Friday, July 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Pretzel Cookies

What a mouthful of a title for a cookie right? These were delicious though, you have that whole combinaton of sweet and salty going on. The hubs had requested another batch of cookies and I wanted to bake a new recipe instead of his favorite standby.

These were very easy to make, the only thing to note is that to make sure to press down on the rounds of dough with your palm before baking so they that the cookies really have a real cookie shape and don't stay in the ball dough shape.

via iPhone (and yes I'm having fun with the A Perfect Mess app)

Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Pretzel Cookies slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction


1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup pretzel pieces


In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed.

Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop chilled dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet or silpat. Press down slightly. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and may appear undone. They will firm up as they cool. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Skinny Lemon Bars

Yes yes the menu items are still coming from the wonderful baby shower I helped host for my SIL. As I mentioned earlier this week, I was trying to do a mix of healthy and decadent on the menu so there was a little something for everyone. These skinny lemon bars were our healthier dessert, even though I much prefer the decadent dessert I baked, these lemon bars were still delicious. They have a very strong lemon flavor, but hey they are lemon bars after all.

We served what's becoming my famous egg casserole at the baby shower too, it NEVER disappoints and is always a crowd pleaser. Another host, the same one who made these Nutella beauties also made this fruit salad, which will be my go-to fruit salad after tasting it. One girlfriend (Hi Britt!) had recommended this fruit salad to me, then I had told Little Miss Wade about it, and she has already made it several times because it was such a hit, so I knew it HAD to go on the baby shower menu.

And I clearly got off topic, here's the recipe for the lemon bars, enjoy!

Skinny Lemon Bars - The Skinny Fork

Skinny Lemon Bars from The Skinny Fork

1 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1/3 C. Stevia in the Raw
1/8 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 Tbsp. Butter, Room Temperature

4 Eggs
1 C. Stevia in the Raw
1/3 C. Sugar
1 C.  Fresh Lemon Juice

Powdered Sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, stevia, salt, yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla and butter together in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with the whisk attachment or with an electric beater until sandy like crumbs begin to form.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned along the edges.

While the crust is baking, whisk together the filling ingredients until well combined and starting to froth slightly.

Once done, remove the crust from the oven and pour the filling over the top, allow any froth to settle before baking. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the filling is set and doesn't jiggle when the dish is gently shaken.

Allow to cool completely and cut into squares. Top with a little powdered sugar for garnish.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Since my SIL's shower started mid morning, I went the brunch route for the menu items. No brunch of mine is complete without muffins obviously and I was aiming to have a good mix of decadent AND healthy items on the menu. These blueberry oatmeal muffins were our healthier muffin, while these Nutella stuffed muffins were the more decadent, thank you to another sweet host (Hi Rachael!) for making those yummies!

Now back to these blueberry ones, WOW, they taste SO good. They don't taste nearly as healthy as they are. I'm so glad I have a few of these bad boys leftover that I can freeze and enjoy later on for breakfast in the coming weeks.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins -

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins slightly adapted from


1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
baking spray


Preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with oil or spray muffin tin with spray if not using liners.

Soak oats in milk for about 30 minutes.  

In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, honey, apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites, oil and mix well.

In a third bowl combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to combine.

Combine oats and milk with sugar, applesauce mixture and mix well. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries.

Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes.

P.S. My other go to blueberry muffin recipe is this one that uses Greek yogurt!

Monday, July 1, 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Happy Monday everyone! I have so many delicious recipes to share with you all after cooking for my sweet SIL's baby shower. I had the best time menu planning for this shower, and the food was a hit, not to mention the entire shower, what a special day it was. I can't wait to meet my NIECE and spoil her.

My favorite dessert by far from the shower were these no bake peanut butter bars. I've baked something similar called Oh Baby Bars, featured on the blog here, but I think I like these even better. I think it's the graham cracker crumbs that really give these bars a little something extra.

Be warned those, these are HIGHLY addicting.

via Six Sisters' Stuff

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from Six Sisters' Stuff


1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use the boxed kind, or grind them in a food processor)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips


In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I hadn't done of these posts in awhile so thought I would give you a few random thoughts, obsessions and likes on this Friday morning.

I'm loving this denim chambray shirt from Target...I'm pretty much obsessed with anything chambray right now, but who isn't?

Merona Chambray Shirt Dress - Target

Also loving this maxiskirt, would be perfect for the 4th of July or for an upcoming girls trip I have to Santa Fe, hmmm should I make it mine? Decisions decisions...

Tie Dye Print Maxi Skirt - Warehouse

I'm still making these week after week for breakfast, so obsessed, pretty healthy AND I've found that if you put a wee bit of maple syrup on them they are even better.

I also tried to make these a healthier way, subbing WW flour for the AP, and subbing applesauce for the sugar, UMMM don't do this, they tasted WAY to healthy and really not even that edible, stick with the posted recipe.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, get pumped for many new recipes next week as I'm cooking for my sweet SIL's baby shower this weekend and have some new yummies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Here is your next perfect thing to serve at a girls dinner! This shrimp and quinoa salad was delicious. The shrimp has an awesome kick to it which really gives this dish a TON of flavor. I'm having the leftovers for lunch today, yumm yumm.

Also, if you have access to a Trader Joe's I would use their frozen roasted corn for the corn in this dish, it's delicious.

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette - Ellie Hickey

Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa Salad slightly adapted from Ellie Hickey


for the shrimp:

1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 tablespoon ground red pepper
3/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp

for the salad:

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 whole jalapeno, minced, seeds removed
salt & pepper

for the lemon vinaigrette:

2 lemons, juiced (need 1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
dash of sweetener (like honey)
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper


Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

Preheat broiler.

For the shrimp: combine first 5 ingredients in a small prep bowl. Combine oil and shrimp in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle spice mixture over shrimp until evenly coated. Place shrimp on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven; broil 7-8 minutes or until done, turning once.

For the lemon vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Combine cooled quinoa with bell peppers, avocado, beans, corn, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Top with shrimp.

Pour lemon vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

P.S. - As you can see from the picture, I left out a few ingredients from the original recipe like the cilantro and red onion!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Today is a special day and special days call for blondies. Not just any old blondies, but chocolate chip peanut butter ones, I mean is there really ANY better combo? I think not. Today is special because one of my sweet BIL's and SIL's are celebrating their two year wedding anniversary. I love to bake treats for my nearest and dearest on their anniversary and these two were lucky enough to receive a batch of these blondies this morning.

These are a stand by recipe of mine and I couldn't believe I hadn't posted them yet. You can never go wrong with one of Jenna's recipes and these are a cinch to whip up.

Enjoy! And happy happy to A&A!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run


1 stick butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray.

Brown your butter by melting it over medium heat on the stove until it becomes a golden caramel color  Be careful not to burn the butter—you only want to brown it.

Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a kitchen aid and add the brown sugar. Beat for about four minutes, until creamy. Add the egg and beat again. Then, add the flour, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, then add peanut butter and mix.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread out mixture in your greased pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Let cool before slicing into squares.