June 29, 2013

Dad's Famous Chewy Pudding Chip Cookies

If you are like me and adore super chewy cookies, this recipe is for you! So moist, so delicious... you just have to indulge in two (or six)!




A few weeks back, I stopped by to visit my parents, and low and behold I found my dad in the kitchen. Baking. Cookies.

Who the heck is this guy?

Well, my dad is a rock star in the kitchen and loves cooking with mom. But this time, we was all by his lonesome making delicious pudding cookies to bring my grandpa for Father's Day - how cute is that?!

He found an incredible recipe that is easily interchangeable so you can swap different flavors out. He did butterscotch chip cookies (grandpa's fave), and I was blown away (and I'm picky, y'all!). So this past week when we had family staying with us, I knew it was the perfect time to test out the chocolate peanut butter chip variety.

They were gone within 36 hours. I made 2.5 dozen.
A hit!

Try them. So easy and you will put smiles on so many faces when they smell them baking!

{ Dad's Famous Pudding Chip Cookies }



Ingredients

- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 package butterscotch jello pudding (3.4 oz) **
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 12 ounces butterscotch chips **
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


** Can swap out pudding and chip flavors. Read below for fun combination ideas!


Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking soda.

3) With stand mixer, cream butter, sugars, pudding mix and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.

4) Slowly stir in the flour mixture. Fold in chips and nuts.

5) Drop dough on cookie sheet (I recommend using a Silpat silicone baking mat) by rounded tablespoons.

6) Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes before moving to cooling rack.


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Like I said before, there are so many great ways to get creative and try out new flavor combos. Here are just a few ideas for you to get funky with...

butterscotch pudding + butterscotch chips
vanilla pudding + chocolate chips
fudge pudding + dark chocolate chips
chocolate pudding + peanut butter chips (as shown in my photo)
lemon pudding + white chocolate chips
cheesecake pudding + raspberry vanilla chips
chocolate pudding + andes mint chips
coconut pudding + chocolate chips


The options are endless, so have a blast!

Bon Appetit!


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June 27, 2013

Omaha Getaway in Photos

As promised, I have tons of photos from our long weekend getaway to Omaha!

I have to say, we had a spectacular time together exploring a new city. It's just so nice to completely detach and spend time with my best friend after crazy weeks, minimal alone time together, and adjusting to new work schedules.

BUT... We had a blast acting like complete little kids at the zoo, and being old fogies when we went to be at 10 p.m. the first night (ha!).


// Friday Afternoon

We stayed at The Magnolia Hotel in Old Market and it was so cozy and chic! We enjoyed the free breakfast spread, happy hour every afternoon, and milk and cookies before bed. :)

Once we got unpacked we explored Old Market's shops and grabbed some lunch and a drink at Upstream Brewery. Then we felt like being spontaneous, so we hopped across the river to catch an afternoon showing of The Internship (so hilarious, and made me want to work at Google).





// Friday Evening

Later that evening we enjoyed Mexican food and fancy margs (Pomegranate Marg was so insanely tasty... dangerous!) at the swanky upscale Roja Mexican Grill + Margarita Bar.

Naturally, since we were in the neighborhood... we just had to go try some of the famous ice cream at Ted & Wally's. I chose the Mexican Fried Ice Cream and it was so cinnamon-y (yes, it's a word) and delicious. It tasted just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, my fave childhood breakfast cereal.

Well, we walked the few short blocks back to the Magnolia to find the cookies and milk happy hour and full swing. They practically had to twist our arms to get us to participate, but we reluctantly obliged by taking two cookies off their hands.... haha. ;)

And then we fell into a deep sugar coma. At 10 p.m.




This sign completely cracked me up...
 FREE PUPPIES!!




// Saturday Morning + Afternoon

Zoo Day!! We woke up insanely excited. We rolled out of bed extra early so that we could get to the world renown Henry Doorly Zoo while it was still cool and quiet. After 10:30 a.m., the zoo was packed full of crazy kiddos and strollers everywhere!

My real camera was malfunctioning during our trip, so I had to use my cell phone. But I have to say I am stinking impressed to see how great my iPhone captured our fun zoo moments!




 The polar bear swimming was so fun to watch (we stayed for a half hour!), and we loved seeing the newly born lion cubs (which are already 3x bigger than our Bella Beast)


We got a kick out of the gorilla who would walk up to the window and pose for the cameras! What a stud.


Our zoo pass included their awesome aquarium. We must've stayed at the penguin exhibit for a solid hour laughing at them waddling around and swam diving into the icy water. And the jellies. Oh, I loved watching the jellies - so pretty!

Love this guy. What a fun adventuring partner!!

// Saturday Evening

We needed a way to beat the heat after we finished our epic zoo visit, so we decided to cruise around and explore new neighborhoods. We happened to stumble by The French Bulldog eatery while exploring and we're so glad we stopped in!

They had the greatest wine selection and an amazing cheese plate that we devoured. Major yum!

Later in the evening we enjoyed some patio time before lounging around in our room after a long action-packed day.






// Sunday

On our last day, we had an al fresco brunch before heading to the Pedestian Bridge for a nice long walk. We hung out in two states at once, which was pretty sweet. We're total nerds! :)

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we had so much fun telling stories, recapping our trip, and already dreaming about where we want to travel to next.

That man is fun to do life with... blessed.





All together, a fantastic trip! Thanks to the city of Omaha and all of you for the awesome recommendations - we loved your advice!


Stay tuned... amazing cookie recipe coming this afternoon!

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June 24, 2013

Mingle Monday Blog Hop!

Hey All!
I am back from my nice long weekend vacay and ready for some mingling with all of you! I have tons of photos and stories to share this week, so I hope you'll stop back by!

A huge thanks to each one of you for being here! May you discover great new blogs and gain some wonderful readers for your blog too!

 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
**  Favorite Drink of Summer? **

For me, lemonade, hands down!
Spiked lemonade? Even better! ;)



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// Sponsor Spotlight //


Hop on over to visit Sharaya Mauck Photography!! Archives and archives of stunning engagement, bridal, wedding and family photos!! I mean, absolutely just stunning photography, which is easy to see in this multiple award winning photographer's blog.

Don't miss out! You know you want to take a peek!

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// FLASH SALE - LAST WEEK! //

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Hurry, hurry hurry... spots are going fast!


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** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)


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June 21, 2013

And We're Off!

Well, my bags are packed, Bella Beast has been shipped off to hang with Poppy and Juju (aka: her grandparents // aka: my parental units), and my love and I are ready to hit the road.

A Starbucks stop and a bathroom break 45 minutes in is inevitable.
Thank goodness Hubs is an insanely laid back guy!

We have lots of fun places researched, and we can't wait to adventure (and EAT!) our way through it. Stay tuned via Instagram (social media buttons are in the top right corner) to see the sites.




I'm just thrilled that we can go on our first weekender as a newly married couple. I think I have a vacation addiction problem and will probably be attending Vacationing Anonymous when I get back...

" Hi, my name is Meg, and I'm addicted to the Rocky Mountains, Hawaii, and not being at home."
"Hiiii Meg."

Anywho, I'm sure I'll have a full report for you next week (if I decide to ever come back home!!)


Cheers to the Weekend!


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June 20, 2013

Specialty's Wheat Germ Chocolate Chip Cookies {Copy Cat}

When I used to live in San Francisco, I was obsessed with Specialty's cookies.

Around 4:30 p.m. every single afternoon, a batch would come fresh out of the oven and fill the downtown with smells of crispy oats and melty chocolate. At that exact moment, all of the financial district flocked to the cafe for their little taste of warm, gooey heaven

So needless to say I miss getting my cookie fix! My favorite choice was their Wheatgerm Chocolate Chip Cookie. I still crave it!

In fact, I've been scouring the interwebs trying to find someone daring person to try and replicate it.
Thankfully I finally found a good one that is delicious and pretty darn close! Mmm...


Specialty's Wheat Germ Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Caroline's Bake Shop





Ingredients:

3/4 cup old fashioned whole rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes finely diced
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I recommend using a Silpat to line your cookie sheet.
2. Mix oats and flour in a medium bowl. Add baking soda and salt and whisk until mixed in. Stir in wheat germ, flax and coconut.
3. Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. Turn the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and pecan pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula. Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least 1 hour. The dough should be firm before baking.
4. Form a small square (2in x 2in) out of 3 tablespoons of cookie dough. Space cookies several inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until the edges and golden on top, about 9- 12 min. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.




.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.


Bake these... and make sure you have an icy cold glass of milk handy.
Trust me.


Bon Appetit!


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PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Blog Hop link-up!

June 18, 2013

Today's Letters

I have to say that with all the job transition and hectic evenings, I have been a bad blogger. I never feel like a blogger should apologize for being uninspired, being busy, or just plain needing a break, because you blog for you. But I am disappointed at my lack of time/focus lately to something I love and enjoy.

So that being said, I'm back on track and beyond excited to jump back into full force. I've missed you guys and my itty bitty corner of blog world.

I have lots of random thoughts up in my noggin', so I thought I would write life a few little letters...



{Dear New Job}
I completely and totally love you. Although I have so much to learn, you have so much potential. It's fantastic feeling less stressed out, in the perfect spot for my passion, and in a new setting.


{Dear Pool}
I am coming for you! My weekends have been slammed lately, but you're at the top of my priority list. My beach read and sunscreen are already packed... and my girlfriends and I are ready for tan lines and vitamin D! Holla.


{Dear Fruity Alcoholic Drink}
Why must you tempt me with your refreshing splash of lemonade, berries and booze, you sneeky calorie hoarder, you.


{Dear Humidity)
Unfortunately, I just don't think it's going to work out for you and me. You leave me and my hair feeling frustrated, disappointed, and totally frizzed out. You may have to go ASAP... sorryboutcha.


{Dear Vacation}
The countdown until Friday morning is on! Hubs and I are more than pumped to get the heck out of here and go exploring. There won't be one city block of Omaha that will be left un-adventured. Sleeping in. Foodie heaven. Zoo-going. Ice cream eating. Roadtrip shenanigans. Bring it on!


{Dear Scale}
Thanks for finally moving in the right direction. Between the Zumba-ing and the celery sticks, I was about to toss you out our two-story window if there was another week of non-budging. It's nice to see hard work paying off. Oh, and I feel a little bad for threatening you... please be nice again next week.


{Dear Adam Trembley}
I'm not quite sure how it happens, but somehow every single morning I end up wrapped in our entire queen fitted sheet. Every. Morning. All the while, you are freezing trying to hang on to the tinniest corner of our comforter. Apparently I am a full-on natural disaster in the middle of the night and should sleep in a straight jacket.

Side note... I do however think your scruffy face is pretty handsome. Oh, and thanks for courtesy laughing at my cheesy laughy taffy jokes... you're a keeper!


.:::.:::.:::.:::.:::.



PS - Don't forget to link-up and gain new readers ALL WEEK at my Mingle Monday Blog Hop link-up!

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June 17, 2013

Mingle Monday Blog Hop + Awesome Ad Sale!

So glad you stopped by for some networking! Good for you for wanting to promote your blog and get your name out!!

Welp, today is the first day on the new job for me, so hopefully Monday isn't too shabby! Let's kick this Monday off right and get to mingling!

 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
**  What are your favorite healthy snacks? ** 
This girl needs to get back on the wagon!!

____________________________________________________________________________________________


// Sponsor Spotlight //


Hop on over to visit Sharaya Mauck Photography? Her blog is absolutely fantastic and full of GORGEOUS photos! Whether you are looking for ideas for your local family, engagement or wedding photography sessions - Sharaya is so creative!!

And if you are a local Kansas Citian, there is no better photogrpaher in the whole city... promise!!


____________________________________________________________________________________



// FLASH SALE! //

Snag your ad space sponsorship on Life of Meg starting at only $5 for a whole month!!
Hurry, hurry hurry... spots are going fast!


Click HERE to get yours!


** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)


Want to keep up with me on the go?
Go check out my social media buttons on the right sidebar to stay in the loop!



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June 12, 2013

Omaha: Any Advice?



The hubs and I are getting the heck out of dodge for a long weekend trip to Omaha next week. Work has been crazy for both of us, so this will be a nice little getaway to reconnect, refresh, and spend time together!

We are (hopefully) counting on all of you for great recommendations on the best places to dine, shop, and adventure. The zoo is a must-see for us already, but the rest of our trip is wide open and ready to be planned!

We are staying at the beautiful boutique Magnolia Hotel nestled right in the Old Market area. We've heard incredible things about Magnolia, and they even serve cookies and milk upon your arrival. Excited.





So what are the Omaha must-sees?!


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June 10, 2013

Mingle Monday Blog Hop + Giveaway Winner

Thanks for joining me today to kick your week off the right way! So thrilled that you stopped by for some Mingle Monday networking action. May it bring you lots of fun new visitors and great blogs to read!

First thing's first, I need to announce the winner of last week's $15 Sephora giftcard + Life of Meg ad space sponsor giveaway. So drum roll please.... the winner is....

Cindy Gaarder!

**Cindy, I sent you an e-mail with instructions on how to claim your prize. Congrats!! **


 
    

HOW TO MINGLE

 
1) Must be a Life of Meg follower to participate.
 
2) Click on the link below to enter your blog.
 
3) Go visit other blogs saying hello from Mingle Monday!
 
4) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below...
 
 
**  What are your biggest pet peeves? ** 

It drives me bananas to hear someone burp. 
Majorly gross!!!



____________________________________________________________________________________________


// Sponsor Spotlight //


Have you dropped by to see the STUNNING photos from Sharaya Mauck Photography? Um yeah, you need to see her fantastic photography blog! From weddings to lifestyle photography, she's done everything and does it well.

Did you know Sharaya was our photographer of choice for engagement and wedding photos?
Go check 'em out!



____________________________________________________________________________________



// FLASH SALE! //

Snag your ad space sponsorship on Life of Meg starting at only $5 for a whole month!!
Hurry, hurry hurry... spots are going fast!


Click HERE to get yours!


** ALSO **

Personal blog RTs for your blog on Twitter all day for everyone who tweets about Mingle Monday! I'm always happy to send extra traffic your way for being so kind!! :)


Want to keep up with me on the go?
Go check out my social media buttons on the right sidebar to stay in the loop!



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