Friday, March 29, 2013

A Recipe and a Blog Hop

Today, I'm sharing a delicious recipe with you from my sidebar pal, Tif! She blogs at The Rambling Southern Belle. If you're looking for a savory Easter Monday breakfast, look no further!

What You'll Need:
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled hickory-smoked bacon
  • 3 tablespoons mined green onion
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 24-count mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, unfold each pie crust. Using a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles from each pastry. Press pie crust into bottom of each muffin cup.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cheese, bacon, and onion. Evenly divide bacon mixture into each muffin cup. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half-and-half, eggs, and seasonings. Evenly divide egg mixture among muffin cups. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes and serve warm. 
Enjoy! And join the I Love My Post Blog-Hop!
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I love my post 
Welcome to the I Love My Post blog hop where we invite you to link up your favourite post of the week, to show it off and hopefully receive some love from the others partaking in the hop! If you are yet to participate in a hop they are really simple to get the hang of all you need to do is 'hop' around, hopefully finding some new great reads!

The Rules are simple. 
1. Check out and follow the hosts and co-hosts. Leave them a comment if you would like them to follow back. 
2. Choose at least 3 other blogs and hop on over and leave them some love, plus let them know how you found them - I'm sure they would love it if you followed as well! 
3. Have Fun and come back next Saturday.
Please just don't link up and click off. To make this successful everyone needs to hop around!

Your hosts this week are: 
Sarah from Life in a Break Down 
Bex from Futures 
...and our lovely co-hosts are: 
Lauren from Simply Free 
Jo from Jo, My Gosh! 
Fiona from Dolly Dowsie 

I would love it if you would tweet, share on Facebook or place our button on your blog, the more sharing we can get happening the bigger this hop can become!
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This week's Featured Blogger is: Autumn from My Kind of Introduction
Enter The Realm 
Autumn is lovely I first came across her blog in a Facebook group and it's one I now visit most days (most as me doing anything daily just doesn't happen) her blog features all sorts from reviews to giveaways. She's a craft, photography mad Mum so make sure you check her out ~ Sarah
If you have been featured grab our button!
I Love my Post
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If you fancy being next week’s featured blogger make sure you follow all the rules give you hosts and co-hosts a follow and Sarah could be calling on you next week to come and feature with us.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Hi! I am thrilled to be the SITS Girls' featured blogger today! I absolutely love the friendships that I've cultivated through SITS (you know who you are!). If you are a blogger and haven't checked out this extraordinary community, you really should! You won't be disappointed!

A special welcome to any SITS-tahs who are in the house! Please let me know you've dropped by! I'd love to link up and  stay in touch with you through Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest

I started Jo, My Gosh! last August as a way to catalog and cope with my fiance's year-long deployment to Afghanistan. (Today's Deployment Day 296! And we're still going strong!) 

Since so many people have the same reaction when they find out that John is currently serving a tour in Afghanistan--"We're still over there? I thought everyone was coming home!"-- I think it's important to write about what deployment is like for us. And--I'm not going to sugar-coat it-- it can be frustrating, frightening, and tiring.

But this blog isn't just about the military or just about deployment. And it's not just about the negative stuff that has happened this year. There have been a many wonderful things that have transpired, too!

Here's what you can expect from Jo, My Gosh! I share the care packages that I send to John (and my college-going sister, Becky). You can regularly find posts about recipes and crafts that I've tried and loved. I also frequently document my quest to complete a list of 100 goals and activities in 365 days. (Learning how to blow glass and make sushi is still on the list... but plans to do both are in the works!) As a side note, if you have your own bucket list (or whatever you happen to call it), be sure to link up with my Carpe Diem Directory!  With a wedding that's coming up in just 106 days (but who's counting?) I'm excited to post more wedding ideas, tips, and DIY adventures, too! 

Life is what you make it-- and I'm trying to make it amazing and memorable! Browse around, get comfy, and join me for the ride!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Caramel, Chocolate, and Pecans... Oh My!

If you haven't caught on by now that I love desserts, I haven't been doing my job!  Last week, I got together with two friends and needed a treat to take over to their house. I was tired, looking for something easy, and needed something that I already had all of the ingredients for. Of course, I went through my Pinterest stash, and found these bad boys lurking in the corner of my Recipes to Try board. 

This is not my original recipe, but I have modified it (and, in my humble, biased opinion, I think mine look less anemic when comparing the photos). If you're looking for the original, check it out here. (Eat at Home Cooks has tons of other recipes for cake mix... they look great!)

You'll Need:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (I used Traditional White because that's all I had, and they turned out wonderfully!)
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (I had 2/3 of one, and it was plenty. A whole jar may make your turtle blondies swim.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. Mix the cake mix with butter and milk.  
  3. Pour half the batter into a 9×13 pan.  The batter will be thick-- spread it out evenly with a spatula. (Since this is the bottom of the bar, I erred on the side of caution and made the base a little thicker than that top layer.)  Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over bottom layer. Pour caramel over the chips and pecans. Use a spatula to spread it out if needed.
  5. Add the rest of the batter over the top and spread with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool before you dig in. 
(If you try it before then, the caramel will have retained the heat of molten lava. You will not be able to taste food for days. Not that shoved a piece of this sweet goodness in my mouth approximately 30 seconds after I had taken it out of the oven... I would never do such a thing...)

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A (Care Package) Blast from the Past!

I jumped in a time machine to bring you this post! Now that I'm on Spring Break, I've had a moment to clean up my SD cards and organize some of my computer files.

And guess what I found? A care package from this summer-- before I had a blog or was really taking photos of what I was sending John. I can't believe I only took five pictures of this care package! Literally, what you see is what I have!

While the Olympics are long gone and won't be back until Sochi in 2014, you could definitely modify this idea to fit any big sporting event-- the World Cup, March Madness, the World Series... You'd just need to find themed movies and magazines. the rest falls into place!

  • Chariots of Fire
  • Cool Runnings
  • Caramel Cremes (John's favorite) 
  • Peanut M&Ms (to share with his office) 
  • A mini-basketball game (found at Dollar Tree)
  • A ping-pong game that attaches to any surface (found at Barnes and Noble)
  • A mini-bowling set (found at Claire's)
  • Sports Illustrated and Time

I would be remiss if I didn't include a photo of the inside and the outside!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

#26 Eats It!

It's been a bit of time since I last posted about a checked off item on my 100 in 365 list. I've crossed off quite a few-- books, mostly. I went to a bridal show (more about that later), and I ran an 8k. 


I ran an 8k. Let me put some more emphasis on that. I  ran an 8k. You might remember that my friend Ashley and I walked the Baltimore Half-Marathon in October when I was able to cross off #24 from my list.  (There's some photographic evidence to the right if you need it! Look at how short my hair was in October!) 

Afterwards, we both realized that we liked it so much, we wanted to try to actually run it.  We didn't think we had enough time to train for a full-fledged half-marathon since both of our guys were coming home for R&R at different times over the winter. But an 8k? That sounded do-able! 

I have to confess, my "training" for the run wasn't very disciplined. I let myself make excuses way too often because I was just being lazy or grumpy or sad. Or all three. 

When I finished, my time wasn't at all what I'd ever want it to be. There were fourth graders who were passing us like it was their job. It started raining the minute we finished-- by the time we got to the car we were drenched and shivering-- and I hobbled around like an old lady for the next day-and-a-half. 


I ran an 8k. I didn't give up. It's the furthest I've ever run consecutively, without stopping or wussing out in my entire life. And that is pretty exciting.
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Being the Easter Bunny!

Happy Palm Sunday! Yesterday, in my post about Becky's Easter Egg Hunt package, I mentioned that John also received a mailable egg hunt. Here it is! 
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I won't bore you with the details since the idea is exactly the same as Becky's

However, there are three notable differences:
  • Dino eggs instead of sea creature eggs. I had to dude-up the box a little!
  • I sent him a couple dozen Quinoa Breakfast Cookies instead of a gigantic Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
  • Instead of cramming each egg full of candy (as I did with Becky's), I wrote little goofy notes and slipped them into each egg with a mini Reese's Peanut Butter egg.
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And there you go! Happy hunting!
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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Mailable Egg Hunt

It's almost Easter! Why not send an egg hunt to someone you love?

I did just that for both John and my kid sister, Becky, who's away at college right now. Toady, I present the box I sent her. Later this week, you'll get to see John's!

Because we had such an advanced notice of John's deployment, I had been stockpiling care package items after every holiday. (It's so much easier to send care packages all the time when you've gotten 75-90% off deals!) I've had packages of eco-friendly, paper Easter basket grass and two dozen plastic eggs stashed in my care package corner for a year now.You can imagine how happy I am that Easter is now here-- if for no other reason than to get that stuff out of my bedroom!

Becky's eggs were stuffed with mini Reese's  eggs. I also threw in a gigantic Reese's Egg. It is legitimately the largest peanut butter egg  I've ever seen sold. (Don't worry, this one was not hoarded from last year!) 

And, of course, I threw in Father Angle Time.

Who is that? you ask. Father Angle Time is only the longest running joke in my family's history! A few years ago, my sisters and I were shopping at a bent-and-dent discount store close to our folks' house. You know the kind of store-- industrial lighting, weird odds and ends in piles on tables, discontinued food... If you're looking for Israeli children's cereal or a ten-pound can of malted milk, look no further! And that's where we discovered the  greatest find of them all-- Father Angle Time.

We were perusing the party supplies and we saw the best sign in the entire world. In very bold handwriting it read, "Father Angle Time-- 99 cents!" (No, that's not a typo for angel. It specifically said angle.) Below the sign were at least 30 Father Angle Times stacked up like creepy, whacked-out, unblinking firewood. 

Instead, Father Angle Time looks like he just escaped from a demented psych ward. But he was 99 cents. We had to have him.  (Admittedly, 99 cents was probably too high of a price to pay for Father Angle Time.)

Father Angle Time shows up in unexpected places-- in the freezer, under pillows, hanging from a hook in the shower. When Becky left for college, we hid him in her suitcase. When she came down to visit us, I opened the fridge the day after she left to find him staring up at me between the juice and milk.

When I made up Becky's box, I had him in my possession-- he had to make the trip to her! It was too easy to hide him! And of course, Becky'd never expect to be there!

When she opened the package, she posted a photo on Facebook of Father  Angle Time uncovered, staring up from the box like the scary nightmare he is.

Boom, Becky. You got Father-Angle-Timed!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eye Spy...

I'm just going to put it out there: I wore awesome black eyeglasses way before hipsters discovered it. I was wearing them around the time of Whose Line is it Anyway? That's right. In high school, my style icon was Drew Carey.
That generally went the way of the dodo bird when I hit college and went for sleek, frameless glasses. I love the way I look in those, but I've been secretly harboring my love for my Drew Careys too. So, I was excited when contacted me to review their products (and I was even more excited when I saw that they had the exact kind of glasses I used to wear in high school). 

I'll admit it: I was very nervous about ordering prescription glasses from the internet since, for me, they're not just a fashion item-- I really do need them to see. However, it really was super easy, once I had gotten my prescription from my eye doctor. A few clicks and I was ready to go!

The hardest thing was trying to decide which pair would look best on me. (They do have a widget that helps you "try" on glasses virtually.) I'm not sure if what I chose looks the best on me, but I do love the design by itself. The glasses were shipped very quickly, and I actually cannot tell a difference between the quality of the glasses I bought online and those that I would normally buy from a brick-and-mortar store.All glasses come with a hard case, cleaning cloth, and a card verifying the prescription you ordered (if you ordered prescription glasses).

The total of my glasses (frames and lenses)-- with prescription and shipping-- came to $45. I think that's pretty impressive by any metric. If you want to buy glasses on a budget, check out They feature a lot of different Sales & Coupons that can help reduce the price and get you the best possible price. And, since you're a reader of my blog, you can use this special discount coupon to take 10% off: Blog10.

And don't forget-- we only have a little under two days left of our Freakin' Awesome March Giveaway! Make sure you enter to win over $80+ in prizes!

Disclaimer: provided me with a gift certificate so that I could buy glasses to review for this post. All opinions--both positive or otherwise-- are completely mine. I only review, refer, and suggest products that I believe in and that I would use.
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Monday, March 18, 2013


Something super exciting happened last week! I was contacted by Aaron, a co-founder of RallyPoint, Harvard Business School student, and Iraq War veteran, to be a part of the first-ever RallyPoint blogger team! (Interested in credentials? Check out this Forbes article!) 

Think of RallyPoint as a free, secure and professional military version of Linked-In. It connects service members with the information and people they need to put themselves on the career trajectory that they want. Use RallyPoint to connect with other service members, earn introductions to influential leaders, gain personal and individual career advice, and investigate PCS opportunities. The site also pinpoints service members and opportunities by geographic location, so you can make sure you're networking in your area or in locations you'll PCSing or deploying to. Right now, RallyPoint is in it's first ground-breaking stages and has a lot of fantastic plans in store.

(Did I also mention that their advisory board includes two former Chiefs of Staff? Yeah, they're not messing around here)

If you or someone you know is serving through active duty, National Guard, active reserve, ROTC, or  service academies, join and begin using RallyPoint! Here's something else awesome: the program will eventually open to vets, Department of Defense civilians, and military spouses, so you can register and receive updates to let you know when more services are available. 

Check it out and see for yourself!

And now, you know you want to enter our Freakin' Awesome March Giveaway! With $40 in gift cards and $40+ in advertising space, you can't afford not to enter! 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this blog post or any subsequent blog posts about RallyPoint; I am, however, compensated for referrals from this and other subsequent posts. All opinions--both positive or otherwise-- are completely mine. I only review, refer, and suggest products that I believe in and that I would use.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Erin Go Care Package!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone! I spent this weekend in Virginia Beach running the Shamrock 8k with a friend and apartment hunting-- both things which are super exciting!  (And don't worry--there will be a post to follow soon!) That's why this holiday-specific package is getting posted a little on the late side. (I hope you're not to drunk off of green beer to read it! If you are, save it until tomorrow!) 

I've been trying to send John care packages that are full of useful things, rather than cutesy things that don't help him at all. 

...But for Saint Patrick's Day, I couldn't wait to send him a frivolous package. After all, it's Saint Patrick's Day! When I was in high school, I marched in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin with my high school band, so for the last 10 years or so, it's always had a very special place in the spot in my heart reserved for holidays. 

You know it's not a package of mine without a god-awful pun. For this box, I couldn't help myself; there are two. Both are absolutely groan-worthy.

I thought it would be great to send John a bit o' fun. I don't know if he'll be able to use it. If he can't, I hope that he at least gives it to someone who can.

Let me preface this by saying (honestly and truthfully, Mom), I am a sober beer pong player. I attribute this to my love of playing dumb games that require zero skill and my absolute disdain for the taste of beer. Really, I can't stand the stuff. It makes me want to gag. When it comes down to it, I may have only played beer pong a total of 10 times... ever. And one time may not even count because we were playing with eggnog (another substance that I dislike) at Christmastime.

Afghanistan is (obviously) a dry country, so there's no green beer or Irish whiskey to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with. Instead, I sent a game of (root) beer pong!

The package showed up on March 17, which is exciting! It's nice to know that when there are so many variables with this deployment, I can actually count on the mail!

Are you feeling lucky? Enter our Freakin' Awesome March Giveaway and get an extra boost from the Irish this month!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

I HATE the Word "Patty"

Yes. I hate the word "patty." It's such a weird word, and, since I'm a country girl at heart, it doesn't help that whenever I hear it, it makes me think of cow patties. However, I do love me some York Peppermint Patties and Saint Patty's Day ain't bad either.

Here's a (very easy) recipe that I experimented with as I was getting a Saint Patrick's Day box together for John. The candies melt into the batter during baking, which gives the brownies a really light minty taste-- it's not overpowering in the slightest. Whip it up for something to nosh on tomorrow!

You'll Need:
  • 1 box of brownie mix (and the ingredients needed to make it)
  • 10 York Peppermint Patties, smashed or broken into smaller pieces
  • 8x8 baking pan
  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature outlined on your brownie mix box for an 8x8 pan.  
  2. Mix together the ingredients needed to make brownie batter and spread half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the baking pan.
  3. Drop York Peppermint Patty pieces in an even layer across the brownie batter. Spread the rest of the batter so that you cover the candies. 
  4. Bake for 55 minutes. (Note: The brownies will be exceptionally fudgy since the candies will melt into the batter. No worries-- the brownies are done, they're just very moist!)

Are you feeling lucky? Enter our Freakin' Awesome March Giveaway and get an extra boost from the Irish this month!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight and a Giveaway!

It's that time again! I'd love you to meet my wonderful sidebar sponsors! You'll remember a few-- some are back for a second round-- and some are brand-new! They're all wonderful ladies with great blogs! Please check them out and enter our Freakin' Awesome March Giveaway! We've got so much up for grabs-- the winner goes home with over $80 in gift cards and advertising! 

Meet Tif from The Ramblings of a Southern Belle!
Hiya, y'all! I'm Tif! I blog over at The Ramblings of a Southern Belle. I'm married to my high school sweetheart for almost 24 years now (and I put a love note in his lunch every single day).  Proud momma of an amazing son who is about to be 24... yikes-- I'm old!  I love the Lord, fashion, and everything Pink! I'm thrilled to be sitting on Jo, My Gosh!'s sidebar and can't wait to get to know all of you!
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Meet Jean from What Jean Likes!
I'm Jean... a single mom, photographer and blogger and none of those is my "day job".  What Jean Likes is a place where I share all the things in my life that inspire me whether it's a post about parenting, sharing my latest shots from a photography session or doing a product review, the topics change and range depending on my mood or current life experiences.

Meet Breanna from Sweet Silver Lining!
I'm a 24-year-old recently graduated nurse from Minnesota. I love country music, the color pink, sparkles, and dream of living in Nashville.

Meet Kate from Life as I Know It
I am a stay-at-home wife and mama of three. I love to do crafts and DIY projects. I have the Pinterest bug and I am a cook in training.

Meet Jenni from A Dash of Sunshine

My name is Jenni, and I blog over at A Dash of Sunshine! I like to share my day-to-day ramblings, pictures of my favorite almost three-year-old, and the occasional recipes I am cooking up!

Meet Natasha from Serenity You

Hi, I'm Natasha. I'm mum to three cheeky monkeys and love to blog about our daily life, crafts, recipes, and a little bit of everything else. My favorite thing to do is read blogs and I often browse Pinterest for hours!

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You, too, can be featured on Jo, My Gosh! Check out our advertising page for affordable options that work for you!

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

3.14 is PIE Backwards!

Yes. You read that right. Today's recipe, in honor of Pi Day, is Chocolate Chip Pie.  Is your mouth watering? 

At Penn State, the dining halls had this absolutely bangin' Tollhouse Pie. When they served it, that's all I'd eat for dinner. That's not a joke or hyperbole. I'd just grab three or four slices and house them.

Since I graduated, I've been searching for a Tollhouse Pie recipe that equals Penn State's. So far, no dice. So, it was with great happiness when I found this recipe on Pinterest.

Penn State's Tollhouse Pie is almost like a pecan pie, just with chocolate chips-- which is what the recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock and Roll's recipe looked like. Sadly, it didn't turn out that way; instead of being goopy like pecan pie, it ended up cakey and delicious in a different kind of way.  I'm not sure what I did, but I would still make this again-- even though it's not what I thought it would be, it's a great (and easy-to-make) pie!

Please remember, this is not my recipe. I didn't create it, but I am posting it here with my edits. If you'd like to see the original recipe, click here.

You'll Need:
  • 1 unbaked pie shell (I used A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock and Roll's no-roll pie crust. It worked very well. Find the recipe here.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • small pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I did not use nuts.)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Beat the eggs, on high, until foamy.  (I did all of the stirring by hand and it worked out just fine, too.)
  3. Beat in the flour and then both sugars.  Beat in the butter.    
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and optional nuts.  
  5. Spoon into the pie crust and bake for 55-60 minutes.  (55 minutes worked just fine!)
  6. Cool on a wire rack.
The hardest part about this recipe is letting it cool. I had to put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling down process... and even then, I kept checking it every five minutes! I know, I know-- I can wait a whole year for my fiance, but I can't wait five minutes so I won't burn my mouth from molten dessert. 
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cookies for Breakfast!

Today marks four months until the wedding! I have absolutely no graceful segue between that announcement and this recipe. I'm just really excited.

In my quest for healthy, tasty, mailable food for John, I came across a recipe for quinoa cookies. I was intrigued to say the least. And then, I had all of the ingredients, so I just had to try them out. The cookies use a TON of whole grains-- including whole wheat flour-- so I thought they might turn into pasty, dense globs. I was happily surprised. These cookies, while filled with nutrients and all kinds of good stuff-- are airy and  filling. I could see myself making these before road trips for on-the-go breakfasts!

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This is not my recipe; however, I am adding my notes to it below. If you want to see the original, check it out here at Two Peas and Their Pod. 

You'll Need:
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I did not have cloves on hand. Instead, I substituted cinnamon.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I did not have nutmeg on hand. Instead, I substituted cinnamon.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. (I don't have a stand mixer, so instead, I mixed it by hand with a wooden spoon. If you want an extreme one-armed work out, try it!)
  4. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and the applesauce and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a large baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are just barely set. (I made sure that the edges were brown before I removed them from the oven. That took about 15 minutes.) 
  Get some milk, dunk, and enjoy!
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