Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut butter cookies with Hershey Kisses & a childhood favorite. Need I say more?


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup more for rolling dough balls in)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 bag Hershey Kisses


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the sugars, shortening, butter, and peanut butter. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and incorporate dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Using a large 2 tbsp. cookie scoop, smooth out the balls and roll in sugar. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes.

Remove from oven and lightly press a Kiss into the center of each cookie.

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Chile Relleno Chicken Soup

Chile Relleno Chicken Soup

I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but springtime in the Midwest is unpredictable, at best. It’s quite possible to experience all 4 seasons in a week’s time starting the week with temps in the high 80’s, prime weather conditions for tornados, to torrential downpours, and then even so much snow that there are school closures! All at the end of April and in the beginning of May. Before too long it will be miserably hot and humid so I enjoy the variety.

This past weekend was wet & rainy, cloudy & gray, which I happen to love, and affirms my belief that I could live in the Pacific Northwest with no problems. I’m a natural introvert so spending all day alone in my kitchen was a joy. Therapy, really. And this soup? It warms and nourishes and was gone the next day. Chris informed me this could go into our regular rotation.


  • 5 Poblano peppers, roasted
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  •  1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 32oz container of chicken broth
  • S&P to taste
  • 3/4 of a rotisserie chicken, deboned & shredded (I say 3/4 because we all snacked on it, but by all means, add as much chicken as you want!)
  • 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese, cut into tbsps.
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Roast the peppers until skin is charred and blistered. You can do this over the open flame on a gas stove, or by heating your broiler to high and placing poblanos within a few inches of the broiler (turning periodically to get all sides charred). Once charred, place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool, then rub/ peel the skin to remove as much of the blistered skin. Remove the stems, deseed, and finely chop using a food processor.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add onions and garlic and cook for five minutes. Add cumin and peppers and stir for about a minute. Pour in the broth and season with freshly ground salt & pepper to taste, increase heat to a rapid boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add cream cheese and 2 cups of cheese and whisk until melted and incorporated. Stir in the shredded chicken. Serve and top with remaining cheese.

Adapted from:


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Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Sandwich Cake



back slice

side slice

This year while our birthday celebrations weren’t so quiet, my time in the kitchen was lacking. All of our birthdays are within 3 weeks of each other, and sometimes in the years passed, by the end of it all we are simply caked out. For my birthday we spent a few days in Colorado before Chris and I left the girls with my parents and headed to Vegas for a few days, but when we arrived to Colorado mom had made me the infamous carrot cake so we all had some of that. Bri turned 16 this year and her request was a marbled cake with whipped topping ordered from the bakery. Done. We spent Chris’s birthday in Kansas City for the John Mayer concert, but I did end up making a small chocolate cake for him (using my favorite recipe halved) which we had on Easter. Leah rounds out all of our birthday celebrations and she requested an ice cream sandwich cake so that is what she got.

Full cake


  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 gallon Cookies & Cream ice cream, softened
  • 1 box of ice cream sandwiches
  • 1 8oz. container of Cool Whip


Spray the bottom and sides of a springform pan with non-stick spray. Crush the Oreos into a fine crumb, reserving 10-12 for the top of the cake. Stir 1 1/2 tbsp. of milk into the crumbs and press into the bottom and sides of the springform pan.

With the ice cream sandwiches, cut each one in half and then cut each half lengthwise for a total of 4 pieces. Line these pieces up on the sides of the pan, covering the inside perimeter. Spoon in the softened ice cream, spreading and smoothing as you go. Top with Cool Whip and garnish with Oreos. Freeze for at least an hour before serving.

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

sweet & spicy chicken lettuce wraps

Tap, tap, tap. “Is this thing on?” I say as I lean into the mic. Why, yes! Yes, it is on! It’s always on, I just have to do my part. It’s been quiet in these parts and there’s no reason why other than lack of posting even though I’ve been in the kitchen. Time to remedy that with a recipe I tried back in December.

We have a serious on again off again relationship with carbs & we’re just never truly willing to say, “Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!” Because we’re always welcoming them back with arms (and mouths) wide open. Chris liked these more so than I. As much as I like sweet stuff, when it comes to chicken, I prefer much more spice than sweet. Next time I make these, I will adjust accordingly.


for the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sriracha
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger

for the filling:

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 green onions, sliced, separating the green from the white
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts, drained & chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, deseeded & diced
  • 2 heads butter lettuce, rinsed & patted dry


In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the ground chicken, brown and crumble. While the meat is cooking, add 2 tbsps. of the sauce & incorporate into meat. Once cooked completely, transfer meat to a plate; set aside.

Return the skillet to the stove, add the remaining oil the white of the green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute and return the cooked chicken back to the skillet & stir in the water chestnuts, red pepper, and remainder of the sauce, stirring to combine. Cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Prior to serving, stir in the green of the onion. Wrap with lettuce leaves.

Adapted from:


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Blueberry Mug Muffin


Confession: This is so good and I’ve made it so many times that in retrospect I should have just made a batch of muffins! Honestly, though, it tastes just as good as if it was from a batch.


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar, sprinkle more on top, if desired
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • dash of salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, a few more added to the top, if desired


Melt the butter; set aside. In a large mug add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt and whisk together. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and butter to the mug and blend  until smooth – pay attention to the bottom sides of the mug.

Microwave on high for 1 1/2 t0 2 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes because if you spoon right in, you’ll burn your mouth on the hot blueberries.

I’ve also used the above recipe and in lieu of blueberries, used chocolate chips:


And raspberries:


As you can see, the options are endless.

Recipe adapted from:


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Best of 2016 Recipes: Most Viewed vs. Most Liked

It was at the beginning of the year when I realized WordPress hadn’t sent out their annual report. Granted, I hadn’t done anything with it before other than look at and file it away, but I was still curious. It turns out they’re not generating it this year so I had to do the fact checking myself. In years past, the report generated most viewed posts, but when I was looking, I discovered a bit of variance between most viewed and most liked.

The most viewed recipes of 2016 were:



Kind of makes me want to have an apple fritter or make this bread. How about you?



I love breakfast and these rank right up on the top of my list as favorites.



Chris loves this dish.



Oh, carrot cake, how I love thee. Nom, nom.



A perfect spring time cake.

Now, the most liked recipes of 2016 weren’t always the most viewed:



Easy, delicious, and flavorful.



Ah, yes. A repeat favorite.



I love these scones. They’re most definitely a favorite of mine.



It’s like totally groovy, man.



Lemon and blueberry is such a good combination.

Looking forward to 2017 creations!

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Best of 2015 Recipes

According to the annual report, the 5 most viewed recipes of 2015 are:



I’m sure the girls would like it if I made this again. Leah likes to get this at restaurants on the rare occasion we order dessert. Of course at restaurants it comes with ice cream. Can’t go wrong there.



We do love us some chicken fried rice. It’s part of our Christmas Eve tradition – church, dinner at Kobe’s, a local Japanese Steak House, followed by opening of one present each.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake is all for Chris!



I love this salad and Chris has learned he likes it too. That was shocking! This might make an appearance at dinner tonight.



Cold, snowy winter days go hand in hand with baking.


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