Monthly Archives: November 2015

Pumpkin Pie Spice No Bake Oatmeal Cookies


Pumpkin Pie Spice No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Recipes for oatmeal no-bake cookies have been found in cookbooks since the time of the Depression when ingredients were scarce.  They’ve been called by many names such as Depression cookies, Preacher cookies, Cow Pies, Boil cookies, and Oatmeal Fudge.  The recipes are all very similar and call for boiling a mixture of sugar, milk, cocoa and a fat such as butter for a minute or so, and then taking it off the heat and adding vanilla, oatmeal and often peanut butter.

I remember eating this cookie my entire life, and it was one of the first ones I learned how to make.  Yesterday, I decided to make them for a lunch with friends. I pulled out my trusty old family recipe and at the same time saw a jar of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Cookie Butter on my counter.  That got the wheels turning in my head, and I wondered if I could replace the peanut-butter with the cookie butter and just leave out the cocoa.  The cookies were a huge hit and disappeared rapidly.

I can’t wait for those if you who live near a Trader Joe’s to try these and let me know what you think.  They are so creamy and reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

By the way, after they were all scooped out and starting to dry on the waxed paper, I grated nutmeg on the tops and drizzled dark chocolate on them.  This was a fantastic inspiration and made them amazing!


Pumpkin Pie Spice No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Pie flavor in cookie form – Brilliant!


Pumpkin Pie Spice No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A melt-in-your-mouth luscious cousin of the ever popular Chocolate No-Bake cookie, these Pumpkin Pie Spice No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies will remind you of Pumpkin Pie, Spice, and everything nice!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12-40 cookies
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup milk of your choice (I used Almond milk)
  • ¾ cup Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter
  • 3½ cups oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • Optional : ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup melted chocolate (I used dark)
  1. In a medium saucepan add the butter, sugars, milk and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Heat to a rolling boil and then boil one minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Take off heat and quickly add pumpkin pie spice cookie butter and oatmeal.
  4. Stir well and immediately drop by spoonfuls on wax paper.
  5. Make the cookies whatever size appeals to you. I used a small scoop. You can also press the mixture in a buttered 9x13 pan and cut into squares when cool.
  6. If desired, grate nutmeg over the cookie tops, then drizzle cookies with melted chocolate.
  7. Cool until dry - about ½ hour. If needed, put them into a refrigerator to speed up the process.
  8. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie Spice No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Sleep – Finally!

Niacinamide for sleep

I woke up this morning after having such a great night’s sleep, so I wanted to let others know what has finally worked for me in my quest to find that elusive rest that gets harder and harder to find. I’ve had a sleeping problem for years, in fact, I had to quit teaching because my lack of sleep was causing me to not be able to deal efficiently with stress which in turn caused health problems.  I would finally fall asleep around 4:00 am only to have my alarm go off at 6:00am.  This would happen three or four nights a week. Ugh! Even after I stopped teaching, I had trouble sleeping.  Some nights I wouldn’t sleep at all, and then the day would be wasted because I couldn’t function well with sleep deprivation.

I didn’t feel comfortable using prescription drugs, but tried over-the-counter sleep aids as well as natural cures. The over-the-counter sleep aids worked a little, but my mind was very foggy the next morning, plus I found out they aren’t very good the brain.  The natural cures from essential oils or herbs in capsule form brought some relief, but never consistent results.  I made sure I got adequate levels of vitamin D, but still wasn’t sleeping well.

I added a magnesium supplement and had good results, but then as I was discussing sleep with a friend – a common topic with my age group – she mentioned that she started using niacinamide instead of her prescription sleeping pills and had great results.  Even though I thought I was getting good results with magnesium, I figured I would also give niacinamide a try.  After it built up in my system, which took about a week, I started sleeping like a baby.  I had forgotten how wonderful it was to wake up rested after a deep sleep.  I am so grateful. Every so often now, even with magnesium and niacinamide, I have a hard time sleeping and realize it’s because my stomach is upset from something I ate, but that’s a whole other topic.

I am not a health professional and am not making any health claims.  I just wanted to let others know what finally helped me. Niacin is vitamin B3 and will cause hot flushes, so I use the form called niacinamide which is non-flushing.   As with any supplement, be sure to do your research before taking it. People with some medical conditions shouldn’t use it.

If you try niacinamide, let me know if it brings you the same sleep relief I am experiencing.  I know that our bodies are different and what works for some people won’t work for others, but the sleep problems are real.  What works for you?

Gum Wall - Seattle, Washington

Bye Bye Gum Wall

Gum Wall - Seattle. WA

The iconic gum wall next to Pike Place Market, a disgustingly cool gum composition, is now history because apparently the sugar in the gum ate away at the bricks.  For years happy tourists and locals alike added their chewed up gum to the wall, many of them taking pictures next to their proud addition to the iconic gum artwork.

But don’t be downcast, don’t cancel your travel plans to visit Seattle because officials tell us gum can be added again to the famous wall now that steam has cleaned off the 20 year accumulation.  I think a plan is in order this time.  Artists could copy famous paintings on the bricks, then the gum chewers could put their gum on the designated places in the wall that match the color they’re chewing.  It could become a famous gum mosaic.  A Van Gogh fan myself, I would like to see Starry, Starry Night reproduced in gum. It could be a whole new business for an enterprising shop in Pike Place to sell gum in the specific colors needed to complete the gum mosaic masterpieces. It could be a great ongoing fundraiser for many organizations including The Society for Brick Preservation.  Okay, I just made that name up,  I’m not aware of that society yet, but it might be out there somewhere. The newly formed School of Mosaic Gum Art could be in charge of making the outlines of the giant-sized interactive color book . Student assignments could include periodic policing of the artwork to move errant placed gum colors to their proper locations in the pictures.

The possibilities for making the new gum wall even more famous than before are endless.  Maybe this is the perfect time to buy stock in a gum company.  Or maybe, I should start a gum company making unique, artistic gum colors with a sugar substitute that doesn’t destroy the brick.  I would call it Van Gogh Art Gum.  I can see it now – beautiful gum mosaic masterpieces imitated all over the world.  The demand for Van Gogh gum would skyrocket and fund my retirement.

Chew on gum lovers and artists, chew on.

The Old Mining Town of Murray, Idaho

Murray, Idaho Post OfficeThe silver mines of Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho, are still in existence today, and are the common areas of conversation when the discussing the subject of mining in Idaho, but the town of Murray, Idaho, is largely unknown or forgotten; however, it played a key role in mining history. Murray  is known as the cradle of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, and Spokane owes much of its early growth to the silver and gold mines across the state border in Idaho.

In 1882, a discovery of gold on Pritchard Creek created a feverish gold rush and in three years, Spokane’s population of 800 grew rapidly as over 10,000 people came to the area in hopes of cashing in on the riches of the day. Murray, Idaho, became the central city in the gold rush, and its credits include the last great mining discovery in the continental United States. Miners branched out in the area during the next years and in addition to finding rich sources of gold,  they discovered the largest silver mine in the world about 17 miles south of Murray. Over the next 115 years, the area produced 1.2 billion ounces of silver. Road crews in the area today are still known to uncover gold and silver.  How is the Empire State Building connected to Murray?  The Guggenheim profits from the gold rush in Murray built it.

Today, Murray is a semi ghost town inhabited by prospectors, loggers, and retirees. It has some fascinating sites. The Sprague Pole restaurant and museum is a must see. The museum, located inside the restaurant, is unexpectedly very large – and cold; dress warm. It has many period rooms, rock, mineral, and gem collections, old mining equipment, coin collections, as well as memorabilia. Also, stop in at the Bedroom Goldmine Bar where you can see a mining hole through a bedroom floor.  The owner, convinced that he was sleeping on a gold mine, ripped up his floorboards and dug down 36 ft to bedrock and gold. Overlooking Murray about one mile south of town is the Murray Pioneer Cemetery containing the graves of many pioneers of the area as well as the man credited as being Mark Twain’s inspiration for Huckleberry Finn, Captain Toncray.

Murray is about a two hours from Spokane, Washington,  with beautiful scenery along the Coeur d’Alene River Road as you drive north from I-90 just past Cataldo. Turn on Pritchard Road which will take you to Murray.  Let me know what you discover when you go to Murray, or what you remember if you’ve ever visited.  I want to go again.  Does anyone have a metal detector and sturdy shovel I can borrow? Pick ax?