Saturday, August 27, 2011

One week from today

This is where I will be 1 week from today... What a beautiful sight...
Last week the Wildcats hosted an open practice session at the stadium. They installed new turf this summer and it looks AMAZING!!! The purple will be sure to impress on TV.

The man himself... Coach Bill Snyder :)
The Brown Brothers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Girls weekend!

I have been a BAD blogger lately. Hunting season is coming up, so I am betting I will have a bit more spare time to devote to it. About a month ago my friend & spinning instructor, Stephanie, hosted a girls weekend at her lake house at Council Grove lake. We had a blast! I even went tubing... First time in decades?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Halfway Cookies

This seems like a long recipe but it is a super easy and VERY detailed recipe.

Halfway Cookie
Chewy Cookie on the bottom, marshmallow-like meringue on top, and with a layer of chocolate sandwiched in the middle... YUM!


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, separated
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks


9x13 baking dish
aluminum foil
parchment or wax paper


1. Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan: Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and fold them to match the width of the pan. Press one piece into the pan lengthwise and the other into the pan crosswise with the ends hanging over the sides of the pan. This makes it easy to lift the bars out of the pan once they're cooled. Spray the foil with nonstick coating.

2. Make the Cookie Dough: Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. Using a standing mixer, a hand mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter, the granulated sugar and just 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until this looks like smooth frosting.

Separate the eggs, reserving the whites. Mix the yolks into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time until they are completely absorbed, then mix in the water and vanilla. With the mixer at a low speed, add the flour mixture and beat gently until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough looks crumbly.

3. Add the Cookie Layer: Press the cookie dough gently into the pan with your hands, making sure the surface is even.

4. Add the Chocolate Layer: Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough and use your palms to press them slightly into the dough. This will help keep them from moving when you add the meringue.

5. Make the Meringue: Using a stand or hand mixer with a clean bowl and a clean whisk attachment, start whisking the egg whites. Gradually increase your speed to medium-high. When the egg whites are very frothy and look like loose foam, start adding the remaining cup of brown sugar a little at a time. Continue increasing your speed to the highest setting. When all the sugar has been added, continue whipping the meringue until it holds a soft peak. It should look like glossy, soft-serve ice cream.

6. Spread the Meringue on Top: Scoop the meringue down the middle of the pan. It will be very sticky! Use a spatula to gently spread the meringue from the middle to the edges. We found it helpful to skim meringue from the top and gradually push it outward.

7. Bake the Bars: Lightly press a piece of parchment or wax paper on the top of the meringue (this makes an even layer and protects the meringue from scorching). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment. Continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the edges look toasted and are pulling away from the sides of the pan.

8. Allow to Cool: Wait until the pan is completely cook before lifting out the bars and cutting them into pieces.

Additional Notes:

• To make a crunchier meringue layer, use granulated white sugar instead of brown sugar and beat the meringue until it forms firm peaks.

• You can also reduce the amount of sugar in the meringue down to 1/2 cup (minimum) if desired.

• Other ingredients can be used in place of or in addition to the chocolate chip layer! Consider things like peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, toffee bits, dried fruit, and fruit preserves.

Saturday fun

This past Saturday Aaron and I rented a tandem kayak, packed a picnic lunch and floated on Tuttle Puddle. I was elated that we never tipped.... And I only screamed when a fish jumped out of the water once. It was a perfect afternoon.