Thursday Thoughts V. 3.

Photography by Allyson Regan

Happy Valentine’s Day lovely readers! I hope that your snowy Thursday is filled with love, laughter, and hopefully not too many sweets. Isn’t it crazy how many treats just pop up on holidays like today? If you find yourself craving some amazing cookies though, try making these beauties today for your Valentine! I don’t usually get really into Valentine’s Day, mostly because I like to love on my husband and family/friends year round, but I’m definitely into the whole Leslie Knope-Galentine’s-making it a holiday-type of thing that happening on social media. Yay women lifting up other women!

So I’ve been started training recently for a 5k run. Last year, my husband, mom and dad, sister and brother in law all ran in the Irish Jig 5k and we had a blast! But after the run, I really struggled to stay motivated to actually get my butt to the gym and run. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to just keep signing up for races to keep myself motivated. And this works perfectly for one of my resolutions this year, to run a 10k, which I’ve never done before. Also, one of my life goals is to run a marathon but that feels way too crazy for 2019. Maybe 2020. Anyways, we are all running in the Irish Jig this year and I can’t wait! It’s seriously so fun and there’s so many people that run in it. You should totally sign up too! Yay free shirts!

Our second winter storm has hit good old Grand Rapids. Hopefully we won’t lose power this time! It’s supposed to warm up today to almost 40 and then drop below freezing so we might be seeing some more awesome ice photos from around Michigan. I’m looking forward to staying inside with my fuzzy slippers and playing Sushi-Go with my husband until the storm passes. If you haven’t played this game yet, seriously go get it. It’s so fun!

I’ve been really into podcasts recently (I forget now if I brought this up last week…) but I would love to hear what your favorite podcasts are! Please comment below because I would love to check them out. I also always am on the lookout for new books to read, but my stack is growing taller everyday so those might just get plugged into my amazon wish list. Speaking of books, be on the lookout for a book review for the Bee Keeper’s Lament in the next couple of days! I hope your day is filled with love!

Top 5 Recipes from 2018

You guys! You are so sweet to read my blog, I seriously appreciate it so much!  Today’s post is about the 5 most viewed recipes by you!  It just so happens that these recipes are also some of my personal faves and are definitely enjoyed frequently in our little home.

Photography by Allyson Regan

Number 5 on the list is Chipotle Butternut Squash Risotto, which was one of my favorite posts, especially because after we were done shooting it, my sister and I ate the rest right out of the pan! This was the perfect cozy fall dish, and used some pantry items that most people already have. Plus, goat cheese, which automatically equals cozy and fall. Who doesn’t love these kinds of recipes???

Photography by Allyson Regan

The number 4 most viewed post was Burrata: The Better Mozzarella. I was so excited to research for this post because I’m OBSESSED with burrata. I mean I’ve always loved cheese, but I first had this cheese when I was working at a country club as a cook. We served it as an appetizer with fresh heirloom tomatoes, crusty bread, basil, balsamic, and plenty of salt and cracked black pepper. Then, when I went to Italy to film that TV show, we actually went to a factory that produces mozzarella and I got to see first hand how its made! Isn’t it crazy how food can transport you back through time to those fantastic memories?

Third on the list are these Boneless Chicken Wings, and at this point, I could probably make them in my sleep. My household went through roughly 12 boxes of panko crumbs during 2018. Just kidding, I have no idea but we ate this so much this year! Not that I’m complaining, at all! This is the perfect thing to make for a bunch of guys or for any kind of sporting event. Pair it with a cold beer and you’ve got yourself a crowd pleaser.

Photography by Allyson Regan

Number 2 is the Chicken Tikka Masala from just a couple weeks ago! I loved making this dish! I think it was so popular because its one of those recipes that you might be wary of trying to make at home but my recipe is fairly simple. If you are nervous about trying a new recipe, just give it a shot! Worse case, just order pizza.

Photography by Allyson Regan

The Most viewed post from 2018 is….. drumroll please…… Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!! Of course, the most delicious looking photos just drew viewers to my site and I don’t blame you! These cookies are so good, I’ve continued to make them since posting it. I even made them for our Christmas Cookie boxes. If you’ve made this recipe, or any recipe from my blog, I’d love to see how they turned out! Don’t forget to tag me in your photo on social media, or comment with a picture below!

Photography by Allyson Regan

I can’t wait to see what favorite new recipes 2019 will bring! Happy Cooking!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookies_PB_ChocoChip-2
Photography by Allyson Regan

You guys.  These cookies are amazing.  But really.  Seriously.  For real.  No joke.  Okay I think you get it now.  But I’ve been making these cookies for almost a year and I’ve made them so much that I’ve truly perfected the recipe.  While they have peanut butter in them, they really just taste like a jacked up chocolate chip cookie.  The peanut butter helps keep the texture soft and chewy.  I simply adore these cookies because the edges are slightly crisp while the center is just baked and chewy, making them perfect for dunking in ice cold milk.

cookies_PB_ChocoChip-4
Photography by Allyson Regan

These are also a crowd favorite!  This has been the most requested cookie from my husband recently.  I made them over the summer for a camping trip and they made delicious smore’s!  I would recommend storing them in tupperware instead of in a bag though, they tend to get crumbly easily in bags.

cookies_PB_ChocoChip-10
Photography by Allyson Regan

Just look at that crumb!  I usually use Ghirardelli bittersweet dark chocolate chips, which are disk shaped and help to form these delightful chocolate layers.  So good!  I almost always have this recipe frozen into small balls so that when I have last minute company, or a bad day, I can whip these cookies up in 12 minutes or less!

cookies_PB_ChocoChip-9
Photography by Allyson Regan

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until just combined.  Add in the egg and combine well.  Add in the peanut butter and mix.  Add in the rest of the dry ingredients mixing just until combined. These work best when the dough is chilled slightly before baking.  Scoop into dough balls, I use a scoop that is about a 1/4 cup. Bake for 12 minutes, turning half way through to ensure even baking.  Let cool for a minute or two on the tray and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula.  Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.  If the chocolate solidifies, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds.  This recipe works just as well when you bake them from frozen, you might just need to keep an eye on them and maybe add a couple extra minutes.  I’ve tested this recipe twice doubling the batch and they still work out great!

cookies_PB_ChocoChip-8
Photography by Allyson Regan

Be right back, I’m going to find a giant mug of milk and dunk this whole stack in it.  Don’t judge me until you try this recipe. And if you try this recipe, share your pictures on social media and tag me!

Enjoy!