Friday, August 13, 2010

Best Peanut Butter Cup Cookies EVERRRRR

So at the wedding shower this past weekend, I got a TON of new recipes. Which I plan on sharing with you. So get excited.

In an attempt to become the favorite wife at Mark's office I decided that every few weeks I'll send him in with a baked good. This will hopefully lead to some teasing for him while he is at work, plus I like to bake and really I can't just have three dozen cookies lying around the house. So really, everybody wins.

So today I sent Mark into work with the below cookies. The recipe came from my Mom and she calls them "Peanut Butter Cup Cookies." I'm going to call them "So good you can barely get to the point of baking them because the dough is so flipping delicious/Whoever invented peanut butter is a goddess"

And yes, I'm just assuming the inventor of Peanut Butter is a woman.

On to the goodness:

2 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (yes, that's two sticks. I never said this was healthy)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I even used natural and it worked out fine)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
10 oz peanut butter cups
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  4. Taste the mixture with your finger and just about die because it's delicious.
  5. Repeat tasting with your finger if desired.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly blended. Stir in with wooden spoon the dry ingredients until smooth.
  7. Taste the mixture with your finger and just about die because it's delicious.
  8. Repeat tasting with your finger if desired.
  9. Coarsely chop the peanut butter cups and fold into batter along with chocolate chips
  10. Taste the mixture with your finger and just about die because it's delicious.
  11. Repeat tasting with your finger if desired.
  12. Spoon a heaping Tbsp. of dough about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until slightly firm to the touch about 10-13 minutes (I had to go with the high end on the baking time.)
  13. Cool before transferring to cooling rack.
  14. But be sure to taste one when it's still hot and gooey.
***Steps 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14 are completely necessary. Otherwise your cookies will fail.***

The recipe says it makes 3 dozen... but I got closer to 4!



Thursday, August 12, 2010

A birthday and sibling rivalry

I have this (free!) iPhone app called 31 Seconds. Everyday it tells me famous birthdays, when the sun rises and sets, a little history tidbit, and a quote.

Today's quote I loved:

"I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great." -Ray Charles

Now, I don't always blog on family birthdays... but I think this quote perfectly describes my Dad, who as fate would have it is having a birthday today. He strives to be great both for his family and at work, but he never wants any recognition for it.

Well, too bad, because I'm the boss around these parts. So today you get recognized.


I also wanted to add at this time how a normal birthday goes in our family. See, my siblings and I tend to be very competitive, and I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point it became a competition to be the first person to wish the birthday boy or girl happy birthday.

So a normal birthday call goes like this:

Ring, ring...



"Thanks, (insert name of caller)"

"So how does it feel to be (insert age of birthday family member here)?"

"Not much different than any other day."

"I know what you mean. So.... did I win??"

"(Laughing) yes, yes you did." or "Nope sorry, (insert winner's name here) beat you too it! Better luck next birthday."

These may not be the most heartfelt or sappy birthday calls on the planet... but we have fun. I LOVE my family :)

Oh, and just for the record, today I totally won :)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Love is in the Air!

Mark and I are getting married in 73 days!!! It's crazy that more than a year ago I was saying "YES!" on Catalina island.

This weekend was our wedding shower... and it was amazing! We are blessed with great family and friends, and I'll be sharing pictures soon.

And with all this wedding stuff going on, it occurred to me... did I ever tell you how Mark and I met? It's hard to believe that 3 1/2 years ago I didn't even know him, and now he's my best friend and helloooo my FIANCE WHO I GET TO MARRY IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS EXCUSE THE ALL CAPS BUT I'M SO EXCITED.

So picture this: We are in a club called Louie's on South Padre Island. On Spring Break. I know-- not exactly where you think you meet your soulmate but just go with it. Mark's brother spotted us because someone in our group had a Purdue hat on or something.

I don't think Paul reads my blog so it's okay that I'm about to make fun of him. He was all "Hey ladiessss...." in the best pick-up line voice possible. He then began to tell us that his brother, Mark went to Purdue, too. Cue introductions with Mark. Then Paul wandered into the mass of men who were ogling at the half-naked beer models throwing out hats and beads.

But Mark stayed behind. And so we chatted. And I liked him. Sure he was dressed a little dorky (to this day checkered or plaid shirts still give me this opinion) and sure he was fried to a crisp. But I liked him. And so I broke one of my cardinal rules and gave him my number. And we left. The girls teased me about the boy I was flirting with, and I just smiled, never really expecting to see him or hear from him again.

And of course he didn't call the next day. He says now that he thought I was just being nice and giving him my number out of pity-- that I was out of his league. But as luck (fate?) would have it the next night one of the girls just HAD to stop at Long John Silvers for hushpuppies on the way back from another club. And while we were waiting in a line of 29840438 drunk college students... I spotted him as he walked in the door. Mark--only this time without a checkered shirt, and therefor much cuter.

And he was visibly happy to see me again, and so I teased him about not calling. We left separately, but the next day he texted me.

And so we invited them over to our condo the next night, along with some other spring-break goers from Purdue that we had met during the week. I'm trying to make this post as short as possible, so I'll just say that our condo wasn't allowed visitors, and so there were some fake hotel bracelets, some running from the security cards where we got split up, but Mark and Paul still managed to find our room (fate again?) And I was totally into him. Here is our first picture together:
So maybe that deck of cards, and the three cups are the main focus of this picture,
but we are clearly already into each other.  Also note: plaid shirt!
Though it has become my favorite due to sentimental reasons.

He told me about getting in trouble for golfing into the ocean, one time, because the sea turtles will choke on the golf balls (something that to this day he can't believe I was actually listening to.)

I made him his first Lauren-cooked meal. A quesadilla (classic.)

He told me he was a Delt and I immediately changed my outlook on him from sweet to skeptical (he could have been a sleazy frat boy! Good thing I turned out to be wrong!)

He even asked me to move in with him that night. I pretended to think he was joking because only a creeper asks that the first time you hang out. And later he told me that he was in fact dead serious because he thought I was too good to be true. But when I laughed it off, so did he-- he didn't want me thinking he was a crazy or something.

When Mark and Paul left, Mark kissed me on the forehead and I was swooning because seriously who does that? SO SWEET.

We didn't know at this point that three years and seven months later we would be getting married.
Otherwise we probably would have put down our drinks to smile.  
When we got back to Purdue I wanted him to call SO BAD. But of course I wouldn't be the one to call first. The girls teased me some more at practice that Monday, and told me to call. But when I got to my car (cue angels singing!) I had a missed call from Mark and a nervous voicemail asking me out on a date.

We went on a date every night that week. And saw each other at every possible moment after that. I finally got the courage to ask if we were officially "together" three weeks after Spring Break (a total girl thing to do) Mark just laughed and said, "We've been together since the first time I saw you in Padre, haven't we?" Which was exactly what I had been thinking. The rest as they say, is history!
Mark & I at Purdue's Grand Prix (April 2007)
Our first camping trip. (And my first camping trip ever!) April 2007
After our first "I love you" (on that camping trip) April 2007, but that's another story.
So that's it! The story of love at first sight on March 13, in South Padre Island.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Random Update in Pictures

Don't have a heart attack but I'm blogging two days in a row. I know it's sort of crazy so I'll give you a minute to take it in.

Still with me?


While I haven't been so great about updating my blog, I have been good about taking iPhone pictures about my life. So here's a totally random update on my life... thanks for being a loyal reader :)

First off, when I got onto my blog today the ad that was running was for suspenders. What on Earth did I blog about to have an ad run about suspenders? Just in case you are a new reader I want to be clear: I am NOT and old lady, and my blog is NOT boring enough to warrant an ad about suspenders. That being said, feel free to click on the ad if it interests you because of course, I get paid if you do that. But I'm not really sure I'm actually allowed to say that. So just do it if you WANT to. No pressure. (Click the image below to enlarge the screenshot I took of the ad.)

Here's a picture I took on one of my long drives. I don't know where I was headed. Either to Cleveland or Indy or my parents (any of which is at least 6 hours...) I was trying to capture an awesome sunset storm (the iPhone failed me in this regard) but it did manage to turn the light reflecting of the raindrops into music notes... which I love.

Speaking of driving. Here's a picture I sent to Mark on one of my firsts drives to Cleveland. 

And here's one I sent to him on one of my drives to Cleveland after making about a million long drives (moving... wrapping things up in Indy... wedding stuff at home... etc...) Yay for driving.

I've been cooking a lot. The Pesto Shrimp Mac & Cheese was a big hit. Recipe to come.

I made homemade coasters that are super simple and cost maybe $5.00 for 6. Craft project to come.

We got a King size bed. Which Mark still somehow manages to take over.

King also likes the King bed, and when I can't find him during the day all I need to do is walk upstairs.

I'm obsessed with sunsets through the trees in our backyard. And the firepit we built in it. And when I say we I mean Mark. But I was totally there for moral support.

I'm also now obsessed with Teavana (details to come.)

Last weekend we went fishing. King, like myself refused to get out of bed until the clock read 5:00AM (Mark tried to get us up at 4:30)
But we did manage to get out on the water for a gorgeous sunrise.

Which King really enjoyed.

And King followed Mark everywhere on the boat. Which was hilarious to me, but annoying to Mark.

You'll notice there are no pictures of fish to go along with our fishing excursion. That's because we didn't catch any. 

Okay, I've exhausted my recent iPhone picture collection. I think I'll pull out the "real" camera and keep it handy so the next post like this actually has quality photos.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My life is a sitcom


You know that movie the Truman Show? Where everybody is in on the secret but Jim Carey? It's a big conspiracy where everything is a giant movie set, and everyone is an actor.

Well sometimes I think this is my life, just a sitcom to entertain you. And people are trying to play tricks on me, just to see my reaction on the millions of hidden cameras... just for your amusement.

And so that's why, when Mark asks me to come outside and look at the amazing rock he discovered, I just smile and nod. Here's the rock (sorry about the photo quality in the post they were taken from my iPhone):

"Babe," he tells me "that rock would cost $5.00 if we tried to buy it somewhere!"

"Yes, hunny," I say, smiling and nodding... pretending to be as proud about his discovery as he is, because I want the people who are secretly watching me on camera to think I'm supportive, "but what are we going to do with just one, albeit very nice rock?"

He answered something about using it as a centerpiece in our non-exsistant garden, but I honestly failed to listen because I looked over and saw this:

Two GIANT holes dug into our backyard.

And so I laugh. Because if a million people are going to watch my reaction, I at least want to look good natured about it.

"Um, sweetie?" I ask, "Why are there two giant holes in our grass? Where the were no holes before?"

In my head I'm thinking: You honestly had me come out here to look at a rock and expected me not to FREAK OUT about the two giant holes in our backyard. My life is a sitcom, My life is a flipping sitcom. But on the outside I'm smiling. Smiling and laughing.

And Mark proceeds to explain. "Well, I was walking in the grass and I saw this pipe peeking through, and I wanted to see what it was and where it went so I just started digging. And that's when I found the rock. And so I just wanted to show you the rock, but now I have to keep digging to see what the pipe is."

"Can't we just call the realtor and have him find out?" I plead.

"No, I think I should see for myself." And off he was to continue the mutilation of our backyard.

Maybe Mark is secretly planning a honeymoon in China.

Or maybe my life is just a big conspiracy and the secret producer of my sitcom just wants to see how long I let my crazy fiancé dig up our backyard on a search to find the "end" of a random pipe in the ground.

Well, producer of my sitcom, the joke's on you because I am just going to let Mark dig his little heart out.  But so help me, if the grass doesn't look back to normal in a month you better fix it. Or else, I'll stop being interesting, and your ratings will drop and then where will you be without my sitcom?

And in the off chance that my life is not a sitcom... I'm now taking donations for our grass seed fund.