All along the porch were three 5 ft high shrubs. Yes, only three of them. They took a chainsaw and a stump grinder to remove.
I basically just wrangled toddler and dog, and hauled brush. So today I thought I'd contribute a little more to the yard cleanup and demo-ed the "planter." I use the term planter loosely as nothing was planted in it.
Was reduced to this... (don't ask where the grass went. It's only April in upstate NY, which, sadly, is too early for grass)
... and this...
Deceiving how many bricks were in there because many of them were buried. Yes, buried in the earth. When people retire they need to take up golf, not burying masonery supplies in the yard!
After that satisfying demo, it was lunch time and time for some more domestic pursuits. Spring cleaning has created unprecidented amounts of laundry. (2 days, for reference, and contains pillows):
All work and no play makes me hungry for cookies, so I whipped up a batch of these lovelies!
Those are Amish Sugar Cookies, with spring M&Ms added. I hadn't had this recipe since my grandma moved to senior living, so maybe 7 years ago, and I forgot how delicious and fine-textured they are. The M&Ms actually kind of take them down a level. They would have been better substituted for chips in the tollhouse recipe.
But back to the cookies at hand. This is an awesome recipe I need to put back into regular rotation and is from my Grandma Anne - no idea the origin (but if you had to guess? maybe the Amish?).
Amish Sugar Cookies
1 C butter, softened
1 C vegetable oil
1 C sugar
1 C confectioners sugar
1 t vanilla
4 1/2 C flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
Combine the butter, oil and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat 1 minute until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift and combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add to wet ingredients and mix to combine. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!
Makes 5 dozen.