Monday, April 4, 2016

Following Spring

We followed spring along a 1,700 mile return trip to Minnesota. The Redbud trees were flowering in Oklahoma Texas and into Kansas. This eye catching ornamental tree is one of the earliest flowering trees. They look a lot like the Crepe Myrtle found in southern states.   
Their beauty breathed some life into the sparse, flat landscape of Oklahoma,Texas and parts of Kansas.

While the beauty of the trees were stunning it was the green grass that caught my attention. Something that simple we take for granted. There has been a void the past three months for water and green grass. 
We loved our Out West Adventure despite the javelina, coyotes and snake alerts. 
It may be a bit trite to borrow a line...
 
For those who followed our travels while we explored the foods, terrain and the sights of the West hope it gave you a little winter diversion and enjoyment. But I must go on record to say once a Midwestern one always remains a Midwestern at heart. 
Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cook's notes: You don't need the holidays to enjoy chewy buttery cookies that are flavored with white chocolate chips, cranberries, orange zest and juice. 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 TB. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or orange flavored craisins 
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • optional 1 cup macadamia nuts

Directions:
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla, and mix well. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Chill dough 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Drop dough by large spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden on the edges and still soft in the middle. Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
                                       

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