Ranger Cookies



These cookies are superb!  They are chewy and crispy at the same time and have the perfect amount of sweetness.

You will not be able to have just one…make sure you have neighbors to share with so you don’t end up eating 4 dozen by yourself!

Let the sweet adventure begin!


You’ll want to start with 2 sticks of salted butter at room temperature.


To the mixer bowl with butter, add 1 cup brown sugar,


1 cup white sugar and cream for about 4-5 minutes on medium speed, with the paddle attachment.


Crack in 2 large eggs and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.


Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix to combine.


In a separate large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour with


1 teaspoon baking soda,


1/2 teaspoon baking powder (don’t look at this pic too long, you may go cross-eyed…)


1/2 teaspoon salt,


2 cups of old-fashioned oats,


and 2 cups of rice krispies.


Whisk together.


Add to mixer bowl and beat until incorporated.


Add 1 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut and mix.

Drop by scoop on a cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees, about 10-11 minutes.


Servings: 4 dozen


Out of this world!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

Mold on Your Shoes?

It sounds disgusting, right?  What kind of people allow their shoes to get moldy?  Where in the world do they store them so that this happens?

The fact of the matter is that sometime in your life, you will run into a pair of your own moldy shoes.  It happens to everyone.  Especially with leather shoes.

Why?  High humidity.  Dark space.  Hardly any ventilation.

How do you get rid of the mold on your shoes and make them wearable again?


Fill your tub with warm water and a little of your laundry detergent.  Submerge your moldy shoes in the water and scrub at them with a bristle brush if you have one or vigorously with a rag.  Add a bit of vinegar to your rag and massage that all over your shoes, inside and out.

Then pat your shoe dry and set it out into the sun for the day to

  • Dry it
  • Kill the mold!


How to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

Make sure that you let your closet breathe.  Open doors to closet frequently and open windows in room it’s adjoined to.  Have a dehumidifier in the closet.  Don’t pack your closet wall to wall.  Keep stuff away from the walls.



Weekly Watering Schedule


When I first moved out on my own, I decorated my apartment with beautiful houseplants.  And proceeded to kill them all.

Not on purpose!  I just could not for the life of me figure out when to water my plants and either overwatered them or they died from thirst.

I used to walk around and insert my finger in the soil of each plant and determine that way which plants needed watering and when.

Well, this method is sure to bring you lots of sadness as one by one each of your plants dies a slow and agonizing death!  I even managed to kill a cactus that my husband bought me, telling me that he was sure I couldn’t possibly go wrong with it…

Easiest way to ensure your houseplants survive?

Implement a weekly watering schedule.  Decide which day you’d like to assign to watering all of your houseplants.  Stick to that day, forever!

Even when you introduce a new plant to your home, don’t water them until the next weekly cycle.

All of your plants will get used to this schedule and thrive!

Another little tip, so that you don’t overwater or not give enough is to circle the perimeter of the pot with your watering can until all of it is moistened.  Despite common misconceptions, water does not need to be pouring out of the holes at the bottom of the pot in order for the plant to be thoroughly watered!



Shoot ‘Em Dead

Say what?


Oh yeah.  They’ve invaded and it’s time to go to war.  There are limitations to tolerance and even this animal-loving family has them.

When my husband and I first moved in to our lovely home, we were enchanted by our woodsy backyard, and all the wildlife that seemed to congregate there.  It was serene and we all lived together harmoniously.  We put out birdfeeders and exclaimed over the cuteness of the little chipmunks that sat underneath them, feeding off of the scraps dropped by the multitude of songbirds that visited our yard.  We laughed at the cunning squirrels who would do anything to get at the birdseed, hanging upside down on the feeders and opening the tops of them to get their little claws in there.  We marveled at the deer who found serenity in our woods.  And we could barely contain our excitement over the family of groundhogs who moved in.

Until the day that they all took over. The groundhogs had more babies and started eating every beautiful shrub, flower, herb and vegetable plant in sight.  The deer ate every piece of evergreen on our property; our hedges, our holly, our “border” plants.

But it’s the squirrels with whom we have the beef.  It’s the squirrels who started getting on our nerves when we found them at all of our feeders, robbing them all.

….and then we started seeing them running along the length of our gutters.  A bit disconcerting when you get out of your steamy shower and find yourself eye-to-eye with a fat, smiling gray squirrel right outside the window.  My husband started getting concerned that since they’d already worn out their welcome as outdoor guests and felt entitled to, they might be getting designs on trying to find a way to become indoor ones.  He got some have-a-heart traps.  And only caught some cute wild bunnies…

Then the hole appeared.  Not a big one, just big enough for a squirrel to squirm through.  In the eave of our house, outdoors.  And they moved in; their family, their boxes and suitcases full of acorns.  And they were the lousiest unwanted tenants ever.

The noise level was ridiculous.  There was all sorts of banging and crashing during the day. And the traffic coming in and out of that hole, well, it must have been drug running or something.

We tried squirrel traps in the attic.  But they are too clever.  They send their lower caste employees, the mice, over to test everything out for them. To ensure safety.  So, we caught many a mouse and were plagued with gray squirrels.

And then Clint Eastwood showed up.  In the form of my tough husband.  Enough is enough and he was taking back his house, his yard, his property, his world.  And he borrowed his father’s 22 rifle and that was that.

And we’ve lived in relative peace and quiet as most squirrels in these parts have heard the stories of their relatives blown to bits by the baddest gunslinger in the wild east.

But recently………we’ve had a visitor…….not from these parts……and the 22 has been taken out of its dusty case…


To mulch or not to mulch?

That is the question…

10 years ago we bought our home on the seacoast and utilizing the ideas from my “dream home” folder became a reality.

My first step was to plant the wildflower garden of my dreams.  In my mind, the garden looked like the backyard of an English countryside cottage.  Random plantings of beautiful flowers of all colors, shapes and sizes strewn together to create a poetic backdrop to our lovely home.


It can be so disappointing to visualize something in minute detail and then not have it come out at all.

10 years later, 1/2 of my beautiful flowers have been pulled out of the ground, by me, because I could no longer tell the difference between actual plants and weeds.

I’m not sure how you get that English cottage artistic garden look.  Unless you surrender to the fact that much of your garden will be overcome by weeds.  Or unless you have all the time in the world to constantly be pulling out the weeds to hopefully let the flowers take over?

Either way, this is the spring where I put down the landscape cloth, cut a hole to let my remaining plants out and mulched the heck out of my garden.

Not exactly the look I was going for, but I’d rather see a neat garden than one that looks as though it’s been forgotten for a century.


And I know now that it was overkill for me to lay down the landscape cloth.  A 3-inch layer of mulch around your perennials or annuals will suffice as a natural weed killer.  Who knew?!


Blueberry-Banana Muffins


These muffins are spectacular.  They are moist and have pieces of banana and bursts of blueberry and…………….just yum!

Let the sweet adventure begin!


Put 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour in a medium bowl,


then add 1 teaspoon baking soda,


1 teaspoon salt,


1/2 teaspoon baking powder,


1/2 teaspoon nutmeg,


and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.


Whisk together.  Set aside.


In a large bowl add 1 cup sugar


with 1/2 cup vegetable oil,


2 large eggs, beaten,


and 2 teaspoons vanilla.


Whisk until blended.


Stir in 2 ripe mashed bananas and


1 cup blueberries.


Add the dry ingredients and stir gently with the spatula until just combined.

Spoon into 12 cup muffin tin.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from tin and cool on wire rack.


Servings: 12 muffins

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!



Korean Salad

IMG_9824This salad is so much fun!  It is colorful, flavorful and surprising with all of its textures.

I’m not usually a huge fan of spinach salads, but this one’s dressing was so tasty that it offset the mildness of the baby spinach leaves.

Let the savory adventure begin!

DRESSING:IMG_9809Put 1/4 cup of sugar in a jelly jar and to it add


1/2 cup of vegetable oil,



2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar,


1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon salt.

IMG_9815Put lid on jar and shake vigorously!

IMG_9816Look at that gorgeous color!




Grab a lovely plate and arrange a pile of baby spinach leaves and then top with bean sprouts.


Add some chopped hard boiled eggs,


some fried, crumbled bacon, salt and pepper,


drizzle salad with dressing,


and top with Chow Mein noodles.


Delicious and inventive!

Servings: The dressing will easily make 8 plates of salad.  You will just need to have enough spinach, sprouts, eggs, bacon and chow mein noodles on hand!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

Kids’ Events in Your Neck of the Woods

Check out this calendar of events for kids in Massachusetts…

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and that’s just for today!

And this one for New York…

and one for Georgia…

and the calendar for Minnesota…

and on and on and on.

You can easily find a calendar of events in your neck of the woods, you local town, or the city closest to you filled with ideas for a fun day with your family.

Some events may cost money but most are free to the public or highly discounted if you get passes through your local library.

Here’s how you find out about kids’ events where you live:

  1. Google ”  _______________ kids calendar”   (Insert the name of your town or city in the blank space)
  2.  Hit return!

That’s it!

And not only will you find town or city sites with calendars but you’ll also find blogs that may tell you about some well-kept secrets or what times to go to avoid long lines, or where to find free outings.

A young Mom I recently met clued me in to my local kids’ calendar and I just want to hug her every time I see her!

If this is the 1st you hear of it, you’ll want to hug me too!

Start Your Engines!


You like yourself, right?  And you really enjoy being warm and cozy?  And may I be so bold as to assert that you probably do not particularly care for popsicle toes and a frozen nose?

This may seem like a common sense notion, but you would be surprised how many people I speak to that do not do themselves this favor.


If the weather is 50 degrees and below, start your car at least 20 minutes before you are scheduled to leave and crank the heat!

I sometimes wonder if part of the reason that we New Englanders are stereotyped as Cranky Yankees is because we allow ourselves to get into freezing cold cars everyday!  That is no fun.

And there is nothing better than walking into the frozen outdoors, bracing yourself against a bustling wind, just to enter the warm embrace of your toasty car.

Take the time.  It’ll be worth it.  For you and for everyone you smile at that day!