Quick and Easy Chocolate Cookies

chocolate cookiesThis fantastic chocolate recipe (with a hint of peanut butter!) can be found on page 23 in “Jiffy’s” recipe book. My son and I made these on Friday and so enjoyed them! They are perfect if you need a little chocolate fix. 🙂

Recipe: Quck and Easy Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 package “Jiffy” chocolate muffin mix
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and peanut butter together.
  2. Add the sugar and egg to the butter/peanut butter mixture and beat until creamy.
  3. Stir in muffin mix and chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by tablespoons on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 10-12 minutes.

Quick Notes

Check the cookies after 8 minutes. I have an electric oven, which may have baked them quicker, but 8 minutes was sufficient to bake them through.

Here’s a picture of Andrew enjoying some cookies. Trust me, they are quite good!

cookie fun

Other recipes you might like:

Peanut Butter Play dough

Peas and Macaroni

Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes

Where does Your Treasure Lie? – Saints and Scripture Sunday

Saints and Scripture Sunday
(Come join us over at The Kennedy Adventures! for more Saints and Scripture Sunday entries.)

“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Luke 12:34

I was challenged by these words today. I felt personally asked, “Where does your heart lie?” Truth be told, it hasn’t been lying where it should be.

Why is it so easy to get caught up in all the busyness and craziness of everyday life? Why is it that our relationship with God is always the first to go by the wayside? (For me, at least.) Even when I make time for prayer, it is often distracted and rushed through, just to get done.

What I want is a deep, meaningful relationship with the Lord. This is only possible if I take the time for deep meaningful conversations with Him. I have follow my own suggestions for taking time for prayer, to listen to Him, and to let the Holy Spirit guide me.

That’s my resolution for this week. To focus on deepening my relationship with the Lord. To make the time to pray and focus my heart on the Lord.

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

I am happy to be participating in my first Sunday Snippet. A big thanks to This That and the Other Thing blog for hosting!

Here is a brief synopsis of this week’s posts:

On Monday, I offered suggestions on how to honor the Blessed Mother during the Month of August, as it is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On Tuesday, I shared my entry for the Simple Woman’s Day Book.

On Wednesday, it was all about organization – organizing kitchen utensils, to be exact. How do you organize yours?

On Thursday, we learned a little bit about Lectio Divina, which is is Latin for praying the scriptures.

On Friday, we were fearless. It is the day dedicated to praying for each other. It was also the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, so my prayer theme was “Listen to Him.”

That was it for this week. I hope you all have a Blessed Sunday and a fabulous week. God bless you.

Fearless Friday: “Listen to Him”

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Today is the feast of the Transfiguration. In reading the mass readings for today, these verses particularly stand out:

“Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to Him.”

Today I am praying for the grace to be able to hear the voice of Jesus. I am praying for the grace to not let the the many cares of daily life from getting in the way of listening to His voice. I am praying for the grace to make time for prayer and reading His Word. I am praying for a deepening of my relationship with the Lord.

I am praying for this grace for each of you today, as well. I am praying that you have a deepening of your relationship with Jesus, that you grow ever closer to Him with each new day.

May our minds and hearts be transfigured unto Jesus.

What is your prayer intention for today? For this week? Please share at Free Spirit Haven so that we can pray with you.

Organizing Your Kitchen Utensils

This week’s theme for Works for me Wednesday is “your best bathroom or kitchen tip (organization, cleaning, etc.)”.  I have a  tip that will free up some drawer space (and save you a little time, as well):

If you have a lot of kitchen utensils (whisks, spatulas, kitchen hammer, etc) mixed up in a kitchen drawer, use a pretty vase or container to hold them instead. Rather than fishing through a drawer of utensils, you’ll be able to see and quickly grab what you need!

utensils

I personally use a wine bucket that I received as a complimentary gift from the hotel we stayed at during our honeymoon. I keep it on the counter between the stove and my knife set. It’s handy and makes getting what you need a breeze. 🙂

Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 3, 2010

SWDB
(You can read other Daybook journal entries here.)

FOR TODAY…Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Outside my window…there’s noise from our upstairs neighbors. They can be a bit loud and heavy footed when coming down the stairs. lol!

I am thankful for…Michael finding employment! He starts tomorrow. Thank you, Lord!

From the kitchen…Simple and quick meals this week! I want to do some baking again, too – if I can find the time.

I am wearing…my usual attire: long skirt, long-sleeved blouse, snood. I am discerning the level of “plain catholic-ness” that Lord is calling me to live. That’s a whole blog post (or series!) in itself, though. 🙂

I am creating…lesson plans and schedules for home-school. We home school year-round, but now that Andrew is kind of in first grade, we are starting a more structured program.

I am reading…Mostly blog posts, home schooling material, and the bible (always the bible!).

I am hoping…Our homeschooling year goes smoothly. Especially the reading. Andrew loves when I read to him, but when it comes to him practicing his letters, he can be quite uncooperative. 😯

I am hearing…the dishwasher. How can only three people make so many dirty dishes!

Around the house…there is clutter. Clutter used to bother me; but, now, I’d rather have a cluttered home and a happy family, than a sparkling house and an unhappy family. 🙂

One of my favorite things…vanilla ice cream! There’s nothing like a scoop (or two or three!) of quality vanilla ice cream. Well, actually, almost any ice cream, really! Ice cream is definitely my downfall. lol!

A few plans for the rest of the week… Nothing exciting. Just our usual routine.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…(“Somewhere, over the rainbow….”)

Rainbow

(Found photo here.)

August: The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Did you know that the month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? I didn’t know it was until just recently. It is also the month of two very special Marian feast days: Queenship of Mary (which when don’t celebrate this year because it’s a Sunday) and the Assumption.

Immaculate Heart

The best way to honor Our Lady is to honor Jesus. Whenever Our Lady appeared around the world, her main message has always been: peace, prayer, fasting, and conversion of heart. Here are 12 ideas for honoring Our Lady this month:

1. Go to Mass. The best way to honor Our Lady is to honor Jesus; and, what better way to honor Jesus than to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass? Sunday mass is a given. If you aren’t in the habit of going to daily mass, could you find at least one or two extra days during the week for mass?

2. Make time for adoration. Most churches are open at least several hours a day and many have perpetual adoration or specific adoration times. When you are out and about running your errands, why not stop by a nearby church to spend time with Our Lord? If you can’t get out to a church, you can visit Our Lord through online adoration, such as the one from savior.org.

3. Go to confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation). Our Lady often called us to be reconciled to God. Even if you aren’t aware of mortal sin, going to confession strengthens your relationship with the Lord, helps strengthen your resolve and growth in virtue and confirms you in grace.

4. Pray the rosary. Better yet, pray the rosary as a family. The rosary is a powerful prayer! It is, in reality, a meditation on the birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Our Lord. Need another incentive, read these 15 promises.

5. Read the Bible. To know the heart of Mary, get to know the heart of Jesus; and, of course, the best way to do this is to spend time praying the scriptures. Start with reading the mass readings of the day and then go from there.

6. Fast. Our Lady often asks for fasting. She recommends fasting Wednesdays and Fridays, but if you aren’t used to fasting, start small. Try fasting from one meal a week or whatever you feel called to do. Fasting doesn’t have to be about food either. You can fast from television, the computer or news. Again, let the Lord guide you (preferably with the guidance of a spiritual director).

7. Mortification. Mortifying oneself or offering sacrifices is not a popular subject nowadays. Still, mortifying ourselves helps us grow in virtue and strengthens our spirit. When we mortify ourselves, we also share in a tiny way in the redemptive act of Jesus. Very powerful, that! Some examples would be to smile when we don’t feel like it, being patient when it is difficult, eating something we don’t like or not eating something we do like. The opportunities are endless if we look with the eyes of our hearts.

8. Make a pilgrimage. You don’t have to go to Lourdes or Fatima to make a pilgrimage. You can make a trip a local grotto or statue of Our Lady and pray the rosary or other prayers.

9. Participate in a procession. Processions are a traditional custom for the Assumption. If your church or a neighboring church doesn’t have processions, you can have a little procession with your family.

10. Consecrate yourself and family. What better way to honor Our Lady and Our Lord than to consecrate yourself to the hearts of Jesus and Mary? You use a formal consecration prayer, or make up your own prayer.

11. Wear the scapular. The scapular is a sacramental that reminds us of our Lord and Our Lady. The scapular isn’t magic, but there are promises attached to the scapular as well.

12. Bring Mary some flowers. Another tradition is to place flowers at the feet of Mary, particularly on Saturdays. If you have a garden, some families grow a Mary’s garden and/or grow flowers just for Mary.

I hope these suggestions are helpful! Let the Lord guide your family in your devotions. What ideas do you have for honoring Mary? Share in the comments. 🙂

Fearless Friday: Prayers of Thanksgiving

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“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4

The Psalms are a wealth of inspiration for thanking and praising the Lord, aren’t they? 🙂

For today’s Fearless Friday I am offering prayers of thanksgiving. Prayers in gratitude for answered prayers and graces received.

You may recall that in last week’s Fearless Friday I prayed for those unemployed – including my husband who has been unemployed for many months. Well, he was offered the job he interviewed for this past Tuesday! He starts next Wednesday, so until he is actually working and gets his first paycheck, we are being cautious in our celebration; however, we are delighted and so grateful for this opportunity.

I have to tell on myself, though. As I was offering a prayer of thanksgiving, I realized that I don’t thank God as I should. Not even close to thanking Him enough. So often I am like those 9 out of the 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus and ran off to show themselves to the Pharisees and Scribes without any thought to giving thanks. How many ways does the Lord bless me each day that I don’t even realize or thank Him for?

In that vein, would you pray in thanksgiving with me?*

We praise and thank you, Lord for the countless blessings you bestow on us each day! Thank You for the new job Michael will be starting. Bless him and help him to do his work faithfully and well. We pray also Lord, for those still out of work. I know You will find work for them soon.

We thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You for opening our eyes to Your love and mercy. Open the hearts of all our family and friends and everyone else who do not know You or do  not love You. May their hearts be converted to Your loving ways.

We thank You Lord for all the joys, sufferings, hopes, failings and mundane activities of our day. We know that with You all the little and mundane activities of our day is elevated, transformed and made holy in Your sight.

And most importantly, Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you for lowering yourself into becoming like us, for working Your miracles upon the earth and proclaiming the Good News. We praise and thank you for suffering and dying a wretched death on the cross for us and for gloriously rising from the dead. We know that You are the mighty Victor, the one who is to come again! We praise You, we thank You, we glorify Your name!

We thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and remain present with us through Holy Mother Church and the sacramental life. We thank You for Your real presence in the Eucharist. We thank You for continuing to work in us and through us. We thank You for continuing to work miracles in our lives, whether we realize them or  not! We give you thanks, Jesus, for all things. Amen

What are you thankful for this week? What are your intentions this week? Leave your intention in the comments or better yet, head over to Free Spirit Haven and add your prayers. 🙂

(*I just made the prayer up from my heart, so please forgive any errors or omissions or faults the prayer has.)

Saint Martha, Pray for Us!

Saint Martha

Father,
your Son honored St. Martha
by coming to her home as a guest.
By her prayers
may we serve Christ in our brothers and sisters
and be welcomed by you into heaven, our true home.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

(Opening Prayer from the Feast Day Mass)

(Linked to Wordless Wednesday)

Tip for Keeping Track of Online Passwords

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This isn’t my usual kind of post, but I was changing/updating my passwords and thought I would share a little tip for storing and keeping track of all the passwords you have from the various websites, forums and groups you belong to. 🙂

A lot of people use Microsoft® Excel or other safe-guarded program on the computer. Personally, though, I’m not comfortable with storing my passwords on the computer. You never know when/if your computer is going to crash (mine has twice!) and if your backup fails, you’re in trouble.  Besides that, there is always the possibility of your computer being compromised, no matter how careful you are.

Here’s my tip:

Use an address book. Write in your user name and password for each site alphabetically in the address book and then you will have easy access to your passwords in case you forget. For example: I have my user name and password for my Facebook account filed under “F” and my user name/password for my Twitter account is filed under  “T”, etc.

For a long time, I just used a notebook dedicated to my list of passwords. It was convenient, but I would have to search through lists of passwords before finding the one I needed (if I couldn’t remember the password or where in the list I’d written it). The address book, on the other hand, is safe, convenient and organized – and that works for me!

Have your own system for storing and/or keeping track of your your passwords? Please leave a comment and share it with us!