100 cookies.

This past week I was on the phone with Momma.  I asked her what she was up to for the weekend.  She said she was helping with our church’s Confirmation retreat for 40 high schoolers, getting ready to make their sacrament.  She was baking the retreat treats — 100 Cookies.

The recipe for 100 Cookies came to us because my mother bought too much shredded coconut back in the early ’90s.  She purchased five pounds of it through our county food co-op.  When it arrived, she was shocked to see how much five un-sweetened pounds of coconut from a co-op actually is.

Momma asked our friend Connie what on earth she should make with all this coconut, and Connie gave her the recipe for 100 Cookies.  We fell for them.  Hard.

I bake Neiman Marcus Cookies on a very regular basis, and think they’re delish.  So I imagine I haven’t baked 100 Cookies since moving to Colorado.  Therefore, dear C has never had any.  I baked them and brought some to an event we attended up north last weekend.  100 Cookies were a hit.  C asked me why he’d never had any of these particular cookies before and requested I skip ever making Neiman Marcus Cookies again.  In fact, I imagine if we weren’t married already, he would have just asked me to marry him right then and there.  These cookies are that good.


Here is the totally rad recipe from the kitchen of Connie, through my Momma.

1 c. butter
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 c. Rice Krispies Cereal
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter, oil and sugars in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and vanilla. Mix.  Add soda, salt, flour and cream of tartar.  Mix.

Stir in other ingredients by hand, one at a time.  Mix well!

Scoop cookie dough to desired size.  Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes on a baking sheet.  Ensure the bottoms of the cookies are light brown before taking them out of the oven.  Cool on a baking rack.  Makes 100 cookies.  Or thereabout.


Auntie Grace Story. A quiet reverence.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” – Matthew 6:5

This week’s story from Auntie Grace is another story about her mother, Catherine.

When Auntie Grace and I were on the phone a few weeks back, she told me of the Rinaldi family who lived across the street from her family in Brooklyn.  Mrs. Rinaldi had three girls, and had been on her own since her husband passed away.  Grace was good friends with one of Mrs. Rinaldi’s young daughters, Marian.  At one time during their childhood, Grace recalled that Mrs. Rinaldi lost her job and Marian expressed worry to Grace.  Being so young, Grace just knew in her heart they would be okay and didn’t worry for Marian.

Years later, after Marian had moved out west and become an older lady herself, she was on the phone with Grace and began talking about how wonderful Catherine had been to their family growing up.  Grace assumed that Marion meant Catherine had been a comfort and support to Mrs. Rinaldi, emotionally, as a girlfriend.  What she didn’t realize, and what Marian told her, was that during that time when Marian’s mother was unemployed, Catherine paid for all the Rinaldi family groceries at their neighborhood market.  Catherine had gone to the market after she heard the news of her neighbor’s unemployment and told the grocer to put all of the Rinaldi’s market items on her tab until Mrs. Rinaldi again had a job.

Grace said she was taken aback and told Marian she never knew her own mother had done that. Marian said it was like Catherine to share a quiet charity, and live out her version of the golden rule always.


More ski sky.

With M as my guide and sidekick, just like old times, we skied Vail this past weekend.

I often give C and M a hard time about loving on Vail so much.  I sometimes find it pretentious, crowded and of course, overpriced.

But then there’s a weekend like this past weekend, where the perfect storm dumps on the valley and it’s been snowing at the peaks for days on end.  Weekends like this make me remember why Vail is an absolute paradise for skiers.

On Saturday we skied blues and groomers with Kay and Jessica.  On Sunday, sans Kay, the three of us took on the back bowls, filled to the brim with beautiful powder.  Even in the late afternoon, after getting off the t-bar at Mongolia, there was so much untapped fresh snow, we could hardly get through it.  Right there, on my first descent into Bolshoi Ballroom, I caught an edge ever so slowly and tipped sideways into a soft bed of perfect powder.  It was heaven.

Here are some shots of the weekend.

From Blue Sky Basin.


A beautiful, mostly soft, snow fell all day.

Waking up in Gypsum the next morning, we were greeted with a calm, early twilight and no snow!  It’s amazing the landscape looks so vastly different just 40 miles west of Vail.Vail_3

I’ve always loved the name Yelena.

Yelena Bryksenkova.  What a talent.

I saw some of her illustrations and went to her site and couldn’t stop scrolling through.  She’s incredible.  Whimsical.  Sweet and charmed, I’m sure.

The colors she uses are muted and puddled and oh, so lovable.


Time for tea and reading and lovely Swedish braids.ybryksenkoval3And there’s just so much going on here.  This piece is representative of a “quintessentially British expression.”  Can you guess which one?  Hanky Panky.  I’d like to see her imagination paint Sixes and Sevens.ybryksenkoval2Wouldn’t you love to walk right into this illustration and listen?  The crickets outside the windows, the purring kitty, the radiator steam.
ybryksenkova1 Visit Yelena’s Etsy shop to browse.  So fun!  Check out her website and get lost!

Early spring snow.

I’m doing something right now I very rarely do in the mornings.  I’m taking a little time to “coast.”

Last week, Annie told me she got up early, made some coffee, then went back to bed with her mug and did some reading, perused Pinterest and relaxed a little while longer before actually getting on with her morning routine before work.  She said her grandfather called it “coasting,” and that’s exactly what it is. (And when you tell people about it, you need to spread your arms out like an airplane, so they understand exactly what you mean.)  You could coast for 10 minutes or for a whole day.  Today, I’m going to keep my coasting to maybe an hour and a half.

After a wild snowstorm hit Boston yesterday morning and M thought it best to fly out of town early, in order to guarantee she’d be able to ski Colorado by Saturday.  She arrived in Mile High around 7 p.m. and I’m so glad to have her.  We had a pint and pizza at our pub down the street and were tucked in by 11.  Overnight, I felt very hot and opened the window in our bedroom.  Though it’s VERY chilly now, it’s just right under the covers.  Everything looks white from here in bed.  The sky out the window and the walls.  Songbirds are chirping in the early morning white and the cold air smells like snow.

This weekend, as M and I make our way to the high country, the state expects another winter storm.  I welcome it.

Because I’m coasting and very relaxed, here are some photos from our weekend in the Fraser Valley a few weeks back.


Apres ski on Saturday we took a lovely drive through the valley.

FV_6 FV_5 FV_4 FV_3



We drove until the road ran out.