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Wednesday
Feb092011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

Valentine's Day was always one of the big holidays growing up. My elementary school would make a big fuss and go through a big production every year. We would choose the best valentines for our classmates and build boxes to keep them in. Most kids would decorate a shoe box or bring in a small mailbox, but I would always create elaborate valentine boxes.

My mom and I love crafts and we use any excuse to get covered in glue and paper scraps. Valentine's day is no exception. One year we built and decorated a giant house from cardboard, complete with chimney smoke, to drop my valentines in. Another year we constructed a lion from construction paper which ended up standing nearly two feet tall in all of its roaring glory. I kept that lion for many years after, not only as a reminder of how awesome it was, but of the entire weekend I spent with my mom creating it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie PopsChocolate Chip Cookie Pops

This is the perfect valentine for someone sweet. Simply wrap the cookie pop in plastic wrap, secure it with a red ribbon, and you have a delicious valentine to give someone special. The cookies are entirely customizable. You can leave them plain, decorate them with frosting, or pipe out your own valentine message directly onto the cookie.

Now answer me this—who wouldn't want a cookie valentine?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops

We all know chocolate chip cookies are delicious, but when you put them on a stick? Even better. I personally enjoy chocolate chip cookies more than just about any other cookie (sorry, sugar cookies), because they just taste good. These chocolate chip cookies are no exception. They are rich with brown sugar, chocolate, and are partially made with whole wheat flour which gives them a great texture. These cookies are light and soft; when you bite into them they will not crumble and fall off the stick. These are perfect for Valentine's day or anytime you just want to eat something on a stick.

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Sunday
Feb062011

BBQ Mini Sausages

BBQ Mini Sausages

My family has never never been one to watch sports. We may spot a game on Thanksgiving or when we're visiting the cousins, but that really the extent of it. Despite this, every year my family makes it a point to get together to the watch the biggest game of the year—the Super Bowl. We might flip a coin to determine which team to root for (a mortal sin for you football fans) or get more excited about the commercial breaks than the actual game, but we make sure there is proper football celebration.

But, honestly, I think the reason we all sit around and watch the game is for the food.

BBQ Mini Sausages

My mother always makes a huge pot of chili and stews it in the crock pot all afternoon. She also makes sure to cook up a batch of these BBQ sausages. Though they slow cook all afternoon, I tend to steal a mini sausage or two whenever I find myself in the kitchen much to the dismay of my mother ("Save them for dinner!"). The smell is absolutely phenomenal. I don't think I can be blamed for my actions.

When it comes time for dinner (and the game), there is bread and chips and m&m's up to our ears. We cheer when anyone makes a touchdown. We take our bathroom breaks while the players are on the field. But we enjoy ourselves and each other.

I think that's what really counts.

BBQ Mini Sausages

These BBQ Mini Sausages are great for snacking. The barbecue sauce is made with a combination of grape jelly and chili sauce and, while slightly unusual, is absolutely delicious. The grape jelly brings a sweet quality to the sauce and, depending on the chili sauce you use, you can spice it up as much as you please. The sauce has a deep depth of flavor, with hints of molasses and the acidity of lemon. Because these mini sausages can slowly simmer in the crock pot all day, you can steal the perfect bite-size snack at any time (and as many times as you please).

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Friday
Feb042011

Banana Bread Oatmeal

banana bread oatmeal

It's no secret that I love banana bread. In my house, there always seem to be a few bananas that just don't get eaten in time. While freezing bananas for a later date is always an option, sometimes there are already one too many bananas hiding in there. I don't like to waste food if I can help it so bananas are frequently on the menu.

With my deep love of all baked banana goods, having a quick and easy way to make a dish that tastes like banana bread without the mixing and the baking (and the waiting) was ideal.

banana bread oatmeal

I am a sucker for overripe bananas. I don't start eating them until they are covered in brown spots. As long as it they can still keep their shape, I'm in banana love. My father would disagree. He likes to eat them when they are still a bit green, without a brown spot in sight. I think they lack that vital banana flavor so soon after ripening, but he argues otherwise. We may disagree about the best time to eat bananas, but we've never disagreed over a nice loaf of banana bread. And that's the truth.

How do you like your bananas?

banana bread oatmeal

This banana bread oatmeal tastes just like the real deal. The oatmeal is littered with tiny pieces of banana and spiced with the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. This oatmeal is naturally sweetened with the addition of bananas so you will need very little, if any, sugar to sweeten it up. It's healthy, it's delicious, it's banana bread in a bowl. What's not to love?

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