Snow-Topped Chocolate Mint Cookies

Our family volunteered for several summers, taking in Japanese students from a student exchange program. Our older daughters were taking Japanese language classes at college during this time.

This is a family favorite cookie recipe from 2008 translated from Japanese.

Kris Krinkles (or Snow-Topped Chocolate Mint Cookies)
2 C. mint semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ C. flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
confectioner’s sugar

  1. In microwave, melt 1 c. chocolate chips: set aside to cool.
  2. In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir remaining chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in confectioners sugar. Place 2 inches apart on non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 min. or until edges are set.

Cool for 10 min. before moving.
Snow-Topped Chocolate Mint Cookies

The Frog Princess and Beignets






The other day our sweet exchange student who loves everything Disney wanted to make a recipe from the Disney movie The Frog Princess. I have never seen the movie and we were having quiet a language barrier.

We went to my oldest daughter (so glad she is home by the way!) for translation help and also a lover of Disney. It took her 30 seconds to figure it out. Beignets!

I looked up the recipe and found one that does not require yeast. I do not  work well with yeast, especially in the winter when the house is cold.

The Beignets turned out wonderful. Here is the recipe and and I took a few photos.


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water. In another bowl add salt and flour. Add the melted butter water mixture to bowl and stir until a sticky batter is formed. Beat in vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.

Heat the oil to 375F. Fry mounded teaspoons of dough, several at a time, for about 4 minutes. They are done when they are light, golden brown on each side. Drain them for a few minutes on a clean kitchen towel and serve warm, dusted with the confectioners’ sugar.

This beignets recipe makes 28 to 32 fritters.

Taking a Christmas Photo of Teens is Like

Taking a Christmas Photo of Teens is Like Herding Cats. I finally got some good shots, but they all over the place and having a lot of fun. I got some good smiles from them.

After we were done, being outdoorsy kids – they started exploring, looking for lizards and other wildlife. My daughter pulled out her Canon T2i and started taking photos of everything.




































Back To School Night

I have never been to a Back to School Night. Having homeschooled all the kids (3 to graduation so far) it was very interesting to go to Miss N’s back to school night. Not many parents showed up.

I can’t take any credit for how she is doing school. Her family has done a wonderful job raising a hard working student. Her teachers are thrilled to have her in their classes.

Miss N. is completely surprised at the rowdiness of the students in the class room. Culture shock I guess. In Japan, the high school is not free – parents pay. It is also very hard to get into a high school. There is strict dress codes and behavior codes. No nail polish, make-up, ear rings. School is 6 days a week. Miss N gets home at 7:p each night.  Your teacher also comes to your home during the summer. If you get a summer job you will be kicked out of school.

We have had a very good first week. I offered to take Miss N. to Otto’s in Sacramento, But nope, she wants American food. I think she is sleeping well. I am sure she will get homesick soon.

First Day of School

Exchange Student

We are so excited to have our exchange student arrive this Sat.

We know Miss N. She is from Japan. She was in the US for the summer 2 years ago. My oldest daughter volunteered in the English language class the kids attended for a month. Our family went on several of the field trips/outings with the group. My now 16 year hit it off with Miss N and they became pen pals. Miss N asked last year if we would take her for the school year and we said YES!

And now she we really be here this Sat. to live with us.

Here is some of the latest photos from the week.















%d bloggers like this: