Monday, October 4, 2010

Chaos in the Kitchen

Today we kicked off our level one cooking group for 4-H.  We had 8 kids that came.  Most of them have been coming for a few years--so they know how things work!! I can pretty easily handle them all by myself now.  Maybe I am getting better at multitasking and thinking!! Or maybe they are just getting older!! At any rate, it ran quite smoothly today!
We had 4 girls and 4 boys.  Usually I break them into 2-3 groups, depending on what we are making.  Today, I just needed two groups.  Typically, I mix up the genders--boys do NOT do well in groups by themselves--it's the whole attention span thing--or lack there of!! 
But today I was in a good mood-and they PROMISED that they would mind well if they could do boys vs. girls.  So we did.  Even Cami got to help a little.  We used to make our own snacks before we cooked--but with the 4 day school week and a longer school day, that means that we only have 1 1/2 hours to work before they have to leave.  Now that may sound like a long time. . .but when you have 8 cooks in one kitchen. .it really is NOT!!  
We had popcorn for a snack.  October is national popcorn month.  Often times we make a popcorn inspired recipe to celebrate.  But not today. . for a change of pace we made Monster Cookies and hot cocoa mix!  And the cookies were MONSTROUS!! We used 18 cups of oatmeal (not including the other 2 or 3 cups that landed on the floor--it was a little like walking into a Texas Roadhouse--except we walked on oatmeal instead of peanut shells  :-) and 8 cups of assorted candies and chips to go in them!! We saw first hand what happens when you don't get your cookies the same size :-)  And I learned that you can take an underdone cookies and finish cooking it in the microwave!  See, even I learn things when I show up to the meetings! The kids were so proud as they walked out the door with a plate full of the huge cookies and a bag filled with supreme cocoa mix to enjoy tonight!! We enjoyed ours!
These are not a cookie that I would just make for my family--no particular reason, it just wouldn't be our first choice.  This was a new recipe that I pulled off the blessed internet last night--if you are so inspired by the month of monsters--try some for yourself-they scored a 10 by our team of taste testers!

Monster Cookies

6 eggs
3 cups brown sugar
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups creamy peanut butter
9 cups oatmeal (must be old fashioned rolled oats)
2 cups plain M & M's
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tsp. baking soda
(you may also substitute any type of chip or combination of chips and m&m’s to get 4 cups of goodies)

1. Cream eggs, butter, sugars, vanilla, and peanut butter.
2. In a separate bowl; mix oatmeal, M&Ms, chocolate chips, and baking soda.
3. Combine dry ingredients with creamed mixture and mix well.
4. Drop by large scoopfuls on to greased cookie sheet. (we used 1/4 cup measuring cups--heaping is TOOOOO big!! Dough flush with the top of the cup is just right!)
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.


  1. And I would TOTALLY make these for our family! LOL We LOVE monster cookies. My mother in law makes the BEST ones EVER! You have to take out a small loan to buy all the ingredients for them though.
    That little blond boy looks like he's wiping his nose on his arm in that first picture. I'm sure his mother as tried really REALLY hard to teach him some manners. =)
    Thanks for doing everything you do!

  2. Oh YUM. This would be fun to do with a bunch of Spencer's friends. I have been thinking of having a fall party. How do you manage the group? Can you give me some pointers?

  3. Those pictures are so sweet... Including that little blonde boy and a very special girl looking so big seated on the stool! DJ

  4. HAHA! I hadn't even noticed the little boy (who is mine for those of you not familiar with the backs of my kid's heads!)wiping his nose--at least he wasn't using his hands!! They all know that's a no-no!! Dana, you wouldn't have any trouble with kids Spencer's age!! With the hot chocolate, we measured out everything at the same time for each group (primarily because my thinker was getting overloaded by then!) But the kids know enough cooking that they can keep themselves on the right track--I just have to make sure that I am overseeing well enough to make sure that they have all the ingredients in, and that we are using teaspoons and tablespoons in a manner that is NOT interchangeable! :-)If you have more questions--email me and I would LOVE to help you out!! You would do a great job with it--no questions asked!

  5. No, that first picture TRISTEN is wiping his nose!!

  6. OMG!! I totally see it now!! AND the second picture he is either wiping his nose or scratching his eye with the back of his hand, AND the next picture is Devin--wiping something too!! Must have all had itchy noses!

  7. Looks like a messy, fun time! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. This looks like so much fun! It's so great for kids to work together and belong to a group. 1 1/2 hours to cook something doesn't seem long to me at all...I know how fast time flies when you are baking or cooking. I keep hearing about these monster cookies, but I have never made them before! Now you've got me intrigued..I've got to try this recipe for sure! It does look very delicious!