Sunday, March 31, 2013

Buffaloaf (buffalo meatloaf)

A few years ago, Josh and I discovered a restaurant in Paint Bank, VA called Swinging Bridge, which was my first introduction to buffalo burgers and sweet potato french fries. I was immediately obsessed with both, and particularly the sweet potato fries. According to my personal health gurus (Runner's World magazine and Candice Kumai), sweet potatoes are full of nutrients, thus encouraging me to taste every local restaurant's SP fries. I'd encourage you to try the ones at Blue 5! 

the beautiful interior of Swinging Bridge with a big stone fireplace

Unfortunately, Swinging Bridge does not serve wine or beer, and in my mind a date night is just not a real date night without RW (or a martini or a pitcher of beer!) . Fortunately, Josh came up with a solution...he learned to make great bison burgers and buffaloaf in our own little kitchen! This is comfort food at its best, and we usually make yukon gold mashed potatoes or a baked sweet potato on the side. 

Joshua's Buffaloaf

¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ lbs ground buffalo (or lean ground beef)
¾ cup milk
2 eggs
½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan.
  2. Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the loaf pan. Mix together the ketchup and worcestershire and spread over the sugar.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until juices are clear. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Simple Salad with Spinach, Salmon, and Quinoa

After a long and wonderful weekend in South Carolina, where I greatly enjoyed a redneck cheeseburger from the NuWay (best dive bar in Spartanburg), homemade Italian wedding soup, pork tenderloin with soba noodles, delicious bridal shower food, and a few glasses of red wine, I felt the pressure to cook something healthy for dinner tonight. Vacation is over, but fortunately this salad is so good Joshua won't complain that he's getting salad for dinner! 

This recipe is from Candice Kumai, is super easy, and full of nutrients and protein. 

Simple Salmon + Quinoa + Spinach Salad
from Candice Kumai, click here
serves 2

2 Cups baby spinach 
1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa
1 Cup chicken stock (optional)
2- 5 oz salmon fillets
1/4  cup  thinly sliced red onion
¼ C Extra virgin olive oil 
¼ C Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey

For  the Easy  Vinaigrette: 
Whisk together ¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ Cup balsamic vinegar, and honey.

  1. Preheat broiler
  2. Bring water or chicken stock (1 cup) to a boil and cook the quinoa,  strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. While quinoa cooks, sprinkle fillet evenly with sea  salt . Place fish on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with a drizzle of olive oil. Broil on high for 10 minutes, until fish is opaque and firm to the touch. Gently break the salmon into a large mixing bowl flaky pieces with a fork.
  4. Toss salmon, quinoa, spinach, red onion  and balsamic vinaigrette in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Divide into two large salad bowls and serve immediately. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

a million thanks

Tonight, my mom's best friends put on a bridal shower that was fit for Downton Abbey. The evening began when Mom and I walked into her friend's kitchen and met our personal chef for the evening (Mary Katherine Wyeth out of Greenville, SC), 
who would teach us all how to make fresh ravioli stuffed with lemon ricotta filling, farro with swiss chard, chicken taquitos, and real pie crust for apple tart. The wine glasses were filled and we put on our aprons and had an absolute ball. I was handed the special white bride-to-be apron! 

Before dessert was ready, the girls showed me into the living room where I found this beautiful table fit for a Pottery Barn catalogue. The dinnerware is from the Pearl Collection at Sur La Table, and is absolutely stunning in real life. The flower centerpiece was gorgeous and full to the brim with lovely blossoms. There were wine glasses and candles and linens and napkin rings and my mom's framed artwork and homemade macaroons and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon. I am so very blessed to have such wonderful women in my life, who truly rolled out the red carpet for me tonight. I am going to sleep with a big smile on my face. 

The Pearl Collection from Sur La Table

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Perfect Bloody Mary

In our house, the endeavour to perfect the Bloody Mary was a project which took a few years.  After hundreds of trials and tastings, Joshua officially now makes the best bloody in the valley. He has selflessly dedicated hours to tweaking the recipe, and so many of my girlfriends have endured the hardship of being official "tasters". Tough job, right? One of my new favorite gifts is a "Bloody Basket", which includes a bottle of Absolut Peppar, Zing Zang mix, habanero tabasco, and jalapeno stuffed olives. 

Let me tell you a secret.  It's not just about the booze; it's about the snacks. It's an appetizer, and when necessary a meal. The options are endless. There are no rules. If we don't have Peppar, we use Smirnoff or Russian Standard. If we don't have Cabot cheddar cheese, we use the Dubliner or string cheese. If we don't have olives or a pickle, well tough luck. If we don't have vodka in the house, well that just does not ever happen. 

Joshua's Perfect Bloody

3 oz Absolut Peppar
8 oz Zing Zang bloody mary mix
1/4 teaspoon horseradish
Splash of olive brine
3-4 drops Tabasco Sauce (we love the spicy habanero Tabasco)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 jalapeno stuffed olives

SNACKS: must choose a minimum of two
     - pickled spicy okra
     - kosher dill pickle sandwich slice
     - Cabot extra sharp Vermont white cheddar cheese (2 thick slices)
     - celery stalk


Combine above ingredients in a Boston shaker. Add ice and shake hard for 10 seconds. Pour into glass, and add snacks (pickled okra, cheese) and straw. Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

photo of the week

I came home from work on Tuesday, and these flowers were sitting on the island with a sweet note. Just because. The light in the solarium today was perfect, and I wanted to remember how special it was to be treated to a beautiful bouquet of tulips on an ordinary day, for no special reason other than Just Because. Let us be grateful for the amazing people we have in our lives, and for the little things that bring so much joy. 

Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon

In writing this recipe, I feel like I am sharing my best kept secret. This is the first meal I made for Joshua (after many not so edible casseroles, including one that involved an entire bag of Doritos) where he actually thought to himself, WOW, maybe there is hope for her after all! There is absolutely no reason to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy steak dinner at Frankie Rowland's when you can make this restaurant worthy filet mignon in your own home in under 30 minutes!

Do I have your attention? Good. The key to this recipe is a cast iron skillet and a really good steak. The Lodge makes a great skillet for around 40 dollars, and I have seen them for sale in Kroger. I always buy our filets from the Fresh Market and serve mashed potatoes and oven roasted asparagus on the side. 

I must share that my great friend, Taryn (nickname Martha as she is a house decorating and cooking goddess) , introduced me to the idea of searing and baking a filet instead of grilling it. May I also suggest splurging on a nice bottle of California Cabernet Sauvingnon while at the Fresh Market, which makes this meal worthy of the president of the United States, or in my case just the people you love dearly and want to spoil to death.

Cast Iron Skillet Pan-Seared Filet Mignon 
inspired from Ina Garten's Steakhouse Steaks recipe

2 (1o ounce) filet mignon
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot (5-7 minutes).
  3. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and brush them lightly with oil. Combine the salt and pepper on a plate and roll the steaks in the mixture, pressing lightly to coat both sides.
  4. When the skillet is ready, add the steaks and sear them evenly on all sides, for 2 minutes per side. Will take total of 10 minutes. 
  5. Top each steak with 1T butter, and place skillet in the oven. For medium rare (125 degrees) cook for 7-10 minutes, testing with meat thermometer. 
  6. Once you've achieved desired doneness, transfer the steaks to platter and cover tightly in aluminum foil. Allow steaks to rest for 5-10 minutes. This really makes all the difference in the world!
The secret is out, BON APPETIT!!

Oven-Roasted Asparagus
1 Bunch Asparagus
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Optional - freshly grated parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wash and trim asparagus (cut an inch or so off the bottom)
  3. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet in a single layer. Pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, and shake baking sheet to coat each piece.
  4. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast the asparagus for 10 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired, serve immediately. 
The Best Mashed Potatoes
I am partial to yukon gold potatoes, lots of butter, and half and half. 

1 and 1/2 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm half and half 
1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper


Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add 1/2 tsp salt. Add water until potatoes are covered, bring to a boil, and then cover pan and reduce heat to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (until a fork can easily pass through them). Drain potatoes and place in kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment. 

Warm half and half and melt butter together, add to potatoes. Add salt and pepper, and mix until desired consistency is reached. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

photo of the week

If you had known any of the three of us in college or PA school, you would have probably laughed at the idea of us running 13.1 miles for FUN. A 5K was exceptional. Especially if the reward did not involve Bojangles, sweet tea, or a bloody mary. 

Fast forward a few years, and we are all seasoned half-marathoners! I did not say fast. I am so proud that we have evolved into DISTANCE runners...AKA an excuse to get together on St Patty's Day weekend and run a race together. We had a BLAST. In case you are wondering, YES we are all wearing sparkly green sweaty bands, Lucky t-shirts with a clover, and temporary 13.1 mile theme tattoos! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Sesame Soba Noodles

Soba noodles are a Food With Benefit (FWB). If you have no clue what I'm referring to, head over to Candice Kumai's webside (the stiletto chef) or Amazon and purchase her cookbook, Pretty Delicious.

I love this cookbook, and read the forward every month or so. She believes in FWBs: foods with benefits. Instead of eating foods that are devoid of nutrition (potato chips, french fries, candy, etc.) she believes in choosing foods that taste good AND are nutritious (sweet potatoes, avocado, greek yogurt, SOBA NOODLES!) She is inspiring, gorgeous, and motivating. 

I purchased an entire 12-pack case of soba noodles from Amazon, and am excited to feature a soba recipe. This one is from Eat, Live, Run, and was a tasty weeknight dinner. 

Quick Sesame Soba Noodles
from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients for sauce - 
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup hot water (depending how thick you like your sauce)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp freshly minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic

Ingredients for noodles - 
sliced raw sugar snap peas
thinly sliced green onions
sesame seeds
8 oz soba noodles

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package instructions. When done, drain and rinse noodles in cold water. Set aside.
  2. To make sauce, combine all ingredients (tahini through garlic) in a food processor and process until very smooth. Add the hot water last, while the motor is running. You may need less, just add enough until desired consistency is reached.
  3. To serve, pour sauce over noodles and top with snap peas, green onions, and sesame seeds. 
* I topped our noodles with cayenne roasted shrimp, as follows:

Cayenne Roasted Shrimp: 

1 lb frozen shrimp, peeled and de-veined (thawed)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne

Mix all ingredients in bowl, then spread on a baking sheet, and roast at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. 
Add caption

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Low Country Boil

I have been enviously listening to my parents chatter about doing all sorts of fun things with their 50-quart bayou stockpot, including deep-fry turkey, and host many a friendly neighborhood oyster roast and low country boil. 
Joshua and I adore steamed oysters and seafood. Thus, when birthday season rolled around, I batted my lids and asked Josh for my own big bayou stockpot and the accessories to go with it. 
Allow me to introduce my newest kitchen item, along with my very own "Cajun Stir Paddle". It's so big I have to wash it in the bath tub! Last weekend, we decided to turn on the propane and cook up a small version of a low country boil for 2 (recipe would easily feed 4, we had lots of leftovers). 

Low Country Boil
adapted from a few different recipes, including Dave's low country boil on allrecipes

2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 package kielbasa sausage sliced into chunks
1 package of frozen corn on the cob niblets 
3 lbs red potatoes
1 lb crab legs, thawed
4 lemons, halved
2 onions, quartered and unpeeled
1 package Louisiana crawfish crab and shrimp boil (can substitute Old Bay)
Drawn butter and cocktail sauce for dipping (optional)

  1. Fill stockpot full of water (about 3/4), bring to boil over propane heater
  2. Add lemons, onions, and seasoning packet and allow to dissolve for a couple of minutes. 
  3. Add potatoes, cook for 10 minutes
  4. Add kielbasa sausage, cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add crab and corn, cook for 5 mins
  6. Add shrimp, cook for 3 mins
  7. Drain off the water and pour the contents onto a table covered with newspaper. Serve with lots of cold beer! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elvis Pound Cake

My mom's great friend Charlie has always surprised me with the best foodie gifts. He is one of the best chefs I know, and his tiramisu is famous in South Carolina. I would drive down there in a skinny minute for a single slice! When Charlie gives a recipe or cookbook his stamp of approval, its status rises to top tier, no questions asked. He won my heart when he gifted me my very first bottle of good vanilla extract (Nielsen-Massey) and steered me away from the imitation vanilla. 

Last year for Christmas, I was so excited when Charlie gifted me one of his favorite cookbooks. It felt like I was part of the insider chefs club! Of course, he included another bottle of Nielson-Massey vanilla extract, almond extract, and lemon extract, for me to make Elvis Presley's favorite pound cake. I know, I am one lucky girl.

I woke up this morning, and decided today is the day. Is there ever a day when baking a homemade pound cake is not the best idea ever? I think not. This recipe does require a 10 inch cake pan, I purchased mine on Amazon. (here)

Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake
from Gourmet Today cookbook

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon lemon extract *
1 teaspoon almond *

* the almond/lemon extract are Charlie's additions and highly recommended!


  1. Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
  2. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
  3. Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
  4. Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.
  5. Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bacon Fried Rice

After investing in a really nice wok (here) a few years ago, I realized that I rarely use it! I was feeling a tinge of guilt, when I came across a Shutterbean recipe for fried rice. Most importantly, it would give me a chance to dust off my wok AND make Josh a dinner recipe with his favorite ingredient...bacon! This recipe is a total home run, and I would strongly recommend adding the siracha if you like spicy food. 

Bacon Fried Rice
from Shutterbean

4 cups cooked jasmine rice (pre-cook the day before for sticky rice). 2 cups of uncooked rice yields 4 cups cooked rice
6 slices bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for topping
3 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
1 cup frozen peas
4 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Siracha sauce for topping (optional)
1 carrot, thinly sliced or ribboned for topping
  1. In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until it is browned and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Drain excess fat from your pan. Leave a thin layer coating. Push bacon to sides of pain. In the center, add onions and cook until softened, about 2 minutes
  2. Stir in green onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 3 minutes, taking care not to let the garlic brown. Stir in peas and cook for 2 minutes, or until warm. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  3. Lower heat to medium, add eggs, and scramble for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked. Add eggs to bacon mixture. Wipe out skillet, add vegetable oil, and return to medium-high heat. 
  4. When oil is hot but not smoking, add cooked rice and spread in an even layer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until rice is heated through and slightly crispy. Stir in bacon-egg mixture. Season to taste with soy sauce and siracha. Top with green onions and carrots, serve right away. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

the BEST sangria

The drinking of sangria is an event, like watching the Oscars or going to a movie. It implies that you have plenty to share, and plan on putting your feet up for a few hours. I learned from a sangria connoisseur (Elisabeth) who gave me permission to share her famous recipe. It's the only one you will ever need to know.

My great friend Sue surprised me on my birthday with a travel pitcher of Elisabeth's sangria. She is the Queen of giving the best gifts! I always look forward to opening her presents, and believe me I will be giving away a pitcher of two of sangria this year and making a lot of ladies very happy! I can only begin to describe the JOY I felt this morning after opening the fridge and seeing a tissue wrapped pitcher of my favorite beverage, marinated to perfection and ready for our Sunday Funday. 

from Elisabeth Powell

1 large botte red wine (we like Yellow Tail big bold red)
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
chopped fruit (lemon, lime, orange, green apple)

* Variations *
can change around fruit combinations - try peaches/pears, or the classic above.
can add 2 cups carbonated water OR 2 cups diet 7up for fizz
can add 1/2 cup peach schnapps for summer flavor


Mix together top ingredients (everything except the optional fizzy water/7up) and allow to rest overnight in refrigerator, 8 to 12 hours. Optional - add fizzy water/7up right before serving. Serve in glasses over ice. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

on turning 29.

If you know me,  you know that I am always hurrying to do something. Hurrying to Starbucks before the gym, hurrying to make lunch in the morning before I am late for work, hurrying to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for dinner, hurrying to do a lot of little things that don't really matter. On a glorious run today, I realized that in my constant state of "what's next" I forget to show gratitude for all the amazing things that I have; I forget to enjoy the small beauties every day brings; I forget to actually enjoy the daily pleasures of this ephemeral life.

This year, I am going to marry my darling boy. The boy I have been dating since I was 24 years old. This year, I am going to take time to express gratitude for all of my blessings. This year, I am going to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a patio herb garden, of hearing a particular song at the perfect time, of having a conversation with a stranger, of spending my time deliberately but not in a hurried fashion.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I thought this would be one of those "chick only" salads that girls adore but boys scoff at. I mean,  no meat and craisins?  I must confess, I was surprised when Josh texted me today to tell me how much he liked it. I also feel obligated to disclose that I always cook quinoa in chicken stock! After all, I am not a veg-only kind of girl. 

Cranberry Quinoa Salad
from Can You Stay For Dinner, serves 4

1 cup dry quinoa
1 ½ cups chicken broth (according to quinoa instructions)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped italian parsley
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped
¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
¾ cup dried cranberries

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions; set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the fresh lemon juice, honey, and olive oil. Add the salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the parsley, scallions, bell peppers, sunflower seeds, and cranberries. Pour the lemon juice dressing over the top and toss to coat well. 
  4. Serve immediately at room temperature or cover and chill to serve cold. The salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Firecrackers 2

The original firecracker recipe is a classic, though every now and then we need to stray from the paved path and veer into the woods for a change. Put a new twist on an old favorite. 

I was inspired by a photo on pinterest with snack crackers made with a combination of saltine crackers AND cheez-its AND mini club crackers. AND is usually a good word when talking food. I'll have a filet AND mushroom sauce AND a lobster tail on the side AND a glass of wine. Agree?

Firecrackers 2

This one makes a double batch, enough to fill 2 gallon zip lock bags. I usually make a double batch anyways, though this one could be halved.

1 box oyster crackers (14oz) - I used kroger brand
1 box mini club crackers (11oz)
1 box original cheez-its
2 and 2/3 cups canola oil
4 Tbsp red pepper flakes
2 envelopes ranch dressing mix

  1. Pour 1 and 1/3 cups oil into two separate 13x9 or larger rectangular pans and stir 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes into each pan. Let sit for 30 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees
  3. Pour half of each box of crackers into oil mixture and gently stir until crackers are coated with oil
  4. Slowly sprinkle ranch dressing mix over crackers and stir well (1 envelope per pan)
  5. Cook at 225 for 30 minutes, then allow crackers to cool in the oven.
Serve immediately, or store in a gallon ziplock bags.  

Monday, March 4, 2013


This recipe was passed to me from my mom, and to her from her best friend Paula. You need to know that Paula is from Texas, and she does not joke around with the words "fire" or "spicy". Paula introduced my mom to Rotel. She invented the word fabulous.  There are many variations of a seasoned cracker, and this is the spicy version. Take a prilosec if you have a weak stomach.

I have found that a man will do (almost) anything if you hold up a gallon ziplock bag of these crackers in front of his nose. He will even drive to the gas station for more beer and give you the last cold one. The last cold beer! 

from Paula Hamrick

2 bags of oyster crackers
1 and 1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
  1. Pour oil into 13x9 or larger rectangular pan and stir in red pepper flakes. Let sit for 30 mins.
  2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees
  3. Pour crackers into oil mixture and gently stir until crackers are coated with oil
  4. Slowly sprinkle ranch dressing mix over crackers and stir well
  5. Cook at 225 for 30 minutes, then allow crackers to cool in the oven
Serve immediately, or store in a gallon ziplock bag.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vanilla Pudding White Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you are in the market for a really great cookie recipe, head over to Two Peas & Their Pod and look around. Cookies are her bread and butter. The first cookie recipe I made from her blog was Banana Pudding Cookies (here), need I say more except I still dream about them! 

I needed a white chocolate chip cookie recipe, and so naturally I looked there first. If you have never added an instant pudding mix to a cookie recipe, have no fear. The cookies are moist, soft, and delicious. 

Vanilla Pudding White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 (3.4oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips (can also make with semi-sweet chocolate chips)


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

2.     Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add the pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips.

3.     Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.