Wow Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I have posted my "best chocolate chip cookie ever" recipe in the past...but I was dead wrong!

I was looking through an old family reunion recipe book and found a chocolate chip cookie recipe from my cousin's family...and being the choco-holic that I am...I had to try it.  Everyone in our family says it is the BEST cookie they've had!  It makes a ton and I mean a TON.,...and they are huge.  The other fabulous thing about the WOW it is the perfect combination of firm and chewy...and they stay that way for days.
Wow Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Cups Butter
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
3 Tsp. of Real Vanilla
5 Cups of Oats
4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Baking Flour
2 Tbs. Baking Soda
4 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 8oz. Chocolate Candy Bar, grated
2 Cups Chopped Nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees.
  Cream butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla together until mixed completely.  Using a food processor, grind oats until they are powdery. 
 Stir in flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda gradually. 
 Add chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts.
Form batter into golf-ball sized balls and place 2 inches apart on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. 
 Bake for 12 minuets or until lightly browned on the outside edge. 
 Let cool for a couple of minuets on the baking sheet and transfer to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Once a month we make these cookies and take them to different neighbors and friends.  There have been many requests for this here it is and thank you Sherm and Barb for passing on.  I'm dying to make them into ice cream sandwiches before the summer is over!!!

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Granddaddy Lake

This past weekend we packed up and headed to the Ashley National Forrest to camp at Granddaddy Lake.  The men in our family have been camping there for about thirteen years...and they finally convinced me to go.  It's not that I don't like roughing it...I just like camping where I have a toilet, running water, and am close to a road in case I need to escape! 

But with the lady numbers in our family dwindling, I am kind of forced to go with the boys or stay at home alone...and I am never a fan of just sitting home.  So, I packed my sandals (epic mistake), a new book, and my embroidery basket and joined the troops for a few days in the wilderness....

It snowed our first night!

Our secret camping spot....and let's just say that to get to it, we had to saw several trees out of the way and four-wheel off road for a mile.  The plus is that for three days we didn't see or hear a was peaceful beyond belief.

My husband love to carve and decided to make a Granddaddy Lake hiking stick.  It looks like a granddaddy huh?  I need him to make a Grandmommy stick for me.

The spring where we get our water.  It is ice cold and so refreshing!

A little time to myself to work on an upcoming project...

Keeping dinner simple...BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob and Pre-cut Hashbrowns.  My hubby does most of the cooking while we we keep it simple and light, but he always fills our tummies well!

The hike into Granddaddy Lake is about 3.6 miles and you climb about 2,500 feet.  Along the way there are many streams and meadows...and lots of rocks.  We even found a few fossils.  It is one of the most gorgeous and diverse hikes we've taken in Utah.

Granddaddy Lake is the largest Alpine Lake in Utah.  The water is cold and crystal clear, and not a soul around.  It only took a minute to find the trout....they literally came up to the shore to look at us.   The boys caught there limit in a hour...and we ate well that night.

We loved our weekend away in the mountains of Utah.  We are planning our next trip already!  If you have any questions about the lake or the camping facilities up there you can look up the info on  All Trails.  I hope these pictures have inspired you to get out of your comfort zone a little and try a new place.  It has taken years for my husband to convince me to stray from my favorite places and try somewhere "new"...and I am sooo glad I did!  See you in a few weeks Granddaddy Lake!
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My Country Fabric Collage - Fresh Living

I am so in love with this project! It has been one of my favorite this summer because we were able to get the whole family involved.   I wanted to recycle a old sign that I had in my storage room and with the summer holidays...I was in the mood to create a fabric collage of America.  It was one of those projects that isn't too messy, is pretty easy,  and surprise....there is NO sewing! 

Materials to Gather

Wood Board Cut to Desired Size
Matte Finish Modge Podge (Lots of it)
Foam Brushes
Background Fabric to Cover the Board
Lots of Fabric Scraps for the different States

The first thing I did was Modge Podge some old burlap onto the front of the wood and I let that sit for 24 hours.  It hardens up the fabric and dried clear.  

(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)

Next I took the map of the USA to my copy store and had them blow it up to the size I needed to fit my board.  It was pretty cheap.  I recommend getting two copies.  One to cut the states out of and one to reference during the project.  It's especially helpful when you get the the itty bitty states.  I had them print one on card stock so it would be easy to cut apart and trace around.

Next I took my a sharpie marker (light colored) and traced the outline of the US map onto the burlap covered board to make sure I had the outer states in just the right place.

Once my outer line was traced, I started cutting out the states.  I did them one at a time starting with Texas. I traced the individual states onto scarps of fabric using the Frixon pen from Pilot.  I LOVE this pen for anything on fabric because it disappears with heat and gives you a great fine line.  

When you cut out the states, it is helpful to cut 1/8 inch larger than the state template.  This allows for a little overlap and play just in case your lines don't perfectly line up.

Once your state is cut out, dab a generous amount of Modge Podge on the background fabric where the state will go and lay your state on top.  Smooth it out with your fingers or the brush and then gently brush over the fabric state with more Modge Podge.  This will glue the state to the background and seal it too.

When you are finished with all your states...seal it off with one final coat of Modge Podge and it is ready to hang!

For those of us that live in Utah, I put together a pattern to celebrate our state...especially since this week is our state holiday!  Just print out the template...use the same techniques to adhere the fabrics to the backing of a 8" x 10" frame insert and have a state map too.  It took me about 30 minutes to finish this it's totally possible to finish before the celebrating begins!

(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)

These projects were super fun to do with my family and I hope you have been inspired to raid your fabric stash too and have a little summer fun with your kiddos too.  If you have any questions about this project, you can watch my segment on Fresh Living.  Enjoy!!!

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