When Jimmy was meeting with the leaders the Sunday prior, I asked about food for the party. Usually the (female) leaders will bring stuff when we have events, or sometimes he'll order a cake. But this time he said, and I quote, "Oh you guys don't have to bring anything, I'll just buy some Little Debbie's or something."
To which I started freaking out.
And he's like, "What...guys love Little Debbie's."
And I'm like, so do I. Like most kids of the early 80's, I grew up on Oatmeal Cream Pies and Fudge Rounds until the whole fat/cholesterol bomb dropped and put a damper on all of our pre-packaged baked good bliss. And once in a blue moon, I will break down and buy a box of Swiss Cake Rolls and put them in the fridge so they're nice and cold when Jimmy and I gobble them up with large glasses of milk! Yum.
But this was our kickoff party we were talking about!! I thought we should at least, you know, put something in the oven for it! Make it a little personal and special! One of the other female leaders had my back (and the rest of the guys leaders just laughed at how personally we took the suggestion of snack cakes), and we decided to save the Little Debbie's for the next party and bring on the homemade goodness to start our year off right.
Having worked with teenagers for a long time (and knowing my husband a long time), I made several batches of straight up, homemade, plain and simple Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have students who will put in requests for my homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies, and you just can't go wrong there. I also made these classic No Bake Chocolate/Peanut Butter/Oatmeal Cookies (did anyone else love these as a kid?!), because I knew one of our sweet students was allergic to eggs and these don't have any.
But then, I remembered something. A few months ago on Sugar Pie Farmhouse, one of my very favorite blogs, Aunt Ruthie posted a recipe for Texas Cowboy Cookies. The recipe was from First Lady Laura Bush, who in my book is one classy woman. And with a countrified kickoff, I thought these countrified cookies would be perfect!
The recipe made a huge batch (the dough was literally coming out of my trusty KitchenAid, so I had to transfer it to the biggest bowl I had and finish with a cookie paddle!), and the kitchen smelled amazing while they were baking.
As for how they tasted when they were fresh off of the cooling rack...let me just give out a hearty "yee-haw" - they were beyond delicious - scrumptious might be the word! I wrapped them in little bags tied off with gingham bows, and put them in a cowboy hat to take to the party...because that's what youth pastors' wives do. Because girls love that sort of thing. ;)
The batch was so huge I had tons left at home, and lots to give away! (You can find the recipe and read Aunt Ruthie's darling post here. You are going to want to make these sometime!)
After the Cowboy Cookies were packaged and ready to go, I packed up my other cookies and headed out the door for a boot scootin' good time!
Here is my Little Debbie and plain Chocolate Chip Cookie lovin' husband right here, playing different instruments in the band! Isn't he cute? He looks pretty natural in a cowboy hat for a Chicago boy!
And this Maryland girl rocked a hat purchased on a trip to San Antonia in high school, a legit Western shirt purchased on a trip to Arizona, and a big old Texas belt buckle for the occasion!
Which I might have to loosen a notch after all the Cowboy Cookies I've been eating this past week. Not to mention all the food from the Labor Day weekend festivities. Sheesh. :)
Our hearts beat for the students we are privileged to minister to week in and week out. It is a gift to be a part of their lives, an honor to be mentors to them on their journey. Please pray for us as we do our best to point them to Jesus and the abundant life He offers, and pray for them that their hearts would remain soft and tender in an often cold, hard world, and that they would discover the joy found in choosing the narrow ride to life. We appreciate your prayers!