Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn is my favorite time of year

A few of my fall favorites: pumpkins, pomegranates, leaves changing colors, cool nights, warm afternoons, hot cocoa, backyard campfires, apples and making applesauce, baking, spiced cider, warm blankets, and candy making at Thanksgiving.

But maybe my very favorite thing is to watch how summer fades away and is replaced by glorious fall days as nature slowly prepares to go to sleep for the winter.

This is definitely my favorite time of year!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Books I love

I just finished a book in a series that is fast becoming one of my all-time favorites and it got me thinking about other series of books that I really love.  One of the very earliest series that I read was The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. I believe I was in 4th grade when my teacher, Mr. Jeppsen, read The Book of Three aloud to us. That book seriously changed my life.  I’ve always loved to read, but up to that time had read books like Ramona by Beverly Cleary, or the Childhood of Famous Americans series (I loved those books and read every single one my library had).  But.  The Book of Three opened up a new genre to me and introduced me to a world I had no idea existed. I was captivated. I loved Taran and how he wanted to be more than he thought he was. And then there were his friends, mentors, and trusty sidekicks: Elionwy, Gurgi, Fflewddur Fflam, Coll, Dallben, Doli, and Gwydion.  (ha ha… as a weird side note, I always thought that Gwydion should have married Aurora from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. J To my young mind, the 2 of them were made for each other, forget Prince Philip J. )
Anyway, I devoured the rest of the series and went on to love the fantasy genre and it wasn’t long before I was reading books by Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, just to name a few authors I read as  child/teenager.  I still have a soft spot for The Chronicles of Prydain. Its funny how, after all these years, Prydain is very much alive and as real to me as some of my own memories. Books are funny that way.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Waffle Cookies

It would be hard for me to choose my favorite cookie between chocolate chip and waffle cookies. Ha ha...warm chocolate chip cookies with milk are like food for the soul. But I do love me a waffle cookie, which are also best served warm with milk. :)

Our recipe comes from the 10th Ward Cook's Corner cookbook that my ward put together in 1981. We've made them in my family since I can remember. In high school, a friend and I ruined my mom's waffle iron by trying to cook chocolate chip cookies in it. Since then I've stayed with the tried and true and it really can't be beat.

Waffle Cookies
Melt 1 cube margarine and add:
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Mix all the ingredients together. Cook on pre-heated waffle iron on medium heat by dropping one spoonful of batter on each square. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Frost while warm. This recipe makes about 16-20 cookies, depending on how small they are. I usually double it when I make them.

powdered sugar
butter or margarine

I don't have measurements because I just dump in the bowl and mix. It used to drive all of us crazy that my mom couldn't give us the actual measurements, but we must have learned well because now my sisters and I make frosting the way mom does. :)

A few notes:
Butter can be used instead of margarine, but the taste changes slightly, of course. I've also tried baking chocolate squares when I was out of cocoa and they make a rich chocolate flavor, but change the texture of the cookie slightly. And finally, I prefer homemade frosting instead of store bought kinds. The frosting melts a bit because you put it on the warm cookie and store bought frosting seems to change a bit when it sets back up.