Tag Archives: Cookies

Best Snow Day Ever


Over a foot of snow was dumped on us today.  The first foot was light and fluffy and easy to shovel.  The next few inches….not so much!  That snow was heavy and wet and not fun to clear.  It seems like it is all over but the weather forecasters are saying otherwise.  Another 4-6 inches are expected overnight.  I’d say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that today was a pretty awesome day.  Even my 12 year old, Drew declared, “The best snow day ever” and I have to agree!

I started out pretty early shoveling.  The snow was deep and we needed a path for Emmy Lou to get through so that she could get outside.  I only did the front steps and sidewalk.  By the time I finished that, it was already covered up but at least she could get out to the street.  Our neighbor pulled out the snow blower a little while later and the four of us and he, got the driveway cleared in about ninety minutes.  Not too bad for a foot of snow!

We came back in, made lunch and Drew and I baked a batch of cookies to share with the neighbors.  We made the recipe up as we went along, using what we had in the house and other than not quite getting the baking time right, they came out pretty tasty!  Wewatched a movie, Captain Philips.  All four of us enjoyed it – that doesn’t happen too often!!  When that ended, it was round two for the driveway.  This snow was not as easy.  Not nearly as deep but MUCH heavier.  This was fun snow though!!  It had warmed up to about 36 degrees so it wasn’t too cold.  The boys and I spent a few hours playing in the snow.  I don’t remember the last time I played in the snow.  The snow was so deep, they were jumping off the front stoop into huge piles of snow.  I took tons of photos and laughed so hard my side hurt!  Even Dave joined in for awhile!   Drew and I stayed outside and built an igloo.  Of course I took many more photos.

I came inside and made dinner.  A new recipe.  I had to include it because it was so good!  I found it on Pinterest but of course, like always, I altered and changed it and made it my own.  Dave LOVED it.  I’ll include it here because it is definitely a make again meal!  (This is starting to turn into a recipe blog lately…)

We are now all sitting around watching Jeopardy.  I am drinking a glass of wine and eating cookies.  We are all warm, showered, full and happy.  Tomorrow, we may wake up to a lot more snow.  I doubt we will be able to repeat such a perfect day, but I am so happy to have the memories of today.  As we built the igloo today, Drew told me, “this is one of those days we are going to remember forever isn’t it?”  I could only reply, “Yup.”

Porkchops with Mushroom Bourbon Cream Sauce

Breaded pork chops recipe, served with a mushroom bourbon cream sauce.

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey (I did not have this so I used Brandy)
  • Salt and pepper
  • (I added arugula and cherry peppers)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 4 6-7 oz center-cut pork chops
  • All purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil


1 Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until the mushrooms are browned – about 10-15 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and boil down until the liquid is reduced to almost a glaze, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bourbon, boil until reduced by two thirds. Add the cream and simmer several minutes until the sauce thickens.

2 Whisk an egg and 2 Tbsp of water in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip chops into the flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs, coating completely. Heat olive or grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Turn the chops one more time, lower the heat to low, cover, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Alternatively you can put the chops in a pre-heated oven at 400°F for 5-8 more minutes.

3 When about to serve the pork, bring the sauce to a simmer and add the chopped basil to it. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Making Cookies

cookie monster

After a very long day and being out of the house for over eleven hours, I was very excited to get home because while we were all at school, Dave went out and got our tree today!!  Hooray!  We decided to all get into our pajamas early and decorate the tree!  Then, it was time for me to make cookies for our Annual Cookie Swap at school.

I love to cook but baking is just not “my thing.”  It is to precise.  When I make dinner, or whip up a new recipe I don’t measure ingredients.  I just throw things together and most of the time, it comes out pretty good!  This just doesn’t work with baking!  This year, for our Swap, I wanted to try and make a recipe for cookies we had all the time when we were younger.  I don’t know if they have an actual name, we always called them, Ricotta Cookies because they are made with ricotta cheese.  My mom’s best friend, Aunt Joyce made them every year and they were my favorite!  I have made them once or twice before, but I could not find the recipe.  I searched Pinterest and found a few and was able to make something that came out almost like hers but still not quite right.

I was thinking about Aunt Joyce a lot while I was making them.  I would have normally called my mom, and asked her get the recipe from her so that she could help me with it.  The day of my mom’s wake, Aunt Joyce had a massive heart attack and her recovery has been slow.  Her daughters JoyLynn and Tricia, who were our best friends growing up, aren’t on Facebook and I am almost ashamed to admit how infrequently we talk now.  Our lives are so busy it is hard to keep up.  We text now and then but we haven’t seen each other since May.

I had sent Aunt Joyce a message on Facebook earlier in the week to see if she could give me her recipe but I had not heard back.  Tonight, after the cookies were done, I sat down at the computer to write my blog and there was a message from her.  She told me,

Hi Claire. I was so happy to receive your card. The boys are getting so big how time flies.  I know this is a difficult time for you and the family all I do is keep thinking of all the good times we had all those years it was never dull. That’s when we felt good. Getting old is a bitch. I am doing well trying to get ready for Christmas. I know you will be getting ready for Christmas eve keep up the tradition your Mom loved it. I want to wish you and the family a Merry Christmas Tell your father to have a Merry Christmas and that I am thinking of him.

It was almost uncanny.  Months and months have passed since I heard from her and as I sat thinking of her the entire time I made the cookies, she was sending me a message.  Things work in mysterious ways and this is one of those instances.  Another one of those “signs” I keep writing about. and it really made me happy!