Category Archives: i bake

cookies. peanut butter cookies. need i say more…



peanut butter cookies.

puffy. chewy. deliciousness.

ido like the kind that are flat and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  i rarely turn down any type of cookie.  BUT… this recipe is like no other.  i don’t get it.  it’s just regular ingredients.  but it make these outrageously thick, puffy, chewy, gooey, yummy cookie.  a recipe that must remain in my file for the holidays and special occasions.

thank you to for the base recipe.



1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. sugar

1 large egg

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter (i always use jif)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 c. flour

1/4 c. sugar on the side for rolling cookies in

preheat oven to 350.  cream butter, brown sugar and sugar.  add egg.  mix.  add peanut butter.  mix.  add vanilla.  mix well.  add flour and baking soda (combined) to peanut butter mixture.  i use a cookie scoop and make them big.  scoop and roll into balls.  roll in sugar.  place on ungreased cookie sheet.  flatten just a tiny bit with fork marks.  criss cross.  then top with an m&m or hershey kiss or anything you desire.  or don’t top at all.  bake for 9-11 minutes for large cookies (original recipe said 8-9 min).  take out before they get golden in color.  and our favorite… after eating a few of course… is let them cool then put into the freezer in plastic bags.  i can’t even tell you how good these are.  you will just have to find out yourself.

you are welcome.

happy  thursday.



she’s home. they’re gone…


she’s home.

my heart is soooooo happy.


i tried to hang the cutest garland.  the cat ate it.

i baked a cake. betty crocker. white on white. lots of sprinkles.

balloons hung. thanks target for the cute polka dot balloons.

then i picked her up from the airport at midnight.  we drove with the top down.  we talked the whole way.  so much to talk about.  covered two months in 40 minutes.  that works.


first thing she did when she woke up?  took a peek at the book sarah sundin sent her.  what perfect timing.


then off they drove.

to visit grandparents and friends.

happy as can be.

um,. yes, i noticed that finger mason.  good one.  i’m kind of thinking i need to frame this photo.  it is exactly how i feel these days…. let it go!!!

i have until 4am on monday morning with her.  minus the hours she will be gone tonight visiting friends.  and i don’t mind.  i was in college too.  that’s important.  most of her friends are home for the summer.  but she is going back to CA to pursue her dreams… and get her chemistry summer class completed.  good girl.  i can’t even tell you how proud we are of her.

you go girl!!!!!

happy saturday.


girl scout cookies, auctions and smiles…


every year at this time i get bombarded with auction requests for my art.

i love it. i will donate if i can. and i try to a lot. especially if it benefits any school or activity our own kids have been in.

but this year so much has been going on. daughter to college, son in sports without a drivers license until oct. 31, sore arm, getting ready to put our home on the market, need i say more? i’m not complaining. just the truth.

so, this year i decided that i would donate a copy of my cookbook… and fresh out of the oven cookies.

it might not bring in the kind of money that art does, but it is still a donation at least.

and, who doesn’t love cookies. it’s one item your husband and kids will say YES to bidding on.


fresh baked cookies, a box of thin mints, one of my cookbooks and a cute little piece of art with a saying by Julia childs (not pictured). who wouldn’t want to bid on that? i would.

the cute little cookie jar is from pier 1 imports. $10. so awesome.

i used a paint pen from artco to write on the chalkboard area this saying…


love it.

and if you are interested in my little ol cookbook called “appetizers & desserts. who needs dinner… a girlfriends guide to entertaining”. email me at  they are $15 (addl $4 for shipping).

or here’s the recipe…


2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz)

1 c. butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2 large eggs

1 sleeve (approx. 16 cookies) of GS Thin Mint cookies, crushed into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375. mix butter until fluffy. add brown sugar. mix. add dry pudding. mix. add vanilla. mix. add eggs, one at a time. mix. combine flour, soda and salt and then add to butter mixture. fold in cookies. refrigerate for 30 minutes. scoop into rough balls with ice cream scoop. place on ungreased baking sheets with about 1″ between cookies.  bake 9-11 minutes or until tops are light golden brown. go ahead test one. then let the rest cool. if putting into a cookie jar, let cool for a few hours as they are very moist and will stick together.

happy saturday.


throwing a party is fun…


we must start with crowns.

every girl (no matter what the age) needs a crown.


let’s get real. we are 50. must start off party with diet coke…


and crown royal.

trust me. it is refreshing. and it keeps you awake.

don’t forget to put out a bowl of maraschinos. because it’s a girly girl thing.

feb25partyfunny napkin

and got get some funny napkins.


great idea for the rafters.  i’ve spent countless hours tying knots then tying bows of ribbon. etc.

why didn’t i ever think of this.


a fun table is a must. love the black and white. you can add any colors you like to it.


and make the table fun.

candy necklaces and ring pops.

use white napkins and put out shapries. let the guests write their own message to the birthday girl.


have everyone contribute to the appetizers.


might i suggest lobster rolls on mini brioche rolls on the menu?  heaven.


and how about a slider and dog bar. dont’ forget the chips, pickles and homemade potato salad.


a photo booth for sure. right?

feb25partycakewithhbdsignfeb25partygreencakedecember16popcorn canke


oh the choices…


although by this time, the booze will be flowing. no woman cares what kind of cake at this point.

just make it cute so when she looks back on the photos she smiles.


throw in a few good questions to get them thinking.

will anyone remember your private baggage you announce?


and if cake wasn’t enough… keep smores makings on hand.

everyone loves a smore at 3:00 am.

feb25partybreakfast napkins

when the guests wake up, make them laugh.


and quickly make bloody marys.

at this time you can get out the left over sliders and hot dogs and chow down.


and throw in some donut balls on some cute skewers too.

sure you could make a wonderful breakfast casserole, but who needs to cook and do dishes.

not us.


at this point you can also serve water. lots and lots of water before you send them on their way.

that’s a wrap!

happy thursday.


donut kill my vibe…


feb18happy donut face

took the week off.

mason had the week off of school. had all of these plans. didn’t do one of them.

maybe a week “off” should be just that… a week off.


i’m in.


i think i will get out some of my simply baked containers ( and my old camera (fyi… wish list for upcoming birthday is a new white cool fun camera that takes photos and can upload immediately) and have some fun.

list: donut holes, melting chocolates, sprinkles, maple glaze, bacon, boozy cherries… get it all!

and maybe a bottle of champagne to toast with.

for tomorrow i will get back to creating!

happy friday.


it’s a homemade cookie kind of day…


i’m feeling sentimental today.

the house is so quiet.

brookie flew out yesterday.  back to the college grind in sunny california.  we were so blessed to have her home for the weekend. i love when pilots give our family special gifts (buddy passes).  best gift in the world right now is to have my family together.  so sappy.  yes.  but i love it.

mason has this entire week off from school.  something called mid winter break… don’t really get it… just had thanksgiving, then Christmas, then presidents day, then comes spring break.  really?  but it’s okay. i like my time with my boy.  he’s growing up.  likes hanging out with his buddies more than being home lately.  got his learners permit.  wants to drive whenever he sees a car sitting in our driveway.  but i do know this… the way to his heart is…



and milk.


i’ve been wanting to try a recipe i got on line awhile ago. i guess it was inspired by (who i adore) and she was inspired by levain bakery (who i saw guy fieri challenge for best chocolate chip cookie on the food network years ago).  so, today was the perfect day.  i made them.  and yes, they are “that good”.  i know the ones i saw on the food network were huge and they used giant walnut pieces, but i wanted to make enough for a few days worth.  so, i used a medium ice cream scoop. on another  note… i will type the recipe as i personally made them.  because that’s what i do.  everyone has their own version i’m sure.


3 1/4 c. all purpose flour

1 Tblsp. cornstarch

1 teasp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter (I only had one cube of unsalted so I used 1 cube unsalted and 1 salted), room temp.

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp. vanilla

2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips (I used guittard brand. fancy. rich. yummy)

1 c. walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (I used a 1 3/4 c. package of chopped walnuts then toasted them)

preheat oven to 375.   in a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until fluffy.  add brown sugar.  mix.  then add eggs one at a time, then vanilla.  in another bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.  then add to creamed butter mixture.  in a third bowl (yes, you will have to wash 3 bowls) combine chocolate chips, toasted walnuts and 1 tsp. of flour.  add to big mixture.  refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.  use ice cream scoop so all are similar in size.  scoop dough then fold top of ball to sides and pinch under bottom of dough.  sounds odd but it will make the tops look rustic.  trust me.  my friend kristin taught me this trick years ago with her famous chocolate chip cookies.  and she’s my favorite baking friend.  she should own a bakery!!   bake at 375 for 15 minuts or until lightly golden on top.  go ahead and eat a hot one.  with a cold glass of milk.



i promise to make you some of these next time you are home brooke (if you are reading this).

i miss you.  now i’m going to go have a cookie.

happy tuesday.


double chocolate chip muffins. oh yeah…



double chocolate chip, fudgey in center, crisp on top, moist, delicious muffins.

i’m in!


2 c. flour

1 c. cocoa powder (I use hersheys)

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, plus one egg yolk

1 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1 1/2 c. sour cream

1 Tblsp. vanilla

1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

preheat oven to 375. if you are not using simply baked muffin cups (i only use these for baking now) then grease 12 cup muffin tin or line with liners.  but trust me, order yourself some simply baked products and your entire baking experience will change.

in bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  in separate bowl, beat eggs and yolk on medium high until a little frothy. about one minute or two depending on your mixer. as you are beating the eggs, slowly pour in sugar.  then slowly drizzle in oil. then sour cream and vanilla (this last batch i forgot to add vanilla and guess what? i swear i didn’t notice.. so if you are out of vanilla… as i usually discover half way into making cookies… it’s ok).

then add the dry ingredients by spoonful. slowly. it will fly everywhere if you dump in all at once. i tried this once for you. don’t repeat my mistake. ha. after all is incorporated, fold in chocolate chips. then scoop with small ice cream scoop into simply baked muffin cups. fill then all the way to the top. place cups on baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes. after 10 minutes, turn oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes.

the original recipe calls for putting chocolate chunks and sparkling sugar on top before baking. since i’m usually cutting calories where i can, i skip this process.  really, tracy…. you make double chocolate chip muffins and think skipping this step makes them better for you???? yes i do. thank you for asking.

go to to see their fun selection of styles and colors of bakeware.


without a doubt, these will be your favorite muffin recipe when needing to indulge or impress.

gotta run. kids will be home soon. i sent them to the mall to pick up greg’s valentine gift. i’m packaging these up for tomorrow as he is taking me to seattle for an early vanlentines day (since he has to work sunday). good husband.

happy friday.


seven reasons i loved football season…


gem day socks. love them. want them. need them. it’s not too late. right?

thanks @robkardashian for making these happen. and thanks @arthurgeorge87 for getting them out there.


diet coke. my vice. in a big, tall glass filled with ice. or better yet, with a splash of crown royal…  and even better if i could find these cute bottles.


lobster rolls. on brioche rolls. mini style. you can eat 4 or 5 and say it was one regular. yes, you can.

thanks for photo @katiegrossbard from instagram. love your photos and way of thinking.


comfy outfits. for games on tv and in the stands. it’s ok to dress this way for football. and if you are just watching your team on tv then it doesn’t matter if you are wearing team colors. these pants look like they have every teams color in them anyway . perfect..

gotta go look on or – cute spring stuff.


vodka is ok to drink in the morning…  if added to a bloody mary.  if you don’t want to buy all of the ingredients, get to sam’s tavern in seattle and have them make you one… or two. with sliders on top!  i discovered these when my friends took me for my 50th. they researched where to have the “best bloody mary in seattle”. took us straight to sams. they were right.


football art. by me. great quote. look for art for sale this summer. on this site.


then there is instagram. people ask why i’m posting so much lately. well, for a few years i posted about 7 photos. and it dawned on me that i could keep my photos, wants, needs, etc in one place and make myself a book each year. so, that’s why.

and anything beachy catches my eye. thanks @frankieboutique for selling this top. i am coming in this week to buy it. hope it’s still there. in my size. because the one sunny day we had this week makes me crave the beach.

now… on to baseball season (my favorite).

happy monday.


i am an official instagram junkie…


my daughter @fisher_brooke told me i’d like instagram.  i thought it was too much work to figure out something new.

boy was i wrong.

now i’m ON. feel free to follow me @hellotracy if you are a lover of art, food and homes that you swear you could pull off. in your dreams. lots of sarcasm. big surprise. a dreamer of a new wardrobe, jewelry and hair you’ll never pull off or afford. you know, the usual “girl” stuff.

please excuse me as i probably post at the wrong times.  probably post too many or too little photos.  probably don’t know you are following me because i just figured that out yesterday. so many “probably’s”. oh well. too bad.

now, log on!




thanks  @studiodiy




thanks  @sugarandcloth




thanks  @shopsocialitte




thanks  @oneteaspoon




thanks  @refinery29




thanks  @hungryobsession




thanks  @ashleylongshoreart


love love love instagram. until something better comes along for this photo, quote, food, clothing, art, sign, jewelry, cocktail,, purse, sunglass, flip flop, beach, “family AND carreer” girl.

happy monday.