Saturday, November 29, 2014

Something Saturdays (11/29/14)

Hiya guys! Did you have a great Thanksgiving? Me too! I went to Michael's stepmom's family earlier in the day (and brought cookies) and then went to his mom's side of the family later on (and brought what was left of the cookies). We had so much fun and the only not so great part was the hour long drive home from Michael's grandpa's that took 2 hours because it had just snowed a couple inches and the roads were not in great shape. EEp! At least he was driving and not me!

Then yesterday we went back to our cake bakery for the wedding (Tiffany's) and Michael tried some fruit fillings while I went over the design and locked in the flavors and price, etc. We got so lucky-we go an awesome deal! And we're going to have 3 different flavors of cake: white cake with vanilla custard filling, white cake with strawberry filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. And they all taste incredible! Yayyy! Then we went back to Michael's aunt's (where we'd had our first dinner on Thanksgiving) and ate some leftovers and visited and played games. Then we went to Youngstown to a big benefit/variety show that his family puts on every year. Michael and his brothers were so so hilarious...the highlight was the 3 of them dressing up in 80's gear and performing "Pop" from Music & Lyrics. Everyone died laughing. And theeeen we left early so we could go to his dad's side of the family's cousin game night. Which was SO much fun and so funny.

So now I'm exhausted and this holiday's festivities aren't even done yet. Today I'm baking cookies for my grandma's birthday tomorrow. Tonight we're having another dinner just with Michael's mom and siblings. And tomorrow is my grandma's 80th birthday!

I'm gonna sleep like a baby on Monday.

Friday, November 28, 2014

#HillshireSnackPros Review

#HillshireSnackPros Review
So. Didja have a good Thanksgiving? Yes? 

Great. Back to real life!

Which means packing Michael a lunch and finding me a (non-chip or sweet) snack. 

That's where Hillshire Snacking comes in! 
#HillshireSnackPros Review
Do you like the sound of 15g+ of protein, premium meats, and super bold flavors? ME TOO. And Hillshire Snacking offers all of that in 8 different varieties.
  • Grilled Chicken Bites with Teriyaki Sauce
  • Genoa Salame with Gouda Cheese & Toasted Rounds
  • Grilled Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Grilled Chicken Bites with Mango Habanero Sauce
  • Italian Dry Salame with Gouda Cheese & Toasted Rounds
  • Hot Calabrese Salame with Pepper Jack Cheese & Toasted Rounds
  • Peppered Salame with Pepper Jack Cheese & Toasted Rounds
  • Grilled Chicken Bites with Sweet Chili Sauce
#HillshireSnackPros Review
I was lucky enough to get a bunch of packages of the grilled chicken bites with sweet chili sauce to try (although I would love to get my hands on some of the other varieties in the near future)! Michael went gaga---these are right up his alley. Unique and flavorful (therefore breaking up the monotony of his usual lunch and snack options) the chicken has a delicious grilled flavor and the sauce adds a fun bite of zesty spice.
#HillshireSnackPros Review
Hillshire Snacking products are perfectly portioned to be an everyday snack or the thing to grab on the go but they are also encouraging you to get creative and think of these as a unique way to snack! Share your unique Hillshire Snacking experience with the hashtag #UniqueWay.

For the most part we just ate these in a straightforward way---however I did create a sandwich with 1 pack of the Grilled Chicken Bites with Sweet Chili Sauce. I used the sauce as spread on each piece of bread and placed the chicken and a slice of cheese in the middle. It was gooooood.

So, to sum up--I'm sad we're almost out and I think I need to locate a Target near me that carries Hillshire Snacking products!

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recipes for Thanksgiving and Post-Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! And, for the first time in 4 years, I'm home! Which means my days of making Thanksgiving dinner are over-for awhile, at least (I just get to choose between a minimum of 4 different places to go---we're going to Michael's stepmom's family and then his mom's family later on. Then on Sunday is my mom's family.) Instead, this year I've been tasked with making cookies. Apparently my cookie reputation precedes me. So-I'll be making cookies. But maybe you're making some of the actual Thanksgiving things? And perhaps you're still looking for inspiration? Lucky for you, I have rounded up my favorites--and included some awesome recipes for you to use up any leftovers you end up with! Hooray!

And if you're reeeally looking for even more Thanksgiving options, check out this post from last year.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chocolate Molten Cakes

Chocolate Molten Cakes
I love lava cakes. LOVE EM. 

I mean...chocolate cake with a molten, decadent, rich rich rich chocolate center. There's nothing not wonderful about it. My first taste of lava cake was at a dinner theatre (that is now closed) when I was a teenager, and I fell head over heels. Then...I started eating these packaged microwaveable lava cakes. And now-I make every recipe I get my hands on.
Chocolate Molten Cakes
Thus far my favorite lava cake recipe came from Michael's stepmom--it is foolproof (a PERFECT molten center) and delicious. This recipe is a very close second place---the only reason it's not number 1 is I could not get them out of their ramekins unscathed, so I couldn't get that pretty picture of a cake with lava-like chocolate oozing out. Instead you're safer just eating them out of the ramekins. However the molten center is on point and the level of chocolatey decadence is FAB.
Chocolate Molten Cakes
One of the beautiful things about lava cake is how perfect it is for entertaining. You can easily make these ahead of time and just bake them when you're ready to serve. They're sorta fancy. And they're impressive-people are going to think you're an exquisite chef and nothing beats the wow-factor of breaking in to a cake to find that liquid chocolate goodness, ready to make your tastebuds siiiiing.
Chocolate Molten Cakes
And...although Thanksgiving is generally all about that pie game...maybe you wanna mix things up and serve some chocolate indulgence? I know if I showed up to a Thanksgiving dinner and was given a lava cake for dessert I would think to myself, "This person is a total rock-star. I want to be their best friend for liiife."

Don't you want people to think that about you? Yeah, me too.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Something Saturdays (11/22/14)

Have you decided on what you're making for Thanksgiving? I have a post coming up this week with my favorites but you can also peruse this list from last year for ideas!

Michael and I (after much deliberation) decided on our wedding invitations! We still have to sort out specifics such as fonts, wording, etc. but here is a little sneak peek at the design (and it would have K M for the initials instead of the K B):
Source
In acting related news: You may or may not remember me mentioning a comedic horror feature film I starred in ,"You Can't Kill Stephen King". I shot that movie over 4 years ago but it is FINALLY coming to the US! It will be released on December 9th and is available for pre-order on sites such as Amazon. It's sort of insane seeing myself on Amazon and knowing that people can buy a movie and see me! AND in a few months it will also be on VOD (probably including Netflix?)-I am SO excited!
Disclaimer-I used Affiliate links to link to my movie. Because I might as well try to make some money off of this thing lol.

Ever since this performance on The Voice I've been obsessed with the song "Take Me to Church" and every time it's on the radio I get crazy excited and turn the volume up super high and sing along. I also walk around singing it constantly.

Does anyone remember The Big Comfy Couch? SO MUCH NOSTALGIA.

Aaaaand do you like cookies? OF COURSE YOU DO! Don't forget to enter my giveaway for some free cookies from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review

The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review
You guys may remember my friend Susan (AKA The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen)-she is the first blogging friend I ever met "in real life" and she's an award-winning baker/cook, a super talented food blogger, a proud pug-owner, a totally fun and sweet girl AND now a bake shop owner!!
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review
Thanks to an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign (and a LOT of research and hard work) Susan now has her very own bakery that is all about-wait for it-COOKIES! SHE SELLS COOKIES! Um....I love cookies. LOVE THEM. So I'm all about a bakery that only sells cookies. And you want to know what's even better? These cookies are all preservative free, small batch, and baked with THE BEST ingredients-mostly organic ingredients and fairtrade chocolate. That is so incredible and something I am completely 100% in love with. 
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review
I've had Susan's baking in the past, and can attest that she's fabulous. But she was sweet enough to give me a little reminder and send me a small sampling of the cookies she sells in her bake shop. And I am a lucky, lucky lady because she has totally outdone herself with what she is selling!
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review
I was able to try Susan's 3 main varieties of cookies that she sells:
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies-These are the first cookies you see pictured above. Susan takes 2 soft (and delightfully crumbly and full of peanut butter flavor) peanut butter cookies and sandwiches all-natural strawberry preserves in the middle for the perfect spin on all of our fave childhood comfort food. I packed these in Michael's lunch and he completely loved them.
    • Peanut Butter Cookies-These are the same cookies used for the PB&J Cookies. They're made with all-natural organic peanut butter (which accounts for the extra powerful punch of peanut buttery goodness) and brown sugar (which equals soft, chewy, cookies).
  • Triple Choc-o-lot Cookies-Susan uses THREE kinds of chocolate. THREE! Dark chocolate, red cocoa powder, and chocolate chips all create a super decadent chocolate lovers' dream (trust me, I'm a certified chocoholic)-and as if that wasn't perfect enough....there's vanilla sea salt on top. Which completely makes the cookies. It's the perfect little bit of salty to balance the sweet. Completely died over these.
  • Signature Chocolate Chip Cookies-I cannot decide if these or the Triple Choc-o-lot were my favorites. Methinks it's a tie. All I know is I will always go for a classic CCC, especially when it is done as impeccably as this one. Crisp edges...chewy inside...delightfully gooey chocolate chunks (microwave these babies for 10 seconds to take them to the next level)...pretty little specks of vanilla (hello lovahs) aaaand again with that vanilla sea salt! As usual, it completely elevates the whole thing. 
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop Review
The main sum up I can give about The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop is this: you can taste the quality. Every nuance of flavor has been meticulously thought out and your taste-buds get to enjoy the results! AMAZING.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Hour Dinner Rolls

One Hour Dinner Rolls
Did you know that I AM A LADY?

...Well....I'm not. So I figured out pretty early on in my life. My dad used to constantly scold me for...I don't know...stuff (sitting cross legged maybe?) and tell me I needed to be "a lady". (Which is hilarious if you know my dad. It's a drunk redneck telling someone to be a lady...sheesh.) In Girl Scouts we took an etiquette class and there was one singular moment that made 7 year old me say, "What? Eff this. No. WAY." (I didn't say eff this...at that age I was very unsure of what that word meant but I knew I wasn't supposed to say it.)
One Hour Dinner Rolls
The moment? We were told to break off one tiny piece of dinner roll, butter it, eat it. Repeat. IT'LL TAKE YOU A THOUSAND YEARS TO EAT A ROLL AT THAT RATE (or so I felt). You cut a roll in half, butter each half, then shove each half into your face. The end. Everyone is happy.

Since obviously that is the way to do things, I made my peace with the fact that I would never be a proper lady. Because I will never butter my rolls one tiny piece at a time. Rolls are too good to ruin with etiquette.
One Hour Dinner Rolls
And much like I don't want to wait many many minutes to butter and eat a roll....I don't want to wait hours and hours for homemade rolls to be made. Sometimes I just don't have the time or energy to make my absolute favorite roll recipe. Which is why I wasted no time in making these rolls when I learned they only take ONE HOUR-beginning to end. Total. Period. UNO HORA!
One Hour Dinner Rolls
And look....yes...they don't hold a candle to my fave rolls.

BUT they are super fluffy and pretty and tasty and are perfect for those days where you're crunched for time or just lazy! Like...maybe you're making a bunch of other dishes for a certain holiday where we all eat so much we have to undo the top button of our pants (or just wear a dress if you're a prepared non-lady). 

Like that.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Melting Roasted Potatoes

Melting Roasted Potatoes
Look....I'm gonna tell you right now....this week's recipes are not not supposed to be potential recipes for Thanksgiving....

...if you are aware of the way double negatives work...then you know....the recipes in fact are kinda supposed to be potential things for you to make for Thanksgiving. Full transparency on this blog, people.
Melting Roasted Potatoes
I really really really adore potatoes. They're my side dish of choice. So OF COURSE I fully support various kinds of potato sides for the big fat day we call Thanksgiving! And....every day really. And when I find a new potato recipe it gets made pretty darn quick. Like...within the week, generally. Such is the case with these. Especially because of the name...like...potatoes...that melt? What?
Melting Roasted Potatoes
I'm gonna end the suspense: they don't really melt.

They just sort of melt in your mouth because they are sooo tender!

You just roast some sliced potatoes until they're pretty much falling apart (but crisp on the outside)--and they cook for a little bit with a yummy broth/garlic-y sauce which you serve over them. Somehow they're both rustic and sophisticated....how...how you do that, potatoes?
Melting Roasted Potatoes
Hoo...can I just like...talk to you for a sec? Yeah? Awesome. 

Currently I need to put some new glasses that I received away (they're from our registry-Michael's mom adorably couldn't wait to buy from it so that's my birthday gift :P)--which means I need to rearrange the cabinets a bit. I also need to address some of the Save the Dates and try not to stress about the fact that I'm still waiting on address lists from Michael's families. I also need to do some price comparison shopping for new tires for my car because I have practically no traction and snow is coming and I'm halfway (ok....more than halfway) convinced that driving in the snow will result in my untimely death. Plus I need to keep up with this blog and make food to eat and keep the house together and...ya know...life.

This is unrelated to potatoes except for the fact that they're delicious and comfort food and pretty easy to make. So...yeah. I should probably make myself some, yeah? You should too.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Something Saturdays (11/15/14)

I picked the dresses for the bridesmaids! It's a gorgeous short dress from David's Bridal with a lacey one-shoulder top and a flowy, like, chiffon overlay situation on the bottom. This picture doesn't do it justice but here's the idea:
Source: davidsbridal.com
My birthday was this week!!! I had all kinds of fun! My mom took the day off and we went to these adorable shops in a neighboring town (called Hudson). We did some fun window shopping and ate lots of popcorn samples (and mom bought a couple bags to take home :P)
Then we got lunch at this fantastic pizzeria/bakery called 3 Palms. They have authentic Neapolitan pizza (and like...legit. They make it correctly and even their pizza oven is from Naples. This is the first pizza I've had since I moved from NY that I went-YES!) and we got to chat with the super nice owner. Plus...best cannoli I've had since I left NYC. They use house-made ricotta and it is just perfect-there's even a little bit of cinnamon in the cannoli shells which added sort of a fun surprise.
Then we came home, watched The Big Bang Theory, and my mom went home. After that I went over to Michael's dad and stepmom's house where I got to hang out with them and they gave me my super sweet present. Finally I went home and Michael got back from class. He was very extra sweet to me and then he quickly changed and we headed to this super nice restaurant in the Sheraton hotel that's downtown (like 5 minutes away from us)-called Beau's On the River. I've been wanting to go for awhile but sort of needed an excuse. It was such a breathtaking place-so nice and fancyyy and there are floor to ceiling windows that give a view of the river/falls (which were hard to see in the dark but there was still something magical about the lights inside and the windows and darkness outside...I dunno). Our waiter was crazy nice and all the food was INSANE. At our waiter's recommendation we tried their mozzarella sticks which--I'm hesitant to even call them that because they are in their own class. They melt in your mouth and are made from bread (made from scratch) and cheese and deep fried and...I don't remember I just know I went to heaven when I bit in. Michael had some mussels which were served in a sauce that even I went "mmmm" (to the sauce...I still can't do seafood). And then I got a filet mignon and he got fish and chips. Unfortunately, by this point, Michael was full so he just had a couple bites (which he said were great) and we took the rest home. My steak was cooked perfectly-but I wasn't in love with the lack of seasoning (still good, just not my fave steak)-the mashed potatoes were awesome, though! And finally..I got a piece of peanut butter pie (homemade by the owner's mother-so sweet!). WHICH WAS ALSO AMAZING. The texture was light and silky and I think there might have been crushed butterfingers on top? All I know is YUM! Such a wonderful end to a great birthday :)
And tonight I get to go to my old high school for their fall play! They're doing the female version of The Odd Couple and Michael's sister is in it! I haven't been to a play at Central since I graduated, so it should be fun!

This is for all my fellow Supernatural/Dean Winchester fans.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Review

Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Review
It's official. I am now a quarter of a century. And I had an awesome time of it. Really...the only other gift I'd ask for at this point? MORE of Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn!

This is not my first time talking about this utterly amazing popcorn on here. Essentially the thing is: I was introduced to Michele's popcorn when I was on location in Maine filming a movie. I became fully addicted (like...to a real degree. Ask anyone who was on that set.) And now when I know that I want some super delicious, homemade, totally awesome popcorn-I call up Michele's!
Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Review
Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn, one of my personal favorites.
SO...when I decided to whip up some caramel corn chocolate chip cookies...I gave my old friend Michele a little email...and begged for some caramel corn.

And she very sweetly obliged. And sent me a couple other kinds because she knows how deep my love for her popcorn is.
Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Review
Michael's fave--Maple Bacon Caramel Corn!! I couldn't find this variety on their website, perhaps it's coming soon?
Michele's popcorn is good because it is hand-made in small batches with fresh, quality ingredients! You can definitely taste that this popcorn is real-no processed stuff here! PLUS they have SO MANY DIFFERENT AMAZING FLAVORS-savory and sweet and anything in between (like the above maple bacon)! My favorites are pretty much all the ones involving chocolate. DUH.

Fun fact, though: Michele's isn't just about popcorn! They also make a variety of other treats (pretzel sticks...oreo's....STUFFED oreo's....oh yeah) and even PUPcorn for your pooches!
Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Review
The classic-Caramel Corn.
So, obviously...you need to try some of Michele's Gourmet Popcorn for yourself!




Or send 'em an email: questions [at] michelesweetshoppe.com

Disclaimer: Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn provided me with samples of product to review, and I was under no obligation to review if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product. My opinions, as always, are all my own.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chicken Noodle Casserole {from scratch}

Chicken Noodle Casserole {from scratch}
My mom, rather famously (in my family), made a few vows about things she would never do when she had children:
  1. Never be absent (her parents owned a business and were very busy. She knew she always wanted to be really involved with us and she was! She was a girl scout troop leader AND a cub scout leader, she volunteered at our schools, and she was just always very present.)
  2. Never make her daughter cut her hair. Apparently there was a somewhat traumatic incident where my grandparents forced my mom (kicking and screaming) to chop off her very long hair-into something of a boy-length cut. She promised she would never force that fate upon her future daughter--me! Thank goodness. She somewhat regretted that vow occasionally but she never made me cut my hair off.
  3. She would never ever make meatloaf or tuna noodle casserole.
Chicken Noodle Casserole {from scratch}
I know. The last one seems a bit random. Apparently those were food items that were fairly common in her household and she hated them. So...she was like "never again." And she never did. I'm ok with this because I don't like meatloaf or tuna noodle casserole. It all worked out. 

What this has to do with this recipe is: Chicken Noodle Casserole was my mom's adaptation of the dreaded Tuna Noodle Casserole. Essentially, she subbed in things she liked for things she hated (chicken instead of tuna, cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom). And what resulted was probably my favorite meal growing up.
Chicken Noodle Casserole {from scratch}
Since I was (and am) such a picky eater (and since my mom is not in love with cooking, and is pretty picky herself)-if I found something I liked...we ate it. Alot. Like...there was a point where this casserole was made weekly. My poor brother was so tired of it. But I could not get enough! I requested it constantly. I was sick? Chicken noodle casserole. It's my birthday? Chicken noodle casserole. It's Tuesday and I'm hungry? Chicken noodle casserole. And then....I moved away. And I started to learn how to cook. And I realized I had overdone it with the casserole...and sorta didn't want it anymore. And somehow here I am and I haven't eaten chicken noodle casserole in over 5 years.

Correction-I hadn't eaten chicken noodle casserole in over 5 years.
That dry spell has ended!
Chicken Noodle Casserole {from scratch}
The other day I was hungry and itching for a recipe I hadn't made before...or at least recently. And I was thinking about all the ingredients I had and what could be done with them and...my brain just thought of this casserole. And I knew it was time to bring it back. So I talked to my mom and got the original recipe (for the tuna noodle casserole) as well as what her substitutions were. And I knew I was going to have to make my version a bit more from scratch (although I suppose since I bought the noodles and the breadcrumbs it's not technically from scratch...whatever). So I created what you see here. It tasted just like I remember. And it was still so darn simple to make (yes...even with me making homemade cream of chicken soup and roasting the chicken). It just tastes like comfort and home and like a creamy chicken noodle soup in casserole form. 

Perfect to make you feel cozy on a chilly day.

And to make you feel home.

And to make you want to give your mom a big hug. <3

(Speaking of giving my mom a big hug: Tomorrow is my birthday! And I was super sad because it was looking like I wouldn't have anything to do until the evening, when people got off from work. BUT my mom decided to take the day off so she and I can spend the earlier part of the day together. We're going to go shopping and out to eat and I'm sooo excited. Best mom ever!)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies-Joanne's Virtual Bridal Shower!

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
EEEEEEEE!!! I am so so SO excited! Today is an extra special day: myself and a bunch of other bloggers are throwing Joanne (from Eats Well With Others) a SURPRISE virtual BRIDAL SHOWER!

YAY YAY YAYYYY!!!
You may remember Joanne from when she so sweetly guest posted over here whilst I was in the process of moving-she made some loverrrly, brunchalicious, savory waffles! I was lucky enough to meet her when I lived in NY and you cannot meet Joanne and not ADORE that lady! She's also a ridiculously brilliant MD/PhD student, super sweet and fun lady, talented photographer/cook/baker/blogger, and is going to be such a gorgeous and kick-butt bride! Since Joanne got engaged before me, I've been following her wedding planning prettyyyy closely (disclosure-I'm essentially wedding stalking her). And I can tell you that her wedding is going to be EPIC!
Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
First of all--Joanne is having SUCH a food blogger wedding. She's planned her menu to a T (what I would give to eat what sort of amazingness will be served!). She's having pinterest-worthy white pumpkins (as centerpieces...methinks?).  She's getting her wedding cake from Baked (Aunt Sassy's Pistachio Cake, to be exact). Her shoes are fierce (this has nothing to do with being a food blogger....it's just worth mentioning.) She has some food bloggy friends as guests at this amazing affair aaaand A FOOD BLOGGER IS HER PHOTOGRAPHER! Like...amazing. I cannot wait to see how absolutely awesome this wedding is.
Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
When I found out the theme for Joanne's bridal shower was "fall/autumn" (since...that's her wedding season...obviously. EEP IT'S COMING UP SOON! ARE YOU EXCITED/TERRIFIED YET JOANNE?? :P) I panicked a bit. Fall is so not my season and I wasn't sure what to make! But then I remembered that I love caramel corn-and I'd say that's fairly fall-ish. And cookies are perfect for bridal showers-they're easy to just grab and eat up and they're always a crowd pleaser! (If anyone would let me I would totally make cookies for my bridal shower(s)). So caramel corn chocolate chip cookies seemed to make sense. These are so great-they're a classic, ooey gooey, chocolate chip cookie with tasty bites of melty chocolate that coats the crunchy pieces of caramel corn as you bite into them. I think Joanne would approve, I know I did! And I bet you would too!
Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies
Check out all the autumn themed goodies from the rest of the food bloggers for Joanne's virtual bridal shower!:

Cocktails:
Warm Apple Pie Cocktail - Miss In The Kitchen
Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail- Cook Like A Champion
Snacks/Savory:
Roasted Pumpkin Crostini - Annie's Eats
Sweet:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake - The Baker Chick
Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake - The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake - Chocolate and Carrots
Coconut Pecan Tarts - Bake or Break
Cranberry Margarita Cupcakes - Baker by Nature
Gingerbread Truffles - Dinners Dishes and Desserts

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Something Saturdays (11/8/14)

I'm sooo sad CookieWeek is ending! I had so much fun-didn't you? A big thank you to Susan and Kim for organizing this thang!

Kevin Spacey is amazinggg at impressions!

ERMAGERD. At first I was like "Hm...can't tell how this is gonna be." until the elevator....O...M...G.

This week I was pretty productive-I cleaned the house and cooked and did bloggy things. Feeling pretty good. I also spent a little time with a friend and my mom and brother. I even spent the night at my mom's house because my key stuck and wouldn't turn in the ignition. Fun. However, I think it's ok now.

Today is fun because I'm trying on bridesmaid dresses with 2 of my girls (Emily, my cousin, is in town from NYC, and I'm going with her and Michael's sister. It was supposed to be all the maids but Alex is going to the OSU/Michigan game, Carrie has to work, and Angela is in Wyoming visiting her boyfriend.) and we're going to actually definitively choose the dress. Sooo..hooray!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free}-Cookie Week 2014!

Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free}
Welcome to the last day of Cookie Week, hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve teamed together with 10 other talented bloggers to bring you 5 fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirits. We hope you've enjoyed this week as much as we did! Don't forget to check out and enter our fantastic giveaway and our #CookieWeek Pinterest board full of all the cookie recipes you've see here this week!
Our sponsors for this event have provided us with some great prizes and we’d like to extend a huge thank you for their generosity. Thanks to Imperial Sugar, Circulon, Peanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing for being a part of Cookie Week!     

Take a look to see what might inspire you to break out the butter and sugar this weekend.




  • Pumpkin Mallomars by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie Cookies by Cravings of a Lunatic
  • Black Pepper Fig Biscotti by Crumb
  • Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles by Jen's Favorite Cookies
  • Chocolate Shot Cookies by Food Lust People Love
  • Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies by Cooking in Stilettos
  • Soft and Chewy Butterscotch Chip Pudding Cookies by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
  • The Best Gingersnaps by Mind Over Batter
  • Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free} by The Cooking Actress


  • Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free}
    LOOKAT THAT PICTURE! LOOK AT HOW THICK AND SOFT THESE COOKIES ARE!!

    Nothing beats biting into a thick, soft, extra chewy, extra flavorful, cookie. Especially when you only need to use 1 bowl to whip them up. And there are only 6 ingredients. CRAZY simple.  And really...oh so addictive.
    Thick & Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {Gluten Free & Dairy Free}
    And the small ingredient list? The flourlessness? It just means the chocolate/peanut butter truly shine. So rich and out of control. I suppose I'd say these cookies taste like the inside of a Reese's cup...if you mixed it with cocoa powder....does that make sense? Trust me on this one-it's goooood.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies-Cookie Week 2014!

    Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies
    Welcome to the day 3 of Cookie Week, hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve teamed together with 10 other talented bloggers to bring you 5 fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirits. If you are feeling a mid-week slump, then there is no better way to beat it than a big dose of cookie love! Please make sure to check out and enter our fantastic giveaway and check out our #CookieWeek Pinterest board full of all the cookie recipes you’ll see here this week!
    Our sponsors for this event have provided us with some great prizes and we’d like to extend a huge thank you for their generosity. Thanks to Imperial Sugar, Circulon, Peanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing for being a part of Cookie Week!

     Let's see what's baking up in the oven today:


  • Maple Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  • S'mores Cookies by Cravings of a Lunatic
  • Banana Walnut Biscotti by Chocolate Moosey
  • Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies by The Cooking Actress
  • Candy Topped Toffee Squares by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  • Maple Walnut Shortbread Cookies by Hungry Couple
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
  • Savory Cheddar Coins by Crumb
  • White Chocolate Cranberry Ginger Cookies by Jen's Favorite Cookies

  • Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies
    These are some of the better cookies I've made in awhile. In fact-I gave a couple of these to friends of mine and Michael's and they have two 5 year old daughters. I snuck them the cookies and made it clear that these were adult cookies and would be wasted on children. They just can't appreciate the nuances, the overt amount of taste SENSATION that you will undergo if you eat these cookies. Upon eating his secret cookie, David assured me that I was correct. Way too good to share with the kiddos :P.

    That said...I love children. By all means give your kids these cookies-they'll love 'em. They'll love them even more in 20 years. :D
    Brown Butter Pecan Toffee Cookies
    It's kind of hilarious...I think my particular cookie preferences are starting to skew Michael's and my view of the world. Recently I made some perfectly acceptable CCC's-but Michael remarked they almost tasted like a sugar cookie. They didn't. They were much more of a classic chocolate chip cookie, though, and I tend to make a lot of very brown sugar heavy cookies-so in comparison they tasted almost like a sugar cookie. Ah....perspective is a funny thing.

    These cookies are browned butter perfection-it's in the dough and the pecans are toasted in the nutty buttery goodness. They are made with dark brown sugar-which adds that extra special mollases-y wonderful flavor. Toffee, my crunchy little friends, are the extra special final element. And salt. Of course. They're crisp yet chewy and sturdy but slightly tender on the insides and then you get a delightful crunch from the pecans and toffee. These are very serious cookies, my friends.

    Monday, November 3, 2014

    Cookie Week 2014 Announcement and #GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

    I LOVE cookies!! Did you know I have close to 70 cookie recipes on this blog right now (and that's not including brownies/blondies/bars)? They are my favorite. If/when I ever open a bakery-it would be a cookie bakery. I just love 'em. So, obviously....when I heard we were doing cookie week again I was SO in! And to keep up with all the cookie goodness, follow our Cookie Week 2014 Pinterest Board!

    Welcome to the second annual Cookie Week, hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We've teamed together with 10 other talented bloggers to bring you 5 fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you into the holiday spirits. Now is the time to break out the flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Bring your friends and family together for cookie exchanges or a giant baking party, we have got you covered! Our sponsors for this event have provided us with some great prizes and we'd like to extend a huge thank you for their generosity. Thanks to Imperial Sugar, Circulon, Peanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing for being a part of Cookie Week!   Let's take a look at what prizes are up for grabs - one lucky winner will take it all!


    Make sure to stop by and grab a warm cookie from one of today's Cookie Week participants!
    Other blogs participating later this week include:
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    I love it when you try & want to share recipes you found here! Please just rewrite in your own words, use your own photos, & always link back to me! Thanks!

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