Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Alternative to rolled out sugar cookies!

 'Tis the time of year for one of my favorite things...
that of making PINK Cookies with Sprinkles!
However, with the busyness that my life has had, I am finding that I have been very time crunched and not able to do the baking I like most to do, especially making 9 dozen frosted heart shaped sugar cookies!
I was SO happy to have found a great idea of taking your sugar cookie dough and baking it in a 9x13 pan and then cutting it into squares and frosting it.  

I pretty much just took 
my regular sugar cookie dough recipe  
 and cut it in half,  
however, I adjusted the sour cream and baking powder.
My family was in sugar cookie heaven and I was able to provide them with such a yummy treat on my tight schedule that I have right now.
We are hooked and I love how easy they are! 
Pan Sugar Cookie Squares
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2-1/2 cups flour

Beat together sugar,butter vanilla together for one minute.
Add in sour cream and egg and mix well.
Add in salt and baking powder and mix well.
Lastly add in flour.

Put in greased 9x13 pan (will need to spread mixture out with a spoon)
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until lightly browned...don't overbake).
Frost with cream cheese frosting.(put sprinkles on top of you would like)
Cut into squares and enjoy! 

1/4 cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Cream together butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
Add in powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
Add in your choice of food coloring.
Frost and enjoy!

If you want more cookies, 
just DOUBLE the cookie dough 
and bake on a large cookie sheet.  
Also, double the frosting as well.
Tastes just like sugar cookies, 
but without the extra work, or mess.
(although, I DO have to admit that I still love rolling out dough and making REAL cut out sugar cookies). 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our new love...Cross Country Skiing!

oh how I love you and your beauty!
I feel badly it has taken us over 22 years to really get out and enjoy you to the fullest, but, this weekend changed that!  
Now, I long to bundle up, put on cross-country skis and wish I could enjoy it every day of winter!! 

Tracy had this epiphany last year about how awesome and easy cross country skiing is. (here)
However, no matter how hard he tried to try to convince me that I would LOVE cross-country skiing once I tried it, I just thought of being COLD!   
Well, this past weekend, we rented skis, packed a lunch, grabbed our warm clothes and pointed our car towards Harriman State Park.  This place is a real asset to Idaho!  Beauty and wildlife abound and in winter there are MANY miles of amazing groomed trails to explore and enjoy!
We got so warm while we were skiing along 
that we shed all of our outer warm layers.  
We saw trumpeter swans, amazing beauty of the river, snow and forest.
We stopped and had lunch and got warm at the Jones House "warming hut".  It was truly a perfect day and I couldn't stop talking about how much I LOVED it and how I want to take my money I've been saving and get us all outfitted to cross-country ski, so we can get out on the weekends and embrace this beautiful season of WINTER to the fullest! 
(and I really want to go a few times a week around our local golf course and get some much needed exercise and fresh air!)

Here is our trip in photos...
truly a perfect day indeed!
Trumpeter swans 
were in abundance all along the river! 

This my idea of a dream getaway with Tracy...
cross-country ski into the "Honeymoon Hotel" 
and spend the night and then spend all the next day
 skiing the loops that are in abundance!

 Awesome old cabin 
that was a warming hut to enjoy our lunch! 
 The icicles hanging from the roof 
that we got to enjoy while eating lunch! 
 This man has been skiing the trails 
at Harriman Park for over 40 years
 and now volunteers to man the warming hut a weekend or two each month.
He has old Nordic skis and of course Tracy had to talk to him about his gear!
Ready to ski again!

 My three favorite people! 

 View of the Tetons 
in the distance being lit up by the sun! 

 Ice Cream Cone!  

Skiing up a little hill...

Crossing a bridge...

 Ethan decided to make his own trail for a bit...

 Back to the car...
sad that it's over!  

 Icicles on the roof 
of the lodge at the parking lot!

 The Tetons were so beautiful in the distance on our drive home that we had to stop and try and capture them!

Love, Love LOVE WINTER!! 
Sad we missed out on the first 2 months of your presence this season, but, I'm looking forward to savoring, enjoying and taking in as much as I can before spring gets here!
OH, and...
 I LOVE Cross-Country skiing!!
(just had to say that again!)