Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pretzel Toffee

Toffee Pretzel Recipe; This recipe uses basic butter toffee poured over pretzels and topped with chocolate.  You’ll love this toffee pretzel recipe!

Pretzel-Toffee-recipeThe hypocrisy is strong around here some days.

Just yesterday, for example, Robb told the way-too-skinny and super active teenage boys that they needed to double their caloric intake if they want to be strong and healthy.

I fully supported this plan.

Then today, he told them they needed to get their jobs done before they could eat lunch.

I also fully supported this plan.

Eat, don’t eat… It’s confusing, I know.

Then I told everyone I would be making snacks, but ended up making candy instead.  What can I say? Life ain’t perfect.


Toffee is one of my favorite candies.  Butter + Sugar… what’s not to love? Continue reading “Pretzel Toffee” »

Pumpkin Roll Bars

Easy Pumpkin Bars;  These bars taste just like a pumpkin roll, but without the rolling!  Try these easy pumpkin bars.

easy-pumpkin-barsI love a good pumpkin roll.

My sister-in-law and I usually make 2 every year for Christmas.  We store them in the freezer, bring them out all frozen and wonderful, cut a few slices, plop a big spoonful of fresh whipped cream on top, and savor slowly.

Then we get another slice.

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

The problem is that pumpkin rolls are not particularly easy to make, and they are certainly not easy to make look good.  The cake always cracks, or the frosting squishes out, or our rolling technique fails us, or some other disaster happens to make our pumpkin rolls really not beautiful.

Tasty still, but not beautiful.

I decided it was time I make life easier on myself.  This year, I’m making my pumpkin roll into bars.  This way, I can still get all the pumpkin-and-cream-cheese goodness without the rolling.


One thing I will say for these bars, they are a touch on the sticky side.  Which isn’t a huge problem for me, because I prefer them frozen anyway. Continue reading “Pumpkin Roll Bars” »

Brownie Mix Cookies

Brownie Cookies from mix; These easy chocolate cookies are made with a boxed brownie mix.  These brownie cookies from mix are delicious and so easy!

brownie-mix-cookiesI never really did get nauseous when I was pregnant.  What I got was massive headaches.

I still get massive headaches.

I’ve learned over the years to avoid them by keeping a consistent sleep schedule, limiting my caffeine intake, and keeping myself hydrated, and I’ve learned a few tricks to help me manage the pain a little better, but these things are not a cure.  Not by a long shot.

This morning, for no good reason at all, I woke up with a doozey.  It was bad enough that I begged Robb to handle the morning routine without me so I could stay in bed.

When I finally emerged hours later, I was headache-free, but had a strong strong chocolate craving.

I nearly drove to the nearest fast food restaurant in the pouring rain for a chocolate milkshake, that’s how strong it was.  In fact the only thing that kept me from doing just that was the knowledge that there was a brownie mix in my pantry.


Making cookies from a brownie mix on a heavy headache day is a double bonus.  Bonus number one, the obvious one, is the chocolate.

But bonus number two is equally as important.  Because you’re making cookies from a brownie mix, they are fast and easy to mix up, and you can do it all in one large bowl with a wooden spoon.


Last time the massive-headache-chocolate-craving-blues hit me hard, I made these gorgeous Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies.  Those got the job done, let me tell you.

I was kind of excited also to use a new product I found.  The people at Star Fine Foods offered to let me try their new Butter Flavored Olive Oil, and I tried it in these cookies.  I’ve never really been one to bake with olive oil, but the butter flavored oil gives a nice buttery flavor, with the soft consistency of oil.

Best of both worlds.  Thanks, Star.

(P.S. You can’t get this product everywhere, but I’m almost positive it’s available at WalMart.)


More brownie-like cookies you might enjoy:

fudge-brownies-cookies-recipechocolate cookie recipecookies n cream feature


4.4 from 5 reviews
Brownie Mix Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A soft chocolate cookie made from a boxed brownie mix.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter flavored olive oil (or use vegetable or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines 18 oz. box)
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  1. Lightly beat eggs, and combine with oil and water.
  2. With a wooden spoon, mix in brownie mix and flour, stirring until well combined.
  3. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes.

 If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies from Six Sisters Stuff
Favorite Cake Mix Cookies from Something Swanky
White Chocolate Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies from The Kitchen is my Playground

Orange Carrot Smoothie

Orange Carrot Smoothie; this smoothie recipe uses only fruits and vegetables.  Try this easy Orange Carrot Smoothie recipe today!

orange-smoothieOur son, The Fruitarian, is fully enjoying his high school experience.  He joined swim team this year, which, in addition to copious amounts of martial arts training, church sports, a play, piano lessons, and the regular homework and chores routine, is pretty darn heavy.

And the season hasn’t really begun yet.

Every day, he drags himself home, drops on the sofa like a sack of potatoes, and complains about how hungry and tired he is.  It seems the huge lunches I’m packing him are just not enough.

He’s a growing boy, after all, and swimming really takes it out of a kid.

I’ve been using smoothies as a way to quickly get some extra fruits and veggies in his system, and give him a little energy boost.  I like smoothies, because you can hide all kinds of things in there.  Not just veggies, but also medicine, supplements, and anything else a kid is likely to fight you on.

Don’t get me wrong, he knows what’s in his glass, but he doesn’t fight me when it tastes like oranges.


I’m kind of partial to this Simple Green Smoothie.  I’ve been making it for months now, and everyone loves it.  Continue reading “Orange Carrot Smoothie” »

Pumpkin Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Recipe for pumpkin fudge; These chocolate chip cookie bars have a layer of pumpkin fudge inside!  Use chocolate chip cookie dough and Hershey’s pumpkin spice kisses to create this amazing dessert!

pumpkin-fudge-cookie-barsI almost didn’t post this recipe.  Almost.

My son, The Lizard, convinced me to do it, between bites.

The thing is, this recipe didn’t turn out exactly the way I planned it in my head.  Actually, the taste of this bar was what I expected, but the pumpkin fudge ripple layer…

…it’s a little gooey.

A LOT gooey.


But it tastes so marvelously, fantastically decadent, I figured I would find a way to work around the too-soft texture.

And find one, I did.


I found two solutions, if I’m being honest.

SOLUTION #1:  Refrigerate.  The key to this plan is that you will be eating them directly from the fridge.  If you tend to eat them one at a time, here and there, this is probably a good solution.  It keeps the pumpkin fudge from getting too drippy.  Just eat them fast.

SOLUTION #2: Freeze.  This is a good option if you are planning to serve them to a crowd.  Just take them out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you plan to eat them, otherwise people will break their teeth.  I liked this a little better, because it gave me slightly more eating time before gooey-overwhelm set it.

Either way you do it, be sure to use parchment paper, or you will have a big mess on your hands.

recipe for pumpkin fudge

Gooey or no, I had to share these because I love the Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses.  They are kind of a seasonal treat, and you just have to use them all while you can!

The pumpkin kisses have a little spice in them, and I added some cinnamon to the cookie dough to match that.  It takes the classic chocolate chip cookie and dresses it up for fall.

Love that gooey pumpkin, chocolate, cinnamon autumn dessert flavor!

Pumpkin Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate chip cookie bars with a layer of pumpkin spice fudge.
Recipe type: Bars
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 bag (10 oz.) Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, cinnamon, and flour and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. For pumpkin fudge, unwrap candies and place in a glass bowl. Add condensed milk. Melt candy, either over boiling water (like a double boiler) or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth.
  4. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Press about ½ to ⅔ of the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. Pour pumpkin fudge evenly over the top. Use the remaining dough and drop in pieces over the pumpkin layer.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely, and chill thoroughly before cutting into 12 large or 24 small bars. Keep bars in the fridge or freezer.


Chocolate Pudding (egg-free) {Appreciation Post}

Chocolate pudding dessert;  Try this simple egg-free recipe for chocolate pudding.  Dessert never tasted so good!

chocolate-pudding-dessertAs if I haven’t done enough blogging about blogging lately…

Today I want to blog about the man behind the woman behind the blog.  Because he is one awesome man, and one who never puts himself in the spotlight, much to my dismay.

Plus, he’s super cute. {see photo below for proof.}

If you’re one to frequent food blogs, you might notice quite a few of us talking about our significant others today.  It’s like it’s a conspiracy or something.  {Scroll to the bottom for the complete list.}

I had a few questions for Robb about being the husband of a *ahem* rich and famous food blogger.  But before I get to his responses, let me introduce this recipe.

This simple chocolate pudding is a recipe I learned from Robb’s family.  He loves foods that are basic, simple, uncomplicated.  This pudding is one of his favorites, and we eat it pretty regularly.

You may have heard me lament in the past about his preference for vanilla over chocolate, especially in the ice cream department, but thankfully, pudding is one exception to that rule.  Chocolate pudding tastes just like love.


1. I first asked him what my favorite blog is, and what his is.  He doesn’t really read blogs much, aside from the occasional visit to some IT blogs, and mine, of course.  {I say “of course” but the truth is I had to pester him to subscribe to the RSS feed so he gets notifications when there’s a new post to read.}  He said my favorite blog is Pinch of Yum, which might be true.  Mostly I talk to Robb about that site because I love that they are kind of a blogging super-team, and I probably spend a lot of time making Robb feel bad because he is not the talented web guy that Bjork is.  His talents are more hardware-oriented.Robb square

2. I asked him what his favorite prop was, and what he thought my favorite prop was. Continue reading “Chocolate Pudding (egg-free) {Appreciation Post}” »

24 Zucchini Recipes

24 Zucchini Recipes;  Wondering what to do with all that zucchini?  Look no further!  Try these recipes for breads, desserts, breakfasts, dinners, and snacks made with zucchini!


I missed Zucchini Day.  It just passed me right by.

My apologies, everyone!  I’m sure you were waiting with baited breath for the blogging celebration of this overabundant squash.

The truth is, I didn’t think of it initially because I don’t have squash in any variety in my garden this year.  But now, I have about a dozen baggies in my freezer, each with 2 cups of shredded zucchini, thanks to a friend.

If you haven’t already heard this story, and want to see the monster of a zucchini she brought me, you can do it all in this post about Zucchini Cookies.

Several of my friends have asked me for more zucchini recipes.

So, here I am.  I’ve put together an amazing collection of recipes that will be perfect for using your bounteous harvest.


Zucchini Breads:

carrot-zucchini-breadCarrot Zucchini Bread
Alida’s Kitchen
dbl-choc-zucchini-breadDouble Chocolate
Zucchini Bread from
Like Mother Like Daughter
8629415449_20a27e866cZucchini Bread with
Chocolate Streusel from
Beyond Frosting
zucchinipinebasketZucchini Pineapple
Mini Loaves from
Ricki Heller
nutella-zucchini-breadNutella Swirl Zucchini
Bread from The Girl
in the Little Red Kitchen
Double-Chocolate-Espresso-Zucchini-BreadChocolate Espresso Zucc-
hini Bread from Modern
Christian Homemaker




Zucchini Desserts:

Cinnamon-Frosted-Zucchini-Bars-BlogCinnamon Frosted
Zucchini Bars from
Julie’s Eats & Treats
chocolate-zucchini-cookies-5Chocolate Zucchini
Cookies from Jen’s
Favorite Cookies
choc-zucchini-cakeChocolate Zucchini
Cake from Chocolate
Chocolate and More
Chocolate-Zucchini-Beanie-Brownie-bChocolate Zucchini
Beanie Brownies from
PB and Peppers
choc-zucchini-cupcakesChocolate Zucchini
Cupcakes from
Alida’s Kitchen
Cinnamon-Swirl-Zucchini-Bundt-Cake-BLOGCinnamon Swirl Zucc-
hini Bundt Cake from
Julie’s Eats & Treats



Zucchini Breakfast:

zucchini-french-toastZucchini Bread French
Toast from
SONY DSCZucchini Fritters
Ricki Heller
SONY DSCZucchini Oatmeal
Ricki Heller
zucchini-wafflesChocolate Zucchini
Waffles from
Farm Fresh Feasts
cream-cheese-filled-carrot-zucchini-muffins-600-wmCream Cheese Carrot
Zucchini Muffins from
I Heart Eating
cherry-zucchini-muffinsCherry Zucchini
Crumb Muffins from



Zucchini Main Dishes and Snacks:

zucchini-lasagnaZucchini Lasagna
from Like
Mother Like Daughter
ham-pasta-with-zucchiniHam Pasta with
Zucchini from
Hungry Goddess
cheesy-zucchini-tart-recipe-11Cheesy Zucchini
Tart from
Roxana’s Home Baking
Green dip made with yogurt or sour cream, selective focus.Zucchini Hummus
The Culinary Life
Crispy-Baked-Ratatouille-Fries-7320Crispy Baked
Ratatouille Fries from
Chocolate Moosey
stuffing-bitesZucchini Stuffing
Bites from
Busy Vegetarian Mom




Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

Zucchini cookies recipe; These chocolate zucchini cookies are a great way to use your extra zucchini!  Try this zucchini cookies recipe.

zucchini-cookiesI have a friend who was recently regaling me with stories about her too-much-zucchini problem.

I, of course, am zucchini-free at my house, which is code for my kid planted everything but zucchini this year.  I love zucchini, so I told her if she was trying to get rid of squash, she could get rid of it at my house.


Perhaps I should have been clearer, because a few days later, she sent me a text message, asking if I wanted large zucchini, or if I was holding out for small ones.  I told her I wasn’t picky, and I would take whatever she had available.  She responded by saying she was on her way over, and within a few minutes she knocked on my door with an armload of large zucchini.

Actually, large doesn’t begin to describe it.  There were three of them, and two are large but the third is obscene.

This zucchini is humongous.  It’s the size of a small child.  It’s as big as my leg.  It’s the biggest zucchini I’ve ever seen in my life.

And it’s sitting on my kitchen counter.

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies from

I started by shredding a bunch of the zucchini with my handy dandy Cuisinart food processor.  I figured this way it’s all ready for bread and cookies and this, which is my new lunchtime favorite.

My days start early lately, and lunch was hours and hours away, so my first order of business was cookies. Continue reading “Chocolate Zucchini Cookies” »

Cheddar Bacon Scones

Savory scones recipe easy; This easy recipe for savory scones includes bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions, for a classic flavor combination.  Try this savory scones recipe easy.

savory scones recipe easyMy husband has been building a deck for his mother.

Initially, I would have said WE are building a deck for her, but frankly, as year three of the deck project comes to a close, I’ve basically removed myself from the project.

So now, HE is building it.

Except, sometimes I tag along to help with the problem solving.  Like, when things aren’t square or the boards are warped so badly it takes three men and a gorilla to get them into place.

I like to think of myself as the “big guns,” or more accurately, the foreman.  The brains, if you will.

It’s not really true, but that’s the story I like to tell.  It’s all about the way you frame it.

Sometimes I put my huge deck-building-problem-solving brains to work on other problems, like how can I turn my favorite scone recipe of all time into a savory scone?

Cheddar Bacon Scones from

Turns out it couldn’t really be easier.  I started with my favorite recipe for buttermilk scones.  You might remember it (my family certainly does!) from a few months ago when I used it to make these SO delicious Coconut White Chocolate Scones.

So, you start with that recipe, and just add some shredded cheddar and bacon bits, and you’re golden. Continue reading “Cheddar Bacon Scones” »