Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cranberry Pecan oatmeal cookies and the little things

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have a delicious cookie recipe. But first, have you ever looked around at your life and realized it's made up of small, seemingly-insignificant moments that add up to one beautiful picture? Like a quilt, our days look best from a distance. But I've been trying to be more mindful of the beauty in each moment, not waiting to see it in hindsight. Most of these moments are personal (or really odd) and can't really translate to a blog post, but these two items I noticed today looks like they might fit right in here at the cafe. 
 Introducing my little owl tea bag holder. Isn't he adorable? I was in love with this little guy from the first day he came home with me (and kept all our used tea bags from dripping on the counter). But I fell even harder for him when my five year old pointed out that his nose looks like a carrot and his eyes look like eggs. Ha! Whenever I look at him, I smile.
I have a few mugs with snowflakes (I love snowflakes, btw, and have for many years) but I found this at the library book sale. It was part of a pair, red and teal, the colors of my kitchen! This mug is so cheerful and solid, so bright and bold. It also has snowflakes inside.

So, I didn't get pictures of the process, but I did grab a shot before they were all eaten, and that's what counts, right? LOL. They were deliciously chewy, with just the right amount of crisp!
Preheat the oven to 350F.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups rolled oats 
1 cup dried cranberries 
Mix the sugars, eggs, vanilla together. Blend the dry ingredients. Add the two and mix well, Fold in the cranberries and pecans. Cook for 11-13 minutes.

So, what little items or moments bring YOU joy? 

I just joined Huffington Post as a blogger on their Book section so be sure to check out my newest post Ten Things Most Writers Won't Admit.  

That's all for now. Until next time! Feel free to stop by my author page at Mary Jane Hathaway, or my blog at The Things that Last!


  1. This is a cookie I could love, love, love. This is a must try because I love pecans and cranberries and oatmeal and food in general!

    Lovely, Virginia!!!!!

    1. Ha ha Ruthy, You are so funny. I have to agree though and I guess that is why I think it is so funny. Unfortunately I love food toooo much. LOL

    2. Food is so good. And I've been being so good for 6 weeks, Sandra... SIX WEEKS of no cookies, cakes, candies, bread.... except that piece of eggnog pie last Sunday, which I'm making again today for our family party!!! So good! I'm hoping this way I'll fit into at least a couple pairs of pants on January 1st! My annual pre-emptive strike because I ate too much all summer!!!

    3. Wow Ruthy and will all the goodies you make with the little ones. But that's what it takes. Just like in writing. Perseverance. sigh
      Hang in there. You will look great in those pants.

    4. Pre-emptive strike! That totally made me laugh. :D
      There are so many people in this house, I'm at the stage where I'm lucky if I get a cookie! I'm sure there will be a time where I'll bake a batch of cookies and have to hide them from myself, but for now... I have built-in nutritional helpers called "kids who eat everything".

  2. Hi Mary Jane, I love your little moments. I enjoy those also. Right now in our RV I have a 24 inch tree that comes out of the box with lights and ornaments on it. The colors in the morning are so warm and fun. It just makes me smile and then I have Christmas mugs to drink my coffee. It is silly to get so excited over that but I do. So I totally relate to what you are saying.

    1. Oh, I'm just a push over for little trees. Not the super mini trees, although those are cute, too.
      I have a friend with a 3' rainbow tree. It sounds horrible and tacky, but it's SO pretty and fun. Of course, she's a children's librarian (I had the job before she did) so she makes everything bright and fun. Her office is a multi-colored winter wonderland and although I generally cringe at the type of thing, it's just adorable.
      And finding joy in the little things isn't silly at all. :)

  3. You have the neatest kitchen stuff!!!! The owl would make me smile every morning and that polka dot bowl in the cookie pic? I'm drooling! I have snowflake porridge bowls that I haven't taken out in a while. You've inspired me to dig them out. Used to be tradition when my daughter was still living at home.

    Love this spin on oatmeal cookies. Amazing how that humble recipe can be tweaked. I just made the double chocolate kind by adding cocoa and chocolate chips. Yum. I think this cranberry version is perfect for Christmas baking.

    1. Kav, my friend Christalee from Texas wen on a trip to Colorado and sent me that bowl (here in Oregon). LOL. I actually saw it at my local Walmart and loved it but thought I couldn't justify another new "pretty item"... but she saw it and thought it matched my kitchen so had it sent to me. LOL. So, I guess the bowl and I were destined after all.
      MMMMMMM. Double chocolate- chocolate chip? I've made that recipe once and it's amazing.

  4. Oh -- loved you Ten Things Most Authors Won't Admit article. Too funny!

    1. Buzzfeed and Huffpost are notorious for publishing articles that say "ten things ALL moms do" or "five things ALL men do" or "eight secrets ALL Christians have". My friends and I joke that those blogs are allergic to the words "most" and "some". I made sure to put "most" so that I wasn't speaking for every writer everywhere. ;)
      So glad you liked it!

  5. Congrats on the HP job!! I can't wait to check out your post. :)

    These cookies look amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh, and the first thing I thought about your teabag holder is that the eyes look like eggs! LOL So I'm in good company. :)

  6. Thanks! They asked me in March 2014 but my schedule was so crazy I didn't know my head from my feet. This year I worked on streamlining my schedule so I didn't hate one more thing on my plate. The good news is that once you're offered a place, it doesn't really expire. So, 18 months later I was ready to try it out. LOL.
    So funny- I didn't noticed those eyes for weeks.

  7. I loved your HP post. Congratulations on being asked. What a great addition to your platform (and what a natural thing for you!).

    I agree with the 5 yr old. My first observation was the carrot nose. :)

    1. I'm hoping to slip in a few genuinely bookish articles inbetween the silliness. ;)

      Ha! Now I'm wondering if the owl was meant to look like he has egg eyes and a carrot nose.