Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Home Update, Niagara Falls

Bryan and I have lived in our new house for about three and a half weeks now, and we've been so busy getting things done! Our time to get things done is quickly running out. Bryan's graduation is in Chicago next weekend, and a few days after that we take off for an Alaskan cruise with Bryan's family for 11 days! The day after we get back, Bryan starts his residency! The heat is on!!

For a little while, the blog will turn into a home project blog while we get things done. We have been cooking most days, but it's all simple favorites and repeats of recipes you've already seen on the blog and there's no reason to take photos of those! Running hasn't been a part of my routine lately either. I've been doing the Insanity workouts every day, which are awesome! I don't feel the need to blog about my workouts right now since we're so busy. I barely have time to sit down at my computer!!

Every day we try to use our time to get the most done around the house. It's been pretty busy! We've made major progress on our bedroom and living room! Since we got so much done inside, we decided to start a new project outside. We are attempting to put in a patio in the back! In order to build a patio, you have to dig the ground down about 6 inches and we had to figure out where the dirt was going to go. We also have an eyesore of a concrete slab in the middle of the back yard that we want to get rid of. So, we decided that if we remove the concrete slab, we can fill that hole with the dirt that we dig to build the patio. Bryan got to work and rented a jack hammer from Home Depot and got crackin' - literally!

We thought this would be a simple project. However, Bryan discovered that there was a wire grid layered into the concrete rock, and this really complicated things. The jack hammering should have taken a couple of hours and it took Bryan all day yesterday because he had to break the rock into small enough pieces to get the wire out. And it seems as though every piece of rock is connected to the wire. How annoying. Why would they put a wire grid down with the concrete?? An even better question is why would they ever put in a random concrete slab in the middle of the yard when there is a large paved driveway right next to it? Anyway, we're making progress and are about halfway done. Here's the state of things as of now:

Currently, loads are being taken to a landfill where the wire and rocks are disposed. This will take all day. So much for a quick project! Tomorrow, we'll start digging for the patio and filling this hole with the dirt. We're hoping to complete digging the hole by the time Wednesday rolls around because we're headed to Chicago for a graduation weekend!

Even though we've run into our fare share of obstacles, there are some really great things about our new home! It's large enough for us to host friends comfortably! Our friend Jen came to visit for a few days and had a great time. We took an impromptu day trip to Niagara Falls!! It's just a quick 3 hour drive away!

Well, that's about all I have time to catch up on right now - it's time for more work in on that rubble pile. But, let's not forget that blog title!! In between all the outdoor work and errand running yesterday, I decided I'd have time to whip up something sweet because we were having friends over for grilled burgers. I found these cookies to be a perfect pick since I had all the ingredients on hand. I just love any cookies with oats in them!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Brown Eyed Baker

Makes about 16 cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.
4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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