb Package of Powdered Sugar (I never use the whole thing but love having extra on hand just in case I add to much milk!)
1 t salt
1/4 C Milk
Red Food Coloring
Start by creaming together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick it’s not frosting-like add a splash of milk.  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop of red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.
Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar Cookie is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.
Frost right before serving (if you make them in advance and need to refrigerate the frosting make sure you give it time to warm up before serving)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

In need of a Thanksgiving dessert recipe? Here it is!

Every time I have made this dessert it has been a big hit, with both adults and kids. If you are serving a large crowd, I would double it.
Marshmallow Pomegranate Cranberry Delight
1 small pkg. fresh cranberries 1 pkg. mini marshmallows 1 pint whipping cream 1 pomegranate (seeds) 3/4 C. sugar 1 granny smith peeled and grated
Chop cranberries by pulsing them in your blender a few times. Then put the chopped cranberries into a bowl and mix with sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge. Mix whipping cream until stiff and put into the another bowl and add marshmallows. Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge. After two hours in the fridge, mix the two together and add pomegranate seeds and grated apple. Put back in fridge for at least two hours before serving.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I am a sunscreen freak. I wrote an article for Know It Mom about sunscreen several years ago, and here I am doing another one - only because using a truly protective and safe sunscreen is SO important.
Always buy a broad spectrum sunscreen because it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays accelerate aging and may suppress the immune system. UVB rays cause sun burning, and both types of rays can cause skin cancer. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has done research on sunscreens and rate them according to their safety.
I always check with the EWG before I buy any sunscreen: EWG Sunscreen Guide
If you don't have time to hunt down your own, you're in luck! I looked up some of the highest rated ones with EWG and then read the Amazon reviews on them which helped me find two that I really LOVE this year. . .
My family and I are using Tru Kid Sport water resistant SPF 30 for the days when we are in water, and then we use DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30 on other days when we aren't in water but are outside for long periods.
They are both safe for sensitive skin and were both given a 1 rating with EWG, which is the best rating possible. Some sunscreens go on really thick or leave you looking ghost-like, but these two really absorb well and I like the texture vs. many other sunscreens I have tried.
Here are the links to the EWG's recommendations on the ones I bought:
Tru Kid
DeVita Solar Body
For a couple of years now I have also used DeVita Solar Protective on my face if I will be in the sun at all. It's absolutely wonderful stuff! Here is the link for that:
DeVita Solar Protective
One reason I am so passionate about sunscreen safety is because there are so many main-stream sunscreens out there that contain Retinyl Palmitate. What's that? Here is a quote that I found on the EWG's website: "
About RETINYL PALMITATE (VITAMIN A PALMITATE): Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). When exposed to UV light, retinol compounds break down and produce toxic free radicals that can damage DNA and cause gene mutations, a precursor to cancer. Recently available data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. FDA also raised a concern that extensive, daily skin application of vitamin A creams may build up in the woman’s body a high enough level of Vitamin A that may be toxic to the developing fetus.
Many anti-aging creams contain Retinyl Palmitate as well, so if you are using one with that ingredient, be safe and just use it at night.
I hope that you all protect yourself and your family in the sunshine this summer and have fun!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Datexx The Miracle Cube Timer

I just bought this cool little timer on Amazon, and it's a must-have. So, my kids have recently discovered video games - and they are obsessed. The first month or two was a little out of control and I knew we needed to cut back on game time. This was new territory for me and I knew that we needed some boundaries set.
I decided that they can play twice a day for 20 minutes at a time. They love playing after breakfast and in the evening with Dad. So.... after they have eaten their breakfast, got dressed, brushed teeth, etc., I let them play while I get ready for the day... it works out great for them ... and for me.
Before I got this handy timer, was just using the timer on the microwave, but the microwave is upstairs and their game system is down in the basement, so they wouldn't hear it go off. So when I found this timer, I was in love. It is modern looking, has four times to choose from, and it's easy to use.
I keep it in the basement in the game room and it's loud enough that I can hear it from upstairs and the kids hear it well too. You turn it on, choose the setting (by facing the side with the time you want up towards the ceiling), and once you set it down, it starts timing. Once the alarm has sounded (it beeps several times), be sure to switch it "off" so that you won't waste batteries. Check it out here:
Datexx The Miracle Cute Timer
There are other ones available that have different time selections and colors. To find them, just do a search in Amazon for Datexx The Miracle Cube Timer. These would make great gifts, especially for Mom's ... and Mother's Day is just around the corner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nordstrom is the BEST!

I love shopping but it's very hard to do with two little ones who refuse to sit in a stroller. So I shop online a lot, or shop when my Mom can meet me and help with my kids.
My most favorite place to shop is Nordstrom because of several reasons; amazing customer service, high quality items, incredible return policy (no questions asked), plus free shipping and free returns... all the time!
Rarely do I buy anything that's not on sale. I am pretty frugal and so I like to keep an eye on my favorite items by adding them to my wish list online. When I see them go on sale, then I buy them, and I earn points by using my MOD card . . . The MOD card that Nordstrom offers works just like a debit card (takes the money directly from your checking vs charging it onto a 'credit card') and every time you make a purchase (using your card) you earn points. Obviously they offer a credit card too. But whether you have the Nordstrom Mod card or the credit card, for every 2000 points you receive a 'Nordstrom Note' ($20 to spend at Nordstrom; online or in-store).
They have special days throughout the year where you can earn double or even triple points, and one day a year where you can choose your own personal triple points day. But my most favorite thing about Nordstrom is that if you purchase something and it goes on sale within 2 weeks of your purchase, they will credit you the difference. Now that's what I call smart shopping!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summertime tip for getting sand out of kids' hair

My kids were playing in the sandbox and my daughter got sand all over her head. The tiny grains were in her hair and scalp. My husband was outside with the shop vacuum and suggested just vacuuming her hair. We tried it and it worked like a charm. It didn't hurt her hair, just got the sand out and off of her scalp. It also made her hair look wild which made my son crack up.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Granola Anyone?

I love eating granola for breakfast. I buy my granola from Costco and get the Kirkland Ancient Grains and the Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola. However, having just one type at once is a little boring for me. So........ I bought a cereal container from Ikea and I layer the two granola's in it. Then, when I'm ready for a bowl of granola in the mornings, it's already mixed and I just pour it into a bowl. If you like granola, but want to add a little bit of interest to it, try this trick. Enjoy!