The cookie tray – recipes to tantalize your tastebuds

As I sit here typing with a belly full of turkey, trimmings and pie, I have to admit that the idea of baking cookies is the farthest thing from my mind. Yet I know when I wake up tomorrow my desire to bake (and eat) will be renewed again and as the holiday music fills the air over the next few weeks, I’ll be happy to have this list of tasty recipes to look back on. Because even though I can’t imagine taking one more bite of food at the moment, these recipes look really darn good.

Chocolate chip cookiesI put together some of the best recipes I could find and broke them down into categories. I think there is likely something here to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, but if you don’t find something you like, please feel free to link to your favorite cookie recipe in the comments. After all, whenever cookies are concerned, the more, the merrier.

If you are like me and have a bunch of pureed pumpkin to use up, you welcome any recipe that involves pumpkin. Did I mention my neighbor dropped off a container full of 13 cups of pumpkin this week? Oh yes, she did. Ordinarily I would welcome such a gift, but when my freezer was already full of pumpkin puree, it forced me to get a little creative. That is why we had chocolate pumpkin cake for my son’s birthday earlier in the week, as well as two kinds of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this evening (and probably pumpkin soup later this week). Luckily for me there is no shortage of good pumpkin cookie recipes out there.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • Mommy Wizdom claims she has a recipe for The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever and told me that anywhere she takes her cookies, people ask her for this recipe.
  • At Green Hour, there’s another recipe for kid-friendly Pumpkin Cookies (scroll down to the third recipe), where the kiddos can help “press raisin eyes, a nose, and a smile on each warm cookie.”
  • Julie at Persnickety Palate posted one of her childhood favorites, Mom’s Pumpkin Cookies. This variation includes almonds and chocolate chips.
  • Last in the pumpkin category is the recipe for the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. Seriously. This recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies (AKA The easiest cookies I’ve ever made) literally has only two ingredients (though more can be added, but that’s totally optional).

Speaking of simple cookie recipes, here are a couple more that even the most inexperienced baker can handle.

Simple Cookie Recipes

  • Jenn from The Green Parent told me this recipe on Twitter. It’s so short and easy, she gave me the whole recipe in 140 characters or less, and I quote, “3cups pb, 3 cup sugar, and 3 eggs…mix and bake then press a Hershey’s kiss in the top. Yum Yum and soo easy!” And hello, chocolate and peanut butter (which is what the “pb” stands for above) together? In my book that’s a combination that can never go wrong.
  • Brandy from Savin Some posted a Cake Mix Cookie recipe that uses white cake mix and just two other ingredients.
  • And at Cindy’s Desktop, Cindy confesses, “I cannot cook hard recipes!” Her solution is to only cook easy recipes and she offers up a variety of Cake Mix Cookie recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in my house. I always say that you can add chocolate chips to nearly any recipe and it will only make it better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • When I first read about Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies on Twitter, I was a little taken aback. Sure, bacon is good and chocolate is good, but combining them? Hmmm. According to Michelle Baker, AKA the Urban Eater, “The salty, crisp bacon is MAGIC with the sweet chocolately cookie. Perfection. I recommend NOT eating these straight from the oven as you will not stop.” I’m not sure if I will try these out myself, but I’d love to know if anyone else does.
  • If you are looking for a little more traditional chocolate chip cookie, you might like these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Teresa Long of Intent Blog.
  • These Black and white chocolate chip cookies that come from Jessie at the blog The Hungry Mouse use Oreos as one of the ingredients look pretty darn tasty.
  • Flour Girl, ironically enough, posted this recipe for Flour-less peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies. Again, peanut butter and chocolate. Yum!

Of course, ’tis the season and a post about cookie recipes wouldn’t be complete without some holiday recipes.

Holiday Cookies

I should probably apologize to all of the vegans out there for that bacon chocolate chip cookie recipe above (sorry), but if it’s any consolation I found a handful of vegan recipes to help make it up to you.

Vegan Cookies

Since I included so many recipes that include chocolate (how did that happen?), I want to throw in this non-chocolate recipe for good measure: Lemon cookies from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. (Honestly, I had to include it just because it looks really good.)

And lastly, because we should not forget our canine friends, here are some cookie recipes for the dogs.

Dog Cookies

  • Lisa from Condo Blues had to get creative when she recently found herself out of dog treats before an agility class. Because her dog has allergies to wheat and corn, it is hard to find dog treats in the grocery store anyway, so she developed her own Allergy-free apple and banana dog cookies.
  • Ali at Home of the Lazy Dog has a recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. She says she’s made a lot of different kinds of dog treats over the years, but these are her favorite. They’re “easy, healthy, natural, crunchy and taste great.”

Have a favorite cookie recipe you’d like to share? Please leave a comment with a link or the whole recipe, I’m not picky. Happy baking.

*When buying chocolate chips (or chocolate of any kind), I recommend buying organic and fair-trade whenever possible. If it’s just not in your budget (it’s unfortunately, not usually in mine), then I suggest avoiding Nestlé products and buying a store brand (generally cheaper) or another brand. Why? You can read about the Nestlé boycott here. This is a boycott that I continue to stand behind.

Cross-posted on BlogHer

What will you do on Buy Nothing Day?

Traditionally in the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” and is considered the kickoff for the Christmas holiday season. Retailers open their doors early and hold big sales in hopes of drawing in the consumers for one big day of spending and consumption! Shop, shop, shop ’til ya drop!

Buy Nothing DayYou might not be aware that there’s another name for that day – “Buy Nothing Day.” The goal of Buy Nothing Day, celebrated this year in the US on Nov. 28 and internationally on Nov. 29, is to raise awareness about unnecessary spending and consumption, not just for one day, but for every day.

Now in its 17th year, Buy Nothing Day is celebrated every November by environmentalists, social activists and concerned citizens in over 65 countries around the world. Over the years, Buy Nothing Day (followed by Buy Nothing Christmas) has exploded into a global movement, inspiring the world’s citizens to live more simply and buy a whole lot less.

With the current economic crisis, fear of global warming, and failing environment, this year’s Buy Nothing Day has a greater sense of urgency.

Suddenly, we ran out of money and, to avoid collapse, we quickly pumped liquidity back into the system. But behind our financial crisis a much more ominous crisis looms: we are running out of nature… fish, forests, fresh water, minerals, soil. What are we going to do when supplies of these vital resources run low?

There’s only one way to avoid the collapse of this human experiment of ours on Planet Earth: we have to consume less.

It will take a massive mindshift. You can start the ball rolling by buying nothing on November 28th. Then celebrate Christmas differently this year, and make a New Year’s resolution to change your lifestyle in 2009.

It’s now or never!

What do you think? Will you choose to Buy Nothing on Nov. 28 (or Nov. 29) this year? Or if you think that is too extreme, will you curb your overall spending and consumption for the holidays? One thing that might help you with this is to take the No Plastic Holiday Challenge. We’ve got 33 participants so far. Can we make it 50?

Whether or not people participate in Buy Nothing Day or the No Plastic Holiday Challenge, it is my hope that this year finds all people a little more aware, a little more conscientious, and a little more thoughtful before they buy.

Happy 2nd birthday, baby

Me and Julian on his birth day 11/23/06 Me and Julian on his 2nd birthday 11/23/08

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since you tip-toed (quite literally since you were born feet first) into our lives. Having you as a part of our family is such a blessing, Julian. I love your kisses, “group hugs,” nose boops, and giggles so much.

It’s been incredible to watch your language explode over the past few months. It seems there’s nothing you can’t say these days, but my favorite words are, “I love you, Mommy,” followed closely by “cock-a-loo” (your name for chickens).

You show no fear and love to climb and swing on our tire swing. Sand and bugs are your friends.

You also love your sister Ava so much and enjoy being her shadow. I never tire of watching the two of you play together. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely have your squabbles, but the times when you lose yourselves in your imaginations together are the moments I want to make time stand still.

You are definitely exerting more of your independence over the past few months and some things we hear often from you these days are “uh-uh” and “don’t do dat.”

You still nurse on a semi-regular basis – before nap and bed and a few times throughout the day. I’m happy that you find both comfort and nourishment at the breast.

I love to watch you gallop across the room, whether you are riding a hobby horse or not. And nothing beats how cute you look when you run.

I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for you. I know you have many grand adventures ahead as you continue to explore your world. Try not to grow too quickly, my love. I want you to grow up to be happy and healthy, but I want you to take your time for both our sakes. Please remember you will always be my baby boy.

I love you,

Moving on to the chicken crusade

hens.jpgNow that the election is over and Obama has been elected our next president, and Motrin has taken down their offensive ad, I need a new cause to occupy my time. ;) My latest crusade is to get an ordinance passed in my city to allow backyard hens (no roosters). I wrote about this a bit before, but last night I decided to start a new blog devoted entirely to getting the ordinance passed. (UPDATE: I previously said I wasn’t ready to release the URL yet, but my partner in crime and I are ready now. It’s Urban Hens.) I have a lot of work to do in the weeks ahead. Our city council should be voting on the ordinance in December.

If you’ve recently had an ordinance passed in your town that allowed backyard hens and you have any suggestions or resources to share, I would be most appreciative. Feel free to email me or leave a comment. Thanks. :)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get clucking. I’ve got a craft show to check out, a house to clean, and a certain little boy’s 2nd birthday to prepare for.

A return to normalcy

After a couple of wild days around here (blog traffic* that was through the roof and a newspaper interview), the Motrinmoms buzz is dying down and things are returning to normal – uh, whatever that means. I guess for me it means today I’m baking seeds from a butternut squash and two pie pumpkins and I’ve got an organic chicken in the crockpot for dinner. I need to make some pear-apple sauce too from several pears I have that are more than ripe at this point. I’ve been slacking off on my cooking lately. Ava is having her preschool Thanksgiving potluck lunch today at school and we took mashed potatoes (made with locally-grown potatoes). Julian is turning 2 on Sunday and I can hardly believe it. He’s already exerting his independence and seems to be as stubborn strong-willed as his big sister and mama. Oh, and my mom arrived into town and will be staying out here in Colorado for an extended visit. Jody and I are hoping to get some date nights (if we can remember how those work) since we’ll have a willing and able babysitter.

If you’d like to read the newspaper article it is here: Local blogger stops national ad – on the front page of today’s paper. And here’s the photo that accompanied it.


The caption: Local “mommy blogger” Amy Gates played a major role in an online protest of a Motrin ad that many moms found demeaning. The Motrin ad suggested some moms “wear their babies” as a fashion accessory and that it leaves moms sore, but it’s a “good kind of pain” because it’s for the baby. Gates posted a twitter feed about the ad Saturday that erupted into an online firestorm. Joshua Buck/Times-Call

* My blog racked in nearly 6,000 visits on Monday – that’s about 12 times the amount of traffic I usually get.

Motrinmoms: Tying up the loose ends

Whether you thought the Motrin ad was off the mark or not, I think it’s safe to say that what happened on Twitter on Nov. 15 and 16 was unprecedented. A group of moms who were collectively offended by a condescending, patronizing and poorly thought out ad that made false statements about babywearing banded together in a very short amount of time resulting in Motrin pulling their ad and issuing an apology.

Contrary to what some may believe, it’s not just been the mommy bloggers who are writing about this (though many are). It’s numerous tech, marketing, advertising and social media bloggers too. Some of these posts include: Social Media Storm Spreads as Motrin Ad Angers Moms by BL Ochman, Motrin: A Case Study in Social Media Marketing by Toby Bloomberg, Moms Give Motrin a Headache by David Armano, The #motrinmoms Lesson by Susan Getgood Motrin learns: Hell hath no fury like baby-wearing moms by Media Caffeine, The Real Problem with the Motrin Ads by Peter Shankman, and How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin Mom Campaign by Advertising Age, just to name a few. I can’t tell you the number of times my blog has been linked to in the past 24 hours because I’ve lost count, but I can tell you my hits are through the roof.

I’ve seen a lot of reactions to this both here on my blog and elsewhere around the ‘net. Some people are calling for Motrin employees to be fired and I have to say I think that is a bit extreme. We’ve all been in jobs where we’ve made mistakes (um, especially in the job of being Mom) and, hopefully for our sake, we weren’t fired as a result. With the economy the way it is, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Others are saying that the moms overreacted or that moms should be using their power for greater causes and that we wasted their time on this one. First of all I believe that we all have different causes that speak to us. If everyone supported the same thing, what a boring world this would be. Secondly, who’s to say what other causes we are active in supporting? Who’s to say we can only devote our energy to one cause at a time? I know many of the moms on Twitter are activists and involved in causes that speak to them, just as I am. Why should we have to justify why something speaks to us and why we feel motivated to act on it? If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

I think the fact that moms were able to band together as quickly as they did demonstrates (once again) that women, and moms in particular, are a force to be reckoned with. And ya know what? We all have to start somewhere. Who’s to say that a mom who was a part of the Motrin thing won’t feel empowered to take on something bigger next time? My first foray into activism a few years ago involved emailing Target about a shirt that had a message I didn’t agree with. Target pulled the shirts from its racks. Similarly to what’s going on now, there were many nay-sayers, but I learned a few valuable lessons: that there is power in numbers and that it’s important to stand up for the things you believe in, no matter how small they may seem. I’ve gone on to become an activist for other things. Most recently, it was volunteering for the Obama campaign and making phone calls to voters in my battleground state of Colorado and I wasn’t the only mom involved. Does that count as a “greater cause?” Who knows what we’ll tackle next. ;)

Personally, I was pleased to see that Motrin issued an apology and pulled the ad. I don’t believe the ad ever should have been made public though. I hope that Motrin/Johnson & Johnson and other companies that want to market to moms have learned that being involved in social media is important, if not crucial, and perhaps they will run future ads by a group of moms from diverse backgrounds to give it a test run. I feel fairly confident that if they had shown the babywearing ad to a handful of moms (both babywearers and non-babywearers), there would have been some negative reactions and it would have caused them to rethink it.

ibw_xlarge.jpgMoving right along…

Did I mention that this is International Babywearing Week? Oh, Yes. It Is. (Not good timing for Motrin, eh?)

Babywearing International has issued a response to Motrin. Part of the response asked McNeil Consumer Healthcare to help right the wrongs.

Babywearing International, Inc., calls upon McNeil Consumer Healthcare to counter the effects of this offensive ad campaign in the following ways:

– Completely discontinue the campaign by not allowing any further publication of it in any media;

– Undertake an equally prominent campaign that portrays babywearing mothers as the savvy parents and consumers they actually are;

– Undertake an equally prominent campaign that explains the proven benefits of babywearing and directly counters the portrayal of babywearing as painful or as a practice that makes babywearing mothers cry;

– Undertake a campaign to educate healthcare providers as well as patients about the research-proven benefits of babywearing. In fact, babywearing makes mothers more confident and results in fewer tears for both mothers and children.

Recognizing that Motrin is a brand that has heretofore been mother-friendly as well as child-friendly, Babywearing International would consider assisting Motrin in partially repairing the recent damage to its image by having Motrin’s collaboration in our Medical Outreach Campaign, through which we provide research-based information to medical doctors, counselors, and parents concerning the health benefits of babywearing.

I’d love to see Motrin respond to Babywearing International and take them up on their offer for assistance.

Lastly, here are two good examples of what Motrin could have chosen to do with the ad, which would have saved them time, money and yes, many, many headaches.

And to think all of this began with one little tweet: “hey babywearers, have you seen Motrin’s new ad campaign bashing babywearing??!” Who could have predicted the outcome? Not me.

My Related Posts:

* Motin’s new ad attacks babywearing, insults moms
* We’ve blogged and tweeted the Motrin ad. What can moms do next?
* Motrin’s response to the onslaught of complaints