We are not Martha http://wearenotmartha.com But that doesn't mean we aren't going to try... Mon, 29 May 2017 14:02:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 71273735 Bourbon S’mores Milkshake http://wearenotmartha.com/bourbon-smores-milkshake/ http://wearenotmartha.com/bourbon-smores-milkshake/#comments Tue, 23 May 2017 02:55:50 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26204 This Bourbon S’mores Milkshake combines all of your favorite components of s’mores along with chocolate ice cream and bourbon for the ultimate treat in a glass. I’m just settling in for the first episode of season  84024 of the Bachelor franchise. Yes, I continue to watch. Hate on me as much as you want, but I will not be stopped. It’s my simple Monday night pleasure and you’re not taking that away from me. Now, if I calculated how many hours I’ve spent on the Bachelor in my life (including Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor Pad… And um, the […]

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This Bourbon S’mores Milkshake combines all of your favorite components of s’mores along with chocolate ice cream and bourbon for the ultimate treat in a glass.

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

I’m just settling in for the first episode of season  84024 of the Bachelor franchise. Yes, I continue to watch. Hate on me as much as you want, but I will not be stopped. It’s my simple Monday night pleasure and you’re not taking that away from me. Now, if I calculated how many hours I’ve spent on the Bachelor in my life (including Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor Pad… And um, the soon to be Bachelor Winter Games), I might have a straight up panic attack. But the thing is, when I watch any of those Bachelor variations, I’m not just sitting on my couch staring at beautiful people searching for true love and crying over missed opportunities. I’m getting other stuff done, whether that’s writing and photo editing, work, or at the very least, puppy snuggles. That’s partly why I love the show so much… I can multi-task and still keep track of what’s going on. Plus, I’m so deep in now, there’s no way I can stop.

If you’re a long-time Bachelor fan, you totally need to read this BuzzFeed article in which the two authors re-watch the first season of The Bachelor. You know, back in 2002. Those were simpler times in which the ladies seem to be obsessed with turtleneck sweaters. Which they also wore with “slacks” to the rose ceremonies (!!!). The season was only seven hours long… Now seasons are approximately 840343 hours long. And lastly, there was no Neil Lane.

No matter where you stand on the Bachelor issue, you’re probably ready to kill me for my nonstop chatter. Which means you totally need this s’mores milkshake. It’s not just any s’mores milkshake… It’s a Bourbon S’mores Milkshake. Sooo, now do you forgive me for my Bachelor babble?

Like most milkshakes, it’s incredibly simple to make. Other than toasting the marshmallows and creating an epically sweet garnish, you just toss everything in your blender. Easy!

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

Obviously the garnish is the most important thing on this s’mores milkshake. And it’s pretty imperative that you toast the marshmallows. But don’t worry if you’re not at a campfire or it’s cold and rainy (again! please stop it with this weather, Mother Nature). I legit toasted my marshmallows over my gas stove. I’m not super into camping, so standing in my kitchen over my stove was actually more my speed. Plus… rain.

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

But seriously, that means you can make this milkshake at any time of year; winter, spring, summer or fall… (sorry, I just finished Lauren Graham’s book and now I desperately want to watch Gilmore Girls).

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

If you’re not into the whole bourbon thing, you can obviously leave it out. But it won’t really be the same. And it might not give you the kick you need to get through another 2-hour episode of the Bachelor. Not that I’m condoning drinking in order to get through life challenges. Ahem, vodka could also work in here.

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

You can also feel free to make it with vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate ice cream, so long as you drizzle a little chocolate syrup in. Don’t let me down. Yes, I know these s’mores milkshakes aren’t exactly going to land in the healthy food category, but it’s Monday and you need to treat yourself.

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

If you need me, I’ll be sitting on my couch, sipping on one of these while cuddling with my dog and watching the Bachelorette. I’m also continuing to plan that ultimate campfire and s’mores bars with 14 different colored marshmallows. Just don’t judge me if that campfire happens to be in front of my stove instead of in the great outdoors.

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake
 
This Bourbon S'mores Milkshake combines all of your favorite components of s'mores along with chocolate ice cream and bourbon for the ultimate treat in a glass.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Makes: 2 milkshakes
Ingredients
  • Chocolate syrup for rimming glasses
  • 8 sheets graham crackers, divided
  • 3 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1¼ cups skim milk
  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • 14 toasted marshmallows
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Using a pastry brush, brush the rims of two glasses with chocolate syrup. Crush 2 sheets of graham crackers and place them on a small plate. Roll glasses in graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Place chocolate ice cream, milk, bourbon, 4 sheets of graham crackers, and ten marshmallows in a blender and blend on high speed until combined. Divide milkshake between two glasses.
  3. Top with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. Put marshmallows on skewers as garnish and add a sheet of graham crackers into each milkshake.

 

Bourbon S'mores Milkshake -- toasted marshmallows, chocolate ice cream, graham crackers, and bourbon all blended together for an alcoholic treat | wearenotmartha.com

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What I Read: April 2017 | Recommendations for Books to Read http://wearenotmartha.com/what-i-read-april-2017-recommendations-for-books-to-read/ http://wearenotmartha.com/what-i-read-april-2017-recommendations-for-books-to-read/#comments Sun, 21 May 2017 15:40:52 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26257 Hello and happy weekend! I’m so excited to share with you what I read in April and hopefully give you some ideas on books to read soon. But first, we need to discuss this Business Insider article “10 ways reading more makes you an excellent employee.” While some of it is a little bit fluffy, it’s also, I believe, 100% true. Though I’m obviously saying that as someone who reads a ton (and kind of thinks I’m a pretty fab employee hehe), so take that for what it’s worth. I’ve always said that reading makes you more empathetic and helps your critical […]

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What I Read in April 2017 -- Recommendations for Books to Read | wearenotmartha.com

Hello and happy weekend! I’m so excited to share with you what I read in April and hopefully give you some ideas on books to read soon. But first, we need to discuss this Business Insider article “10 ways reading more makes you an excellent employee.” While some of it is a little bit fluffy, it’s also, I believe, 100% true. Though I’m obviously saying that as someone who reads a ton (and kind of thinks I’m a pretty fab employee hehe), so take that for what it’s worth. I’ve always said that reading makes you more empathetic and helps your critical thinking skills, really in a way that watching most TV or movies can’t do quite as much. But this article lists 10 ways that reading a lot pretty much just makes you better at life… Or at least at your job.

I never really considered the calming effect of reading, but it’s so true for me! If I don’t have to do more work when I get on the train at the end of the day, I immediately put my phone away and open up a book. No matter what craziness or stress happened during my day, I automatically feel calmer and happier. It works! And obviously reading helps my writing skills and makes me more creative, too. Do you think reading makes you better at your job?

(Just an FYI that the links to the books below are affiliate links 🙂 Thank you for supporting WANM!).

Here’s what I read in April… See the end of this post for links to other months in 2017, too, and get some ideas for even more books to read this year!

It’s OK to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInery Purmont: Good thing it’s OK to laugh because I was literally sitting on the train laughing out loud reading this book, starting with chapter one where Nora tries to answer Mary Oliver’s question, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Nora is awesome and hilarious and I want her to be my best friend. Her memoir isn’t all funny as she’s gone through some incredibly tough times, too, but she has such a positive outlook and just seems like a truly amazing person. This book comes highly recommended from me and I’m kind of excited that I just learned Nora has a podcast, too! But please, Nora, write another book.

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg: This one wasn’t my favorite, but I can’t decide if I just didn’t like it or if I had a totally different expectation on what it would be about based on the cover and description. The book felt kind of depressing to me and while it seemed like it was going to be all strong, independent woman-y, it’s actually just sad and womp womp. I feel like I need to wait a couple years and read it again with a clear mind. Maybe?

Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry: This is a cute book. Not necessarily my favorite of all time (or even of the month), but I did think it was a light enjoyable read. It’s about Belle, a 30-something woman who works in a male-dominated Wall Street office. She has to deal with exactly the kinds of things you’d imagine a woman in Wall Street has to deal with (and way more than I ever imagine). The only thing I really disliked about this book was Belle’s husband and their relationship. He’s beyond ridiculous and her tolerance of him felt pretty unrealistic to me.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Totally one of those books that makes you think, “omg what would I do??” Emma’s husband (and high school sweetheart) goes missing after their first year of marriage, presumed dead in a helicopter crash. Obviously devastating. After some serious mourning, she meets an old friend from her past and they end up falling in love. And then… yup, her husband is found alive (I promise I’m not giving anything away; this is all in the book’s description). Emma has to make some seriously tough decisions and while heartbreaking in many ways, I thought this was a good read.

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach: I had mixed feelings on this one, as well. Awesome premise of a girl returning home to figure out what happened to her twin who just died in a barn fire. I can’t say too much without giving details away, but Ava is led on a scavenger hunt of sorts by her twin Zelda and while I found it entertaining in many ways, there were way too many coincidences involved for me to buy it all.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: Loved this one! I have to admit that it started off super slowly for me and it took me a little bit to get into it, but once I got to know Ove and his neighbors, I started to fall in love. Ove’s wife has recently died and he’s having a tough time. He’s definitely a grumpy old man and at first you might hate him and his stringent habits and complaining. But I think you’ll fall in love with him, too. I knew I really liked this book when Chris asked me what it was about and I spent 10 minutes straight describing it to him.

Miss Jane by Brad Watson: This is a sort of strange book and not at all what I expected, but it still sucked me in. Jane is born with a rare congenital birth defect (one that, in part, makes it impossible for her to control when she goes to the bathroom) and is forced to face many challenges in life, including those to do with love, friendship, family, and more. She’s such a strong, likable little girl and you’ll be amazed by her strength.

Startup by Doree Shafrir: Loved this book, but it also made me a little bit depressed. It’s all about the young hip world of startups, with so many real life cliches included. One of the characters is my age and basically the oldest person at the company (sob). In some ways, this book is a kind of exaggerated look at the world of startups, but seriously, only a very little bit exaggerated. It will probably make you never want to work at a startup, unless you’re totally into crazy hours, competition, and finding your best friends and love (or a fling) at the office. Also, if you’re 22.

Extraordinary Adventures by Daniel Wilson: Another just OK one for me. It’s well-written with some cute parts, but overall, I was just very confused by the main character. He’s in his 30s and has never really dated anyone. Now that he’s won an all-expenses paid vacation with the only stipulation being that he has to bring a significant other, he’s on a quest. I couldn’t actually connect with any of the characters and honestly felt like there was nothing extraordinary about this book in terms of its pace and topic.

Here’s What I Read in January
Here’s What I Read in February
Here’s What I Read in March

Tell me what you’re currently reading and if there was anything in this post you’re adding to your “books to read” list! Also, do you think reading has helped you at all at your job?

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Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl http://wearenotmartha.com/buffalo-chicken-burrito-bowl/ http://wearenotmartha.com/buffalo-chicken-burrito-bowl/#comments Wed, 17 May 2017 13:27:04 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26202 This Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl is the ultimate salad with brown rice, avocado, carrots, celery, tomatoes, blue cheese dressing, and more. If you don’t have time to make the whole entrée, you must at least make the buffalo chicken! I’m pretty sure my husband could eat Mexican food for every single meal for the rest of his life and be perfectly happy. This is pretty OK with me since it’s one of my favorite types of food, too (give me allll the guacamole, please. And cheese. And spiciness.), but ordering Mexican food out isn’t always the healthiest. Can we talk […]

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This Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl is the ultimate salad with brown rice, avocado, carrots, celery, tomatoes, blue cheese dressing, and more. If you don’t have time to make the whole entrée, you must at least make the buffalo chicken!

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

I’m pretty sure my husband could eat Mexican food for every single meal for the rest of his life and be perfectly happy. This is pretty OK with me since it’s one of my favorite types of food, too (give me allll the guacamole, please. And cheese. And spiciness.), but ordering Mexican food out isn’t always the healthiest. Can we talk about how much I hate when restaurants have “light and healthy” sections of their menu?? And they’re filled with plain chicken and lettuce and no sauce or flavor at all? And you basically have to be like, “Welp OK, I am going to be decidedly not healthy tonight and order off the ‘heavy and artery-clogging’ side of the menu.” Thanks for making me feel so good about myself!

Another thing about Mexican food is that, while I love almost every menu item possible, I’m not a fan of the burrito. I’m not really sure why, but I feel like every time I get a burrito, I’m just bored to death and am stuck wishing I could bury my face into a bowl of guacamole and call it a day. But I do love non-burrito burritos. Like for instance, buffalo chicken burritos. Which I guess you could argue are really just wraps with rice. And I guess when you put them in a bowl, they’re really just salads with rice. But I don’t care. I’m calling this a Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl and sticking to it.

The thing is… Even if you’re not feeling the whole burrito bowl thing, you at least need to make these buffalo chicken tenders. They are so crazy good, I want to make them every day and eat them forever. They’re baked, breaded with panko, and easy to make. And obviously dunked in delicious Frank’s Red Hot. How can you go wrong? This was honestly the best boneless buffalo chicken I’ve had. And it wasn’t even fried!

Also, blue cheese dressing is a must. You can, of course, buy it; but it’s also super easy to make. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can certainly use ranch or another dressing of your choice.

Basically, I put the buffalo chicken tenders in a bowl with a lettuce and spinach mixture; carrots and celery (because you can’t have buffalo chicken without them); avocado, tomatoes, brown rice, and shredded cheddar cheese (because you can’t burritos without them); crushed tortilla chips (because duh); and then I drizzled it all with homemade blue cheese dressing

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

Anyone who thinks “salads” are boring has never had a burrito bowl. And anyone who thinks burrito bowls are a strange concept has never had a buffalo chicken burrito bowl. And really, you need to change that ASAP. With so many delicious components, you know putting them all together is going to be good.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

While lots of times, the really delicious salads are super unhealthy, that is not true in this case. Yes, there’s some shredded cheddar, crushed tortilla chips, and blue cheese dressing; but I went really light on those. And that’s in addition to a lot of really healthy vegetables, a little bit of brown rice, and baked chicken. This probably still wouldn’t land on the “light and healthy” section of a menu (because you know, those dishes must be bland and boring!), but you don’t have to feel bad about eating it.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

I mean, really, I probably shouldn’t label this Mexican food at all. But I’m still kind of doing that… I guess it’s more of an Americanized version of Mexican food; there are plenty of spots that make Caesar salad burritos, Asian chicken burritos, etc. And this is along those lines. A little fusion dish, if you will.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

Of course, if you prefer to just call this a Buffalo Chicken Salad, I’m OK with that. Though salads with rice are kind of weird. But this is all just semantics. Let’s just sit back and marvel about how buffalo chicken is always a good idea, but especially when avocado is involved.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

This Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl makes me so much happier than any old burrito would. BUT if you know of a traditional burrito in the Boston-area that you think will change my mind, I am game for trying it. For now, I will be chowing down on burrito bowls and ordering ridiculous amounts of guacamole and enchiladas when I’m out for Mexican.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish? Are you a fan of the burrito?

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl
 
This Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl is the ultimate salad with brown rice, avocado, carrots, celery, tomatoes, blue cheese dressing, and more. If you don't have time to make the whole entrée, you must at least make the buffalo chicken!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Makes: 4 large salads
Ingredients
Buffalo Chicken:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups panko
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1½ cups hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
Blue Cheese Dressing:
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper
Salad:
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup crushed tortilla chips
Instructions
Buffalo Chicken:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly beat eggs in a shallow bowl.
  3. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together panko, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
  4. One at a time, dip chicken tenders in egg and then dredge in panko mixture, making sure tenders are fully coated in mixture.
  5. Place chicken tenders on a baking rack atop a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  7. While chicken is baking, combine hot sauce and butter in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir until butter is melted and combined with hot sauce. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
  8. Remove chicken from oven and toss in bowl with hot sauce until chicken is fully coated.
  9. Place chicken back on rack and return to oven for 8-10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and registers at 160 degrees. Let chicken tenders cool a bit before slicing.
Blue Cheese Dressing:
  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together blue cheese, garlic, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard.
  2. Stir in buttermilk and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Salad:
  1. Divide lettuce and spinach between four large bowls.
  2. Place 3-4 slices of buffalo chicken on salad and continue dividing carrots, celery, avocado, grape tomatoes, and brown rice among bowls.
  3. Sprinkle shredded cheddar and crushed tortilla chips.
  4. Drizzle blue cheese dressing over salad.

Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl -- This salad is packed with buffalo chicken, brown rice, avocado, tomato, and more | wearenotmartha.com

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Friday I’m in Love #13: Sparkle http://wearenotmartha.com/friday-im-in-love-13-weeknight-dinners-sparkle/ http://wearenotmartha.com/friday-im-in-love-13-weeknight-dinners-sparkle/#comments Sat, 13 May 2017 03:58:24 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26211 FRIDAY. Hi. Please don’t leave me. OK fine, you can leave me for Saturday, but that’s it. Sunday might be OK, but I want absolutely nothing to do with Monday. It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for me and I’m craving a weekend like crazy. I’ve got lots of plans this weekend, so not a ton of downtime, but it will be fun at least. And I’m sure some couch will be involved. And dog snuggles. And some cooking, too. I had a pretty good month weeknight dinners-wise in April and, as usual, am sharing all my meals with […]

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FRIDAY. Hi. Please don’t leave me. OK fine, you can leave me for Saturday, but that’s it. Sunday might be OK, but I want absolutely nothing to do with Monday. It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for me and I’m craving a weekend like crazy. I’ve got lots of plans this weekend, so not a ton of downtime, but it will be fun at least. And I’m sure some couch will be involved. And dog snuggles. And some cooking, too.

I had a pretty good month weeknight dinners-wise in April and, as usual, am sharing all my meals with you below. I feel like I did a super good job of cooking a variety of things and made quite a few meals I will return to at some point. Since I work full time and often have plans on the weekends, a lot of these are easy weeknight dinners that can be prepared in a short amount of time, which I love. Here they are!

Weeknight Meals from April 2017 | wearenotmartha.com

Curried Chicken Pitas from Food & Wine
Chili-Stuffed Poblano Peppers from Fresh Fit Kitchen
Pesto Pizza (my own recipe)
Instant Pot Beef Stew from Pinch of Yum (with sweet potatoes added in)

Weeknight Meals from April 2017 | wearenotmartha.com

Orange Chicken from Chef Savvy
Southwest Chorizo-Cheese Waffles from Rachael Ray magazine
Buffalo Chicken Burrito Bowl (coming to We are not Martha soon!)
Turkey and Spinach Lasagna from Bon Appétit

Weeknight Meals from April 2017 | wearenotmartha.com

Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan from The Cookie Rookie
Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice from an original We are not Martha recipe
Szechuan Tofu with Cauliflower from Cooking Light
Turkey Tacos (regularly made meal)

Weeknight Meals from April 2017 | wearenotmartha.com

And my absolute favorite weeknight dinner of the month that will definitely be made again soon…

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps from Vitamin Sunshine

I know Easter was like a million years ago (and um, also a million degrees warmer. What the heck?), but I have to share a photo of my absolutely adorable nephews!! They had a blast hunting for candy-filled eggs and Winnie had a blast chasing them around (and trying to find the eggs herself…).

Twins Celebrating Easter 2017 | wearenotmartha.com

I saw an ad for Breyer’s Gelato Indulgences in Bon Appétit and literally went straight to the grocery store to find it. SO good. Though I was slightly disappointed there wasn’t cookie dough throughout the whole carton (only on top).

Breyers Gelato Indulgences Cookie Dough | wearenotmartha.com

I know they’re a little ridiculous, but I couldn’t resist getting a pair of Kate Spade Glitter Keds. The happiest sneakers ever, I’m sure I’ll be wearing them a ton this summer.

Kate Spade Glitter Keds and Winnie Labradoodle | wearenotmartha.com

I took shockingly few photos of Winnie this month (sadness!), but it wouldn’t be a Friday I’m in Love without a Winnie Snapchat filter picture. Her cousin Mitzi is coming to stay with us this weekend for a nice long visit, so I’m sure I’ll be snapping lots of pics of the two of them!

Sues and Winnie Labradoodle Snapchat | wearenotmartha.com

Ooh, you may have seen it on Instagram, but I made my own English muffins for Easter! My mom and I took a class at Stonewall Kitchen where they showed us how to do it. I attempted them myself almost immediately and they were EASY. And I couldn’t believe how awesome they turned out. I’ll definitely do a tutorial here soon so all y’all can make them at home, too!

Homemade English Muffins | wearenotmartha.com

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent last weekend in Salt Lake City at the Everything Food Conference… So fun! I didn’t take my usual 93024 photos, but obviously had to get one with the bag of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows. Ha! He (she??) was a little bit creepy to “talk” to, but just ridiculous funny.

Sues and Jet-Puffed Marshmallows Everything Food Conference | wearenotmartha.com

One evening, my colleague and I skipped the conference dinner and went for a drive up into the mountains to Log Haven Restaurant. Their website calls it Utah’s best restaurant, which, if true, is an absolutely exceptional recognition.

Log Haven Restaurant Salt Lake City, Utah | wearenotmartha.com

The meal was incredible and everything on the menu was so delicious-sounding, it was really tough to decide what to order. For my meal, I had the bison steak with poblano chile grits… omg so many awesome flavors all working together in the most amazing way. And check out those desserts! We couldn’t resist the little s’mores tart and the Frozen Coconut Banana Soufflé. I wasn’t even hungry after I finished my meal, but when these desserts arrived at the table, I was suddenly starving and we managed to eat everything. The service at Log Haven was also perfect (but um, not the cell phone service…. Which there was none of. So, if you need to get an Uber or text your husband so he knows you’re still alive, ask them for the wifi password).

Log Haven Restaurant Salt Lake City, Utah | wearenotmartha.com

When the conference ended, I spent some time just walking around Salt Lake City and it was a beautiful place. Temple Square was just gorgeous and had so many flowers building. The temples and other Mormon buildings are also stunning-looking… It was such a nice peaceful place to walk around. Also, despite a couple rain showers on Sunday, the weather was GORGEOUS and so much warmer than in Boston.

Temple Square Salt Lake City, Utah | wearenotmartha.com

Obviously if I know there’s a doughnut shop close to where I’m staying, I’m going to find it. Doughnuts at The Big O Doughnuts are all vegan (which at first gave me pause…) and were absolutely incredible. If you think vegan desserts must be gross, you need to visit this place and then admit to me that you were 100% wrong. I was shocked by how delicious these are, but also super happy. I only wish I had picked up a dozen… I tried the s’mores mini and the blueberry lavender mini; both amazing.

The Big O Doughnuts Salt Lake City, Utah | wearenotmartha.com

My Favorite Links of the Week:

Waffles & Syrup Oreo Cookies Are Happening: I’m pretty sure I include Oreo news every month I write my “Friday I’m in Love” post and some of you probably think the madness needs to stop ASAP. I, however, love it. I just bought the new fireworks Oreos (and love them!!) and now I’m pretty freaking excited that Waffles & Syrup Oreos are going to be a thing. Maple syrup is one of my main loves in life, so I am all about these.

Why Taste Buds Dull As We Age: This is an interesting read, but also makes me so sad! Losing vision and hearing abilities is bad enough, but please don’t take my sense of taste (and smell) away!

World’s First Avocado Bar is Now Open: All I can say is why doesn’t Boston get anything fun like this? And why wasn’t it my idea to open an avocado bar? Disappointment all around.

Oysters, Despite What You’ve Heard, Are Always in Season: Best. News. Ever. Basically, if you’re buying oysters that are grown in healthy waters and that are being handled properly, you should be good to go!

My Favorite Recipes from Around the Blogosphere:

Rhubarb Palomas from Posh Little Designs:

Rhubarb-Palomas

Every year, I say I’m going to cook/bake/cocktail more with rhubarb… And then I never do. This cocktail is so pretty, I think it’s giving me exactly the motivating boost I need!

Salmon Cake Eggs Benedict from Do You Even Paleo?:

Salmon-Cake-Eggs-Benedict

I do not even paleo, but this is pretty much my ideal breakfast, so yes, I would paleo for this.

Rose Ice Cream from Salt and Lavender:

Rose-Ice-Cream

I’m pretty sure this ice cream could win an award for prettiest ice cream ever. And I imagine it tastes amazing, too!

Edible Glitter Chocolate Bars from Studio DIY:

Edible-Glitter-Chocolate-Bars

I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t resist with this one. I mean, glitter and chocolate… Is there anything happier in life? I am in love with this.

I hope you have an extra sparkly weekend! It’s supposed to be gloomy and miserable weather here… But allegedly, it’s going to be much nicer in Boston next week, so I think I can handle a couple more days of cold and rain. Especially when dinner with friends and Mother’s Day celebrations with family are also on the docket. I’m also working on my first (finally!!) recipe video this weekend. We’ll see how that goes!

What are you up to this weekend? And as always, please share your easy weeknight dinners with me so I can add them to my meal plans!

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Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls http://wearenotmartha.com/blueberry-funfetti-cinnamon-rolls/ http://wearenotmartha.com/blueberry-funfetti-cinnamon-rolls/#comments Mon, 08 May 2017 19:17:44 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26175 Is there anything better than a plate full of cinnamon rolls? How about a plate full of Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls? These will make your kitchen smell amazing and are the perfect addition to weekend brunch! Wait, is it really Monday again?? How does that keep happening?? I can’t complain, though because I just returned from a fabulous long weekend in Salt Lake City for the Everything Food Conference, where I hung out with some awesome food bloggers, chatted with a couple brands, ate a TON of food, and learned all about blogging from the best. It’s been way too […]

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Is there anything better than a plate full of cinnamon rolls? How about a plate full of Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls? These will make your kitchen smell amazing and are the perfect addition to weekend brunch!

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

Wait, is it really Monday again?? How does that keep happening?? I can’t complain, though because I just returned from a fabulous long weekend in Salt Lake City for the Everything Food Conference, where I hung out with some awesome food bloggers, chatted with a couple brands, ate a TON of food, and learned all about blogging from the best. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to a food blogging conference (back in the early days, Chels and I went to a ton) and I forgot how fun and motivating they are. I had also never been to Utah before and loved Downtown Salt Lake City, though I certainly didn’t have enough time to explore as much as I would have liked… I will share what I did do in Friday’s “I’m in Love” post!

There’s not much I love more than walking around and exploring new cities and towns…. Unless it’s staying at home on my couch with a plate full of cinnamon rolls. The first time I made cinnamon rolls, I thought they were sooooo time-consuming and arduous, but now I’m all “pshh these ain’t no thang” and I’ll whip them up on a Friday afternoon after work to enjoy for the weekend. Yes, that is DANGEROUS. Also dangerous is the fact that this recipe makes two batches, which means you can throw one dish into the freezer and bake when you’re having a sudden craving that needs to be fulfilled immediately with no time to wait for the dough to rise. Also dangerous is that once you know how to make them, you can play around with flavors and other fun stuff like sprinkles. I have been planning funfetti cinnamon rolls for a while, but was also craving blueberries, so I combined the two for these Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

I learned to make cinnamon rolls with a Pioneer Woman recipe and have adapted it throughout the years, depending on my add-ins and how many I want to make. These were my best-yet cinnamon rolls, which means I won’t be stopping any time soon.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

I also made a simple blueberry icing to top the funfetti cinnamon rolls with. You really can’t have a cinnamon roll without icing. Well, you can; but that’s just silly.

Blueberry-Icing-2

Hooray, hooray, hooray!! Is all I could think when I took this beautiful dish out of my oven. Seriously, if you happen to be having people over on a Saturday morning or afternoon, pop these in the oven and your house is going to be swoon-worthy. Then when they come to the door, you can be all, “oh really? It smells good in here? I hadn’t noticed.”

Blueberry-Funfetti-Cinnamon-Rolls-6

Dangerous, I tell you. I love my neighbors, but I actually wish I had some close friends that lived next door, so I could just have them stop by in times like these. Or I could pop treats like this in their mailbox. Close friends who weren’t on diets ever. Otherwise they would just be annoying. And they’d just make me feel bad.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

I sat at my kitchen table and ate one of these Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls with a fork. And basically just closed my eyes and was transformed to another place. A place that involved no stress or worries and was pretty much just an endless weekend.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

I didn’t go too crazy on adding blueberries when I made these because I didn’t want them to end up an ooey gooey mess (yes, they are still ooey gooey, but in a controlled manner). I felt like the blueberry to bun ratio was perfect here and the sprinkles just make them look like more of a party. Which is never a bad thing.

Blueberry-Funfetti-Cinnamon-Rolls-14

So, I made these cinnamon rolls last week, but I’m pretty sure the dish that I put in my freezer is going to come out and go in the oven tonight. I’m expecting no guests and have no real reason to celebrate anything… But maybe we can just celebrate the fact that we made it through another Monday? I’m all about the small things in life.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

Making it through Mondays, successfully getting your grocery shopping done, doing a work presentation, or even just checking a few things off your t0-do list (yes, even if one of those things was “take a shower”), I think you deserve these. And if you can’t think of one thing you’ve accomplished today, I think you need these as a little pick-me-up.

See? I’m really good at justifying stuff like this. Especially if it involves sprinkles.

Blueberry-Funfetti-Cinnamon-Rolls-12

But really, stop making me justify these Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls to you… Just know that you deserve them!

What’s the best cinnamon roll you’ve ever had?

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls
 
Is there anything better than a plate full of cinnamon rolls? How about a plate full of Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls? These will make your kitchen smell amazing and are the perfect addition to weekend brunch!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Makes: 20-25 rolls (two pans)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1½ sticks butter
  • ⅛ cup ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz. fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1 batch Blueberry Icing (recipe below)
Blueberry Icing:
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk
Instructions
  1. Heat milk, vegetable oil, and ½ cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let it get really hot, but remove from heat right before it comes to a boil. Set aside and let cool to luke warm.
  2. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over milk mixture and let sit for about 1 minute.
  4. Add 4 cups of the flour to the bowl and stir until just combined.
  5. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a relatively warm place to rise for an hour.
  6. Remove towel and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining ½ cup of flour and stir thoroughly to combine.
  7. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle, about 30×10 inches.
  8. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  9. Pour 1 Tbsp of the melted butter each into two round baking dishes or pie plates (you can also use disposable foil cake pans).
  10. Pour remaining melted butter over the surface of the dough and use fingers or a pastry brush to spread the butter evenly.
  11. Generously sprinkle ground cinnamon and ¾ cup sugar over the butter and top with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles.
  12. Starting at the long end farthest from you, roll the dough tightly toward you. Use both hands to roll evenly and work slowly. Pinch the seams together at ends.
  13. Transfer dough to a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1-inch slices.
  14. Place rolls into the pans, but be sure not to overcrowd them.
  15. Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel for about 20 minutes, so they can rise again. While they're rising, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  16. Place them in the oven at 375 degrees for 16-20 minutes, until they're turning golden around the edges.
  17. Remove cinnamon rolls from oven and immediately pour icing over them.
Blueberry Icing:
  1. Place blueberries in a medium bowl and use a fork or masher to mash together.
  2. Add powdered sugar and whole milk and whisk together until smooth.
Notes:
  1. To make cinnamon rolls ahead of time, you can cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge for up to three days after performing step 6 and finish rolling dough and forming rolls when ready. You can also place rolls in fridge overnight or in the freezer for longer after arranging them in the pan (step 14) and covering tightly with plastic wrap. Simply bring to room temperature and bake when ready.

Blueberry Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls -- The perfect addition to brunch, these cinnamon rolls are packed with blueberries and rainbow sprinkles | wearenotmartha.com

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Mint White Chocolate S’mores http://wearenotmartha.com/mint-white-chocolate-smores/ http://wearenotmartha.com/mint-white-chocolate-smores/#comments Wed, 03 May 2017 01:56:20 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26144 Made with homemade mint marshmallows and chocolate graham crackers, this s’mores recipe takes a classic summer treat and gives it a fresh new spin! You know what I don’t find relaxing? Salon days. As in going to get my hair and nails done and all of that other “pampering” stuff that I think I’m supposed to love. That society tells me the ladies love. I see these things as occasionally necessary (and I love the way I feel after), but not relaxing or fun or enjoyable in any way. I only have so many free hours in my day and about […]

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Made with homemade mint marshmallows and chocolate graham crackers, this s’mores recipe takes a classic summer treat and gives it a fresh new spin!

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

You know what I don’t find relaxing? Salon days. As in going to get my hair and nails done and all of that other “pampering” stuff that I think I’m supposed to love. That society tells me the ladies love. I see these things as occasionally necessary (and I love the way I feel after), but not relaxing or fun or enjoyable in any way. I only have so many free hours in my day and about a billion other things I would rather be doing with them. Is anyone else with me?? There are probably plenty of people who think a woman would much rather be in the salon than in the kitchen, but I would vehemently disagree with that, at least from a personal perspective. Then again, I’d rather be in the kitchen than doing pretty much anything else (something tells me this is a food blogger thing and not necessarily an everyone thing!), especially sitting in a chair being poked and prodded.

I actually only started getting manicures and pedicures within the last couple years and really only in the summer or when I have an occasion or vacation. I went yesterday since I’m off to the Everything Food Blog Conference in Salt Lake City this week (see you there???) and felt like I was going to jump out of my skin the entire time since all I wanted to do was get home and write about Mint White Chocolate S’mores with you guys. So, here I am. Hi! S’mores. This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve made s’mores, but it is the first time I made both my own graham crackers (chocolate graham crackers!) and marshmallows (mint marshmallows!). Of course it was more work than regular old s’mores, but it was also my idea of fun. And so worth it for the finished product!

If you haven’t made your own marshmallows before, I need to tell you how easy it is. I promise I’m not lying to you. I’ve made them a few times, but this time I used a base recipe from Epicurious and it was the easiest yet! Once you have a base recipe, you can make them any flavor and/or color you want. I was craving mint and tinted them a light green.

Mint-Marshmallow-Making

They came out perfectly and I was thrilled!

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

It was also my first time making homemade graham crackers. I used a Smitten Kitchen recipe, but made the crackers (cookies) chocolate instead. Again, easy! The toughest part was rolling out the dough evenly, which is something I’m constantly trying to perfect for every dough-based recipe I make.

Chocolate-Graham-Cracker-Making

I get a little better every time, but it’s a constant work in progress. When I first started these, I was going to make regular sheets of graham crackers, but when I saw Smitten Kitchen made hers into squares, I went with that since squares make the most sense for s’mores.

Chocolate-Graham-Crackers-4

Since the graham crackers were chocolate, I decided these s’mores needed white chocolate instead of milk. I melted them all together in the microwave… No campfire required! Though I think if you had mint marshmallows at the end of your roasting stick around the campfire, you’d automatically be the coolest one there.

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

Plus, wouldn’t it be such a fun campfire if there was a huge variety of different flavors and colors of marshmallows to choose from? I feel like I need to make that happen this summer.

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

OK, I know you’re probably secretly thinking that when these marshmallows melt, they look a little bit like slime. Right? And I’m not sure if that’s really awesome or really weird or maybe a little bit of both… But I do know that they were absolutely delicious. In addition to eating a few of these s’mores, I ate many, many marshmallows on their own. The mint was so fun!

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

The graham crackers were pretty fabulous, too, and I definitely want to try the plain old cinnamon graham version rather than the chocolate next time.

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

I’m not going to lie; I was pretty proud that I made s’mores with so many homemade components. The only thing I didn’t make was the white chocolate bar… And I’m probably not going to touch that one any time soon!

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

So yeah, I’d much rather be making homemade marshmallows and graham crackers than getting my nails done. Though I have to admit, I’m pretty thrilled that I’m currently rocking a manicure that’s going to last through more than just one marshmallow session in the kitchen (gel manicures save my life).

What’s your dream flavor marshmallow? Dream manicure color?

Mint White Chocolate S'mores
 
Made with homemade mint marshmallows and chocolate graham crackers, this s'mores recipe takes a classic summer treat and gives it a fresh new spin!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: 24 s'mores (with some leftover marshmallows)
Ingredients
  • 24 Mint Marshmallows (recipe below)
  • 24 squares of high-quality white chocolate
  • 48 2" chocolate graham cracker squares (recipe below)
Mint Marshmallows:
  • Vegetable oil for pan
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 3 (1/4-oz) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Green (or blue and yellow) food coloring, if desired
Chocolate Graham Crackers:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • ⅓ cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
  • 5 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
Instructions
Mint Marshmallows:
  1. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil. Then, dust the pan generously with some confectioners' sugar by putting it through a fine mesh sieve. Knock out any excess sugar.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, add ½ cup water. Sprinkle gelatin over the top of the water and stir to make sure it all comes in contact with water. Set aside to soften.
  3. In a heavy 3- or 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage). If the mixture bubbles up, turn down the heat a bit.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand briefly until bubbles begin to dissipate.
  5. While mixer is on low speed, pour hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin by drizzling it in a thin stream down the side of the bowl.
  6. Gradually increase mixer speed to high and beat until marshmallow gets thick and forms a thick ribbon when whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes.
  7. Beat in the mint and vanilla extracts. Beat in a few drops of green food coloring or a mixture of blue and yellow food coloring, if desired (I used 6 drops yellow and 2 drops blue from Wilton's Color Right line).
  8. Working quickly to prevent hardening, scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use wet fingertips to make sure it's even and smooth on top.
  9. Let baking pan stand at room temperature and uncovered for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight. The surface should no longer be sticky and you should be able to gently pull marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips.
  10. Dust a cutting board with confectioners' sugar and use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan. This may take a bit of work and you may need to also use the spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the bottom of the pan. Invert marshmallow onto cutting board and dust the top with confectioners' sugar.
  11. Using a long thin knife brushed with vegetable oil and dusted with confectioner's sugar, cut marshmallow lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into sixths (you should get about 36 squares total) or into a different size of your choice.
  12. Coat marshmallows, one at a time, in confectioners' sugar and use a pastry brush to brush off any excess.
  13. Store marshmallows in an airtight container layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper in a cool, dry place for up to a month.
Chocolate Graham Crackers:
  1. Combine flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and continue to pulse until mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If you don't have a food processor, you can do this in a stand mixer fitted with paddle, mixing on low. If you have neither, you can incorporate with a pastry blender (or even your fingers!).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough just comes together (being very careful not to over-mix). The dough should be soft and sticky.
  4. Lay out a large rectangle of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then place dough on it and pat into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap dough and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Once chilled, divide dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. On a flour-dusted surface, roll dough into a long rectangle about ⅛ inch thick, adding more flour as required.
  6. Using a pastry cutter or a preferred tool, cut dough into 2" squares.
  7. Prick each square with the end of a skewer, toothpick, or fork several times and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  8. Chill squares in refrigerator until firm, about 30-45 minutes (you could also place in freezer for 15-20 minutes).
  9. Repeat rolling and cutting with the second batch of dough and then gather dough scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll. You should get about 48 2" squares.
  10. While squares are chilling, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Bake cookies for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
S'mores Assembly:
  1. To assemble, place a mint marshmallow and white chocolate square on a chocolate graham cracker and place on plate. Microwave on high for about 15 seconds.
  2. Remove from microwave and place a second chocolate graham cracker on top.
Notes:
  1. Mint Marshmallows slightly adapted from Epicurious
  2. Chocolate Graham Crackers slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Mint White Chocolate S'mores -- Homemade marshmallows and homemade chocolate graham crackers make for the ultimate s'mores | wearenotmartha.com

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Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas http://wearenotmartha.com/grilled-pineapple-coconut-margaritas/ http://wearenotmartha.com/grilled-pineapple-coconut-margaritas/#comments Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:04:38 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26126 Pineapple is delicious on all on its own, but grilling it brings out a whole new depth of flavor. This Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margarita is easy to make and perfect as a tropical cocktail! Has this week been the LONGEST week ever for anyone else? I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Thursday and had to keep reminding myself we were only midway through the week. Then when I called Chris on my way home from work, he said, “at least tomorrow is Friday!” I had to break it to him that “nope, tomorrow is still just Thursday” and […]

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Pineapple is delicious on all on its own, but grilling it brings out a whole new depth of flavor. This Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margarita is easy to make and perfect as a tropical cocktail!

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

Has this week been the LONGEST week ever for anyone else? I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Thursday and had to keep reminding myself we were only midway through the week. Then when I called Chris on my way home from work, he said, “at least tomorrow is Friday!” I had to break it to him that “nope, tomorrow is still just Thursday” and he almost didn’t believe me. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that it’s been cold and rainy and miserable all week long. At least tomorrow really is Friday now, but every time I look at the weather forecast for the weekend, it’s different. One minute it looks nice and sunny and the next minute it’s pouring. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see… At the very worst, we can just remind ourselves that April showers bring May flowers and Monday is officially May!

In the meantime, let’s just sip on tropical drinks and pretend that the 80 degrees and sunny Easter weather stuck around. I would do anything for a tropical vacation right now and kind of think I have a good excuse for one, considering Chris and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary in June (!!!). The perfect reason to celebrate on a beach with a mixed drink or twelve. We just have a lot going on right now and moving into the summer and also… I’ve become that person who doesn’t want to go on vacation because I don’t want to leave my dog. So pathetic, right? This spring and summer I’m putting her through her own personalized boot camp (designed by me) to help her build confidence and socialization and to get rid of her fear and anxiety. Then I’ll probably feel better leaving her. Wish me luck.

So for now, it’s drinks like these Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas on my backyard deck. Or, if it continues to be cold and rainy, on my couch with a huge furry blanket and the gas fireplace on. And you know, I think I can live with that for now. I love traveling and far-off beaches, but I’m also very much a homebody and my family room with my husband, dog, cocktail, and a book is my ultimate happy place. And this drink is my happy drink. I buy a pineapple at least every other week, chop it up, freeze it, and then regularly add it to my kale smoothies for a little touch of sweetness. I LOVE grilled pineapple, but never think to do it on my own, so I threw some on my grill pan (too gross and rainy to actually be grilling right now…) and brought out some of the sugars for a deep caramelized flavor.

The grill pan works perfectly, but you could also skewer the pineapple pieces and grill them on your outdoor grill if you want. Just make sure to keep on until you get those gorgeous grill marks.

Grilling-Pineapple-2

Once grilled, I cooled the pineapple to room temperature and blended with ice, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila. Is there anything more tropical than pineapple and coconut?

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

While taking these photos, I also discovered that my dog is a seriously big fan of shredded coconut. Well, I knew she loves coconut oil (coconut oil allegedly has lots of benefits for dogs, including keeping their coats shiny and their breath smelling fresh!), but I had to delete quite a few photos where her face showed up trying to lick that coconut up.

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

But there’s no way she was getting any of this drink. a) because it had tequila in it and b) because I wanted it all to myself. I did begrudgingly share with Chris since I figured it would have been concerning if I drank a whole blender-full of this cocktail. But don’t think I wasn’t tempted!

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

I never order frozen margaritas when I’m out, mostly because they always seem to have so much sugar in them and feel more like dessert than a drink. But I love making them at home since you can control what goes into them and they feel like a tropical vacation that’s not necessarily pumping you full of sugar (other than the sugar from the fruit). BUT I have to admit that these margaritas had me start craving a pineapple margarita on the rocks, too. Probably with a little bit of spice added in.

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

I also discovered that I actually made a pineapple coconut margarita just a couple years ago (that I completely forgot about!), but that one used coconut milk instead of coconut water and frozen pineapple instead of grilled. Clearly I’m craving this combination (AND TEQUILA) quite often.

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway of your own, I highly recommend pairing these margaritas alongside my Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice. And please accept my apologies if you don’t like coconut. And my condolences, too, because if that’s the case, I feel a little bit bad for you (but maybe not because you’re probably saving money… Coconut products can be so expensive!).

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

It seems that the weather has been pretty gloomy across many parts of the country, so I hope that things brighten up and get warm for everyone’s upcoming weekends.

Do you have any tropical drink plans? I think you need some margaritas in your life!

Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margarita
 
Pineapple is delicious on all on its own, but grilling it brings out a whole new depth of flavor. This Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margarita is easy to make and perfect as a tropical cocktail!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Makes: 4 cocktails
Ingredients
  • 3 cups chopped pineapple (save 4 long pieces of pineapple for garnish, if desired)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • Simple syrup for glass rims (can also use lime juice)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 6 oz tequila
  • 1½ oz lime juice
Instructions
  1. Lightly brush pineapple pieces with coconut oil and place on grill pan over medium heat.
  2. Grill for about 4 minutes (until grill marks appear) and then flip and continue to grill for an additional 4 minutes.
  3. Remove pineapple to a plate and let cool to room temperature (can put in fridge to speed up process).
  4. Lightly brush cocktail glasses with simple syrup or lime juice and place shredded coconut on a plate. Dip rims of glasses into shredded coconut.
  5. Once cooled, combine pineapple, ice, coconut water, tequila, and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour cocktail into coconut-rimmed glasses, garnish with long pieces of pineapple and lime, and serve.


Grilled Pineapple Coconut Margaritas -- This frozen margarita combines grilled pineapple, coconut water, lime juice, and tequila for a delicious tropical cocktail | wearenotmartha.com

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Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice http://wearenotmartha.com/chili-lime-salmon-coconut-rice/ http://wearenotmartha.com/chili-lime-salmon-coconut-rice/#comments Tue, 25 Apr 2017 02:55:09 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26103 When I’m not listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (including the mixtape edition) or alternative country music while I’m cooking, I’m most likely listening to a podcast.  A few of my favorite “you can find me in the kitchen” podcasts include Gretchen Rubin’s Happier, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons (I just finished season two and am so sad it’s over), Spilled Milk, Bon Appétit Foodcast, Burnt Toast, Splendid Table, America’s Test Kitchen’s Podcast, and Milk Street Radio. But I love all those trendy podcasts, too… I alsojust finished S-Town and Missing Richard Simmons. I have a lot to say about S-Tow, but […]

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Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

When I’m not listening to the Hamilton soundtrack (including the mixtape edition) or alternative country music while I’m cooking, I’m most likely listening to a podcast.  A few of my favorite “you can find me in the kitchen” podcasts include Gretchen Rubin’s Happier, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons (I just finished season two and am so sad it’s over), Spilled Milk, Bon Appétit Foodcast, Burnt Toast, Splendid Table, America’s Test Kitchen’s Podcast, and Milk Street Radio. But I love all those trendy podcasts, too… I alsojust finished S-Town and Missing Richard Simmons. I have a lot to say about S-Tow, but I don’t really want to talk about it because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t listened yet (Do it! Now!). I listened to all seven episodes in one weekend of cooking/baking. I don’t want to talk about Missing Richard Simmons because honestly, it made me kind of angry. The poor man just wants everyone to leave him alone, so please just respect that. He doesn’t owe you or anyone else anything. Ugh. I never thought I would feel so passionately about Richard Simmons, but it just bugs me that everyone is so possessive over him. You do you, Richard. Haters to the left.

I try to time my podcasts with how long I think my meal will take to cook because I hate leaving podcasts half listened to. But sometimes that’s the way it goes. Like, when I made this Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice and it was done WAY before my episode of Magic Lessons was. I was half annoyed and half totally thrilled. Because getting this salmon in my mouth was way more high priority than listening to a podcast. Even though Magic Lessons is incredibly inspiring and has me majorly girl crushing on Elizabeth Gilbert every episode (can we also talk about how many times I’ve said to people “I know she wrote Eat, Pray, Love and you’re probably annoyed with her… But I promise she’s amazing and nothing like you’d expect the author of Eat, Pray, Love to be”). But I happily shut off the podcast and sat down to this meal.

Please note that cooking time DOES NOT include the time it took to break into this coconut. Which was embarrassingly high. I probably could have written and performed my own podcast in the time it took and even then, I had to have my husband intervene with a hatchet. A literal hatchet.

Opening a Coconut | wearenotmartha.com

But we (and by we I mean him with a hatchet and me yelling at him) finally did it!

Opening a Coconut | wearenotmartha.com

My local grocery store almost always has fresh coconuts and I may have two more in my refrigerator as we speak. What else can I make and also, who has better tips for opening them? Yes, I watched plenty of YouTube videos!

Opening a Coconut | wearenotmartha.com

But other than that, which is totally optional BTW, this dinner is a breeze to make. All you need to do it mix a few ingredients together to place atop the salmon:
Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

And bake it! While you make a delicious and easy coconut rice. Whenever I’m making rice for Thai food, I always make it with at least half coconut milk. This time, I did the other half coconut water.

Coconut-Rice-2

I almost never cook with white rice, but I felt like this recipe required it. Sure, I could have made brown rice (which I love!), but it just wouldn’t have felt as fun and also my photos wouldn’t be as pretty (it’s a tough life being a blogger…).

That salmon though.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

Salmon is one of my very favorite foods, if we’re considering the yummy to healthy ratio. Meaning ice cream, marshmallows, and nachos are really my favorite foods, but I’m also trying to factor in some nutritional value here.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

I’m very crazy about my salmon though, which is odd for me, because I’m not generally “salmon crazy” about many other things in my life. I’ll only buy wild salmon and only if it actually looks nice and orange and tasty. My grocery store sells a nice frozen wild salmon, which I pretty much always have in my fridge. But it doesn’t make for blog-worthy recipes since it has a ridiculous amount of bones in it and looks totally picked over by the time I’m done with it.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

My dream in life is to be wealthy enough to solely purchase my wild salmon from Wegman’s because it looks so delicious there… But is like at least $20/pound. I just can’t. I also generally do all my grocery shopping a week at a time, so unless I”m planning to make salmon that night (which I’m usually not since I like to make dinners that are a bit more complicated on the weekends), it’s nice to have frozen around.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

Please send your salmon recipes to me because I’m always looking for more. And for now, I’m still dreaming of this one. Chili powder, freshly squeezed lime juice, garlic, and parsley are a combo that makes pretty much anything delicious, but especially a nice tropical salmon. Is it bad that whenever I cook salmon, I set aside a little piece (without toppings) to cook for my dog, too? She’s even more obsessed than I am!

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

And that coconut rice! I promise that once you have it, you’ll never want to make rice without coconut milk again. It’s so creamy and packed with way more flavor than typically-made rice. I mean, rice has never really excited me before, but I’ve found myself craving this multiple times since I made this.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

You’ll also want to eat all of your meals out of coconut from now on. And to that, I say, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with keeping a hatchet in your kitchen drawer, is there??

Yup, I’ll gladly pause a podcast halfway through so I can start gobbling this up. I also kind of sort of think I could lure Richard Simmons back into the public with this salmon. Kidding!! Seriously. Leave him alone, people.

Have you ever opened a coconut yourself (or um, with your husband’s help)?

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice
 
This super simple weeknight dinner is easy, healthy, and delicious. Serve it in a coconut half if you want to impress, but it's just as tasty on a plate!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Makes: about 2 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ lb. salmon, skin removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley, divided
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water (from fresh coconut or bottled/boxed)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and place salmon on foil-lined baking sheet. Pat salmon dry.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, 1 Tbsp. parsley, lime juice, chili powder, and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on the top of salmon filets.
  4. Bake salmon at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, until just cooked through.
  5. Right before putting salmon in the oven, start rice. Combine rice, coconut milk, and coconut water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook until water is fully absorbed by rice, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Let rice stand, uncovered, for a few minutes before adding in remaining 1 Tbsp. parsley and fluffing with a fork.

Chili Lime Salmon Over Coconut Rice -- This easy weeknight dinner is served in a fresh coconut! | wearenotmartha.com

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What I Read: March 2017 | Recommendations for Books to Read http://wearenotmartha.com/what-i-read-march-2017-book-recommendations-for-you/ http://wearenotmartha.com/what-i-read-march-2017-book-recommendations-for-you/#comments Sat, 22 Apr 2017 04:46:51 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26098 Are you someone who hates book spoilers or are you OK with them? I’d say I’m somewhere in between… I prefer to be surprised, but if I know what a book is about or read a book after watching the movie version, I’m OK with it. Chris will literally not listen to me talk about a book if it’s one he’s planning to read, too… Even if I just want to comment on something that it says on the back of the book, he will shush me. He has a serious fear of spoilers! I just saw an article about […]

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What I Read in March 2017 -- Recommendations for Books to Read | wearenotmartha.com

Are you someone who hates book spoilers or are you OK with them? I’d say I’m somewhere in between… I prefer to be surprised, but if I know what a book is about or read a book after watching the movie version, I’m OK with it. Chris will literally not listen to me talk about a book if it’s one he’s planning to read, too… Even if I just want to comment on something that it says on the back of the book, he will shush me. He has a serious fear of spoilers!

I just saw an article about this “reading strategy” (ha! Who knew that was a thing?) that says after reading half of a book, you should skip to the end to determine if you want to keep reading it or not. Whaaat! I would never do that. If I’ve already read half a book, I’m pretty committed to it and am not about drop it because I “don’t think the ending works.” Plus, how can you be sure the ending “doesn’t work” if you’ve skipped a huge portion in which major things can happen? Also, if it’s a book like Gone Girl, I want that build up and suspense until the end. I do understand the writer’s point that once you know the ending, you’re able to enjoy the details and notice things you may not notice without knowledge of the book’s conclusion. And I do find myself rushing through books sometimes just because I want to know how they’ll end. But…no. This just seems ridiculous to me. Would you do it?

Anyway, I had a super successful March in books (reading books from start to finish ha!) and have some great recommendations for you! Please let me know if you’re enjoying these posts. They’re obviously only once a month, but it feels like more (partly because the months go by so quickly and partly because I’ve been a little busy lately and have been slacking with getting out the amount of recipe posts I’d like to). And if you’re not loving them I’ll think or something else to do with them or nix them all together 🙂

(Just an FYI that the links to the books below are affiliate links 🙂 Thank you for supporting WANM!).

Here’s what I read in March! See the end of this post for links to January and February, too.

Give a Girl a Knife by Amy Thielen: I was pretty excited to see this pop up in my Amazon Vine queue in advance of its official May 16 release date. I had sort of mixed feelings about it to start, but then I simply realized it just isn’t’t a typical chef novel. Amy has worked in some super renowned NYC restaurants and is now a home cook (and writer) in the woods of Minnesota. She has a unique perspective and a beautiful way of storytelling and while the book is a bit slow-moving at times, if you’re passionate about food and cooking, you’ll likely enjoy it.

Innocents and Others by Dana Spiotta: OK, clearly this was not my favorite book of the month seeing as I had to look it up to remember what it was even about. And even now that I recall, I’m having trouble figuring out how to describe it to you. Maybe I’m just not cool/smart enough for a book like this, but I felt like it’s disjointed, strange, and just not my cup of tea. There were moments when I felt like “ooh this is good!” and then a couple pages later, I felt like falling asleep. There are lots of mixed reviews on this book and some people think it “transcends literature,” so maybe if experimental fiction is more your thing, you’ll enjoy it.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: I had never heard of Colleen Hoover before, but somehow this ended up on my to-read list and I’m glad I did. You should know that 89% of its 3,500 reviews on Amazon are 5 stars, which is crazy high! I didn’t think it was the best book in the world and there are a few things that I felt were totally unrealistic and/or inconsistent. But it’s definitely entertaining while touching on some very serious subject matters. At first you’ll think it’s total chick lit (and/or romance; there are some steamy scenes), but story covers domestic abuse in a way that will seriously have you wondering, “what would I do?”

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig: This was kind of a take it or leave it for me. I enjoyed the story of a British girl whose mother dies and suddenly discovers the truth about who her father is. But I found it to be slightly boring and a little bit predictable. If you’re looking for something light that isn’t chick lit, I’d say give this a go, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite book.

Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott: I feel like I’m being a bit of a downer this month (or just have ridiculous expectations), but this was another just OK book for me. It has potential, about a group of people who are all about to be evicted from their Brooklyn apartment building by their landlord’s son. The tenants band together, develop different kinds of relationships, etc. I was just a little bored and had some trouble distinguishing all of the characters from each other.

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams: I’m learning that I’m a big fan of coming of age type stories that start off with people in their 20s and follow them as they age. Also books that are just super true to life… There may not be any major plot twists or crazy drama, but everything is just kind of real life. That’s exactly what this book is. It follows a group of kids graduating from college as their lives turn out to be not quite what they expected.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline: I’ve been hearing a lot about this book for a long time, so I was excited to finally get my hands on it. This book jumps back and forth between two time periods, one current day and one in 1929, when young orphans were taken on trains from New York City to the Midwest to adoptive families. In some ways, it’s your typical “young person learns from older person and vice versa” story, but it’s also a really powerful book that I didn’t want to put down.

The Ramblers by Adian Donnelley Rowley: In some ways, this book follows the same “coming of age” story that I mentioned above. But this definitely wasn’t as enjoyable as Invincible Summer or some of the books I read last month. It follows two friends who met in college as they fall in love and begin dealing with some issues from their past. I wasn’t overly impressed, but felt like it was an enjoyable read.

Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson: This book came from my Book of the Month Club and I thought it was a nice entertaining read. It’s a sort of dystopian novel, but one that felt way more real than others. A doctor creates his own little community called “The Infinite Family Project” in which he brings ten children and their parents to live together in a “perfect little world.” The concept is that everyone will help raise the children collectively to the extent that the children won’t even know who their biological parents are. Obviously problems arise. I really enjoyed the book, but my only issue is that I wish they pushed the concept even more than they did and made it a little more outrageous.

I Must Have You by Joanna Novak: Sad to say this was my least favorite book of the month (and that I’ve read in a long time). If you were in middle school in the 90s (hi!), you will totally get so many of the pops culture references in the book, which is sort of fun. But there are sooooo many of them, it’s actually kind of ridiculous. Also, the book is incredibly rambling, like it’s on drugs. And the characters are a mess. The middle schoolers have anorexia, the mom is having an affair with a college kid (who also happens to be dating one of the middle schoolers). The only thing I got out of this book was a thankful feeling that as tough as middle school might have been, it was not like it was portrayed in this book.

The Portable Veblen: This book was SO weird. But I loved it! I’ll definitely caveat this with… if you don’t like slightly weird and totally quirky people and/or writing styles, this might not be for you. But I thought it was a delight. Veblen is a super quirky lady with a crazy mother (seriously, her mother was so annoying, but in a totally believable way) who also happens to talk to squirrels (I told you this was weird). She’s engaged to be married to a neurologist who has some family issues of his own. Also, a squirrel may or may not come in between their relationship. I’ll let you read it yourself… But don’t say I didn’t warn you. One reviewer on Amazon simply said, “weirdest book I have ever read.”

Things I Should Have Known by Claire Lazebnik: This young adult novel is an incredibly entertaining but powerful read. It’s about a popular high school girl, Chloe, whose older sister is autistic. She wants to help her sister meet a guy, so they start hanging around a boy with autism and his brother. A brother who Chloe knows from school and doesn’t like. While the book was written for a younger audience and is light-hearted and predictable in some ways, it’s also an incredibly powerful reminder about the bonds between siblings.

Here’s What I Read in January
Here’s what I Read in February 

Tell me what you’re currently reading! And also if you’d ever stop a book halfway through to read the ending and decide if you want to finish or not!

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XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles http://wearenotmartha.com/xl-peanut-butter-cookies-with-sprinkles/ http://wearenotmartha.com/xl-peanut-butter-cookies-with-sprinkles/#comments Wed, 19 Apr 2017 01:24:22 +0000 http://www.wearenotmartha.com/?p=26078 There’s nothing more awkward than that moment when you need to get off the train, but the person sitting next to you blocking your way out is sound asleep. This is legitimately my nightmare and causes me to break out into a serious cold sweat as I contemplate how to escape. Do I loudly say, “excuse me!” or do I tap them gently with me hand? Perhaps a combination of the two? Or do I try to crawl under the seat to avoid bothering them? But that would cause a real scene. You know what? Why don’t I just sit here silently and […]

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XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

There’s nothing more awkward than that moment when you need to get off the train, but the person sitting next to you blocking your way out is sound asleep. This is legitimately my nightmare and causes me to break out into a serious cold sweat as I contemplate how to escape. Do I loudly say, “excuse me!” or do I tap them gently with me hand? Perhaps a combination of the two? Or do I try to crawl under the seat to avoid bothering them? But that would cause a real scene. You know what? Why don’t I just sit here silently and miss my stop and try again at the next one? This thought has actually crossed my mind. That it would be easier to make my husband pick me up 15 minutes away than it would be to have to touch this stranger and disturb their dreams. But when push comes to shove, I always go with the combination of gentle tap and pleading. They open their eyes, look incredibly uncomfortable, and then frantically jump up so I can get around them. Nightmares.

The only thing worse than being locked in your seat by a sleeping stranger is being stuck in a seat with someone eating stinky food. Or eating a giant slice of pizza when you’re so hungry, you feel like you might pass out. To the point that you feel like it might actually be OK if you just ask them for a bite (who am I kidding… if I can’t even wake someone up to ask them to move, I’m definitely not asking them for a bite of their food. Also, gross). There are only a few foods that are acceptable for train eating and all of them should be able to be eaten discretely and without smell. Which is exactly why I have been packing one of these XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles in my backpack each day. This is especially handy when I have plans after work and get on the train having not eaten in hours. Sure, I might be making other hungry commuters a little bit jealous, but at least I can eat a cookie in small dainty bites instead of shoving a huge cheesy piece of pizza in my mouth.

I made these peanut butter cookies XL size, so you only need to pack one. Not that I’d judge you if you brought more. Nope, not at all. Ever since I made Tom Colicchio’s peanut butter sandwich cookies with toasted oats (from his cookbook ‘Wichcraft), I vowed never to make peanut butter cookies without toasted oats. And I’ve stood by that.

XL-Peanut-Butter-Cookies-Oats

Now I should also probably vow to never make peanut butter cookies without sprinkles either. Because why not??

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

I used a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter for these, but you can go even larger if you want. The closer a cookie is to being the size of your face, the better.

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

Everyone has a different idea of what the ideal peanut butter cookie is, but in my world they’re soft, while also being nice and crumbly and full of peanut butter flavor without being too sweet. Mission accomplished here!

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

I really had to control myself and continuously remind myself that these cookies were already XL, meaning I shouldn’t eat eight of them. Luckily, they were so satisfyingly awesome, that one was almost always enough for me (except, you know, when I was having a particularly stressful day… Or when my dog had a night where she chose to viciously bark at every other dog that appeared in a television commercial).

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

Isn’t it funny how sprinkles have no flavor, but they automatically make everything taste better? One of life’s little mysteries that we may never figure out.

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

I never have skim milk in my fridge anymore, but I’m telling you that these are the perfect cookies to dip in milk. But soy milk and/or coconut milk doesn’t cut it. I wish it did, but it just doesn’t.

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

I vote these peanut butter cookies as the best commuting snack of the year. And you know… the next time a sleeping man (I’m sorry, but it’s always a man) is blocking my way out of my seat, perhaps I’ll just wave a cookie in front of his face. That will save me the creepiness of touching him or potentially frightening him out of his dreams (the worst!).

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

See, I really think peanut butter cookies can solve the world’s problems. Or at least my minor awkward girl problems.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has had to deal with the sleeping stranger on the train issue? I suppose this can be an issue on airplanes, too, but at least you’re all getting off at the same place and you can wait an extra five minutes to go to the bathroom while you consider your escape plan (or while you wait for your seat mate to wake up on their own)

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles
 
The only thing better than a peanut butter cookie is an extra large peanut butter cookie packed with rainbow sprinkles and toasted oats. You're still allowed to have more than one.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Makes: about 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup + 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and divided
  • 1⅓ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 5 Tbsp of butter. When it’s melted, pour in oats and stir for about 5-7 minutes, until browned and toasted.
  2. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and when the oats are done toasting, pour them into an even layer on the parchment paper. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine remaining cup of butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  5. Add peanut butter and vanilla and continue mixing until well-combined.
  6. Beat in the flour mixture until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.
  7. Fold oats and sprinkles into the batter.
  8. Divide dough into two portions. Place one portion on a large piece of parchment paper. Cover with a second piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin over the top of the parchment paper, roll the dough out, until it’s about ¼ inch thick and even. Repeat with second ball of dough.
  9. Place rolled out dough sheets in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes to chill.
  10. Once dough is chilled, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Working with one portion of dough at a time, place on floured surface and take the top sheet of parchment paper off.
  12. Using a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the dough and place on baking sheets. Re-roll scraps to get about 12 cookies out of each portion of dough. Repeat with second dough sheet.
  13. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until just starting to turn golden at edges.
  14. Let cool on the pan for a minute before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

XL Peanut Butter Cookies with Sprinkles -- The very best peanut butter cookies | wearenotmartha.com

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