Posts Categorized: Personal

Aryn’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

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One of the things on my “30 Before 30” list was to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. I was a bit naïve when I wrote that – there are many different types of chocolate chips cookies, and I’ve now decided one shouldn’t necessarily discriminate – but this one is my go-to, and pretty darn good.

BevsRecipe

It all started with my mother-in-law, Bev’s, recipe. It’s a winner on its own, but I wanted to cut some butter and add some oats. Then I had the GENIUS (pure genius, I tell you) idea to start making double batches and freezing dough balls.

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Simply put a reusable baking liner or parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, scoop out dough balls (I use a tablespoon), and put in the freezer. (Usually they’re balanced on some frozen vegetables, a pack of bacon, and frozen ravioli in ours!)

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When they’re frozen solid, you can move them to a container for easier storage (we use yogurt containers). Then, when you feel like a chocolate chip cookie, you can just pop a few on a cookie sheet and bake – no need to thaw. Viola! Fresh cookies in 10 minutes! Because no matter how perfect a recipe, a fresh chocolate chip cookie is better than a day-old one. For sure. (I would pin that sh*t if I were you…)

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So, without further ado: the chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Preheat oven to 375

Cream together:
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C butter

Add 1 egg and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix.

Mix together dry ingredients (I just add them to the top of the wet dough, but stir up the dry stuff on top before I mix it all into the wet stuff):
1/2 tsp salt
1 C flour
1 C rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda

Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips. I always eyeball them, but if I’m making a double batch, I add nearly a bag! I like chocolate. You decide what’s best for you, but I will tell you that these cookies hold up well to lots of chips.

FYI.

‘Cause these things are important to know.

Optional: Roughly chop 1/2 C cranberries and add to dough when you add chocolate chips (I stopped adding cranberries after Roxie was born because the extra step – cutting board and knife, etc – seemed to be too much work, but they do add a nice element if you’re into that sort of thing!)

Scoop balls onto cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Usually I bake about a dozen and let them rest on the pan a couple of minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. The rest, I freeze!

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Enjoy!

XO,
Aryn

Fenelon Place Elevator Co. – Dubuque

 

 

Here at Inspire(d), we’re always on the look out for quick regional getaways and adventures. We’ve featured Dubuque in past issues, but recently had a chance to re-live all the fun and excitement of the Fenelon Place Elevator, more commonly known as the 4th St. Elevator.

GoingDownSelf proclaimed as “the world’s steepest, shortest scenic railway,” the elevator transports up to 8 passengers at a time up (or down!) 296 feet to Fenelon Place. Yep, since 1882, when JK Graves built the first cable car in order to get home for his lunch break, this bluff has been traveled by many a folks looking for an easier way around Dubuque.

More of a cable car in design than a true train, the wooden cars and steep. clackety track make a memorable experience for riders of all ages. You can even take your bike up with you in the car for a small extra cost!

The elevator runs daily from 8am – 10 pm, April 1 – November 30, and costs just a couple dollars to ride.

Read more about our adventures in Dubuque here…

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Inspire(d) Life: 5 Potty Training Lessons

imageWondering what it’s like at Inspire(d) HQ? Well, right now we’re potty-training our almost-two-year-old. It is one of the most patience-trying things I’ve ever experienced. Seriously, kid, do you really have to go every time I lay you down for sleep? Even after the last time…just 10 minutes ago?

But it also makes me laugh, and often! I hope, when you’re most frustrated, you can laugh too!

Here are some potty-training *facts I’ve learned over the past month:

1. If it’s in the bathroom, it’s covered in pee. It doesn’t matter if it’s five feet up, inside a cupboard; it’s covered in pee. Possibly poop. Yeah. Just go ahead and wash it.

2. Nobody wants to encourage the Girl Who Cried Pee. But the minute you call her out, she’s gonna make you pay. With pee.

3. You’ll be shocked by the number of times you say things like “Get your head out of the toilet!” or “No, do NOT pick up the poop. Just say, ‘bye bye’ to the poop.” And my personal favorite: “Downward dog so I can wipe your butt.” (<– this really happens…)

4. Potty is quite possibly the worst word in the world, but soon you’ll find yourself using it in public even when your kids aren’t around.

5. Your child would like to cordially invite you and everyone you know to her bathroom for a poop-viewing party. Grandparents, neighbors, strangers on the street, behold: Your Child’s Poop. You may now clap your hands. (Then wash them.)

*These are in no way facts.

XO,

Aryn