Tag Archive | kitchen

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie “Hack”

Before Christmas there was a “recipe” hack floating around Facebook and Instagram to make these peanut butter cup cookies! So tonight Jacob and I gave them a go!!

These are so easy! You need a Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix, mini resse cups, Pam, veggie oil and water.

Simply follow directions on the cookie package, spray mini muffin tin, divide dough into 12 even balls in the muffin tins, press in peanut butter cup.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and allow to cool in tin for 5-10 minutes before removing.

Pros-Super easy! My 5 year old could 100% prep these himself.
-Fun for the kids! All three gave them 2 thumbs up!

Cons-If you’re a home baker you’re not going to love the pb cookie mix! I’ll 100% recreate this with my homemade cookie recipe!
-Hard to remove from pan. I sprayed the tin but definitely would suggested a hearty spray!

Another friend says she makes these with the pre made Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough! These would be a great rainy day activity with the kids!

Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookie Bites

It’s been a hot minute since I shared a recipe but these cookies are too fun to not share!! They are soft, festive and chewy and everything that a Christmas cookie should be!


• 3/4 cup butter, room temperature

• 3/4 cups brown sugar

• 1 egg

• 1/4 cup milk

• 3/4 cup molasses

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 tablespoon cinnamon

• 1 teaspoon ground ginger

• 1/4 teaspoon allspice

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add the egg and milk and beat to combine. Add the molasses and beat until fully combined. Set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.

3. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no dry patches remain.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and place dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour but I usually leave mine 24 hours

5. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

6. Add Christmas sprinkles to a shallow bowl.

7. Use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough into even balls of dough.

8. Roll the dough in the Christmas sprinkles and place on the prepared baking trays, at least 2” apart.

9. Bake in matches for 10 minutes and cool on rack

Thankful Thursday Week 25/52

Oh my gosh my kitchen counters are finally installed!!! I’m so excited and beyond thankful to have this done! Countertop measurements are being taken on Friday and should be installed early July!! I’m so excited!!

I’m also so incredibly thankfully that yesterday Jacob and I went to his social distance kindergarten meet and greet and now he’s excited for school this fall!!!

Snow day Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

So it’s really cold and snowy here the last few days! Which is not typical for our location but it does happen maybe once or twice a year! We usually cancel any plans and appointments and just hunker down at home until it passes! Yesterday We made cinnamon rolls & bacon and enjoyed a family weekend brunch on a Wednesday! Snow days aren’t so bad!

Early this morning Jacob and I took to the kitchen to fulfill hubby’s request for chocolate chip cookies! Now anyone who knows me knows for the past 15 years I’ve stuck to (and been famous for) these Chocolate chip cookies. Now last summer Kevin bought me Joanna Gaines cookbook Magnolia Table and I’ve been obsessed with her chocolate chip cookies!

I pretty much follow her recipe exactly except I use a full tablespoon of real vanilla and sprinkle the tops with chunky sea salt when they come out of the oven! I also add chunks of good quality melting chocolate to each cookie prior to baking! Trust me you can’t go wrong with pools of melted chocolate! For the chocolate chips themselves I use a mix of regular size and mini chips! I find it gives the cookie these amazing caverns of chocolate!!

If you want to try these yourselves but don’t have the cook book you can find the recipe Here.

If you do try these please let me know what you think! Or any changes you’ve made! The recipe itself minus the chocolate chips makes an amazing cookie base for your creations! At Christmas time I used this recipe with white chocolate chips, cranberries, and a pinch of cinnamon! So delicious!

Homemade Pesto

So my garden has blessed me with an abundance of basil this Summer. In fact I have three varieties! I love basil but Kevin hates it! So tonight after he left for work I decided to whip up a batch of pesto to toss in the freezer for future use.

I like to freeze my pesto in an ice cube tray then transfer to a freezer bag for storage. This method makes it easy for me to pull out as much or as little as I need.

4 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
2 cloves of garlic


I like to put the garlic through the food processor first and then add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.





*note* I like to toast the pine nuts before I process them. This can be done in a couple of ways. These are pricey little nuts so be careful not to burn them! I just toast mine in my little non stick fry pan but in the oven would also work.

~As I mentioned pine nuts are very pricey so feel free to use walnuts or any other nut. I’ve made walnut pesto and it to was delicious.

This pesto is fabulous on pasta, chicken, vegetable, etc.



Homemade Strawberry Jam

Every Summer when the strawberries are ready I go out to the farm and pick a few buckets full. Okay fine, I eat my weight in strawberries while picking a few buckets full, don’t judge me!!! The farm berries are fresh, juicy, sweet, and a perfect red color.

Upon bring my bounty home I always make sure to freeze a few bags for making out of season Strawberry jam! Well that out of season jam making adventure occurred yesterday because I had finally run out of the jars I made in the late Summer. The thing about homemade jam is the jars seem to disappear quickly once your friends and family learn of their presence in your pantry!

Making jam isn’t difficult as long as you do your prep work and work quickly once you start the process. There are many jam recipes out there but I always stick to the tried and true recipe that my Mom used growing up.

7 cups of White sugar
3 1/4 cups crushed Strawberries
1 package liquid Pectin
1/4 fresh Lemon juice
1/2 tsp butter


As you can see I like to prep everything before I start and that includes sanitizing my jam jars. This is as simple as boiling a large pot of water and letting the jars “cook” for three to five minutes. I leave them in the hot water bath until I’m ready to use them.


I repeat the hot water bath with the lids and rings, much later after the jam has a chance to set up and I’ve sealed the jars with wax.

On to the fun part!

Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and butter in a large pot and continue to stir over high heat until mixture reaches a hard boil. Once the mixture is boiling hard add your pectin while stirring and continue to let mixture boil hard for 60 to 90 seconds. Be sure to stir the entire time to avoid scorching the jam. Remove from heat



At this point you hopefully don’t have too much foam formed but if you do just skim it off. Once you’re done you can fill your jars. I use a funnel to fill my jars to avoid contaminating the rims of my jars. Fill your jars being sure to leave space for a wax seal.

Allow your jam a few hours to set up and then seal with melted food grade wax and apply lids!
Number of jars will depend On the size you decide to use. I get four medium size jars out of a batch.



Homemade Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Here it is friends! My most requested cookie recipe! Chewy Chocolate Chip!!!


These cookies are chewy in the centre but have a nice crisp edge! I made a half batch today but this is the full recipe and makes about 28 good size cookies.


1 cup of room temperature butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs

2 cups flour
2 1/4 cups oats
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

1.5 cups chocolate chips


Cream butter with both sugars. Blend in egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine all ingredients and stir.

Add dry to wet and mix until just combined. You can use your hands, a wooden spoon, kitchen aid mixer. Whatever works for you!


I put six on the ungreased cookie sheet at a time. I use a cookie scoop for uniform size but if you don’t have one scoop about 2 tablespoons into a ball and drop onto sheet.

Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. The center always look a touch under done if you like a crisper cookie bake a little longer!

Let the cookies cool on a rack. Store in a tightly sealed container. Enjoy!



Luscious Lasagna

When I think of home cooked hearty, comfort food meals lasagna always makes the list! Yes it is a fairly labour intensive meal but I find I can have the veggies chopped, sauce made, assembled and in the oven in about 45 minutes. Not an every night type of meal but delicious and healthy! Plus the added bonus of leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner!

I use ground turkey to make my lasagna but I’ve used ground beef, veggie ground round, as well as a beef Italian sausage mix in the past. All turn out wonderful but ground turkey is the leanest and healthiest choice. I mean other then the veggie option of course!

I also like to use the no boil noodles but again in the past have used the traditional type. I just find it adds to the prep time and I’m not a fan of burning my fingers on slippery hot noodles! Quit snickering ladies 😉 I am a big fan of the Trader joes no boil noodles because they have a nice texture once cooked. I am also a jan of the Trader Joes basil marinara sauce. Ummm yum! However if you’re anything like me you will use whatever you have on hand!

So here we go!

1 pound ground turkey (or beef/meat of your choice)
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups mozzarella (I use low fat)
1 bunch of basil (1/2 cup chopped)
1 bunch cilantro (1/4 cup chopped)
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 jar marinara sauce or pasta sauce of choice
1 box of lasagna noodles
1 onion
1 pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped. jalapeño (optional)
1 can mushrooms (optional)
2 cups baby spinach
1 egg
Olive oil for sautéing
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Seasoning salt & pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional but delightful)

Sauce prep
Chop onion, pepper, chopped jalapeño, 2 garlic cloves and sauté with a tiny but of olive oil for about three minutes. Add in meat, garlic, seasonings of choice and sauté
until cooked. Once the meat is cooked to a safe temperature add in the marinara sauce and 1.5 cups of water. At this point if you are using the cinnamon add it now! Trust me it makes the flavours really pop. Turn heat down to lowest setting and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

While the meat sauce mix is cooking prep the cottage or ricotta cheese by simply adding the egg, chopped basil, cilantro, garlic seasonings if choice and mixing well!



At this point you are ready to assemble start by placing 1/3 of the sauce mix in the bottom of a large casserole pan and topping with a layer of noodles and another 1/3 of sauce. Add another layer of noodles and top them with the cottage cheese mixture. Spread mixture out evenly and top with baby spinach and another layer of noodle! Top those noodles with the remainder of the sauce spread mozzarella cheese on top! Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 55 minutes! I like to spray my foil with Pam to keep the cheese from sticking. I also like to broil the lasagna uncovered for a couple of minutes before removing from the oven.



I bake my lasagna on a cookie sheet because if you ever have to clean bubbled over lasagna out of your oven you will quickly decide you never wish to do it again!!!


Be sure to let your lasagna sit for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!


Weekend Fun Or Something

My weekend so far has been pretty laid back but productive! Thursday Kevin and I headed down to Bellingham to do some grocery shopping. I spent a small fortune at Trader Joes but got lots of favourites plus lots of new things to try! We also wandered around Bellis Fair mall and Fred Mayer. I really hoped to find the Nike Free Run shoes I want but alas they didn’t have the pink and blue color combo I long for! Woah is me friends!!! I curtailed my shoe sadness by bringing home a bottle of wine I’ve been longing to try but can’t find in Canada.

On Friday Kevin and I had a pretty relaxing day, cleaned the house, and whipped up a big batch of meatballs to go with out spaghetti for dinner. We made enough pasta sauce and meatballs for three dinners. It is always nice to have stuff in the freezer pre cooked for those busy nights.



While on the topic of food I should share with you one of my yummy finds from Trader Joes, Greek Chicken with orzo and olives.

I found this meal very tasty although if you aren’t a fan of black olives you will not enjoy this at all. The chicken is tender and flavourful And the orzo is cooked just right and not soggy like many pre made pasta meals I’ve tasted. It works out to 8 weight watchers points for 1/3 the package. Makes a good size for lunch with a salad. It was a welcome meal after some house cleaning that’s for sure!


I followed up lunch with a cup of Tazo Passion tea! I adore this stuff but detest the price in Canada. I pay 11 dollars for a box of Passion tea bags at Starbucks here, on the rare occasion the grocery store has them they are 7 dollars! In Bellingham I got the same size box for $2.99

After dinner and a quick stroll around Homesense and Winners Kevin and I cuddled up on the couch and called it a night.

This morning I got up and watched my birds outside over a banana protein muffin covered in locally made honey roasted peanut butter. Ummm yum! Incase I’ve never shared this with you fine folks…. I have a peanut butter addiction!! Don’t judge me!!!!

After breakfast I hung out with my sister in law, Krista for a while and then headed out to do some errands. Mostly I hoped I could find the shoes at my local mall. Again no luck, so instead I ended up with some other goodies!! Mainly wine, mini cupcakes, a case of Corona and some treats for my Muffin.

After the errands were run Kevin and I decided to go for lunch. I’m not going to lie to any of you it was not a healthy meal!!!

It was infact a Vera’s bacon cheese burger covered in hot peppers and pickles!! Holy F it was amazing. I promptly came home and did an hour of yard work because I felt guilty! Turning over the garden is a better work out then the gym!!! Muffin and Maple decided to help Krista, Kevin and I with the yard work. Muffin even did a little digging of her own which then lead to her and I having a long shower once the yard work was done! Yes I shower with my dog!! Lets face it I’m gonna end up soaked either way and this saves my kitchen or bathroom from bring turned into a wet war co



Thankfully she didn’t get her new owl collar dirty!


Neither her nor Maple were super pleased to learn mud play time ending meant shower time!

As for now I’m considering going to Walmart or saying forget it and starting dinner. I know, I know my life is a constant struggle between amazing activities!! To be honest with all of you I am having a harder time them I let on lately. It’s been two weeks since I’ve made time (forced myself) to spend any time with any friends and even that was only an hour. I’ve bailed on so many plans it is shameful, as are the times I’ve just flat out said no when invited out. The only friend I’ve seen consistently is Krista and that’s because she lives upstairs with my brother!! Other then her I’ve only spent time with Kevin and Muffin. I know I should be making more of an effort to not let myself feel like this it’s hard. I don’t want to talk about how I feel and I’m starting to feel like I don’t want people I know to even be around me. I never want to come off as feeling sorry for myself or whiny so it just feels easier to avoid everyone.




A Man Of Many Skills..

No one ever said life was easy or fair! And no one ever tells you that every now and then you will get slapped in the face by something simple you have taken for granted!

My something simple has manifested itself in the form of juicing limes and lemons! Woah is me right?!?!?! But seriously, I can’t do it anymore! Okay maybe I shouldn’t be so dramatic and say I can’t. I can do it, just not well or without excessive pain. My wrist and hips are so far my most affected joints by far since my autoimmune issues have flared their ugly head and turned my life upside down.
I am stubborn, some may even say a bitch at times. It takes a lot for me to ask for help and a few nights ago while making a batch of guacamole I caved and asked Kevin to juice my lime. *Someone please tell me I’m not the only one that giggled at that last sentence!!!*. I do my best everyday to get things done and not let my being sick get me down. So while it may not seem like a big deal asking him for help, to me it is. It makes me feel weak and broken.

Now for the flip side of this story … The upside if you will! My husband is a man of many talents and apparently pulverizing citrus fruit is on his hidden list of oddly sexy skills. Maybe it is his strong manly hands, or maybe he is some sort of fruit crushing superhero! Either way he manages to get more juice out of one lime or lemon then I ever could out if three even at my peak of wrist helpfulness!!!



Seriously folks I’m impressed! He leaves nothing but a citrus shell, a former juice filled vessel destined for the compost bin!!!!

Look at that! Feast your eyes on almost half a cup of pulp laden lemon juice from one lemon!!!! ONE!!!! I got him to pre-juice my fruit for tonight’s dinner at work when he came to visit this afternoon.
Be still my beating heart!!! Back off ladies he is all mine 😉