Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

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Oh me, oh my…I tried one of those random Facebook recipe posts that you see people sharing and re-sharing a hundred times a day – and I was NOT disappointed in the least. I saw this recipe, latched on to it because all I needed to buy was chocolate chips, crescent rolls and cream cheese and I was home free. Who can beat an easy snack that only cost me about $6 to make?!? Not this girl!

There are lots of pictures – because…YUM.

Just 5 simple ingredients – you’ve got to love that!

Cream cheese, vanilla & sugar – you better believe I licked those beaters like a champ!

Can ย you say delicious? Because this would have been delicious even without this next step…

CHOCOLATE CHIPS!

Before the big chill in the fridge…

Part One

-1 package crescent rolls
-1 8 oz block of cream cheese, at room temperature
-1 tbsp. of vanilla
-1/4 cup sugar
-mini chocolate chips

Mix together cream cheese, vanilla and sugar with a hand mixer until well combined

Unroll crescent rolls and push together small serrated edges so that it forms one smooth(ish) rectangle of dough. Spread cream cheese mixture on the dough.

Sprinkle mini chocolate chips all over the cream cheese, as many or as few as you’d like and then roll the dough into a long log, tucking in all the goodness! Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight!

And after the big chill…a day later…

When this is what your dough looks like, you know you’re in for only good things…

Lots of little pretties laid out on the baking sheet…

Oh me…if that doesn’t look like heaven…

Part Two

Remove the dough from the fridge; preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice your dough in even slices and lay on the parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Cook at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until the crescent rolls begin to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool…if you can wait! Enjoy!
Absolute, delicious perfection.

…..And Again….

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Seriously – I have whiplash from the past week/weekend. It all went by so fast! Time seems to fly by faster and faster with each week; maybe that is what happens as the year draws to a close? Either way – here are some pictures from my speedy week and weekend!

The moon was still up Monday morning – that means I need to still be in the bed, right?

This is not what you want to buy in a “handy” desk pack – I’d rather have gum. *SIGH*

Tuesday morning skies….

Ha-ha…I had a need to know question….

Proof that you were raised by a plane nerd – the picture above. I can’t just watch Agents of SHIELD, I need to know answers. I had to take a picture of the TV screen on Tuesday night and message my Dad (and my sister) to find out what kind of plane this was. The answer? A C-17 that’s been souped up! I was instructed to google a C-17 and compare pictures – yes; I paused my watching of Agents of SHIELD to google pictures of C-17s, hold them up to the TV and decide that maybe my Dad was right – who am I kidding, of course he was right. What little I know about planes came from him. And yes – I know – I’m crazy. It’s okay though. Since I live by myself, I can be crazy and no one but the dog knows – and he’s not talking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

October is the best – although, I may be biased, having been born in October.

Ugh – colds. I HATE colds.

This past week I have been fighting a cold all week. I had to wrangle out all my “guns” – Vick’s Vapor Rub, cough drops, the Alka-Seltzer Day and Night, chloraspetic spray and even the $80 codeine cough syrup from the sickness at the beginning of 2013. Thankfully, I never really felt bad physically but my throat has ached, my nose had been stuffed, my ears have felt like they have an elephant sitting on them – blegh, all that goodness. There was a time or two that there was fever involved and that’s always fun. I was very close to my couch all week; I’d come home, put on my pajamas and lay on the couch. Hopefully whatever it was, it has passed – especially since I so kindly gave my Nanny what was left of my codeine cough syrup yesterday…

My buddy – saying to me “do you need anything?” Also, doesn’t he look like a little French man with a mustache?? This dog completely cracks me up!

Friday morning – and Watson would much rather stay at home.

A tree on fire with Autumn color outside the post office…so pretty!ย 

I watched Dracula on Friday night – Watson didn’t really watch the show, he watched the cookies I was eating to make sure he didn’t get left out of the tasting!

Every once in a while, he does something so adorable & almost person-like – as in this, Friday night snuggled up to his little red teddy bear. Precious, right?

It was a wee bit chilly on Saturday morning in my house….

I’ll explain more below….but fake greenery does not like me. At all.

So – here is the deal. I got my tree out on Saturday afternoon. Yes – THAT tree. Now before you flip out and tell me it isn’t even Halloween yet and I need to have my head examined, let me just explain something to you. First of all, my tree stays in it’s box, wedged in a corner of one of my closets. Saturday afternoon I was cleaning/organizing/straightening things and needed to get quite a few things out of the above mentioned closet – which required me to wage war with the box the tree is in and drag it out; a feat in and of itself since it’s a 7 foot tall (albeit skinny) tree. So, while it was sitting in the floor and I was sweating and trying to figure out how I was ever going to get in crammed back into the closet without damaging the tree, the closet or both (because my Dad got it in the closet in the first place, not me) I just decided to put it up. It’s a whole lot easier to get that box back in the closet with nothing in it! So, I put it up – and the tree ate me. I don’t know what the deal is with the plastic branches, but apparently they do not like my arms – because I broke out like crazy, all itches and whelps! Anyhow, the tree is not decorated for Christmas – it’s decorated for Fall and will stay that way until I head to Virginia for Thanksgiving. You can see it below…

Just being extra cheesy on the front porch Saturday afternoon…because I can.

My porch – with my pumpkin….

I got asked to come over and fix my “little sister” McKenna’s hair for her homecoming dance on Saturday – which was kind of a laugh to me. If I’m being honest, I don’t really think I do a very good job making my own hair look good and I was pretty sure I couldn’t do too much with someone else’s hair…but I present below the bun that I was able to do. I was pretty impressed with my handy work and McKenna said she was….I gave her numerous options to tell me if she didn’t like it and she assured me that she did like it..so there you have it. Maybe I’m better at this whole hair fixing business than I think I am? I need to try a bun like this on my hair asap….

My creation….I think I did pretty well.

So pretty! I know she had a blast at the homecoming dance…and that hair didn’t look too shabby either!

A Saturday night visit with one of my favorite little guys…he just gets cuter with every visit!

A Sunday afternoon stew thief….he wanted a bite of my beef stew bad! I let him lick the bowl…after all the meat, potatoes & carrots were gone!ย 

Sunday was – a rough day. I won’t elaborate too much on that but what I will say is this: It hurts to not be recognized for something you do on a weekly basis. It hurts even more when you are not only not recognized, but the recognition for what you do goes to someone else entirely. That’s all I’ll say on that subject because I had (and still have) some pretty hurt feelings and if I really got going, I might say things I didn’t mean. I’d hate to hurt someone else’s feelings just because of my own hurt feelings…so I’ll move on from this for now.

Gloomy Sunday afternoon? Watch a little sleuthing…it’s good stuff I tell you.

See – that isn’t really so Christmas-y, right? Orange, yellow…and pumpkins!

Well – there you have it! The past week in pictures and short stories. I’ve got to get busy now; I’m sure I’ve got plenty to do and I’m eagerly awaiting a box from the Bahamas – by way of my precious parents! So, I hope your Monday is prettier than mine (this silly rain) and you have a wonderful week!

Chili for Chilly Nights!

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If there is one thing I love when the weather gets cooler – it is a big ol pot of chili! I must confess, I used to love to eat Hormel canned chili but as I’ve gotten older, I realize there is much to be said for things you make on your own. I can guarantee you, when you make something yourself instead of just pouring it out of a can (which – okay, some of these ingredients come in a can, but you get my meaning…right?) it is going to taste so much better. The best part – this is super easy and it can be cooked on the stove or thrown in the crock pot! See – so easy!

So – some pictures and the recipe!

All the ingredients – seriously, not very many!

Brown the ground beef…this is kind of a gross picture, huh?

Chili seasoning, tomato sauce and ground beef…it’s going to be good!

A teaspoon of brown sugar – that’s right – brown sugar!

Kidney beans…taking a dive into the pot!

Cooking it all together…let me tell you, it starts to smell really good!

Things are getting serious – seriously good!

Chili…for Chilly Nights!

-2 cans tomato sauce
-2 cans of kidney beans
-1 small package ground beef, browned & drained
-1 chili seasoning packet
-1 tsp. brown sugar

Brown ground beef until well cooked, drain off any grease.

Mix in tomato sauce, kidney beans, chili seasoning and brown sugar.

Cook together over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until well cooked and all flavors are mixed.

Serve as you’d like – I eat mine with crushed chips, a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese!

You can also brown the ground beef, throw all the ingredients into your crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. It turns out just as delicious and is perfect if you have a busy day but want a delicious meal for supper!

Delicious supper – coming right up!

Pumpkin Mania

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Let me be the first to say – I absolutely love all things pumpkin! I’m a huge fan of decorating with pumpkins of all kinds and I absolutely love carving (or decorating) at least one pumpkin each year. This year, I took things a step further and decided to cook something with pumpkin; and not something you’d normally think of making with pumpkin, no bread or muffin, nothing like that. I cooked pumpkin pasta! So – I decided to not only share my new found recipe, but also my annual pumpkin masterpiece! Ha-ha!

I really wanted to go all decorative this year with my pumpkin – I was thinking I’d paint my initial and black polka dots on the pumpkin, but then once I got down to business, I realized that I didn’t have any black paint and to be honest – I had no desire to make a run to town for black craft paint. So, I googled pumpkin carving pictures, chose one that I thought I liked and pulled out the carving tools. Once I got down to carving, I realized that the face I’d chose to carve reminded me of “head” that the Headless Horseman throws across the bridge at Ichabod Crane on the old school The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

He was not happy about being gutted & carved…ha-ha!

The finished product – I thought it turned out pretty well!

As to the pumpkin pasta – I found it on this awesome website Someone Left the Cake out in the Rainย and it has some really fascinating recipes, most of which look amazing but are at times a little bit daunting. I stumbled onto the recipe for Creamy Pumpkin Pasta and I decided I was going to just dive in headfirst and see what I could do! I had nothing to do on Saturday, so I figured I had all the time in the world to cook whatever I wanted and take my time. The funny thing is – this recipe only seems complicated; it’s super easy and taste absolutely delicious! I won’t lie, I was nervous at first because I wasn’t sure if I’d like the taste – I mean, what if it was like having pumpkin spice latte poured on your pasta? Let me assure you – it isn’t. It’s delicious!

All the ingredients – there are a lot, but trust me – it’s easy!

Onions diving into the vegetable oil…sizzle, sizzle!

Yep – this looks like pumpkin spice latte, I know! I promise though, SO GOOD!

Spicy…spicy…

Adding in the noodles!

A sprinkle of Parmesan tops it all off!

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

-1 can pumpkin puree
-2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or olive oil, your choice)
-1/2 onion, chopped in small pieces
-garlic (I used garlic powder, about 3/4 a tablespoon)
-salt & pepper to taste
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp. marjoram (or sage – I had marjoram on hand)
-2 cups vegetable broth
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-3 tbsp. cream cheese
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese + some to garnish
-1 pound of pasta
Cook the pasta until tender, drain and set aside
Cook chopped onion with garlic in vegetable oil, about 5 minutes or until the onions are tender.
Add in pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, heavy cream and cream cheese, stirring together until well combined. The cream cheese will probably leave you with some pretty evident lumps, but that’s okay – they will decrease in time.
Add in salt, pepper, cinnamon, marjoram and Parmesan cheese. Cook on medium heat, at a simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
Combine pasta with the sauce, garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

The pumpkin preparing to be lit…

Happy Halloween to you!

Fall has Arrived!

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Oh my goodness – I feel like this weekend passed so fast that I have whiplash! I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that not only are the days getting shorter, but the weekends are getting shorter too. I think it has something to do with the end of the year creeping ever closer – you seem to run out of time for all the things you need to do because the days seems even shorter.

I don’t mind the “shorter” days, I may be one of the few people that love Autumn and Winter…somewhat because of the shorter days. I love coming home, curling up on my couch in the dim evenings and sipping a cup of something warm (hot chocolate, apple cider….coffee on the weekends) while curled up with a blanket, reading a good book or watching a movie. Not to mention – oh people, the holidays are upon us!

Halloween is just a week away and while I know some people get their britches in a bunch over Halloween being evil/people that are Christians not needing to celebrate it – I call their bluff. Halloween can be whatever you make it and if you teach that it’s evil, that is what it will become. I think Halloween can be fun and can be celebrated without making things seem bad. So – there is my soapbox rant for the morning. Also – Thanksgiving, which I love just because turkey is delicious and I love spending time with my family and decorating for….CHRISTMAS. And don’t even get me started on Christmas because that is MY favorite time of year ever. Always. So – basically – I’m just thrilled for the next two and a half months in general – because, hey holiday season! Let’s do this!

Halloween candy anyone? I try to keep my desk well stocked….
A very Autumn moon…Lindsey said it looked like something out of Sleepy Hollow…which, hey…maybe that’s what I was going for. Ha-ha!

Tuesday morning – there was a chill in the air. Awesome! I love Autumn!!

So – I already dedicated a whole post to this…but I made beef stew last week and I was absolutely in love with it. I brought if for lunch on Tuesday and it was just as delicious all warmed up in the microwave. The best part of taking it to work was that I shared it with a co-worker who cooks all the time; she tells other people how to cook awesome food and after she ate her bowl of MY beef stew, she wanted to know how I’d made it! Let me assure you – that’s a victory in the cooking department for sure! I’m pretty sure I need to go by the stuff to make more of this as soon as possible…because – delicious.

Oh…so good. I want a bowl right NOW.

Also – and I suppose this technically falls back to last weekend, but it’s making the post this week because that’s how I roll. I’ve been spending the weekend on my own for the past few weekends and last Saturday night I saw that The Hobbit was going to be on HBO; since I had nothing to do and no one to do anything with, I figured an almost three hour movie was the perfect way to pass the time. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy when it came out 10 years ago (seriously – it has been 10 years!) and since this is a prequel to that, I sat myself on the couch, watched it and really enjoyed it. I have this “problem” though, wherein as soon as I see a movie I enjoyed, I have to find the book it is based on and read it. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings trilogy (all 1,000+ pages) and thought it was excellent, so as soon as I got paid on Tuesday I took myself to Books A Million and bought some books. Nothing makes my heart so happy as the smell of fresh books. The ink, the paper….it’s all wonderful! So, I bought the rest of Tolkien’s arsenal and have spent all week immersing myself in all things Middle Earth again. The Desolation of Smaug (film two of three in The Hobbit trilogy) ย comes out in about 6 weeks; I think I’ll be ready by then!

Books! I love books! So much.ย 

I got this to drink just for Lindsey. And it was delicious.

My “goblin dog”….so says a co-worker’s little boy. Look at those glowing goblin eyes…hahaha!

Even on rainy days, Watson is ready to explore!

Thursday evening skies…even after the rain was gone, it still looked terribly gloomy!

Watson says “OK, tonight I’ll sleep on this bed & you can sleep on the other one, got it?” No way pup, no way!

A beautiful Friday morning!

Happily, Autumn seems to have arrived and decided to stick around. Even though I did a whole bunch of nothing this weekend, I did it wearing long sleeve t-shirts, socks and even a jacket a time or two. Which is absolutely divine! I love opening my front door and feeling that briskness in the air. It just makes my heart happy. Plus – boots, sweaters, cute coats, scarves! I just love it all. So much. Also, the colors of Autumn are the best as well. Who doesn’t love rich reds, burnt oranges, golden yellows and deep eggplants? I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for the last three months of every year!

Oh yes – I do love this weather. So much.

Running a Saturday errand with some leftover Halloween decor sitting in the back seat. Watson was unfazed.

I just went for old school Jack O’Lantern this year. No paint, no particular face…just something more traditional.

He absolutely cracks me up sitting on the stoop with the pumpkin.

I made pumpkin pasta on Saturday night (there will be a post devoted to that later) and Watson LOVED it. He would have eaten a whole bowl – if I’d let him.

The jack o’lantern before the sun went down….

And after the sun went down….ooh wahahaha!

Pumpkin pasta hog!ย 

One of my many precious lovies on Sunday morning – I adore her!

Saturday night, I knew I wanted to cook something in the crock pot…and I knew it needed to be chicken because that was what I had plenty of, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I ended up just throwing the chicken into the crock pot with some carrots, some chicken broth and some pretty basic seasonings – salt, pepper and a vegetable spice blend – and letting it cook overnight. I was so pleased with how tender and delicious the chicken turned out! I love it when I just throw things together and they turn out so well! Granted, I love cooking anything in general…but the pay off it much greater when it turns out delicious!

Sunday lunch – yes ma’am…it was delicious!

He takes Sunday napping seriously – as in, he starts napping around two & just naps the rest of the day. Bum.

This may not look like much to other people, but to me…this lets me know that Watson has hopped, jumped & wiggled on every pillow in the house while I was in the bathtub. Good grief.

Tis the season for hot chocolate! Yahoo!

Oh me – I discovered my favorite version of Sherlock Holmes. I have been watching Elementary on CBS for the past year now and I thoroughly enjoy it but I was told by a couple people that I needed to check out the BBC’s version of the Sherlock Holmes tale because it was, hands down the best. So, this weekend – I did. And I’m hooked! It is absolutely, no doubt the best. Of course, I suppose since Sherlock Holmes is the creation of a British author, it makes sense that the Brits version of Sherlock Holmes would be the best offering. Also – Benedict Cumberbatch (that name, good grief) can act like nobodies business. Sadly – there are only 3 episodes to a “series”…why BBC, why? I’ve already found my favorite line from the show; when Holmes addresses the medical examiner Anderson – “Anderson, stop talking – you lower the IQ of everyone in the room just by opening your mouth.” Oh me…I know several people I’d like to say that to. Anyway, it’s awesome! I love it.

Holmes & Watson on the case…

And – that is all for now. I had a good week last week; an interesting week for sure. I’m hoping this week will be much the same. I suppose now it’s time to settle into my desk chair, drink another cup of coffee and get down to work! Hope everyone has a great Monday and a wonderful week!

A Stewing Success

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I think at this point, we all know I love to cook. It is really and truly one of my favorite things to do. I really enjoy hunting up recipes, making a list of what I need, gathering it all together at the store and dreaming the whole time about the wonderful things I’m going to make. I realize that most people don’t really get that thrilled about cooking, but I certainly do.

I also love setting out all my ingredients, cutting and chopping, mixing things together and anticipating the delicious smells and tastes that are soon to follow. I have to say, sometimes trying new things can be dangerous but I’ve only been disappointed twice so far in my cooking adventures, so I will continue to journey on and see what I can make.

I love beef stew, especially when it’s cold out – or coldish, since MS can’t ever seem to decide what it wants to do weather wise. I figured homemade beef stew was as easy as meat, potatoes, carrots and seasoning in the crock pot and with that in mind, I went for it and was thrilled with the results! This was easy and turned out absolutely delicious, if I do say so myself!

All laid out….minus the seasoning packet.

Pretty little veggies in the pot – I added some onion after I took this picture.

After the mixture took a “nap” in the crock pot over night.ย 

I was tempted to stay home from church & devour my beef stew, but I managed to stay the course.ย 

Easy Peasy Beef Stew

-1 package stew meat
-2/3 potatoes, cleaned and cut in small bites
-small carrots (I just added them in until I thought there was enough orange)
-a handful of onion flakes
-1 packet beef stew seasoning (I used half the packet, I have a small crock pot)
-1 cup water

Clean and cut up potatoes, add the potatoes and carrots the the crock pot

Add in stew meat, onion flakes and beef stew seasoning mixed with water

Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or overnight

Gobble up!

Seriously – so easy & people will think you worked really hard.

Here I Go Again….

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Another weekend has flown by – there actually aren’t too many left in this year, can you believe it? Time seems to move faster and faster with each passing year; at this rate I can’t imagine how time could pass any faster, but I’m sure it will manage it somehow. Not to seem like I’m wishing my life away, but it would wonderful if the week days could pass a little quicker and the weekend could just hang on a little bit longer. Life is ironic like that though, there’s obviously a reason for the quote “time flies while you’re having fun”.

A look back at the week – in (mostly) pictures and short stories.

My Pumpkin Pal keeping me company at work – he came from Wegmans and has “siblings” in Virginia & Colorado.

Watson surveying the morning on Tuesday….

This is my kind of weather – the chill of Autumn in the air! Keep this coming, please.

My owl ring – my little sister named them: Eugene, Lola & Charlie. It works for me.

A stuffed bell pepper for lunch at the office on Wednesday, courtesy of a co-worker.

Watson says “ice cream cake is delicious…please give me a whole slice…”

A hazy Thursday morning…it was hazy almost every morning this past week.

Tasting the rainbow while I work on Thursday…

Watson tries on his Halloween costume for the first time – he may not have been in love with it, but he didn’t hate it.

Most days, even if I’ve had my coffee…if it’s a Monday through Friday, I feel this way. Until 5 PM.

This episode is a week away – talk about almost 9 years of watching a show faithfully & finally getting some amazing payback! I can’t wait!ย 

My “little sister” McKenna was the sophomore homecoming maid on Friday night at her school – of course I had to be there. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

Smile pretty – tonight is all about you!

After a semi-lazy Saturday, Watson & I spent a lazy Saturday laying on the couch, finally watching “The Hobbit”, which was great.

Watson didn’t make it through the whole movie, the blankets pulled him in & he fell fast asleep. He’s rotten – I know.

My friend’s new baby came to church on Sunday and I was absolutely in love within minutes – babies are heavenly.

My Sunday afternoon nap champ – he naps more than I do on Sunday afternoons!

Taking a Sunday afternoon ride – he loved every minute of it, sweet boy.

This creature also took a Sunday afternoon ride…but his was not as relaxing. What can I say, don’t hang on to the antenna if you don’t want to go places…

Okay – I lied a little bit. This week it’s only pictures. Maybe I’ll have more next week? The past week was tough at best and so I think a part of me just wants it behind me. There were good moments and I shared those with my pictures. So, here’s hoping this week is better! Happy Monday!