Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Cookies

Happy Halloween! I hope you're enjoying eating all the candy you're hoping to pass out to kids this evening. My husband and I live in a mother-in-law basement and so I'm sort of assuming kids won't really find us to trick or treat. If they do they're going to end up getting a granola bar because I forgot to buy candy...oops. But on to more important things, like these cookies!

Also, did you read the title? Aren't you dying to make these?

What about now that you've seen the Nutella? The glorious chocolatey, hazelnut spread that is oh-so-amazing.

These really are totally indulgent and involve browned butter, three types of chocolate chips and nutella are are totally delicious. I highly recommend them.

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup each dark, milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chilled Nutella

1) Brown your butter! Put it in a sauce pan over medium-low heat and let it melt. Stir occasionally. It'll start to turn brown and smell nutty after about 10 or so minutes. Once it's brown, take off heat a let cool. 

2) Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl.

3) Using an electric mixer or kitchen-aid, blend the brown butter and sugars until combined. Add in egg and egg yolk, vanilla and greek yogurt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until mixed. Finally, fold in the chocolate chip cookies. 

4) Once dough is ready, let it chill in the refrigerator for two hours. 

5) After a few hours, preheat your oven to 350. Take dough and nutella out of the fridge. Now comes the messy part. Take about a tablespoon of dough and form into slightly flattened disk (see pictures below). Put a dollop of Nutella in the center of that. Since it's chilled it should hold it's form. Take about 1/2 tbsp of dough and flatten over the Nutella. Then place on cookie sheet. 

6) Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. I let these cook for a little longer than I may let other cookies get so they're not falling apart when you take them off the cookie sheet. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Snapshot Sunday: October 28

I carved this beauty in about 15 minutes. 
Unfortunately the bird caved in two days later.

Tuesday night scrabble & take out. I won, if you're interested.

Waffle Wednesday. 
I mostly made these as an excuse to eat cookie butter.

Getting ready for the UA game.
We won!

Rainy day soup. 
White bean & proscuitto.

My first experience with proscuitto. Can you believe it?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Banana Muffins

Some days just call for muffins. Days where it's cloudy, days where it's sunny, days when you need breakfast, a snack or dessert. Moral of the story is I love muffins and can eat them all the time. I do actually. This batch served as an excellent snack for the bus on my way home from work. 

I'm such a sucker for this whole wheat banana muffin recipe. They're portable. They've got some crunch. They're slightly sweet but not over-the-top.

The only issue I had with the recipe is I hardly ever have overripe bananas. My husband and I eat excessive amounts of bananas so it takes a really over-the-top amount for us to get to that point. Thankfully, I had some last week and was able to adapt this recipe from the New York Times

 By the way, why did I just have to google overripe to see if it was one word or not? Embarrassing. Anyway, I hope you make these and like them.

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins
makes 12 muffins


  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup bakers wheat bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

To Make:

1) Grease muffin tin. Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix together flaxseed, whole wheat, wheat bran, brown sugar, baking powder & soda and salt.

2) In another bowl mix mash your bananas. Then mix the egg, vegetable oil and milk. Add the dry ingredients to this bowl and stir. Stir just until mixed, batter will be lumpy and that's totally cool. Last thing, stir in walnut pieces.

3) Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 min, or until golden brown on top. I let mine cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes. They should come out easily and you can slide a knife around the edge of the muffin to release it. Cool on a rack and immediately consume three of them.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf Cake

It's finally cloudy and raining here in Seattle. I'm embracing it, which means lots of Netflix and sweatpants. Fall weather also means baking. 

Latest favorite? The whole wheat applesauce loaf cake from Eat, Live, Run

Cake ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Frosting ingredients:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
To Make:

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan. 
2) Using an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until smooth. Then stir in the egg and vanilla extract.
3) Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg). Add to the other ingredients along with the applesauce.  
4) Spread in the loaf pan using a spatula to smooth. Bake in oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out smooth. 
5) To make the frosting, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Once the loaf is cool spread the frosting and serve! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Observation Tuesday: Volume 28

From Twitter this week, @Piecomic: The creator of Mad Libs died. His friends described him as a warm and pulpy man who loved his wife and pelicans. He will be deeply pooped.

I have never more wanted to go to Paris! This amazing inflatable trampoline bridge for pedestrians to cross the Rive Seine would definitely make me want to walk/jump across the river a little more often.

Did you know there are only 62 days left until Christmas? Ikea has their Christmas stuff up already and it made me just a little excited

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: October 21st

What another great week
Starting with cinnamon rolls with Kristen! 

I also ordered my books by color, which I love

Also, I like that this spider is on the other side of the window.

On Wednesday I had a $15 fancy lunch for Seattle Restaurant Week
Then tired a new coffee place

Enjoying the fall leaves outside my window

Tried a new breakfast place on Saturday.
Volunteer Park Cafe which we loved.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crockpot Marinara Sauce

You know what always sounds good to me? Spaghetti. Or any pasta really. Something about italian carbs is always comforting. And you know what is awesome with pasta? Homemade marinara sauce. Don't worry, this isn't as labor intensive as that sounds. We probably could get really fancy and use fresh tomatoes and someday I would like to but for now we're keeping it simple with cans of crushed tomatoes and some spices you probably have in your cabinet already. The worst part? Smelling it in your house before it's ready. 

Homemade Marinara Sauce 
adapted from this Budget Bytes recipe

  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (I used a few of my basic ice cubes)
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsbp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper
To make:

1) Put all of the ingredients in your crock pot. Add some water (I added 1/2 cup) if your crock pot tends to dry things out. Stir them the ingredients.

2) Cook on low for 6-8 hours. I like to leave it alone. At the end add S&P as you prefer. Serve over your favorite pasta or freeze for later use!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Reviews: Sibling Relationships, Oysters &

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta

Spiotta wrote a story revolving around familial relationships, specifically that of siblings Nik and Denise. Nik is an obscure rockstar with OCD, reclusive tendencies. Denise is a loving mother, who seems to be not quite satisfied with how her life is and is sort of left with taking care of everyone in her family, including her mother with dementia, and Nik whose alcoholic tendencies leave him with no money. Denise's daughter, Ada, decides to make a documentary about her uncle's life escalating to the release of the final album in a series he's been making his whole life. Honestly, I didn't like this book. The characters weren't relatable to me and they left me depressed,  I say, skip this one.

Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm by Erin Byers Murray

This book is written by Erin, a former social blog writer who quit her job to work at Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Despite how awesome it sounds, she does the un-glamorous jobs like spraying oyster poop off mesh bags in freezing cold weather, works crazy long hours in the middle of the summer and faces the stress of being in charge of a baby oyster crop. On the other hand, she also gets free oysters, really cool experiences, like a gourmet meal and working in the kitchen at a fancy restaurant in NYC, and learns more about the farm-to-table process. She writes in a really open way, including about issues her marriage faced through this decision. I appreciate that in a book and author. And she basically lives out one of my secret desires. It was a fairly quick read and I recommend it.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Where to even begin with this book? It is a really excellent story that intertwines the lives of two characters. One is an old man, Leo Gursky, who survived in Eastern Europe during World War II, and the other, Alma Sevilla, a teenage girl with a father who died and is left with a broken family. Early on in the book, Krauss draws your compassion for both of these characters because of how their lives have happened and how lonely they both are. It did take me awhile to really get into the book but when I finally finished the last half in one day (it was due at the library) I was left really intrigued. There is a certain point where things come together and I felt so invested/hopeful/confused all at the same time. Honestly, I like a clean ending in a story and Krauss doesn't give it to me, but I still really enjoyed this. It sort of reminded me of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and would say it's along those lines of a story. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Observation Tuesday: Volume 27

Can you believe a man jumped TWENTY FOUR MILES from space down to earth? Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier on Sunday after leaping out of a little capsule and falling to earth. Apparently his glove was broken and his hand swelled up to twice it's size during the jump. I knew he survived when I read about it and was still totally freaked out when I watched the video. Check out this link from Huff Post. I would have pooped my pants or vomited, or both. He did neither.

Funny link for this week? 45 Pictures of Scared Bros in a Haunted House. Hilarious

Also, I would like to give a shout out to my best friend. Not only did she run a half marathon yesterday morning, she then had her appendix out that night. So hardcore. Props to you, Sarah!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Glazed Walnut Granola

Still obsessed with Shutterbean, and granola. I like having staple recipes and this becoming one of them. I've made it twice. And I'm currently eating some with greek yogurt. The secret? Roasting the walnuts in a sauce pan with butter and brown sugar. 

It just looks delicious! And real talk, I was mid hanging pictures and got distracted while making this, hence the hammer in the picture....

Glazed Walnut Granola 


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 and 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweet or unsweetened, your preference
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I like blueberries & craisins)
To make:

1) Preheat oven to 350. Begin by melting butter in small saucepan, then toss in the walnuts over a medium-low heat. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes. If you don't stir often enough they'll get too roasted in parts, so err on the side of caution here. Next, turn heat to low and add in brown sugar and honey. Stir until walnuts are coated and sugar is melted. Remove from heat

2) In another bowl, mix together oats, coconut, and seeds. Throw in the walnuts and mix well.

3) Place on rimmed cookie sheet and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes stirring once or twice so it cooks evenly. Once out of the oven toss in the dried fruit and let cool. Store in airtight container.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Snapshot Sunday: October 14

Well, I had three glorious days off in the middle of the week. Know what I did? Unpacked more, dealt with new insurance (boooo) and drank a bunch of coffee. Enjoy my photos of said days

Monday: It's officially fall and I feel like the leaves changed overnight.

Breakfast! Caramel bruleed oatmeal with baked apples

Free coffee because I'm a member of the Ikea Family! Boo Yah
Also, not picture, their start of Christmas decorations, which I love. 

See what these are? CLOUDS. I'm so pumped

Ikea shelf conquered & books unpacked. holler

On my walk home. That sign down there is for my favorite book shop
and new favorite local pub/cafe. Love exploring

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sugar & Spice Cookies, a study in black and white

I need your thoughts on gingersnap cookies. Store bought are just terrible. They're too crispy and super gingery, which I don't really enjoy. I've grown up calling this recipe gingersnaps but after some deep thoughts and taste testing, I think they're actually sugar and spice. It's also what the recipe card my mom made me said. 

Family recipes are simply the best. This one came from my Grandma Johnson and is a staple I grew up with my mom making. And the recipe makes tons of cookies, so perfect to make and share with your new co-workers. 

Sugar and Spice Cookies

  • 1 and 1/2 cups butter, softened. 
  • 2 cups sugar plus extra for rolling cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ginger
To make:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you didn't think ahead (i.e. me, every day) and let the butter get soft, use the microwave on 50% power heat for about 20 seconds. Then, in a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs and molasses until well mixed.

2) Mix dry ingredients in another bowl (flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger). Add this to the molasses mixture until combined. 

3) Roll the batter into small balls and then roll in sugar. I like to do about 2 tbsp of dough for each ball, but you can decide based on what size cookies you like. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.