Chocolate Mint Cookies

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Growing up, my mom always made chocolate mint cookies for Christmas. I remember helping to put the little Andes mints on the top when the cookies came out of the oven, and I’d often attempt to sneak a few into my mouth for good measure. Of course, when there weren’t enough mints for the last tray of cookies it was glaringly obvious who was guilty of stealing them, but a bit of mischief was part of the fun of baking with Mom.

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Offbeat’s Picks: NoshThis Bacon Crack

NoshThis Bacon Crack

I recently found out about an amazing candy company called NoshThis.  Finding new (favorite) candy companies is not something I need right now, but sometimes they just sneak up on me!  I was innocently browsing cooking videos on YouTube (woops) when I came across this video about Kai Kronfield, NoshThis founder.  I’d like to think of myself as a reserved shopper, but I would be fooling no one.  The second Kai mentioned chocolate, almonds, toffee and bacon.. I was loading up the cart and placing an order.

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Peppermint Mocha Soap

Peppermint Mocha Soap 1

When the cold weather hits, you can almost always find me with a hot beverage in hand – cider, tea, hot chocolate and nearly any type of coffee concoction. One of my favorite wintertime treats is the peppermint mocha. It’s the perfect drink to kick off the Christmas season – chocolatey, minty and needlessly caloric. What more could you ask for?

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

When I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles last week, my taste-testers (i.e. family and friends) ate them up in no time. I took that as a good sign, so I’m at it again with the no-bake no-egg cookie dough creations. This time in the form of fudge!

Just like the truffles, this recipe comes from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis. I originally borrowed this cookbook from a friend, but after making two delicious and indulgent treats I think I may be ordering it for myself. I hope my taste-testers are OK with trying out a few more cookie dough recipes!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

My husband, Colson, is definitely the sweet tooth in our house. Don’t get me wrong, I love dessert. But I can go without it. It’s not that I have some uncanny sense of self-control – I’d just rather have a plate of nachos or a second piece of lasagna instead. Much to Colson’s frustration, when his dessert craving hits our sugar inventory is nearly nonexistent.

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Our Open “Haus” Menu

I recently shared a few creative and simple entertaining ideas inspired by my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. As that event was being planned I thought, “Why not make this a weekend event and host an open house at our place the next day?”

OK, I’ll admit it was quite busy cooking, cleaning and setting up for two consecutive open houses. But it was totally worth it! We had a great time on Saturday with FreshGround. Then on Sunday, my husband and I invited friends, family and neighbors to our open “Haus” (our play on words since our last name is Hauser).

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Chocolate Hazelnut Soap

This past weekend, one of my best friends came to visit. She and I have known each other since those uncomfortable junior high days of braces, over-sized glasses and zero sense of style. Fortunately, we survived the preteen years and have come out the other side with an awesome friendship and (hopefully) a little less adolescent awkwardness.

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We spent this past weekend hanging out downtown, eating great food, reminiscing about old times and of course, crafting. I couldn’t wait to share my new love of soap-making. I’ll admit, after my last soaping mishap I was a bit nervous to create my own recipe. But when you’re crafting with friends, the mistakes are half as frustrating and the successes twice as fun, so why not give it another shot?

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s not much in the baking world that beats a classic chocolate chip cookie. The smell, the taste, the warmth when they come right out of the oven…yum! They’re just so good!

Chocolate chip cookies bring me back to the days of tip-toeing into the kitchen late at night to get my hands on that chocolatey goodness. But inevitably, as I made my way to those prized treats, I’d run into my brother who had embarked on the same exact mission: cookies or bust.

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Healthy Cocoa Banana Almond Smoothie

I don’t actually remember buying a truckload of bananas, but I keep finding more in the fruit bowl. What to do with a mysteriously never-ending supply of bananas? I already did bread so I considered doing cake, cookies or muffins, but I was in the mood for something quick. I decided to throw together a simple and healthy smoothie!

This would have taken me a total of 5 minutes if my blender didn’t decide to stop working. Thank goodness we keep a backup! You never know when you’re gonna have a blending emergency…

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Fall Baking & The Perfect Brownie

By the time mid-August hits, I’m officially in fall mode. I love summer, but there’s something about fall that just inspires me. The fashion, the new candle scents from Bath & Body Works, the planning of our annual apple-picking trip, and last but not least, the baking.

The fall-time baking itch hit pretty hard the last few weeks, so I dove into my cookbooks, Food Network magazines and favorite baking blogs in search of the perfect dessert to kick off my favorite season. It wasn’t long before I found a recipe from Ina (in the latest FN magazine) for brownies! It originally called for a caramel drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt, but I decided to skip the toppings in honor of my chocolate obsession.

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