Extra-Creamy Hummus + The One Trick You Need For Smooth Hummus

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I may be the Smart Cookie Cook, but I’m not always the most logical. I’ve made how many hummus recipes for this site? A gazillion? But in all that chickpea goodness, I haven’t given you guys a classic, original hummus yet.

I know I’m weird, but that’s why you guys like me, right?

My Extra-Creamy Hummus lives up to its name, and I’ve got the one trick you need to make the best, smoothest hummus ever. The key is steaming the chickpeas in the microwave quick before you puree up the hummus. This makes them break down easier and gives you the most velvety texture you can dream of.

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I’ve been chowin’ down on a LOT of store-bought hummus lately because the stuff is so good, but man, it’s expensive. I figured I would save a lot of money if I just made my own. It’s not like I can use the lazy excuse either because making hummus is literally easier than going to the store.

All that aside, the most important thing is that this is even more delicious than the hummus in the store.

I make a lot of fun, inventive recipes on this site, but everyone needs a few go-to favorite recipes that they keep on-hand and use again and again. This Extra-Creamy Hummus is one of those recipes. You’ll pull it out for parties, get-togethers, and everyday snacking. However, traditional as it may be, you’ve still got the Smart Cookie trick of steaming the chickpeas to give this hummus a leg up on the competition.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you’re making this for a crowd, double the recipe.
  2. If you want to go an extra step for creaminess, shell the chickpeas.
  3. The more oil you add, the smoother this will be.
  4. Serve this with chips, Beanitos, pita bread, veggies, and more.

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Extra-Creamy Hummus
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 heaping teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4-6 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Place chickpeas in a small microwave-safe bowl. Fill ¾ with water and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave 30 seconds more.
  2. Drain chickpeas and transfer to food processor. Puree until smooth then add garlic and 3 tbsp. oil. Pulse until it starts to come together then puree continuously while streaming in the remaining oil.
  3. Add salt and stream in lemon juice while pulsing. If you’d like it smoother, you can add more oil. Taste to decide if it’s tangy enough for your liking. If not, add more lemon juice.
  4. Chill before serving.

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3-Ingredient Mini Blueberry Fritters

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I don’t know if this even counts as a recipe because it’s so ridiculously easy. What I do know is that I am about to supply you with something very dangerous. The ability to make something this addicting gives you a great power that you must know how to wield properly.

All you need to do is grab a can of Pillsbury Grands Blueberry Biscuits, rip the biscuits into tiny pieces, fry ‘em up in bubbling hot oil, and roll ‘em in powdered sugar. The result is an irresistibly crisp, golden exterior with a fluffy, tender center. They taste like a fatter, blueberry-studded version of funnel cake.

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Anyone can make these 3-Ingredient Mini Blueberry Fritters, but no one can resist them. When the smell of them frying starts to waft through the house, something happens to your self control. Before you know it, ten of these golden beauties are gone, and you’re still going in for more.

Forget spending the day in the hot sun at the fair. You can have fried goodness in your own home today. Both kids and adults will marvel over your fried food talents, and only you will know these Mini Blueberry Fritters were only 3 ingredients.

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A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I know your frying instincts tell you to crank up the temperature, but you’ve got to cook these on a lower heat. Otherwise, the outside crisps up in seconds, and the inside is still a doughy mess.
  2. Powdered sugar coating is optional. A vanilla glaze would also work well.
  3. I strategically chose this mini size so they’d cook quickly and evenly.
  4. Although these are still tasty the next day, they do lose their crispness. That’s why I recommend eating them fresh.

3-Ingredient Mini Blueberry Fritters
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 24 fritters

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, bring oil to medium-low heat. Wait for it to start bubbling.
  2. Tear each biscuit into 4 equally sized pieces and flatten slightly.
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  3. Drop 8 into the oil at a time. They should sizzle when they hit the oil. If not, take them out and wait for the oil to get hotter.
  4. Cook evenly on each size until the reach a deep golden brown (about 8 min each side). Let the excess oil drip off then place on a plate lined with paper towels to cool slightly.
  5. Pour sugar into a bowl and roll fritters in sugar until evenly coated. Enjoy.

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Summery Stove-Top Quinoa w/ Veggies & Herbs

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Holy cannoli, my Summery Stove-Top Quinoa w/ Veggies & Herbs was off-the-charts good, but it was so unexpected. I never anticipate for dishes that are a) this fast, b) this easy, and c) this healthy, to taste this freakin’ awesome. I took one forkful then just marveled over the sheer amount of flavor packed in there.

There is magic in simmering a few flavorful ingredients together. You see, as you cook the tomatoes, they release their juices and fuse with the olive oil and shallots. Add some garlic on top of that, robust Italian herbs, and a little parmesan cheese, and the whole thing creates its own light coating of succulent sauce.

This was something so tasty, I assumed I could eat a ton of it. On the contrary, that protein-packed quinoa makes this incredibly filling, so I didn’t need a lot to feel satisfied.

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I also got the BF’s seal of approval, which is always exciting when I make something this nutritious. He’s very proud of himself for being well-versed in the world of quinoa now. But can you blame him? Quinoa is tender, tasty, and loaded with nutrients. Adding juicy vegetables like cherry tomatoes and corn only makes it that much better.

You weeknight summer meal isn’t complete without this 30-minute stove-top dream. It’s so flavorful and filling. Serve it up alongside burgers, chicken, or whatever you like.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can find the herb paste in the produce section by the fresh herbs. I highly recommend them because they’re delicious and won’t go to waste. Plus, there’s no chopping required.
  2. You can make this same dish with brown rice or multigrain pasta.
  3. If you want even more veggie goodness, add zucchini.

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Summery Stove-Top Quinoa w/ Veggies & Herbs
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 4.8-oz. box Early Choice Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Quinoa
  • 1 12-oz. bag Bird Eye’s Steamable Sweet Corn
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Italian Herb Paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to box directions. Set aside.
  2. Cook corn according to package directions. Set aside.
  3. Bring 3 tbsp. of oil to medium-low heat in a large pot. Add shallots and tomatoes and saute until tomatoes are tender and begin releasing their juices, about 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in quinoa, corn, garlic, herb paste, cheese, salt, pepper, and remaining olive oil until well combined. Turn off heat and serve.

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The Weekender: Cats Will Be Cats

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I feel like summer is slipping away much too quickly, and that is particularly depressing this summer because it’s my last “real” summer. What do I mean by that? I mean I’m graduating this December, so there will be no more summers off for me. It’s off to the real world I go.

Well, now that I’m good and depressed, let’s consult the one remedy that will cheer me up again: food! It’s been another wonderful week of eating, and I’m ready to relive every bite with you.

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Strawberry Lemonade Bars
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  2. 30-Minute Caramelized Brussel Sprout Penne Saute
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  3. Reese’s Stuffed Mini Cupcakes
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  4. 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Smart Cookie
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Several of the recipes you saw this week were created for the benefit I participated in last weekend. I worked with a local restaurant, Seymour’s Diner, to raise money for friends of mine that lost their home in a fire a few months ago. The Smart Cookie bake sale alone raised $300. Of course, I could not have raised even half that without the help of my BF. I tell him all the time he’s the best sous-chef ever, but he’s much more than that.

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And I owe a big thanks to everyone who donated delicious treats to sell.
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Now, can we talk about how incredibly odd cats are? I had to take the fur babies to the vet this week, and it was practically like they wanted to go. And yet, all they did was growl and hate life while we were there.

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Then, I’ve got this one, who thinks the perfect place to snuggle up is next to my weights. Someone please explain cat logic to me.

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And when they’re not sleeping on carriers and weights, they’re sleeping on laptops.
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*Sigh*

See you on Monday!

 

30 Things You Didn’t Know About Smart Cookie

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I love giving you guys a chance to step behind the scenes at Smart Cookie and see all of the innerworkings. That’s why I love our weekly Weekender posts that give you little snippets of Smart Cookie life. You guys must too because the Weekender is often the most viewed post of the week!

Today, I’m going to let you in on a few behind-the-scenes secrets that even the Weekender doesn’t reveal. I’m divulging all the little things you don’t realize about my posts, recipes, the site, and myself.

  1. A lot of the packages of food you see in Smart Cookie Shopping photos are already empty because I have no self-control, and I eat all the food before I get around to photographing.
  2. Most of my recipes are born on a whim. I get hit with inspiration as suddenly as a tree gets struck by lightning.
  3. Many of the people in my life call me “Cookie” more than they do “Colleen.”
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  4. All the food I make goes to one of four places: my stomach, my boyfriend’s stomach, my boyfriend’s family’s stomachs, or work.
  5. The most common compliment I hear about my site is how doable my recipes are, and how easy they are to follow.
  6. The most common complaint is that I don’t post more meat recipes.
  7. The second most common complaint is from Sister Cookie who never fails to whine on days I don’t post.
  8. Number 6 comes from people who don’t actually read my posts. I always provide a way to add meat to a dish, and there are several meat recipes on the site like this 3-Cheese Bacon Party Bread.
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  9. There are many failed recipes you never get to see. Just last week I tried to make watermelon-shaped sugar cookies, and long story short, the dough wound up in the trash.
  10. People in my life get legitimately angry at me when they don’t get to try the food I make.
  11. I work out of an extremely tiny apartment kitchen with a sad supply of pots, pans, etc. But I make due.
  12. You know how people go up to their comedian friend and tell them jokes, thinking that their friend will find them really funny and use their jokes on stage? People do the same thing to me with recipe ideas.
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  13. I spend more money on groceries than I do anything else.
  14. I have a habit of absentmindedly putting food back in weird places. On time, I put basil in a mixing bowl in a cupboard.
  15. Making one post can take many, many hours. I have to take the time to buy ingredients and cook the food. Then writing the recipe and post and editing photos takes 2-4 hours alone.
  16. My absolute favorite thing about food blogging is when you guys make my recipes and share your comments and pictures with me. It makes my day!

    This is from a reader, Ashlee

    This is from a reader, Ashlee

  17. I have a small apron collection, with one for almost every holiday.
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  18. What you don’t get to see are my catastrophic messes. Nobody can trash a kitchen with the simplest of recipes like I can.
  19. I cannot write a post with someone reading over my shoulder. It is my biggest pet peeve.
  20.  The Smart Cookie Cook is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Instagram!
  21. I LOVE getting comments from you guys on every post, so don’t be shy!
  22. Food blogging invades every facet of my life. I take pictures at restaurants and during meals. I make special grocery trips to get new foods to try for Smart Cookie Shopping. I carry a camera at all times. I dump extra food off on my friends and family. I sit down and write a post every night. I’m on social media 24/7. I wouldn’t change any of it.
  23. My most viewed post of all-time is my Party Bread.
  24. I do most of my cooking for the blog on the weekends when I have the most time.
  25. There is a huge variety of food on the site. Just about anything you want, you’ll find: meals, sides, sweets, snacks, cheesy, salty, etc.
  26. I use the same little end table for all my food photos. I don’t have any fancy equipment, but my camera is decent.
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    Same table

  27. I prefer natural lighting, and you’ll notice there’s a period of time when almost all my food photos were taken outdoors on a table. But then, I moved to an apartment complex, and I have nowhere to go outside anymore.
  28. There is healthy AND indulgent food on this site to mirror most people’s diets these days, which incorporate a little of both.
  29. There are approximately 850 posts on Smart Cookie as of today, and counting!
  30. The name of the Smart Cookie mascot (the dapper little cookie with glasses you see at the top of the page) is Mr. McChip.
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Now you know a few little tidbits about Smart Cookie that you probably wouldn’t have guessed. What other things would you like to know?

 

 

30-Minute Caramelized Brussel Sprout & Penne Saute

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You just don’t get it. Brussel sprouts aren’t all bad. Sure, when you boil ‘em and pile ‘em on a plate all soggy and bitter, they’re not very good. Heck, even I won’t eat them like that. But when you chop them up super fine and sauté them until they reach sweet, buttery & caramelized perfection, they become so succulent and irresistible that you forget you’re eating a vegetable.

Just hear me out.

My BF told me a long time ago that he doesn’t like brussel sprouts, but I’m stubborn and I was determined to at least try getting him to like them. I figured that caramelizing them was my best bet, and adding pasta certainly couldn’t hurt. If my 30-Minute Caramelized Brussel Sprout Penne Saute didn’t change my BF’s feelings about sprouts, then nothing would.

When I smelled this stuff as it was sizzling away in the pan, I was hopeful. There was no way somebody could resist it. And yet, I still held my breath as I watched him take the first forkful and painfully awaited his reaction.

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SUCCESS. The Smart Cookie Cook does it again! I knew he couldn’t resist the caramelized goodness, and I was right. Let’s all take a moment to give him props for even trying it. A lot of people wouldn’t have even taken that brave first bite. He is a courageous soul.

I challenge you to feed this to any brussel sprout skeptics in your life. This is a super quick meal you can make in about 30-minutes with only a handful of ingredients. For something so light, it has a rich taste and layers upon layers of flavors.

Let’s all expand our palates tonight and try this delectable sauté. Change what you know about sprouts.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Bacon would be fantastic in here.
  2. For some crunch, you can add chopped walnuts.
  3. Grated parmesan works instead of shredded if that’s all you have; just don’t let me catch you using that crap in the green canister.
  4. Feel free to use any pasta shape you like.
  5. To avoid burning the butter, do not put the heat above medium, and make sure to stir occasionally.

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30-Minute Caramelized Brussel Sprout Penne Saute
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 8 oz. multigrain penne pasta
  • 8 oz. shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Optional: crumbled bacon

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat, cook pasta according to box directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add brussel sprouts and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized. This will take about 30 minutes. They’ll shrink in size and crisp up.
  3. Fold in pasta, olive oil, garlic, cheese, salt and pepper until evenly combined. Enjoy.

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Reese’s Stuffed Mini Cupcakes

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You know that critical moment in life when you have to decide between candy or cake for dessert? I don’t, because I’ve got Reese’s Stuffed Mini Cupcakes to give me the best of both worlds.

These little mini cupcakes of soft, moist chocolate heaven cradle rich Reese’s peanut butter cups while sporting a mound of creamy peanut butter frosting. I strategically chose a miniature size so that you can pop ‘em one by one like you would a piece of candy. A whole cupcake can be a little much, whereas these beautiful peanut butter dreams are perfectly snackable.

My favorite thing is to not tell people that there’s a Reese’s cup inside. They’re thrilled enough as it is to eat a peanut butter-chocolate cake, but when they bite through to the surprise inside, it’s like winning the freakin’ lottery.

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Plus, this mini size just encourages sharing. Spread the chocolate-peanut butter love and really make a few friends by passing these cuties out to whomever you want. Or, if you prefer, you can binge eat all of them in one sitting because they’re mini, so they’re not as bad for you, right?

Just let me dream. There ain’t nothing like dreaming about swirls of smooth peanut butter frosting atop a fluffy chocolate cake that’s hiding a Reese’s surprise. That’s poetry right there.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe, and I highly recommend bookmarking it for all your future chocolate cake needs.
  2. Craving more chocolate peanut butter bliss? Try my Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake with Cookies & Cream Filling.
  3. Piping frosting seems intimidating, but it’s actually super easy and time-saving.
  4. Feel free to decorate these with more mini Reese’s.
  5. Canola oil can be substituted with equal parts vegetable oil.

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Reese’s Stuffed Mini Cupcakes

By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield – 72 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes
Adapted from The Pastry Queen

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 72 mini Reese’s cups

For the Peanut Butter Buttercream
By The Smart Cookie Cook

  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three mini cupcake tins with liners and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter, water, and oil until butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cocoa powders, and flour. Whisk in the butter mixture until completely smooth. Then whisk in the eggs one at a time, followed by the buttermilk. Finally, whisk in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Make sure you stir the baking soda in well so you don’t wind up with chunks of it in the finished cake.
  3. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Drop a Reese’s cup into each tin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of crumb. Let cool for 10 minutes then work a knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen and gently transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the frosting: place butter, peanut butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Start on low speed then increase to medium as it starts to incorporate. Once it’s evenly combined, mix in remaining sugar, again starting slow and increasing in speed. Add the cream and vanilla and beat just until whipped and fluffy.
  5. Pipe or spread frosting onto each cupcake. Store in fridge in an air-tight container.

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Strawberry Lemonade Bars

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I often struggle with summer recipes because most people crave fresh, fruity things, whereas I don’t care much for fruit. I prefer chocolate all year-long. However, I ultimately want to make y’all happy, so I am constantly stepping out of my comfort zone to make things you’ll like. For example, I knew I couldn’t bring just chocolate treats to the bake sale I did on Sunday, so I had to invent something fruity and summery.

I couldn’t have dreamed up anything more perfect than these Strawberry Lemonade Bars. I can think of nothing more refreshing in the summertime than a tall, frosted glass of strawberry lemonade. So imagine capturing that tart yet sweet flavor in a soft and chewy bar blanketed by smooth vanilla glaze. It’s paradise.DSC07358

Not to mention, these bars are as pretty as they are scrumptious. How could you not smile while eating a treat that’s bright pink and sunshine yellow? Perhaps the only thing that could make you happier is the fact that they’re quick, easy, and semi-homemade. Nobody wants to spend the whole day in the kitchen during the scorching summer. Instead, get in and get out, with a heavenly treat to show for it.

Here’s the thing: you can make a pitcher of strawberry lemonade, but it won’t stand up to the heat very long. These Strawberry Lemonade Bars, however, will stay delicious all day long with their fresh flavor.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. As I mention in the recipe, this yields two 9×13 pans’ worth. You CAN bake it all in one pan, but it will bake unevenly because it’s so thick.
  2. Any brand of cake mix will work.
  3. The vanilla glaze is optional. Whipped cream would be a great topper as well.
  4. Feel free to store these in the fridge and serve them chilled.

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Strawberry Lemonade Bars
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix
  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 2 sticks (1 cup), butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Note: it will be tempting to bake this all in one 9×13, but it will be way too thick and take too long to bake. Trust me, I tried it.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9×13 pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the strawberry mix, 1 stick butter, and 2 eggs until evenly combined. Divide batter in half then drop half of the batter in spoonfuls randomly into each prepared pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the lemon cake mix, 1 stick butter, & 2 eggs until evenly combined. Divide in half and drop each half into the prepared pans, placing each dollop between the strawberry batter you already added. Lightly knead the batters together like a puzzle so that the bottom of each pan is covered.
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  4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  5. Make the glaze. Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until evenly combined and free of lumps. Pour over cakes, dividing evenly between the two. Spread the glaze out in an even layer and let set. Slice into squares and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

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The Weekender: Benefits, Baking, & Beagles

Rasberry Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have been in the kitchen so much that I’m practically sleeping in it this week. It has all been in preparation for The Benefit for Sean Fitzgerald and Family being held today from 1pm to 8pm at Seymour’s Diner in Westmoreland.

The benefit is for a friend of mine whose house burned down a few months ago. Their family lost everything. If you live locally, please consider stopping by. Tickets are $20, and there will be BBQ, live music, and Smart Cookie bake sale.

You’ll get to see the recipes from some of the goodies I made for the benefit in the coming week’s posts. But for now, let’s rewind and check out all the mouth-watering stuff from this week.

  1. Baked Caramelized Onion Mac & Cheese
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  2. Red Velvet Cupcakes w/ Raspberry Filling
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  3. Chowin’ Down in West Virginia
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  4.  Smart Cookie Shopping 32: Hybrid Cookies, Birthday Cake M&Ms, & More
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I broke out an all-time favorite recipe, my Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, for the benefit with this weekend.

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I also whipped up Strawberry Lemonade Bars (recipe coming this week) and Mini Reese’s Stuffed Cupcakes (recipe also coming this week).

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I have to thank my BF for being such a big help with the benefit. Luckily, the two of us got to take a short break this weekend for a Pizza Hut date, something everyone should make time for. Hello, extra cheese!

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Are you a P-Hut fan? I find people either love it or hate it.

It might not be good for me, but it sure does taste good. If it goes straight to my butt, so be it. Mr. Poe sure knows there ain’t nothing wrong with a round rump. Although, his rump does not fit very well in this box, hence why I often find it spilled on the floor.

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Little Mina doesn’t know her size either, as she seems to think this shoe fits.

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Much as I love my babies, I do miss this face. It’s so hard being so far apart!

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How was your week? What good stuff did you eat?

Smart Cooking Shopping 32: Hybrid Cookies, Birthday Cake M&Ms, and More

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Would you believe this is our 32nd Smart Cookie Shopping post? That means 32 times now we have hit the grocery store aisles to review the newest foods and decide if they’re worth getting again.

This time around, I found a plethora of crazy new cookie flavors, along with some healthy but delectable snacks to balance them out. We’ve got some winners, and some duds. So let’s get our shopping lists ready and get grubbin’!

1. Cedar’s Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummusavailable in the refrigerated section near the deli in most grocery stores

When I was picking out what hummus flavor I wanted, this was a no brainer since I love sun-dried toms. However, I wasn’t thrilled with this. It had way too many tomato chunks, and they weren’t sun-dried tomatoes; they were just regular, unpleasantly chewy ones. It was very off-putting. My homemade version is much better.

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2. Plentil Chipsavailable in the organic section near the chips in some grocery stores

I love the plethora of healthy chips like these popping up in grocery stores. Plentils are made from lentils, and they are a great addition to my snack repertoire. They’re light and crisp – only 130 calories for 30 of them.

Photo from Enjoy Life Foods

Photo from Enjoy Life Foods

3. Birthday Cake M&M’savailable in the candy section of most grocery stores and convenience stores

I’m not sure what my final opinion is here. When I first tried them, I didn’t think they tasted any different than original ones. Then I had some hummus and came back to the M&M’s, and they tasted more birthday-cakey. Weird.

Photo from CandyWarehouse.com

Photo from CandyWarehouse.com

4. Hannaford’s Tabouli Saladavailable in the refrigerated section near the deli at Hannaford

I know you never thought you’d see the day when I voluntarily picked up something with the word “salad” in its name, but I was intrigued by the tasty ingredient list: parsley, tomatoes, onions, garlic, sunflower oil, olive oil, and bulger. This stuff is super flavorful, healthy, and refreshing, but I was ultimately overwhelmed by the incredible amount of parsley. If it had been spinach or basil, I would’ve liked it better.

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5. Oreo Crème-filled Chips Ahoy!available in the snack section with the cookies in most grocery stores

When I first saw these, I wasn’t even sure it was allowed, but Chips Ahoy! and Oreo are both Nabisco, so I guess this flies. I am not a big Chips Ahoy! fan normally, but these were awesome, and I ate the whole box in 3 days.

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6. Mini Reese’s Oreosavailable in the snack section with the cookies in most grocery stores

Like the original Reese’s Oreos, only better because they’re mini!

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7. Kashi Italian Veggie Medley Pastaavailable in the frozen organic section of most grocery stores

This was my dinner tonight, and it was bangin’! It is fully loaded with rotini, edamame, broccoli, carrots, summer squash, sun-dried tomatoes and a thick, flavorful marinara sauce. I didn’t think one serving would be enough, but it was. This meal was quick, extremely filling, and tasted way better than any frozen meal I’ve had.

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8. Jiff Whipped S’mores Peanut Butteravailable near the peanut butter in some grocery stores

This was very promising, but the flavor was not what I hoped for. It was very artificial, and I couldn’t eat a lot of it.

 

Photo from Walmart.com

Photo from Walmart.com

9. Banana Split Oreosavailable in the cookie section of some grocery stores

I can’t keep track of Oreo’s smorgasbord of new flavors this season; it’s overwhelming. That being  said, these are my favorite that I’ve tried thus far. You get a Golden Oreo on one side, Original Oreo on the other, and half-strawberry, half-banana filling. It’s epic.

DSC07277Have you tried any of these products yet? Which are you going to go buy now?