Tag Archives: cookies

Bananas for the Weekend

Well, it’s back to reality today, eh? Back to the routine . . . work, school, etc. I hope you were as ready as this kiddo.

Get it little guy! I am so going to make one of these for my future kid(s). (I have plenty of time though, don’t you worry. That won’t be for quite a few years).

I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day weekend, Mine was pretty good, but most importantly, it was pretty laid back. I spent quite a bit of time preparing for my VACATION! Madre and I leave tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. Oh, and when I wasn’t packing, I was caching up on lost time with Michael C. Hall:

Who else is addicted? I swear I could watch the entire season in one sitting . . . if I had the time. The mystery, the morbid excitement, and the dark humor are fantastic. I also personally love Deb. I find her foul-mouthed, blunt reactions completely refreshing. She basically tells it how it is, although brutally. There are many times that I wish I could do that, but I don’t have the guts . . . or my conscience takes over. Anyway, if you haven’t experienced the utter brilliance that is Dexter, I am giving you full permission to go indulge. At this very moment. Seriously, go. Rent it. You will thank me later.

Among my packing and TV watching, I had planned to squeeze in a blog post; however, things did not work in my favor. Things meaning my computer. It’s the grandpa of MacBooks I do believe.

I am not even sure how old it is, but it is dying a slow and very painful (for me) death. My Uncle purchased it used off ebay several years ago and made some fixes/adjustments. After lending it to a friend for a period of time, he lent it to me when my Dell crashed during my sophomore year of college. It then turned into a graduation present once I was finished at the U of A in 2011. So, how many years is that? I’m not exactly sure, considering we don’t know how long the previous ebay owner had it. Let’s just say that this baby is a testament of Apple’s products. (My Dell lasted 2.5 years before crashing). However, it is getting to the point where I need to move on . . . if only I had enough money to buy a new MacBook.

(Source)

I’m really not exaggerating about the dying a slow and painful death part. Last night, I went to upload the pictures from my phone . . . it took 2 hours. Then, I got an error message telling me that the photos I supposedly uploaded, well, didn’t. Hmmmmm . . . Oh, and with every other click, I have to wait for an unknown amount of time watching this:

(Source)

What I like to call: The CIRCLE OF DEATH

The two of us are not friends. I have called it a variety of other colorful (no pun intended) names. It seriously takes FOREVER.

(Source) Oh Sandlot! 🙂

Sometimes, I wait so long that I have no choice left but to force shutdown and restart. And don’t even get me started on how many times I have been filling out job applications and my Mac just freezes, refusing to move. Oy vey. Deep breaths. Very deep breaths.

Thankfully, I did succeed with uploading my pictures this morning. You should be very thankful too. Why? You may ask? Because I did whip up a tasty treat this weekend. Once again, over-ripened naners were calling to me. Begging me to make their lives useful. I couldn’t refuse their pleas.

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

I have had these tagged in my recipe book ever since they appeared in an issue of Food Network Magazine. Since I had the ingredients, AND since I it would be a great treat for Madre to bring to her non-chocolate-loving coworkers (gasp!), I couldn’t help but call it fate.

I pretty much followed Food Network Magazine’s recipe to the T, except for two minor alterations:

  1. I used reduced fat cream cheese (that’s all I had)
  2. I threw a few chocolate chips in the batter at the very end (for my last pan), because some of us just need a little chocolate in our desserts!

I give these guys a thumbs up! Ummm . . . how can I not? Peanut butter and banana are quite a pair. Although, I was a little surprised at the filling. I expected it to be more fluffy and frosting-like. This filling is definitely more of a thick, peanutty spread. You won’t be disappointed though. No worries!

Go Bananas Whoopie Pies

By: Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar (I used dark, again it’s all I had on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.
  • 1/2 C mashed very-ripe banana (about 1.5 naners)
  • 1/2 C buttermilk (I put 1.5 tsp white vinegar in a measuring cup and then filled it up with milk up to the 1/2 C mark)
  • 2 C AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 1 C creamy PB
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla ext.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk.
  • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Gradually add dry mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with banana/buttermilk mixture.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes (or until set).
  • Cool for a few minutes on pan, then transfer to wire rack.
  • For filling, cream peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter until fluffy. (Mine wasn’t that fluffy . . . )
  • Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread onto bottom of one cookie; top with another cookie.
  • EAT! (Oh, and store in the fridge!)

For the love of peanut butter. Are you drooling yet?

How about now?

Did you know that these are called Gobs in Pennsylvania? I coworker last summer brought chocolate cookie with vanilla filling whoopie pies to a function one time, and when I exclaimed, “Yes! Whoopie Pies!” I was met with a dozen quizzical-faced colleagues. It took awhile for me to live that one down. I’m still calling them whoopie pies though. Gobs sound ugly.

Speaking of oddly-named things. Look what Madre and I found while browsing Kroger yesterday:

Snacks on a Stick Maker

It gets better. Look at all the delicious, high-quality and nutritious food you can make:

That’s steak, corn dogs, OMELETS???, pizza, pancakes, and cookies. On a stick . . .

Madre came up with the product’s new slogan: “You may never have to use silverware again!” I think it’s fitting.

Before I go take care of some other vaca preparations, I will share my workout with you.

Workout:

I began with a nice 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. You know, to get my sweat on. The weight room was pretty packed after I finished, so I headed upstairs to complete a Plyometric workout I found.

I only did the entire circuit one time through, but I was still a sweaty fiend. Loved it! Those Hamstring Sliding Curls and Split Jumps are killer! I will definitely be revisiting this one again, and no worries, I will step it up and go for at least two rounds.

I finished with some random exercises to hit my arms and back:

  • Seated Narrow Grip Cable Rows (3 sets of 10)
  • Inclined Dumbbell Curl (3 sets of 10)
  • Back Extensions (3 sets of 10-using 10 lb. weight)

Told ya it was random!

Well, that’s it for me today. I haven’t decided if I will be lugging my Mac to Mexico with me, so I may not be back until the 11th! Have a great week!

Questions of the Day:

  • If you were to purchase a new laptop, what would you choose?
  • What’s your favorite TV series?

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Weddings, Sweets, and Whatever’s next

‘Tis the season! Wedding season that is!

I have been on hiatus from my job as an events waitress for a few weeks now, but I finally returned to working the wedding scene last night . . . and boy, what a reunion it was!

I did not realize how much I enjoy a good wedding until I started working them this spring. I love seeing how individualized each reception is: the decor (color scheme, centerpieces, lighting, etc.), the venue, the bride’s dress, the cake, and the couple themselves. I keep making a mental note of things I like . . . hopefully one day I will be able to use them. 😉

As far as the wedding last night, the bride definitely went for a fairytale theme. Silver and white draped the tables and chairs of the hall and glitter sparkled from every place setting. Oh, and how about this:

Cinderella anyone? Now THAT is a cake.

However, I must give the newlyweds some credit. The atmosphere may have only been a masquerade of a Disney fairytale, but the couple themselves looked as if they truly had a once-in-a-lifetime magical romance. It made me green with envy! The groom performed a beautiful guitar serenade for his new wife, and the two were practically inseparable the entire night. He even dabbed club soda on the bride’s dress when someone spilled a drink down her back during a quick hug. AND he helped her take her heels off for her at the end of the night. (You know, all that tulle and fabric). Seriously . . . she didn’t even ask.

I want one.

Since I did not get home until after midnight, I had no trouble sleeping in until 8am this morning. However, sometimes sleeping in does more harm than good. I get groggy morning syndrome. You know, that feeling you get where all you want to do is sit on the couch the entire morning in your pajamas? That was me.

My drive for productivity did prevail a tiny bit. Or maybe it was my constant craving for sweets . . . either way, it was the perfect morning to whip up a few recipes I had been wanting to try for quite some time now. Plus, I could stay in my pj’s. Shazing!

First up on the recipe docket was . . . drumroll please: Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip!

I have heard good things about using chickpeas as a healthy alternative to flour in these types of recipes, so I thought I might as well give it a shot.

I pretty much followed Katie’s recipe to the T, but I did use Ideal (brown sugar alternative) in place of the sugar. I also opted for only adding 3T of nut butter instead of the whole 1/4 cup as originally noted. This is also where I put a little twist on my cookie dough.

I added 1T of my favorite peanut butter of all time:

Kroger brand Natural peanut butter, Once you go Kroger, you’ll never go back!

Oh looky there. Almost time for Oats in a Jar! Yuuuuzzz!

I then added 2T of this sweet stuff. It’s the bomb diggity:

The verdict? I was pleasantly surprised! Don’t get me wrong, I can’t say it will ever be my replacement for the real thing, but it was pretty darn good! I do believe I will be making this quite often.

Next up: Pumpkin Pie Dip

This stuff is where it’s at! I followed the original recipe, except I substituted Ideal for the sugar again. Mmmmm mmmmm good. I could sit down and eat the entire bowl in one sitting. Not that I would ever do such a thing . . .

This will definitely make a regular appearance in our house!

Along with sweetening up my morning with some yummy treats, Madre and I decided to top off the weekend with a movie: girl-style. So we headed to the dollar theatre to catch a showing of this funny chick-flick:

Absolutely hilarious! I mean, how can you go wrong with Chris Rock? And several members of the cast of Bridesmaids?! Love it! There are definitely some quotes I will be adding to my movie repertoire from this. 🙂

Oh hey! I followed the stereotypical progression of life in less than 24 hours: marriage to babies! Sorry, bad joke. 🙂

Well, I am off! Best wishes for a wonderful Monday!

Questions of the day:

  • What is your most memorable moment of a wedding? (Yours or a friend’s)

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‘MERICA!

Has everyone been watching the Olympics? I don’t know about you, but I have stayed up way too late this entire week! How can you not though? I mean . . .

(Source)

Mmmmmmmm . . . I love the Olympics.

Our women’s gymnastics team has also kicked some major booty! So kudos to them!

I did a little Olympics celebration of my own in the kitchen.

‘Merica! Decorated in honor of the 2012 Olympic Games!

These little babies were inspired by The Authentic Suburban Gourmet’s Lofthouse Cookies copycat recipe. I knew as soon as I saw the recipe that I had to make them STAT! I always think of Briley when I see those frosting overloaded cookies at the grocery. That girl loves Lofthouse cookies. And Raman noodles. And hot dogs. I must admit that I am a fan as well. I crave them the same way that I spontaneously crave those obscenely sugary grocery-store-bought birthday cakes. Oh, how I love sugar! 😉

The recipe made tons of cookies, so there were more than enough to go around. Poppa took a big plate with him, and Madre brought a huge platter to work. Her coworkers went bonkers for them and ate the entire batch! I guess they were pretty good, eh? I personally don’t think they were as sugary and tasty as Lofthouse’s, but they still were pretty rockin’!

I know there are other Lofthouse cookie lovers out there. So if you want to try your hand at re-creating these babies, try Lisa’s recipe for yourself!

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Peanut Butter-Banana Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Want to know how to catch a guy who doesn’t like sweets?

I know, I know . . . HOW can someone NOT LIKE sweets?!?! Well, have no fear, this recipe will make even the most sweet-toothed intolerant person change his tune. Seriously.

I’m talking about Peanut Butter-Banana Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies.

Phew! That’s a mouthful. A mouthful of GOOEY GOODNESS that is! 🙂

This recipe is compliments of Emily. I have mentioned her blog before when I made her Chunky Monkey Biscotti, and cannot help but oggle all of her delicious recipes. I hope that I become confident enough to invent new and creative recipes like she does one day. Brilliance here, folks.

Anyway, I have been wanting to try these PB and naner bad boys for quite awhile now, and when I saw that we had some very brown bananas perched on our hanger . . . well, there was no turning back.

I had fun making these babies. I mean, these cookies combine two of my favorite ingredients (I honestly think peanut butter and bananas are a better pair then jelly. Sorry, Jam. You and your bread can chill in the cupboard. Peanut butter has found a new leading lady.) Plus, I liked the hands-on aspect of rolling the dough around the filling. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the smell while these guys were baking in the oven! Sweeeet Gooodnes! My mouth was salivating just from standing in the kitchen.

Look at the size of these puppies. These are cookies fit for a man.

My brother ate three in one sitting . . . which probably equals six regular-sized cookies. Justin ate one as soon as I offered, and I sent him home with several more. All of them were suspiciously gone a day later. . . I told you: I can make anyone a sweets lover, and these most definitely helped. 😉

Have I convinced you to try a hand at making these yourself? C’mon! It’s peanut butter. And bananas. AND a hint of CHOCOLATE! Triple threat, baby!

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My “Signature”

Wow, if you can believe it, I had somewhat of a busy weekend! As always, I had every intention of blogging earlier, but time just seemed to slip away from me. But, maybe you will forgive me since I did leave you with a nice shirtless pic of Arnie and all. Right? Forgiven? Sweet . . . moving on Winking smile

Some big news as of Friday: I have a part-time job! See, a few weeks ago I dropped off my resume and letter to a local café/catering business. I did not know if they were hiring at the time, but I thought it was worth a shot to express my interest. Anyway, I had completely written it off since I hadn’t hear from them in weeks. BUT as I was finishing moving my Gma last week, I received an email asking if I would be interested in joining the company’s part-time event staff!! YUZZZZZ!!! So, on Friday I met with the catering manager to go over specifics. Now, I am so excited to begin working! The manager was extremely nice, and I was digging the cafes welcoming atmosphere. My first day is on Wednesday, so I will report back on how it goes.

The rest of my Friday was a pretty typical day in the life. Lifting and spinning with Lori, my online class, random errands, etc. I did meet up with one of my best friends, Katie, to catch up over coffee, and I made my signature dessert for my Uncle B.

Okay, okay, I know . . . signature? I’m not some elite chef or anything, and I certainly did not come up with the recipe. (My Gma gave it to me, and I have no clue where she found it). However, it is the thing a make all the time, and the one thing over which people seem to rave. That’s why Poppa (my dad) nicknamed these little babies “Lemon Crack.”

They seriously are like potato chips- you can’t eat just one. And, to make it even harder to control that willpower, they are perfectly pop-able.

Since I am in a benevolent mood this morning, I decided I would share my favorite recipe with you! But be warned, once you make these there is NO GOING BACK! Smile

Lemon Blossom Cookies (AKA LEMON CRACK)

glazed lemon crack

COOKIES:

  1. 18.5 oz. package of yellow cake mix
  2. 3.5 oz. package INSTANT lemon pudding mix
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 3/4 C vegetable oil

GLAZE:

  1. 4 C. powdered sugar
  2. 1/3 C lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  3. zest of 1 lemon
  4. 3 T vegetable oil
  5. 3 T water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
  • Combine cake mix, lemon pudding mix, eggs, and oil. Blend/beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  • Pour a small amount of batter into each tin- I fill it about 3/4 full.

lemon batter 2

  • Bake for 10-11 minutes. (Look for just a little golden hue on the edges).
  • Cool a minute before flipping onto a paper towel.
  • GLAZE: sift sugar into mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, zest, oil, and water. Mix with a spoon until smooth and combined.
  • Dip cookie cups into glaze while still a bit warm. Warning: Your hands WILL get gooey and sticky!
  • Set cookie cups on wire rack to cool and set. (Note: I put 2 layers of paper towels under my cooling racks- that glaze likes to drip and can make your table sticky!)

glazed lemon crack 2

Now try to eat just one . . . Winking smile

 

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