untitled (1 of 51)Where have I been….

I have been to the beach. And the pool… and the garden and the closet, and all these other places that sometimes capture me and and keep me away from a computer.  And, to be honest… being away from a computer is blissful ignorance. But, then there is the awkward moment you forgot someone’s birthday because you’ve grown to rely on Facebook to remind you. Whoops.

It’s almost back to school time, which I always look at as a second New Year.  New pens and calendars, organizers and backpacks are lining the store shelves… and I’m a sucker for pens. I love a good pen.

My all time favorite “pen” is a Flair. It’s like if a marker and a pen had a baby, and they have been around forever. I might go buy one today with a nice shiny notebook so I can remember all of the stories I need to share with y’all. Stories like taking $5 hens to avian vets, emotional outbursts, re-arranging rooms to make room for adopted cockatoos, and encounters with ladies in tiaras. Stuff like that happens in my life… sometimes it’s entertaining. Sometimes I just want to write about it so I don’t forget, and sometimes it just matched the recipe I happen to be sharing.

Today’s story behind today’s recipe? A visit to a fire station that almost didn’t happen…

2013-07-09 13.32.54It took us three attempts to go there. The first attempt we were walking, and it started to rain… the second attempt… they weren’t there… soon as we pulled up- the truck left with lights flashing and sirens blaring.

My husband suggested I just burn something and call them.

But, finally they were there.  And, fortunately I had cookies left for them, too. The cookies granted us a full tour, even into their station house and massive kitchen. They had half of a cow  some huge steaks out marinating for supper that night. I totally wanted to snap a picture of their steaks.. but I didn’t want to weird the guys out.  They didn’t know I was an obsessive foodie photographer. They just thought I was a cookie baking mama.

Along with our complete tour,  they even gave my daughter a stuffed black panther (the one from The Jungle Book) -I need to Google that character’s name…. because my daughter keeps asking. Now she’s also asking to visit all the stations- which will be a great way for me to unload some extra cookies… otherwise there may be some jean issues arising.



I had read about cookies that you make with pudding , and how they come out moist and chewy with slightly crisp edges,  sounds like the perfect cookie in my book. So.. I went about making them.

2013-07-09 09.01.45and I ate a lot of the dough… (one of the best parts about being an adult, I suppose…)

2013-07-09 09.06.14I saved some of the dough for cookies…

2013-07-09 09.20.30And the final result? Good… they reminded me of the chocolate chip cookies from the grocery store bakery. Good texture, and flavor… and they kept their shape perfectly. It will be fun to play with this recipe and try other pudding flavors… I’m thinking a double chocolate chip for the next round…

chocolate chip pudding cookies

Author adapted from carnation milk


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. 4 serving size instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Directions
  • PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
  • COMBINE flour and pudding mix in small bowl. Beat butter in large mixing bowl on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar and baking soda until well combined. Beat in egg and egg white. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, salt and vanilla Drop dough by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  • BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool on baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.