Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cookies and Questions

Don't get me wrong, I love running into old friends. It can happen quite a bit when you move away to school and then come back for the summer, and it's great! Really it is. But, with running into old friends, there comes the obvious "questions". I understand that questions are a necessary part of "catching up", but I prefer to do the questioning instead of having to answer them. Here are some examples of questions that are often asked when running into old friends:

Question #1- What have you been up to?

---- This question, if answered correctly, can eliminate the rest of the questioning if the answerer does well with convincing the questioner that he/she has been super busy, is happy, and is more concerned with what THEY have been up to. However, that often isn't the case, so we move on to question #2.

Question #2-
So you've moved home for the summer then?

---- Obviously if you see me at the local Walmart at 5:30 on a Tuesday evening with a cart full of groceries to feed a family, I've moved home for the summer. Next question.

Question #3- So what are you doing for the summer then?

---- Most of the time, I'm not really sure how to answer this question. And really, who knows what they are going to do all summer? Am I supposed to go through and tell them every little trip, family reunion, and swimming outing that I'm going to have, or what? Like I said before, who knows what they are going to do all summer, really? This question is kind of a discreet way to find out the answer to the next question without bluntly asking.

Question #4-
So do you have a job? Are you going to be working this summer?

---- Well, obviously in a perfect world, everyone would indeed like to have a great job and make some serious cash during the summer. That is most likely the plan for most poor college students during the summer. However, for some, finding a job simply for the summer since you'll be moving away in August can be quite difficult. The questioner should really avoid asking this question because it can often lead the answerer feeling rather discouraged and cause them to hang their head slightly. And with one discouraging question down, it's time to move onto the final question.

Question #5-
So are you dating anyone? Are there any men in your life? How's that part of your life going?

---- Now, let's be serious for just a second. With all the questions asked, this is the one that everyone REALLY cares about. The other questions are just warm up questions to make the questioner seem like they really care about all of the other areas in your life instead of just who you might be dating, and if you are getting married anytime soon. I don't mind answering this question at all because this area of my life is going really well! I usually tell the questioner that I've got a lot of really great men in my life and I'm just enjoying spending time with all of them! Which is very true. Let me introduce you to the wonderful men in my life that I enjoy spending time with....

#1- Baylor

Here's little B. He has the cutest little face and hair I have ever seen! He has such a sweet spirit and is such a little buddy! He makes me so happy every time he comes down to visit his favorite Aunt Sarah :) I love this little guy so much!

#2- Ashton

Here's little Asher Bug! He has the biggest eyes and the cutest little voice and giggle that I've ever heard. He makes me laugh so hard when he comes over because of how silly and excited he gets. He makes me so happy when he smiles at his favorite Aunt Sarah :) I love him so much!

#3- Joshua James

Here's Josh. This Fremont High Graduate, Eagle Scout, and future Aggie makes me so happy! Josh and I have a lot of fun together and can get laughing really hard! He is so kind, funny, and has a dang good voice! Seriously, this guy's got pipes! I love Josh so much.

#4 Jordan

Here's my older brother, Jordan. USU graduate, Agri-Service Employee of the century, dang good daddy, and caring brother all describe this guy right here. Jordan is so much fun to be around! He makes us all laugh so hard and always has a good YouTube Video for us to watch. I love Jordan so much!

#5- Mike

Here's Mike. BEST. BROTHER-IN-LAW. EVER. Mike is such a good guy! He is a great father, awesome husband, and a really fun brother-in-law. Mike works really hard and plays hard too. He is fun to talk to, and I feel like he understands where I'm coming from a lot of the time. I love Mike so much!

#6- My dad

Where do I even begin? My dad is absolutely hilarious, fun, caring, comforting, a great cook, and a selfless, outstanding father. He says and does the funniest things that keep us all laughing. He has a very positive outlook on life and is the strongest man I know (physical, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc). I love my dad so much!

Well, there ya have it! Those are the wonderful men in my life. Yes, I understand that my answer to question number 5, if I went into detail, is not exactly what the questioner is looking for, but they don't need to know the details, right? :) All they need to know is that I have lots of great men in my life whom I love spending time with. That's all. :)

I do have a recipe to include in this post today! This recipe makes all of these boys happy (minus the two who can't quite eat this kind of food yet). CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!! Simple, yet so yummy! This is the go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe for my family. We give credit to my sister, Rachel, for this one. Enjoy!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups chocolate chips- depending on how much you love chocolate :)
1 cup mini marshmallows (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil or coat with non-stick spray.

Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Gradually add flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. Then add the vanilla and the egg. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

So I'm pretty sure that the other day I made my favorite peanut butter fudge brownies that I have had so far! Now, these were actually the FIRST peanut butter fudge brownies that I have made, but I have looked at so many gosh darn recipes of them because I have been wanting to make them for months now, so I finally broke down and baked them. The reason that it took me so long to whip up a batch of these brownies is because Josh doesn't like peanut butter, and I knew this treat would be way to rich for my dad's liking, and I rely heavily on those guys to eat the majority of the treats that I make so that I will only have a few... SO... I have been waiting for the perfect time to make these so that I could share them with lots of friends! And, I figured that my roommate Karlie's birthday bbq was very appropriate :) All the girls of Apt. #6 always request a treat with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I'm pretty sure this is why we are such perfect roommates.

Anyways, these are sooo good! I know that I usually say that about everything that I make, but it's always true! These brownies were very fudgy, chocolaty, peanut buttery, and simply divine. The peanut butter filling in the middle tastes like a really yummy peanut butter cookie, which pairs perfectly with a warm, gooey brownie. It's like a brownie and peanut butter cookie sandwich. Yum. Perfect. Oh and don't forget the chocolate/peanut butter glaze on top! Three words- To die for. Seriously, this peanut butter fudge brownie recipe was heavenly... and dangerous. Don't make these if you are home alone all day. SCARY.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

(The Sisters' Cafe Blog)


1 ½ c. sugar
½ c. butter (1 stick) softened
½ c. oil
1 T. vanilla
3 eggs
1 ¼ c. flour
¾ c. cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c. peanut butter chips (or choc chips)

1 c. creamy peanut butter
¼ c. vegetable oil
¼ c. sugar
2 T. flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or 2 TBSP cocoa powder
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1 ½ c. powdered sugar
¼ c. water
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9x13-inch pan. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add oil and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt - blend well. While beating, gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture – mix well. Fold in chips. Evenly spread ½ batter into pan.

Filling: In a small bowl cream together peanut butter and oil. Add sugar and flour – blend well. Add eggs and vanilla – beat until smooth. Carefully spread filling evenly over batter in pan. Top filling with remaining ½ batter and spread evenly. Gently cut through layers to create marble effect throughout brownies. Bake for 30 minutes – do not over bake.

While baking, in a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and peanut butter over LOW heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients – mix until smooth. If frosting is too thick, add 1-3 T. water. Spread frosting over brownies immediately after baking. Cool in pan 2-3 hours before serving.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Today, after 5 1/2 years of homework, long classes, mind-changing, tests, projects, and more mind-changing this fine young man graduated from Utah State University!

Meet my older brother Jordan. Jordan is seriously an All Star. He is such a hard worker, a dang good husband, a caring brother, a great dad, and quite possibly the funniest guy around. I am so lucky to have him as a brother. Jordan is such an example to me. He does so much for so many people, and has no idea how much of an influence he has on them. He keeps pretty busy being the Assistant Manager at Agri-Service, a new dad of two weeks, and being the Priest Advisor in his ward. On top of all of this, he was so unbelievably busy with school too! But, no matter how crazy his life was, he always took time to call and check up on his little sis, and it meant so much.

Jordan and I can always get each other laughing so hard by talking about the silliest things. Sometimes we get talking, joking, and laughing so hard that we probably drive Amy crazy... Poor girl. Ha ha She is so great for putting up with us when we are together! Things can get pretty nuts. Anyways, I am so lucky to have such an incredible brother who I can have so much fun with, and who I can talk to about anything. I am so proud of him for working hard, figuring out what he wants to do(after changing his mind several times), and for graduating with honors. I love you Jord! Here are a couple of pictures from the day...

Baylor came to support his daddy! Future Aggie right here :)

Can't get enough pictures of the little cutie, can we? ha ha :)

Grandma and Grandpa Peterson. So proud.

My two good looking brothers. :)

Proud mother and grandma...

Now of course I can't have a post without a recipe to share with you all! Check out the cute cupcakes I made for our little after-graduation party...

Aren't they so cute?! I can't take credit for thinking of this idea all on my own because I saw things like this all over the web. But, I thought it would be fun to try! I baked some chocolate cupcakes (from a box-don't judge-I was tired and it was the easy option) frosted them with this delicious homemade chocolate frosting, and then added these cute little candy graduation caps on top! Here's what you'll need for the caps:

A bag of mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
A bag of Fun Size Hershey's Chocolate Bars
Mini sour straws(Rips), fruit roll-ups cut into strips, or anything else you can think of
Leftover frosting from cupcakes- you'll need it to hold these together

Put the Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer for 30-60 minutes. This helps the chocolate to stay in tact when you unwrap them. Turn the PB cups upside down and put a little bit of frosting on top. Cut the fun size Hershey's bars (4 squares) in half- they should now be in pieces of two squares. Turn the Hershey's pieces upside down and put them on top of the PB cups. Then, use a tooth pick and put a little dot of frosting on top of the caps and stick a small sour straw, or whatever you are using for the tassels, on top.

There you have it! Graduation Caps!

Happy Mothers' Day tomorrow everybody!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

These may look like just plain old chocolate cookies...

But they're not!! Check out what it's in the middle...

Oooooh look at all that ooey gooey caramel in the middle! One bite and you'll be floating around in chocolate-caramel heaven. Seriously. And chocolate-caramel heaven is a great place to be, trust me. Especially during finals week. :)

Anyways, whip up a batch of these cookies right now! They are way easy and so yummy! I found the recipe in the Taste of Home cookbook that I got for Christmas last year.

Easy Chocolate Caramel Cookies
Taste of Home "Cookies" Cookbook

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 egg
1/4 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
38 Rolo Candies
Chopped Hazelnuts (I omitted)

In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, egg, water and oil; mix well. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Press a candy into each; reshape balls. Dip tops in hazelnuts.

Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until tops are cracked. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Note: If the dough is really sticky, like mine was, spray your hands with cooking spray before rolling into balls.

Well everyone, have a great day! I'll see you in chocolate-caramel heaven :)

P.S. One more final until sweet, baking freedom. Can't wait.