I'm sure I'll manage to post something else controversial soon, but on Wednesdays we post a happy. (Curious? Check out our explanation of happy at the bottom of the topics page.)
Today, I'm recommending three simple, summery happys that I'll be doing myself:
1. Get thee to a swimming pool---with your kids (or someone else to cheer for your cannonball!)
2. Listen to Matthew Smith. His contemporary takes on generations-old hymns are a refreshing breeze for the soul. You can listen online to sample tracks here.
3. Bake cookies?! Or, mix up a batch and freeze the dough to bake another, cooler day. Pam Anderson's "Saucer-Sized Oatmeal Cookies" are the best cookies I've ever eaten. I've served them at Bible studies and packaged the frozen dough balls as gifts; I even made them for my last birthday. You can see Anderson's original on her blog, here, or you can try my "summer's hot, make-ahead" version, below.
4. and, I'm editing this post to add Buy bargain books. Shepherd Press, a great Christian living, family, and counseling resource is offering many of their titles for $1.99 each, starting at 12AM EST June 30. So, if you're up at midnight, join me at their yardsale.
Saucer-Sized Oatmeal Cookies
tweaked from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3 c. old fashioned oatmeal
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
14 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T. vegetable oil
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
To Assemble Dough Ahead: Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and oatmeal in a medium bowl. Beat eggs, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Mix butter, oil, and sugars in a large bowl. With a rubber spatula, stir egg mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, then cranberries and chocolate.
Scoop 3T. portions of dough into balls on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer until dough is hard (approximately 30 minutes.) Remove dough balls from sheet and seal in a zip-top bag; return to freezer until ready to bake. Dough can be stored in the freezer for 2 months--great for unexpected company!
When Ready to Bake: Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Remove frozen dough balls from bag, place on cookie sheets, and allow to thaw slightly while oven preheats. Move oven racks to highest and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When oven is preheated, put cookie sheets on each rack and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate sheets: turning them and swapping rack positions. Continue baking until golden brown, about 6 more minutes, (but possibly longer if your dough did not thaw very much prior to baking.) Transfer cookies to wire rack and allow to cool.