The Grad Dress

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Yesterday, I helped my youngest daughter buy her grad dress.

She isn’t graduating until June, but three of her friends had already bought theirs and she was anxious to get one of her own.  So she, her big sister and I hit the stores yesterday in search of the perfect dress.

Now I’m not much of a shopper.  Other than buying books, which I could do every day of my life, shopping makes me cranky.  The stores are too warm, I always seem to have too many things in my arms, and sometimes finding a helpful sales clerk is challenging.  In my ideal world, I’d have a personal shopper buy clothes on my behalf.  (In that world, I’d also have someone to look after my laundry.  But I digress.)

Shopping for a grad dress is different.  More than just an article of clothing, it marks a shift in my daughter’s life, a leap from girl to young woman.  And I truly loved being part of that.

I don’t know how my girls got to be so old.  This year I’m buying a dress for eighth grade grad; next year I’ll be buying a twelfth grade grad dress for her older sister.  When I look at pictures of them as toddlers and babies, it almost feels like I was a different person in those days. Back then, my thoughts were often completely wrapped up in their lives.  Things are still busy, of course, but as they get older, it’s part of my job to step back a little.  Always being there when they need me – like shopping for a grad dress – but giving them independence when that’s what they need.

Oh, and the dress?  I’m not allowed to post it, but it looks great!


Fortunately, it doesn’t matter how grown-up your family is.  Everyone, young and old, will love these cookies.  The only change I made to the original recipe was adding toffee bits, but I think they’d be great with or without. 

Crispy Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
½ cup softened unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup oats (not quick oats)
1 ¼ cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup toffee bits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter and sugars in mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth.  On low, add in egg and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Slowly add to the butter mixture.  Stir in the oats, Rice Krispies, chocolate chips and toffee bits.  Avoid overmixing, which would crush the cereal.

Scoop dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes.  Allow to cool for a minute on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack.


40 comments:

Carol said...

Time flies! Two beautiful girls, they grow up so fast! My baby doll is shopping for Prom, seems like yesterday she was playing dress up. But I bet one whiff of those cookies baking brings them right back to the kitchen :) They look delicious!

Janet Johnson said...

Such sweet times! Shopping isn't my favorite thing either, but I hope my daughter lets me shop (at least a little) with her. THAT might be fun. :)

natalia said...

How nice ! I cannot imagine when my kids will graduate ! Want to try your cookies !

laxsupermom said...

Dress shopping with your daughters must be so much fun. When I pulled out a collared shirt for my now 14yo, for last year's 8th grade graduation, he asked, "Why do I have to dress up?"

The cookies look terrific. Thanks for sharing.

allieksmith said...

Aww, I love this post! It made me tear up a little bit.. I graduated last year and it has been hard for my mom and I to have more distance as I grow up so this hit home. The cookies sound AWESOME though and I love book shopping much more than clothes shopping :)

Valerie said...

I'm in my early 30's and, I can happily say, that I still need my mom now and then. And I know she is happy to know that she is and always will be needed. :-)

Daughters will always need their moms.

The cookies look delicious!!

Heather said...

I have to agree. It seems as though my kids grew up overnight! Yesterday, the girls and I went to the mall. Like you, shopping drives me a little crazy. What bugs me most is the loud,loud music! :)

Jess said...

Oh Beth, this just makes me...I don't know--almost nostalgic for a way that I haven't felt yet. My fifteen-year-old will graduating from high school in two years, but I'm guessing her Mom will do the dress shopping with her (Stepmoms don't get the privilege, understandably). My two-year-old has longer, but still. I can see it coming. And when you have food pictures up with a post like this, I can almost taste it coming too :)

Susanne K. Fletcher said...

That was the first time I've cried and salivated at the same time.

Raina said...

It is amazing how quickly our children grow. Funny, my kids are the same age as yours, my daughter is in the eight grade and my son is a junior. I feel like I blinked and they were big.

Your cookies sound delicious. I love oatmeal cookies expecially with chocolate:)

Reeni said...

I'm not much of a shopper either! But it sounds like this was 'fun' shopping. The cookies look delectable too - love the toffee!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

What a sweet picture of your girls. I'm not big on shopping either, but when the mood strikes--look out! I get tuckered out pretty quickly, as well. I would love to refuel with these cookies.

Belinda said...

That's the sweetest photo! What a huge momentous step. =)

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I never have any tolerance for in-store shopping, but what a reason to go! Hopefully you'll share the dress with us after the event :)

Jeanne said...

I'm not a shopper, either, but for such a special occasion it must have been fun! These cookies sound intriguing with the rice krispies. I'll have to give them a try!

Kerry said...

I got tears in my eyes reading this Beth. I think I started babysitting the girls when they were just 2 and 4--and so adorable and sweet! Can they really be grad dress shopping now? They've grown up to be so beautiful, kind and intelligent. It's just wonderful to think about.

XingyMingy said...

When I first saw this I thought, her grad dress is cookies? :S But I get it now :) I agree with the shopping, some times more hassle than its worth! But great story and great recipe anyway :)

shaz said...

Awwww...I'm sure the dress is beautiful. Already I think time flies too quickly, I can't even imagine shopping for a grad (prom) dress yet! The cookies sound like they would be great lunch box treats (once I sub the chocolate ;) )

Beth said...

Kerry, coming from you that's very high praise. If they grow up to be anywhere near the lovely person you are, I couldn't be happier. We are so proud of you!
Susanne, I had to laugh when I read your comments. But can you believe we both have a thirteen-year-old?
And I'm with you Valerie. I'll always need my mom!

Myrna Foster said...

I'm not big on shopping, either. Thanks for the cookie recipe!

Mimi said...

I'm not a big shopper either, but I do have fun taking my girls out shopping. When I pick out something funky for them to try on, they roll their eyes and "humor" me, but my pick is usually the one they end up buying.
Your cookies would be the perfect shopping pick-me-up.
Mimi

5 Star Foodie said...

Doesn't time fly fast :) The cookies sound so scrumptious!

Kayte said...

You and I could shop well together. Very well. lol. Hope we get to see the dress in June! Thanks for the cookie recipe, you know how my guys hate it when I make cookies.

Michelle Teacress said...

Oh, I wish I could see the dress. :) I just bought my daughter an awesome prom dress, and I don't like shopping much either, but I'll tolerate it for special events.

Vicki Rocho said...

Stopping by to thank you for your vote today! We've got a new battle each day this week, so lots of chances for you to enter and win!

I can't believe how quickly my girls have grown. They're 15 and 9 now and I still remember those 2 a.m. feedings like they were yesterday. Not that I wanna go back. Having them potty trained and feeding themselves is way too convenient!

Claudia said...

It's bittersweet sometimes - but more sweet than anything. Transitions beget memories and past sweetnesses and make everyone look forward to the future. I think oatmeal cookies with rice krispies are the way to go during "transition time."

Sweet And Crumby said...

That will be me next year, shopping for my daughter's 8th grade grad dress. Time flies, doesn't it? These cookies look perfectly delicious and the toffee bits are a yummy addition.

Medeia Sharif said...

This is a great story about transitions in life. Time does fly. It makes me look back on the past fondly.

Those cookies look yum.

Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook said...

Aw, what a touching post, Beth. These cookies are sure to make anyone happy.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Lovely post, Beth! It's so hard letting them get ready to leave. My daughter just turned 15. I get sad thinking about her going to college in three and a half years. Then I get hapy thinking about the wonderful joyful moments she'll get to experience. Then we have to sit down and have a talk about what to do about some of those experiences. LOL! Motherhood...who knew it would be full of so many ups and downs???

Katerina said...

Time passes so quickly and before you know it the babies become grown ups and leave their homes! These cookies are very pretty and I am sure they tasted great as well!

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, what a lovely thing to do together! We don't do graduations like that here, but I had a ball shopping for my formal (prom) dress with my Mum. And toffee bits... is there anything you shouldn't add them to? I think not.

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

wow big day hope your get to visit Australia one day sweet Beth

Sweet and Savory said...

I despise shopping but I would love these cookies. You shop and I will eat.

Joanne said...

Congratulations to your daughter! that's so exciting!

I hate shopping also, but for an occasion like this - totally worth it. And what great cookies to celebrate and to fuel you on your trek through the stores.

Rita said...

That must have been fun! I am not a shopper either and have no daughter; 4 sons who always preferred cookies to shopping.
Rita

Kristen said...

What a sweet post. It is amazing how fast time flies and how soon children grow up...A bittersweet time for you.

Grapefruit said...

I laughed out loud at the part about getting a personal-shopper & someone to do the laundry too. I need one of those!
This is a lovely, bittersweet post. I enjoyed it so much. My kids are still very young but it's still amazing how time flies & soon my 'baby' (read: toddler) is going to be too big to snuggle in the crook of my arm.
Show us her dress when she allows you go put it up here!

Sue said...

Awww, time marches on...What a cute photo:) Yummy cookies too!

FOODESSA said...

I can spend hours in a book store and yet shopping for clothes could be easily left to my stylist...if I had one that is ;o)

I can't blame your daughter for getting a head start. Pickings become slim as time goes by. This event is too important not to pay attention ;)

Thanks for the cookies...I'm grabbing my cup of coffee to go with these treats ;o)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

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