Thursday, January 29, 2015

Home Sweet Home

I'm the kind of gal that a certain group of people hate to see coming.

The guy at the car repair shop, the tech support people, every employee at Home Depot and Lowes, and maybe most of all, contractors.
I'm not rude, or cheap and I don't even nag about time lines too much. 

What I am is CLUELESS.
You can tell by the caps that this is a serious issue.

I have a specific end result in mind with no sense about how to get there(it should be easy), how long it will take(it shouldn't take long), or how much it will cost(this part gives the hubs a minor coronary, daily.)
So, when I had the brainstorm to renovate the 1860s farmhouse my Grandpa Zimmerman was born in, I went forth with reckless abandon, as usual.

I met with several contractors and each had his own strengths and creative ideas. 
One was $40k over budget, not good for the coronary patient.
One was $40k under budget, but didn't include everything we wanted.
And one was right on the nose, included everything we wanted and seemed to know exactly what to do. 

Bill and Kenny of Martin's Home Improvements were now my partners in crime and home renovations.
These 2 are saints among men. They dealt with me daily. Can you imagine?  
They explained all of the technicalities, told me what I needed to do and helped me make decisions. 
I changed my mind, made additions, took things away, asked for advice, and sometimes just told them to decide. 
Yes, we paid them, but I know their true heart was in the business of giving my family and I the home we wanted.
And they did.
I couldn't be more grateful.

And, after all this training I feel equipped to build something.
But not a house because I'm never doing this again.

This recipe(originally from Betty Crocker) is quick, easy and Delicious! It uses a shortcut method, which I don't always like, but this one is good. I've made my own adjustments and additions and am always asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Blend cookie mix, butter, egg, flour, almonds, cranberries and 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips and milk until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Divide dough in half and press into a rectangle on one side of a cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough on the other side of the pan. 
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3/4 inch slices. Place slices cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 more minutes. 
  6. Cool completely on cooling rack.
  7. Microwave the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for 30-60 seconds until smooth.
    Drizzle chocolate over cooled biscotti. Let stand until chocolate is set. 
Feel free to get creative with the add-ins! 
How about white chocolate chips, dried cherries and pecans?
Or, butterscotch chips and chopped cashews?
Endless possibilities!

What'd You Do This Weekend


  1. This looks good... I like biscotti, but have never made it. Thank you. :)

  2. I love biscotti, this sounds delicious! I love the combo of chocolate, almonds and cranberries, your other suggestions sound good too. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!