Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Goodness

My husbands  amuma (grandmother) used to make oatmeal cookies with dried apricots that the family sun-dried themselves from their orchard.  The best ones to dry are the ones that are over ripe…they aren’t pretty like the ones you see in the store, but they are a lot sweeter.  His amuma used to cut them in little pieces the size of raisins. We have a friend that his families business  makes the most delicious dried fruit and they have a product called Bakers Fruit Medley www.trainafood.com.  The medley is a blend of sun-dried pear, peaches, nectarines, apricots, golden and dark raisins and dried cranberries.  The pears, peaches, nectarines and apricots are cut into the size like amuma used to do with the apricots.  The Traina family are the growers, dryers and processors of the fruit.  Not only is it great in oatmeal cookies, I also use it in oatmeal for breakfast and in granola.

For the oatmeal I prefer is Snoqualmie Falls Lodge Oatmeal from Seattle, Washington.  Their website is www.snoqualmiefallsstore.com.  I like the consistency and the texture of the oatmeal.  You can use any brand you prefer.


1 cup (2 sticks),butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal (NOT quick oats)

1 cup fruit medley or 1 cup raisins


Snoqualmie Oatmeal IMG_3713

I keep a slice of bread in with my brown sugar to keep it soft. I change it out every so often as it gets hard.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla on low-speed til smooth.IMG_3716

Mix together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside about 1/4 cup and stir in the rest with the creamed mixture.IMG_3717

Mix together the oatmeal and the dried fruit. IMG_3718

Add the reserved 1/4 cup of flour mixture to the oatmeal and dried fruit.  This keeps the fruit from clumping together when you mix it in.

Add oatmeal and dried fruit mixture to the creamed mixture and continue to stir until blended.


I use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookie dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.  If you don’t have an ice cream scoop use a tablespoon.


Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Makes approximately 4 1/2 dozen cookies.IMG_3730

Grab a glass of cold milk and enjoy the cookies!

Comfort Food

I found this recipe years ago in  Sunset magazine.  The original name of the stew is Son-of-a-son-of-a-bitch stew.  I believe it was from a dude ranch in the west.  I have adjusted it a little bit…it had cabbage and something else I can’t remember in it before.  Years ago when my son was doing lineman work in Wyoming and the crew was gone for 8 days at a time I would make this and freeze it for my son and some of the crew to heat up in a microwave at their hotel.  It is definitely comfort food.  This with a nice slice of artisan bread is a great meal.  Your kitchen will smell wonderful when you make it!  I have shared this recipe with friends over the years and a young friend said I should put this on the blog…thanks Ali!

Son of a Gun Stew

3 pounds boneless beef stew meat with the fat trimmed (I bought a chuck steak and made my own stew meat)

2 large onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1/3 cup dry red wine

1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 quart beef broth

1 can beer (I use  Bud Light, but use whatever you want. The more full bodied the beer the stronger the taste.)

4 large carrots, sliced

1 cup celery coarsely chopped

2 dried bay leaves

2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes


In a 6-8 quart pan or Dutch oven, combine beef, onions, garlic and Worcestershire. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes.  Uncover and stir often until liquid evaporates and its residue turns dark brown.  Add wine and stir to release browned bits.


Smoothly mix flour, sugar, thyme and pepper.


Mix in 1 cup of beef broth until smooth.  Add to beef along with remaining broth.


Add beer, carrots, potatoes, celery and bay leaves. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer.  Cover and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced and carrots and potatoes are done, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season to taste with salt.


Serves 4-6 people