Cookie Butter Energy Balls. No-bake.


These are a take-off of my original energy balls.  I wanted to mix these goodies up and try some cookie butter (from Trader Joe’s) in there to see how they turned out.  They are fabulous!  A bit of a different flavor but oh-so-good!  You can tweak these however you prefer.  I omit chocolate chips and add butterscotch for my husband who is allergic to chocolate.  White chocolate chips would also be perfect!

These will make a great snack or a fast breakfast!  Pack them in your kids lunch for a yummy surprise!

1 c of old-fashioned oats
1 c of toasted coconut flakes
1/2 c of chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1/2 c of Cookie Butter (Speculoos) (regular peanut butter or nut butter can also be used)
1/2 c of wheat bran
1 tbl of chia seeds
1/3 c + 1 /4 tsp of honey (I used raw)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Mix it all together in a bowl and then refrigerate for 45 minutes.  Remove and make into balls.  I used a small scooper (1-1.5 inch) to press it in and then eject it.  Rolled it with my hands to get a ball shape all around and then place in a airtight container to refrigerate.  Will last 5-7 days but most likely they will be long gone before that!


Quinoa Granola Bars.


I think we all are trying to be a bit healthier post-Thanksgiving.  I’ve been meaning to whip up a granola bar recipe that my kids could take to school and my husband can take to work that isn’t filled with preservatives and ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  And I wanted to use ingredients that we love and have on hand.  These turned out great!  Can’t wait to hear what you think of them.





2 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup of wheat bran
1/3 cup of chia bran (or oat bran
1/3 cup of flax meal
2/3 cup of toasted coconut
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of quinoa (uncooked)
1/4 cup of slivered almonds or walnuts (whatever nuts you like)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots -whatever you love)
1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1/2 cup of agave or maple syrup
Optional:  1/4 cup of chocolate chips
Pinch or two of salt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 13×9 glass pan with parchment paper and set aside.  In your stand mixer, paddle attached, blend all of the ingredients together.  When done, spoon it into your prepared pan.  Take a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it over top.  Press the mixture down firmly with your hand.  The plastic will help you to do this neatly. Then bake for 35-38 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.  Let cool.  Remove by pulling up on the overhanging parchment paper.  Cut or break into pieces.  Enjoy!


Ground Beef Taco Soup.


We had our very first snow of the year, actually of all of 2012!  Although it was short-lived, it was fun while it lasted.  It put me in the mood for a nice, hearty soup to soothe my  soul and warm my bones. Every so often, you need a meal like that to make you smile.  To make it even more special, my youngest is home sick with me today and she helped me create this recipe – which makes it all the better.  She is my taco expert!


Olive Oil
2 lbs of lean ground sirloin beef (92% lean)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (I used one yellow and one green)
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
1 small (11 ounce) can corn
1 can of dark red kidney beans (low sodium)
1 tablespoon of diced chilis
10 ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilies or a can of diced tomatoes
20 ounces of chicken stock


In a Dutch oven (I use my Le Creuset Dutch oven).  Pour a splash of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and turn the heat source to medium.   Add the beef, onion and peppers.  Break up the meat as you cook it.  This should take about 8-10 minutes.  Then you will add all of the seasonings.  Give it a good stir.  Then add the corn, beans, chills, tomatoes and stock.  Bring it  to a boil and then cover and reduce the temperature to low.  Same the stock about 30 minutes into cooking to adjust the seasonings to your taste.

You can easily substitute the ground sirloin for ground turkey.  Add or omit the spices you like/don’t.  Make this your own :)




Eggnog Bread with Rum Glaze.



A friend just emailed me for this recipe and I thought I would add it quickly to my website.  I will be making this shortly for Christmas gifts for friends/neighbors (as well as taking better photos of it).  But for now, here are my not-so-fabulous pics of my very fabulous eggnog bread :)




I want to preface this recipe by stating that I make it in mini loaf pans (4 to be exact) for one batch.  If you don’t wish to use alcohol try using juice as a nice substitution.  Now onto the recipe:



2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of regular eggnog (not low fat)
2 tsp Spiced Rum
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter @ room temperature
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 (3.4 ounces of powdered) package of instant French vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350. Spray your loaf, muffin etc. pan with non stick spray with flour. 

In your mixer using the paddle – mix together the eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar, vanilla and butter. The butter will remain clumpy but that is just fine. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend until incorporated. Avoid over mixing. Again, the butter will remain clumpy and this is to be expected. The butter will melt when cooking. The dough will be thicker – be aware.  Pour into your prepared choice of pan(s). Bake your mini loaves for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. A regular loaf pan will take about 45-55 minutes. 

Rum glaze:
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 tsp eggnog
2 tbl Spiced Rum
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg

Whisk together and pour over your cooled eggnog bread.



Double Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti.


From the minute Thanksgiving is over I’m dreamily going through my days anticipating Christmas.  I know, most people are stressing, but I love this time of year.  Coincidentally, my birthday is very close, which only makes this time of year more fun for me!  I’ve been wanting to whip up my double chocolate peppermint biscotti and with a quiet house this afternoon, on this nutty cyber Monday, I took the opportunity.  They are as good as I remember from last year.  Nice hint of cool, crisp mint flavor, decadent smooth dark chocolate… ****I’m swooning.**

I love these as a little gift for neighbors, teachers or anyone who you want to share a lovely treat during the holidays with.  They package beautifully and ship perfectly.


2 cups of all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s)
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Wilbur)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons of butter (I use Smart Balance baking stick)
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2-3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips for the biscotti


20 candy canes (crushed)
1 cup of melted chocolate (dark)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon canola oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa, soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In your stand mixer, paddle attachment on, blend the sugar and butter for 2-3 minutes.  Then add the eggs.  Blend.  And finally the extract.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend.  This is a very firm dough.  Once combined, add the chocolate chips and mix by hand or with the mixer.

Separate the dough into two equal halves.  Then form a long log like shape that you flatten a bit.  It should measure about 12 or so inches long.  I like to make these smaller biscotti because they are very decadent with the chocolate coating.  Then repeat.  Place both logs onto your baking sheet and bake for 34-36 minutes or until firm.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then place on a cutting board and with a serrated knife, slice 1/2 thick pieces on a diagonal.  Place them back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12 minutes or until toasted nicely.

Melt your chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, keeping a watchful eye so it doesn’t burn.  Add the oil and mix until creamy and smooth.  Add the peppermint pieces to a bowl and set aside.  Once the biscotti are done toasting.  Dip one end of your cookie into the chocolate.  Let the excess drip off.  Then sprinkle some peppermint pieces over the melted chocolate.  Place on a drying rack to set up.  Once the chocolate has firmed up, store in a tupperware container with a lid for up to 4-5 days.  Enjoy!


CrAzY Fabulous Food Blogger Holiday Giveaway!!

Welcome to the Holiday Gift Extravaganza!

Hosted by:

Ground Beef Budget, In The Kitchen With KP, Cookin’ for my Captain, Noshing With The Nolands, Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends, Knead to Cook, Shawn’s Plate,, and The Giveaway Gals!

Nine Bloggers have come together to bring you one huge giveaway! Below you will find 18 wonderful Holiday Gifts, for 18 lucky winners! Black Friday may have their sales and discounts, but these awesome deals are FREE! We have a diverse assortment of goodies, so we are sure you will find something you want to win!

To get the party started, we are giving away five different cookbooks.

Anyone loving Italian food knows Lidia of Lidia’s Italy. We have one copy of Lidia’s Favorite Recipes Cookbook, ARV $24.95 .


We have one copy of the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook -The Christmas Table, ARV $16.95.


We have one copy of the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook – Quick and Easy Christmas, ARV $16.95. Both Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks are perfect for the upcoming holiday season. You can see more information about Gooseberry Patch on Facebook.


Next we have one copy of the Holiday Slow Cooker Cookbook, ARV $15.95. A great gift for that crock pot chef on your gift list.


Out final cookbook we are giving away is The I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook, ARV $17.95. Who doesn’t love their veggies?


As food bloggers, we needed to share some incredibly yummy gourmet treats you don’t want to miss!

Up first, we have the set of one 16 oz jar of Mixed Hot Pepper Rings, and one 16 oz jar of Hot Pickled Garlic from The Carolina Sauce Company.


Next we are sharing a set of 3 savory teas from Millie’s Savory Teas. You can see more information about Millies Savory Teas on Facebook.


Maybe some sassy assorted sauces and flavored mustards from Saucy Mama are the treat you really want to win! You can find more information about Saucy Mama on Facebook.


We love sharing these sweet gift cards! Who doesn’t love a gift card to buy what you really want, or use it as a gift for that hard to buy for cousin.

one $25 Home Goods gift card

one $25 Walmart gift card


one $25 e-gift certificate for, US residents only


Our Foodie Blogger group giveaway would not be complete without including some must have kitchen items.

We have one Silpat half sheet baking mat.


Next up, one Noshing With The Nolands Apron, ARV retail $28.95 (Canadian). A great item that will keep your holiday clothes spot free while you cook.


One Christmas Theme Flour Sack Towel, ARV $12.00 from Sweet Bohemian Life,,


Key Candles lovely Evergreen Soy Tealights. The tealights are handmade from soy and paper-core wicks. They have a creamy green color and they smell like evergreen trees. Perfect scent for the upcoming holiday season.


A set of 2 Nelons CD’s brought to you by The Nelons. An Evening In December (pre-release) & Come On Home – New Release, ARV $29.98 will surely get your guests in the holiday spirit during your next get together.

Mott’s Clamato Prize Pack – 5 clamato drinking glasses, 4 coupons, clamato branded plastic ice tub, rimming tray, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and Mott’s Clamato Caesar rimmer. This will certainly make your next brunch a smashing success!

And finally our GRAND PRIZE!

A fabulous breakfast bonanza from Torill’s Table! Chef’s Choice Waffle Iron ARV $85, three Waffle Mixes ARV $9.95 each, Ladle ARV $4.99, and Whip ARV $7.99. This set will go to one winner. Can’t you just smell the baking goodness and maple syrup?

Giveaway starts 11/26/12 at 12:01 AM, and ends 12/06/12 at 12:01 AM.

All of the prizes are listed on the Rafflecopter form below, and all winners will be chosen at random. Entering the giveaway qualifies you to win any of the prizes. There is not a way to enter to win a specific prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mandatory Entry must be completed, or all optional entries will be rendered invalid.
The number of eligible entries received, determines the odds of winning.
By entering, you are giving permission to use your email to contact you in regards to prizes.
Your information will be protected and never shared.
Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.
All entries will be verified.
Winner will be selected in a random drawing.
Winner will be notified by email, and have 24 hours to respond with shipping information.
If no response after 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.

The winners of this contest will be announced within 14 days after the contest end date.

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in associated with Twitter, Facebook or any other entity unless otherwise specified.

Disclosure: All prize shipments will be handled independently by the contributors and/or sponsors.


Eggnog Baked Donuts.

Okay I’m not a huge fan of Eggnog (to drink) but love it baked into treats, as a recent discovery.  These little treats pack a lovely subtle eggnog flavor and pair that up with a cinnamon sugar crust on the top… folks, this is holiday perfection!

*Adaptation from Ina Garten.


Baking spray with flour
Donut pans (I used mini size)
2 cup of all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur’s)
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup of eggnog
2 tablespoons of butter, melted (always use unsalted so you can control your sodium)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract


8 tablespoons of butter (I used Smart Balance) melted on the stove over low heat source
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of ground cinnamon


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your donut pans and set aside.

In you a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Sift the dry ingredients once.

In a separate smaller bowl, blend the egg, eggnog, butter and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.  Then add to the dry ingredients. Whisk until incorporated.  Then fill each donut well about 1/2 or a tiny bit more with the batter.  Bake.  For regular sized donut pans, bake for 17-19 minutes.  For mini donuts, bake for about 9-11 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted comes out clean, the donuts are ready.

Remove and let cool for 4 minutes.  Mix the topping ingredients in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Then dip one side in the melted butter and then dip into the cinnamon and sugar topping mixture.   Place on a platter and watch them disappear.


Cranberry Orange Relish.


This is one of my favorites.  I love cranberries and oranges together.  Perfect as a side or on your leftover turkey sandwiches.  My youngest daughter loves to make this dish – so it’s totally kid friendly.  Great way to get everyone to pitch in and help with dinner prep.  Also, this can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge.


2 bags of fresh cranberries, washed
2 large orange or 6 smaller oranges
3/4 cup of sugar


Over a medium flame, place one bag of your cranberries in a medium sized saucepan.  Zest one orange or 3 smaller and add that to the pan as well, along with the sugar and the juice from the entire orange.  Cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes.  Then remove from the heat.

In a food processor, add the second bag of cranberries and the remaining orange segments (either from one large orange or from 3 smaller).  Pulse until finely chopped.

Once the hot mixture cools, blend with the food processor mixture and give a good stir.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.


Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. {addictive}


My daughters fell in love with Trader Joe’s cookie butter.  Admittedly, it is quite good.  We’re hosting a football party tonight and I thought I would whip up some chocolate chip cookies and thought I HAD to use some as we just stocked up big time at Trader Joe’s.  These cookies are super light and oh-so flavorful.  Quite a nice treat for football viewing or for holiday baking.  A fun twist on a classic.


1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter (I used Smart Balance baking stick), at room temperature
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1.5 cups of All Purpose flour (I use King Arthur’s)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Guittard Chocolate Chips or whatever chocolate chips you prefer


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.

In your stand mixer, blend the butter and sugars until fluffy.  This should take about 4 minutes.  Scrape the sides down and blend again.  Add your cookie butter, egg & vanilla.  Blend until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, soda and salt together with a whisk.  Add to the butter mixture and blend for 1 minute.  Add and blend, by hand, the chocolate chips.  Drop with a cookie scoop onto your prepared pans. Leave about 2 inches in between.  Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden around the edges.


Garlic Chobani Mashed Potatoes.

My family clammers for my mashed potatoes.  They are super creamy thanks to my secret that I will reveal in the recipe and with a garlic punch the flavor is totally kicked up.  Chobani adds protein to the dish which we all need.  With Thanksgiving around the corner… you gotta put this on your menu!


2 lbs of red potatoes, washed and quartered (I keep the skins on the potatoes but you can peel.)
Large pot of salted, boiling water
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
3 slices of cheddar cheese (aged is better) I used Boar’s Head Red Wax Cheddar thinly sliced
1/4 cup of plain Chobani yogurt
Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid from the potatoes prior to draining


I bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add a few pinches of salt.  Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender.  BEFORE you drain, remove a cup or so of the liquid and reserve.  Drain the potatoes and place them in your stand mixer or bowl.  With the paddle attachment ready to use.  Add the garlic,  butter, Chobani and cheddar.  Start on low and mix.  Add some of the reserved water, about 1/4 cup at time, until you achieve your desired creaminess.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  Serve nice and hot.