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Kylee Noelle

Friday, September 30, 2011

Chilly Autumn Friday

Brrr! It has been windy and chilly today! High of 54! Yikes. Good thing I was in the kitchen cooking all day to keep me warm! Today was the first day I could sleep in with nothing going on to really have to get up for since the wedding. Guess I was tired because I slept till 1:30. But in my defense I had a sick husband waking me up all night coughing and when he got ready for work this morning! So I had a late start to my day and just decided to cook and clean today!

First thing's first though. On thursday nights we go to a christian college group called Journey. A lot of the group is composed of college students I went to high school with and the guy who runs it was my teacher in high school and also married us. We love going to this small group of about 15-30 students depending on the day. It is nice to have other people our age, including married couples that we can talk about our weeks and have a bible study with. It is very inspirational and I look forward to it every week! Especially when I am around a 1 year old every day and only hear daddy, baby, hi, up up up, and doggy ALL day! I hope her vocabulary expands soon! We were talking yesterday about what we wanted to give that evening and what we wanted to receive. Talk about a hard question! Defiantly not something you normally think about when heading into a bible study. But a bible study is one place where you don't have to give anything and it is ok to receive and to take. This means you are learning something! We also talked about how we need to expand ourselves to see those around us. We are so easy to anger when someone does something rude or annoying around us or to us. But do we stop and say, you know what if they are having a bad day? What if there was something I could do to help instead of being rude back and making their day worse? We are so stuck in our own pace of life and not focused on others. What if when anyone is rude to us we stop and let it go and be nice back or so can I pray for you? What if that's really what they need? It's a way to share our faith without shoving it on someone. You never know how you could be an inspiration to someone else or help turn their day around. Also if you are driving and someone cuts you off instead of having road rage you could say a prayer for them. For example, pray that they slow down and don't get into a wreck. Have you noticed when you let anger get to you how much more stressful your day is and how everything seems to start going bad or even worse then before? If you turn that negative into a positive you would be surprised at the amount of relief and how your mood shifts. I challenge you to try it! We should be focused on others, not ourselves!

And on top of that I was reading other blogs and have realized there are so many other christian bloggers out there and it is truly inspiring to me. I wouldn't think in the blog world this would be the case so I am pleasantly surprised! I love hearing about other people's faith and stories and what God puts on their hearts! In thinking about last night and reading some blogs today I have come to the conclusion that I think I want to start something new for myself. I want to pray for a different blogger a day, especially those I see who are in need of it. They may not know I am doing it but I think it is a good way to put others before myself, especially those I don't know. Because let's face it, who doesn't need a prayer?

Ok ok, enough seriousness! Now on to more fun stuff! I saw this crane when I was leaving work and it looked like a baby one all by itself! So pretty though!

Now to food!!! So like I said I was going to cook these caramel stuffed apple cider cookies. And of course I will pre-warn you mine do not look all amazing like the picture. Which seems to always be the case. They never look as good as the picture! So before I start, here is what they are supposed to look like and here is the recipe.

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
Ingredients
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)
  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)
  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.
  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

OK, now onto my version! 
here we go!
So first challenge was the caramels. They didn't have the ones listed so I had to get Werther's caramels. Which are bigger then the Kraft ones. So I proceeded to chop them in half and put them in the bowl so I would be ready. Lesson I learned, they end up sticking together! Uh oh! So I put them in the freezer thinking they would break off like ice cubes. Well I forgot about them and they were TOO cold! Crap! So I actually ended up putting like a teaspoon of hot water on them and voila they started to break apart! So then I laid them out on the counter individually so they wouldn't stick together. So my advice, do not put them in a bowl! Lay them out on a plate or on the counter where they are not touching.
Batter tastes a bit bitter just an fyi!
Make sure you do refrigerate it for an hour! Even after being out for a bit it would get super sticky and I had to put it back in the fridge to make it get thick again!

Next I am going to show you this amazing bad boy of a cookie cooler. It stacks! So now you don't have to have cooling racks all over the place!
Just beautiful!

Also I had no parchment paper, so luckily I had these bad boys, which are also amazing! NOTHING sticks to them and then there is no clean up from your baking pan! All you clean up is the silicone insert! LOVE!
Genius I say!
ya see it does not look like the awesome cookie in the pic lol
look at that awesomeness!
mm caramel insides!
It tastes like a buttery tart fluffy apple with caramel inside! Delicious! I think I like them better then the cake batter bars!!

Now onto dinner! I made Hot and Sour Chicken in the crockpot. It was deliciousssss!!! I put it over rice pilaf with veggies! Nom nom nom! Super easy too! Here is the recipe.

Hot and Sour Chicken:
1 cup chicken broth
3-4 chicken breasts cut in halves
1 package hot and sour soup mix (I found it in the Asian foods by soy sauce)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or to your liking)

Place chicken in crock pot. Pour seasoning packet over chicken. Pour chicken broth over chicken. Add soy sauce. Cook 5-6 hours on low or 3-3.5 on low. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

I also added some crushed red pepper and chili powder to spice it up since we like things spicy! Married a mexican remember! 

I think it is called Sunbird Hot and Sour Soup mix. I looked on the store's website to see if they had a hot and sour soup mix before I went!
Delicious!

Oh, if you drink tea or hot chocolate, or cider a lot you must get one of these! They heat up in like 60 seconds and are amazing!!

We also saw some people throwing this away and decided to take it and re-do it to match our room! Oh boy, wish us luck! Our newest project! Needs new paint and handles but it will look nice!


Well I guess that's enough for one day! My parent's are headed over to have some cookies and I we are babysitting Dyson till tomorrow night to give them a puppy break! Miss my little guy! Have a wonderful friday night everyone!



1 comment:

HeyDahye said...

YUMMMM caramel-filled cookies. Looks so good!

http://heydahye.blogspot.com/