Best ever, easy peasy, edible chocolate chip cookie dough

I may or may not have an infatuation with raw chocolate chip cookie dough. (Hint: I do.) In fact, the only reason I make chocolate chip cookies is so I can have a spoonful (or ten) of the gooey, delicious dough.

Excuse me while I drool. ;)

Excuse me while I drool. 😉

Every time I sneak some of the delectable dough, the voice of my home economics teacher comes into my head: “If you eat raw cookie dough, you will get salmonella!” In fact, there are an estimated 1.4 million reported cases of salmonella in the USA each year, of which 500-1,000 cases result in death. So I guess eating raw eggs might not be a fantastic idea after all.

In an effort to make a healthier example for my kids (and to avoid becoming a statistic), I decided to try edible chocolate chip cookie.  A simple Google search brings up over 300,000 results.  Pinterest is filled with oodles and oodles of recipes.  My husband and I tried out a few different recipes and couldn’t help but feel like they had missed the mark somewhere.  I wanted something quintessential; something that tasted “Nestle Tollhouse”, mouth-watering good.

And so, after trial and error, I have created what I feel is the very best, edible, easy peasy, raw chocolate chip cookie dough. My kids would agree. 😉 Now, keep in mind the fact that I am NOT a cook/chef/culinary expert.  I’m just an avid fan of all things cookie dough, on a mission to spread the love. Here you go!

Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
White milk
Flour
Chocolate chips

Combine butter, sugars and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl until well-blended.  Add in vanilla.  Slowly add in the flour (I started with approximately 3/4 cup). Add in a couple of tablespoons of milk. <<Keep adding a small amount of flour and/or milk until you reach the consistency you desire.  I prefer my cookie dough to be a bit firmer so I added more flour and less milk (about 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4-1/2 cup milk). If you want your dough to be “gooier”, add more milk and less flour. You can’t really mess it up.>> Mix until smooth. Add in as many chocolate chips as you’d like!  You can enjoy the dough right away or let it chill in the fridge to firm up a bit.

Let me know what you think! 🙂

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You might have a large family if…

Just a quick, fun post today! 🙂 Enjoy!

You might have a large family if…

toothbrushes

Your toothbrushes are color-coded.

You buy a “family size” bag of cereal and it only lasts you one day.

You have enough clothing in your closets to clothe a small nation.

You have to check out two rooms at hotels in order to stay under their per-room capacity limits.

You can’t spend less than $30 when going out to eat, even at McDonalds.

You only go out to eat at certain restaurants on nights when kids eat free.

You use three cans of “family size” condensed soup for one meal.

You realize that your family is too big for most things “family size”.

You have more kids than almost anyone you personally know.

Your kids always have someone to play with.

You debate buying a dairy cow because of how much milk you go through in one month.

You traded in your mini-van for a 15 passenger van, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

You don’t remember the last time you haven’t had a child in diapers.

You buy memberships at museums and zoos instead of a ticket per person because it is cheaper that way.

Your older kids “fight” over who gets to hold the baby next.

You pack more things for an overnight trip than most families pack for a week-long vacation.

You have multiple sets of bunk-beds.

You have a pile of shoes in all colors and sizes by your front door.

You can’t get behind on laundry or you will never catch back up.

You group your kids into two groups: the big kids and the little kids.

Your kids are used to stares, questions and comments by strangers when out in public.

You never have enough lines when filling out forms requiring you to list dependents.

You take advantage of group discount days.

You have been compared to the Duggar family.

You and/or your spouse have/has a difficult time remembering the birthdates of your children. (It’s actually kind of entertaining watching my husband try. 😉 )

Your toyroom looks like a hodge-podge toy store for boys and girls of all ages.

You have to start getting ready to leave an hour before you need to be somewhere 10 miles away.

You can’t imagine life any other way. ❤

Evolution of Parenting

 

source: pinaquote.com

source: pinaquote.com

The parent I am now is NOT the parent I was when I first became a mom seven years ago.  Now that it is two against six or, during the work week, one against six, my mantra is “survival of the fittest”.  I’ve had to loosen the reigns to not only survive but because, quite frankly, some of my previous notions as a parent were kind of ridiculous. (Hindsight is always 20/20, right?)

First child: I can vividly remember saying (and, in case I forgot, my mother-in-law has been very helpful in reminding me, LOL) that my first child would never ever be allowed to sleep over at anyone’s house. It’s not that I didn’t trust our parents. I was more worried I would miss him and no one would know how to take care of him like I take care of him and he would be miserable without me. I didn’t let him sleep over anywhere without me for at least the first eight to ten months. Sixth child: Now? With baby #6? She has had at least three nights away from me in her four short months of life.  And my other kids can’t wait to spend time away from me (who they see all day every day). Seriously.  We pull into grandma and grandpa’s driveway and the kids are like, “See ya never!”  We live three hours from our families (aka our babysitters) and, honestly, I look forward to the few precious hours we can spend away from our kids when we go back home to visit.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, no?

First child: I was very diligent in filling out my first child’s baby book.  I even had a scrapbook of his first year of life.  I literally took THOUSANDS of pictures of him in his first year of life. Like, I’m pretty sure his first word was “cheese” because of how often I had that camera out.  I wanted to make sure I preserved every single memory possible. I  also made sure that I had recent pictures of him plastered all over our wall.  Sixth child: I own one of those fancy-shmancy cameras now.  And while I still love to take pictures, I don’t take nearly as many pictures now as I did then.  I don’t even have our updated family picture on the wall, or any pictures of our sixth baby printed out.  She does have a baby book.  That the hospital gave us. That has absolutely nothing in it except for her handprints and footprints from right after she was born.  That the nurses put in there for us. BUT each of our kids has a memory box full of different trinkets (coming-home-from-the-hospital outfits, first haircut trimmings, hospital bracelets, birthday cards, etc.), so I’m not too out of touch. 😉

First child: When it came to food, I swore up and down, left and right that my child would never eat sugar, or fast food. I found it alarming that some parents allowed their kids to eat *gasp* non-organic macaroni and cheese. I know, right? Sixth child: While I do try to feed my kids healthy and nutritious meals and snacks, I don’t lose sleep over my kids eating Happy Meals or sno-cones every once in a while. My mama-sanity sometimes depends on a trip through the drive-thru. Plus it gives me an excuse to order myself a caramel frappe. 😉

First child: My first baby never watched television. I used to be a naïve TV “snob” and couldn’t believe that some parents actually let their kids watch the electronic box.  I eventually tip-toed my way into the world of kids’ TV via Baby Einstein.  I mean, with a name like that it had to be worlds better than SpongeBob What’s-his-name. Sixth child: By the sixth baby, I have definitely become more lax with my TV censorship.  Typically I don’t like my kids to watch more than a couple of hours of television during the day.  But during the freezing cold winter months, and with having a newborn, and a crazy homeschool schedule, and kids that think 5:30 is an appropriate wake-up time… Sometimes we have the TV on more than I would like.  And that’s just how life is right now.  It won’t always be like this.  Remember… This is survival of the fittest, parenting-style.

First child: Whenever my first child’s pacifier fell to the ground, I would wash it off and, more often than not, sterilize it in boiling water. Any piece of food that fell to the floor would promptly be thrown away. Sixth child: I quickly inspect the pacifier and then pop it back in the baby’s mouth without a second thought. (Unless we are at a store or anywhere else in public.  I’m not that gross.)  Dropped food? No biggie.  We have the ten minute rule around here.  When my kids are scavenging for lost Cheerios in the couch, I take that as a signal that I probably need to feed them.

First child: My first child was held by either my husband or myself all. the. time.  I honestly don’t remember using the bouncy seat when he was a baby, and we didn’t own a bumbo. I even had a hard time letting family and friends hold him.  Ridiculous, right? Sixth child: I do have to say that our sixth child is also held the majority of the time.  But by her older siblings.  Seriously, they bicker about who gets to hold her, and there are plenty of “You are a baby hog” comments that are shouted out every day. So while I don’t hold my baby as much as I held my first one, she is still getting snuggled up and loved on pretty much every minute of the day.

First child: I vowed I would never, ever be angry with my sweet firstborn.  Looking at my tiny, innocent newborn, I not only thought, “My child will never ever do something naughty enough to provoke anger out of me,” but I also thought, “I will never, ever be mad at/frustrated with my child.” Famous last words. Er, thoughts. Sixth child: I’ve learned that, while my kids are angels, they are most certainly not perfect. They are humans and have a big learning curve.  On occasion they will need correction.  On occasion they will make me upset.  And that is okay.  That is life with kids. The good news is that, over the years, I’ve learned that consistency is key. And while my sixth child doesn’t have the capability to be “naughty” right now, I know that, at some point in the future, I will have to put my parenting skills to use.

First child: I remember holding my son for the first time, gazing at this tiny person who was fully dependent on me.  My heart literally grew three inches that day.  I couldn’t imagine loving anyone more than I loved my firstborn.  When I got pregnant with our second child when my first was only 9 months old, I remember worrying that I would never be able to love another baby as much as I loved my first. My mind couldn’t even fathom it. Sixth child: I think it is safe to say that a mother’s love is not divided but rather multiplied. I’m always amazed at the instant love I feel after the birth of each of our children.  I love our sixth baby as much as I loved our first.  And the love each of my kids have for each other is nothing short of heartwarming. It makes all of the times they argue and fight a little more bearable.

For those of you with kids, how has your parenting style changed over the years?  Are you more lax than you were at the beginning?

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award!

Thank you so much to Lydia at Lydia Devadason: An Idiot’s Guide to Parenting for this award nomination!  Lydia’s blog is absolutely hilarious and offers an honest look into the life of parents everywhere. 🙂

This award is great because it means people are actually reading (and appreciating) what we [award recipients] are writing!  Talk about motivation. 🙂

In acceptance of this award, I am required to answer the following eleven questions:

1. What inspired you to start a blog? I’ve always loved writing and have dreamed of writing books since I was a little girl.  Since that dream probably won’t come to fruition, I figured writing in a blog for the “masses” to see would be a nice place to at least start.  I have had several other blogs through the years, none of which actually stuck. So I’m hoping this one sticks!

2. Do any of your close ‘real’ friends blog? I have a few close online friends that blog, but no one that I know of in person.

3. Have you had any strange, embarrassing or frightening blogging experiences?  Nothing noteworthy yet.  Although I’ve had many moments where I panic because I think I had accidently published a draft instead of saving it for later.

4. If eating at a restaurant, what would be your favourite meal – with or without dessert? My favorite meal is anything with chicken! I absolutely love fried chicken, but, in an attempt to be a bit more healthy, will also eat grilled chicken.  And dessert??  Do you even have to ask?? 🙂 Chocolate and/or ice cream, please!

5. If money was no option, what would be your perfect holiday destination? Somewhere warm and sunny, with sandy beaches and lazy days.

6. If money was no option, what would be your perfect evening’s entertainment?  Simply going to supper and a movie with my husband.

7. What’s your favourite word? I don’t know if I have a favorite word.  I oftentimes feel like a broken record, repeating the same things to my kids, over and over again. 😉

8. What quality do you think friends appreciate most in you? My willingness to listen.  While I don’t have large amounts of time to sit down and chat or message (one of my biggest flaws is forgetting to respond to text and Facebook messages… oops!!!) I always have a ready and willing ear to listen. Sometimes that is all a person needs, to get their thoughts and feelings out for someone to hear, no judgment.

9. What personality characteristic do you find the most off-putting or irritating in others? Hmmm… Probably people who think they are right, but are clearly wrong and cannot be convinced otherwise.  I generally overlook people’s personality flaws, though, and find ways to love them, regardless of those flaws.

10. How would you like to be remembered by those you care about? That I loved with my whole heart and, while I am absolutely imperfect in almost every way imaginable, I tried my hardest.  I have apologized when I made mistakes and hope that people can see I genuinely mean it! 🙂

11. What is your favourite holiday destination? I have honestly never been on vacation anywhere. Hopefully we can change that in the next few years!

My 11 nominations for the Liebster award are:

  1. Your Mom Has A Blog
  2. Another Day In Mommadise
  3. We Can All Be Bright
  4. Simplify.Create.Inspire
  5. Mrs. Gore’s Diary
  6. Life. Bump. Craft.
  7. Out Of My Bondage
  8. Mom in the Muddle
  9. Adventures of a Labor Nurse
  10. The Road to the New Me
  11. Large Family Mothering

The 11 questions for my nominees are:

  1. How long have you been writing/blogging?
  2. What are your long-term dreams blog-wise?
  3. What is your favorite way to spend free time?
  4. What is your favorite book?
  5. If you could do anything at all, without regards to money or time, what would it be?
  6. Who is/was the biggest role model in your life?
  7. If you could spend one day with anyone, both past and present, who would it be and why?
  8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  9. What is your favorite way to reduce stress?
  10. What is one tip you have for new bloggers?
  11. What is one thing you hope to leave as a legacy for future generations?

Thanks again, Lydia!!! 🙂

I’ve Been Given the Sunshine Award!

Wow! When I saw my very first blogging award pop up in my notifications, I was partially ecstatic and partially wondering if someone had made a mistake. 🙂 Nevertheless, I could really use a little “Sunshine” on a cold and snowy day here in the Midwest!

Image

Sarah over at Life in the Orchard has nominated me for my very first award. Again, I’m still super honored someone thinks my blog is award-worthy!

Of course there are some “rules”

  • Include the Sunshine award icon in your post and/or on your blog
  • Link to the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award (I only know a handful of bloggers but will try to nominate as many as possible)
  • Link to your nominees and inform them of the award
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer

A fun thing about this award is you have to answer 10 questions from the person who nominated you. Here are my questions and answers!

  1. Why did you start your blog? I started my blog as a way to capture all of the thoughts and feelings I’m experiencing in my current role as full-time stay-at-home-mom.  I am hoping to be able to reach out to other moms along the way and let them know that they are not alone! Also hoping to learn a thing or two from my readers alone the way.
  2. What is your favorite thing about blogging? My favorite thing so far (my blog is still in its infancy) has been connecting with other bloggers and getting feedback on my posts. I love checking my stats to see who is reading what and if anyone has “liked” anything I have to say.
  3. What is your least favorite thing about blogging? My least favorite thing about blogging is trying to articulate my thoughts in words that sometimes aren’t easy to come by. My “draft” box is chock full of things I hope to finish writing someday!
  4. Do your friends and family know about your blog? Yes, they do!
  5. What is your routine for the first 30 minutes of your morning? Since I’m usually awake before my kids (not by choice… hello, pregnancy insomnia!) I try to get all of my Facebook, e-mail and blog checks out of the way before starting the day.  Then I try to squeeze in a shower, depending on if the baby is awake or not. 🙂
  6. What is your favorite part of the day? My favorite part of the day is when my husband comes home from work (he works two jobs right now) and our family can finally connect, even if it is just for an hour. I love seeing the kids get super excited when he walks in the door, and I love seeing his energetic responses (even though I’m sure he is dog-tired).  It also helps having an extra set of hands and eyes when caring for the littles. 😉
  7. Who in your life inspires you? There are so many inspirational people in my life, it is hard to choose one.  I have a very close friend who has an awful, incurable disease (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) that causes extreme pain (that is seldom manageable with even the strongest pain meds) and yet she manages to push through each day to take care of her two young girls. She went through more in her childhood than I have gone through in my 27 years of life.  I just admire her and think she is absolutely amazing! A true SuperMom!
  8. What is your favorite creative outlet? Hands-down, crocheting is my favorite creative outlet. I used to run a small crochet business on Etsy, but now I just do orders for friends and family. I still love it and wish there was more time (and energy) in the day! Maybe I’ll start posting some projects on here. 🙂
  9. How do you stay positive in less than positive situations? Oh boy, I am not great at this but I’m getting better at it. I always remind myself that things could always be worse.  Counting my blessings instead of focusing on the negative also helps.
  10. If you had one piece of advice for your 18-year-old self what would it be? Enjoy your time before the kids come along, because it really does go by too fast.  And STAY AWAY FROM DEBT! 🙂

Now it is my turn to nominate some blogs that have inspired me or that I find to be positive and creative. I won’t take offense if you choose to not participate, but I hope you do it is a lot of fun and you get to meet some other great bloggers!

Here are 10 questions for my nominees to answer…

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  3. What is your least favorite thing about blogging?
  4. What are your future goals for you blog?
  5. What is your routine for the first 30 minutes of your morning?
  6. What is your favorite part of the day?
  7. Who in your life inspires you?
  8. What is your favorite creative outlet?
  9. How do you stay positive in less than positive situations?
  10. What is your favorite go-to recipe?

Thank you so much for the nomination, Sarah! 🙂