Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies?!

A coworker of mine loves cookies and his birthday is coming up so I decided to try one of the recipes I had pinned on Pinterest.  Cookies with pudding mix?  The recipe said they rivaled soft batch, so I wanted to test them out.

The verdict… add salt, but other than that they were great!  Stayed soft for at least 4 days (the amount of time they lasted at my house in the cookie jar) and they were easy.  You can also add whatever you want to them, peanutbutter chips, toffee chunks, M&Ms etc.

pudding cookies

 

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

recipe from SundayBaker

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. of add-ins (chocolate chips, etc)
*I would also add 1/2 tsp. salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together flour and baking soda and set aside; in a large bowl, cream butter, brown and white sugar.
Beat in pudding mix until well blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. When smooth, slowly add in the flour mixture until it’s well incorporated into mix.  Fold in your “add-ins”
Spoon onto cookies sheets (I use a small ice cream scoop) and bake for 10-12 minutes until just starting to turn golden.  Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack.
Posted in Baking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ride4Boston

What happened this week in Boston has been very hard to think about and take in.  I’ve avoided writing about it as I read other blog posts and stories of people who were there and experienced the immense horror of the day.

As a runner, the Boston Marathon is something you strive for.  People work so hard to qualify for this legendary event.  It is supposed to be a day of celebration, not a day of fear.  To attack a marathon just goes against everything running stands for and this can be seen by the amazing reactions of runners to the bombings that took place on Monday.

The outpouring of support; wearing race shirts in solidarity and memory, runs4boston, monetary donations, memorial events.  I just want to go out and run, I want to be a part of this amazing community.  Still injured, I can’t run with my friends, but this morning I rode with my friends to honor those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing and the first responders who courageously gave their all to help on Monday.

I have an amazing spinning instructor who crafts entertaining, but challenging rides for us every Friday morning.  We have ridden part of the Tour de France, we have ridden around the world, we have even ridden an entire Ironman, complete with streaming photos on a projector…. This morning we rode the Boston Marathon.

Admittingly, Joe told us that he had the idea for this ride over a week ago and that if he cancelled it, he would be letting the terrorists win.  So to a soundtrack of Boston based artists we rode from Hopkinton to downtown Boston up Heartbreak Hill and into the finish line.  Along the way we heard stories about those who have made this course famous and the amazing tales that have come from the heroes of this year’s race.

It was truly an emotional spin class and only made me want to run this race more.

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A Banana Obsession

I love bananas.  I pretty much eat one everyday, either in a smoothie, baked good, cereal or on its own.

This past weekend we had some overripe nanas just waiting to be made into a bread.  I pulled out my go-to banana bread recipe, nothing special about it, no interesting ingredients, just really good banana bread.

banana bread2

Banana Bread

recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 egg

cup mashed banana (3 medium)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cooking oil (I used slightly less than 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt)

Nuts, chocolate chips, your other favorite add ins

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Grease a 8x4x2-inch loaf pan ; set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the egg, banana, sugar, and oil. Add flour mixture all at once to banana mixture. Stir just until moistened (the batter should be lumpy). Fold in any additions, I added leftover chocolate chips that I had lying around.  You definitely don’t need many.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack.

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Things to Do Before We Leave DC

Dan and I are coming up with a list of all the things we want to do before we leave DC, here is what we have so far.  Would love suggestions as I know there is still a myriad of places we haven’t gone to even in the 7+ years we have lived here.

Restaurants to visit one more time:

  • Pasta Mia
  • Open City
  • Rustico
  • Brooklyn Bagel Bakery
  • Matchbox

Tourist Attractions:

  • Major DC monuments esp. the Martin Luther King Jr. 
  • Roosevelt Island
  • National Harbor
  • Smithsonian museums
  • Spy Museum
  • National Zoo
  • Nationals Game

Other “local” attractions:

  • A day in Philadelphia
  • Monticello
  • One last hike in Shenandoah

And we also plan to spend as much time with friends and my brother and nieces as possible before we head out west.

 

Posted in Colorado, life | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

We’re Moving!!!

So my exciting news, after three years of talking about it, Dan and I are pulling the trigger…… we are moving to Colorado!!! Denver to be exact!

We have been seriously talking about moving since we got back from our honeymoon and were trying to put the pieces in place for it to actually happen.  We knew at least one of us had to have a job in order to make it work and recently that happened for Dan.

I love my job, but unfortunately my organization does not have an office in Denver and working from home is not an option, so today I told my boss and we will be shipping out at the end of May!

This is a very scary and exciting time. Next up we have to find a place to live, I need to find a job and we have to make a plan to move out there…. all are in the works.

I can’t believe this is finally real and we are actually following our dreams and moving out west!

We are looking for suggestions on places to live in Denver that are very walkable.  Do you have a favorite neighborhood? 

Courtesy of Frenkieb and Flickr

Courtesy of Frenkieb and Flickr

Posted in Colorado, life | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Great Day for a Bike Ride

Yesterday was one of the first really nice days we have had so far this spring in DC.  It was a little windy, but the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 60’s.

Dan and I planned to meet friends for a bike ride in Georgetown.  We woke up and got ready, got our bikes out of storage and loaded up the car.  We wanted to get there relatively early, parking is free on Sundays and we knew a lot of people would be heading downtown.

Dan getting the bikes ready

Dan getting the bikes ready

When we got to Georgetown was walked around a bit, waiting to hear from our friends, once we did, we had a quick change of plans…. they wanted to do brunch first…great!

We headed to Rosemary’s Thyme where I enjoyed a mimosa and a fruit and cheese plate.  We then went and got our bikes and headed to see the Cherry Blossoms.  Riding through the crowds was very difficult at times, but the bikes were a perfect idea, since I still shouldn’t be walking all over town, while I wait for my leg to heal.

Hanging out by the Tidal Bason

Hanging out by the Tidal Basin

Washington Monument covered in scaffolding for earthquake repairs

Washington Monument covered in scaffolding for earthquake repairs

We hung out at the Jefferson memorial for a little while before riding by the Potomac to southwest DC and grabbing a drink at Station 4.  By that time it was getting kind of late and Dan and I had to get back to our car before dark.  The bike ride back to the car was a little less congested and was really nice as the sun was starting to set.  We got home and relaxed on the couch.

It was a great way to spend the day and I look forward to doing it again soon!

Posted in biking, Weekend Fun | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A New Perspective on Life

Recently, I have learned that two people I know in their early 30’s have been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  One, the husband of a childhood friend, the other a good friend and sorority sister from college.  Both have small children at home and are hoping for the best from their treatment plans.

My college friend has beat this dreaded disease once before however, the prognosis this time around is not so promising.  A group of amazing girls from school and I have joined together to do all we can for our friend and her family, coming up with monthly gifts and daily notes of encouragement and love.

The news of these two people being diagnosed, with such young families and so much life left ahead of them, has left me numb.  It has made me think about my own life, am I following my dreams, what are my goals, am I in a happy place?

I’ve taken a new perspective on life. I want to be happy, to not sweat the small stuff, and to not take for granted all the good things that I have.  I don’t need to get stressed out if the metro is late, traffic is backed up, I’m not on time to things or work is a little hectic. I have an amazing husband, a great family and awesome friends.  There are a few things that I am ready to change and Dan and I are making some plans, which is exciting.

It’s crazy and sad the things that make you look at your life.

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