Simple Joy Saturday #51

Simple Joy Saturday #51

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!


February 2019

Enjoyable Reads:

I kindly ask you to click the link above and review the flowchart at the beginning of the post.  It may change your life.

  • The Time Machine by H.G.Wells

I continued reading (or, more accurately, listening to) books on the 100 Books Bucket List.  Out of the 5 books I completed in February, The Time Machine is the only book that I can recommend.


Forgive me for including two grammar-related resources, but if you consider yourself a snoot (syntax nudnik of our time), you will love Garner’s hefty handbook, which cheekily explains every grammar error you could ever encounter.

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Irresistible Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Irresistible Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Next to Christmas and my birthday, today might be the best day of the year.  Why?  Because today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day.


In honor of this wonderful holiday, I am going to share with you my recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Cookies.  In my opinion, these cookies are simply irresistible.


I must confess, though, that I have substituted one very important secret ingredient.  This ingredient truly makes the difference in the coconut oatmeal cookie recipe.  The recipe you see below is how I made the cookies one time when I was out of my secret ingredient.  They were still delicious and quickly devoured, but they were not quite the same.

You can guess the secret ingredient all you want, but I will neither confirm nor deny any guesses 🙂


Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup shredded coconut


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
    • Beat butter and sugars to form a cream
    • Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.
    • Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a flour sifter.  Sift into the egg, butter, and sugar.
    • Beat with a hand mixer until all ingredients are completely combined.
    • Stir in oatmeal.  To make mixing easier, I like to add one cup at a time.
    • Add coconut.
    • Form teaspoon-sized balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool 1 minute on the pan before transferring to parchment paper.
    • Let cool, eat, and enjoy!



    **Note: Pictures were taken of a half-batch of cookies.

    Mac-n-Cheese Oatmeal

    Mac-n-Cheese Oatmeal


    As promised last week, I am bringing you a very unique oatmeal recipe today.

    Just when you though that I couldn’t put together a weirder oatmeal combination, I decided to pair oatmeal with my favorite childhood food: macaroni and cheese.



    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/3 cup pasta
    • 1/4 cup oatmeal
    • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
    • 2 tbs shredded cheese (I used a cheddar and monterey jack blend)
    • pinch of paprika (optional)
    • Salt and black pepper to taste


    • Bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add pasta and continue to boil 5 minutes.
    • Reduce heat to medium and stir in oatmeal. Continue to boil for five minutes.
    • Remove from heat.  Stir in cottage cheese, shredded cheese.
    • Transfer to bowl.  Top with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
    • Eat and enjoy.


    Paleo Problems and Sweet Potato Patties

    Paleo Problems and Sweet Potato Patties


    I’ve noticed a lot of people out in blogger’s world advocating the Paleo diet.  They make it sound great–let’s eat like cavemen–and their pages have some pretty yummy recipes.  Since I know I could never be a strict Paleo (no oatmeal? no yogurt? no black beans? forget it!), I decided to see if I could even make it a day.

    For breakfast, I cooked some eggs.  So far so good…then I topped them with corn salsa.  Strike one.

              – That’s okay.  It’s only one meal.  I will do better the rest of the day.

    My mid-morning snack was peanuts.  Strike two.

              – Alright. Third time is the charm.  Lunch will be perfect.

    I found a recipe for sweet potato patties, made some modifications to keep it both Paleo and tasty, and set to work. After some cooking and photographing, I devoured two delicious sweet potato patties…topped with cottage cheese.  Strike three.  I’m out.

    More power to ya’, cavemen.  For now, I will keep eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon.

    Paleo (or not) Sweet Potato Patties


    • 1 cup shredded sweet potato
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 tbs. almond flour
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
    • honey to taste (if you have also given up the Paleo way of life 🙂 )


    • Mix all ingredients in a bowl
    • Shape mixture into two patties
    • Heat a medium skillet over high heat and place patties in the pan
    • Cook for a few minutes on each side until the patties are golden brown
    • Remove from pan, eat, and be thankful that we are not cave people
    Why I’m Not Vegan: Coconut Macaroons

    Why I’m Not Vegan: Coconut Macaroons



    I have a huge respect for true vegans–not because they go without meat, cheese, and milk–because they go without honey, yogurt, and eggs.  Those three things are the breaking point for me, and I am going to use two of them in today’s recipe.

    These coconut macaroons from Elana’s Pantry, are sweet, simple, and superb!  The best part? You can serve them at your next party, and your friends will never guess that they are healthy, all natural, gluten-free, clean, and ridiculously easy.


    • 2 egg whites
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 1/2 cups coconut flakes


    • Separate egg whites and whisk them briefly with a fork.
    • Add honey and continue whisking until the eggs and honey are well combined.
    • Whisk in salt.
    • Stir in coconut flakes and make sure that all flakes are well-coated with the honey-egg mixture.
    • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Using a small scoop (1 tablespoon), portion out your macaroons.  Be sure to press the coconut mixture into the scoop so that each macaroon will stay together while baking.
    • Place macaroons onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
    • Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Macaroons should be lightly browned.
    • Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.