Chewy Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies - The Classy NOT Trashy Ones


My Pinterest Making Daughter is at it Again.

And this time she made the Mother of all Cookies



We (Ok actually SHE) has done a lot of baking, but it was THESE cookies that I just knew I had to share with you guys.  As the original blogger of these cookies wrote "The cookies are a downright dream.  They are spicy and cinnamony and really, a high class snickerdoodle.  A classy snickerdoodle.  Definitely not a trashy snickerdoodle"

Bwahahahah!  Yes these are the classy kind of snickerdoodles, I'd never post a trashy one - my promise to you, my wonderful readers.

It's so hard to take a picture of the amazing texture the cookies had but just believe me, they were perfect :-)

My daughter is a "Follow the Rules" kind of gal.  When it says use cardamom, you better believe she was going to use cardamom, not the pumpkin pie spice I was trying to get her to use instead of making a trip out to the store :-)  I suppose I'm just a rebel rule breaker - ha!

Maybe that was the secret ingredient though as these DO taste like a dream :-)  A cozy spiced chai dream by the fire.

Don't let now long this recipe looks scare you - it's almost ALL spices - it's quite simple and easy to make.

Chewy Chai Snickerdoodles

Makes 24 cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces cream cheese softened
6 Tbsp butter melted and warm 
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I LOVE using my baking stoneware for all my cookies (believe me, stoneware is awesome for soft chewy cookies) but you could just line regular baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and ALL the spices.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, add the sugar, cream cheese and butter.  Beat until light and fluffy (1-2 min) Beat in the oil until combined and smooth. Add the egg, milk and vanilla until combined and smooth. Add the flour slowly and beat till combined.

Mix together the topping ingredients on a large plate.  Take the cookie dough and divide into 24 pieces, rolling each into a smooth ball. Roll each ball in the topping and place it on the baking sheet.  Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the cookie into flattened pieces of dough.  Don't go too thin though! These cookies taste SO GOOD a bit on the thick side.  Sprinkle the tops with any extra topping mixture.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 min. (if anything UNDERCOOK, don't overcook) Let them cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

(recipe taken from The Year of Cozy recipe book, shown on howsweeteats blog)

ENJOY my friends!!  

I hope you have a WONDERFUL Christmas!
 Maybe these can become a new cookie Christmas tradition :-)  

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Simple and Easy Christmas Party Appetizers

Hey Friends!

Can you believe Christmas is NEXT WEEK!

Wowzers :-)

It finally started snowing over here in Idaho. It's very pretty to see white everywhere.

It's also that time of year where we see FOOD everywhere - ha!  Lots of Christmas parties!

I thought it would be fun to have a list of really EASY but TASTY Christmas appetizer ideas that you can whip up for your next get together.

This one is my favorite "go to" appetizer.  Simply use cream cheese with a pepper jelly (strawberry jalapeno is my favorite)  Pair it up with crackers, pita chips or dipping bread for a great tasting appetizer.  Honestly, people will LOVE this - it's always eaten right away whenever I bring this to a party.

cream cheese pepper jelly appitizer
Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

This appetizer is along the same lines of the one above but I love how festive it looks.  

Pinecone Cheese Spread

It's made from cream cheese, Dijon mustard and green chilies mixed together.  When you add the sliced almonds it resembles a pinecone!  Serve with crackers. 

pinecone cheese spread appitizer
Pinecone Cheese Spread

Now who wouldn't love fruit, peanut butter and chocolate :-)

Welcome Apple Nachos :-)

Simply melt some creamy peanut butter, some chocolate chips and drizzle over the sliced apples.  Sprinkle with some full chocolate chips too.

nacho apple peanut butter and chocolate appetizer
Apple Nachos

We're back to cream cheese but this time with veggies :-)

Stuffed Cucumber Bites

Squeeze a cream cheese filling (add a bit of mayo and ranch dressing to the cheese) from a piping bag into hollowed out cucumber slices.

Top with a sliced baby tomato and some chives and VIOLA! Delicious  (somewhat healthy) and easy.

cucumber tomato appetizer bites
Stuffed  Cucumber Bites

Last but not least - one of my FAVORITES

Mozzarella and Tomato with Balsamic Vinegar

I don't care HOW you put this combination together, I love it.  And it's EASY!  Adding Basil is delicious too.  The way Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats put it together looks very festive.

festive tomato basil and mozzarella cheese bits
Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle

Which one is YOUR favorite?  
Feel free to add your simple easy appetizer idea in the comments - I love hearing new ideas.

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Simple Christmas Ideas for Home Decor and Parties

Hey Friends!

There are a few things I've run across lately that I really want to try.

For instance, this Heart Cocoa "Marshmallow" :-)  They say just to freeze whip cream and then cut out in heart shapes with cookie cutters.

It's so simple and would really be fun. (OK, and pretty...I might need to put on the mittens too just to achieve the whole feeling)


I also love this cute idea of using mini candy canes for food or name holders.

I think I could make this :-)


Moving on to home decor......

If I can make my home look this cute decorated with paper snowflakes I'm going to do it!  ha!

If you are brave, you can attempt to make the snowflakes yourself or just buy them off Amazon.  They aren't that much.

Luna Bazaar Paper Snowflakes

The snowflakes come in all sorts of colors.

You'll probably have to pin this and save this idea for next year but OH MY GOODNESS - people are so resourceful!  

This gal simply spray painted her orange pumpkins white and a small one black to make Frosty for her home decor.  

He is beyond cute - next year I'll probably try it.



I hope these photos inspired some creativity in your own mind :-) 

Enjoy the season my friends! 

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CUTEST Christmas Ornaments from Nature

Hey Friends!

I have a new love for PINE CONES.  Yep, after I saw these Christmas ornament crafts I wanted to go out and collect every pine cone within a 5 mile radius of my house - ha!

Leave it to Martha Martha Martha :-)

These pretty much just consist of pine cones, pipe cleaners and felt!

These owl pine cones looked VERY doable as a kid craft - you could have your kids make them for their school teachers - add the school name and year on them :-)

Or if owls weren't your thing - how about this reindeer pine cone! Kids would have a blast making it.


OK, I guess this next set is from Pottery Barn but I think all of you Creative Juices Readers could create a knock off - right? :-)  Maybe we just use some modeling clay like Sculpey that hardens in the oven for the cute creature face.  We could do that! (I have faith in all my readers as you can tell - hee,hee)

This is ADORABLE! 

How about making a pine cone garland?  I love the woodsy look.

Or even a bit better :-) A birch wood bark garland!  You can see my full post on ways to use birch wood in your home decor.

These raffia and star twig ornaments looked really fun to make too.


This wooden heart ornament is so simple yet really pretty and rustic!  Can you imagine a tree full of the hearts and pine cones? You could top it off with a birch bark garland :-)

The next time I see an acorn tree I will know what to do with all the acorns I pick up!

Isn't that pretty! - and very simple to make.


There you have it!  A bunch of great ornament ideas simply made from nature.  I hope you enjoyed getting inspired as much as I did. :-)

Which one do you think you'll try?

Have a great weekend!

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Tried and True Christmas Gift Ideas!

Hey Friends!

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving, we had a great time visiting my family in Seattle :-)

Next up - CHRISTMAS!

I've already bought a few things for the family but still have a ways to go.

I always love getting ideas from other people on what gifts they have really enjoyed so here is MY list for you guys!

All the items listed are things that we own and love. (i.e. Tried and True) ;-)

Gift Idea for ANYONE

The first gift idea is this starbucks coffee cup. (Even though I am not a huge fan of Starbucks coffee)

christmas list starbucks mug

Starbucks Stainless Steel Mug with Lid - Mint, 14 Fl Oz

Alright, does anyone else out there REALLY dislike drinking lukewarm coffee? For me, it's the worst, I won't drink it lukewarm  - it has to be hot.  It's like paying the bill after an amazing massage....all the stress that just left,  came back on - ha!  Yes, I view lukewarm coffee and bills one in the same - hee,hee.

I received this as a gift last year and let's just say, it's been used EVERY DAY SINCE.  I will never use another mug.  (I should buy myself another one just in case I lose it - HEY, I now have a Christmas idea for myself! LOL)

So, if you like coffee that stays HOT for a LONG time (around 3+ hours) this is the coffee cup to get.  The one receiving this gift will thank you forever, or you will just thank me forever if you get it for yourself - hee,hee!  (Just don't get burned with how HOT the coffee is, then you will hate me forever!)  Plus I love that it's stainless steel and has a gripping rubber bottom.  I promise, you'll love it.  (Read reviews if you don't believe me - hee,hee)

Gift idea for the person who loves GOOD coffee!

Aeropress Coffee Maker

I'm not even sure what to say about this next one - maybe that I couldn't live without it - that it gives me morning hope that my life will turn out OK?  haha! 

areopress coffee maker gift idea

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker

Honestly, this makes the BEST cup of coffee.  Yes, a single cup of coffee :-)  So if you are making coffee for 5 people every morning I wouldn't recommend this but if it's just for you or you and your spouse I have not found anything that beats the SMOOTH, non bitter flavor.  It's very simple to use and a really great gift idea for under $30. (Who needs a 200.00 Keurig?)  Just read the reviews off Amazon......I won't have to convince you that it's a pretty awesome gadget. (And you can even TRAVEL with it - woo has accompanied me on many camping trips.)

For the person who's trying to eat healthy during their lunch break 
(or at least save themselves some money by not going out daily!)

I have only read reviews about this product but it sounds fantastic!

Lunch Crock Pot Food Warmer

I am in love with big crock pots - why wouldn't I love this small one!  It would be perfect for work and I think it would be a very thoughtful gift!

Gift Idea for the person who cleans the house - LOL

This next idea is something I decided to try out and now I wouldn't live without one. I really do not like cleaning, BUT I have to say I actually get a little excited when I see a dust bunny dog running around as I can just grab my quick and easy vacuum sweeper!  

Nearly my entire first floor is wood and it's always showing the dirt and miscellaneous debris my kids are bringing in so I absolutely love being able to pull out my electronic sweeper instead of a broom.  It just goes SO FAST and it works great.  NOW, if you needed to do a deep cleaning sweeping job, I would still pull out the broom (to get all the nooks and crannies) but let's just say, I use the "old fashion" broom once a month and the rest of the time the easy electronic sweeper is fantastic.  (Especially for picking up the dog and Selina hair! haha.....yes, I shed nearly as much as the dog - I probably should have saved that for my next Fess Up post /-:) You can run this over carpet too and it will pick up surface stuff....but a real vacuum is better over carpet.

My favorite one is the Electrolux:

stick vacuum gift idea list blogger

Best Gift for Kids (ages 4 - 12 ish)

Quadrilla Basic Set -
Quality Wooden Marble Run!

non electronic kids gift idea list quadrilla

Finally, a quality toy you could give them that they would want to save for their OWN kids.  This is a ton of fun.  It comes with a booklet of all different templates of marble run ideas.  My kids have had this for years and STILL like pulling it out.  (my kids are 8,12 and 14 now)

 Small Jumparoo Boing! I Pogo Stick 
pogo gift idea post christmas

We bought pogo sticks for the kids one Christmas.  It's a lot of fun to have jumping wars to see who could get the most jumps without falling off. (and yes, I joined in....those suckers are harder than they look!)  I would buy one for each kid since who wants to jump alone - right?

#5. EZ Steppers - Fun Feet!  (it says an "educational toy" and yes, they have girl Raspberry EZ Stepper colors too)
Christmas gift idea fun feet steppers

 I read from the reviews these are tons of fun and an instant winner with kids   Most people mentioned they would buy more than one set because it is twice as much fun with a cousin or sibling!  My daughter enjoys her set when she pulls them out, seeing the world from a 7" higher perspective brings lots of smiles :-)

Best Gift for Older Kids (ages 7 - 16 ish)

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes [BOX SET]

calvin and hobbes christmas gift idea blog post
My kids were being VERY goofy for this "staged" photo :-)  

My children ADORE this collection (it has three large hardbound books in one case) and has entertained them for HOURS.  They never tired of it and sit by the fire and just laugh and laugh.  They quote me entire comic stripes and will tell me how Calvin would have reacted had HE been in a similar family situation  This is such a classic gift to get a child. My daughter (13) just told me again, "Ya, that was an AWESOME gift!" They are all hardbound and definitely something that could be passed down. :-)

Also as a side note, superhero COMIC books (xmen,marvel characters etc) are HUGE with this age group.  I have a feeling you might become the "cool" aunt/uncle if you got your niece/nephew one of these.  

My kids FAVORITE card games!
Tons of family fun. Adults will love these games too :-)

best family card game pit

This game will have everyone on the edge of their seat!  Fast pace and vocal :-)  My 7 year old just saw me writing this and was jumping up and down saying "I want to play pit!"  Adults will enjoy this game too.  (Hey, has anyone notice I haven't put ONE electronic gadget on this kid list LOL, yes, that is on purpose! - You're welcome mom ;-)

pit card game gift

Best Stocking Stuffer for a woman

Need I say more ;-)

Try this fun sugar scrub for your lips :-)  Ha, okay, that's not really how the lip exfoliator looks!

sugar scrub christmas gift list blogger

I have LOVED using this elf lip exfoliator, it really makes your chapped lips soft.

I always enjoy getting smelly things like bubble bath and candles in my stocking too.  

Best Stocking Stuffer for a man

Alright, let's get REAL here.  Men are SO HARD to get things general, I can't seem to find anything my husband would like under $50.00.  Men don't seem to like little trinket stuff like us woman do (am I right about this?)  

So I'm at a LOSS of giving you lots of ideas on stocking stuffers for the significant other in your life BUT I know my husband loves Quest Bars.  He doesn't buy them very much because they aren't cheap, so this year I'll be adding a few of his favorite ones to his stocking.  He's also on an "eating right" kick so getting an amazing yummy COOKIES AND CREAM protein bars instead of his normal fancy licorice, mints and toffee will probably make him happy. :-)

 (If anyone is laughing at me, I'd politely ask them to stop - hee,hee)

Alright, if the bars were "odd" - how about making him these DIY comic book coasters that he can put his new "everlasting hot" coffee cup on!

comic book coasters gift list by blogger

A few other MEN gift ideas are:

Gift Cards 
(For his favorite hobby - Fishing shop? Scuba shop? Hunting shop?)

Movie Tickets 
(You kind of score on that gift too.....hopefully - haha :-)  

Event Tickets.
(The sky is the limit! There are so many fun events to go to)

A Planned Romantic Getaway 
(If you have little kids, this gift might be the best present he ever got - ha)

(What would he enjoy? Cooking? Dancing? Brewing? Instrument?)

A Massage 
(My husband would like that....oh wait, not from ME, from this amazing Russian gal I found that is not afraid to actually WORK your muscles!)

PS - Anyone notices all those listed above are CLUTTER FREE!  That was just an extra bonus for ya :-)

That's it my friends!!! I hope I have given you a FEW ideas for Christmas this year.  At least you know they are things that are USEFUL and fun.

BEST gift idea list by blogger

I'd love to hear what your favorite gifts have been. I need ideas for ME! Just leave a comment!

ENJOY the season my friends! If you are new here - feel free to see my About Me page - I'd love to have you join in on the fun for future posts - the more the merrier :-)

 Don't miss out on Selina's home decor tips and inspirations - Sign up to receive her once a week post :-) The links to Amazon are my affiliate links - if you have any questions please see my full disclosure page.  Thanks you friends!!!

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