Living Life the Evie Way

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Ahh Vacation

Ahh Vacation

Vacation is one of those things I NEED. I need to get away, to have time to relax with my husband and family. Seriously. If I could get paid to travel AND bring my husband and Evie with me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. […]

What’s Growing On? Tomato update!

What’s Growing On? Tomato update!

Ahh tomatoes. Our plants are huge but we have yet to see fully ripened tomatoes. We seriously can’t wait. Evie takes very good care of them, making sure they’re watered almost daily. I had to stake them with branches already because they’re getting huge and […]

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Most of you know, or maybe you don’t, there was a story going around about a certain chocolate chip cookie recipe from Neiman Marcus. The short version of the story: a woman was lunching at Neiman Marcus and had the most amazing chocolate chip cookie, asked for the recipe and was charged $250 for it. She was so upset by this and shared it with the world.

Now, I’m not sure whether that was true or not, but it is definitely great exposure for Neiman Marcus(which btw I’m not being endorsed for mentioning etc).

Here is the Neiman Marcus recipe direct from the source: Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie

It seems to me, over the years it has been altered a bit, with the ingredients somewhat the same. Evie and I decided to use the recipe posted by The Girl Who Ate Everything. 

Sadly, we didn’t have pecans at the time so they were omitted.  Side note: I’d kill for some Texas pecans =P

There are so many things a toddler can help you do while baking. It does require a truck load of patience but it can be done! I promise!! Besides, teaching them how to bake is a great life skill!

We had to blend the oats into a powder, almost like flour. Here’s where Evie came in, as I set up the food processor(best underutilized kitchen tool in our house) she measured out an even scoop of oats with the measuring cup I gave her and then dumped it into the processor. (There are a ton of activities out there of toddlers using various items and scoops to help them learn, why not show them real life examples instead? IF you can handle it that is LOL)

Once we measured out all of the oats, we put the top on the processor and pulverized away. Evie had fun pulsing the button and watching the oats turn into a powder.

Baking is such a fun science and I love sharing that with her!

Next we mixed our wet ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar. Almost everything, I allow her to put into the bowl, although I crack the eggs one at a time into a tiny prep bowl she is allowed to pour in. I am NOT ready for her to start cracking eggs just yet!!

Wet ingredients
She is also allowed to turn on and control the mixer. She has not gotten used to the speeds yet, so often she’ll ask me to do it. She’ll learn by eye one day but for right now, I’m glad she asks!

We poured our dry ingredients next and allowed them to incorporate with the wet mixture. Then we stirred in the chocolate chips and chocolate bar.

I had to stir them in because stirring that thick dough and making sure the chips were dispersed throughout is a bit hard for a three year old to do!

Now we move on to the fun part! Aside from taste testing that is!

Evie loves rolling the cookies and our cookie scoop makes it so much easier to keep them at a consistent size! She hasn’t mastered using it yet but we’re getting there! Its a great exercise for them, especially when they love to play with play doh. They can actually put together a real world use for that skill than just play!

 

Cookies for Days!!

Oven Time!
And we wait, 8-10 minutes. But our oven took a bit longer, probably because our cookies were a little bit bigger, about 14 minutes.

Are they ready yet?
We were also making sauce that day with our favorite basil!!

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies
I definitely loved these cookies! And I could also tell they would be much more delicious with the pecans!

This recipe whether it was Neiman Marcus or not, is a keeper!!

What’s Growing on?-Basil Garlic Pasta

What’s Growing on?-Basil Garlic Pasta

  Basil!! I just threw this together when we needed a side the other night. I can’t tell you how much I love fresh basil! The smell when you pick it, the taste, everything! Evie loves it too! She’ll pick leaves right off the plant […]

The Patriotic Cake!!

The Patriotic Cake!!

For the Fourth of July (I know I’m a little late), Evie and I decided to make a very Patriotic cake. Red, White and Blue, flags, the whole bit. It turned out so awesome, there’s even a surprise inside! Evie was SO SO good about […]

What’s Growing On?!- Tomatoes

What’s Growing On?!- Tomatoes

For a few years now, Evie and I have been growing tomatoes. Last year we had a late start and ended up with A LOT of green tomatoes in October right before the first real freeze.

Not this time! We made sure to grab our favorites from Home Depot early! Evie’s favorite is the purple tomato, the Cherokee heirloom. We love big juicy tomatoes!

I used to eat them a lot during college. I’d bring 1-2 fairly large tomatoes, grab some salt from the cafeteria, and eat! Summer tomatoes are one of my favorite things. Even tomato sandwiches with yellow mustard, so good! Weird?

So far we’ve gotten a few blooms but no tomatoes as of yet. We can’t wait!!

Your Favorite Cookie….

Your Favorite Cookie….

What is your favorite cookie? I think one of the staples of cookie “stardom” is definitely a Snickerdoodle. Chewy, sugary, cinnamony(can this be a word?) goodness! It happens to be one of our favorites around here! They’re also quite easy to make. Plus, very toddler […]

Yellow cake+Chocolate Frosting=LOVE

Yellow cake+Chocolate Frosting=LOVE

One of the things I love about how far the internet has come along is, being able to find a multitude of recipes at your finger tips! I especially love Pintrest for that! Back in the day, pre-Pintrest, I used to surf the web(ha!) looking […]

Can You Tile? Bathroom Remodel- Edition 3

Can You Tile? Bathroom Remodel- Edition 3

Or rather, the question should be, Are you SURE you want to tile?

I mean there are some things that are fairly easy to DIY around the house, paint the walls, put in a garden, change out a light fixture etc. So really, adding tile to that list wouldn’t be a bad option right? RIIGHT???

The day started like most days during the remodel, get up, have coffee, take Evie to school, come back and cut tile only to find out the saw you borrowed to save money is too small for the super GIANT tiles you decided to pick out because I mean, that’ll be easier than laying a bunch of little tiles. (I know, I ran on, but think in the context of saying this out loud with frustration and panic setting in.)


After wasting our time, trying to cut the tile one side, then the other. Which didn’t work out by the way. We conceded and set off for our home away from home, Home Depot. We rented a gargantuan saw that would surely cut our 12×24 inch tile. And it did. $80 later.

Did I mention it was raining? We just so happened to pick the day for torrential rain ALL DAY. Thankfully we had a pop up canopy so we stayed somewhat dry. But a tile saw is a wet saw, there was going to be water regardless.

We started on the first wall, the largest of the shower. You’re supposed to start the second row up from the tub. Why? because tubs are usually NOT level and doing that would make all subsequent tiles un-level. So thats what we did. They’re heavy, they slide. We sat there holding the damn things to the wall until they stuck. You’d think watching whatever youtube videos, we would follow whatever these seemingly Pro’s were saying. YOU’D THINK.
Somehow, we managed to get the entire wall up, issues small though, we thought, “Yeah Man, we’re doing it!”

Until the back wall. Oh the back wall. I will forever, EVER, remember what you did to us.

We start on the back wall. This time we shimmed the second row to hold the tiles in place, you know, so they won’t slip down and we wouldn’t have to hold them until they dry. LOL!! Everything was going smoothly, too smoothly, every cut, perfect, spacers, perfect. Two tiles fit slightly off because our walls are not straight thus, the corners are not perfect 90 degrees either, but I digress. All the way up! It looks great! Look how level and even we are with the other tiles on the other wall!!!! Ok, cool. time to put the first row in, remove the shims. Once the last screw was out of our shim board and we’re ready to place the first tile and then….

Everything happens in slow motion….

The wall of beautifully laid tile, starts SLIDING!!

Oh heaven help us!! GOOD GOD!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!! ITS TOO HEAVY I CAN’T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!!

We’re gonna have to do it all over AGAIN! No, NO we’re not. That sh*t just took us TWO HOURS! I am not doing it again!!

We take the top row off. We push, we get that first row tile in, shim the bottom. Its in. Fix the gaps, put in the stupid spacers, realign the tiles, its straight, NO ITS STRAIGHT. Leave it! JUST LEAVE IT!!


Put the top row in. Its done. We’re done. No, actually, we’re not. We have the wall with the shower assembly left. Great, now we have to drill holes in the tile. This will be fun. Open a beer. Its gonna be a long night…

Surprisingly, the cuts, the drilling for the plumbing, everything goes as planned. Until, the last tile. We measured, but the unfinished side of the tile. Maybe the drill will be easier. Drill through, it took 30 minutes. The diamond drill bit, isn’t so “diamond” anymore. Go fit the tile. NO. Just No. We didn’t think to compensate the backside of the tile measurements for it to fit correctly on the finished side. SERIOUSLY?!


It’s okay, we’ll just have 3 tiles on the top row of the shower wall. No it’s fine. That was the LAST tile in the box. Yes, we have another box, I wanted to return it though.

By this time, it was 9 pm. 9 FREAKING pm.

Well, it will look stupid when every tile is two pieces on the wall and then the ONE row is three. Okay fine, open the other box. We measure again, correctly. Start drilling. This isn’t working. We have to go to Home Depot, AGAIN. By this time we’ve probably made 5 trips there the whole day. Home Depot loves us. By the looks of our Home Depot credit card, they REALLY love us.

We find a diamond drill bit. This should work. Or give us a little leverage to get the hole cut through. Get back to the house, its 9:45. Cut the new hole for the shower head. It fits, thank you God, it fits.

Perfect, we’re done. But no, you’re not. You still have to tile the floor….


The bathroom is tiny, there isn’t much area for the floor tile. Its a lot easier than the wall tile. We slap down what we don’t have to cut because by this time, its 11 o’clock at night. We don’t want to disturb the neighbors.


Have another beer and go to bed. At 12:30 am.

What a day.

That really happened.

I’m never going to tile ANYTHING myself again. And I have huge amounts of respect for those who do it on a daily basis. But, I’d imagine after doing it over and over, you’d get good at it. Thats why we leave it to the Pros.

What’s Growing On?!

What’s Growing On?!

Evie loves to garden. She has a ton of pots all over the yard with her “flowers” She takes great care of them, making sure they’re watered every day. She takes especially great care of her tomatoes. Every summer we’ve always grown basil. Where we […]