Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Best No-Bake Cookie Recipe EVER

I've gotten a lot of requests for this: Amy's No-Bakes are the best: 

Melt one stick butter (1/2 cup) in a heavy saucepan. Then add 1/2 cup milk, 2 cups granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons raw, unsweetened cocoa (I usually do heaping). Combine in saucepan over medium high heat. Here's the tricky part that has taken a lot of practice for me. When the mixture starts to boil in the middle of the pot but hasn't come to a full rolling boil, I set my timer for 3 minutes since I can't do seconds on my oven timer. Stir constantly and let it reach a full rolling boil. Remove from heat when the timer gets down to 30 seconds (2 min. 30 sec. boiling time total). Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter (I usually just scoop out a huge spoonful's worth). Stir 'til combined then add 3 cups raw oatmeal. Quick cooking or old-fashioned both work just fine. Drop by spoonful onto foil or parchment paper and let cookies set.   The boiling time is the trickiest part. Too short and you will end up with goopy, tar-like cookies that you have to eat with a spoon. Too long and they will be hard, dry and crumbly. Don't be surprised if it takes a few batches to get the consistency just right. Once you get the hang of it, they really are very quick and easy to make and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. ~Amy Hunt

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Launch Pad

Here's the new launch pad at Dun Elsie. This is an area with our cell phones and a place to put anything we don't want to forget to take out the door with us when we go.

This is the culmination of a long term project that I've been working on for over a year. As you can see we have our cell phones on two Touchstone wireless chargers and our kitchen phone all in the same place. This way if something rings, you always go to the same place.

Also, cell reception is lousy in our house other than in the kitchen by this wall.

You walk in the door, put your phone down on the charger and it magnetically "sticks" and starts charging.

The launch pad itself is just a simple corner shelf with the power cords to the charging bases hidden in a tiny gap. The cords themselves go through a small hole drilled into the cabinet you see on the left, where they plug into a powerstrip.

The result is -- even up close you see no cords at all. Pretty nifty!

The power strip lives in the charging cabinet which I created to charge all of our electronic devices out of sight, without any visible tangle of cords.

The girls' DS games, the electric toothbrush base and other devices can be charged in the cabinet and easily found when preparing to head out on a road trip.

I also have my watch and change catcher, as well as cases in the charger cabinet so that everything is centralized.

More information on the charger cabinet. I needed a pantry for our kitchen when we were fixing up our kitchen but all the ones I could find were too expensive or two feet deep. Instead I took three wall cabinets and attached them to the wall one on top of each other. At the base I installed four bun feet simply screwed into the base cabinet and finished with tounge oil. This cabinet works out great and actually cost less to construct that many of the pre-fab pantries.

The small middle cabinet was planned from the begining as a charger cabinet and has a hole cut into the back to allow access to the wall outlet before it was hung. Works great!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Room

Finally got our room done. I think it looks pretty good. It certainly feels more clean and enjoyable to be in. Click the pic below for the full gallery.
Our Room

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lindsay's Birthday

We delayed Lindsay's birthday party by a few days to make sure we had a date where everyone could come. It worked out great at the Rosburg school. Instead of cake, Amy had the girls decorate cupcakes with frosting and candy. Our friend Mary brought her donky cart and gave rides and the girls decorated the room with streamers and used chalk to make a giant birthday card outside. Small group, low stress, beautiful sun, great day. (click through for full size pics) 
lindsay birthday