This cookie has been a family favorite in my home for as long as I can remember. My mom made these every December because there was always a peanut butter and chocolate lover to please. First it was my brother when I was growing up, now it's my husband's favorite cookie so I carry on the baking tradition!
Who is the peanut butter and chocolate lover in your life?
1/2 c. shortening (such as Crisco)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. (1 cup) chocolate chips, melted
1. Cream together the shortening, brown sugar, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix at medium-low speed for about a minute.
2. Add egg. Mix until combined.
3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
4. Turn dough out onto wax paper. Add another layer of wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll dough 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle.
5. Remove top layer of wax paper and smooth melted chocolate evenly on top of the dough. Allow to cool.
6. Roll dough lengthwise and wrap with the wax paper. Place roll in the refrigerator.
7. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
8. When the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice cookies 1/4" thick.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet before moving to drying rack. Makes approximately 36 cookies.
My family and I recently had the opportunity to stay at the new Marriott dual-branded Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites on Clearwater Beach and LOVED our experience! We spent one night in the Residence Inn side of the property and my boys are already asking to return.
The brand-new property opened in the summer of 2017 and boasts oversized guest rooms with a coastal vibe, flexible living, working and sleeping space, stunning views of Clearwater Bay and a wide array of shared amenities. Both brands stay true to themselves: SpringHill Suites offer stunning décor from West Elm and comfortable features, while Residence Inn offers a kitchenette and ample space for extended stays and families. They share the lobby, pool, business features, and exercise room.
Our family of five was very comfortable in the Residence Inn room. My husband and I were able to share the king sized bed, and our boys enjoyed the sofa bed. We still had room for the Pack n Play for our baby too. We had a beautiful view of Clearwater Harbor and the Intracoastal, and were just across the street from the beach.
We started our evening with an appetizer and drinks in the lobby. The wings were delicious – we ordered 10 and asked for a box when they arrived… then we didn’t need the box because we ate them all!
I was worried that the kids would be unwelcome in the beautiful lobby, but there were numerous families and the staff was particularly accommodating. Cecil at the front desk even taught us a new trick to keep my son’s shoelaces tied (a double bow instead of double knot!). We decided to pick up a pizza for dinner and were referred to King’s Pizza just a block away from the hotel. We walked there and brought it back to our room for a delicious pizza picnic! With it being the holiday season, we used the in-room Smart TV to access our Netflix account and watch Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was the perfect ending to our evening!
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast in the lobby. The staff did a phenomenal job of keeping up with the Sunday morning high-demand, and we all enjoyed our own breakfast choices. They offer scrambled eggs, both pork and turkey sausage, make-your-own waffles, toast, yogurt, fruit, juices, and more! I was especially impressed by the coffee bar with a selection of flavored syrups to add to your coffee.
After breakfast, we took a walk on Florida’s award-winning Clearwater Beach, just across the street. Our stay was during the coldest weekend in December, so we bundled up and went exploring. Living in Tampa, it sometimes is easy to forget how lucky we are to live so close we to these beaches. We will be planning many more return trips!
SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach
Residence Inn Clearwater Beach
The properties share their address:
309 Coronado Dr.
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites provided me with a complimentary stay in their hotel in exchange for this blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Monster Jam will be performing at Raymond James Stadium for two action-packed shows on January 13, 2018 and February 3, 2018!
The January 13th event will feature trucks and drivers vying to be the Tampa champion, including: Grave Digger, Max D, Monster Mutt Dalmation, Monster Energy Mutant and many more!
The February 3rd event will feature Grave Digger, El Toro Loco, Soldier Fortune, Cleatus, Hot Wheels, and other favorites!
Monster Jam ® is adrenaline-charged family entertainment providing jaw-dropping displays and gravity-defying feats that promises to always leave fans entertained. Monster Jam events feature some of the most recognizable trucks in the world including Grave Digger®, Max-D, El Toro Loco® and many more. Our world-class drivers push these perfectly engineered Monster Jam trucks to their limits in Freestyle, “2-Wheel Skills” and Racing competitions that will put families on the edge of their seats and leave them craving more of this unexpected, unscripted, and unforgettable event!
Monster Jam Pit Parties are prior to each Saturday show. Check www.MonsterJam.com for dates/times and how to get unprecedented access to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers. This unique experience in the world of motorsports gives you access to see the trucks up close, take pictures, meet the drivers, and get their autographs.
New in 2018, the Pit Party Early Access Pass is available to every fan who purchases a ticket to the event. The pass provides early entry into the Pit Party from 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and serves as the regular Pit Party pass from 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM. Monster Jam drivers will depart from the Pit Party at 5 PM. The Pit Party Access Pass must be accompanied by an event ticket, and quantities are limited.
Tickets and Pit Party Passes are available online at ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Same day event ticket and pit pass required for entry to pit party. All seats reserved. Subject to facility fee, plus convenience and handling charges. Raymond James Stadium is located at 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33607
For more information on a Monster Jam, please log onto www.MonsterJam.com (click on “Tickets” and search for Tampa) or follow us via our social channels below:
During the first weekend of December, my husband and I attended Clearwater Beach Uncorked and it was so much fun! We were not sure what to really expect, but I can tell you that you will never go wrong with unlimited food and drink tastings on the white, sandy Clearwater Beach!
Our VIP experience started an hour before the General Admission began with a meet and greet with Norman Love. I had personally never heard of this talented chocolatier, and now I’ve already ordered his unique, delicious chocolates as gifts for family members! We were also treated to a presentation from Duncan Hines about some of their new products (have you checked out their Perfect Size cakes yet??).
Although there is no better way to start the day than with dessert, we loved our next opportunity to make our way around the other chef’s tables with the smaller crowd. My husband and I usually have different tastes – he loves seafood but doesn’t care for veggies, I’m the opposite – so a tasting tent is perfect for us! He is still raving about Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s sushi and their shrimp, and I loved Dandy’s corn gazpacho. Many of the vendors were offering samples that we were able to bring home such as chips made from pasta or veggies. So interesting!
I was not sure how the tent on the beach would work with all of the food, but it made for the perfect setting to mingle and sample for the afternoon! We also enjoyed the VIP Spirits Lounge at the official host hotel Wyndham Grand, just across the street from the tasting tent at Pier 60. I am personally not a big fan of liquor, but the vendors offered some delicious cocktails and the Patron Pops were not to be missed!
I will definitely look forward to attending Clearwater Beach Uncorked next year! They also have a sister event on Florida’s other coast – Cocoa Beach Uncorked!
I was given complimentary tickets for this event in exchange for promotion on my blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you attended our Holiday Kickoff event at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa, you probably already know how I feel about Bulla's beer sangria. If you have spoken to me about Bulla for any reason, you probably know how I feel about the beer sangria. It is incredible. It is as delicious as it is unique, and now, it's even more dangerous because I am able to share their recipe with you today to celebrate National Sangria Day!
I must caution you that the at-home version may not live up to Bulla's standards. They squeeze their own fruit juices every day and have amazing talent behind their bar. But, if you're looking to give it a try at home, gather your best ingredients and let us know how it turns out!
Bulla Gastrobar Tampa's Beer Sangria
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Pear purre (about 4 tablespoons)
Spoonful of small orange wedges
½ oz. St. Germain
½ oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Thank you to all who attended our November 29th Holiday Kickoff event at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa! What a beautiful evening, and it was so fun to start the holiday season together! Thank you to the wonderful staff at Bulla Gastrobar who were so accommodating to our large group – the food, drinks, and service were fantastic!
Below you will find an index of the amazing businesses with a spotlight at our November 29th Girls Night Out; including their information to connect. This is a great opportunity to connect with those vendors that you might have missed networking with at the event. I also encourage you all to like each other's pages to keep the love going; as we all grow together! Oh, and don't forget to keep them in mind for your shopping and event needs
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Matt Johnson
Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren, or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. We can also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, we're dedicated to providing you top-notch client service.
Join Lisa’s Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DusktoDawnFabulips/
Lisa shared her inventory of colors from LipSense. What is LipSense?
💋a two part lipstick product that involves a gloss and a colored lipstick
💋 it molecularly bonds to your lips to give you a color that lasts 4-18 hours
💋 there is no wax in our lipstick so there is no drying! We actually have Shea butter and vitamin E oil to help nourish your lips throughout the day
💋 it is smudge proof, kiss proof and waterproof. You can eat and drink all day and it won't come off
💋 it is gluten-free, GMO free, not tested on animals and made here in the U.S. Pretty much just the most amazing product in the history of lipstick!!!💄
Join her group to learn about new colors and see up-to-date inventory!
CruisePlanners with Wendy Carlston
Need a vacation?? Call Wendy!! Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has a tremendous reputation for quality, service, and very competitive pricing for ALL of your travel needs. Cruise Planners travel advisors will help you discover exciting adventures around the world. From cruises to land tours and completely packaged vacations, we specialize in all types of travel and will create an unforgettable vacation just for you.
Phone: (813) 675-2253
Opening Friday, December 22! The best blowout, ever. Our philosophy is simple, and we work to be the best at it. Come in and see for yourself how gorgeous our blowout can make you feel. We're located in the SoHo Collection.
Arbonne transforms lives through pure, botanically based ingredients in scientifically tested products; a pure, healthy lifestyle; and the pure joy of helping others. Reach out to Nyisha to learn more about their 30 day detox program that is perfect to help you reset your body and health!
Sarah Williams Portraits
Thank you to the amazing Sarah from Sarah Williams Portraits for capturing our evening for us. She specializes in Families, Children, Couples, and Lifestyle portraits. Visit her website to view samples of her gorgeous work and find details about booking her for your own sessions.
You can continue to support our group by inviting your friends to LIKE & follow along with our page for local events, outings and giveaways.
The holiday season has officially begun in the Tampa Bay area! I have been researching fun family activities to celebrate Christmas, and I was thrilled to find Christmas Lane in Plant City. Christmas Lane is an amazing winter wonderland light display with something for everyone to enjoy! We had the pleasure of visiting and I am excited to share our experience with you.
When we entered the Charlie Grimes Family Agricultural Center at the Florida Strawberry Festival® grounds, we were greeted by a massive, beautiful display of over 1.5 million lights and life-sized decorations. From trees to trains, Christmas Lane has it all! There were even characters such as a gingerbread man and Rudolph walking around to pose for pictures with the guests!
Our first stop was to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. It was a perfect way to start our visit to get us in the Christmas mood. They have a beautiful display with fun props to use, just like a photo booth! They took amazing photos for us and we were able to buy them right there. You can also use your own camera to capture the visit.
My boys next wanted to check out the carnival rides. They had about 7-8 carnival attractions, and be advised – there are height restrictions. My older two boys had a blast riding and never had to wait in line (we visited on a Thursday evening). My 18 month old enjoyed the carousel ride the most!
I was worried at this point that we wouldn’t have much more to do before the Living Nativity started, but wow, was I wrong! We made our way over to the other side of the complex where we enjoyed face painting, ornament decorating, and letters to Santa! We indulged in some popcorn and I was impressed with the affordability of all of the snacks. This area of Christmas Lane included the stage where they have nightly performers. We were mesmerized by the performer on a unicycle!
After the stage performance, we enjoyed the Living Nativity outside. The boys loved seeing the animals and the live angel who performed. My favorite part was the live performance of "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night." The Living Nativity is presented by local churches every Thursday and Saturday of the season.
Christmas Lane was the perfect way for us to kick off the holiday season. It was fun for our entire family!
Where: On the grounds of the Florida Strawberry Festival® inside and around the Charlie Grimes Family Agriculture Center at 2508 West Oak Avenue, Plant City, FL 33563.
When: Open November 24 through December 24. Operating hours are Thursday through
Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night.
Price: Tickets are $5 for adults. Children ages 4 to 12 are $3. Children 3 and under receive
free entry. Free admission will also be available on Thursdays for current and former
members of the military. Our Community Night will offer free admission to Teachers,
First Responders and Law Enforcement on Fridays. Saturdays will be Youth Sports
night. Every child who wears his/her league jersey or shirt will receive free popcorn.
Sundays will be Senior night and all Seniors will receive a complimentary cup of coffee.
Parking is free and can be accessed from Lemon St. and Oak St.
More details can be found on the Christmas Lane website at ChristmasLane.com and on
Facebook at facebook.com/visitchristmaslane.
ABOUT CHRISTMAS LANE
In 1984 at his own home, Lane Wetherington founded Christmas Lane for the Dover,
Florida community. Sparked when he was a young boy, Lane’s passion for Christmas
led him to ask for Christmas lights to decorate the family home. Over the last 33 years,
his passion has grown exponentially to become a holiday favorite for people around
Central Florida. Initially an ever-expanding light display at the Lane family home,
Christmas Lane found a new home at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in 2015
and includes over one hundred Christmas trees ranging from four to forty feet in height.
There are elaborate displays and over 1.5 million lights accompanying its
larger-than-life decorations that use more than 168,000 watts of power. Christmas
Lane is a non-profit organization. Volunteers work more than 1,800 hours to set up the breathtaking winter display.
Thank you to Christmas Lane for hosting our experience in exchange for the blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hi! I'm Diana. I love the beach, my family, chocolate, coffee, and meeting new people. I host monthly events in the Tampa area and cannot wait to meet all of you!