my grammy’s no-bake cookies.

Fresh Scratch, No-Bake Cookies

Fresh Scratch, Grammy

Today would’ve been my Grammy’s 92nd birthday. Since her passing a little over a year ago, I have found myself flipping open the lid to her little tin recipe box whenever I miss her, inhaling the smell of her house and then closing it really fast so the magic doesn’t run out.

Her greatest hits were the baked goods, not the dinners. Spaghetti with huge pieces of leftover KFC tucked into the sauce comes to mind…

Nope, it was the berry pies, the banana bread, the cobblers, the cookies. For my grandpa’s birthday {he’s the Dewey mentioned in the card above} this month, all he wants is her apple pie, and so I will do my best. It won’t be the same, but he’ll pretend that it is.

Fresh Scratch, No-Bake Cookies

My favorite little gem in that recipe box is for these no-bake cookies, which I honestly do not recall her making. This is something the girls and I can whip up a batch of in no time, something that can happen after our days at school and before my energy level slides to less than zero.

Grammy's No-Bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2/3 c. peanut butter
  • 3 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1 T vanilla

Instructions

  1. Melt butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and milk together. Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  2. Remove pan from heat and add peanut butter, oats, and vanilla.
  3. Stir.
  4. Let thicken and cool a few minutes.
  5. Drop by the teaspoon full onto wax paper.
  6. Eat when cool.

Notes

Grammy originally used margarine - I don't. She also called for less oatmeal than is listed here - I found them to be a bit runny. I line cookie sheets with was paper and then chill them after dropping the cookies on them, just to hurry up the process. These keep just fine covered at room temperature for a few days. If they last...

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this is how it all went, part II.

White Converse

The camellias are popping, the daffodils are in full bloom, and my birthday is around the corner: there’s no denying that winter is coming to a close. I’m going to miss holing up in my kitchen, cooking hearty meals. Not that I can’t do that when it’s warmer, but it’s just not the same when there’s that nagging feeling that I should be outside. And I’m going to miss my sweaters and my tights and my boots!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s still chilly. We’re not quite there yet. Here’s how our winter went down during those long months after we got back from Maui:

 

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Clementine continues to be a ham. And she is our resident tech guru. Want to learn how to use Spotify? She’s your girl. Want to listen to the Spice Girls {my fault!} 24/7? She’ll hook you up. Want to find your phone filled with 40 of roughly the same selfie in a row? She’s on it!

 

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Annabelle was late to our family’s stomach flu ball game. It took us all by surprise right in the middle of her stretch of rehearsals for Charlotte’s Web. I thought it was bad when the rest of us had it at Christmas, but my big girl somehow managed to have it even worse. Skelator comes to mind.

I stayed home with her and we each managed to find a bright side. Mine was getting to see the sun come up, as I’m usually in my classroom at that time, where there’s no window, just a skylight. Perfect for film studies, but bad for my mental health. Annabelle’s bright side was watching one of her favorite movies, School of Rock, in between puking.

 

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When Annabelle is in a show, those rehearsal times are great for meeting a friend downtown. On one school night, Andrea, some lychee martinis, and I met at The Mark to catch up. We gabbed about all sorts of things, like our words of the year {mine: curiosity. hers: open.}, travel, and the awesome renovation happening in the upstairs of her book shop, Browsers. I left with a big smile on my face.

 

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We added a furry member to our family this winter, and I just sort of stormed in there and named her myself without asking my family. They keep reminding me of this. But I kind of don’t care. You’ll meet miss Gussy in a sec…

 

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The Mister and I enjoyed a very nice dinner out at Dillinger’s, where they have the fanciest Prohibition-era drinks. Such a hoppin’ place every single night, too. Dinner was a little faster than we’d expected, though, and we found ourselves with an extra half hour until our babysitter was done. And, so, parents – my gift to you: World Market is open until 9 pm!

 

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Clementine and I enjoyed a very snowy road trip to my parents’ place on the other side of the state to get our puppy. The ride was filled with her talking for over three hours before she ran out of things to say. She had intel on things like, “Hey, Mom? Do you know what density is? I do…blah, blah, blah.” She is like Buddy the Elf, people. There was also lots of road trip food and Coldplay.

It was a marshmallow world on top of Snoqualmie Pass! It was snowing hard, but we managed to stop to throw snowballs at one another. Then it was back in the car until Ellensburg, my college town. I promised to take her to the best coffee shop ever, D&M. I never would’ve dreamed back when I would study there that one day I’d stop in with my kid. It felt good to appreciate the quaintness of that little town on a snowy afternoon.

 

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And here’s our new girl. Meet Augusta Georgia. Or, as we call her, Gussy.

She’s not named after the location of the famous golf tournament, though they are one in the same. I mean, have you seen me play golf?! Instead, she’s named after the town where I went on my first date in ninth grade, just across the river from where I lived in South Carolina. She’s named after cheerleading, learning to drive, listening to Extreme’s “More Than Words” 50 zillion times, falling in love with “90210,” staying up all night after football games at my friend Shannon’s house, and guzzling gallons of sweet tea. The girls are mad still that I railroaded the entire name situation, but that’s a perk sometimes of being the mom.

 

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I loved this sign. It just felt like a triple-dog-dare.

 

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Snoqualmie Pass is getting way more hip. There is actually more than just a pancake house up there now. I totally recommend pulling off the road for some good beer and really awesome food at Dru Bru and The Pass Life. I am actually considering a family ski trip up there now that this is open – only I refuse to ski again. I just want to go sledding.

That’s what we did with Michelle & her guys. Michelle was my BABYSITTER, you guys! Our step-dads were on the same submarine when we lived in Connecticut, and our moms are still friends. It’s so fun that we each ended up in the PNW, one hour away from one another. We had a blast on the tubing hill, followed by cocoa with Bailey’s.

 

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Awesome pom pom heart, Bon Lemon!

 

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She’s a stunner. And she can shake “hands.” And she likes to sleep draped over my lap on the floor. What can I say? We are in puppy love together.

 

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For years, I have had zero luck locating any Babysitter’s Club books for Annabelle. I loved them in elementary school, so I was so bummed. But, lo and behold, they’re back as graphic novels. I bought Annabelle the first four for Valentine’s Day, and she read them in one day {!!}.

Also, I can now make London Fogs at home. This is thanks in part to stealing Annabelle’s frother and vanilla syrup that Grandma gave her for Christmas. They’ve both busted me on it, but I keep doing it…because y’all know I’m a rebel.

 

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In part I of this post, I mentioned that this year I got the best Christmas present ever. I was not exaggerating. Matt got me a food writing class taught by Molly Wizenberg {Molly! Wizenberg!} up at The Pantry in Ballard. I was so worried I would totally fan-girl it, but I think I did okay. Even when she sat by me the first day. Even when Ashley Rodriguez of Date Night In walked in right before things got started and took a seat. Phew!

Molly gave us some different bits of her favorite food writing pieces to study up on ahead of time. Some were beautiful, others were funny, some just weren’t my bag, but I learned something from each of them. I met ordinary women with extraordinary writing talent. I got called on a few times as the resident English teacher of the group {!!}. I gave Molly an essay that Clementine wrote for her about her podcast. She was delighted and shared it aloud with everyone. I wrote two pieces that I loved and got to share them aloud – something that always terrified me in the past. Now? Not so much.

I left feeling more than ever just so fortunate that I have a tiny little flame that I get to feed within me.

Between classes, Emily and I ate at Essex {and drank!}. And we ate {and drank!} at Le Pichet late in the afternoon and it was magnifique. We walked and walked and got seduced by Anthropologie and that crazy evening winter light at Pike Place. I bought treats every morning at Honore. It was such a gem of a weekend.

 

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My walk to work most mornings this winter has been shrouded in this kind of fog. I’ve loved it. I’ve been listening to one of my favorite Podcasts, The Simple Show, with Tsh Oxenrider lately.  I always learn something new and cool, even when I think I won’t. I am spending a lot of my {rare} quiet moments pondering episodes 20 and 23.

 

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I had my first Moscow Mule! I loved it! It didn’t make Friday come any faster, but for a half an hour it felt like it could.

 

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I am so confused by this poster in my school. How do today’s teenagers know the words to Walk on the Ocean by my boys Toad the Wet Sprocket?! And what year is it? When I walk by this each day, I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.

 

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This guy was sort of Lloyd Dobler-ing it on Valentine’s morning. Very cool.

 

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These are scenes from a day I claimed as my own over our mid-winter break. After a morning at Whole Foods in Tacoma {I came prepared with my cooler!}, I went to the Grand Cinema to see Spotlight, then grabbed a treat next door at Corina Bakery for the drive home. It’s one of my favorite little outings.

Speaking of Spotlight {reviewed here}, it has stuck with me. I can’t help but remember how badly I wanted to be an investigative reporter when I first got to college. The desire to dig in and do the hard work and tell the world about the stuff they should hear is still very much there, it turns out. It’s just a little thread, but I feel like it’s going to take me somewhere.

 

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Loved this “snow moon.” And I loved that it was not raining so I could actually enjoy it.

 

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I call this my “polka dots on polka dots” outfit. I love it more than I should.

 

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I have the best new para-educator helping me for 1/3 of my work day. She is absolutely perfect at what she does. She has made my professional life much easier. And she made me these kick-ass flowers.

 

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Annabelle’s been devouring her Food Network Magazine each month. She subscribed with her own moolah, and she cooks so much from each issue! Loved these banana split parfaits! {We have had many, many versions of parfaits lately. Thank you, Food Network.}

 

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Mama Nature ain’t messing around, people. Spring. It’s real.

 

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Best idea for dinner after a busy day: antipasto platter. All the odds and ends save the day! So does a glass of wine! It’s not pictured because it was in my hand. Which reminds me: Vito Corleone: “I like to drink wine more than I used to.” Michael Corleone: “That’s okay, Pop. It’s good for you.”

That’s right, Mikey. That’s right.

Drinking wine.

Sometimes it gets me from winter to spring. Almost there. Now go smell some daffodils.

xo, Mrs. Fresh Scratch