Run to your kitchen right now

and make these Levain Bakery copycat cookies by A Bountiful Kitchen.

My husband absolutely loves these cookies. Like, he requests me to make them every week. And so, like the good wife that I am, I oblige (for the most part).

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Beau & me after I make these cookies. (Source.)

I’m torn because they are obviously not healthy. But they are so! chocolatey! And I loooove chocolate.

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Me. Always.

My modifications:

  1. Beau has a nut allergy, so I do not use peanut butter chips. I use dark chocolate chips. I know, I know. So! Chocolatey!
  2. I don’t use the two 10 ounce bags of chips. I just use one 10 ounce bag. I like to think that this makes them a little healthier.
  3. I also make the cookies a lot smaller–about the size of my palm. This yields about 26 total cookies.
  4. Beau likes to put these cookies in the fridge? I have not tried this, but if you do please tell me the appeal. I don’t get it. I like my cookies warm & fresh out the oven.

Let me know how you like them and if they become a staple dessert in your kitchen.

 

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Pumpkin Pie Yogurt?

Dannon has come out with a seasonal treat… Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt. Interesting choice, right? Not EXACTLY the first thing I would think of when craving pumpkin-flavored fall treats. But the intrigue got to me and I bought one.

The result? It wasn’t awful. When I peeled back the lid, the consistency reminded me of cream cheese. It had the hint of a pumpkin pie scent, but the smell wasn’t overpowering. Honestly the first bite was the most pumpkin pie flavory (I’m sure that’s a real word) of the whole carton. I love a good slice of pumpkin pie, it’s smooth, creamy and doesn’t overwhelm you with the flavor of spices. True to it’s name, this yogurt reminded me of pumpkin pie in that way: it did not taste like pumpkin spice. The yogurt was tangy, like most Greek yogurt, and almost had the essence of a pumpkin pie. That being said, I don’t see myself eating more than my trial container. If I were to get it again, I would add cinnamon in, like I usually do to my vanilla Greek yogurt. That would help bring out more of the flavor and lessen the tang.

Any other recommendations for the fall tasting season?

 

Apple Betty FAIL

You all know by now that I’m really good ruining recipe execution. I’m really learning how bad I am at following instructions. I’m not a good enough of a chef/baker to improvise. So, let me share with you my lovely story of this fail, just because it’s fun.

So, I have a cast iron skillet I received for our wedding and I have never used it. I put the thought in my pretty little mind that I would season it and make an apple betty. I followed the instructions on the Kitchn’s website to season my skillet. When I pulled it out of the oven, it was completely gross and sticky. I had never seen a skillet like this. I couldn’t figure out what happened, but a Google search led me to this article. Well, it turns out I used way too much vegetable oil and rendered my skillet sticky and basically disgusting to handle. To be fair, the article did not emphasize the importance of LIGHTLY seasoning the pan. As the stubborn girl I am, I decided to keep calm and carry on without fixing the issue.

When making the betty, I decided to follow a few recipes, first one from Allrecipes, and Betty Crocker, figuring she would know about it since she shares a name. The reason I chose two is because I wanted to use some oatmeal for the topping. See below for a step by step failure graphic:

So here’s what I would change about my rendering of this recipe:

  • Re-seasoning the skillet before starting the recipe.
  • Peeling the skin of the apples before adding them to the skillet. The texture when biting into them was less than ideal.
  • Make more topping to fully cover the apples in the skillet.
  • I would also add some caramel drizzle, that sounds like a delicious addition.

Also it made a ton, which I could never eat so much. I ended up tossing the whole thing because I am not about to waste my calories on something that isn’t deletable. Hope you enjoyed this failure and decided to try something new to make. The best part of failure is learning from your mistakes.

Two Ingredient Pancakes (a review)

There are some recipes that you see online and wonder if you could make, but it seems daunting. Like, “I could never figure that out.” Well friends, this is NOT one of those times. I found this recipe on The Kitchn and knew that I could not possibly ruin it. And guess what? I WAS RIGHT!

The two ingredients are: eggs & a banana. That’s it. All you gotta do is mush up the banana and scramble the eggs and mix the two together. Then scoop it out and make as you would with regular pancakes.

So, I would recommend using this recipe, especially if you are doing some kind of paleo diet. Also if you are trying to eliminate flour or sugar from your diet. The texture is a little spongey and fluffy, but SUPER BANANAEY at the same time. You probably couldn’t ruin these either. I’m just saying.

Roasting veggies (aka taking the easy way out)

You may have realized that roasting veggies is the easiest thing in the world. If so, you may save time by not reading this post. If you haven’t, this post is for you.

Beau and I have roasted veggies at least twice a week, sometimes three times, since I’m a lazy lopple and do not have a creative bone in my body. But, it’s so good. And so easy! I can’t say no. First, pick two to three veggie combos that you wouldn’t mind eating. My favorite at the moment are Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.

Chop about a cup-cup and a half of Brussels sprouts and a small sweet potato (or half a large one)  and place it on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Drizzle veggies with olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and (LIGHTLY) salt. Mix together & place in an oven in either 350-400 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes or until light brown, and kind of crispy just the way I like ‘em.

MyFitnessPal

There are things in life that I simply don’t like doing. Taking showers, for one. Doing dishes. Or folding laundry. But what happens if I don’t take care of any one of those items? Things start piling up. Grease on my hair, dishes in the sink, clothes in the hamper. All because I didn’t do something really easy that doesn’t take super long if I would JUST RIP THE BANDAID OFF ALREADY.

That brings me to the topic today. Counting calories. UGH. I used to hate, hate, hate doing this. In fact, I still don’t love it. But if I don’t do it, things start piling up. AKA weight on my body that does not belong there. I’m someone who loves food. I don’t know if you’ve gotten that impression from me, but I’m basically Liz Lemon.

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But, I cannot eat like Liz Lemon and maintain her lithe figure (because that’s not how real life works unfortunately). I’ve found that counting calories works for me for several reasons:

  1. I had counted carbs before and nearly killed everyone due to NO CARBS.
  2. I basically eat what I want and don’t feel guilty.
  3. MyFitnessPal does all the hard work for me.

Counting calories is an absolute necessity for me because during the day while I’m at work, I’m sedentary. When I graduated college and got my first desk job, I continued to eat the same way as when I lived off campus, and walked everywhere because I didn’t have a car. Which manifested in my gaining TWENTY POUNDS. This was not healthy due to my height and previous weight. I didn’t feel confident, I didn’t feel like me. I was also really sluggish and depressed (which is why I didn’t feel like myself). This past summer, I began counting my calories and running, and ended up losing about 10-15 pounds. Over the holidays, I have maintained my weight, which is what I wanted to do, and now, I’m trying to get back to my initial/regular weight from over two years ago. MyFitnessPal is awesome because you can set it to lose weight, maintain, or gain weight. There are a lot of things NOT verified, but you can eyeball close enough.

I love being active, and keeping up my exercise and healthy eating is something I plan to do for my entire life, not just now to lose weight. I’m concerned for my overall health because of family history, not just my appearance.

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NOT ME ANYMORE (ok sometimes aka I just demolished a meal at Chuy’s but it’s okay because I budgeted my calories and worked out today)

Kroger Clicklist

GUYS HAVE YOU TRIED KROGER CLICKLIST?!?!?!?!

It. Is. A. Game. Changer.

Basically the premise is that you load an online shopping cart with all your groceries. You drive to the store. They load it into your car. You drive home.

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YOU NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAR. AHHHH. I cannot tell you how much time and money I’ve saved by using their service. For one, you can plan out your meals, and not have to try to hunt down every single item in the store which saves me time and frustration. Next, you can budget out your purchase so you don’t buy any extemporaneous items in store (LIKE I ALWAYS DO). Thirdly, this service only costs 4.95. I’m sure they’re trying to get you hooked, and they’ll jack up the price once they’ve got you, but until then, this service is cheaper than a venti latte at Starbucks. And it saves SO. MUCH. TIME. My time is definitely worth more than $5/hour. If you’re really disciplined, or enjoy going to the store, you’re not going to like the service. I don’t possess either of those qualities.

What’s more, is that KROGER DID NOT PAY ME TO SAY ANY OF THIS. This review is just based on personal experience. So, try it! It’s only five bucks.

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