By the time the kids and I packed up for the mountains last weekend, I was due for a meltdown. I was beyond stressed and it felt like any little thing could push me over the edge. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to spend a couple days with my dad and family at a cabin near Tahoe. There was no service or TV – just some good ol fashioned card games and conversation. We took walks and the kids explored for frogs and threw rocks in the creek.
There was no fighting over nap time or bedtime because the kids were so worn out from running around and playing that they had no trouble falling asleep. I had no idea how much I needed that time off until we got back. Since then, I’ve tried to keep that idea of simplicity going now that I’m headed back into another semester of school and things are going to get even crazier around here.
That held true when I made some cookies today. I wanted to make some oatmeal raisin cookies and instead of pulling out my old standby – the America’s Test Kitchen Baking Book – I used the recipe on the back of the oatmeal container. My mom, who is still the best baker I know, often uses recipes on the packaging (like the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back on the Nestle Chocolate Chips bag, which is one of her best crowd pleasers) and I realized something about them – they’re simple.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar – firmly packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c raisins
You heat the oven to 375 and start the mixing. First, it’s the butter and sugars. Then you bring the egg, vanilla, oats, flour, baking soda and salt to the party. Add the raisins and you’re done! The recipe makes about 24 cookies, and if you’re feeling like I did today, you can even add some cinnamon sugar to the top of each cookie before baking. It called for an ungreased pan but my mama taught me to use parchment paper every time to save my pans.
That’s it! If you have some time and want to have a good laugh, pull out an old cookbook and compare it to the cookbooks now. It’s crazy how complicated the recipes have gotten.
Another thing I have done to keep things simple and easygoing around here is to make a routine and to stick to it, but to not freak out if it doesn’t go accordingly every day of the week.Oh, and naps. Lots of naps. And lots of these cookies.