Tagged: cookies

My Bowl Full of Jelly & WIAW #7

Happy Wednesday, everyone!! It’s almost the weekend!!

I am particularly excited for this weekend! Friday Johnny and I will be heading into NYC to see the tree (which we haven’t done in years!) with Susan, Bill, my Papa Bear, and his lady friend.  Saturday we’ll get to catch up with an old friend I haven’t seen in quite some time and we’re meeting up with all of my extended family for dinner, which is the first time I’ll be seeing everyone since announcing that I’m pregnant, which is super exciting! And Suuuunday we’ll be meeting up with Johnny’s family and our good friend Sue and her husband Matt. We’ll also finally get to meet their little munchkin who’s already 7 months old!! EEEEE. I can’t wait to squeeze him!! It’s going to be a fabulous weekend! Do you have any great weekend plans??

Anywho, it’s What I Ate Wednesday! Check out the link up at Peas and Crayons and see what some other chicas ate today!! Here are my noms:

Breakfast: Small and simple today. Just a cup of peanut butter muligrain cheerios with nonfat milk and some chai tea.

cheeriosSnack: There were some holiday pecans up for grabs in the office kitchen today and I was the first to snag some!! I love pecans! I mixed a few halves and a handful of pomegranate  into my black cherry chobani around 10 am and it was delicious! Then, at 11, my belly started to rumble. Curse my tiny breakfast! I swear if I don’t eat a minimum of 300 calories at breakfast I’m ravenous for the rest of the day. So I munched on some triscuits and a laughing cow cheese wedge to hold me over until lunch time!chobani


Lunch: Johnny and I had lunch with our friend Nicole at Panera today! We had a Panera problem for a while, and were probbbbbbably going there like once a week. We’ve cut back to just once a month now, haha. I’m always torn with what to get, as I enjoy so many things on their menu (Big Kid Grilled Cheese, anyone?). Today I went with my standard You-Pick-Two: Thai Chicken Salad (my favorite salad on their menu) without the crispy wontons and Broccoli Cheddar soup – because it’s so snowy and cold out and it’s soooooo warm and delicious. I had a whole grain baguette on the side, but I always share a bit of it with Johnny. He’s a bread monster.


Snack: I took my vitamins after lunch but figured you guys don’t need to see those again. I also had 3 Hershey Kisses around 2:oo for a sweet little pick-me-up. Come 4:45 pm it’s serious snack time again. Today I enjoyed a pear…in the dark…because I hate the overhead lights in my office.


Today I had a pretty great arm and shoulder workout at the gym! I’m still lifting and I feel great! I also walked on the treadmill at a 15% incline for 15 minutes and I swear I sweat more doing that than I have on any run in a long time!! I’m definitely starting to feel like this baby bump is for reals now though. I can’t wait for it to be firmer…right now I’m feeling a little too much like Twas The Night Before Christmas and that I’ve got a little bowl full of jelly.  Et voila!


Dinner: Tacos for the hubs, taco salad for me! This is one of my favorite post workout meals actually! A bed of spinach topped with chopped bell pepper, black olives, onion, hot salsa, avocado, a little cheese, about 1/2 cup lean ground beef, and a taco shell!! Delicious!tacosalad

Dessert: I still have a huge bag of cookies left from our cookie bake last Saturday, so I nommed on one of the ridiculous S’Mores cookies that Susan made. Behold. They really are glorious!


And there we have it, folks! Make sure to stop by again soon for my Five Cheese Pancetta Mac & Cheese Recipe!! XX/OO

I Have A Problem

Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I am an addict.

I can admit it now. It’s taken years for me to accept it.

By themselves, chocolate and peanut butter are nice. Put them together, though, and I can never seem to stop myself.

To make matters worse, (or better, depending on how you think about it ) I found this:

image courtesy of ilovepeanutbutter.com

Dark. Chocolate.Dreams. I know many of my fellow bloggers are familiar with Peanut Butter & Co. The nut butter obsession of the blogosphere is something I, personally, have been familiar with my whole life.

For about the first 12 or so years of my life, I probably had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every single day.

Creamy peanut butter, grape jelly, white bread.

By senior year of high school, I was in the beginning stages of my health nut phase when a dear friend FINALLY made me try crunchy peanut butter. My whole world began to change!! My next obsession?

Crunchy peanut butter, strawberry jam, whole wheat bread.

It was at this point in my life when I realized, not only is peanut butter insanely delicious, but if you can see past the high calorie content it’s really quite good for you!

I know, I know. Most of you are probably shaking your heads. “She’s as nutty as the peanut butter!” But hear me out.

If you can find a natural peanut butter with minimal amounts of added sugar and no hydrogenated oils, the average two tablespoon serving of peanut butter is generally under 200 calories, has between 6 and 8 grams of protein and, depending on the variety, almost 4 grams of fiber. Compare that to some of your other favorite snacks and see how it adds up. You may be surprised!!

I have finally found a balance in my life, I think, of the 12-year-old-junk-food-loving-Jen and the-crazy-health-nut-Jen of more recent years. What I am about to share with you is something 12-year-old me would have gone BANANAS for. Heh.

Brace yourselves.

Dark Chocolate Dreams
Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate dreams peanut butter*
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter *
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

*Note: You may use a whole cup of dark chocolate dreams if you wish, but I didn’t want to part with that much. These cookies were just chocolaty enough and plenty peanut buttery. This recipe will work fine with a whole cup of regular peanut butter too!*

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. The dough will be very moist and sticky. Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. (You may want to flatten them out a bit, just wet your fingers and press gently on the tops of each cookie.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 18 minutes or until fragrant and crackly on top. Let cool on the baking sheet for about two minutes before transferring to a baking rack and cooling completely.

Or you can eat them hot out of the oven with an icy glass of milk if you like. That’s the route I took. I do not regret the burn on my tongue. Not one bit.

Ready, Set, Blog . . .

Alright folks, this is it. Project Food Blog has opened for entries and I am one of nearly 2,000 contestants hoping to win the grand prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to become “the next food blog star!” Pretty freakin’ sweet, right?!

I know!

Essentially, contestants will be competing in a series of 10 challenges from now through December and  posts will be judged by a panel of judges AND blog readers. Voting opens Monday, September 20th! (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you then to go and vote for me! )

So here I go …

Ready, Set, Make Cookies!

Lemon Raspberry Cookies, to be exact. Let’s take a look at them, shall we.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Cooooookiesssssssssssss.

Of all the cookies I’ve made in all of my years of cookie baking (about 12 I’d say, if you were curious) these lemon raspberry cookies have been the most requested, raved about, likely to be devoured cookies I have ever made. This could be the case for several reasons.

Reason # 1: These cookies are tasty.
I hate to toot my own horn, but these cookies are amazing. Combining the tart flavor of lemon with the sweetness of raspberries creates a sensation that I can only describe as bliss in my mouth.  I’m certainly not the first person to combine the flavors of lemon and raspberry, Martha Stewart’s done it, but there is something special about these particular cookies that make them incredible. Perhaps it’s…

Reason # 2: These cookies are super moist.
Maybe it’s the stick and a half of butter. Maybe it’s the raspberry jam filling. Heck, maybe it’s the shower of confectioners sugar  they get (I don’t skimp, I cover both sides of these babies).
Whatever it is, you can keep these cookies for well over a week
(if you hold out on eating them that long) and they are still perfectly soft and chewy like you just made them. Maybe it has something to do with …

Reason # 3: I absolutely love making these cookies.
Though the list of ingredients is minimal, these cookies are pretty labor intensive. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say you could skip your workout for the day, but you need to be in the kitchen for quite a while to get a proper cookie, and I love every second of making these cookies. Here is how you do it…

Lemon Raspberry Cookies

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 jar all natural raspberry jam
  • Confectioners sugar, for dusting

Begin by combining the flours, baking powder and salt until just combined.
Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and beat on low speed until everything is incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Gently form the dough together with your hands. (At this point, you can continue to make the cookies as directed, or wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for about a  week.) By the teaspoon full, roll the dough into little balls and gently flatten them onto a greased cookie sheet.  (This should make at least 50 little cookies, depending on how big or small you choose to make them.)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. The cookies should not be brown, but should be set and once cooled easily removed from the cookie sheet.

When all of the cookies are baked and cooled, take half of the cookies and spread with jam, topping each with another cookie. Once all of the cookies are paired, sprinkle generously with confectioners sugar.

And there you have it! My lemon raspberry cookies!

Now, onto why I think I should be the next food blog star.

Twenty-Something and Starving is not a healthy living blog – though I do my best to be healthy when I can. This blog is not devoted entirely to indulgent sweets – though I do like to indulge from time to time. Twenty-Something and Starving is me sharing the food that I love with others who love food and share this same philosophy. From a lighter take on Chicken and Corn Chowder to my butter laced Cashew Berry Blondies – Twenty-Something and Starving is for any and everyone who are exactly that…starving! The twenty-something part, well, that’s just me!

Apple Pie Cookies

Well, the snowicane (as the weatherman so affectionately referred to it) has come and gone, and though my family in the Great North (Jersey that is) are beyond snowed in right now, I, on the other hand, am left with nothing more than a slushy parking lot and a lovely white coating over all of the ugly old snow. No complaints here. 🙂

Obviously, a snowy day makes me want to bake.
Who doesn’t want to bake on a snowy day?
Honestly?? (In my head, I sounded like Dr. Evil when I said that…just so you know 🙂 ).
The issue I ran into this evening, though, was that I have no butter.


What the heck am I supposed to BAKE with no butter?!?!?!?!

Think, Jen. Think think think think think.

Well, what DO I have???  Flour – sugar – vegetable oil – applesauce?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… add some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves…

It kind of sounds like apple pie,right?

But it’s not apple pie, I want to make cookies. Apple Pie Cookies!

Absolutely delectable, perfectly moist, slightly sweet with just the right amount of spice cookies … that just so happen to be vegan, too!

Continue reading

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was lucky enough to spend this past weekend at home with my family which, I must say, I do not get to do often enough and admittedly I had a jolly good time.
(Happy Mom? :))

I was also pleased because I was able to pick up a brand spankin’ new cookie sheet while out shopping at  The Christmas Tree Shop .

So upon my return to school, cookie sheet in hand, I knew there was only one thing left for me to do – bake! I scoured my kitchen for inspiration. What kind of cookies should I make?

*Zoom in on my basket of overripe bananas.*

Banana cookies????


Banana bread has always been one of my favorites, so why not make it in cookie form? I looked through my pantry to see what else I could add to this already interesting sounding cookie. Oats, chocolate chips, walnuts – I was beginning to get excited!

I checked my handy little recipe book for my oatmeal raisin cookie recipe as a base, made some tweaks (as usual) to try and make it a little bit healthier, and Voila!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mash the two bananas with a fork.
    Mix in the egg, oil, applesauce, sugars, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Gently fold in the oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
  5. For large cookies – drop tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
    For small cookies – drop teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the edges are browned.