Not only do I get excited to find I have all the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch of cookies, it's even more thrilling to find I can make something other than your basic standards. I ran across this recipe and thought they sounded interesting and quite possibly pretty good. Fortunately, I was not run astray and was delighted to find something I will make time and again. Not only are they quick and easy to whip up, but you can even vary them using lemon or maybe adding a hint of vanilla and omitting the citrus and seeds. These particular cookies taste like a sugar cookie with a hint of orange and the slight nuttiness of poppy seeds.

This recipe was found, naturally, at the Simple Recipes blog. As you'll see it was only yesterday's post.


  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds


1 Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2 Add the egg and the orange zest, beat for thirty seconds, scraping down the bowl part way through to ensure even mixing.

3 In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly sift it into the butter mixture until just combined. Fold in the poppy seeds.

4 Place heaping teaspoonfuls on a non stick baking sheet, allowing them space as they will spread as they bake.

5 Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until just turning golden around the edges. Remove from oven. Let sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two to let the cookies solidify a bit, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Oh, and I have to say I'm thrilled with how perfectly round they are and I didn't even try!

Sandpoint, Idaho

This weekend I discovered my next "home"! I cruised up to Sandpoint, ID to visit one of my best friends and fell in love with the town. They have everything we do here in Bozeman (skiing, hiking, biking, exploring), plus a huge lake providing endless opportunities for recreation. Anyway, this gal and I have been friends for over 10 years and while we don't see each other all that often, we always pick up where we left off.

Even though I was actually there for less than 48 hours, we certainly packed in our fair share of fun. Between hiking (and getting lost), 4-wheeling and cycling along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, I came home absolutely exhausted. The abundance of rain recently, followed by an outburst of sunshine has made everything unbelievably green and colorful! While there were numerous photo ops, I just wasn't very satisfied with my results.

For some reason this stretch of railroad made me think of old time movies. I picture kids racing down the middle of them on their bikes, hopping off into the bushes to watch a train rush by. I gave it an antique look to better reflect this image. The flowers on the right struck me because, of course, they're pink!

One the highlights from the weekend was 4-wheeling around the Wyman Wildlife Preserve. We were actually invited out to the property by the 85 year old owner. While we didn't exactly get going very fast, it was interesting to listen to the history this gentleman has experienced in his 85 years. This cabin was used by his ancestors many years prior. Just a bit further down the trail we also visited the home they lived in, though it was in much the same condition as this cabin. There is something about these old buildings that always fascinates me. You just have to wonder what those walls have seen, heard and experienced. This is the first time I've come across one with someone that can remember when it was a part of everyday life. The last fascinating tidbit was him telling us about his days in the Army up in Sitka, Alaska. We found out that he is friends with Sig Hansen of the Northwestern (Deadliest Catch fans...) and he actually invented the part of the fishing pots that prevent the "catch" from escaping the pots. Cool!

That about sums up the weekend. I wasn't happy with my pictures of the lake, but might post one anyway.

Don't let the name worry you, Haricot Vert are merely long french green beans. I made this recipe last Sunday night while my husband smoked a rack of what was easily the most amazing ribs I may have ever eaten. He used his beloved Big Green Egg and basted them with Zeke's BBQ sauce (at World Market). We both agreed that this dinner was one of the top five we've ever cooked. This little side dish is super easy to prepare, quick and pretty healthy. The two of us have very different tastes in food (him - spicy, bold flavors/me - comfort food and sweets), so it's always great to find something we both agree on, like this. It's actually great cold too so you can have it as leftovers if, on the off chance, you don't finish them. Unlike us...

This was found at SmittenKitchen (another favorite site). The picture there is fantastic! Mine on the other hand, let's just say I'm still learning...

Haricot Vert with Shallots

1/2 pound of haricot vert, trimmed and tailed
2 teaspoon butter
1 small shallot, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons diced tomato
Wedge of lemon

Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil haricot vert for 3.5 minutes (yes, that's three and a half). Plunge them into an ice bath and drain the beans.

In your empty pot (might as well save a dish) melt two teaspoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute them until they’re just translucent, not browned–about one to two minutes. Add the drained and cooled haricot vert back into the pot and reheat them in the butter and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Spread haricot vert and shallot onto a plate, throw the diced tomato over them and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the dish. Serve immediately.

After a long week of work, there is something rewarding about a weekend to do anything you want or nothing at all. We manage to fill our weekends quite full, so finding myself sitting on the couch with nothing to do on a Saturday is wonderful! Last night, my mom had a "wedding party" to gather a few of us girls and remember our big days. It was a nice night and quite fun to look at dresses and reminisce over pictures and stories. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

We built a "shotski" for the wedding party to toast with!

There is some sort of true pleasure in finding I have all the necessary ingredients on hand to whip up a batch of cookies on a moments notice. Nevermind the fact that I "stock" for this purpose, but we'll leave that alone. I recently decided to whip up a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies to take with us camping for Memorial Day weekend. Knowing I could easily find a decent recipe in my seldom used Joy of Cooking cookbook, I summoned the inner (and not so hidden) computer geek in me and scanned my favorite foodie sites for a new recipe. Turns out the one I found is not so "new", but the resulting cookie was absolutely fabulous and went over very well with all our camping companions. I found the recipe on Simply Recipes (again... love that site!!) and only added a bit of nutmeg since I love what I call the "pumpkin pie" spices - nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, etc.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups oats (I used "quick" oats)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (use 1/2 cup if using raisins) (optional)


1 Cream shortening and sugars, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2 Sift flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to first mixture and mix well. Add raisins and nuts. Add oats last.

3 Spoon out by rounded tablespoonfuls on to greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

PS. This was my first attempt at photographing food. Definitely need some practice...

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