creativelifetolive

using everything he gave me… this is my creative life to live.

The Perfect No Bake Cookie – Step by Step July 4, 2012

RED, WHITE and BLUE

and NO BAKE COOKIES

These are the perfect treat for the 4th of July!  These tasty chocolate cookies don’t sport the typical red, white and blue flare that you might expect from a 4th of July snack but I never forget to make these the night before because if frozen – they are ideal to pack in your picnic basket before heading out to the lake, pool or park!  I freeze mine in a Costco size cream cheese container in advance and grab them on our way out the door.  They are delicious frozen and don’t melt  into a puddle of chocolate oatmeal sauce while you play on the water. 

Many of my friends have asked for step by step directions for my No Bake Cookies – Enjoy!

In a medium size saucepan melt 3 tbls cocoa, 2 c sugar, 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c butter.  Stir occasionally until  it reaches a gentle boil.  Boil gently for 1 minute then remove from heat.

Stir for 30 -60 seconds allowing your chocolate mixture to cool slightly

then add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 c peanut butter. 

This step is the make or break it step!  Be sure NOT to add the peanut butter while the mixture is to hot.  This is the most common mistake.  If the temperature is too hot, your peanut butter will break down and your cookies will not set up and remain a shiny, gooey mess. 

Stir until the peanut butter is completely combined and your chocolate

mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Add 3 cups Quaker Quick Oats and stir until well combined.

4) Drop by heaping tablespoon on to wax or parchment paper and allow to set for about 30 minutes.  Most often I use a 1″ cookie scoop but sometimes I vary the scoop size for larger cookies all the way to a full size ice cream scoop.  If you use a larger scoop, gently press the top center of the heap with the rounded underside of the scoop to flatten each one as you go.

Ta-da!  The perfect No Bake Cookie!  Ready to eat or freeze. 

They freeze well up to 2 months in an airtight container. 

*Tip from my kitchen to yours:  If you make cookies in the quantity that I do as you’ve seen in previous posts then I recommend you pre-portion your dry ingredients into ziplock baggies.  In my cupboards I keep a 2 gallon ziplock that has 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 3 c oatmeal in each one and 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 2 c sugar and 3 tbls cocoa.  All I need to do in a pinch is grab one bag of each and add the milk, butter, vanilla and peanut butter. 

 

Our Birthday Bloomsday Weekend Fun May 7, 2012

Our weekend started a gift from Ethan that he created with Linda, his teacher!  It is just darling and we will treasure it always!  It was a wonderful surprise to come home to after my volunteer shift at the Bloomsday tradeshow!

Our weekend continues with the arrival of Grandpa, Auntie Rachie & boyfriend Jayson and Cousin Riley who are all in town for Bloomsday.  We carbed up on Spaghetti and garlice bread and settled in to a good nights sleep! 

Saturday morning we all ventured out to watch Ethan’s final swimming lesson with Daddy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He did so great but daddy did say that Ethan was a little more skiddish about the water slide finale this time around.   His still came down smiling and doing great though!  We were even able to get video that I’ll try to share soon!

Our little “Shrimp/Kipper” has graduated his second series of swim classes!  Michael Phelps, watch out!

Every year David and I celebrate our holiday birthdays (May Day & Cinco de Mayo) by having a great meal with friends and family.  This year  – the big 35 is upon us and we decided that with Ethan’s birthday bash just around the corner we’d better do a much smaller gathering so that I still have energy left for all our new parenting activities.  So we fired up the grill and served ribs with salads and all the fixings!  My ribs are not given justice by this photo but they are pretty tasty!  My own spice rub blend and bbq sauce make for good eats and future summer time grilling blog post.  Stay tuned…

 

 I threw in some new recipes that sounded very “pinteresting!”  Check out theloadedbowlrecipe and cornandblueberrysalad  – YUM!   Three cakes finished off the meal: My Banana Cake, Blueberry Cheesecake (just because it sounded good) and this year for David – Strawberry Cake with Lemonade Cream Cheese Frosting which put us all in a food coma for sure!  More on these great summer recipes to come!

I love when we can all get together and just visit, laugh and now watch all our little kiddos skamper about! 

    

 It amazes me how quickly the children grow! 

Even the newest member to our group – Noah 🙂

 

 So we are carbed up, rested and ready to race! 

Bloomsday 2012 – HERE WE COME!

 

 

My goal: 1hr 20 min – Actual: 1hr 23 min – ugh! 

But I finished 🙂 

 Everyone did a great job and congrats to Rachie and Jayson on their first of many Bloomsday victories!  Off to the corporate cup tent I went for good eats and massage – then after picking Ethan up from Grandma’s we headed home to hit the hot tub!  Which is exactly where we found grandpa and company already relaxing in the sun!

The perfect way to finish celebrating Bloomsday is this – amazing waffles hot off the greatest birthday gift ever!  My father completely refurbished this industrial waffle iron for me and it is the coolest thing I’ve seen!  It pumps out waffles like you wouldn’t believe and boy they were tasty!  Thanks Dad!!!

 As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end… and Grandpa has to say goodbye for about 4 weeks until Ethan’s first birthday.  Oh what seriously silly fun I have in store for us the week of my angels special day.  I thank God for my family, friends and all those who add joy and light to our lives!  You are all loved! 

  

“God be with you ’til we meet again…”

 

Our First Easter with Ethan April 9, 2012

You are more loved than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you.
 ~Romans 5:8
 
Ethan awoke to some gifts from the Easter Bunny!
 
 
Lovely spring weather, a fabulous brunch with our loved ones and Ethan’s first Easter egg hunt all contributed to making this a day worth remembering for a lifetime.  Miles really showed Ethan how to round up those eggs and was so sweet when saying his goodbyes.  He made sure to give a hug and kiss to everyone.  He is such a sweet boy and will be a wonderful big brother!  Our little lovey was happy to spend time with Grandma and Neil, Uncle Paul, his godmother Alicia and family and enjoyed a little of our Easter ham and homemade bread. 
 

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My two days of cooking and preparing our brunch was worth it as the meal and desserts were all well received.  My first Easter brunch menu included cranberry glazed ham, honey bacon, quiche brownies, orange cream french toast, lemon cream pancakes with blueberry orange sauce, fresh fruits with sauces, deviled eggs, cheesy wheat spirals, cocunut cream pie, sugar cookies, chocolate mint brownies, chocolate pudding cupcakes, “peep”-tinis and David’s Kool-aid creation.  I even attempted homemade bread in the shape of a bunny but he looked a bit more like a turtle.  He was a tasty loaf none-the-less. 

I’m quite pleased with my centerpiece and have even prepared a condensed version of it to take to work and share some left-over Easter treats with my work “peeps.”  

As usual I didn’t get to photograph my entire buffet before the digging in commenced but I will try to post recipes with pictures very soon. 

I can’t think of a better way to have spent an afternoon than to look to God with gratitude for his love, sacrifice and many gifts, to warm our spirits, hearts and tummy’s with laughter and joy and to watch our son learn and grow before our very eyes. 

 

Air Tight Candy Storage – Colorful Too! February 21, 2012

I came up with these about two years ago, originally to sneak a bottle into the movie theatre… shhhh! don’t tell on me!  Number 1, I hate the sound of rustling bags in a quite theatre and Number 2 – movie candy = “CHA-CHING!”

Since I started doing this I’ve added all kinds of flavors to my movie wall including Mike & Ikes, Mentos, Golfish and even Sour Patch Kids.  The SPK don’t come out super easy but they are colorful and they stay fresh, soft and chewy!  Today I added my long lost love – Skittles!  Just thought I would share this fun tip!

Now hit the dollar store and load up on candy!

 

A New Year… 2012 January 2, 2012

Filed under: about me,faith,family,resolutions,traditions — cyurik @ 9:12 pm

I have survived the holidays!  Survived probably isn’t the right word because I LOVE the holidays.  It is my time of year where everything around me glitters and I shine!  When I packed up Christmas yesterday (an all day event in our house) I was a little saddened as things seem plainer now without all the trees and lights.  My reward for my hard work though is the New Year! 

And so comes to mind the tradition of making RESOLUTIONS.  It’s hard to resist the opportunity of a new beginning, to leave the past behind and put the worries of the last year to bed.  Who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins?  Is it a day on a calendar, a birthday, or a new year?  I think its an event.  Any event, big or small.  Something that changes you and ideally gives you hope.  A new way of looking at the world, of looking in the mirror even.  Letting go of bad habbits (bye-bye Christmas cookies!) and even old memories…  It’s up to each of us to take on the task of letting go and moving forward, but I for one love to make resolutions upon the dawning of the new year.  Sure I might break them but what is the harm in setting a goal and going for it?

I guess what’s important is that we never stop believing that we can always have a new beginning and that amidst all of the chaos, there are always a few things worth working towards.

 

My 2012 Resolutions

 

Weight/Training/Running

1) Hit a PB (personal best) at this year’s Bloomsday Race!

2) Lose 10 lbs.  I hit my pre-pregnancy weight four months after delivery but I was 10 lbs to heavy in my book when we conceived.  Time to tone it back up!

3) Be active every day!  This doesn’t mean I hit the treadmill for an hour run every day but at least be active in some manner…  Maybe walking with the girls at lunch, or with my family after work, working out, taking 8 flights of stairs instead of the elevators at the office, dance party with my baby, dance party on our xbox kinnect, or even my house cleaning regimend on Thursday nights – it’s intense so it counts!

4) Train for Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2, 2012  (hubby won’t allow full marathons any more – they tear me up!)  I’ve currently run 2 fulls, 2 halfs and 12 other area races such as Bloomsday, Cherry Pickers Trot and Spring Dash and am looking to add to the list!

Other Goals for 2012

1) Family Night on Wednesdays – before we had Ethan we tried to make sure to set a night aside during the week to spend together as a couple.  It’s easy to get caught up in the busy ins and outs of each day and lose sight of each other week after week.  Especially me, as I always have 5,000,000 things on my list of stuff I’d like to do.  Now that we have Ethan – it’s family night! 

2) Date Night – Once a Month – it’s hard to get away just the two of us but it’s so important to make sure we have time for just the two of us.  We’ll take turns planning date night, arranging for Grandma’s, Grandpa’s or Mi-Ma’s to sit and hit the town.

3) Spend Less – Much Less!  It’s been a spendy year for us gearing up for baby, then his 15 days in the NICU and all of the normal spending we have month to month…  Time to stop spending, replenish, save and plan for Baby Yurik #2 to come in the near future we hope.

4) Travel – I want to give Ethan trips and memories that we weren’t able to do when I was a child.  I’m thinking a series of mini adventures, our Disneyland adventure late summer and maybe Hawaii in the winter sometime.  We’ll have to see what time and spending less this will allow us to do.

5) Sunday Dinners – I’d like to start always having family meal at the table each week.  I know Ethan is young but we are still in the habit of eating in front of the tv most nights and I want him to grow up knowing our fmaily will meet around the dinner table to discuss the day and share our joys together as a family, and most importantly to give thanks to God for all we have.

 

God, David, Ethan, Family, Friends and Work

 

Lord, bless us all as we embark upon 2012.  Another year is fast upon us and as we praise thee with much gratitude for the many blessings of last year and all those before it… for the health of our children and families, for the love and friendships we sometimes take for granted and for so much more.  We look to thee to guide us forward with brave spirits and couragoues faith as we march forward.  Keep us all Lord, in thy warm blanket of love and protection.  Bless us that we will always be mindful of your great presence in our lives.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Christmas at Grandma’s

Filed under: Christmas,family,traditions — cyurik @ 3:43 pm
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Waiting for Santa

Filed under: Christmas,traditions — cyurik @ 3:03 pm
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Waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve  

And so begins Ethan’s first Christmas tradition… waiting by the fireplace for Santa with his cookies.  I should have put his bottle nearby to represent cookies & milk but that idea just now came to me – bummer…  Next year!  I look forward to watching our little man grow up in front of our fire place as he waits for Santa each year.