Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Caramel-Filled Cookies

I had made these deep dish chocolate chip caramel-filled cookies a couple times before and knew they'd be a hit for a family trip we're going on.  They're thick cookies (deep dish) and one is very filling so the batch I made should last a few days...hopefully.  Plus, you can never go wrong with homemade chocolate chip cookies that are stuffed with Ghiradelli chocolate & caramel squares.
My Inspiration


The picture doesn't do these justice but they are some thick cookies!  Basically a double layer cookie with a Ghiardelli chocolate square in the middle

Ready to eat!  (By the way, the recipe only makes 12 cookies but 1 is more than enough for a serving)


Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Caramel-Filled Cookies


¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
12 Ghiradelli Caramel squares, unwrapped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin top pan or deep dish cookie pan with cooking spray and set aside.  You can also make this by just using a regular cookie sheet (which is what I did).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, cornstarch and salt, and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy, about a minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla to combine.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Once dough has come together, stir the chocolate chips in by hand with a wooden spoon.
  4. Drop a tablespoonful of dough into the bottom of each cavity or onto a cookie sheet. Gently press it to cover the bottom of each cavity. Top with an unwrapped square. Top the candy with an additional tablespoonful of dough and gently press the top dough ball to cover and enclose the candy.
  5. Bake the cookies for approx. 12-15 minutes or until the centers are set and the edges are golden and lightly crisped. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan about 5 minutes before gently removing to wire racks to cool completely. You can loosen them from the pan very carefully with a butter knife.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekly Recap: June 22-28

Been feeling good lately but I woke up on Saturday morning and my back felt stiff/tight.  This happens every couple months and probably will so I've learned to deal with it.  Part of that is knowing that it feels worse if I just lay around and baby it so I still worked out both Saturday and Sunday morning (doing a bit more stretching than I typically do) and am hoping it will be feeling back to normal by the end of the week.

Monday: 40 min elliptical + core workout

Tuesday: taught 1 hr Spin/TRX

Wednesday: 3 mi on TM (9:21 pace) + strength/core circuit

Thursday: taught 1 hr Spin/TRX

Friday: 1 hr Clocked @ System of Strength

Saturday: 40 min Spinning @ Y (on my own)

Sunday: 30 min strength/cardio circuit @ home

TOTAL: 3 mi

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Father's Day 2015

While we had terrible weather on Saturday (it literally rained all day), Sunday for Father's Day ended up being pretty close to perfect weather which worked out great since I had planned for Todd to play golf in the morning with some of his friends.  I was worried on Saturday that they would end up getting rained out but it ended up being hot, humid, and sunny.  While Todd was golfing, Lucy & I went to church with my dad for Father's day and then went to the grocery store (which is starting to become a little bit more of a challenge with Lucy now).  Once Todd came home from his round of golf, we picked up my dad and went to lunch at the new Hofbrauhaus in Grandview.  The place was HUGE and Lucy was able to do some people watching since we were on the second floor and could look out the windows to see people in the bier garden.  We had a great afternoon celebrating the two best dads I know!
Todd & Lucy (still in her pjs with bedhead) opening Father's day cards & presents before Todd's round of golf

Todd was excited about his Rockmill Scooby beer which he's been eyeing for the past couple months

Ready to go

Hofbrauhaus Columbus

Lucy sported some pigtails on Father's Day and was dancing to the German music on her way in from the parking lot

Grandpa & Lucy

Showing Grandpa where she signed his card

Helping him open presents


Just doing some light reading before the food came

My 2 favorite dads

And of course I needed to sneak in one of the pics too!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekly Recap: June 15-21

I had a hard week of workouts; I ended up teaching 3 classes on Thursday between 2 classes at PAI and one class for Olentangy schools for Mount Carmel and the Clocked class I went to on Friday morning was ridiculously hot which made the workout even harder.  Looking to have a bit of an easier week this week.

Monday: 30 min Spinning @ Y (on my own) + 2 min rounds of strength/cardio/core for ~15 min

Tuesday: taught 1 hr Spin/TRX

Wednesday: 3 mi on TM (9:37 pace) + 15 min core workout

Thursday: taught 1 hr Spin/TRX; taught 1 hr Boot Camp; taught 1 hr TRX Conditioning

Friday: 1 hr Clocked @ System of Strength

Saturday: 30 min Spinning @ Y (on my own) + core workout

Sunday: 3 mi on TM (9:17 pace)

TOTAL: 6 mi

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

10 Year UD Reunion

Last Saturday was my 10 year reunion at the University of Dayton.  Part of the reason we didn't stay the full week in Outerbanks was that I had already planned for almost a year now to meet up with some of my old college roommates for the day, including one who flew in with her family from Colorado.  I hadn't seen a couple of my roommates (who were also my cross country teammates as well) since my baby shower 2 years ago so to say I was excited to see them would've been an understatement. 
After meeting a few of Todd's friends at the Worthington Farmers' Market in the morning, we made the 1.5 hour drive to Dayton and arrived a little before lunch.  Our first stop was to the bookstore so I could get a new t-shirt and Lucy could get a hoodie for basketball season next year.  We walked around campus for a bit, which seems like is always changing and under construction, and then met my friends at the food truck & craft beer event they had set up in one of the campus parking lots.  I ran into a few other people, including another one of my cross country teammates on the men's team, that I used to hang out with quite a bit.  We weren't anticipating on it being as hot as it was outside and we all quickly realized the kids weren't going to last outside too much longer so we ended up walking over to one of the dining halls and had lunch there.  Surprisingly, the food was pretty much how I remembered it and the M&M cookies were still very tasty!  My friends and I talked for a bit and caught up on our lives before letting the kids run around outside in the fountains.  We had a great time for those few hours and it's always nice to have those friends that you can just pick up right where you left off even if a couple years have passed.
Todd & Lucy walking around the ghetto (the student neighborhood)

Our house senior year: 3 Evanston

St. Joseph Hall

The chapel

I even ran into the university President, Dr. Dan Curran, while we walked around campus

 Dana, me, Kelly, and Shimmer with some of our kids

Playing in the water

Lucy's 1st trip to UD
Just a mile or so from campus is Carillon Brewing Company, which historically brews beer as they did back in the 1880s, complete with the brewers and servers all wearing authentic costumes.  After a long afternoon sweating in the sun, we decided to head over here so Todd could try some new beers.  The place itself was really interesting and you could watch them brew the beer from where we were sitting at the bar.  Lynn (my lifelong friend that also went to UD), Nathan, and Olive joined us shortly after we got there so we were able to spend some time with them as well.  We headed back to Columbus around 4:30 PM and Lucy slept the entire ride home although the 1.5 hour drive seemed like nothing after our long drive to Outerbanks last week.
Carillon Brewing Co.
 Outside of the building

Our view from the bar area....they were brewing both right in front of us as well as up above on the second flood

Todd & his taster flight

I got an authentic cream soda

Lucy hung out in her highchair with some snacks and a book

Lynn & I with our girls

Monday, June 15, 2015

Outerbanks: Day 3-5

I didn't really mention much about where we stayed in Nags Head but we had a 4 bedroom house, Sister Seas, right on the beach in the Sea Pointe community.  It was great and I loved how easy it was to walk back & forth from the house to the beach and then to the pool, especially with Lucy, so if we forgot something it was only a minute walk to get it.  The room that we stayed in had a small walk-in closet which became Lucy's bedroom while we were there.  Her pack & play fit in there perfectly!
Sign for our community 
 Front of the house from the driveway

View of the kitchen & living room area
My favorite part of the house was the bird's nest area that was off of the living room and had fantastic views of the beach & ocean

View from our deck
The back of the house from the walkway 

View of the beach from the end of the walkway
 Lucy's closet

We really lucked out with the weather on our trip and both Monday & Tuesday were beautiful with temps in the 80s and lots of sun.  Both days we started at the beach and then would head to the pool.

Lucy getting out her sand toys (and you can see Todd walking back to the house in the background)

Digging holes with daddy

The first day we were at the beach, Lucy didn't spend much time in the ocean but on Monday & Tuesday, she probably spent more time in the water than playing in the sand

Lucy & Todd

Running around

Part of the family hanging out

Cousins aka trouble

The three of us

Lucy & MaMa with their sun hats

Playing in the pool


On Monday evening, we had dinner at Hurricane Mo's Beachside Bar & Grill in Kitty Hawk and then drove to Hatteras National Seashore at sunset for some family photos.  It was beautiful and we got some great pictures.  Todd was even able to fly his kite that he bought 8 years ago on his last trip to Outerbanks.
The 9 of us

For once, we got a picture with all of us smiling and looking at the camera

Lucy loved running up & down the sand dunes

Grandkids photo

It really was picture perfect at sunset

Todd flying his kite...which was a lot harder than I actually thought it would be
We drove by the Bodie Island lighthouse before going back to the house for the night

On Tuesday, our final full day at Nags Head, we went down to the beach with my in-laws and then joined the rest of the family at the pool before lunch.  After lunch, we drove a few miles to Kill Devil Hills to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial.  This is where the Wright Brothers made their first attempts at flying.  It was cool to see but I lose interest quickly at a lot of these historical sites, plus it seemed more humid that day, so I was hot & ready to leave after a half hour.

Todd with Lucy & his parents

Another day of playing in the sand

Everyone at the pool

 Add another stamp in Lucy's passport book!

Replica of the airplane

Those stone markers indicate the first places the Wright Brothers landed their airplane; they were much more successful on their 4th attempt and made it another 700 feet (you can't even see that marker in this photo)

Lucy & I at the 4th marker

We drove over to this monument to get a better view of the field they flew in and to also see the ocean
Further down on the walking path on the left is where those stone markers are at 

We had a really good dinner that evening at Miller's Waterfront Restaurant followed by ice cream at Scammell's Corner Surf Shop and Ice Cream Parlor.  The food was excellent (and you even got complimentary hush puppies to start with instead of bread) but I loved the views of the waterfront while we waited to be seated.
The 3 amigos

You were able to walk out on the pier and wait there until your table was ready

Lucy & Andrew looking at something

Todd & I with Lucy and our niece and nephew

Me & Lucy

Lucy had fun running up and down the pier

We were up early on Wednesday morning to get started on our long drive back to Columbus.  Luckily, Lucy was so much better on this drive and it only took us 13 hours (with 4 stops) compared to the 15.5 hours on the way there.  Although it was a short trip with a long drive, I know we're glad that we were able to go and vacation with our family.

Lucy driving a car at Chick-fil-A during our breakfast stop

Letting her play to burn off some energy before sitting in the car again