Christmas Cookies

Last Tuesday, we baked and baked and baked. I think it turned out to be about 75 cookies. A batch of gingerbread cookies (my first time making) and two batches of sugar. Eva loved helping me, although it would drive me crazy because she wouldn’t conserve the space of the rolled out dough and just put down the cookie cutters wherever haha! We divided them all up and brought them to neighbors and friends. This was by far Eva’s favorite part, and she was so sad when it was over! Quite a fun day.

Here’s the soft and chewy gingerbread recipe I used. I loved them, but next time will cut the ginger in half.

Here’s my favorite sugar cookie recipe.

In the evening, Eva and I went over to our neighbor’s house to build gingerbread houses. We had our fill of sweets that day for sure.

Egg Scramble

I make this egg scramble probably five times a week. I do change it up from time to time, add in different kinds of veggies, add in turkey sausage, different spices, different toppers. But overall, it’s always delicious, filling, and super fast to make… not as fast as this video, but almost.

How I make my basic egg scramble each day:
1. Chop veggies (usually 3-4 mini bell peppers, a big handful of spinach, a bunch of mushrooms, and a part of an onion)
2. Sprinkle in some seasonings (I usually use Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb or Original, garlic powder, salt and pepper)
3. Sauté them on a nonstick pan for about 8 minutes
4. Mix in two eggs (or one with some egg beaters), cook until eggs are done
5. Garnish (usually I use fresh salsa, a little shredded cheese, and occasionally avocado and cilantro)

DEVOUR and share it with Finn because he can’t get enough either!

6th Day of Christmas: Sugar Cookie Recipe

A couple years ago, I tried out three sugar cookie recipes. The first was my current favorite, made with shortening. The second was a classic sugar cookie recipe that had a lot of great reviews, but dried up easily. The third turned out to be my all-time favorite. They’re made with sour cream and aren’t terribly sweet, so when you add icing, it’s not a complete sugar overload.

I’ve got a lot of little gifts to hand out, like for neighbors, TJ’s coworkers, and teachers, so one evening this week I made a batch of cookies. When I started, I thought it looked like it wouldn’t make enough so I doubled the recipe. Turns out I made about 80 cookies… whoops! I guess one batch would have sufficed. But, oh well! You can really never have too many cookies, am I right?

Here’s the recipe. I cook mine for exactly 11 minutes. 10 minutes might even be better, but anything longer than 12 won’t make them taste as good, in my opinion.

Sugar Cookies


  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl and set aside.
  2. Cream butter sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes.
  3. Add sour cream and beat well.
  4. Add dry ingredient mix (flour, baking soda, and salt) and blend well.
  5. Roll on floured board to desired thickness. (1/4 inch thick will create thick cookies that will stay moist for up to two weeks).
  6. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  7. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 325°F for 12 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.


Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Chip Bread

I don’t have any photos to accompany this post because we ate it up quickly and I’m just linking up to the recipe so I don’t forget it. But I had to let you know I made a DELICIOUS quick bread recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, one of my favorite dessert blogs. I made half of the batter as mini-muffins and the other half a small loaf of bread. Make this recipe now!

And if you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge just add the lemon juice to milk, like Sally suggests. Worked perfectly for me when I made the bread!


Graham Cracker Toffee Crunch

I am a sucker for toffee. It’s my favorite. One year I took a cooking class and learned how to make it perfectly. But the next year when I tried to make it again, I couldn’t ever get the perfect texture and taste like I previously had learned! It was so frustrating. I tried it over and over, never getting it right again even after buying a candy thermometer so I stopped trying to make it at Christmas.

So, when I saw this recipe on the Six Sisters’ Stuff site with their review I knew I had to try it! It was so easy, virtually fail proof (unless you keep it on too long and burn it… cough…TJ did this accidentally when he was helping me make it in KY!), and SO tasty. I’ll be making it each Christmas season from now on for sure!

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Oh, and bonus photo: I wrapped up a bunch of treats for our doormen and next door neighbor and attached a pass-along card on each! Easy missionary opportunity 🙂

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Eva’s Turning 3, Join us under the sea!

Here are the photos from setting up Eva’s little birthday bash! I really wanted to try and make this cake (actually, don’t click on the link because it will REALLY make mine look like a pinterest fail haha!) but I made some fatal flaws. 1-I didn’t carve the outside of my cake to make it even. 2-my buttercream wasn’t thick or cold enough. 3-I had no idea what I was doing, except for watching one 3-minute youtube video. But other than my fatal flaws, I don’t think it came out terribly! Eva is my biggest critic and she liked it, so that’s a win in my book! We also made a batch of my favorite sugar cookies (click here to get the recipe, it’s the third one with sour cream)! Oh my, they are so tasty!

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Doughnut Plant

After going to Dough, we decided we needed to try out other donut places to really determine which shop was the best. I don’t feel toooo guilty about eating donuts because usually it’s quite the trek to get there and back, so don’t judge me for eating donuts two weeks in a row!

Second donut shop on the list: Doughnut Plant on 23rd. The place was really cute inside, we even got a place to sit down. But overall, the donuts weren’t nearly as good as Dough. Something about the donuts at Dough made them so fluffy and light. I hadn’t had anything like it, as I told you before. The donuts at Doughnut Plant just tasted like normal. They were good, but not great. And since I’m not a HUGE donut fan anyway, I will never feel the need to try them again.

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Handmade Artisanal Doughnuts

I have to tell you something. I tried a real NYC donut for the first time in my life. I’ve lived here for about a year and a half and I have only eaten one donut and it was just from Dunkin Donuts at the mall. They’re so fatty so I never have felt the need to go out of my way and buy a donut. I also thought, “A donut is a donut. They’re all the same.” Well, I have to tell you one more thing.


I went to Dough, which just opened a new location on 19th street (original one is in Brooklyn). I have never eaten anything so good in my life. I really don’t think I have, I’m not exaggerating. The Levain cookie, Magnolia’s Banana Pudding, and the Cocoa Bean’s S’mores cupcake are all some of my favorite treats. But this donut is just on a whole new level, and I’m not even a big donut person. And maybe it’s because I’ve never really eaten a real homemade donut. But I was really blown away. Now I feel like I need to taste test all of the best donut shops in Manhattan.

So, next time you come to NYC… BUY SOME! I got chocolate sea salt caramel, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin, and nutella stuffed donuts. All fabulous choices. I’m sure you can’t go wrong with anything they make.

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My Latest Trader Joe’s Favorites

I went to Trader Joe’s last week and my friend showed me some awesome items that I had never tried before. (And no, I didn’t buy the cookie butter… it is quite possibly the best stuff I’ve ever eaten in my life and so when I bought it last time and ate it in a ridiculous short time period, I told myself I was never allowed to buy it again.)

The store we go to is on 23rd street and two of the three times I’ve been to that location, the line has wrapped around the whole store. It’s always packed and quite hard to maneuver my large stroller through, which means I rarely get to go down all the aisles. But this time I got some pretty good stuff, even with the crowd. I had to share so you don’t overlook these treats next time you go!

Trader Joe's Macarons in Freezer Section… 12 for $5!Okay, first item. Macarons from the freezer aisle. They are 12 for $5 in the freezer aisle and so worth it. Usually out here, you pay about $3 per macaron, so this is a HUGE deal. They have two boxes (I bought both… oops). One with vanilla and chocolate (both delicious) and the second with a variety of flavors. Some of the flavors weren’t my favorite but the pistachio was wonderful. Oh, how I wish I still had some of those left in my freezer right now.

Second, Inner Peas-crunchy green pea snacks. Wow. I had my doubts and they are kind of stinky… but these are SO addicting. I need to buy them in huge quantities from now on. Get them!

Third, Mac & Cheese bites. T.J. didn’t like these too much, but Eva and I ate them up quickly! They are fattening but worth the indulgence every once in a while!

Lastly, Orange Chicken from the freezer aisle. Another fattening one. But definitely better than Panda’s Orange Chicken. And much cheaper. It was an easy freezer meal to prepare, we all loved it, and perfect for a busy night when you need a last minute meal!


Orange Julius with Real Oranges

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We bought a big bag of cutie oranges. I don’t know about you, but I can never get through a whole bag! Well, we make a lot of smoothies around here, so I thought I should try making an orange julius knockoff! It turns out, this recipes has a lot of sugar just because of those little oranges. But at least there’s no added sugar, right? It was delicious and a great vitamin-C booster!

  • 8 cutie oranges, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (start with this then keep adding more if you need it)
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until it’s delicious and creamy!