Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies

Classic Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies.

Cookie week continues!

I have been making these classic oldie-but-goodie cookies quite a bit lately and realized I have never shared the recipe here.  Not that you couldn’t likely find it elsewhere or directly on the Quaker Oats website, but I wanted to document it here as one of the classics I make and also highly recommend it to those who may have never heard of or haven’t thought about in a while.

They might seem a bit ordinary after the past two recipes this week (Toffee Coffee Oatmeal Cookies and Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies), but I promise they are (still) an amazing cookie!

These are one of hubby’s faves.  A chewy oatmeal cookie bursting with bits of butterscotch yumminess.

Do you have a classic cookie recipe that takes you back to a place and time?  Takes you back to a great childhood feeling?  To me, these are that kind of “feel good” cookie.  They are simple, but delicious, and a sure crowd pleaser!

Hope you will give them a try…. or a try again!

Here is how I make them.

Classic Oatmeal Scotchies*

  • Servings: 3 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/4 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 package (11 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add baking soda, salt and flour; mix well. Add oats and butterscotch morsels; mix well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking stone or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

These cookies freeze well. I simply store in the freezer in Ziploc Freezer Bags.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Homemade Cherry Pie

Homemade Cherry Pie.

On a recent visit to an awesome new grocery store that opened up near us called Fresh Thyme, I discovered they carried big 2.5 lb bags of red sour pie cherries.  I was so excited!  This is something hard to find where we live.  You can find dark sweet cherries everywhere, and they are delicious for eating, but to make a good old-fashioned homemade cherry pie, you have to have the sour cherries.

I snagged a couple bags and was excited to get to make a cherry pie for hubby for Valentine’s Day last week.

If you are lucky enough to find sour cherries, here is the simple, old-fashioned recipe I use to make a classic cherry pie.

Bake a little love!

Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine cherries, sugar, tapioca, and almond extract.  Mix well, and let sit while preparing pie crust.

Prepare crust and place bottom layer in pie plate.  Fill with cherry mixture.  Top filling with dabs of butter followed by top crust, being sure to cut slits or a shape to allow bubbling and steam to escape.  Spread a small amount of milk or water on top crust, and sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar if desired.

Place pie in oven.  Cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning.  Bake approximately one hour.  Remove foil and continue baking until filling bubbles out of top and crust is beautifully browned.

Allow to cool completely to set.  Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers.

People stuff peppers with a lot of different things and prepare them many different ways.

But there is one classic, old-fashioned way I sometimes crave.
The way Grandma used to make them.

Simple.
Hearty.
Lots of tomato sauce.
And served with a side of mashed pototoes.

Last Sunday, I made them for dinner.

Here is my recipe – like Grandma made.

Old-Fashioned Classic Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4 stuffed peppers
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red or green peppers (best if you use the one with 4 lobes – or bumps – on the bottom as opposed to those with 3, so they stand nicer)
  • 1 lb. “Meatloaf Mix” (a mixture of ground beef, pork, and lamb)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 large can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, cooked rice, onion, salt, and pepper.  Combine with your hands until evenly incorporated.

In another large mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, tomato soup, and water.  Whisk until evenly incorporated.

Add 1 cup of sauce to meat mixture.  Combine well.

Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds.  Stand pepper “cups” in a deep roasting pan.  Stuff peppers with handfuls of meat packed and mounded.  Pour remaining sauce over all.

Cover and roast peppers for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until meat is cooked, sauce reduces, and peppers have softened.

Serve with mashed pototoes and ladle additional sauce over all.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Classic Italian Lasagna

Classic Italian Lasagna.

I’ve shared before, and I’ll declare again… although I don’t have a drop of Italian heritage (that I know of) in me, I am an Italian “wannabe.”

I love cooking and eating Italian food.

Years ago – even before I was married – I worked with a young Italian woman who generously shared her Mom’s classic Italian lasagna recipe with me.

I have never made it any other way.  It is simple and classic and DELICIOUS!

I’ve adapted it to a smaller portion than the recipe originally shared with me since these days this size will last Hubby and I plenty long enough to almost grow tired of eating it for so many days in a row…. ALMOST!

When you are craving classic Italian lasagna, I hope you will give this recipe a try.  Here is how I make it.

Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart marinara tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef, pork, turkey (or combination)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 box Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles
  • 2 cups Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup freshly minced basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parley
  • 1 lb. fresh Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz.  Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

Heat olive oil in saucepan.  Add chopped onions and minced garlic, and saute until soft.  Add ground meat, and cook until browned.  Add marinara tomato sauce and simmer.

In medium bowl, mix Ricotta cheese, egg, salt, basil, and parsley.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In 8 or 9 inch square baking dish, spread 1/2 cup prepared meat sauce on bottom.  Layer with lasagna noodles – overlapping to cover.  Layer with half of Ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with sliced Mozzarella cheese.  Spoon more sauce over cheese to cover.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.   Repeat layering.  End with sauce topped with remaining Mozzarella and sprinkled with Parmesan.

Cover with foil.  Bake 25 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake 20 minutes longer or until browned and bubbly.  Cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Mangia tutti!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

A Hymn of Grateful Praise

For the beauty of the earth... For the Glory of the Skies

For the beauty of the earth… For the Glory of the Skies

A Hymn of Grateful Praise.

For the beauty of the earth…
For the glory of the skies.

For the beauty of each hour…
Of the day and of the night.

For the joy of human love…
A hymn of grateful praise.

Sometimes there are just no better words
than those of classic hymns.

On this Thanksgiving Day,
I am grateful for all of this and more.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

The Light

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA - 11/2017

Chandelier at Omni William Penn Ballroom, Pittsburgh, PA – 11/2017

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was at a meeting this week at the beautiful Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.    The Omni is a gorgeous historical classic that was built in 1915 and hailed as the “Grandest Hotel in the Nation” when it opened in 1916.

During a tour in preparation for an upcoming conference I’ll be part of, I couldn’t help but snap a picture of one of the gorgeous chandeliers that hangs in the ballroom.  I thought of all of the galas and weddings and celebrations that took place under their sparkling light.  I thought of all the love that was shared….  all the victories celebrated…  all the accomplishments recognized.  And the chandeliers became more significant.  They represented over 100 years of “light.”

May we all shine as bright.
May we all be the light.

 

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Wizard of Oz Party

A Wizard of Oz Party.

Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Butterscotch Haystacks that I mentioned I made for a  Wizard of Oz Party.  Today, I want to share some more of the super simple treats I prepared for our little group of 11 ADULTS who decided we wanted to watch the Wizard of Oz together.

I prepared a salami, cheese, and olive tray in the shape of the infamous Yellow Brick Road.

And oh what a joy it was to answer my cell phone at exactly the assigned start time of our little party to be asked to come outside…..

When I stepped out onto the porch in the dark and looked into the driveway, a group of seven silly, sweet friends had their arms linked together in a row and came skipping up to the porch singing, “We’re off to see the Wizard… the wonderful Wizard of Oz…” as if they were on the yellow brick road.

I knew we were in for a fun night!   One friend dressed as a scarecrow and another in the “outfit” she wore when she saw the movie for the first time – jammies, a blanket, and pig tails!

We had Bugles “Tornadoes” to dip and munch….


along with Potato Sticks “Scarecrow Straw” and Cheese Curls “Lion Tails.”


There were Hershey’s Kisses “Tin Man Hats”

and bowls of Skittles and Dark Chocolate M&M’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

We gathered at the bar first for drinks and toasting to get the evening started, then made our plates and settled into comfy seats (some even on the floor) to watch the classic we had discussed weeks before talking about how scared, yet fascinated we were as children.   (Notice even Charlie – peeking from front bottom right below – and his friend Gemma hunkered in.)

For almost two hours, we were mesmerized as if we were children, yet noticing so many more things as adults.  We sang along and recited phrases.  We laughed, we gasped, we recounted childhood memories…

It was a silly theme and reason to get together, yet somehow turned into a sincerely authentic experience…

Maybe I’m still on the Brene Brown buzz of vulnerability and courage to be oneself after reading her latest book, Braving the Wilderness, but I woke up the next morning (granted a bit fuzzy from a wee bit too much wine), but feeling completely joyous and connected and complete.

What would life be like without friends?  I hope I never have to know.

And remember……….

You’ve always had the power my dear.  You just had to learn it yourself.”

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks.

It’s a cookie?
It’s a candy?
Not quite sure what you call it….
but it is a scrumptious little treat!

Does anyone remember these little gems from their childhood?

A simple mixture of crunchy chow mein noodles, butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and dry roasted peanuts make a treat that looks like a tiny little haystack and is just the right mixture of sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy.

I made these for a “Wizard of Oz” party, thinking they were just the thing to do with the leftover “straw” that fell out of Scarecrow.

There are a variety of ways people have made them through the generations…

With our without the peanuts… with or without the peanut butter.
Some add a bit of vegetable oil.
Some add a a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch chips.

How about you?

Here is how I made them.

And if you haven’t tried them, they are definitely worth a try!  Super easy and super yummy!

Butterscotch Haystacks

  • Servings: approx. 3 dozen
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Melt butterscotch chips in a large microwavable bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave an additional 30 seconds.  Stir again.  Add peanut butter.  Microwave 30 more seconds, and stir well.  At this point, mine is completely melted.  Add 30 second increments if necessary according to your microwave’s power until all is melted and smooth.  (If necessary, you can add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to create a smoother texture, but do not overcook or it will create a thick, gunky texture that will not work.)

Add bag of chow mein noodles and peanuts and stir gently until all noodles and peanuts are coated and ingredients are well combined.

Working relatively quickly before mixture cools, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper or parchment paper.  Allow to set for several hours.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature or serve.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Where are you going, leaves?

In autumn the leaves come blowing, yellow and brown.
They rustle in the ditches, they tug and hang on the hedge.
Where are you going, leaves?  Far, far away.
Into the earth we go, with the rain and the berries.
Take me, leaves, O take me on your dark journey.
I will go with you, I will be rabbit-of-the-leaves.
In the deep places of the earth, the earth and the rabbit.

Silverweed, Watership Down

Currently reading “Watership Down” by Richard Adams.

Have you read this classic?

We are reading it in preparation for our upcoming book club.

Would love to hear thoughts from those who have read.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Classic Red Truck with Christmas Tree

Classic Red Truck with Christmas Tree Watercolor - 11x14 - 140lb Fabriano Artistico

Classic Red Truck with Christmas Tree Watercolor – 11×14 – 140lb Fabriano Artistico

Classic Red Truck with Christmas Tree.

Is anybody else starting to think about Christmas?

When my boys were young, I loved getting ready for the Christmas holiday.  I would often start playing Christmas music in October… much to Hubby’s dismay.

We prepared letters to Santa, and I shopped and put carts full of toys on “lay-away” months ahead of winter.

My best friend and I went to craft shows and stores and bought santas and snowmen and other holiday decorations, as well as things to make decorations – often while pushing strollers and carrying diaper bags.

I would prepare for “Sammy” the elf to make his arrival at our house and plan out his adventures each night when the boys went to bed to surprise them in the morning.

I created homemade Christmas cards for the boys to color (and later they drew them) to send to friends and family.

I stocked up on sugar and flour and baking supplies when they were on sale and collected festive tins to make hundreds of cookies and dozens of sweet breads and nut rolls to share with friends and neighbors.

As the boys got older, the excitement of Christmas dimmed a bit.  We still enjoyed it, but the excitement leading up to it was not the same as when they were young and the magic existed.

But now….. I’m a grandma!  And that just makes me absolutely giddy for Christmas again!

And since my daughter-in-law, Colleen, and I have created our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy shop and have started also selling our art at a local gift shop, Berry Vine Gifts, it is so fun to get excited about preparing for Christmas again.  And it seems there are others like me out there, because holiday cards and paintings have already sold!

So I’m having fun creating Christmas and holiday art… like this classic red truck with a Christmas tree.  Doesn’t it just make you so nostalgic about Christmas?

So even though we are still experiencing 80 degree Autumn days, I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.  It’s so fun to dream!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi