A Mixed Bag of Wedding Photos and Literary Tangents

A Mixed Bag of Wedding Photos and Literary Tangents

Every time this year that someone asks me, “Has your summer been relaxing?,” I want to respond as Mr. Beaver responded to Susan Pevensie:  “Who said anything about relaxing?  ‘Course it isn’t relaxing.  But it’s good.  It’s the summer, I tell you.”  (I think that I could probably use quotations from Lemony Snicket and C.S. Lewis to  describe everything in life. But I digress.)

The highlight of these busy weeks was my brother’s wedding.  After several days of heavy downpours in Sarasota, we worried that the outdoor wedding would be a mixed bag of love and rain — in the same way that “a trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all the man- and woman-eating lions were running around loose”  (and there’s your Snicket quote for the day).

holding hands prayer before wedding Sarasota

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Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


I wonder why some ice cream companies dye their mint ice cream green and other companies make white mint ice cream.  Personally, I don’t think the color affects the flavor–I love a few scoops of white mint ice cream from Breyer’s as much as I love a green mint Klondike bar.   This month, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make green mint chocolate chip cookie bars for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Oatmeal Cream Pie Pancakes

Oatmeal Cream Pie Pancakes

January is National Oatmeal Month

My mom loves coffee, and I don’t mean frilly frappes with sugary syrups. I mean a dark mug of steaming joe. No cream. No sugar. Just hot black coffee.

Occasionally, when I was in elementary, we would visit a local coffee shop in the morning before school. Mom would order the mandatory java; I would savor a homemade oatmeal cream pie.


Although a soft, sweet oatmeal cookie isn’t the most balanced breakfast, my grades never suffered from the sugar overload.  Now that I am older and (supposedly) smarter, I desire to eat (slightly) more nutritious morning meals.


So, to start off the National Oatmeal Month celebrations, we are making Oatmeal Cream Pie Pancakes (using Blind Spot Nutbutter of course). Stay tuned all month for more amazing oatmeal recipes!


Oatmeal Cream Pie Pancakes


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tbs. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie blended nut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • rounded 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • vanilla yogurt for topping


  • Grind all ingredients (besides the yogurt) in a food processor until it is the consistency of pancake batter (or paint).
  • Heat a griddle or frying pan over high heat.  Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Drop spoonfuls onto heated pan.  Once bubbles begin to form on the top, flip the pancakes.
  • Cook for an additional 1-3 minutes.
  • Stack pancakes on a plate, layering with vanilla yogurt (pancake, yogurt, pancake, yogurt, pancake, etc.)
  • Top with raisins, banana slices, syrup, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or whatever pancake toppings you like.
  • Eat and enjoy!


Cookie Critique: Sheetz

Cookie Critique: Sheetz


Sometimes you need a cookie the size of your face.

On Monday afternoon, I ate 2 cookies the size of my face.

I blame my love of a bargain.  Oatmeal Craisin Cookies at Sheetz were $2 for two cookies or $1.65 for one cookie, so it only made sense to get two.

And once you eat one, the other would be lonely without a friend, so I had to eat them both.

Really, it was very humanitarian of me to eat two cookies.


Appearance: 4 – behold the massive, golden, round cookie!

Texture: 1.5 – it was moist, but I am not sure that the center was completely cooked.  It was more the texture of a really thin cupcake.

Taste: 1 – WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY too sweet…but I still managed to eat two of them, so take my opinion with a grain of salt 🙂

Total: 6.5


See my other reviews:


Cookie Critiques: Jersey Mike’s Subs

Cookie Critiques: Jersey Mike’s Subs


My mom is the real MVP.

Two days after she made the special Starbucks cookie delivery, she had a meeting near my school and offered to take me to lunch. After uncertain discussion, a u-turn, and changing our minds one last time, we ended up at Jersey Mike’s.

Like every good sub shop, Jersey Mike’s serves oatmeal raisin cookies, so I had to taste them.


Appearance: 2.5 – They were a slightly oblong.  Also, you could hardly tell if it was a raisin cookie or a chocolate chip cookie.

Image result

Texture: 2 – Way to go, Jersey Mike’s!  You perfected the cookie with a slightly crisp outside and chewy inside.  Success!

Taste: 4 – They nailed this as well.  I would have liked a little more oatmeal, but it tasted real, hearty, and pure!

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10 and two thumbs up!

Cookie Critique:  Starbucks

Cookie Critique:  Starbucks


Last week, two facts were sure:

1. It was time for another cookie critique.

2. I was treating a dorm-mate to Starbucks at the end of the week.

In my mind, everything was aligning perfectly.

That ended when I walked into Starbucks. There were no cookies in their display case! 😳

So I made a special trip to Duncan Donuts a few days later only to learn that my local Duncan Donuts doesn’t sell oatmeal cookies! 😢

Thank you, Mom, for making a quick stop by the school after your Bible study to bring me Starbuck’s last oatmeal raisin cookie. You are a Godsend.

In the comfort of my dorm room, I made the following critique.

Appearance:  cookiejudging

Appearance:  2.5 – It wasn’t a perfect circle, and the raisins were not evenly distributed.

Texture: 3 – I know that my scoring only goes up to 2 points for texture, but this cookie was honestly perfect.  It was so soft that it earned bonus points!

Taste: 2.5 – it tasted like coffee. No joke.  other than that, it was delicious, wholesome and consistent.

Final score: 8 out of 10

Cookie Critiques: Firehouse Subs

Cookie Critiques: Firehouse Subs


It’s been a few months since I taste-tested a new fast food oatmeal cookie.  It’s time to take care of that!


My latest victim was Firehouse Subs.


Appearance: 3.5  – The cookie was almost a perfect circle, and it had a beautiful golden color.  It was also easy to see raisins evenly spread throughout the whole cookie.

Texture: 2 – The cookie was deliciously moist and chewy.

Taste: 2.5 – The cookie was far from disgusting, but it was overly sweet, and it tasted fake.


Total: 8 – Overall, Firehouse Subs’ oatmeal raisin cookie is okay if you are just craving a cookie, but it is nothing special.