Bananaberry Cookies

Monday! Need a cookie!

So far, today has been fabulous. After a weekend with Matt (the first Friday and Saturday in a row that we’ve both had together…and not working…in a LONG time…maybe ever), I am off today and living it up. Workout with a friend, wandering around a mall, very relaxing. I’ve noticed (and Matt has, too) that having a job {at a church} that I love, living in a lovely neighborhood, and feeling sunshine most every day has really livened my spirits. Life is too short to be unhappy or just be content, and I’m very thankful that this is a season in my life where things are pretty darn awesome. You know what I mean? Life has ups and down, of course, so I’m trying to relish in the moments when there’s a lot to smile about. I hope that for you, too.  

Here are a couple of fun photos:

Waldport, OR

Our front yard

See Mt Hood in the middle?

Front yard again

Rose Garden in Portland…no roses yet, but these cuties are blooming!

Our side yard…granted, we live on a church campus, so we take NO CREDIT for the gorgeous flowers!

Now on to butter, strawberries and bananas. To be honest, cooking/baking bananas is a pretty weird concept to me, but usually tastes good. These cookies are pretty tasty. For those who aren’t obsessed with chocolate, these are a nice alternative–quick and easy, too. This is my cousin Cindy’s cookie dough base recipe, and I’ve tweaked it a little to allow for the strawberry and banana.

Bananaberry Cookies!
Makes 15-18 medium-sized cookies
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup white sugar

1 stick butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped strawberries (about 4 large)

1/3-ish cup chopped banana (1 small banana)

step one: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix first four {the dry} ingredients together in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine butter through vanilla.
step two: Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and combine until lumps are out, but don’t stir forever. Fold in strawberries and banana.
step three: On a nonstick baking pan, scoop 1 tablespoon worth of dough and space apart by an inch or two (they spread a little). Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until non-jiggly and a little brown on top. Let cool for 2 minutes or so before transferring to a cooling rack or before devouring. Enjoy! 

Happy eating!


Strawberry Black Pepper Sorbet

I’ll admit it…my great Aunt Betty (who’s turning 80 pretty soon and is pretty awesome) gave us one of the coolest wedding gifts. An ice cream maker. And, while I LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream and this gift in particular, 4 1/2 years have passed and the gift is still in the sealed box. Sorry, Aunt Betty. The positive? It’s time to unleash the beast!! I’m so excited!

Strawberry Black Pepper Sorbet
Fresh fruit, a little sugar and a kick of black pepper mixes sweet with a little bite. Enjoy ripe red strawberries in late Spring or Summer, when they’re naturally sweeter. From Cooking Light

1 cup water 
3/4 cup sugar
2 pounds strawberries (about 6 cups sliced)
2 TB lemon juice
2 teaspoons crushed black peppercorns

1. DISSOLVE: In a medium saucepan, heat water and sugar on medium heat. Bring water to a boil, and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Stir in peppercorns and set the syrup aside.

2. CUT: Cut leafy tops off of strawberries and slice each strawberry in half (2 pieces). 

3. BLEND: In a blender, combine half of the strawberries, 1 TB lemon juice and half of the syrup. Blend until mostly smooth (I prefer a few strawberry pieces to remain). Pour the strawberry mixture into the freezer can of your ice cream maker, and repeat the process of blending the rest of the strawberries, lemon juice and syrup.

4. FREEEEZE: After all is poured into your ice cream maker, watch the magic happen! (And don’t forget to put the stirring paddle into the bowl, like I did the first time.) Voila! A healthy, tasty, sweet sorbet treat! Scoop and serve.


Happy eating! Laurel


Citrus Cherry Cocktail

It’s June already. Thank goodness. And with the official start of summer, it’s nice to have an adult beverage to sip on the veranda…or on the couch.

Matt made this one for me, but he’s graciously sharing this simple treat with us. 3 ingredients, sweet and tart, and great for a hot summer evening.

Citrus Berry Sipper
2 servings

2 ounces cherry vodka
1/2 cup lemonade
2 strawberries, chopped into bits
5 ice cubes

In a shaker or a tightly sealed cup/bowl, combine the vodka, lemonade and ice for 30 seconds.

Pour into 2 glasses and sprinkle half of strawberry bits into each glass. Sip and soak in your summer.

Happy Monday (tomorrow), Friends!


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