White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

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This weekend we had two of our good friends over for a Sunday Funday extravaganza. We grilled some burgers, ate corn on the cob (which we had to shield from the kitties who were found nibbling it, who would have thought?), enjoyed some watermelon (obviously), and rounded off our meal with these cookies.

These cookies. They are the game changer, let me tell you. 

We packed a rather stuffed bag of these delights before making our way to a free concert in the park. With lattes in hand, cozy blankets around us, and some (have I mentioned free?) music to listen to, the cookies just highlighted the night. Until 5 minutes later when we realized we had eaten them all.

Now, the moment you are waiting for, how can I make these delicious temptations? This recipe is handed down from my husband’s family, and is a constant in the Burroughs home.

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cups of old fashioned oats (not the quick or instant)
  • 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour (I substitute this for wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, broken into bits
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (Note: using brown paper bags cut to fit the cookie sheet works just as well if you’re without parchment paper!)
  3. Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl; stir in dried cranberries, white chocolate and nuts.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, simmer butter over medium-low heat until milk solids turn golden brown (about 4 minutes). Be careful not to burn the butter.
  5. Pour browned butter into a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar until combined. Whisk in cinnamon, followed by the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition. 
  6. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. The mixture will be thick (and incredibly tasty).
  7. Drop generously rounded tablespoons about 2″ apart onto the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
  9. Slide the parchment paper onto wire racks to cool completely (let’s be honest, to cool just enough until it does not scald you).
  10. Enjoy!

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In the Dominican Republic, they say ¡buen provecho! when one is about to eat. Translated simply: “enjoy your meal!”. As a subtle plea for one to stop, slow down, and enjoy the food they are about to eat, this statement is a pleasant reminder to pause in a world full of constant pressures and busyness.

I hope this recipe finds you well, wherever you may be at today.

Regardless of if you eat the cookies or not, remind yourself of the phrase ¡buen provecho! the next time you sit down to enjoy your meal. Take in the sights and sounds, the tastes and sensations. Enjoy that space in time. Live fully in the moment. Allow opportunities for memories.

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How to Cut a Watermelon

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Yes, this post is as simple as that.

Nothing screams summer as much as a ripe, tasty, watermelon. Am I right?

Yesterday, as I was grocery shopping, I saw something unbelievable: 3 watermelons for $1!

Get. Out.

It was not a typo. And if it weren’t just me grocery shopping, I would have most definitely taken them up on that offer. Luckily for the sake of variety in my household, and my husband, I did not purchase 3, rather, 1 for a whopping $.49. Is that even legal?!

Needless to say, I was very eager for some fresh watermelon when I got home. However, it struck me, when was the last time I even cut a watermelon? Let alone…. have I ever? Embarrassing, I know. I love melons, honeydew, cantaloupe, and can eat them all day, every day. I know how to properly cut those bad boys up… But, watermelon? The king of all melons?

After doing some research, I found it! The perfect way! And if you are at all like me, (visual), here’s a how-to guide in cutting up a watermelon like you really know what you’re doing:

Step 1: Obtain a watermelon. Hurry, they may still be $.49.

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Step Two: Cut the watermelon in half using a heavy chef’s knife.

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Step Three: Placing one half of the watermelon face down, (carefully) cut off the rind in a top-down motion.

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You’re doing great.

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Step Four: After creating a watermelon cone (pictured directly above), cut off the remaining rind at the end (top).

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Step Five: Slice the remaining watermelon into cubes.

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Step Six: Enjoy!

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It’s as simple as that. Life changed!

The only problem that remains is the fact that one watermelon yields many servings. And in a household of two, in which only one (me) primarily eats the watermelon, it looks like I got my work cut out for me.

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Maybe Lady and Pancho might help.

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She would much rather sit on my grocery bags than deal with that watermelon.

Or not.

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He is physically disturbed by the proximity of the watermelon.

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Which leaves me with watermelon. For. Days.

I hope this may be of help to at least one of you. If not, hopefully it made you crave some watermelon. Now, go out there and enjoy your summer!

Why My Neighbors Must Hate Me

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What my mornings look like these days: Coffee in a Hawaii mug, Water, and a Green Smoothie.

A couple weeks ago, my husband saw a documentary (while I was sitting in my 4-hour class on a Tuesday night — woo!) called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, a Joe Cross film, which follows one man’s journey towards health through Juicing. This sparked my husband and I to consider doing a Juice cleansing, then, seeing the major price tag on juicers, quickly switched to the idea of Green Smoothies. Pulling out our Ninja chopper we had not used once since our wedding, but registered for with the best intentions, of course, we set out to the produce market, stocked up on a crazy amount of fruits and veggies and decided to do two Green Smoothies a day for breakfast and lunch, and one regular (a.k.a. solid food) dinner for a week. The first day was AWFUL. I had a headache all day. But realized midway through the day, had I had coffee yet? The answer was NO! Hence, the headache. Smoothies not to be blamed. Moving on, fast-forward a couple of days, and we felt great! Lighter, leaner, more trendy. And without trying, we collectively lost 7 pounds. Dang. Then, cue the Fourth of July, along with our 1 Year Wedding Anniversary falling in the same week, we had to derail our Green Smoothie plan (come on, it’s the 4th!). What I did notice, and my husband (Brandon), did as well, when we were eating “normally”, we were craving more healthy foods, and became fuller much quicker. Score! So what is a Green Smoothie? Well, it’ll look different for each person depending on specific fruit/veggie preferences, but, the basic formula is as follows:

– Base: 1 – 1.5 Cup of a Base Liquid (Water, Coconut Water, Almond Milk, etc.)

–     Greens: Add a handful of your Greens (Spinach, Kale, Celery, Swiss Chard)

– Fruit: 1-2 Cups of fresh or frozen Fruit

– Extras: Protein Powder, Peanut Butter, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed Oil

– Something Sweet: Honey, Syrup, Stevia

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Us indulging in some celebratory anniversary Ruby’s Diner Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake.

So, there you have it. Go out there and blend! Enjoy your Smunch (word created by Brandon = Smoothie + Lunch, genius!). Anyway, back to the original title of this post, my poor neighbors (we live in an apartment complex that is nowhere near modern), have to hear our little Ninja approximately 4 times a day now. And sometimes (many times) as early as 6:30 a.m. (I’M SORRY). I’m super paranoid about being “that neighbor,” you know them, so I’m still amazed there have been no complaints. I take that as a sign.

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Happy 1 Year, love!

We are on week 2 so far, and no, this blog was not created to document our Green Smoothie intake, even though I will keep you updated. Rather, this is a blog to share life; the beautiful, ordinary, really boring, and many times super great aspects of the everyday.