Our trip from Chicago to Champaign on Thanksgiving was a little rough. Piper couldn’t hold up her head as she slept and didn’t appreciate her chin resting on her chest. Neck pain? I dunno. I ended up in the back seat, propping up her head with my hand(s) for the last half (75 minutes or so) of the trip. I can’t say that watching her sleep was anything short of mesmerizing, however. My baby!
The girls then didn’t sleep all that well because Shea was sooooooo excited to see her cousins the next day. We had a countdown to 10:30am and on the dot, they arrived (THANK GOD).
I had spent much of the morning (Black Friday) perusing the Internet for all the deals. I wasn’t CRAZY about deals, but between Ebates, coupon codes, and free shipping, I enjoyed the game of landing the steals. I quickly made progress on my list of people to buy for and I feel like this year hasn’t been QUITE the struggle of past years – so, yay! (Gift giving is so not a strength of mine!)
I finished off my online shopping spree this morning and I’m feeling in the holiday spirit. We even made it out to the mall, since, ya know…there’s actually a MALL here (Champaign, Illinois). We missed Santa but the girls didn’t seem to mind. They were excited to run around the mall and TOUCH EVERYTHING (WHY!?).
I did as much holiday shopping as a husband, 4-year-old, and 2-year-old would allow (1 purchase, for the record) and we headed back to my in-laws. Seeing the mall decorated was just what we needed to get into the holiday spirit. The winter storm warning in northern Illinois should finish off the feeling of holiday time.
We haven’t nailed down our holiday plans and so my holiday baking list is yet to be determined. I have learned from recent years that as much as the rich buckeyes and fudge are forever favorites, there’s no replacing a cookie. These cherry-chocolate oatmeal cookies are ADDICTING and the perfect way to ring in the holidays with something sweet but not TOO sinful.
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 oz (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, oats, baking soda, and salt until well-combined.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add brown sugar and stir until smooth.
- Add sugar mixture to flour mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg; beat until combined. Fold in chocolate.
- Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.
Weekly Menu: November 25th – 29th
- Sunday: leftover meatballs and spaghetti with sauteed zucchini and green beans
- Monday: freezer clean-out for the crew, I have book club
- Tuesday: freezer clean-out for the crew – Mark and I are going to a basketball game and will likely eat somewhere before the game
- Wednesday: Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake
- Thursday: Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Cashew-Red Pepper Sauce (adapted from this recipe)