Well, I have coerced another sibling of mine to do a guest post for me seeing how thanks to poor little Miss Lola, blogging is on the back-burner for now. Although, like Jason she is rather sarcastic, her post is a bit more practical and has some beautiful photographs that she took. I am not sure which I am lusting after more: the cookies or the gorgeous bouquet of lilacs! I adore lilacs. I feel like I can smell these ones right through my computer screen. Anyway, here she is: (and hmmm.....I've got a feeling she is about to ask me a big favor, seeing how she starts off by buttering me up and calling me gifted - haha!)

Falling between Jenni, the gifted sister, and Jason, the golden son, there happen to be two of us who are merely mortal. We didn't go to the #1 business school in the country, play Division I sports (kind of), or launch our own brands. May I introduce myself as the younger of these two underachieving sisters: Hi, I'm Jamie.

When we were growing up and Jenni was busy dreaming about being the next Martha Stewart, I occupied my time playing MASH and sending valentines to Grant Hill. Now that I am an aged woman of twenty-four and about to celebrate my second anniversary (no, not to Grant Hill), I spend my time painting second-hand furniture, working on the house that my husband and I have been building for an eternity, and trying out vegetarian concoctions in the kitchen (much to my carnivorous husband's ongoing dismay). The word "career" sends a chill down my spine and I break my own personal records for days in a row without leaving the house on a frighteningly regular basis, particularly in the winter. If I had a gold lamp, every day would consist of hot fudge sundaes, a new Kate Morton to read, and a great deal of snuggling. (In my lamp-less reality, Kate's just not pulling her weight.) I don't excel at many things. My driving is ridiculed, my ability to have a comprehendible conversation limited, and my social skills are rudimentary at best. But I do have years of experience under my belt when it comes to one thing: chocolate. Its consumption, anyway--I apologize in advance to any serious bakers. It will probably come as no surprise to you that my skills in the kitchen are also limited. I set the oven on fire a few months ago--thank goodness we live in New England, where three feet of snow makes quick work of a flaming pan. But let this be an encouragement to those who also get hand cramps from stirring batter: even I can make these cookies with ease. So without further ado, I present the most elementary, yet highly satisfying, recipe I've ever tried:

S'more Cookies

- One package of Tolehouse Cookie Dough
- 13 Marshmallows
- 1/2 to 1 bag of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bits (I use a whole bag, but you can use as much or as little on the tops of the cookies as you like.)

1) Bake cookies according to instructions. (Here, you can also make chocolate chip cookies from scratch if you prefer homemade and possess the patience that I do not. If this is the case, you will need to vary the number of marshmallows and chocolate bits to suit the number of cookies your recipe makes.)

2) Cut marshmallows in half while cookies are in oven. When the cookies are done, place marshmallow halves on top, sticky side down, and return to oven for 2 minutes.

3)While cookies are back in, pour chocolate bits into a microwave-safe container and melt (I use a glass Pyrex measuring cup). I melt for thirty and stir, then melt for 15 and stir and repeat until they are completely melted.

4) Remove cookies from oven, press the now-puffy marshmallows down with a finger or fork, and spoon melted dark chocolate onto the tops.

5) Let cool, then remove to a cookie rack until completely cooled. Then, place in a container, putting wax paper between each layer so they don't stick together. (I usually keep them on the rack for a couple hours before I put them in the fridge. I'm sure they don't have to wait quite this long, but I usually leave the kitchen and forget all about them for several hours.)

6) Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.  (It's been hot and humid this week, so I've been taking a couple out 5 or 10 minutes before I eat them, but in the winter I'd give it closer to 30).

You can also make these with peanut butter cookies on the bottom, but in this family, the more chocolate the better, so I haven't tried them that way yet. Also, make sure to have one soon after you pour the melted chocolate on top-they are messy this way but heavenly!

Thanks, Jamie! I can't wait to try them!

We are headed off to the children's hospital again this morning for another appointment for Lorelei. We appreciate all of your continued prayers for her! And then hopefully we will be headed from there to the Outer Banks with my family for a much needed mini-vacation. Here is one of my favorite pictures from our trip there last year:

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week.


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