If you run a business out of your home, here�s why you should talk to your insurance agent

If you run a business out of your home, your homeowner insurance policy may not cover you adequately. Homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover any losses or liability related to a business.

In other words, if something were to happen related to your business, you would be on the hook for all damage to your property and any ensuing liability (your responsibility for damage to other people�s property or injury to other people).

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you run a business out of your home:
  • Do you keep business related stock or inventory in your home?
  • Do you have specialized or difficult-to-replace equipment that requires special consideration? Many renters or homeowners policies limit office equipment replacement to $2,500. Would this cover the equipment you need to keep your business running?
  • Do clients or customers visit your home office? If so, are you protected against possible lawsuits if a visitor were to injure themselves?
  • If your home office were destroyed by a flood or fire, how would you be compensated for the downtime?
Read more about insurance and your home business on our website. Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup packed light brown sugar
� cup graulated white sugar
2 large eggs
� cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (try to use a premium brand for richer flavor)
1 cup cake flour
1� cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
� teaspoon baking soda
� teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (I used a combination of both)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 410 F.
  2. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Add in cocoa, cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and set mixer on lowest speed setting to stir until dough is just combined. You want the dough to be smooth and uniform in color, but you don't want to overmix it. Stir in chocolate chunks/chocolate chips.
  4. Visit Copycat Levain Bakery Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies @ kirbiecravings.com for full directions.

Idaho "Freedom Blue" Health Plans Coming Soon?

Vox.com has released some details about Idaho Blue Cross' plans for new, non-ACA health insurance plans.  As mentioned in my blog post of February 1, Blue Cross received legislative approval to offer skinnier and less expensive health insurance plans to individuals & families.

http://davefluker.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-idaho-experiment-exit-obamacare.html

Apparently the five new plans will be dubbed "Freedom Blue" and will come in between 25%-50% cheaper than Obamacare plans.  From what I am reading, it appears that the plans will have some new provisions as well...


  • Up to 50% rate up for applicants with health conditions
  • Pre-existing conditions exclusions for those who fail to maintain prior coverage
  • Lifetime maximum benefits $1,000,000
There will likely be issues between Idaho and the federal government.  

Read the full article on Vox


Dave



3 Minute Microwave Fudge Recipe


This microwave Fudge recipe is unbelievably easy to make! Do you ever have the craving for fudge and you just don�t have the time to wait? I have a super quick and easy 3 ingredient fudge recipe for you that you can make in the microwave!

Serves: 16

INGREDIENTS

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1-1/2 bags)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
� cup chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a 9" by 9" pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the chocolate chips.
  3. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir well.
  4. Microwave on high for 60 more seconds. Stir well again.
  5. Visit 3 Minute Microwave Fudge @ eatingonadime.com for full instructions.

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe


These Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are super soft, thick, and loaded with oats and raisins. These cookies are easy to make and so delicious!

Serves: 22-24 cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
� teaspoon ground cinnamon
� teaspoon baking soda
� teaspoon salt
� cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
� cup (100 grams) brown sugar
� cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and � cups (150 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (150 grams) raisins

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.
  3. Visit Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies @ livewellbakeoften.com for full instructions.

Easy Lasagna Recipe


Our favorite Lasagna Recipe - Beef, pork, three cheeses, and lots of seasonings make this recipe SO delicious and perfect for dinner any night!

INGREDIENTS

1 TB Vegetable Oil
3-4 tsp. minced garlic
2 TB basil
1� tsp. kosher salt
6 cups tomato sauce
1 lb. beef
1 lb. pork
1 16 oz. container sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese sliced
1 pkg. lasagna noodles no boil
Parmesan cheese to taste
pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a pan, saute garlic in Vegetable oil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, a little pepper, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn down to low and continue to simmer.
  3. Visit Easy Lasagna @ lilluna.com for full instructions

Creamy Chicken Ziti Casserole Recipe


Bring Creamy Chicken Ziti Casserole to the dinner table, you�ll get rave reviews. Loaded with diced tomatoes, spinach, and cheese, it is delish!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

1 lb Ziti pasta, cooked and drained according to package directions
2 cups rotisserie chicken, diced
1 14.5 oz can Hunt's Petite Diced canned tomatoes
1 7oz container Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375� degrees. Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl combine: chicken, Hunt's Petite Diced Tomatoes, cream cheese, baby spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and parmesan. Stir to combine.
  3. Visit Creamy Chicken Ziti Casserole @ whoneedsacape.com for full instructions.

No Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies Recipe


These classic no bake cookies can be made in minutes and are the perfect after-school treat, a must for holiday cookie trays, and the best �just because� cookie.

YIELD: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:

� cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
2 cups (397 grams) granulated sugar
� cup (120 ml) whole or 2% milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
� cup (135 grams) peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (267 grams) quick-cooking oats

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the first five ingredients (through the salt) to a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Visit No Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies @ browneyedbaker.com for full directions.

Cream Cheese Lasagna Recipe


AMAZING! This lasagna is THE BEST! The cream cheese filling makes the casserole! Everyone LOVED the addition of the pepperoni!! Can make ahead of time and refrigerate or freezer for later. Lasagna noodles, hamburger, pepperoni, spaghetti sauce, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, parsley, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. SO GOOD! We make this every Christmas Eve. YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/4 lb ground beef
1 (26-oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp dried parsley
 2 eggs, beaten
1/2 (16-oz) package lasagna noodles
1 (4-oz) package sliced pepperoni
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350�F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. Cook on low for 10 minutes.
  3. Visit Cream Cheese Lasagna @ plainchicken.com for full instructions.

Sausage, Potato and Spinach Soup Recipe


A hearty, comforting soup that�s so easy and simple to make, loaded with tons of fiber and flavor!

YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 pound red potatoes, diced
3 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  2. Visit Sausage, Potato and Spinach Soup @ damndelicious.net for full directions.

Mint Cookies and Cream Cake Recipe


Mint Cookies and Cream Cake � mint buttercream sandwiched between cookie-studded cake, smothered with mint Oreo frosting, topped with drippy chocolate ganache.

Yield: One 6" Round Cake Skill

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake:
2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 cup crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

For the Mint Filling:
4 egg whites
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 � 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (or to taste)
green gel food coloring (optional)

For the Frosting:
Remaining Mint Filling
1 1/4 � 1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies

For the Chocolate Glaze:
2 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
pinch salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour three 6-inch round cake pans and set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.  Add in the sugar and mix for about 3 minutes on medium speed.
  4. Visit Mint Cookies and Cream Cake @ thecakeblog.com for full instructions.

Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cups Recipe


Chocolate brownies filled with caramel Hershey kisses and topped with a salted caramel butter cream.

Yield: 15 brownie cups

Ingredients

For the Brownies
1 brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan)
2 Tbsp. instant coffee
1/4 c. hot water
1/2 c. oil
3 eggs
15 caramel kisses

For the Buttercream
1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. caramel ice cream topping
1 tsp. sea salt
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk

Instructions

Visit >> Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cups @ insidebrucrewlife.com for full instructions.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust Recipe


Triple chocolate delight- chocolate cookie crust, chocolate cheesecake filling and chocolate topping garnished with chocolate curls.

Ingredients

For the Crust:
24 Oreo cookies-finely crushed
1/4 cup unsalted butter-melted

For Cheesecake Filling:
2 lbs. cream cheese- room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoon cocoa powder
4 eggs- room temperature
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate-chopped

For Chocolate Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate-finely chopped
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, add melted butter and blend until it�s all moistened.
  3. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool while making the filling.
To make the filling:
  1. Visit Triple Chocolate Cheesecake With Oreo Crust @ omgchocolatedesserts.com for full instructions.

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars Recipe


Ooey gooey and delicious these Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars mashup cookies with cheesecake with a favorite candy baked right in!

Servings: 9

Ingredients

1 pkg cream cheese 8 oz, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped peanut butter cups about 8
1 lb pkg peanut butter cookie dough or homemade

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In bowl mix together your cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk and beat with mixer until smooth.
  3. Visit Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars @ tornadoughalli.com for full isntrcutions.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes Recipe


An easy two ingredient Oreo crust topped with a smooth and creamy Oreo cheesecake filling.  These Mini Oreo Cheesecakes make a perfect dessert for any time of year!

Serves: 12 mini cheesecakes

INGREDIENTS

For the crust:
12 Oreos
2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
� cup (57 grams) sour cream
? cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
6 Oreos, crushed

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 325�F. Spray each cavity of a 12-count mini cheesecake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. You may also use a regular 12-count muffin pan, I suggest lining each cavity with cupcake liners for easier removal.
  2. Visit Mini Oreo Cheesecakes @ livewellbakeoften.com for full instructions.

#SpareARose - Save A Child

It's Valentine's Day - a day when people break bank to show their love.
Here's the thing, you don't have to break bank in order to show your love - or save a child with t1 diabetes. 

For $5, the cost of one rose - you can provide one month of lifesaving insulin, blood glucose tools, and life enhancing diabetes education to a t1 child in a developing country.
Many children living with t1 in developing countries don't have access to all of the above. 
YOU CAN CHANGE THAT.
To learn about Spare A Rose, lifeforachildusa.org and to #sparearose and make a donation, click HERE
 No child should living with diabetes should die because they don't have access to life saving insulin, diabetes supplies, and diabetes education. 

Be the the change you wish to see. 
#SpareARose, save a child. 

Aetna Under Investigation by California Insurance Regulators

Aetna is currently being investigated by the California Dept of Managed Healthcare (DMHC) and the California Dept of Insurance (DOI) in relation to recent testimony in a lawsuit.

"The Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates the vast majority of health plans in California, said Monday it will investigate Aetna after CNN first reported Sunday that one of the Hartford, Conn., company's medical directors had testified in a deposition related to the lawsuit that he did not examine patients' records before deciding whether to deny or approve care. Rather, he relied on information provided by nurses who reviewed the records � and that was how he was trained by the company, he said."


"In an emailed statement Monday, Aetna did not directly address the question of case reviews by non-physicians. It said its "medical directors review all necessary available medical information for cases that they are asked to evaluate. That is how they are trained, as physicians and as Aetna employees." It added, "adherence to those guidelines, which are based on health outcomes and not financial considerations, is an integral part of their yearly review process."


Read the full LA Times Article 


Dave
www.davefluker.com



The Best Chewy Caf�-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


These cookies are my most popular recipe ever, and for good reason. But I went ahead and messed with them anyway.

Yield: 20 cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt*
1 � sticks (6 oz) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed*
� cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, plus more for topping*

NOTES
Take my advice about the test batch of 1 or 2 cookies. You can have the greatest cookie recipe in the whole world, but the time will vary depending on your oven! The key to perfect cookies is knowing how to adjust for your kitchen, as I mentioned in the post.

*The original version of this recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of salt rather than 1 teaspoon, light brown sugar rather than dark, and baking at 325�F rather than 350. I�ve found that the results are better and more reliable in the updated version, but feel free to use the old recipe if you prefer.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter and the sugars with a hand-mixer for about one minute. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
  3. Visit The Best Chewy Caf�-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies @ hostthetoast.com for full instructions.

Grandma�s Meatless Baked Ziti Recipe


This vegetarian baked ziti will quickly become a family favorite. Easy comfort food that you can make ahead or freeze for later!

Servings: 12

Ingredients

1 lb box of ziti
1 24-ounce jar spaghetti sauce (or 3 cups homemade marinara sauce)
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
3 eggs
2 8-ounce packages shredded mozzarella cheese

Recipe Notes
Homemade marinara sauce recipe
*If freezing for later, prepare the layers as listed before baking and cover securely before putting in freezer. When ready to bake, you can pull it out to let thaw in the refrigerator the morning of, or increase baking time by 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350�F.
  2. Boil/cook ziti according to package instructions.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs and 1 package of the shredded cheese. Set aside.
  4. Visit Grandma's Baked Ziti @ trialandeater.com for full instructions.

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Recipe


A baked spaghetti casserole that�s amazingly cheesy and creamy. It�s comfort food at its best, and EASIEST!

YIELD: 8 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9�13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drain excess fat.
  4. Visit Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti @ damndelicious.net for full instructions.

Chicken Boscaiola Recipe


A delicious and creamy pasta with chicken, mushrooms, parmesan, cream and herbs.

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
� pound bacon chopped (about 8 slices)
2 tablespoons butter
1 � cups sliced mushrooms (baby bella, button or shitake)
1 cup diced onions
1 clove chopped garlic
1/8 cup sherry
1 � cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
� teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped)
1 Tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
� cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound fettuccini
1 Tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped to garnish dish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large saut� pan over medium high heat, combine 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter until melted and frothy.
  2. Working in two batches, add in chicken and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per batch. Do not over cook. Remove chicken to a flat plate to cool and stop the cooking process.
  3. Place the bacon in the same pan and cook until it is crispy. Remove to paper towels, chop and reserve.
  4. Visit Chicken Boscaiola @ afamilyfeast.com for full instructions.

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup Recipe


This delicious Italian Orzo Spinach Soup is simple, flavorful, and so comforting.

YIELD: 4-6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, peeled and diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) DeLallo whole wheat orzo pasta, or other whole wheat pasta
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
4 cups loosely-packed spinach
salt and black pepper
optional toppings: freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

Visit >> Italian Orzo Spinach Soup @ gimmesomeoven.com

Kreidler�s consumer advocates recovered $18.9 million for consumers in 2017


Most people know that we regulate insurance in Washington state, but many aren�t aware that we also help consumers when they have questions about insurance or have trouble with their insurance company. In fact, we have an entire division dedicated to protecting consumers from financial harm.
An OIC consumer advocate attends an outreach event 

In 2017, our consumer advocates:
  • Received and processed 7,705 consumer complaints, resulting in recovery of $18.9 million related to insurance billings, refunds and various claim-handling issues to consumers. 
  • Answered 63,823 calls to our consumer hotline regarding insurance issues, rights and responsibilities.
  • Responded to 5,801 written inquiries.
  • Mailed 1,904 insurance-related publications to consumers upon their request.
  • Helped consumers resolve various policy issues, including claims, billing, and underwriting problems, and offered referral services to other state agencies and organizations, including the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Our consumer advocates can help you:
We share information of interest to insurance consumers on this blog and through our social media channels. Many of our blog and social media posts are generated by consumers� questions.

More resources for consumers:
  • Reach us by phone at 1-800-562-6900 or online
  • File a complaint against an insurance company or agent. 
  • Read more about how to get help from our consumer advocates. 
  • Read more about your insurance, including home, life, auto, health, annuities and business. 

Brookies Recipe


Brookies: Brownies plus chocolate chip cookies. All rolled together in one spectacular treat that will make your mouth happy.

Yield: 4 dozen

Ingredients

Brownie Dough:
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Chip Dough:
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

For brownie dough:

  1. Cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat till creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Sift into the sugar mixture. Stir till dough is just combined. Cover and chill while preparing chocolate chip dough.

Chocolate Chip Dough:

  1. Visit Brookies @ creationsbykara.com for full instructions.

The Best Lemon Bars Recipe


A sweet cookie crust gives the Best Lemon Bars the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

For the Crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened

For the Filling
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
2 eggs
powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and butter together until a soft dough forms.
  3. Visit The Best Lemon Bars @ insidebrucrewlife.com for full instructions.

The WORST Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


Are they the worst or are they the best cookies in existence? Either way, this easy, soft chocolate chip cookie recipe is insanely addictive. They're great as fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven cookies, and stay soft for days.

Servings 32 large cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter melted and then cooled for at least 5 minutes* (226g)
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed (300g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
2 eggs room temperature preferred
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (60ml)
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (415g)
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips I used half regular semisweet chips and half mini semisweet chips

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, stir together melted butter and sugars.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring combined.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and maple syrup.
  4. Visit The WORST EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies @ sugarspunrun.com for full instructions.

Fabulous Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pie Recipe


I can surely say that my dreams have become reality because today I tried creamy-decadent peanut butter pie with a perfect Hot Fudge topping � And that is that! This is my favorite pie! Definitely!

Yield: 12

Ingredients

Crust
2 cups chocolate graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 stick of butter (6 tablespoons)

Filling
1 cup peanut butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tub (12 ounces) Cool Whip, divided
1 jar (11.75 ounces) hot fudge topping, divided
1/2 cup sugar

Topping
2 tablespoons hot fudge
2 tablespoons peanut butter
remaining cool whip

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave
  2. Place the chocolate graham crackers into a plastic bag. Close bag and crush with a spoon until you have tiny granular particles (about the size of a pea).
  3. Combine the melted butter, sugar and chocolate graham crackers crumbs.
  4. Visit Fabulous Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pie @ sugarapron.com for full instructions.

Salted Caramel Frosting Recipe


Try adding Salted Caramel Frosting to your next cake for an extraordinary dessert experience. The sweet and salt combination is purely magical. It stands out from vanilla and chocolate frosting. Homemade caramel sauce is what gives this frosting such an incredible flavor and texture. Prepare the caramel ahead of time and you�ll be able whip up this frosting in a snap.

Yields 3 cups

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter softened
3/4 cup homemade caramel sauce (or you can use store-bought) bring to room temperature
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and caramel together with an electric mixer until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Visit Salted Caramel Frosting @ bakedbyanintrovert.com for full instructions.

Shine On, Judy Reich

The DOC received the news late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning that we�d lost our friend Judy Reich, 
It�s hit many hard - me included. I�m a mess.
I am devastated over Judy�s passing - every time I tried to put something into words I burst into tears.
This one's for you, Judy~ 
####
Dear Judy - 
I found out the news just as I was getting ready to go bed late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. 
It was weird - I�d just said out loud to myself, �today was better than yesterday,� and I looked at my facebook feed one last time - then it wasn�t. 
A mutual friend�s facebook status announced your passing along with a link to 8 News Now's video tribute. 
I yelled "NO" at my phone, clicked on the link and burst into tears and I couldn�t stop crying. 
I was up for hours, crying and talking online with our friends, trying to piece together the how and they whys, and trying to make sense of it, trying to find out what happened. 

And I�m still crying - and the tears keep falling.

Judy - you were a kind; funny, talented, beautiful, and phenomenal woman, I was so lucky to call you my friend, and I�m really going to miss you.

We met online first - and I�ll admit to being a little bit reserved at first, but then we met in real life at the very first UnConference - and you were so full of love and light, I was like: WOW, THIS WOMAN IS AMAZING. 
We bonded over our love of entertaining; theater, being the caretaker for our parents, my struggle to get over the loss of my mother, and both of us being maternal women with diabetes who weren�t mothers. 
That last part was big - it connected it us - and other women (and some men,) in DOC who needed feel that we not only existed - that we mattered. 
And Judy, you were a mother - you mothered and mentored so many whose lives were touched by your sparkled and joy.  

Always kind and filled with love, always making sure your friends were doing OK.

These past few days I�ve read beautiful facebook statuses and blog posts that are true testaments and tributes to the woman you were and the impact you had. 

Judy, you made a world of difference - you helped and encouraged - and you showed that 50 years living with diabetes could be done with style; grace, humor tenacity, a bit of bawdy, and boatloads of showwomanship! 

Your instant messages always seemed to flash across my screen just when I needed them most. When I was struggling; when I was feeling down or lonely - intuitively you knew it - and you started a conversation that would always make me laugh and feel inspired. 
The last time we chatted was after the holidays -both of us were short for time - it was a quick check-in with a promise to �catch-up soon, and a mutual hope that a real life meet up in 2018 was in the cards.� 
We never got that chance and that is another reason I grieve. 
I'm sad and mad that we won't get the chance to hangout again in real life. 

Judy, thank you for being my friend and for always making me smile. 
Shine bright and shine on, because you truly are a star!
I will never forget you and will miss you always.   
Xoxo
Kelly

And to my Diabetes Online Community Family - No matter the diabetes type and in memory of Judy, I�m asking that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. 

I don�t have the all the specifics, but I do know that Judy�s death was cardiac related.
February is Heart Month - diabetes and heart issues go hand-in-hand - no matter what type of diabetes you live with, because diabetes and heart disease isn't just a type 2 issue.

PLEASE schedule up an appointment with a cardiologist and get checked out. 
Do it for yourself, for your family, and do it for Judy.

If want to send Judy's husband Gary and her mom Arlene Reich condolences, 
send your cards to the Diabetes Sisters offices by the end of February - they will be forwarding them in bulk to the family. 
DiabetesSisters, 
319 N Weber Road, pmb 163, 
Bolingbrook, IL 60490

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