Category Archives: Recipes

Nana’s Irish Bread -Authentic Irish Raisin Bread

I cracked the code, guys.  My Nana (who came here from Ireland when she was 16, a story I wrote about here that you should totally read because my Nana was pretty amazing) always baked Irish Bread for special occasions and most definitely for St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s something I grew up with and besides being delicious, it holds a lot of memories.  When Nana had a stroke and couldn’t knead the dough anymore, my mother took over making the Irish Bread.  We are a large Irish family and we all love the bread, so it’s not like we could stop making the bread.  The tradition had to carry on.  But, there was always something that was just a little different about the bread.  Not better or worse, just not Nana’s bread.

This year, I decided it was my time to bake the bread.  There was only one problem.  I asked my mother for the recipe and all I got was a list of things that go in the bread: Flour, salt, raisins, caraway seeds, yeast, butter and water.  And that was it.  No measurements, no instructions, nothing.  I needled my mom into helping with a batch to guide me.  I also roped in my daughter to help.  Three generations baking bread that is many, many generations old.

Before we get to the recipe, I have to tell you, I’ve not felt my grandmother so present in my life since she passed away, as I did yesterday.  We talked about her all throughout the day (Yes, the bread takes all day.  It’s worth it.) and marveled at what a good cook she was. We laughed about how my mother remembered how easy- going Nana was, except on Irish Bread day.  When Irish Bread was being baked, you had better not make any loud noises or let in any drafts, or else.  We talked about how she lived with a Jewish family when she first arrived here as a Nanny/Cook/Housekeeper and how she loved working for that family and they loved having her.  I don’t think I need to point out the symbolism of that and how it relates to our world today.

Authentic Irish Bread

5 1/2 c of All Purpose Flour

2 Packets of Yeast – not fast acting

About 2 Cups of water

3 Cups of Raisins

2 T Caraway Seeds

1 T Salt

4 T Butter

1 t Apple Cider Vinegar

  1.  Put your Raisins in a large bowl and fill it with water.  This will plump up your raisins.  Nana probably did this overnight, however, I let them sit in the water for about an hour and found them plumper than not sitting them in water at all.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together two packets of yeast with a 1/2 cup of warm water until the yeast is dissolved.  You do not want HOT water.  You also do not want COLD water.  It has to be warm.
  3. Into the yeast mixture, add salt, butter, apple cider vinegar and caraway seeds.
  4.  Start adding in your flour, 1 cup at a time.  I did this with my hands.  That’s how Nana did it.  Nana didn’t have a stand mixer and neither do I.  So, hands it is.
  5. Keep alternating adding flour and the remaining water until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Ok, this is the part where it takes a little bit of artistry.  You don’t want to add too little flour or your dough will be gloopy and wet.  Too much dough and it will be super dry and hard to work with.  The dough should be heading toward the dry side, but still sticky enough to stick to your hands and slightly firm to the touch.
  6. Add your raisins into the dough.  Again, I used my hands and just sort of folded/kneaded them in.  You’re going to think there are way too many raisins.  I did, too and the first batch I made with only 1.5 c of raisins was basically white bread with one or two raisins per slice. No bueno.  Remember that the dough is going to rise which will mean more room for the raisins to be distributed through.
  7. Allow your dough to rise for one hour in a warm spot.  It actually should be about 85 degrees.  What?  Where are you going to find an 85 degree spot in your house in March?  Well, the first batch we made at my mom’s house was set to rise in front of her wood burning stove.  The dough rose perfectly. The second batch I made at my own house and I don’t have a wood stove.  However, I found a great tip in an old cookbook.  Take a shallow baking pan and fill it with hot water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven.  Put your dough in the oven to rise (DON’T TURN THE OVEN ON) on the rack above the water.  The oven will get nice and warm and your dough will rise!
  8. After about an hour, your dough should have about doubled in size.  Now the fun part.  Kneading!  You’re going to knead your dough for about 5-10 minutes.  I kneaded my dough right on the granite countertop (just clean the counter, it’s fine).  Throw some flour down on the counter and coat your hands in flour.  Plop the dough on top of the counter and start kneading.  How do you knead?  Well, you basically push the dough away from you with your palms, sort of flattening it out, then fold it in half, turn it a quarter turn and go at it with your palms again.  Sprinkle the dough with flour if it gets too sticky.  Repeat for 5-10 minutes.  Good arm work out.
  9. Grease your baking pans.  I use butter to grease my pans.  I used two regular size baking pans and three mini pans.
  10. After kneading, you are going to separate your dough into the greased baking pans. To do this, you will sort of twist off a ball of dough that is a little smaller than a baseball and place it in your baking pan. The regular size baking pans will take two of these size balls, side by side and touching.  As they cook, they will just join together as one loaf. Ahh, Harmony.  If you are using mini loaf pans like I did, just make the balls a little smaller.  You want your pans to be about halfway to the top with dough.
  11. Time to rise again.  Pop these back in your warm spot (refill your hot water if you are using the oven method above).  Let the dough rise for another hour until the dough has again doubled in size.
  12. After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. AGAIN!  DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON IF YOU ARE LETTING YOUR DOUGH RISE IN THE OVEN! Add the bread to the oven once it has reached baking temperature.
  13. Let the bread bake for about 20 – 35 minutes. I know that is a crazy time difference, but our first batch cooked for 35 minutes and was no where near being over cooked while the second batch cooked for more like 25 minutes and if it had cooked a minute more I would have said it was over cooked.  The second batch started to look browned on top at about the 20 minute mark and your smaller loaves may be totally done at the 20 minute mark.   To check for done-ness, insert a wood skewer into the center of one of the loaves. If it comes out clean, you are good to go!

Yesterday, after the first batch of bread came out lacking majorly in raisins, I was disappointed.  I really wanted to nail this bread.  I was so happy when I brought the second batch, still warm, to my mom’s house this afternoon and got her seal of approval.  Certified “Just Like Nana’s”.  The code has been cracked. The texture is right, the crust is right, the raisin ratio is right. It’s like a little bit of Nana in a loaf pan.  I told my mom it was like eating a memory.  Which is totally weird, but also completely accurate.  Am I the only one who gets that?  What family recipes do you have that bring your loved one’s right back to you?  And don’t forget to read the story of Nana and Grandpa from Ireland.  You can click the pic below.  There’s also a recipe for corned beef.  Which apparently is NOT something Irish people actually eat, according to Nana, an actual Irish person.

Simple and Delicious Chili

I made chili this weekend and I had to share it with you.  I’ve made chili a million times, but this one came out especially delicious.  I may have to pause in the writing of this post to go heat some up.  Hang on.  Look at this Simple and Delicious Chili while I go get a bowl:

Most people think Chili is hard to make.  It’s really very easy.  And there are so many different ways of preparing it.  You can sort of add or take away almost anything you like.  This iteration that I made this weekend is slightly different than any chili I’ve ever made in the past.  Which is so fun, because when you try to sit down and write down how you made the chili, it can be a little challenging.  Did I put cinnamon in this time?  How many tablespoons of chili powder are in there?  How long did I let it cook on the stove for?  1 hour?  2? 10?

I’ll do my best to give you all the details on this chili and then you can make it your own!

Simple & Delicious Chili

1 lb Ground Beef

1/2 Medium Onion, chopped

1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped

1 15.5oz Can Goya Black Beans

1 15.5 Can Goya Red Beans

1 28 oz Can Hunts Crushed Tomatoes

1 6 oz. Can Tomato Paste

2-4 T Chili Powder (to taste)

1 T Garlic  Powder

1 T Onion Powder

1 t Ground Cumin

1 t Salt

1 t Black Pepper

  1.  Brown the ground beef  in a pot.  (I use my pasta pot and then I just keep adding the ingredients to that pot).
  2. Add the chopped onions and red bell peppers and cook until softened.
  3. Add the spices.
  4. Add the beans, and tomatoes and tomato paste.
  5. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low and allow to cook for anywhere from 1-3 hours.
  6. Keep tasting the chili while it is cooking and add more of any of the spices as your taste buds see fit!  Easy on the cumin, though.  Little bits at a time.

And that’s it.  Garnish it with some cheese and sour cream, or don’t.  It really doesn’t need anymore competing flavors.  I want to note on this recipe, I don’t usually put the brands of the ingredients (Hunt’s and Goya, in this case), but I do feel like the Hunt’s products made a difference this time.  So, give those a try and let me know what you think!  Enjoy your chili!


Home Chef Review

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no cost to you!***                     Guys, I have made a great discovery.  Fancy meals that look like they came from a restaurant are not hard to make.  They have been lying to us all these years.  I don’t know who they are, but they have definitely been trying to make us think that cooking is hard.  IT’S NOT!  I do a lot of home cooking, but not really anything fancy, until last week.  Last week I tried Home Chef and I made a fancy meal.  AND IT WASN’T HARD!  It took some time, yes, but with the help of Home Chef (which does not mean a chef comes to your home, FYI.  That’s a different thing and you need to be Oprah rich), I made a pretty fancy meal, if I do say so myself!

Home Chef is a service that creates delicious recipes, packages all of the ingredients and then sends them to your door!  You get to pick out the meals you want to make, how many servings you need and how often you want them sent (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and the food arrives ready to be prepped and cooked at your doorstep in a cute box that is totally refrigerated.  The first meal I made was Bone-In Pork Chop with Pecorino-Garlic Butter.  Which is gluten free, in case you are interested.  Home Chef notes which recipes will work with certain allergies.  Yay!

Everything arrives neat as a pin and well packaged.  The contents of my box included two separate meals with enough to feed a family of four.  The food is surrounded by ice packs and then the box is lined with insulated packaging that keeps everything cold and cushioned.

I love that the food comes with a cookbook that you can keep the recipes in.  The recipes are printed in color on thick paper, so they are fairly durable.  The cook book comes with a great insert with info on kitchen tools you might need, how to safely store and prepare food and a description of some of the more chef-y terms, like chiffonade.  That insert immediately made me think that this would be such a great gift for a newly married couple, or a recent grad who hasn’t a clue how to cook and no time to shop for food.  

The first thing I noticed as I started sorting things out was that the food looked nice and fresh.  Check out these pretty pork chops:

Pork chops on the bone are not something I would normally buy, neither are full length carrots, but I’m glad I chose this meal.  I snuck a few bites of carrots as I was chopping them and they were delicious.  Definitely different, fresher I guess, than what I have bought at the grocery store.  And the pork chops looked beautiful, even uncooked.  

I don’t think I’ve ever seen fresh peas like the ones that Home Chef sent to me. They were stored in a little container and they were a beautiful bright green, but not frozen.  I adored these veggies.  They were cooked stove top with some seriously good honey.  I would never have thought of cooking carrots and peas like this, which is another great bonus of Home Chef.  My culinary skills have definitely expanded!

And the fanciest part of the meal was the Pecorino Garlic Butter that you top the chop with.  I have never made a blended butter before, but it’s something I definitely want to try to do again with other ingredients.  It was much easier than I thought it would be.  

And, by the way, Home Chef even sends you butter.  There are a few things they expect you to have in your pantry, like olive oil and salt and pepper, but other than that, they really think of everything!

Just to keep things 100% real, my two teeny tiny complaints are that the meal took a little longer to prepare than I usually like to spend and there was an inordinate amount of packaging.  As far as the time, I did force myself to work slowly so that I wouldn’t mess up the recipe, so that is probably a factor in the additional time.  And as for the packaging, Home Chef does also give you information on how to properly dispose of the ice packs and insulation that come in the box.  Everything in the box is recyclable.  I kept a few of the ice packs in the freezer for when/if warm weather ever comes to the North East again.

I am looking forward to making the second recipe that I ordered, Sherry Wine Demi-Glace Sirloin Steak!, and I have scheduled two meals to arrive monthly!  I love trying new foods, so this is going to be so fun for me!  I love that I get to learn new cooking methods and add some fancy recipes to my repertoire!  Thanks Home Chef!!

You can join Home Chef by following my affiliate link:

Home Chef

They are offering $30 off your first order right now!  Also, eBates is offering 10% cash back at Home Chef!  If you need to sign up for Ebates (and you NEED to sign up for Ebates.  Unless you don’t like money), you can do so here with my referral link:


Happy Chef-ing

Perfect Valentine’s Dinner – Restaurant Quality Sirloin Steak

If you want to plan an at home Valentine’s Date Night, I have the perfect, simple recipe for you.  Restaurant Quality Sirloin Steak.  I actually try to make this at least once a month because everyone in my little squad loves it and it’s actually really quick and easy to make.  A very easy week night dinner.

So, first things first.  What kind of steak do you buy?  This is kind of important.  I get my steak from my local Wegman’s.  It’s Beef Sirloin Steak and it costs $9.99/lb.  There is another one, a filet, that is a lot more expensive.  (I bet it’s probably even more delicious than the $9.99/lb steak, but I will never know for sure because I will never spend that much money on food I have to cook myself.  Mmkay?)  Wegman’s very kindly portions the Beef Sirloin Steaks in a little vacuum sealed thing and the two steaks are less than a pound, so, for instance, the steaks I cooked tonight cost a little over $7 for two.  Not bad and if you cook it right, you will love this as much as a steak you get at a restaurant, I promise.  One thing to note when you buy your steak, you want them to be about the same thickness so that they cook about the same.  I made four steaks tonight and one of them was a lot thinner than the other three and the thin guy got totally over cooked – no pink center.  No bueno.

Restaurant Quality Sirloin Steak

2 Beef Sirloin Steaks (a little less than 1 lb total)



Garlic Powder (or, if you prefer onion powder, go for it)


  1.  Heat an oven safe pan to medium/high on the stove and preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sprinkle one side of the steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Place a pad of butter on top of the steak
  4. Place the steak buttered side down in the hot pan
  5. Allow to cook 3-5 minutes.  And DON’T touch the steak.  I know it’s hard, you like to fidget with the food.  Don’t do it, okay?  3 minutes for more rare steak and 5 for closer to medium well.  I do 4 minutes for Medium (pinkish/red warm center).
  6. While the steak is cooking, sprinkle the salt, pepper, garlic powder and add the pad of butter to the side of the steak that is facing up in the pan.
  7. Flip the steaks and pop the pan in the oven.  Cook another 4-5 minutes in the oven.
  8. Remove from the oven and place the steaks on a plate to rest for about five minutes before eating.  Don’t skip the rest.  It does make a difference.

Your steak will be pink/red in the middle.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  If you really want totally well done steak, then you really don’t like steak and you shouldn’t waste your money buying it.  For real.  Well done steak is not tasty or fun to eat.  Medium steak that is warm and pink/red in the center is delicious and and very fun to eat!

I’m not a big potato person, but there is something to be said for meat and potatoes.  I made roasted red potatoes, but mashed would be fantastic.  I serve this with Brussel Sprouts all the time, so I switched it up and went with sauteed peppers and onions.

This meal is such a hit and it really is super easy to do.  I bet your special someone would think you really slaved over this for Valentine’s Day!

Gluten Free Game Day

Who’s excited for the big game on Sunday?  As in years past, I have what is possibly an irrational fear of saying the name of the game that is being played on Sunday because I think the NFL will try to make me pay for using it.  Because the NFL is totally stalking my blog.  I got my eyes on you, Goodell.  As a New Englander, I’m excited to have the Patriots in the game, but I will be straight with you, I am mostly excited about the food.  Cause that’s my life. I’m planning on making a bunch of Gluten Free Game Day treats.  I don’t plan on telling anyone they are gluten free because some people will pull a face about it and think the food will be “healthy” or “bland”.  Could not be further from the truth!

Most of what I’ll make on Sunday are recipes I’ve shared here before, so I’ll give you some pictures and links below, but I have not shared my Gluten Free Sheet Pan Nachos, so here is a quasi recipe for those.

Gluten Free Sheet Pan Nachos

About a bag of Gluten Free Nachos (Tostitos will do!)


1 Bag of Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

1/2 Red Onion, chopped

3 T Green Onion, chopped

3 T Sliced Black Olives (PS, I’m the only person in my family who liked black olives on the nachos.  Use with caution.  Know your audience).

  1.  Preheat the oven to about 350.  You are really just going to melt the cheese and toast the nachos a little, so not particularly important what temp this is at, but if you go hotter, just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  2. Add a good layer of nachos to your sheet pan.  Cover the whole pan so that you can’t really see the bottom.  My goal was to have enough nachos spread out that none of my toppings would make it to the pan, but not so many nachos that some of the toppings would not make it to the underlayer of nachos.  Got it?
  3. Add your veggies
  4. Spread on some salsa.  I used a spoon and did my best to find that delicate balance of not too much and not too little.
  5. Add your cheese
  6. Pop them in the oven for a bout 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the nachos are warm.

I love these!  The week after I made these for the first time, we ordered nachos from a restaurant for take out and it just wasn’t the same. They were soggy by the time we got home and the toppings were only on the top, not evenly spread out as the sheet pan allows you to do.  This is definitely an instance where home made is better than take out.

Now, woman cannot exist on nachos alone.  So to round out the menu, we’ll have:

Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites

Gluten Free Veggie Pizza 

That’s some good eats.  Can’t wait for the big game!


Chicken Fried Rice – Home Made & Gluten Free

Who wants to impress their family with a special recipe for Chinese New Year?  I made Chicken Fried Rice – home made & gluten free – this weekend and my family loved it.  Nearly as good as take out, which I will accept as a major compliment because our take out place is on point with their rice.

If that picture of ingredients is intimidating, I feel you.  This was kind of a lot of work.  You have to cook and shred the chicken and cook the rice, but once that’s done, it comes together quickly.

Chicken Fried Rice – Homemade & Gluten Free

2-3 Chicken Breasts, cooked & shredded (I used three)

3-4 cups of cooked rice – (I used three bags of instant rice)

1/2 red onion – chopped

1-2 c frozen peas & carrots (I used a medley blend that also had corn, lima beans and green beans.  The more veggies the better, right?)

3-4 T Soy Sauce (Remember to use Gluten Free soy sauce if you are GF.  La Choy is gluten free).

2 T Sesame Oil

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 T chopped green onion

  1.  Heat a LARGE skillet (whatever you have that is enormous because this is a lot of food by the time you are done.  Mine was really not big enough. Or just cook in two batches.  Which is what I should have done in the first place) on medium and then add the Sesame Oil.  Sesame oil might be the only thing not lurking in your fridge, but don’t skip it.  It gives an amazing flavor and aroma!
  2. Add the peas and carrots and chopped onion and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Move the veggies to one side of the pan and add your egg.  Scramble the egg until cooked, then mix it into the veggies.
  4. Add in the cooked chicken and rice and soy sauce.  My recommendation on the soy sauce is to add it in slowly and taste as you mix.  Soy sauce is super salty so you don’t want to add too much, but you also want to give your rice some color.  It’s a balancing act.  I’m not a fan of super salty foods, so I went a little light on the soy, which is why my rice is slightly blonde.  Kind of like me.

For such an enormous amount of rice, this went really quickly. It was one of those things that was kind of fun to make if you’re in a cooking mood.  Lots of chopping and lots of steps to get through.  It would be fun to serve and maybe even have the kids help cook it for Chinese New Year, which starts on January 28th. Just five short days until the year of the Rooster!


Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites

News flash!  Just because you want to (or have to) eat gluten free, doesn’t mean you can’t eat totally indulgent, super tasty food every once in a while.  I made these Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites this weekend to munch on while we watched football and they tasted like a really good fast food burger.  This got the “This might be the best thing you’ve ever made” seal of approval from my husband.  I don’t think he even realized that they were gluten free.

I will say, these were a little bit of a process to make, but they were totally worth it.  For real.  Even though there are like 27 steps and two separate, but very similar sauces to make.  I mean, I’m not going to make them for supper on a weeknight, but a fun night of football watching deserves a little something special, no?  And if you have a special person in your life who has to stick to a gluten free diet, these would be such a treat!

Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites

***I used a mini muffin pan for these.  If you want bigger bites, you can use a normal size muffin pan, but you’ll need more tater tots – about 3 per muffin hole.

24 Tater Tots – Make sure they are gluten free. I’ve not seen any that are not gluten free, but check your labels, just in case.

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 a red onion

2 T each – Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Mayo – again, check your labels, gluten can sneak into things like Mustard

3-5 slices American Cheese to top your mini burger bites

Salt & Pepper to taste

Sliced Green Onion – Blogger confession:  You don’t really need these on top of your bites.  They taste good, but they are mostly for the picture.  There, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Special Sauce:

1/2 c Mayo

1/4 Ketchup

2 T each Relish and Mustard

1 t chili powder

1 t onion powder

1 t garlic powder

  1.  Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Dice the 1/2 onion.

  3. Brown the ground beef with salt and pepper.

  4. Drain off the excess fat from the pan and add in the onions.  Cook until onions are softened.

  5. Grease your mini muffin pan.  Add 2 tater tots to each muffin hole and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. While the tater tots are cooking, mix together the 2 T each of Ketchup, Mustard, Relish and Mayo and add to the cooked ground beef and onions.

  7. After 10 minutes, take the tater tots out of the oven and use a rounded something to smoosh them into a cup.  (I’m on a crusade to make “Smoosh” a genuine cooking term.  I add it to every recipe that it applies to).  I used the back of my cookie scoop to smoosh the tots.  Say smoosh the tots out loud.  You know you want to.  Who cares if you’re at work right now?  Just do it.

  8. Fill the newly smooshed tater tot cups with the ground beef mixture.

  9. Take your American cheese slice and fold it in half.  And in half again.  And one more time.  Maybe one more time.  You basically want to get a mini piece of cheese to top your burger with.  It’s super cute.

  10. Pop those back in the oven for 15 minutes.

  11. While those are cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. I know this seems like an extra, unnecessary step, but do not skip this.  This is where the magic happens.

  12. Take the burger bites out of the oven and LET THEM COOL!  DO NOT even think about taking them out of the muffin tin for a good ten minutes.  Once you have waited patiently with drool going down your chin, gently, coax the burger bites out of the muffin tin.  Use a fork or a knife or pixie dust to ease the bites from their happy home in the muffin tin.  If you go in there all willy nilly and just pry them out of the muffin tin, you will destroy the precious tater tot cup.  It will still taste delicious, but you will have to eat it with a fork instead of your fingers and that’s not fun for anyone, amiright?

  13. Drip some of the magical sauce over the bites and serve them to your guests who should be honored to be in the presence of such a fine hostess.

A lot of steps, right?  13.  That might be the most steps in anything I’ve ever posted.  Anyone want to go back through everything I’ve made and check?  No?  Fine.  I know it’s kind of labor intensive, but these are so yummy.  And there’s smooshing involved and that’s always fun, right?  Make these for that crazy football game that’s coming up in a few weeks.  You won’t be sorry!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Three Ways

We got nearly a foot of snow here on Saturday!  That means a happy, fun day in the house for us!  I love baking on days like that.  It feels so cozy, but not lazy because you don’t have any choice but to sit in the house all day.  It’s like Mother Nature forcing you to chill for a day.  Thanks, Mother Nature.  Not everyone gets to sit in all day, however.  My brother plows for our town and, so, he was working all day.  He has celiac disease and because I knew he would stop at my house to plow after a very long day/night of plowing the town, I made him Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Three Ways.  That’s right.  Three different cookies from one batter.

What we have there is a Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie, a Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie and a plain old Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie.  There is also a fourth version of these cookies where you plop a Hershey Kiss on top right after you take them out of the oven, but I was out of kisses.   I made those for Thanksgiving so that my brother would have some dessert that wouldn’t make him sick and he absolutely LOVED them.  My family also devoured what I didn’t give to my brother.  My husband likes the plain ones, my daughter likes the jelly ones and my son likes the chocolate chip ones.  So that worked out.

Peanut Butter Cookies 3 Ways

2 C Peanut Butter

2 Large Eggs

1 C Sugar

2 tsp baking soda (gluten free brand)

1 tsp vanilla (gluten free brand)

Optional:  Jelly, Chocolate Chips

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together peanut butter, eggs, sugar, baking soda and vanilla with a hand mixer. Not the Chocolate chips!  Save those for the very last batch!
  3. For the plain cookies:  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet.
  4. For the Jelly cookies:  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet, form a divot in the middle and add about a teaspoon of jelly.
  5. For the chocolate chip cookies:  Fold the chocolate chips into the remainder of the dough.  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes.  Cookies should be just slightly soft to the touch and will continue to cook just a bit as they cool.

And yes, these are so delicious with a glass of milk.  Enjoy!

Want : Need : Wear : Make : Eat

Remember that time I did some posts about what I want, need, wear, make and eat?  That was awesome. Let’s do it again!

want need wear make eat by bethjustin518 on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor and interior decorating:


Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W:

Instant Pot:  I discovered the wonderful Instant Pot this week and am dying to get one.  Why so expensive, Instant Pot?  I need a sale and a 30% off coupon from Kohl’s.  Stat.


One of my favorite discoveries at Midnight Blue Velvet Kendall Sofa:

World Market Sofa:  Sofa’s aren’t technically a need but I, like, *need* one.  Both of my current sofas have major issues.  I’m not saying I need to replace them both immediately, but it would be nice to have one nice-ish sofa.  And this one is on sale.  And it’s pretty.


Love this Green Cowl Neck Tunic on #zulily! #zulilyfinds:

Tunic:  I only want to wear tunics for the rest of forever.  Or at least all of tomorrow when it is going to snow here all day and I want to just sit on the couch and be cozy.


Sew Can Do:

Cuddle Throw Tutorial from sewcando:  Speaking of cozy, how awesome is that throw from Sew Can Do?  I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I think I can probably make one of these, using the tutorial provided, of course!  Click the pic or the title to get the instructions!


Soft and Chewy Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – Great with lemon or almond extracts! {grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free}:

Thumprint Cookies from Texanerin Baking – I love a good gluten free cookie recipe and these look delicious.  I am brainstorming a twist on these, but you can click the pic or the title for the full recipe!


Three Ingredient Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I’m still basking in the glow of a successful Thanksgiving. I don’t know exactly what I did differently, but it was a relaxing, slow pace day with no major disasters and it was amazing.  The food was delicious, the company was delightful and no one was poisoned.  Not even my brother with Celiac. A success all around in my book.

Now, of course, it’s on to Christmas!  I’ve already started with a million projects, but we’ll start with a recipe. We host Christmas Eve and we usually get family style take out from a local Italian place, but I was thinking this year it might be fun to have everyone bring two of their favorite appetizers instead of doing a huge meal.  I have a bunch of favorites, of course, but I wanted to try out some new recipes, too.  Particularly, I wanted to try something easy and cheap.  I’ve had Sweet and Sour Meatballs before and enjoyed them, but I’ve never actually made them.  Until today.


These were everything I hoped they would be.  Super flavorful, easy and inexpensive.

Three Ingredient Sweet & Sour Meatballs

1 bag (1.5 lb) of frozen meatballs

1/2 jar Grape Jelly

1/2 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce

  1.  Add all ingredients to slow cooker
  2. Cook 3-4 hours on low.
  3. Eat them all.


So much yum.  PS, the green leaves (rosemary, I think?) are soley for looks.  I do believe these will make it on the all app menu for Christmas eve.  Everyone likes meatballs, right? But the flavor is just surprising enough to be a little special.  Congrats Sweet & Sour Meatballs, you’re in!

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