Archive for Autumn Living

Autumn Combo Cookie

     I took the time late this afternoon to make these cookies just because I felt like it….and wouldn’t you agree that  nothing  makes a home smell better than cookies in the oven?   Like most good cookie recipes these take very little time….don’t you love that about cookies? This is a conglomeration of recipes I’ve seen over the years that I’ve tweaked to just the way I like it…..but it’s very forgiving and can be played with even more. Gotta warn you though, this version is pretty darn good! Make a batch or two and see if you don’t get some instant love going on at your house.



M&M Peanut Butter Cookies



2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs 

1 tsp vanilla 

1 1/2 cups M&Ms (divided)



Step #1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the baking soda, baking powder, and salt with the flour…….sifting it all together is a great way to do this……in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Combine the next ingredients in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, or in the bowl you use for mixing with your hand-held mixer.

Step #2: Using your electric mixer (or it can be done by hand) beat the butter, shortening, and the peanut butter until nice and smooth. Add white sugar and brown sugar and beat until well blended.

Step #3: Add the eggs one at a time….mix a little between each addition….then mix in vanilla.

Step #4: Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time mixing each time until well blended.

Step #5: Fold 3/4 cup of the M&M’s into the batter, distributing it as evenly as possible.

Step #6: For really big cookies, scoop out dough using a heaping Tablespoon measure and drop balls onto a cookie sheet. Or actually use a bigger measure to make gigantic ones if you like. Be aware that if you use the  rounded heaping Tablespoon measure you should only bake 6 or 8 cookies at a time so they will not run into each other…..even fewer if making the super large ones. If you use a teaspoon measure you can bake a dozen at a time as in most recipes. With a fork dipped in granulated sugar, flatten each ball slightly making a criss-cross pattern on each.

Step #7: Top each batch of unbaked cookies with remaining M&Ms. Bake in the oven about 9-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11-12 minutes for crispy. After letting them sit for a minute or two remove the cookies from the baking pan with a spatula. Let cool on rack.


HINT: As with all cookies it’s best to  take them out of the oven right before they look done to you. They will continue to bake for a short time after they are removed! Experiment with each cookie recipe you bake to get them just the way you and your family likes them. Enjoy!



I’m linking to:

Inspire Me Tuesday

Foodie Friday

Full Plate Thursday

Saturday Sparks

What’s Cooking Wednesday

Fabulous Fall Linky Party

Favorite Things Thursday  @

September Garden



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     It has been a long and toasty summer.  Granted not the hottest on record, but by anyone’s standard it has been hot and dry.  After all, this is the desert southwest.  So here we are at the end of September, breathing a collective sigh of relief while we look forward to eight months of absolutely glorious weather. It is now our outdoor season, our gardening season. I’m doing my little seasonal happy dance! With that in mind we have been doing more and more work outdoors…..tidying up the spent summer plants, planning what to put into the fall and winter garden, and getting ready to plant our winter lawn.

     As I was watering this morning I happened to take a closeup of the leaves from one of our San Diego transplants. Actually I was trying to see how close I could get without having to go back inside to get my  macro lens,  but that’s another story.  In any event the way the sun was shining down upon the glistening leaves…..well let’s just say they were begging to be photographed. We planted some of these a few years ago and most of them seem to love being here.  Of course they need a little “babying” during our summers but otherwise they are thriving.


       Recently  I was reading  that scientists say  plants actually cry out for water when they need attention…we just haven’t heard them because the sounds made by a thirsty plant are about five times higher pitched than we can hear.  These scientists, using tiny specialized microphones, have heard corn plants, for instance, calling out for water. Isn’t that amazing? There’s a very interesting article about it  here .

There’s no doubt that without a consistent supply of water our plants cannot thrive or even survive.  I’m reminded that as humans we are the same way.  Physically we need our water!  I believe also that spiritually we need water…..the word of God.  In Ephesians 5:26  the Word is spoken of as water….we need consistent watering with the Word……it cleanses us… sustains us in all circumstances. Many times our hearts cry out and no one else seems to be able to  hear. There are even times when we don’t know what our hearts are crying out for……we are simply thirsty!

It is at times like these that we need a good watering!  Unlike our plants, however, we need to do our own watering. It is up to us to spend time in the Word. No one else can do it for us. Just as on those hot summer days the last thing we want to do is step outside and water our plants, there are days we just don’t feel like taking time to open our Bibles. We have so much going on!  Still, our plants depend on their watering and we depend on ours! When we water liberally, both physically and spiritually, what a blessing follows……our gardens grow and so do we!

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Linking to:

Floral Friday Fotos

Today’s Flowers

InspireMe Monday