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Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s your ideal cookie? Soft and chewy? Sweet but salty? Peanut butter and chocolate? How about all of the above in these salted caramel peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

I don’t regularly participate in the Leftovers Club but as a quick overview, as bloggers who bake a lot and subsequently find ourselves trying to unload it all on others, each month we get paired with another blogger who will then send leftovers from a recipe they make and vice versa. We then all post on the same day sharing our recipes! It just so happened to be my lucky month as I was paired up with Joanne of Eats Well With Others!! We both sent very ecstatic e-mails to each other upon finding out, full of pretend cartwheels since we both work in labs.

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Since I about lost it when I found out she had made her own homemade salted caramel peanut butter, I took it upon myself to make it and then do the only logical thing besides eating it with a spoon – bake cookies. I present to you, salted caramel peanut butter chocolate chip cookies AKA the best cookies ever. These cookies feature 3 of the best combinations all in one cookie: thick and chewy, sweet and salty, and peanut butter and chocolate!

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They were so good in fact that Bob put his foot down and would not let me take them into work to share, to which I then pointed out the box of other goodies still left uneaten that were also hoarded. Apparently the others don’t compare to these cookies in his eyes (although I still told him he better start eating the goodies I save at home before I bring them into work anyway). He seemed upset that any of them at all were being shipped away and think it took a lot for him to let any out of his sight. However I think 2-1/2 dozen is plenty. In other words, these cookies were so good that “leftovers” are not really an issue.

One year ago: Creamy Skillet Brussels and Corn

Two years ago: Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado-Yogurt Sauce

Three years ago: Maple, Walnut, and Flaxseed Pancake Doughnuts

Four years ago: Spicy Cheetos Crusted Chicken
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Reuben Pizza with Guinness Crust

Turn your Reuben sandwich into a pizza with thousand island dressing sauce, sauerkraut, corned beef, Swiss and even a Guinness beer pizza crust. 

Reuben Pizza with Guinness Crust 1

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect excuse to turn your food green and put booze in everything. Last year I made a green pizza which included a spinach crust, pesto, and green bell peppers cut to resemble four leaf clovers. Since the green option has been covered in the pizza department, I decided to go the boozy route this year with a Guinness pizza crust. All I did was substitute warm water for warm Guinness in my trusty pizza dough recipe. To stick with the holiday theme, I topped it off with thousand island dressing, sauerkraut, shredded corned beef, and Swiss cheese to create a Reuben pizza. Serve it with a cold glass of Guinness.

Reuben Pizza with Guinness Crust 2

One year ago: 90-Minute Whole Wheat King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Two years ago: Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Four years ago: Chicken Parmeatballs
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Lucky Charms Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Everyone loves marshmallow crispy treats made with puffed rice cereal, but what about other childhood cereals? Try these Lucky Charms treats just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

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It’s already March which means I’m already behind in my usual splurge of St. Patrick’s Day themed foods. I cannot explain it but St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays for which to cook and bake. Is it because I feel like it gets underrepresented compared to the rest of the major cooking holidays? Or maybe because it involves fantastic colors – such as the entire rainbow? All I know is that my brain explodes with ideas every year and I never seem to have enough time to execute them all. But the first thing I made in preparation for this year was the simplest of them all.

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I’m sorry Mr. Leprechaun, but the kids will be after every last bit of your lucky charms because they now have a double dose of marshmallow. These marshmallow crispy treats are everything you love about the traditional version but made with Lucky Charms instead of puffed rice cereal. Nostalgic, fun colored, and easy to make! I actually plucked out some of the marshmallows cereal before mixing them into the melted marshmallow mixture to ensure there would be plenty on top. Aesthetics make things taste better, right?

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Crispy Treats 1

One year ago: Amaretto-Maple Glazed Pork Chops

Four years ago: Easy Garlic Knots
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Easy Cheez-It Snack Mix

This easy snack mix requires no oven and is ready in no time. Just toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and you are ready for game time!

Easy Cheez-It Snack Mix 3

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigGameSnacks #CollectiveBias

When it comes to watching your favorite sporting events, having good snack food is crucial. Cheese is usually the first things that comes to mind so I ventured to Walmart in search of the new Cheez-It Grooves and Crunch’D snacks.

Easy Cheez-It Snack Mix 2

First, I picked up the Cheez-It Grooves in the original cheddar flavor which had the same cheesy flavor as traditional Cheez-Its but in the form of a crispy ruffled chip. Next, I grabbed the Cheez-It Crunch’D in hot and spicy which were spicy, square cheese puffs. Bob’s favorite were the hot and spicy Crunch’D Cheez-Its and he already has warned me that I am not allowed to buy them again because they are “too good”. Apparently all self control is lost in their presence.

Easy Cheez-It Snack Mix 1

But of course I couldn’t just stop there. It’s not in me to serve up snacks straight out of their packaging without adding some kind of flare to them so I invited several other snackables to the party including mini pretzels, honey nuts corn squares cereal, roasted peanuts, and wasabi peas. After they all have mingled together in one giant bowl you will find they make a great snack mix combination – crunchy, sweet, salty, and spicy all in one. Did I mention that this snack mix requires no oven? Get your snack on, people.

What are some of your favorite game day snacks?

Easy Cheez-It Snack Mix 4

Need more snack inspiration for your next game day party? Check out Cheez-Its Snackable Moments Site or follow #BigGameSnacks on Twitter and Facebook. Then head over to the Most Valuable Cheese Contest taking place from February-April where you can vote for your favorite Cheez-It flavors/varieties and play games for a chance to win $10,000.
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One-Pot Tortellini with Sausage, Kale & Peas

Easy weeknight meals don’t have to be boring. Check out this tortellini dish with spicy sausage, kale, and peas. All cooked in on pot!

One-Pot Tortellini with Sausage, Kale & Peas 1

In all my years of being a member of the Secret Recipe Club I have not once slipped up. But I finally managed to fail as made evident by my post today instead of one week ago. When I first found out that I was matched with Amy’s blog (Fearless Homemaker) this month I was so stinking excited as I already had a list of her recipes to try and Amy recently had my blog for Secret Recipe Club so it was time for me to return the favor. Then what seemed like one week went by and I am seeing Group D reveal day posts in my Feedly last Monday and I panicked. Long story short, here I am today posting with Group A (hi guys!) to make up for my mistake.

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On her blog, Amy shares all kinds of recipes that you need to try such as Chicken Tamale Casserole, Slow-Cooker Cajun Chicken Pasta, Chai Snickerdoodles, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars. While living in Tennessee I actually got to meet Amy in the flesh while visiting Nashville! We went to this delicious little sandwich place called Silly Goose (and have gone back more than once since) and then hopped next door for some Jeni’s ice cream (which was a complete surprise to find Ohio ice cream in TN). When I found out there was an adorable house for sale down the street from her, I immediately wished I had gotten a job in Nashville instead of Columbus. Wouldn’t she be the best neighbor? Major selling point for that house.

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Since I cannot have Amy as my neighbor (yet) I settled for one of her original one-pot recipes. After re-entering the working world, my weeknight dinners depend heavily upon my slow cooker and one-pot meals. This particular one-pot meal is especially great because not only does it only dirty on pan, it is well rounded with the addition of vegetables and can be modified based on your preferences. For example, I used spicy Italian sausage instead of mild and kale instead of spinach because we like a little spice and I had kale already that needed a meaning in life.

One year ago: Parmesan & Herb Baked Eggs

Three years ago: Birthday Cake Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Four years ago: Walnut-Strawberry Quick Bread
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February 2015 Bakin’ Friends

Love getting packages in the mail? Join Bakin’ Friends, a group that is similar to having a pen pal but with baked treats!


After over a year I have finally jumped back in with Bakin’ Friends, which is a group where you are paired up with someone different each month for whom to bake! Each month also comes with its very own secret ingredient which must be used in your creation. It should come as no surprise that February’s secret ingredient was chocolate. I actually got to send my goodies to Leah (MacKenzie Memories) who took over after Stephanie (Steph’s Bite by Bite) stepped down. I sent her my double dark chocolate cherry cookies which she said she’s been able to hoard them all to herself since her husband and daughter are not huge chocolate fans. And I quote “I had one before dinner…they were fabulous!!”. You should probably go get the recipe HERE.

February 2015 Bakin' Friends

As for me, I was lucky enough to have Dora send me some of her homemade Snickers! Her uncle (who unfortunately passed away recently) was a chocolate maker for over 40 years where she lives. When his health took a turn for the worse she began trying her hand at some of the things he used to make and found a renewed respect for all the effort it takes. She warned me that I may want to go to the gym in preparation for their arrival and she was right! Definitely a good thing I am a regular gym goer. Thank you so much Dora for a literal slice of your family’s history. I hope you made another batch for your husband ;-).
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Greek Lemon Potatoes

Looking for a side dish for your slow cooker gyros? These Greek lemon potatoes are a great option for any meal. Soft inside, slightly crisp outside and infused with lemon.

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Alright folks these are not your regular everyday spuds. Not because they take over an hour to cook and convincing you to cook them on a regular basis would be crazy talk (or is it?) but because they are one the best potato side dishes I’ve ever had. Other than the cook time they are actually quite easy to make. The potato wedges are roasted in a mixture of olive oil, water, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic which gets infused through the entire wedge making them both soft and flavorful. Then with the help of a secret ingredient, flour, the outsides get just a little crispy. In the end these potatoes became the stars of my dinner plate despite the beautiful gyro sitting beside them. “And the award for best spot-light stealing side dish goes to…”

Greek Lemon Potatoes 2

One year ago: Oven-Fried Mac and Cheese Ravioli Salad

Two years ago: Baked Banana-Pecan Oatmeal
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Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies

My favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies take a turn to the dark side – the double dark chocolate side. Inspired by chocolate covered cherries, you will also find dried cherries in these cookies.

Double Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies 1

I know moved over a month ago but there are still boxes left to be unpacked. Permanent spots for the things in such boxes remain to be determined. On the flip-side, the massive amount of boxes that were unpacked made me realize that I may have slight hoarding tendencies. As a result I found myself purging a lot of things and have several boxes in the spare room full of things to go to a donation center. Just another set of boxes waiting for a home.

Another area in which I hoard things is evidently the kitchen, specifically the pantry. I have so many different kinds of chocolate chips, nuts, flours, honey flavors, dried fruits – you name it and I probably have it. After being overwhelmed with this overly adequate stock pile I did the only thing that made sense – baked cookies! And yes it is another variation of my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. This version has double the dose of dark chocolate with dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips. Then I threw in some dried cherries because I had my chocolate covered cherries on the brain.

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One year ago: Honey Almond Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple

Two years ago: Garlic Lover’s Pizza

Four years ago: “Creamed” Berry Cheese Spread
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Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

My favorite chicken gyros are now available in from your slow cooker! Complete with an easy homemade tzatziki sauce.

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Ever since I reentered the working world after a year off post graduate school, cooking dinner has been a struggle. Per my usual working-life schedule I usually go straight to the gym after work and by the time I get home, shower, and cook, dinner won’t be on the table until 8pm at the earliest. This combined with the never ending frigid temperatures has given rise to more slow cooker meals. I hope whoever invented that magical contraption won some sort of award.

One such slow cooker recipe that has appeared was these slow cooker chicken gyros. I modeled the recipe after my non-slow cooker version. The very delicious success of these gyros has spawned my desire to attempt to turn all kinds of older recipes into those suitable for the slow cooker. If any more of them turn out as good as this one, you better believe I will be sharing those as well.

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros 1

After preparing the chicken for it’s hot bath in the slow cooker, mix up the tzatziki sauce and refrigerate. The flavors will marry while the slow cooker does its job. Then when you get home for dinner all you have to do is slice up the chicken and any other toppings you prefer before stuffing it all in a nice soft pita. Just don’t forget the tzatziki sauce!

One year ago: Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion

Three years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto

Four years ago: Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Quesadillas
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Speculoos Cookie Butter Mousse

Now you really can eat your favorite cookie butter by the spoonfuls in this Speculoos cookie butter mousse. Light and rich at the same time.

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If you’ve had the pleasure of sampling either Biscoff of Speculoos cookie butter spread and you liked it as much (or even more than) your favorite nut butter, then you may be guilty of eating it straight from the jar using a spoon. If so, this dessert is for you.

Speculoos Cookie Butter Mousse 1

This fluffy mousse harnesses the sweet yet rich flavor of Speculoos cookie butter making it light and sinful at the same time. You’ll find yourself savoring each spoonful and scraping every last bit out from your bowl. You may even start eyeing your neighbors if you finish first or vice versa so guard your bowls!

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One year ago: Mini Caramelized Banana Nut Bread

Three years ago: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Dried Cherries and Israeli Couscous

Four years ago: Homemade Tagalongs
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