My first recipe post!

My ultimate goal for recipe posts is to include pictures as I go. However, that would take some planning ahead and not baking on a whim (i.e. not deciding I need to bake cookies at 10pm). So don’t get too used to seeing step-by-step pictures…

Today, I’ll share with you my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. You’ll notice that for most of my recipes, I try to make them slightly healthier without losing the taste. Yes, that includes cookies and desserts.

I promise you will enjoy these oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies! They don’t last too long around the house, or the office, when I bake them. They are soft and chewy cookies (I’m not a fan of hard, crumbly cookies), with the perfect pop of sweetness. The key is to use dark brown sugar and dark chocolate chips (I may be a fan of Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips).

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • ~1 medium banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or more or less…)


  1. Heat oven to 350* F
  2. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

    Flour and oat mixture

  3. In a separate bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until well blended.
  4. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.

    Add egg and vanilla to butter, banana, and brown sugar mixture.

  5. Slowly mix flour/oat mixture into sugar/butter/egg mix.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.

    Add flour/oat mixture to butter/sugar/egg mixture. Stir, then add that chocolate!

  7. Drop balls of dough onto a baking pan (however small or large you choose! Dough will spread out a little)

    Drop dough onto pan. I like to use (the cheap version) of Silpats.

  8. Bake for about 10 minutes (or until golden-brownish or however done you like)


I have also been known to make half batches of this recipe. Still use a full egg (unless you have half a egg rolling around), it doesn’t make a difference!


Randomness and a letter


These babies will be going in the freezer…nothing beats a frozen thin mint…

Uh oh...

And I was just at the gym…could someone explain to me why many male personal trainers are very attractive. I guess it’s a nice eye-candy bonus when I’m working out.

Now for that letter:

Dear Papa,

I was at the gym swimming today and in the lane next to me was a little girl taking a swim lesson. I thought of you and wanted to say thank you. If it weren’t for you, I’m not sure I would have been swimming in the lane next to her. You taught me how to swim, how to go underwater. More importantly, how to love the water and the lake. I’m also pretty sure the little girl would have reminded you of me when I was little and you were giving me swim lessons. Giggling, splashing…and thinking I couldn’t swim as far as you wanted me to…or swim underwater. I’ll always miss you…and always think of you when I’m in the water (pool, lake, river), swimming, skiing, or just staring at it.

Thank you, for not only the swim lessons, but all the lessons. All the memories. All the laughs.

Love you always,


Love you, Papa!

My grandpa, Aram, passed away this morning, peacefully in his sleep, after a short battle with cancer.

We will always remember the many wonderful memories we had with you Papa! We will miss you more than words can describe!

Grandpa…: As I was looking at pictures on my computer, I realized many of my pictures were from the past few years. The more I thought about it, many of my best memories with my grandpa were from a while ago. They were mostly from summer months, and card games during those colder months. How many times did my brother, sister, and I hit golf balls out of his garage with him? Or eat tomatoes straight from his tomato plants? Many on the lake would agree he was usually the first one to jump in the lake every year. He would always take his bath off the dock, with ivory soap because it would float. He was the one that taught me (and many others) to swim and go underwater (and I will always be thankful for that). I can’t even begin to think how many pairs of his glasses are at the bottom of this lake, I don’t recommend setting glasses on the back edge of a jet ski. In my mind, I’ll always put the lake and papa together. Not only was he “grandpa” to his grandkids, he was also “grandpa” to all his ‘kids’ on the lake. When I came home this past Christmas, I walked into my room and the first thing I saw was a picture of grandpa and Betsy in the ski-boat (during Betsy’s ‘spotter certification’ test), with John as driver. I’ll always remember that picture; he just had a big smile on his face. He will always be remembered in so many ways: loving husband, dad, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather ‘Big A.’ And, of course, the Mayor of Iron Lake.

I want to end with this.  I could stand up here for days telling you about the great memories I have with gramps, pictures or no pictures but that wouldn’t do him justice.  This is from a spoken track on a cd I just got and I think it is very true:

“How do you sum up a life in a few words?
How do you measure the weight of a soul in a matter of moments?
You do not. You cannot.
But you can pray for rest. And you can pray for light.
And you can remember. You can always remember.”

(David Crowder*Band, “A Burial”)

You will be missed grandpa more than words can say.