The Best PB Cookie Ever?

Might just be. I have always loved Peanut Butter Cookies, especially Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. My old standby just doesn't cut it anymore. I don't know why, but the last few times I made them, they sucked. I then turned to these cookies, I would just add a cup of PB to the recipe. They are delicious. Last month, I saw Bakingblonde posted a recipe for the best Peanut Butter Cookies ever and knew I had to try them.

When my coworker requested some Peanut Butter cookies, I thought I'd give these a whirl. This recipe has milk in it and reminds me of Peanut Butter Frosting. The cookies are thick and chewey with just a slight crunch - perfection! Everyone absolutely loved them. Thanks Bakingblonde for the fabulous recipe!

The Original Peanut Butter Cookie
Source: Bakingblonde

1 cup + 2 TBS peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 TBS milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Peanut Butter chips
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup Sugar (for rolling dough balls, may need more or less)

Preheat oven to 350.Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter. Once combined beat in the white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Fold in chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Chill dough for at least 15 minutes.Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Gently roll the dough balls into sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press each ball with fork tines to create a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes until sturdy enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bakingblonde's Tips:
(I was excited to see a few of these are things I normally do when baking any cookie)

Chill the dough for about 15 minutes before baking and keep it chilled while one pan is baking (especially during the warm months as Peanut Butter tends to ‘melt’ easily and makes the dough harder to work with). Chilling helps the cookies keep their shape while baking and helps with
the delicate texture of the baked cookie

Let these cool on a baking sheet for at least five to ten minutes after removing from the oven, if not they will fall apart because they are so tender! You can finish cooling on a wire rack before storing.

To keep these nice and soft, store a piece of bread in a sealed container with the cookies, make sure it is not touching the cookies (I place it on a piece of wax paper on top of the cookies in the container)

If freezing the balls for later baking, Chill dough, roll into balls and freeze. Don’t roll in sugar until ready to bake

These are delicate cookies and can be difficult to transport. I find a single layer of cookies transports beautifully. If needing to stack cookies to transport, place a few sheets of waxed paper in between layers.


Cookie Carnival: Blackberry Almond Bars

I'll be honest, when I got the email stating the recipe for July was Blackberry Almond Bars, I wasn't exactly thrilled. Hot Fruit? Blackberries? What's a chinois set? Will my blender work in place of a food processor? (A Food Processor is on my Christmas List for this year.) Even though I wasn't too keen on the recipe, I still wanted to participate. I mean part of the reason I joined this event was to try new things. A girl can only bake so many chocolate and peanut butter goodies.

Ever since I tried Katie's fabulous Juicy Strawberry Scones, hot fruit doesn't gross me out like it used to or I would have totally passed on this. I don't like Blackberries (actually the only berry I like is a Strawberry), so I decided to mess around with the recipe a bit. I was kind of concerned the strawberry and almond flavors wouldn't go together, but the taste blends quite well.

I'm really glad I decided to participate because when I tried one, my first thought was HOLY CRAP! These actually turned out! They are EXCELLENT! I can't wait to make them for a group of people sometime. These are certain to be a crowd-pleaser.

Strawberry Almond Bars
Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma


For the shortbread:
* 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 tsp. salt

For the strawberry curd:
* 1 lb strawberries
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* Pinch of salt
* 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room
temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch cake pan.

To make the shortbread, in the bowl of a food processor, (used my blender) combine the butter, flour, almonds, granulated sugar and salt and process until small lumps form. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until the shortbread is golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry curd: In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries until smooth. Pass the puree through a chinois set over a bowl, using a pestle to press on the solids and extract as much juice as possible; discard the solids. You should have about 3/4 cup juice. I skipped the whole chinois part of the step and just used the pureed strawberries, I ended up with about 1 and 1/4 cup.

In the top pan of a double boiler or in a nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar until blended. Then whisk in the strawberry puree, (I used about 1 cup) salt and lemon juice. Set the top pan over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan, or set the saucepan over medium-low heat. (If using a saucepan, take care not to heat the mixture too quickly.) Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula or spoon, until the mixture is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Begin adding the butter a little at a time, stirring each addition until blended before adding more. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until a finger drawn across the back of the spatula leaves a path, 8 to 10 minutes more. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Pass the curd through the chinois set over a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. (again, skipped the chinios and just let the mixture stand) Whisk to blend, then pour the curd over the shortbread, spreading it evenly to the edges.

Bake until the curd is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into individual bars, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Makes 20 bars.

Thank you Kate for choosing this recipe. I love it. Be sure to check out Cookie Carnival to see the original recipe and entries from other bloggers!


Even though my picture for these brownies isn't very good, they are pretty tasty. Lately I've been on a brownie kick. I haven't blogged about any of the recipes yet because my pictures never turn out any good. I'm not real sure why I decided to blog about this, but I am.

I made these tonight b/c I was certain my cookie carnival recipe was going to be a huge flop. Luckily I was wrong and now I have two very tasty treats in my house. These aren't the best brownies I've ever made, but still good. I'd give them a 7.

Coconutty M&M's Brownie
Source: The Cookie Bible


6 squares (1-ounce each) semi-sweet chocolate I used 4 oz semisweet 2 oz bittersweet
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups "M&M's" Chocolate Mini Baking Bits, divided
Coconut Topping (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly greased 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking pan.
2. In a small saucepan, combine chocolate, sugar, and butter over low heat; stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl beat eggs, oil, and vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture until well blended.
4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture.
5. Stir in 1 cup "M&M's" Chocolate Mini Baking Bits. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
6. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
7. Prepare Coconut Topping: Spread over brownies; sprinkle with remaing 1/2 cup "M&M"s" Chocolate Mini Baking Bits. Cut into bars. Store in tightly covered container.

Yields: 16 brownies

Coconut Topping:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
3/4 cup chopped pecans1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare Coconut Topping:

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup; stir constantly until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup "M&M's" Chocolate Mini Baking Bits.

Easy Tex-Mex Meal

A few summers ago I got a bunch of BHG and Pilsbury cook books for 10cents at a garage sale. They are great for quick easy meals. This morning Matt and I were both hurting from a long weekend of fun, friends, food, and beer. Lots of beer. I pulled out one of the cook books that features 7 ingredients or less to find something for dinner tonight. Matt picked out Spicy Tex-Mex Pizza.

The original recipe has 4 ingredients. I decided to spice things up and add a few more ingredients. I basically threw stuff together and should have cut the amounts of everything in half. So now I have 1/2 the ingredients left over to create another meal later in the week. This was so easy and super tasty. It will definitely be making an appearance in our house again.

Spicy Tex-Mex Pizza
Adapted From: BHG Simple Meals, 7 Ingredients or Less

1 12-inch thin-crust Italian Bread shell (such as Boboli) or Italian Flat Bread
1ish tbs EVOO
1 Cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 15 oz can of black beans
1 11 ounce can corn
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos
1 seasoned chicken breast, cubed
Ground Cumin to taste
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Dried or Fresh Cilantro to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly spread EVOO on pizza crust. Combine beans, corn, chopped veggies, and chicken in a large bowl. Add Cumin, Cilantro, and Red Pepper Flakes .

2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on the pizza crust. Add bean mixture (I used about 1/2 of it). Top with remaining cheese.

3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until pizza is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges, and serve with salsa.

Makes 6 servings.


Copy Cat

Macaroni Grille Vodka Rustica

We don't go to the Macaroni Grille very often. The last time we went was in May and I ordered the Vodka Rustica and was very pleased. It's definitely one of my favorite pasta dishes. This weekend I was looking for a new pasta recipe and came across the recipe. I made it tonight for dinner and it turned out fabulous. Matt and I both gave it a 10. I love how the paprika gives this dish a little kick. Oh and the fact it has vodka isn't too shabby either!

Ramano's Macaroni Grille Vodka Rustica
Source: BigOven

*According to the recipe this makes 3 large servings. Instead of 3 separate dishes, I baked it in a 9x13 pan. We ate about 1/4 of it, put 1/4 in the fridge, and froze 1/2 of it.
* This calls for the chicken to be grilled. We just happened to grill up a few extra chicken breasts with some S&P and Italian Seasoning yesterday, I just used those.
* From start to finish this took me under an hour, maybe about 45 min.


3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp marsala wine
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cold milk
1/4 cup vodka + whatever else you decide to spill in there :)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp chicken bullion
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme (used dry)
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1lb penne pasta cooked
12 medium shrimp (omitted)
2 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Prosciutto, about 2 oz thick-sliced, chopped (I used bacon because I had it on hand)

3 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1.5 tsp Paprika
*I ended up adding a bit more of both of these

Garnish omitted
12 sliced pimientos
4 sprigs of rosemary

Instructions for Romano's Macaroni Grille Vodka Rustica

Preheat bbq grill to high.

Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tbsp of butter over medium/low heat. Add garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it's thick. Cover sauce and remove from heat.

Cook past following directions on the package (7-9 minutes in boiling water). You want the pasta tender, but not mush (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.

Pound the thick end of your chicken breast a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Spear the shrimp on skewers (6 per skewer should work fine), then rub them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side. When chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Build each dish in a large shallow baking dish. Or you can use a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Load 3 cups of pasta into each baking dish. Add one quarter of the chicken, 3 shrimp, and 2 tbsp of prosciutto onto each serving. Spoon 3/4 of a cup of gratinata sauce on each serving and toss to coat. Combine 3 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 tsp paprika, then sprinkle about 1 tbsp of this mixture over the top of each serving. Bake the dishes for 10-12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Arrange 3 pimentos on the top of each serving, then jab a sprig of rosemary into the center and serve. * After I strained the pasta, I placed it in a 9x13 glass pan sprayed with Pam. I mixed in the chicken and bacon and then stirred in the sauce until the pasta was coated. I baked the dish for about 5 min, stirred, and the sprinkled on the topping. After that, I baked it for another 5 or so minutes.


I finally decided to buy some Nutella. I've wanted to try it for as long as I can remember. Why it took me so long to get the stuff? I have no clue. I discovered I love Nutella on a whole grain English muffin with apple and banana slices. mmmmmm. I also discovered I love Nutella cookies. I baked snickerdoodles for work last week and decided to throw these together too. The hubster and I loved them. Chocolaty Goodness with just a hint of hazelnut. Very good. I'd give them an 8.

Nutella Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Source: the always fabulous Nemmie


1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp.
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. light brown sugar
2/3 c. Nutella
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 c. peanut butter chips
1/2 c. toasted and skinned hazelnuts, coarsely chopped omitted


Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in Nutella and vanilla extract. Add egg.

Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add peanut butter chips and hazelnuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 11 minutes until the edges look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then carefully remove to cooling racks

Blast from the past

This reminds me of something we used to have at my Grandma K's growing up. Last Sunday we had a simple dinner of grilled chicken, cous cous and veggies. This Banana Pudding was dessert, it may just be the perfect summer time dessert!

Creamy Banana Pudding
Source: cooks.com

1 3oz package of instant banana pudding
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1.5 cups cold water
1 8oz container of cool whip
Vanilla Wafters
5 - 6 Medium Bananas, sliced

In large bowl combine water and condensed milk add pudding and beat until well blended. Fold in whipped cream - (I used probably 3/4 of the container). In baking dish (I used a 2 qt pyrex) layer Vanilla Wafers, banana slices, and pudding mixture. Continue in layers ending with pudding on top. Cover and Chill for 3 hours. When serving top with additional wafers, banana slices, and cool whip.

This dessert gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. The next day, it was heavenly!


I'll admit it

These cookies look pretty damn unremarkable. Never judge a cookie by it's appearance though, because these babies were delicious! I took them to work today and my coworkers LOVED them. My work will sometimes get the Hyvee Bakery to cater meetings and this cookie really reminded me of their Heath Toffee cookie. This is from The Cookie Bible (of course!) It's a Hersey's Recipe.

The actual name of the recipe is "Build Your Own Chocolate Cookie". I decided to add Heath Bits and White Chocolate Chips. The result was a success... for the most part.**

Heath and White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
The Cookie Bible


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
Heath Bits (about 3/4 cup)... see below...
White Chocolate Chips (about 1 cup).... see below


1. Heat oven to 375 F.
2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat well.
3. Stir together flour, cocoa and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 5 dozen cookies.
To see other add-ins go here

**My disaster:

I was doing great with these, I had 4 batches down and was on my last dozen. I popped these in the oven, went to the computer and started working on a paper. 20something minutes later I remembered my cookies. I opened the oven to a bunch of smoke and charred cookies. It was quite sad. Damn School... always gettin in the way!


Partner in Crime

Baking is my partner in crime when it comes to procrastination. The summer semester is winding down (ONE MORE WEEK! I've been in class every week since January 13th, I need a break!) and I have lost all focus on school. Rather than writing my Classroom Management Philosophy Paper or creating a graphic organizer on Michele Borba, I decided I needed chocolate.

I turned to The Cookie Bible and got ticked off that for every recipe I found, I was missing one stupid ingredient. I finally decided on Mocha Crinkles. They are super similar to these cookies I made back in December, but I liked the Mocha Crinkles better. (Pretty sure it was the powdered sugar!) I took one bite and was extremely satisfied with the flavor and texture - very rich and brownie-like. I think these would also be great with some dark chocolate chunks in them.

Mocha Crinkles
Source: The Cookie Bible

1-1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil *I used canola oil
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream *I used fat free
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp instant espresso or coffee granules
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Combine brown sugar and oil in medium bowl. with an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in sour cream, egg and vanilla.

2. Mix flour, cocoa, coffee granules, baking soda, salt and pepper in another medium bowl. Beat the flour mixture into the brown sugar mixture until a soft dough forms. form into a ball; cover and refrigerate until firm, 3-4 hours. I only chilled for about 45 min

3. Preheat oven to 350 f. place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; roll in powdered sugar.

4. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. I used parchment paper Bake for 10-12 *I baked mine 6 - 7 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are firm to the touch. Do not overbake! Cool completely on wire racks.

makes 6 dozen cookies. I made 30 large cookies


Chicken Salad

So my pictures from dinner tonight aren't the best, but the hubster gave the meal two thumbs. I'm not a big fan of chicken salad by any means. I don't like mayo so I guess that's why I don't like it. I saw this recipe and was intrigued because it used Greek Yogurt. I've read lots of good things about Greek Yogurt, but had never tried it.

For a non-chicken salad person this was really good. It was super quick and easy to prepare and the clean up was cinch too! The flavor was pretty good. My husband thought it was perfect, I think it could have used a little something else. Maybe some diced jalapeno.

Next time, I'm going to cut this in half. It made way too much for 2 people. Also, I think adding some more veggies would be right up my alley.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad
Adapted From: Cooking Light July 2008

1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups chopped cooked chicken 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives (about 20 small) omitted
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
6 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half Omitted, we ate ours on whole grain English muffins
12 Bibb lettuce leaves
6 (1/8-inch-thick) slices tomato, cut in half


Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Combine chicken and next 5 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a large bowl. Add yogurt mixture to chicken mixture; toss gently to coat. Line each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf and 1 tomato piece; add 1/2 cup chicken mixture to each pita half.

6 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 404(23% from fat); FAT 10.2g (sat 3.8g,mono 4g,poly 1.5g); IRON 3.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 110mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.4g; SODIUM 575mg; PROTEIN 33.6g; FIBER 6g

Carrot Bread

I marked quite a few recipes out of the July Cooking Light. After we got back from STL last night I decided to give this one a whirl because I had all the ingredients on hand. The Carrot Bread turned out very moist and delicious - similar to a Zucchini Bread. I'll definitely be making this again, next time with some walnuts.

Carrot Bread
Source: July 2008 Cooking Light


3/4 cup sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cook carrot in boiling water 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Place carrot in a food processor; process until smooth.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine whole wheat flour and the next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a large bowl. Combine carrot, sugar, and the next 4 ingredients (through egg white) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

4. Pour batter into an 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. I baked mine for 40 min and it was pretty dark (but not dry). I think closer to 35 would have been better. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut bread into 12 slices

1 loaf; 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 151(32% from fat); FAT 5.3g (sat 0.5g,mono 3g,poly 1.6g); IRON 0.9mg; CHOLESTEROL 15mg; CALCIUM 34mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24g; SODIUM 240mg; PROTEIN 3.2g; FIBER 2.1g


I missed it...

My blog turned one yesterday and I didn't even know.

The hubs and I went out for dinner tonight and started talking about what we did last year on the 4th - long bike ride in the morning followed by easy Strawberry Shortcake. Then I remembered that one of my first posts was about the Strawberry Shortcake.

I feel like I've come so far in a year! I'm still super picky and don't cook fancy things, but I've come so far from Hamburger Helper, Salad, Pillsbury Rolls, and chocolate pudding for dessert. :)


We received a Penzeys Spices gift box as a wedding gift. It had 9 different spices and bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and whole nutmegs. I remember thinking it was a strange gift when I opened it. Who would have thought just a short time later I'd fall in love with that stuff!

I finally busted open the Pasta Sprinkle last Sunday. We're going out of town tomorrow, so I didn't want to go to the store this week. The goal was to use up the veggies and whatever else we could find. For this meal I cooked pasta (a mixture of rotini and penne), sautéed broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, and carrots, and added some grilled chicken and crumbled bacon I tossed it with a little bit of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper and added the Pasta Sprinkle. Top with a little parm cheese and you have a delicious pasta meal.

So simple, inexpensive and tasty. The next day I added some baby spinach and took it to work for lunch. It was even better!