Friday, November 14, 2008

New Recipe Fun Friday - Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jacqui baked these for one of Rachel's American Heritage Girls meetings. She said she'd worked out a recipe she liked & was surprised to find it on the back of Blue Bonnet margarine as it's posted here. Stan & Caleb are going on their first ever Boy Scouts camp-out this weekend so I thought it'd be a nice time to try out the recipe to send with them.

I used the milk chocolate chips which Stan prefers and only used 1.5 t vanilla since I use real Mexican vanilla rather than extract. Do not grease the cookie sheet & do not double the recipe.

My dough-balls were aprox. 1.5 T producing 28 cookies.

I baked them 13 minutes. They wanted to stick to the baking sheets. I think they'd be good with nuts in them or M&Ms instead of the chips.

The cookies are moist yet hold together well and don't seem to be sticky. I'd let you know how well they last, but ours are already gone. :-)

If you want to participate in Recipe Fun Friday, it's quite simple. Just head type out or post a link to a new recipe that you've tried this week and then head over to Nikki's blog to link up! Thanks for sharing, Dayna!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Partying with the Big Boys

Here's the invitation:

It was my first time at GRG. It's the only rock climbing facility I've ever been to so I recommend it.
I liked the charts showing the difficulty level of the labeled climbs - not that I was doing any climbing. This time.
I learned how put on a waist harness & to tie the special knots - double figure eight & the circle round twice & thread the hole to make an X thingie. Mebbe I could be a Boy Scout now? :-)
I also learned terminology like on belay& belay on plus how to properly keep slack out of the climbers rope, how to brake and how to let them down. Fast can be fun. :-)

I liked that there were several different types of climbing available including this tunnel that Jacob tried to defy gravity within.

It didn't take too long for the climbers to begin examining the wall to plot their ascention rather than beginning their climb with no plan. They were also good at helping each other: "That green one to your left has a good hold."

Kings of the rock mountain: Caleb, Joel, Mitchell, John & Keifer.

Jacob climbs around a corner while Maryn watches. Matthew is belaying for Andrew.

Andrew & Matthew race up the beginner wall while Stan & I belay.

Stan belays Robert while Rachel waits for a turn. Matthew is belaying Andrew who is at the top. Can you tell how high the walls are?

Rachel skurries up the wall like a squirrel with Dad holding her safety rope.
Jared & Mitchell kept up a running dialogue: "Don't make me laugh. You made me fall!" "You can climb higher than that. I'm not letting you down until you go higher" "You have to climb as high as I can climb. See if you can beat me."

There are several walls to climb without needing to be secured. Notice the nice thick padding on the floor. Notice also how the wall curves overhead for the climbers. Keifer looks impressed with Jacob & Andrew's mad skills.

We told them that we wanted them to climb until they were exhausted then we'd take them to Cici's to pig out. Jacob said Mitchell had a comfy belly. I'll take his word on it.

I liked this photo because everyone is in it. L to R
Back row: John, Caleb, Robert, Joel
Middle: Rachel, Mitchell, Andrew, Matthew
Front: Jared, Keifer, Maryn peeking over Jacob's shoulder - how sweet.

Disembarking at Cici's Pizza, everyone was ready for the pizza eating contest.

Here's some hungry fellas (and Rachel) chowing-down big-time. Clockwise from bottom left: Robert, Andrew, Matthew, Stan, Rachel, Caleb, John (that's his "I just burnt my mouth!" expression) and Joel.
Andrew to Joel: "You can't stop at 29! You must eat just one more piece so you can say you ate 30!"
Joel later in the Beast: "Stop! When I laugh my stomach hurts!"

At the older, more mature table, Keifer puts pizza in Jared's hair. Is he aiming for his ear? Mitchell sits back with no problems. Jacob & Maryn pig-out. I think they said Maryn ate 8 pieces. That may be a record for her.

Yes, a couple brought some extra bucks for the gameroom.

After having a big salad for dessert (I'll mention no names, Matthew), the last passenger was ready to re-board. We did stop at a Wallyworld to break-up the return drive a bit. Pizza produces unbelievable combustability humerous to teens sounds horrible smells needs to be walked off. They brought their laughter inside with them but Stan warned them not to get too rowdy or they might get to wear some shiny bracelets & we didn't want to have to explain that to their parents.

On the way home, we had the "adventure". When we were on a lonely patch of highway and 4/5 of the cell phones along for the ride had no signal, the Beast lost a belt. My dear hubby had already purchased a new belt which was in the back - we've dealt with this problem before - but had removed his tool box since we don't drive the Beast much anymore > costs too much to feed. Passengers had been toying with doing a Chinese fire drill all night. Playing around the broken-down beast beside the road seemed to fulfill that desire well enough. For some reason, several wanted to pull their arms into their shirts - not that it was COLD. Only breath smokin' weather. I actually think they just wanted to run around flapping funny arms in the hope of garnering sympathy with passing drivers:
"Look Martha! There's some poor short-armed handicapped youngin's thet think they can fly. Mebbe we should offer them a lift or just toss money."
"No, Herby! It's aliens! I know! I saw critters thet looked jest like thet one night on the X Files!"
Whatever they thought, no one stopped.

Jared came to the rescue contacting his dad & the dad his favorite (only) son-in-law. After Tim arrived with tools, he & Stan replaced the belt & the Beast was alive again within 15 minutes.

We didn't get everyone home when we expected but didn't have to camp along side the swamp. PTL!

Rock climbing & pizza with your friends? FUN!
An adventure you'll remember for years that will grow with the telling? PRICELESS!