Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cherry Garcia Brownies

I married my dad.

Gross, right?!

Don't worry- I didn't really. 

Now that we have that out of the way...let's talk about how similar these two men in my life, are, shall we?

  • They both tell dad jokes.
  • They both like to do surprise drop in visits on people.
  • They both drink their coffee like girls (have a little coffee with your cream and sugar!)
  • They both are very wise.
  • They both order boring food when they go out to eat- I'm talking chicken parm or steak with mashed potatoes boring)
  • and....they both love cherry ice cream.

One time, I texted my husband that he would be my favorite if he picked up some ice cream on his way home.
So he comes home with Ben & Jerry's...........Cherry Garcia.

Now, I don't want to bash all you fruity ice cream loving peeps out there...but SERIOUSLY?!

This is Ben and Jerry's for crying out loud!!!!

Out of all their millions of chocolatey, gooey, caramel-y, chunky, candy filled types of ice cream they have, CHERRY GARCIA is the one he brings home!!!

It was a pretty major letdown I'll tell ya..

He was really proud of himself though for getting me ice cream, cause I really wasn't expecting him to take my text seriously, so I just smiled, gave him a big hug and smooch, thanked him and sat on the couch with my pint crying on the inside.

Now. Your probably thinking 'why is she posting about Cherry Garcia Brownies after such a sad story??'

Because, I like cherries, and I like love chocolate, just not so much in ice cream form....My thing is, if you're going to splurge on something sugary and saturated fat laden, go for the gold! Make it rich, and chunky, with all kinds of fun stuff going on in your mouth!

But these brownies will do it for husband loves me more today than he ever did for them. And I'm pretty sure if I brought some over to my dad right now he would declare me favorite child.

The brownie recipe I used was so good I had to put soap in the bowl as soon as I poured the batter in the pan cause I would have licked it clean. Which isn't a big deal- but I had already probably consumed a 1/2 cup of batter in the name of 'taste testing'. Same thing with the cherry filling. Gosh darn it. I have NO self control. 

You really need these in your life today.

Cherry Garcia Brownies

For the brownie layer:
Your favorite Brownie mix, or, I highly recommend this recipe, Minus the frosting part.
Bake and let cool completely.

For the cherry chocolate layer:
2 Sticks of butter, slightly softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (or more) semi-sweet chocolate chunks
1, 6-10 oz jar maraschino cherries

In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and 4-5 Tablespoons of the cherry juice. Beat until smooth.
Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Turn mixer up to high and whip for 2 minutes. 
While that's mixing, give cherries a rough chop.
Fold in cherries and chocolate chunks to mixture.
Taste test and die.

Spread evenly onto cooled brownies, and put in the freezer. You want  the cherry layer to harden a bit so you can spread the chocolate layer on easily.

For the chocolate glaze layer:
2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Stick of butter

Melt at 30 second intervals, stirring well, until completely smooth.
It should only take 2 heatings.
Spread over cherry layer.
Refrigerate to set up the chocolate. 
Dig in!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Giant Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies (Therapy for a bad day)

Being a mom is hard.

I never ever ever ever thought It would be this difficult. No one told me about how naughty 8 month olds can be!

Some people look so smooth, and like they have it all together, like motherhood just happens and it's not a big deal. I am NOT one of those people.

I get waaay too stressed out too easy, I am an over perfectionist, and don't have that much patience.

The past few days have been especially hard since I've been working with my daughter on sleeping. She hates sleeping...I happen to love it. It causes issues.

It hasn't really bothered me too much, you know, it's not like she is going to be like this forever...but today it hit me, I'm not really enjoying her right now at this point in her life cause there are a few things we spoiled her with from the beginning that now we are having to train out of her. Like  through the night....actually, just sleeping at all during the night for more than an hour at a time.
When she was brand new and fresh from the hospital, and would wake up during the night, we would just bring her in bed with us and let her stay there for the rest of the night.

But, as she grew, she started to take over the whole bed, and her sleeping patterns got worse. She would sometimes wake up at 2am ready to play when my poor husband would have to be up at 5 for work...
Sometimes he would just sleep in the guest room or on the couch, but seriously? This should not be happening!

As of last night she is in her own room, and I slept in there with her in the guest bed just to keep an eye on her. You know, first time parent nerves stuff. I don't think I got more than an hour or two of sleep...and we were up at 5:30 am. Yuck.

So, as you can probably guess, this whole 'train your child to sleep thing' is exhausting and frustrating. As of right now, I'm listening to her cry herself to sleep. UGH.

One of my dear friends was having a yucky day too, today...

It was a giant chocolate cookie kind of day. 

So I made the hugest, chocolate-iest cookies there ever were and brought them over. WOW.


Especially eaten with an amazing cup of coffee- I'm salivating thinking about it. Sorry for that image.

Giant Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Makes 12-14 cookies. (If you decide to make them smaller (Why??) reduce cooking time accordingly.)
Pre-heat oven to 350.

1 Cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut in cubes
1 1/4 Cup sugar
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup dark cocoa powder
2 1/4 Cups flour
1/4 Tsp. Course salt
1 Tsp. bakine powder
2 1/2 cups semi- sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, all together.

Lightly grease baking sheet.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy for 2-3 minutes.
Add in eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Mix in cocoa powder until well blended.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl with mixer on low, just until incorporated.
Fold in choc. and PB chips by hand.
Roll dough into approximately 4 oz. portions. If you don't have a kitchen scale, think the size of a mandarin orange.
Flatten slightly and place on prepared cooking sheet a few inches apart.
Bake (depending on the size you made them) 11-18 minutes.
Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Enjoy, fresh out of the oven! That's when they're best.

If you eat them later on in the day, or the next day, I HIGHLY recommend microwaving for 15-20 seconds to re-create the fresh from the oven thing. SO GOOD!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Ice Box Cake

Here it is: The easiest cake ever!

1 Package chocolate wafer cookies
1, 16 oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

Fold peanut butter into cool whip.
Lay out a layer of 7 wafer cookies.
Spread about 1/2 cup PB cool whip over, carefully. You will need to use your fingers!
Layer 7 more wafers.
Spread with PB cool whip.
You get the idea.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

This is seriously so yummy cause it has so much wonderful choco/PB flavor, but isn't heavy....Me and Mr. Husband devoured it in 24 hours. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dinner Tonight!

My husband always tells me that he can tell when I cook with love and enjoy the process, and when I am making dinner just to get it done and not loving it so much.

Which makes perfect sense.

When  I make food, I want people to eat it and go, 'wow'-and for a moment, forget all their problems and be immersed in the moment.

Some nights, If I know the meal I have planned takes a lot of steps, or there are some things that I can make ahead of time I'll prep here and there a little at a time throughout the day...this makes the actual dinner making process a heck of a lot easier and more enjoyable. It also helps if the baby takes her nap like she's supposed to during that time.

I've never understood why people DON'T enjoy cooking...It makes me so sad! But, to each their own, I suppose! There are days where I simply just have no imagination and therefore, don't want anything to do with my kitchen...but I find that the part that makes it fun and worthwhile is when we sit down after a long day, catch up on things and enjoy the food I made...To me, there is nothing better! It's not about following a recipe and getting the measurements right, or freaking out about not having the right ingredients- It's about  imagination, improvising, a lot of tasting as you go, and a lot of love.

With that being said...I want to share with you the dinner I made last night. It wasn't anything fancy or crazy, but the flavors and the simplicity of it were out of this world! Mr. Husband was a very happy man with a very full tummy.

I'll start off by sharing the salad:

Romaine Heart Casar Salad
serves 3-4

2 Romaine Lettuce Heads
1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (whatever you desire)
1 Recipe homemade dressing
Homemade croutons

Start off by getting out the biggest bowl in your kitchen.
Tear off the outter leaves of your Romaine heads, so you are down to the nice, crisp hearts.
Chop off the end of the hearts, and give them a good rinse. Dry well.
Leave your lettuce leaves whole and put in the big bowl.

For the dressing:
(this makes a lot so if you halve it, i'm sure it will be fine, or you can just keep the extra in your fridge.)
6 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. White Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Olive oil
Lemon Juice

In a Magic Bullet, food processor or even blender, combine garlic, mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Blend very well to form your base.
Slowly pour in your olive oil while blending.
Scrape sides down to make sure it's all combined and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Pout desired amount of dressing all over your lettuce leaves and toss to completely coat.
Add in Parmesan cheese.

For the croutons:
3-4 Slices of thickly cut bread (Italian is best!)
3 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Paprika ( If you don't have this, don't worry about it.)
1 Tsp. Pepper

Cut Bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
Melt butter. In a bowl, toss cubes with butter and spices. Be sure to coat bread very well.
With oven on 425, toast cubes on a well greased pan for 10-15 minutes, til golden brown.

I waited to put the croutons on the salad til the last minute. Warm, fresh croutons on a crispy, cold salad are out of this world!!!
Eat with your hands. No joke.

We also had a side of oven roasted mushrooms and asparagus in white wine and butter, but we ate those too fast for me to get a picture of. They were divine- Here's how it goes:

Mushrooms and Asparagus in White Wine and Butter:
serves 4
1 Bunch asparagus
1 Package Whole, not sliced,Mushrooms ( don't worry about exact size or anything, just whatever size you get will be perfect.)
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
2 Tbsp. White wine
pepper to taste

Cut off 2-3 inches from bottom of asparagus.
Melt butter, mix with wine, pour all over veggies in pan, asparagus on bottom, mushrooms on top.
Sprinkle with pepper.
Bake at 425 in a round casserole dish, or a 8x8 deep pan, for 15 minutes. Poifect.

So, for the best part: these rolls have a lot of steps, but don't worry....they're actually super easy cause the steps are spread out over a few hours, so you can do laundry, clean, chase your children around or just read a book with some coffee and bon- bons in between.

South African Sausage Rolls:
Serves 4
For the Pastry:
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Stick butter
1/2 Cup sour cream
1 Egg white
For the filling:
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. of your favorite meat seasoning
1 tsp. salt (if your seasoning has lots of sodium already, skip this.)

Start by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl.
Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles large peas.
Add sour cream and cut in with a butter knife.
When it starts to come together, with one hand knead the dough. Don't add more liquid to the dough even if it seems like it needs it. Just keep kneading.
So many knead's/ need's. So confusing.
When it comes together, wrap in plastic wrap that is lightly spray greased. Place in a ziplock bag, and allow it to rest in the fridge for an hour.

For the filling, add meat and seasoning to a bowl. Mix with one hand.
Tear 3 Large strips of plastic wrap and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Form 3 sausages with the meat mixture, each measuring about 12 inches long.
Roll in the plastic wrap and let rest until your dough is ready.

After your dough has rested for an hour, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into a rectangle.
Fold the rectangle into thirds, so it forms a parcel.
Turn dough 90 degrees, and roll out again the long way to form another rectangle, folding it into thirds again...repeat 3 more times.
Place on a pan and refrigerate for another hour.

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Roll dough parcel into a rectangle, about 12" x 18" and cut into thirds the short way.
Roll thirds out individually a little more if needed so your sausage rolls can fit nicely.
Brush edges of dough with egg white, fold dough over and pinch to seal. Leave the ends open.
You can cut them to whatever size you want, or just leave them long.
Place seam side down on a lightly sprayed pan and brush with egg whites.
Do same thing to other 2 rolls.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Serve with marinara sauce, or chutney. I did both, and we LOVED them with the chutney. Here's the recipe I used for Mango chutney, but you can pretty much use any tropical kind of fruit to make it. I also added extra crushed red pepper for an extra kick. Wicked good!!!

It doesn't look fancy, but it tastes fancy.

I'll post the dessert we had, next:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Box Cake!

Enjoy cooking!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Outrageous Fudgy 3-Layer Brownies

Last night was a much needed, great night.

Me and my girls had girls' night…Even though they are few and far between these days, we are always able to pick up right where we left off.
I am SO thankful to have girlfriends where we can just let loose and laugh.
We’ve been there for each other during the good times (engagements, weddings, babies, new jobs) and the bad (deaths, breakups, moving, teenage stuff), and it’s good to know no matter what you always can count on those friends to be right by your side when you need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just a buddy to eat ice cream with and chat about life with.

Gifts like good friends are priceless.
So, yes. Yes, It was a wonderful, much needed, refreshing night out.

And these brownies are the closest things to a good friend I could make…the other day, I was having an ‘I need to bake something now and it has to be insanely sweet and rich’  kind of afternoon.
WOW; They fixed all my problems for that moment, and made me one happy girl.

The breakdown:
1-The bottom layer is this insanely rich, fudgy, brownie that has a whole bag of mini snickers folded in to it.

2-The second layer is peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough. (Am I amazing yet!?)

3-For the third layer I topped it all off with a really rich, dark, chocolaty butter cream.

 When I was done, I  licked the bowl clean and my eyes rolled in the back of my head.

Outrageous Fudgy 3-layer Brownies

Brownie Layer:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Sticks butter
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. Instant coffee powder
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 whole bag mini Snickers, unwrapped

Line, (with either wax paper or tin foil so it comes up over the edges) grease and flour a 9x13" baking pan.
Melt together the butter, chocolate chips and cocoa powder on the stove top on low, stirring constantly til smooth.
Cool slightly then stir in eggs, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar.
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt, and add to chocolate mixture, careful not to over mix.
Fold in Snickers!
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Do not over bake!
Allow to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Layer:
3/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cups Smooth Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Milk
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 1/2 Cups Chocolate chips. I recommend mini, but regular ones work just fine!

Cream Butter on high til smooth.
Add in Sugars and beat until smooth and fluffy. Stir Peanut Butter, milk and vanilla.
On low mix in flour and chocolate chips and mix very well.

Carefully spread cookie dough layer over COMPLETELY cooled brownies.
Freeze for 30 minutes while you make your frosting.

Deep, Dark, Rich Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Layer:
2 Sticks Softened butter (NOT Microwaved!)
3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. Milk (More or less depending on how thick you want it, or whatever)

Cream butter for 2 minutes on high speed.
Add powdered sugar and cocoa, a little at a time on low, so it doesn't puff up all over your kitchen.
Once the butter has absorbed the cocoa and sugar, increase speed to medium and add in salt and vanilla, then add milk as needed...a little goes a long way!

Carefully spread frosting evenly all over cookie dough layer.

Freeze for 30 minutes - 1 hour before lifting out of pan and cutting into squares. 
I cut mine pretty small cause of all the layers and how rich they were...So I got a ton of squares!

Om nom nom.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cinnamon and Sugar Cinnamon Chip Scones

I'm on a buttermilk kick....

It makes everything taste like gold and sunshine and melt in your mouth. So kick off your weekend with a perfect mate to your coffee or whatever your morning beverage is...these scones are just scrumptiously perfect! Perfectly scrumptious?

I'm tired...

Cinnamon and Sugar Cinnamon Chip Scones
Pre-heat oven to 425.

3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar (plus 2 Tbsp for top)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon, divided
3/4 cup cold, cubed butter
1 cup butter milk
1, 10 oz bag cinnamon chips
2 tbsp. melted butter

In a large bowl, combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and 2 tsp. cinnamon.
(I forgot to add the cinnamon, here)

Cut in butter until it resembles fine crumbs.

so it looks like this:
(I remembered the cinnamon, now)

Mix in buttermilk just until combined, then fold in cinnamon chips.

Dump dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead 10-12 times.

Divide dough in half, and gently flatten into two 7 inch discs.
Spread each disc with your melted butter.

Mix remaining 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Sprinkle over melted butter.

Cut each disc into 6-8 wedges, and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 10-13 minutes.

I ate mine warm out of the oven!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Very Blueberry Lemon Cake

This may be blasphemy, but sometimes, you need a break from the old PB, chocolate routine.

Just kidding.

Maybe if there is something wrong with you, you do....But I don't think it is ever possible for me to get sick of my favorite combo. But sometimes....SOMETIMES, lemons and blueberries appeal. Like yesterday, out of no where, the thought popped in my head. I think cause yesterday was a very spring feeling day. Nice and breezy and cool, but warm enough to open the windows and go for a walk.

This cake was fabulous!

It's healthy too. You know, blueberries and antioxidants and stuff.

Me and my husband loved it a lot! I made 3 skinny layers instead of 2 regular sized ones cause it holds more frosting that way. I like my frosting to cake ratio 1-1. And I threw in a handful of blueberries to the middle layer which was a good choice!

I hope you are enjoying this weather like I am, and i hope you make this cake!

Very Blueberry Lemon Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Grease and flour 2, 9" round pans, or 3 8" round pans.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. thawed lemon juice concentrate
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 eggwhites
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.

In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
Add in lemon zest, concentrate, vanilla and one egg at a time, beating well after added.

Add in half the buttermilk. Once combined, add half the flour mixture. Stir just until combined, and add the rest of the buttermilk, ending with the flour. Do not overmix!

If you're doing a double layer cake, divide batter evenly between pans.
If you're doing a triple layer cake, divide batter evenly into thirds, stirring in blueberries to one of the thirds of batter.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Blueberry layer needs more like 20 minutes to bake.

Once done, let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and flip out onto a cooking rack.

While cake is baking, make your blueberry glaze

Blueberry Glaze
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/3 Cup water
1 1/2 cups Blueberries
1-2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

In a saucepan oven medium heat, mix in sugar, cornstarch and water, stirring til sugar is dissolved.
Add in blueberries and lemon juice, and cook and stir until the liquid thickens.
Add more lemon juice to taste, or water til its at desired consistency.
Refrigerate until ready to use, your sauce will thicken a bit in the fridge!

Now time for frosting!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 Cup Butter, room temperature
1, 8 oz Package Cream Cheese
2 Tbsp. Lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Cups Confectioners Sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
Add in other ingredients except for confectioners sugar.
Mix very well on high.
On low, add in confectioners sugar, mixing until smooth and to desired consistency.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

When your cake layers are cook, start assembling!

  • Lay out a cake layer.
  • Spread with desired amount of frosting.
  • Drizzle 1/3 of your Blueberry sauce.
  • Repeat!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peanut Butter and Nutella Oreo Stuffed Cookies

There's really nothing terribly exciting about these cookies except for the fact that a) they're 2 of the yummiest things together and b) I made them Gluten and dairy free! Obviously you should probably use regular double stuffed oreo's and I would suggest using a little less cookie dough around them.

With gluten free oreo's, they don't have tons of filling, so they don't look quite as lucious, but regardless...these are gooooood! I made some peanut butter, and then when I ran out of PB cookie dough I made another batch with Nutella! I must say, the Nutella ones were my favorite!

I had mine in a big bowl with ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, sprinkles and those super awesome PB m&m's! AMEN!

Peanut Butter and Nutella Oreo Stuffed Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350

1 Cup Peanut Butter (or Nutella)
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix everything together very well.
Roll 2, 1" sized balls.
Squish on either side of an oreo and cover completely with the dough.

Place on a lightly greased pan, and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Let cool for 3 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

That is all!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Dip

Good morning!

I thought I would share with you what I just ate for breakfast. I am weak when it comes to pumpkin. I lose all self control. So in this case, I just keep telling myself its not that bad for you cause its mostly cool whip and I made it with fat free sour cream and reduced fat cream cheese.
And pumpkin is a fruit. Or vegetable. Anyway, it grows from the ground so therefore its good for us.

Today we are going to be out all day, off to one thing and then another, both of which I offered to bring a snack to. This is what I'm bringing...and if you are going somewhere you should too. Seriously, this stuff is "I can't stop taking spoons from my silverware drawer to 'test taste' it, good."

So, on that note, I am going to go wash some spoons so my husband can eat his cereal.

Happy Sunday :)

Pumpking Pie Dip
adapted from: the-girl-who-ate-everything

1, 8 oz package of cream cheese (reduced fat or even fat free is fine)
2 Cups powdered sugar
1 Cup canned pumpkin
1/2 Cup sour cream (again, low fat or fat free is fine)
1 Tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. ground ginger
1 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 Cups Cool Whip

In an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until completely smooth.

Add in pumpkin, sour cream and spices and mix well.

Fold in cool whip.

Serve with graham crackers, gingersnaps, or apple slices.


Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oatmeal Everything Cookies

I love things with chunks and fun things in them.

Ice cream: The more going on in it, the better...none of this soft serve, smooth stuff.

Cookies: Load 'em up! I love biting in to different flavors and textures in a nice, chewy, hot from the oven cookie!

Bread: I'm all about cinnamon swirl bread, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls with herbs and cheese...

Dinner: When I make a meal, you will never EVER just get one dish with one flavor. There's always lots of fun stuff going on in your mouth and I make at least 2 side dishes to go with the main course.
Things like boxes of mac n' cheese and Campbell's tomato soup are banned from my kitchen.

I guess it's my personality. I get bored real easy, and like changing things up.

Like I re-arrange my kitchen at least every 2 weeks....and i'm constantly moving things in our house so my poor husband dear is confused about who's house he is in on a weekly basis.

So I've been wanting to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for awhile now....and when I was grocery shopping last week, I saw these babies:
and crazy good would they be in oatmeal cookies?? Throw some dried cherries in there with chocolate chips and I'm pretty sure they would be the ultimate.

So I did all 3 of those things. And they were.

(the ultimate, that is.)

Perfectly chewy, not the least bit cakey, and nice and thick with loads of flavor! Just the way I like :)

Oatmeal Everything Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 350.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup Raisinets
Cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.

Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and on low speed add to the butter mixture stirring just til combined.

By hand, fold in oats, chocolate chips, cherries, and raisinets.

Roll into inch sized balls, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Edges should be lightly browned and middles may look slightly under done. Let cool for 3ish minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.


Ham, Cheese and Asparagus Rolls (Major comfort food!!)

Last night we had an old friend over for dinner...

When we have company over, I usually make something tried and true, so I know it will come out yummy and everyone will love it and be happy. Cause I'm pretty sure there is nothing worse than having company over and making something bad. It's the equivalent of peeing your pants in public.

But, I was living on the edge last night.

I've discovered this new sight: kayotic kitchen and safe to say, I'm in love! Seriously, this lady is my hero.
So I took one of her recipes, and with a few tweaks, made it my own....

I knew it would most likely be a hit, cause it's basically 3 kinds of cheese, ham, potatoes and asparagus. I mean come on...How can you go wrong?!

It was a hit! *sigh of relief*

It is so cheesy, gooey and full of deliciousness that makes you feel like you're back at home in your momma's kitchen in a big, comfy sweatshirt. You can literally feel this dish hug you while you eat it.
What, your food doesn't hug you?

We all loved it....and the great thing about this dish is its pretty versatile. You don't have to do asparagus on top- you can change it out for whatever vegetable strikes your fancy...endive, zucchini, squash, broccoli. OR you could even do cooked chicken. Now THAT would be a hearty meal! 


Ham, Cheese and Asparagus Rolls over Gooey Potatoes
Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used plain Almondmilk)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, or Smart Balance
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mustard (adjust to taste)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp.Tuscan seasoning 
  • 1 1/2 Cups cubed cheddar and pepperjack cheese (or whatever you have on hand, but these two were perfect!)
  • 12 slices provolone (or, again, whatever you want)
  • 12 slices deli ham
Peel, wash and cut your potatoes into quarters.
Fill a pot with salted water to cover potatoes and bring to a boil for about 20-25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.
In another pan, boil your asparagus for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Cut your cheeses (not the slices) into 1/2 inch size cubes.
When potatoes are fork tender, transfer to an electric mixer, and with whisk attachment until smooth.
Add in milk, butter, mustard, and tuscan seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix on high until light and whipped.
Stir in cheese cubes.
Spread into a casserole dish. I used a round can use anywhere from a 9x9" dish to a 9x13" dish. Whatever you want to do will work. I suggest a smaller dish though.

Okay, now that I'm done my speech about what dish you use, you can start wrapping your asparagus.
Lay out 2 slices of provolone, and 2 slices of ham on top.
Lay out 4 or 5 asparagus spears, and roll up.
Place seam side down on your potatoes.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.