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  • Jennifer Stewart

More or Less.

Do you ever look around you and say, why am I not more grateful for all the things that surround me? Why do I continue to keep wanting more and more and more until more is just not enough? These last two years for my family have been a lesson to living with less… less can be different for many folks, but in this particular way my less has given me so much more.

I’m brave enough to state that I truly thought at 40 I would be out of debt, living a life in film and/or TV, and diving into a few Neil Labute and O’Neill plays while living in a rural community… maybe even flying back and forth from the city to the mountains. Possibly grazing over a blog or two with a million followers. Remember the Secret?? Yeah… those are the things I journaled over. Those are the wishful treasures I held deep in my heart and wrote down in hopes they would come true. I even channeled Jim Carry after he wrote himself a million dollar check and hung it on his fridge until it came true…. Yep. I did that. And oddly enough it still hangs on my fridge from December of 2012.

I have a million dollar secret recipe that I tried with my kids while in quarantine. I was skeptical at first because it seemed like a lot of work, but oddly enough I had all the ingredients laying around at home. Do you remember the Oatmeal Cream Pies?? The little ones wrapped in plastic wraps that your mom would stick in your lunch?? Yeah…. that’s these. But from scratch. Seriously the most delicious cookie I think I’ve ever made. Or Pie. Or dessert. Or whatever you want to call it. These things are more than enough. So much more… And way more calories!! HA!

OATMEAL CREAM PIES

By Joanna Gaines

Cookies

1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks of butter) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of dark molasses

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

3 cups of quick-cooking oats

Filling

¾ Cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract

2 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly beat in the egg, vanilla and molasses and mix until smooth.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oats until combined. On low speed, add the oats mixture to the creamed butter mixture about 1/3 cup at a time, beating until combined.


4. Using a Scoop to portion the dough, place the dough ball about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets

5. Refrigerate the baking sheets for at least 20 minutes.

6. One sheet at a time, bake the cookies until lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

7. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.

8. On low speed, slowly beat in the powdered sugar, about ¼ cup at a time. Then beat in the milk. When the mixture is smooth, increase the speed to medium, mixing until thoroughly combined and fluffly.

9. Set the cookies up in pairs, with the bottom of one of them facing up. Using a small scoop, place filling on the bottom of the upside down cookie. Place the second cookie on top, right side up, and sandwich them together, pressing just enough to spread the filling to the edges. Repeat to make the rest of the sandwiches.

Makes 15 sandwiches



My son’s favorite word is “no.” But his second favorite word is “more”… “I want more mommy!! I want more!!”,“One more mommy”, “Please can I have one more??” So this word sits with me more often than not. We are all receiving some sort of life lesson during this pandemic… whether it’s for the positive and God forbid the negative. It is so much bigger than all of us. And It has become such weight in our lives that we will never understand. So I have chosen to take that weight and be grateful for it. To say Thank you. Thank you for gifting me time. Thank you for gifting me strength. Thank you for gifting me patience. Which brings me to the song I want to pair with my Oatmeal Crème Pies. One of the newest from Billie EilishMy Future. I love it. It goes a lot with what I’ve been feeling these days. Hopeful. So that we all may receive that much more out of life… even with what we think is less.

'Cause I, I'm in love With my future Can't wait to meet her And I (I), I'm in love But not with anybody else Just wanna get to know myself




Okay… so I’m not out of debt. But I’m close? Am I living out my dreams in TV and film… not really, but I’ve dabbled and that’s enough. And I suppose I will continue to dabble. Am I diving into Neil Labute and playing Steph from Reasons to Be Pretty? Or Josie from my favorite Moon For the Misbegotten?? Not really. Sadly. And I’m not in the mountains nor am I on the ocean and my blog certainly does not have a million followers…. But I remain hopeful and happy. Just like Billie says, “I’m in love with my future, I can’t wait to meet her.”

And that’s enough. That’s my more.

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