Mrs Field's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

People often ask me about what it's like having a big family. I never quite know what to say. It's my life, so to me there is nothing all that different or interesting about it. I can pick out a few positives and a few negatives about having six kids if they insist, but again, what am I supposed to say?

My most common response is that I love watching my older kids with my little kids. I love watching them love on the little ones. I love watching them learn to care for them. I love watching them learn to deal with their misbehavior. I love watching that teenage "edge" soften away when they are with them.
I love that my kids are so thrilled when a sibling learns to sit-up, walk and talk. I think they get more excited about these milestones than I do :) Luke is still convinced that it was his training that got Micah to finally sit up on her own!

So what is a negative about such a big family? Of course, we go through A LOT of food :) I could honestly use two refrigerators, two stoves and two ovens. Maybe then I could make batches of food that lasted longer than a day.
You think I'm kidding, but take these 4 dozen cookies I made this afternoon. I highly doubt there will be a single one left by lunch tomorrow. But with cookies that have chocolate chips and grated milk chocolate, can you blame my family for devouring them? I doubt this is truly a Mrs Field's recipe. It is one I picked up years ago when I was a student at BYU (Go Cougars!) and has been a faithful recipe for me over the years.
I had kind of forgotten about it until my 15 year old daughter pulled it out a few weeks ago and made a batch. Thanks Tori :) I guess that is another positive about having a big family. There's always someone to lend you a helping hand, but usually with a bit of protest to go along with it!

Mrs Field's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies
1 C butter, room temperature
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 C flour
2 1/2 C oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 ounce milk chocolate bar, grated
2 C semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Cream butter and sugars together in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add eggs, one at a time allowing the first to mix in before adding the second. Add the vanilla, salt, baking soda and powder. Mix well and then add the flour and oats. After the dough comes together, add the two types of chocolate and mix until it is dispersed evenly. I usually have to mix it by hand a bit after I take the bowl off the mixer. Refrigerate for one hour.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Using a 1 1/2" scoop, place dough on lined cookie sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes until the outside of cookie is set and the top is just beginning to brown. Allow cookie to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.

Mother's Day.....

Another Mother's Day has come and gone. My family takes very good care of me on "my day" every year and makes me feel very loved. For me though, it is day when I reflect. What kind of Mom am I really?

On the positive side, how many Moms would wear this hairstyle out in public after their 6 year old daughter "styled" it for her? I wore this design to a church event last Sunday evening....
On the negative side, how many Moms prop up their baby between their feet while trying to get a gold medal in Mario Kart Wii so she can unlock a few more items.....
Then again, this is the chocolate mess I found my two year old in yesterday. How many Moms would clean up this mess on "her day"? (You should have seen the white pants.....)
So after another year of pondering on what kind of Mom I am, I've come to the conclusion that I am both good and bad depending on the moment. I think we can all relate to that. What matters most is that I love them all more than I can express and they bring me abundant joy that is worth the heartache.

One many Moms develop a recipe for her children who want to go to Pizza Ranch solely for the Cactus Bread? It is pretty darn amazing. Since it's pricey for our family of 8 to go out to dinner, I'm working hard on developing my own. I'm still experimenting with a few more variations but will have my final verdict ready soon. Keep tuned in. Here's a picture to tempt you. Oh yeah!

Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

Only 23 more school days until summer. If you've been with my blog for awhile, you already know about my love/hate relationship with summer vacation. Those first couple weeks are great, but the rest is just a continual test of my level of patience and creativity.

Summer provides my children with an abundant amount of free time, and that just isn't a good thing. They have various distractions throughout the day in the form of sports, church and chores but it just isn't enough. Summer break really makes me wish we lived on a farm where cows needed to be milked, manure scooped, hay bailed and chickens fed. That would help fulfill my belief that busy children = happy children = happy mother :)
So unless any of my faithful readers have some farm work they can loan me for about 12 weeks, I will just bribe my kiddos to be good this summer by whipping up tasty treats like these muffins. That is an appropriate form of parenting isn't it?

Cinnamon Crumb Muffins
by Williams Sonoma

7 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmet
1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbs flour
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tb butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 muffins cups with paper liners.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer with the flat beater, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well until pale and smooth.
3. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moist. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Evenly divide batter among muffin tins.
4. Make struesel by mixing together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles cornmeal. Sprinkle over the muffins and bake until muffins are springy to the touch, about 20 minutes.