Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Front garden makeover

Let me start off by saying that this post is late for the simple reason that I could not find the cord for my camera! I've been dying to share these pictures with all of you. I hope you can appreciate the long hours - ok the entire day - it took me to complete this landscaping project. I'm incredibly proud! For those of you who don't know, we moved in last September so this has been my first crack at my very own garden that does not consist of all pots. So without further ado ...



The idea was to create a virtually maintenance free front garden. Our street has heavy foot traffic and to be quite honest I would prefer to spend my time in the backyard. Planting perennials was the perfect solution! I chose plants that will fill in with time and will produce pretty flowers. I left the existing tulips that I had planted in the fall and added two flowering hostas (I really like the two-tone leaves) and four day lilies that will produce a variety of colourful flowers. You can't see it but I also put a weed barrier underneath the mulch. This will prevent and pesky weeds from showing their ugly heads in my garden. I chose an organic mulch that consists of coconut husks. It looks good and provides added moisture retention to my garden, great for those long hot summer days. And there you have it, my updated bed in my front garden!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skor Cookies

I had a craving for oatmeal cookies this weekend so I decided to whip up a batch of this classic with a sweet twist. This recipe is super easy and is by no means low fat but I do promise you will have 4+ dozen of deliciously chewy cookies. I can't stop eating them!

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (more if you wish)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of Skor toffee bits
  • 1 heaping cup of milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
With the help of a mixer beat together butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. Beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
Gradually add the dry mixture to your wet mixture. Beat until well blended.
Add the oats one cup at a time.
Once the oats appear coated with dough mix in the Skor bits and chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix!

 Using a teaspoon and your hands form dough into a 1"-1.5" balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies for no more than 10 minutes or until just golden on top. Let the cookies stand 5+ minutes before transferring them to your cooling racks. You'll notice that the cookies will be super soft until they set.


Serve with a tall glass of cold milk.

Alternatively you can bake larger cookies and create to die for ice cream sandwiches!