Pumpkin Nut Cookies

IMG_5884There’s something so magical about October. I find myself counting down to it every year. Counting down to the weather change, the State Fair opening, the night where Michael and I go Trick or Treating and then eat all his candy while watching Hocus Pocus. My month is jam-packed this year, but I promise it won’t keep me out of the kitchen. My first October post is a fall-fueled cookie that I sent to my Leftovers Club partner Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen. Look at this Fig Rum Swizzle cocktail she created! It’s definitely on my must-try list for the month!

IMG_5885Recipe: Pumpkin Nut Cookies

Makes 3 dozen

What You Need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumkin
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 & 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 eggsWhat To Do:

    1. Blend together shortening, sugar, and eggs.

    2. Add in flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice until mixture is creamy.

    3. Gradually add in the canned pumpkin until it is distributed evenly throughout the batter.

    4. Mix in 1 cup of the pecans.

    5. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 2 hours.

    6. Pre-heat oven to 250 F.

    7. Using a tablespoon, scoop dough into balls and place on a greased baking sheet.

    8. Top each cookie ball with the remaining pecans.

    9. Bake for 15 minutes.

    leftovers-logo1Want to see what all of my friends are bringing to the table for October? Here’s links to all the other Leftovers Club recipes here:

Posted in Desserts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Spice M&M Blondie Bars

Today is the first official day of fall, which means my favorite season is finally here. I am looking forward to the temperature cooling down and the colors of the trees beginning to change. It also means October, my favorite month, is right around the corner. At first I couldn’t figure out why all my blogger friends were already so obsessed with pumpkin, but then I found Pumpkin Spice M&Ms at Target. Oh my gosh, they are delicious. Now I am pumpkin obsessed. It’s a little early, but it’s worth it.

IMG_5836Recipe: Pumpkin Spice M&M Blondie Bars

What You Need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 bag Pumpkin Spice M&Ms

    What To Do:

    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

    2. Mix together flour, sugars, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.

    3. Add in butter and eggs until mixture is smooth.

    4. Gradually mix in the canned pumpkin and combine until the mixture’s orange tint is even throughout the batter.

    5. Stir in the M&Ms. If you are using a mixer, put it on a slow setting or it will break the M&Ms and swirl the coloring.

    6. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before cutting into squares.

    7. Refrigerate any extras.

Posted in Desserts | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Chocolate Chip Bacon Pancakes

IMG_5802I have a love-hate relationship with one of the cooks at work. Actually, up until a few weeks ago it was a very strict hate-only relationship. Usually my nights consist of him telling me to run food that is not mine, and me trying to fly through the tiny expo window to slap him for it. However, after an exceptionally awful evening last month I arrived at work and was told these were in the break room. He had made them for fun and they were mine if I wanted. I bit into the pancakes, assuming they would be awful and it was some kind of cruel joke. Only it wasn’t a joke at all. It was a masterpiece. I spent several mornings trying to recreate the flavors that warmed my heart (and my tummy) so I could share it with you. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chocolate Chip-Bacon Pancakes.


These indulgent beauties are actually fairly simple to make – basic pancake mix with an addition of chocolate chips and crumbled bacon, poured out onto a skillet and then served on a plate with some sweet, sweet toppings. If you’re more of a maple syrup person feel free, but I think the chocolate syrup gives the melted chips and crispy bacon the extra pop your breakfast needs!

IMG_5821Recipe: Chocolate Chip Bacon Pancakes

Makes 6 – 8 pancakes

What You Need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 5 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • chocolate syrup and whipped cream for topping, optional

    What To Do:

    1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat

    2. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking soda.

    3. Add in the milk, eggs, and oil until the batter is smooth.

    4. Slowly mix in the chocolate chips and bacon pieces until evenly distributed.

    5. Pour batter onto the skillet and let cook until the mix begins to bubble. Flip the pancakes over and cook an additional minute.

    6. Repeat the process until all of the batter is gone.

    7. Stack them high and add toppings, if desired!

    IMG_5828Achin’ for more bacon? Check out these Pancakes and Bacon cookies I made for The Leftovers Club and this Man Pizza I used to eat all the time in college!

Posted in Breakfasts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Almond Biscotti

IMG_5762For this month’s Leftovers Club, I was paired with Lauren from Healthy Delicious. Last time we were paired together I decided it’d be fun to send her these Pancakes and Bacon Cookies, clearly not remembering that her site literally has the word “healthy” in the title. Oops. This time I calmed it down and threw some healthy protein-packed slivered almonds into biscotti and shipped them off. Not the healthiest thing ever, but clearly better than cookies chock full of maple syrup.

Recipe: Almond Biscotti

Makes 10-12 biscotti

What You Need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup almonds, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract

What To Do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add the eggs and almond extract until well combined.

4. Fold in the slivered almonds.

5. Pour dough onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Shape so it is in a long brick. Bake for 25 minutes.

6. Using a large knife, carefully cut the biscotti brick into slices. Be extremely cautious, as the slices will break easily if you rush this. (Trust me, I know)

7. Adjust the heat of the oven to 325 F and return the biscotti to the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

8. Let cool before eating.


Interested to see what all my friends made this month? Here’s links to all of their great recipes!

Oatmeal-Chai Caramel Cookies – Platter Talk

Cream Cheese Sprinkle Cookies – The Spiced Life

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Sugar Dish Me

Salted Butterscotch Marshmallows -Omeletta

Honey’s Apple and Coconut Tea Cake – Honey and Nonno

Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Jelly – Healthy Delicious

Cat’s Tongue Cookies – The Urban Mrs.

Fuzzy Navel Thumbprint Cookies – Take a Bite Out of Boca

Peanut Butter Chai Cookies – The Frugal Foodie Mama

Banana Bread Brownies – Eats Well With Others

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies – Food Ramblings

Toasted Coconut, Pineapple and Date Bites – Pineapple & Coconut

Sweet Potato Muffins – Meadows Cooks

Homemade Carmelitas – Cooking in Stilettos

Posted in Desserts | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Cheesy BBQ Bacon Deviled Eggs


Tomorrow officially starts football season. Isn’t that crazy? It feels like the Superbowl was just a few months ago. I live in Texas, but I always root for the NY Giants. They aren’t looking too hot in pre-season, but I am just going to have faith that they’ll step up their game. To celebrate the return of America’s favorite past time, and to use up the rest of the hardboiled eggs from my Tomato Basil Deviled Eggs recipe, I created these bad boys for a tailgaiting party.


Recipe: Cheesy BBQ Bacon Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 

What You Need:

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

    What to Do:

    1. Gently scoop out the egg yolks and mash them all in a small bowl.

    2. Mix the yolks with the remaining ingredients before scooping the filling back into the egg white.

    3. Top with more bacon, if desired.

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Review: Zone Perfect Bars

I can still remember the afternoon during my senior year of college where I finally realized how out on control my weight was. After seeing myself in a few pictures, I went to the store and bought a scale. Stripping off my clothes, I dragged my newest possession onto the tile in my tiny apartment bathroom and stepped on. While the number that appeared at my feet completely devastated me, it also changed my life. I forced myself to work out even when I didn’t really feel like it and I started seriously tracking what I ate. I did research about how much fiber and protein a person my height and age should have and strived to meet the goals each day. That’s when I discovered Zone Perfect.


When I decided to start having protein bars for breakfast after my morning workout, I was weary about doing it at all. What if they didn’t taste good? I had tried protein shakes from a few companies and was less than pleased at the sawdust-like aftertaste. However, when I found out that a company had a protein bar that tasted like eating S’mores, I knew I had to at least try it. Those bars ended up being Fudge Graham Zone Perfect nutrition bars. I became obsessed with them and started trying all the unique flavors the company had to offer. I tried a few other brands too, but nothing ever tasted as good. Zone Perfect has enough variety where I didn’t need to branch out. The company delivers a bar that has both protein and fiber, leaving me full and happy after a long workout.


This week I received a “Good Vox Box” from a company called Influenster. They let you try and review products for free. When I opened my box, it included a new flavor of Zone Perfect from their new greek yogurt line — Greek Yogurt Raspberry. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am on the fence when it comes to both raspberries and yogurt, so I was scared that maybe I had finally met a flavor of protein bar that I wouldn’t enjoy. How wrong I was. The bar was full of flavor, having both the sweetness of the berries and the slight bitter taste of yogurt. It kind of reminded me of the sweet cereals you eat as a kid. Rest assured, it’s not all sugar like those past breakfast treats; It has 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and all for only 190 calories. I think all of that makes up for my worrying before I ate it and then some.


I really loved the Greek Yogurt Raspberry Zone Perfect bar. While Fudge Graham will always be my favorite, I am glad I can add it to my favorite flavors list. If you are thinking of adding protein bars to your diet, I would definitely recommend this company. The bars usually range from 10 to 15 grams of protein, depending on flavor, and most have a lot of fiber in them as well to help keep you full. Sometimes there are even coupons on the Zone Perfect website! Everyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows how much I love a good deal.

Want to try Zone Perfect, but not sure how you feel about yogurt bars? Here’s some of my other favorite flavors:

Fudge Graham

Cookie Dough

Cinnamon Roll

Chocolate Peanut Butter

What are you waiting for? Go find your own favorite flavor today!

Disclaimer: Zone Perfect did not compensate me for this review, but I did receive a complimentary Greek Yogurt Raspberry bar to sample and review. 

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Muffins


IMG_5758It’s the final day of my Week of Basil! I hope you were intrigued by all the weird green things I made this week, especially yesterday’s Tomato Basil Deviled Eggs. This is by far my favorite recipe this week though. These little muffins are full of sun-dried tomato pieces and fresh basil. Then I went ahead and added a bunch of cheddar to the dough. Everything is better with cheese! They’re a perfect substitute for dinner rolls or you can just do what I do and eat them by themselves as a snack.


Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Muffins

What You Need:

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1 & 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomato pieces
  • 2 eggs

What to Do:

1. Pre-heat  the oven to 350 F.

2. Chop your basil into small pieces and set aside.

3. Mix together flour, pepper, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Add in eggs, olive oil, and milk until smooth. Then mix in the tomatoes, basil and 1 cup of the cheese.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 holes in a muffin tray.

6. Bake for 20 minutes.

7. When the muffins are done, switch your oven over to its broil setting. Quickly sprinkle the remaining cheese to the tops of each muffin. Broil for 30 seconds.

8. Let muffins cool before attempting to remove them from the pan.

9. Serve warm with butter.


Posted in Side Dishes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Tomato Basil Deviled Eggs

IMG_5706Deviled eggs are a staple of my family’s large get-togethers. Whether we’re all huddled around my aunt’s TV to watch the Superbowl or we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, someone is always required to bring a tray of deviled eggs. It then becomes a game to see who will luck out and actually get to eat one. Last Thanksgiving my cousin ate 5 of them in under a minute. Pure skill. I have taught many a younger relative how to make a standard deviled egg. Now it’s time to teach my friends and followers how to make a fancy version. IMG_5705These Tomato Basil Deviled Eggs are just as simple as the regular ones to make. You just omit the mustard, don’t go crazy on the mayo, and add in some good old faithful tomato paste. They actually taste like spaghetti sauce inside of an egg. I’m a fan.

IMG_5723Recipe: Tomato Basil Deviled Eggs

Makes 24 deviled eggs

What You Need:

  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, choppedWhat To Do:

    1. Carefully slice the eggs longways, being careful not to break them.

    2. Scoop the yolks into a small bowl.

    3. Mash the yolks, adding the mayonnaise and the tomato paste.

    4. Mix in the chopped basil before scooping the filling back into the eggs.

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Sausage and Pepper Flatbread Pizza

Alright, so maybe there’s not that much basil in this recipe to include it in Basil Week, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s midway through the week and I need to stress eat some delicious pizza. Luckily this one has tons of veggies and I used turkey sausage to make it healthier. Get ready for a beautiful and easy pizza with not a lot of guilt!

IMG_5659Recipe: Sausage and Pepper Flatbread Pizza

What You Need:

  • 1 pre-made flatbread pizza crust
  • 1 jar pizza sauce
  • 1 & 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halfed
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 2 turkey sausage links, cooked
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced

    What To Do:

    1. Pre-heat oven to whatever the pizza crust package calls for.

    2. Assemble your pizza. Put a light coating of sauce on the crust. Don’t go to crazy, or it will soak through the crust and forever stick it to the pizza pan. Believe me. Sprinkle generous amounts of cheese on the sauce. Add peppers, tomatoes, and sausage. Finally, top the pizza with the basil.

    3. Cook for 10 minutes and enojy!

Posted in Main Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes

I wish potatoes were their own food group. I know that I talk about the desire to lose weight, but I love carbs. I really do. When I decided this week on the blog would be dedicated to basil, I really wanted to showcase my favorite vegetable. I made pesto from scratch using basil from my garden and then mixed in into some homemade mashed potatoes. They are delicious! They’re also my favorite color. It’s a win, win.


Recipe: Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes

What You Need:

  • 1 & 1/2 lb. russet potatoes
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk


    What To Do

    1. Make the pesto. Combine the basil, nuts, cheese, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.

  • 2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.

    3. While the water is heating, peel your potatoes. Cut them into quarters and add to the boiling water when it is ready.

    4. Cook the potatoes until they are soft, about 15 minutes.

    5. Drain the water from the pot. Put both the potatoes and the pesto in a large stand mixer. Combine until the potatoes are smooth and the pesto is well incorporated.

Posted in Side Dishes | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments