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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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 Chip Apple Muffins

Two consecutive muffin posts!  We clearly can’t get enough muffins around here.  Today’s recipe was sort of thrown together for the purpose of using up leftover applesauce.  The results were above and beyond my expectations!  When we got back from the orchards a few weeks ago, I went a little applesauce crazy and ended up with 2 large containers stashed in the fridge.  I figured I’d have some for breakfast or a snack every day, but honestly I’m not enough of a straight applesauce lover to tolerate it constantly.  It was wonderful for the first few days though!

Anyway, if you’re going to have too much of something, you’re lucky if it’s applesauce.  There’s so much you can do with the stuff!  I was brainstorming and browsing for ideas when I happened upon an apple strudel muffin recipe that looked delicious.  It called for chopped apples instead of applesauce, but I decided to improvise.  The strudel part was nixed when I added chocolate chips as the primary sweetener.  I couldn’t get the image of a big juicy milk chocolate covered apple out of my head, courtesy of the e-mails I’ve been getting from Amy’s Gourmet Apples.

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Homemade New Jersey Deli Bagels

There are a lot of things I miss about New Jersey.  I miss being familiar with a place because I grew up there.  I miss the weekly football gatherings at my dad’s house, having about 50 authentic Italian restaurants within a 5 mile radius, only being a few (traffic-filled) minutes away from Manhattan, the “accent” that I didn’t realize existed until I moved to Kentucky – and I miss the bagels.

Every deli in New Jersey sells bagels.  I’m not sure which are better, New York bagels or New Jersey bagels, but I have to say the texture and flavor of both are something I haven’t found anywhere else.  We have a Panera nearby and they definitely make a decent bagel – but the slightly dense, slightly sweet, slightly salty, steamy and rich bread encased in the chewy caramelized crust of a fresh New Jersey bagel just can’t be beat.

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Kitchen Mishaps + Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

I woke up ready to bake. I’ve had 2 jars of PB2 (powdered peanut butter) sitting in my pantry for about two weeks now and I’d been wanting to try my hand at some low calorie peanut butter cookies. I knew PB2 would be an awesome substitute for full-fat peanut butter in a lot of different recipes, but I wasn’t sure how well it would fare in baking. Let’s call this my noble attempt.

First off, the number 1 rule of baking is probably this: make sure you have all necessary ingredients in the house before you start mixing your dough. Oops! I had to run out for eggs with a half-measured bowl of peanut butter & sugar sitting on the counter. Not off to a great start.

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A Quick Tip for Snack-a-holics Like Me!

I wanted to share this super simple (super obvious) snack tip that saves money and helps prevent over-snacking! When you buy bagged snack foods like chips, pretzels, crackers, nuts, etc., portion out individual servings into reusable baggies or containers before you toss them in the pantry. I’ve found that when I snack, I can eat 4-5 servings without even realizing it. When I have individual serving baggies, I grab one and I’m good to go!

Some companies are onto me. They know I want a snack with a healthy serving size and a low calorie count, so they started making “100 Calorie Packs”. I decided to do a comparison to see if buying the packs instead of making them myself was actually worth it. I did my comparison with the Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds in dark chocolate, my current snack obsession.

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