Add a Little Holiday Spirit

Dec 16, 2013 by

Building upon my previous post of creating your own traditions, infusing a little holiday spirit can be just just as simple as adding a little candy cane.

Candy Cane Cookies

If you are looking for an easy way to infuse some holiday spirit, just make some chocolate chip cookies and add in some crushed up candy cane.   It’s just that simple.

These are perfect for any holiday party or just to make the house smell awesome while you are wrapping presents.

My wife gave me the best compliment after making these, which was

“Never make these again!  They are too good and I can’t stop eating them!”

Your Truly Simple Action this week is to infuse a little holiday spirit into your week.  Turn on some Christmas music.  Make some cookies.  Invite some friends over for some eggnog (WARNING: Adults only!)


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s: 


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YOU Create Your Traditions

Dec 11, 2013 by

Close your eyes and think back to your favorite Christmas as a child.

I remember going up into the mountains to chop down a tree.  We spent more time getting stuck in the snow and helping out others get unstuck than we did getting the tree, but it was so much fun and exciting.

I remember the most delicious eggnog every year from our neighbors Christmas eve party.

I remember finding the little tiniest piece of plastic left out by my parents as they assembled the Millennium Falcon and being able to identify exactly what it was and knowing what I was going to get to open on Christmas day.

I remember hanging the stockings by the fireplace.

Those traditions I cherish didn’t just spring magically into existence.    My parents, neighbors, friends and relatives all worked to create those magical moments that I now remember fondly.

Now it is your turn.

Those fond memories of traditions past don’t create themselves.  It’s time to start a new tradition for your family.

I now have a son and this is his first Christmas so now I get to create some fun traditions for our family.  Now granted he’s only 11 weeks old and is happy with the blinking lights on the Christmas tree and won’t remember anything else, but I get the opportunity to create something magical.  I get the chance to create happy times among family and friends that will last for years to come.  I get to carry on traditions of the past and create new ones to be carried on in the future.  I get to create something to look forward to every year.

Could you use a few more great things to look forward to around the holidays?

Your Truly Simple Action is to create a new tradition this year and make something magical that you’ll look forward to recreating next year.

This will be fun and here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Invite some friends and family over for a Christmas party
  • Bake some cookies and deliver them to neighbors
  • Make some Eggnog (Warning: Adults ONLY) and sing Christmas carols
  • Adopt a family in need and buy them some gifts

The point is to take some time this year and create a new tradition that will last for years to come and will create wonderful memories for all those who take part.

What are your favorite holiday traditions that you do with your friends and family?  Share them in the comments to give some good ideas to others.


TSA = Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s: 


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Best cookie in the world – Take 1

Jan 14, 2012 by

I set out on a quest the other night.  To make the best cookie in the world.  I was craving a good cookie, but also had a brilliant idea.  I set out looking through the various cookie recipes and made some plans as to what to try.  Here are the results from the first attempt.


They were pretty spectacular and here’s how you make them.


Here’ s the usual cookie ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 small box of vanilla pudding


And here’s the brilliant idea.  Instead of chocolate chips I had an idea to use Frango’s.   I’m not a big chocolate person, but I LOVE Frango’s.


They used to be sold at a store called the Bon Marche that went out of a business a few years ago and now you can find them at Macy’s around the holidays.  I bought a box for my wife because they are awesome and because I wanted to eat a few of them.   After eating a few way too many, I had the great idea for an amazing chocolate chip cookie made with Frango’s.


First you need to blend the oatmeal.  These aren’t oatmeal cookies, but they have oatmeal in them and it makes them extremely soft and chewy.


Throw it in a food processor and process into a fine powder.


Now add your box of vanilla pudding to this mix.  I saw this on a few other recipes and thought I’d try it in the mix.  Set that mixture aside and grab your big mixer.


Add in your brown sugar


and white sugar


mix it up


add your butter


and eggs


Real vanilla from Mexico is awesome.  Use it if you have it.  If you don’t have it, go to Mexico and get some.


Throw the vanilla in


Then add the flour


finally add the oatmeal mixture


Now for the magical chocolate chips made from Frango’s…


I chopped them up into different sized chunks


I knew I was onto something good at this point


Preheat the oven to 375.  Mix the choloate into the dough and spoon out onto your baking sheets.


bake at 375 for 10 minutes and voila.


yeah they were pretty damn awesome.  Soft, chewy and a hint of mint.


Did I reach my goal on the first take? Its hard to say. They were amazing out of the oven and everyone in the office devoured the extra’s I brought in, but I think there is room for improvement. I was also going to shave a chocolate bar from Trader Joes and add that in, but I had enough chocolate with the Frango’s so I didn’t end up using that. I also don’t know that I needed the vanilla pudding mix. It was good, but maybe not necessary.

I’m going to continue the quest and tweak the recipe and search for some new ideas, but these are definately a keeper and something I’ll make around the holdiays. The mint in the chocolate is just to die for in these.


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