Apricot Chocolate Chip Cookies

apricot chocolate chip cookies

Apricot and semi-sweet or dark chocolate is such a yummy combination, so I thought I’d try it in a cookie – as a twist to my “almost famous” chocolate chips cookies.

apricot chocolate chip cookie

and it’s a winner according to my guys.

apricot chocolate chip cookie batter

I snipped a half pound of dried apricots into the batter.

apricot chocolate chip cookies on rack

and tweaked up my original chocolate chip recipe by exchanging vanilla extract with half almond and half orange extract (though I think vanilla might be yummy too) and used 1/2 a bag of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to allow the apricot to be the “star” of the cookie.

apricot chocolate chip cookies plate

The balance of flavors seemed just right.

Hope you’ll give them a try.

And can you believe it is the last day of January 2015 already!?!?  We are hunkering down for a snow storm here in Mars this weekend, and of course, the Super Bowl, so we will be set with some sweet treats if “needed.”  🙂

How about you?  What’s happening in your part of the world this weekend?

Have a good one!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

And here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Jodi's Apricot Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen large cookies
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

1 cup butter, softenedapricot chocolate chip cookies plate
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. orange extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) dried apricots, snipped into small chunks
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Nestle’s Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Blend softened butter with granulated and brown sugar with mixer until well incorporated. Add in almond and orange extract and eggs and mix on medium-high speed until creamy. Add in flour, baking soda, and salt on low speed until incorporated. Fold in apricots and chocolate chips.

Chill dough for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll dough into golf ball sized balls and flatten slightly.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes.

I think I will share this recipe with my friends over at Fiesta Friday for the Anniversary Party, because every party needs cookies – right?!  Check it out for lots of awesome recipes by some amazing foodie bloggers!

Painted Petals

painted petals blackberry bliss card

I made this card this week to send as a Sympathy Card to Aunt Francie as we said goodbye to her love, Tilford.  And I must thank Jenny @ Ramblings from a Mum for the beautiful words she shared that I had to pass on as the sentiment for this card.

inside aunt francie sympathy card for tilford message

For my stamping friends, the following is a list of StampinUp materials used to make this card:

Painted Petals Stamp Set, Blackberry Bliss & Mossy Meadow Ink, Itty Bitty Accents Epoxy Stickers, Spring Flowers Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, VersaMark Ink & White Embossing Powder, Artisan Embellishments (doily, ribbon, button accents) Watercolor Paper and Paint Brush for background watercolor effect and for splattering, Blackberry Bliss, Black, and Whisper White Card Stock.

Seems “Blackberry” is the theme this week 🙂

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On Joy and Sorrow

joy and sorrow winter pine snow icicle

A dear friend shared this amazing piece with me yesterday, and I had to share it.  It was in response to yesterday’s post,  Untold Story.

And this photo I took on a brief walk yesterday afternoon seemed to perfectly align with the message in the poem.

On Joy and Sorrow
Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Blackberry Blondies

Blackberry Blondies 1

My son, Nick declared these Blackberry Blondie Cookie Bars “the best dessert” I’ve made in a long time!  (I think he ate four last night – and he usually has extreme self control over sweets)  Score!  🙂

Anyway, I have literally been longing to bake something…

I had a big, juicy carton of fresh blackberries in the fridge I bought to eat with my morning cereal, but when I found this recipe for Blackberry Blondies from Nicole Weston at BakingBites.com, I knew this is what I wanted to make.  Thanks for sharing Nicole!

Blackberry Blondies 2

Blondies are basically the opposite of brownies in that they are the same idea of a bar-type cookie, but typically vanilla flavored instead of chocolate.  Blondies can be plain or they can be the base for many different additions – like these yummy blackberries.

blackberry blondies 3

And since this recipe uses fresh, vitamin-packed blackberries (not a sugar-laden preserve or fruit filling) – they are a teensy bit healthy – eh? 🙂

I only had a bite of one, so I could know what they taste like, and it was so worth it!  YUM!  (And yes – I did go to the gym today)

These remind me of blackberry cobbler in a cookie.  How divine is that?!?!

Here is the recipe from Nicole at Baking Bites with just a few small tweaks I made.  I was out of vanilla extract (seriously don’t know how that happened!), so I used all almond extract, and you know what?  I don’t think I would change it.

Hope you will try, and hope you enjoy.  Let me know if you do.

Blackberry Blondies

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a square 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
Whisk together butter and sugar in a large bowl until well combined.
Beat in salt, egg, and almond extract until well combined.
Stir in flour and mix just until fully incorporated.
Gently fold in blackberries.
Transfer dough to prepared pan and spread carefully into an even layer.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until bars are set and golden.
Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Makes 16.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Monday again

cardinal winter

I swear this cardinal is blowing a raspberry at us saying “Na Na Na Na Poo Poo – It’s Monday Again!”

Oh Monday…

You are a beginning,

and you are an end.

Like a glass that is half empty to one,

and half full to another.

You are just another day,

but oft with dreaded suspension.

Let us hang on to the hope,

that comes with your inception.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Express Yourself

express yourself

Sometimes we blossom and bloom and exude radiant brilliance.
Other times our thistles and thorns protect us and guard us and hide us.

Reach, stretch, discover, grow.
Bloom where you are planted.
Evolve with your seasons.

Never be afraid to express yourself.

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge asked us to post a photo to “Express Yourself.”
As I contemplated the subject, this photo I took a few months ago on a walk spoke to me.  It inspired me to express myself – as this thistle – in all of its ages and stages does.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Winter Months of Life

winter bird serenity monochrome

In the winter months of life,
there comes a balance between hanging on and letting go.
Should we stay or should we go?
Do we get to choose?
What do we have to lose?

 My Marty’s 92-year old Aunt lost the second love of her life this week.  Her near 93-year old fiance.

Rest in Peace dear Tilford.  Thanks for loving Aunt Francie.  Thanks for bringing her such joy in the winter years of her life.   You will be missed.  You were a good man.

Christmas 2007

Hugs,
Jodi

Do More of What Makes You Happy

PP228 happy life

Time to get HAPPY!  Right?  Enough whining about the cold! 🙂  I’ve made the turn and thank so many of you for your support and great tips.

And it is Friday!

What’s making you happy today?

A while back I wrote my Top 25 List of Things that Make me Happy – and those are still tops and all still apply, but today in particular, let’s see….  What is making me happy today?

  • A good hot flash to take the chill off  (just thought I’d throw that in there, because my guys say it is all I ever talk about – – – AND it makes them crAAAAzy!)
  • Spoonfuls of molasses with black pepper, warm salt gargles, steam vapor, hot team with honey, lime jello (and all the other tips and home remedies you all supplied over the past few days… I tried ’em all!)
  • Hearing a “ding” on my iPhone that means I’m getting a note from one of you!
  • Mars Pizza delivery (it’s our Friday dinner tradition)
  • Movie night – will I get to pick – and will I stay awake?
  • The gift of another day – to be happy – and maybe make a few others happy too!
Marguerite's Mom's Cure for a Cough - spoonful of molasses covered in black pepper

Marguerite’s Mom’s Cure for a Cough: A spoonful of molasses covered in black pepper

I really enjoyed making this card for The Paper Players Challenge this week PP#228 (and just in the nick of time!).

While on the couch this week, I caught a great video tutorial for this watercolor technique by Kristen Werner.

I love how clean and simple it is – a technique I strive to excel at that I often struggle with.

The challenge this week is to make a card where the sentiment is the focal point and to keep it clean and simple.

pp228

I used the Stampinup Happy Life Stamp set, watercolor paper, some Tim Holtz Distress Inks and assorted sequins for this card.

pp228 happy life flat

So as I am writing this post, a song is running through my head and making me smile.  Music is so remarkable like that – right?  Almost everything reminds me of a song.  Can anyone relate?  So who remembers this one? Kinda silly, but hey – c’mon get happy! 🙂

Who’s wigglin’ with me?  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

What I’ve Learned about Remedies for the Common Cold

common cold remedies

I have been hanging out night and day on the couch for the past few days.  Hit hard with what I’m guessing is the “common cold.”

I don’t get this down and out very often thank goodness, but I have been so grateful for all the well wishes and suggestions and advice on how to feel better.

Since it is that time of year and many of you might be experiencing the same, I thought I’d share some of the advice I’ve received.  See what you think of some of these tips, and let me know if you have others!  I think there is at least one that might surprise you.

Here are my TOP TEN TIPS to Remedy the Common Cold:

  • Stay warm and rested  √
    • Warm fire, soft couch, lots of blankies
  • Drink plenty of fluids √
    • Coffee √
    • Hot Earl Grey Tea with Honey √
    • Water √
    • Hot Chicken Broth (with leftover Chinese take-out rice) in same mug as coffee and tea √
    • Fresca (in same mug as soup)
    • Apple Crown Royal Night Cap 🙂  (got out a new glass for this) √
  • Steam/Vaporizer √
    • I don’t have a humidifier/vaporizer, but was told about a great way to create a steamer  (note bowl of hot water and blanket on coffee table in photo).  Yep – I’ve been boiling that bowl of water in the microwave and burying my face under that blanket to steam the congestion out of my head, ears, throat, nose.
  • Gargle with Warm Salt Water √
    • Miraculously helps sore throat feel better
  • Cough Drops √
    • Honey Lemon Halls – 2 bags down
    • Cherry Halls – next best thing
  • Mucinex √
    • Gave in and took one since Marty kept saying “Take a Pill!”
  • Hot Toddy √
    • See “Drink plenty of fluids” above
  • Vitamin C √
    • So happy Clementines are in season!
  • Steam Shower/Warm Bath √√
    • Tried both!
  • Lime Jello √
    • Yep – This was something I was really told is a tried and true remedy…  and I’m desperate enough to try it and suprisingly had a box of sugar-free lime jello in the cupboard (from God knows when!!) – so it is chilling and “setting” now.  I’ll have to let you know on this one!

BONUS TIP:  Couch foot rest serves as a great computer “table” (see photo above) so you can lay on couch and read email, blogs, watch Amazon Prime (i.e. “Transparent”) and snooze in between. 🙂

Hot Toddy Cheers & Virtual Hugs Only,
Jodi