Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Hey everyone! It has been the picture perfect fall day, in Sonoma County today.  With weather like this, baking was calling my name. I was given a new Kitchen Aid Mixer for my birthday last week and I finally got to use it! I didn’t have a ton of time today, so I needed to make something sweet and it needed to be quick and easy. These cookies were super quick to make, and are super tasty! If you are a chocolate desert person like me, you are going to love these cookies.

Happy Baking!

Walnut Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 tbsp soften butter 1 stick
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips semi sweet

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven at 350 degrees. 

    Add butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar together in bowl. Use mixer until ingredients are creamed together. 

    In separate bowl combine your dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. After dry ingredients are mixed together, add your dry mixture to your wet mixture. 

    After cookie dough is mixed together, fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. 


Recipe Notes

I cooked my cookies on my top rack in an electric oven. They ended up being perfect at 8 minutes. 8 minutes they were soft and chewy. 10 minutes still chewy but a crispier bottom. 

The Land of ” Hella” Northern California

 

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We have been living in Santa Rosa, California for about 5 months now. I love it here. I have met great people, tasted amazing wine and beer, and I’ve eaten tasty food! Santa Rosa is an hour north of San francisco ( Wine Country!) Funny enough, we moved here for BEER! Russian River Brewery is expanding their brewery and the company Jordan works for ( how we travel full time) is in charge of the beer tanks, lines basically anything the beer will flow through. Have you heard of Russian River Brewery? If you like West Coast IPA’s I’m sure you have. Pliny the Elder or Pliny the Younger ring a bell? Their triple and double IPA are pretty famous brews. Not to mention they make awesome sours!

Moving here right after the Sonoma Fires, housing was a struggle. We were not able to stay in our fifth wheel RV on this job. We got an apartment, and in all honesty having a full-size tub has been nice! Living in an apartment with no yard, we still have to get creative to get our nuggets tired. I use to just take them to local dog parks, but Max stopped having fun. He was getting really protective over Louie, and crazy barking at every stranger. Thank god for Dillon Beach!

We go to Dillon Beach at least once a week, if not twice! It’s a private beach that is completely dog friendly. Dogs are allowed to be off leash, as long as they are trained. The boys love this place! they go insane! Running up and down the sand dooms, hopping through the waves, and digging for crabs. I like to go during the weekday morning because there is no one out there. We love having the beach to ourselves! The rolling hills before you arrive on the beach is breath taking. It’s like a warmer version of Ireland. Green hills, and cows just chillin.

I feel like our move to Santa Rosa was good reset button for us. We were able to clean out our camper and do a deep clean and get some repairs done. I have been working at a local tap room, which I love.  I have loved having a normal size tub, but I am missing my house on wheels. Soon enough! I can’t wait to show more of Northern California with you. We tried to do highway 101 into San Francisco last weekend, but I got crazy car sick. I know, lame! We will do it soon though! I also want to take a day trip up to Mendocino soon.  Let me know what your favorite Northern California spots are! We love taking weekend trips!

This place is Hella cool! It should be on everyones Travel Bucket-list!

 

 

The Kid-less Friend

IMG_6465Scrolling through my social media feeds all I see is ” Moms question on this” or Moms what’s your favorite this.” No one ever says ” Kid-less person what’s your take on this” or “Kid-less person whats your opinion on that.”  My most favorite thing, is if you have an opinion on a child acting like the spawn of satan, you will get a ” You will understand once you have kids.”  Nope. Pretty sure I don’t need special mommy super powers to spot an asshole 10 year old.

” This girl is my best friend, we do everything together.” ( insert picture of mom and 5 year old) Really? We’ve come to this? I’ve been replaced by 5 year olds. She can’t even drink. I’m sure she has great insight on Paw Patrol, but does she know the gossip about The Real House Wives of Beverly Hills? If she does, you’re a shit mom. All jokes aside. I get it. I am pretty sure my dogs are my best friends. IMG_8101.jpg

I thought I was ready to have children a couple years ago, nope. I was at my friends house with her kid and our other friend joined us with her kid. I brought my niece. Looking back at this day, I totally used my niece as a test pilot. ( sorry Morgan) Anyway, I thought we would let the little nugget loose in the backyard and have a glass of wine, or a beer,  I would of settled for a snack. The conversation turned into birth stories, dark nipples, baby blowouts, sleeping 2hours a night and natural vs pain killer delivery (Take the drugs, duh.) The question I tapped out on was, Did you eat your placenta?  I knew right then, I was nowhere near mature enough to have children.

 I love all my friends, and their little nuggets. This is a stage of my life, where I am focused on growing and creating who I want to be. My friends are focused on growing themselves and tiny humans, I get it. Everyones tired.

My 27, senior citizen self will keep posting  pictures of my fur babies while you post cute pictures of your babies.

 

Pecan Chocolate Chip Brownies

 

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 Welcome back to my tiny kitchen. The weather has been blah here in Carson City NV. Brownies seemed like the perfect solution yesterday. I love baking brownies, they are really hard to mess up. You don’t have to worry about them rising, or being over done. Everyone likes a little bit of chewy brownie edge.  Cooking in an RV oven, I will take any help that I can get. These brownies came out so good, and so tasty. I doubled my recipe. The guys Jordan works with are all working away from home too, so I like to send him to work with some homemade goodness.

Pecan Chocolate Chip Brownies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup All- purpose flour
  • 1/8 Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans If you don't like nuts, add another 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Stick Butter 3Tablespoons

Instructions

  1. In a bowl stir together all dry ingredients, flour, salt, cornstarch, and coco powder. In a separate bowl, mix together softened butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. As you mix the wet mixture gradually add the dry mixture until it all comes together.
  2. Chop your Pecans if not already chopped. Stir in Pecans and Chocolate Chips. Grease 8x8 pan ( or 13x9 if doubling recipe.) Place brownie mixture evenly in pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Check with toothpick until center of pan comes out clean.

No-Rise, Sweet Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

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These no yeast, no rise Cinnamon Rolls are sooo good, and they take less than a hour to make! I wish these were healthier, because I could eat the whole pan! These are great for a sweet treat, or weekend breakfast. I love cinnamon rolls, and this is a perfect no hassle version!

What you need

Cinnamon Rolls

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

1 cup of butter milk

3 cups flour, 1/3 cup for dusting

Filling

4 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze

6 tablespoons of heavy cream ( or milk)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Use spray and grease muffin tin.  Mix together your dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix your egg, butter, vanilla and sugar in a separate bowl. Gradually combine your flour mixture into your wet mixture, until everything is mixed together. Your dough will be a little sticky, so don’t be afraid to dust it a bit in the bowl while you kneed it together

Combine filling mixture in separate bowl.

After dough is kneed together, dust counter and rolling pin with flour. Roll out your dough. Make sure you keep it all the same thickness. You want your middle to be the same thickness as the middle.  Spread out filling mixture across dough.

Roll up dough and cut into 2inch rounds. Place cinnamon rolls into greased muffin tin. Bake for 13-15 minutes. check at 12min.

Combine glaze mixture in separate small bowl.

Let the cinnamon rolls cool for 15 minutes before glazing. I took mine out of the pan before glazing, they popped right out.

I think these yummy cinnamon rolls taste best warm, so just heat them up for 15 second in the microwave for next day munching! 🙂

 

 

Midnight in Paris

 

” But Paris After Midnight is Magic.”

   Walking around Paris at night is a dream. We arrived late afternoon and started walking the city. It was to late to go into any of the attractions, but somehow it worked out in our favor. Seeing Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower all lit up was magic.

We walked along the Seine River and ate at this awesome outdoor pizza place. Everything was handmade and simple, like a lot of places in Paris. Our hotel was located in the Bastille Neighborhood. The Metro was a block from our hotel. We stayed at Ibis Paris Bastille Opera 11th Hotel, it was a 2-3 star hotel. Simple, clean and everything you need to sleep, because that is all the time you will spend there.

The neighborhood we stayed in was perfect. It was off the tourist path and we had shops, bars, Metro and a market right next to our hotel. I love the Parisian Cafe seen. You buy a bottle of wine and hang out side on a little two top table. It didn’t matter if it was a Tuesday, these people were out socializing, having a cigarette and sharing a glass of wine. I think there is something we can all learn from the Parisians, besides the smoking.

Even though I love wine, my husband, Jordan was wined out. We found an Irish pub, with an Australian bar tender that drank as much Guinness as he served. This man, I still can’t remember how to spell his name ( Timenea) grew up a sheep herder in Southern Australia. He didn’t like that life, so he moved to Romania, worked at a hotel and then ended up working at a Irish Pub in Paris. Pretty wild, right?

(Timenea) introduced us to Andy, an English man that was working on a wealthy Sheikh’s horse property outside of Paris. As the night went on, so did the shots of Jameson and pours of Guinness. The Aussie teased the Britt about his love for the queen, or as Andy called it ” His Queenie.”  As the night grew later ( Timenea) invited us to his apartment. He said it was just down the road, so why not. Three miles later we arrived. ( Timenea) was super eccentric and a bit out there, but thats what made you want to know more.

We drank beers and talked about politics, differences between all of our countries, and the similarities. Everyone was really drunk and loud, and it was great. I am sure I could of gotten some great insight, but we were all too many beers past that. I do remeber lots of laughing though.

After a wicked hang over and 2 hours of sleep we barely made our flight home. When I told people we were going to Europe,  ” that will be so fun” was always followed by ” be careful.” Yes, there are things you should be aware off, just like anywhere. Are you a tourist or a traveler? Making local friends and being invited in to his home, was such a highlight on our trip.  The night at an Irish Pub in the middle of Paris was my favorite night of our trip.

Catacombes de Paris

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Paris is a beautiful city. Full of bright colors, flowers architecture and street vendors. It’s easy to forget a cities dark history with modern day beauty all around. Thats why it was so crazy seeing the Catacombs.

Down 120 meters, below the sewer, below the Metro, and below the city water table, lies the Catacombs of Paris. To get into the tomb, you walk down a cement spiral staircase forever. As you step down each step, you can feel the temperature drop. You get an audio guide, and you walk about on your own.

Hearing the history of the Catacombs is truly wild. If you are not a history person, you can skip around at your own pace.

The feeling you get down in the Catacombs is hard to put into words. Before you go down into the tombs, you are just excited to do something creepy and cool. Then you get down there, and you realize all these bones were once living people.

Guinness Brewery, Dublin

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Guinness Brewery is like Willie Wonka Factory for beer loving adults. The beer really does taste different there, it’s the freshest Guinness you will ever taste! The tour they created was really neat. They did a great job explaining the brewing process, where they get their ingredients, how much beer they produce and how they became one the most recognized beers around the world. All this information is super cool, if you are beer nerds like us.

After the 45 minute tour, you go into the tasting room and learn the proper way to drink a Guinness. Just drink it right? Wrong! I learned something new. I usually don’t like the first few sips of my Guinness because all I would get is foam. Well, I was drinking it wrong. No Sipping! You have to drink through the foam and earn a Guinness Mustache! ( Picture above shows my prideful mustache)

After the tour and the tasting you get to go up the gravity room at the top of the brewery and receive your pint of beer. You can have someone pour it for you, or you can learn to pour your own Guinness. The perfect pour! The Guinness Brewery was one of my favorite tours. I highly recommend coming here, if you are planning on coming to Dublin!

Lake Winnemucca& Round Top Lake

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This place is a piece of heaven, right outside Carson City. It only took us a 1 hour to get to the trail head. We spent the day with our pups, our two friends and their pup. We had so much fun. I would be lying if I said this hike did not challenge me!

We did the 5 mile loop that went around Lake Winnemucca and Round Top lake. Next time we go, I will have to suck it up and of the extra 2 1/2 miles to Forth of July Lake, at the tippy top of the mountain. The people coming down that trail looked like mountain goats. The incline was pretty nuts.

The trail head was 8200ft elevation and we gained another 1200ft by the time we got to the lakes. The work to get to these two lakes was so worth it! The scenery and views are epic. Thank you, man at the dog park for suggesting this hike!

Here is a site that has some more info about this location if you are ever in the area!The Out Door Project

Travel Tips for the Best Getaway

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Myrtle Beach
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Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory aka Heaven!
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Savannah Georgia
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Northern California and Redwoods with our niece Haddy Paddy 

Being in a new location every couple of weeks or every few months has made me pretty savvy ” Experience Finder.”  Every town no matter how little has had fun things to do and experiences to be had. Even Price Utah.

There are different ways I go about travel/tourist deals, and I going to share my secrets with you! So the next time you are countries, states or a few hours away for a break from your every day routine, think of these tips. They can save you money, and bring to light things in the area you didn’t know existed.

Favorite Sites

  • Pinterest. I love a good visual from other peoples point of view. Getting feed back about their experience rather than reading a travel brochure gives me better insight.
  • Groupon. I know this site is super popular, and I have had great luck with it. This site is great for deals, and gives you more ideas of things to do in the area. For intense, we were in Virginia and wanted something to do on the weekend. Beer Festival tickets popped up. Perfect! We like beer, we like food, and tickets were %50 off!
  • Trip Advisor. One of my favorites. I have booked many hotels from here. I like how people can take their own pictures of the rooms and grounds of the hotel. Have you ever booked a hotel because it looks sooo pretty online, and then you get there and the pictures haven’t been updated in 20+ years? I have, and its a bummer!

My Travel Tips

  • Travel in the Off Season. Sometimes you can’t get around traveling in the peak of the season, but if you can its the best. We went to Virginia beach with our dog Max. Dogs are allowed on the beach anytime before May 29th. After the 29th, they are allowed before 6am and after 7pm. Good thing we went May 15th! Max was one happy pup playing in the sun! No lines is always a bonus too!
  • Ask the locals.  If you are going to be in a spot for a while, stop by a local cafe and ask what is the best thing todo while you are there? I bet they will have different answers than the internet. I have found my favorite food places, bars, hikes and shopping doing this.
  • Do something new. It has always been a wonder to me why people do the same vacation year after year. I have grown the most trying new and going somewhere new. Its good for the soul. Close your eyes and pick a spot on the map!
  • Do what the locals do. When in Rome Right!? For real though, when you are in Denver CO catch a Broncos game, or a Giants game in San Fransisco. If you are not a Journey fan, San Fransisco will make you one!
  • If you will regret it later, make sure to do it. We landed in Washington DC when everyone was in DC. That’s how it felt anyway. So many lines, and the heat and sweat, and more people. I have always wanted to go to all the museums though, and thats what we were going to do. I had to see the Constitution. We waited in line, it wasn’t that cool, but if  I didn’t do it I would regret it. So I am super happy we got to see the not so cool Constitution.