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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eggless Cookie Dough ;-)


I've mentioned before that I usually ignore the warnings about raw eggs. I've made custard using a raw egg base and I eat cookie dough by the spoonful whenever I bake. In my opinion, raw eggs aren't something to be that concerned about unless you are in a high-risk group: those with suppressed immune systems, the elderly, children, and pregnant women. So, I've never had a reason to worry, until now . . . Yep, I'm pregnant! 16 weeks today, so I'm due in early December.

Bob and I are so excited! This is our first child, and we couldn't be more thrilled. I've felt very lucky to have had a relatively easy first trimester, although the fatigue has been pretty intense, hence the lack of blogging. I rarely cooked and when I did it was more heating up something frozen or making pasta with jarred sauce. My beloved chicken sounded absolutely unappealing for many weeks, and a lot of the new recipes I'd see just did not look good. I had a lot of posts that needed to be written, but the last thing I wanted to do was spend time on my computer when I got home from work when I could be napping. Thankfully my energy is slowly starting to pick up, as is my desire to try new recipes.

I'm not sure about any of you, but when I'm told I can't have something, I want it more. (I won't even go into how much I've been craving a cold sub sandwich from my favorite local deli!) One of the first things I thought when I found out I was pregnant was: Uh oh - no cookie dough! Luckily, I remembered seeing eggless cookie dough recipes specifically for pregnant women, so I relaxed a little.

I decided to make the dough and then scoop it out into small portions to freeze. Now I can have a little ball of cookie dough anytime I want! The dough is definitely not as tasty as real cookie dough, so I may play around with the recipe a bit, but it's a good starting point.

Eggless Cookie Dough

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
Pinch salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar and butter until smooth.

2. Stir in vanilla and milk. Mix in the flour, salt, and chocolate chips until well blended.

3. Chill in the refrigerator, or scoop onto waxed paper covered baking sheet and freeze.

Source: Adapted from Fun Foods on a Budget

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My First Dessert Table!

I've mentioned this in several posts, but I threw my sister Lisa a bridal shower in March and tackled my first dessert table! When my sister got engaged last summer, I immediately started brainstorming ideas for her shower. I had never hosted a shower before, and I wanted it to be so special for her. I had such an amazing bridal shower, thanks to my sister, my aunts, and my cousins, and I wanted Lisa to feel the same way.

I've been inspired to do a sweet/dessert table ever since first hearing about them from my friend Kat (and seeing her amazing work!). Lisa absolutely loves desserts, and I thought this was the perfect idea for her shower. Her colors were coral and ivory, so I decided to make that the theme of the shower. After many months of planning, shopping, and sketches, here is what I came up with:


And one of the biggest feats: the cake!





Here are Lisa's first reactions (priceless in my opinion!) - sorry for the paparazzi-style photos- I wanted to capture each moment!:














The menu (you can sort of see my reflection in the glass!):


The table went over very well with the guests too. I think it was fun for them to get to sample a variety of desserts but still partake in the main dessert, the cake. I will be sharing the recipes for the desserts over the course of several posts. Here is the complete run-down of the desserts so you know what to expect:

Mini Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream


Meringue Cookies


Oreo Truffles



Strawberry Cake Truffles
(the truffles were stored in the freezer, hence the condensation)


Decorated Sugar Cookies: wedding dresses, wedding cakes, and diamond rings


(they were also the favor)


Chocolate-Covered Strawberries


I also used Sour Patch Cherries


and White Fudge-Covered Pretzels


I hope you come back soon to check out the fun posts I have coming up, including the recipes for these desserts, a Salsa Showdown, and the Groom's Cake I made for my sister and her new husband's rehearsal dinner! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

And the winners are . . .

I used random number generator to determine the 5 winners of the Archway cookie giveaway. Here they are:


Martina's Moments




Please email me asap with your mailing address so I can get them to the Archway rep and you can get your cookies! Thanks so much for entering, and have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back with a Cookie Giveaway!!!

Oh my goodness, it has been a very long time since I posted! We have been super busy with my sister's wedding, her and her new husband moving back to St. Louis, among other things. I have SO many posts that I need to get out - including the Dessert Table from my sister's Bridal Shower!!! To make up my slacking around here, I'm hosting a giveaway!

First, some background: Several months ago I was contacted by a representative from Archway Cookies asking if I would be interested in receiving a complimentary package of assorted cookies. Bob immediately jumped at the chance, as he has fond memories of Archway's Molasses cookies. Personally, I don't think I'd ever had Archway cookies before, but free cookies? Why not!

The package arrived with 3 containers of cookies - Triple Chocolate (ok seriously my favorite cookie flavor ever!), Shortbread, and Peanut Butter:

Now, given my experience with packaged cookies, I was expecting them to be good but nothing special. I first ripped open the Triple Chocolate package and was surprised to find that they are big, soft, bakery-style cookies! They were very good! Next, I tried the shortbread. I like shortbread, but it's definitely not my top pick in a cookie. Well, let me tell you, these shortbread cookies are phenomenal! They have such a good flavor, I was really impressed. Because of my nut allergy, I didn't try the Peanut Butter cookies, but Bob happily finished those on his own - he loved them. When I wrote the representative back, I told her my thoughts. She actually said that they have been receiving really positive feedback on the shortbread - I'm glad it's not just me!

Now for this giveaway, 5 - yes 5! - lucky people will win a similar package full of Archway cookies! Eat them by themselves, or come up with some fun recipes with them! I'm thinking crushed shortbread cookies would make an awesome crust! Or how about putting some homemade French vanilla ice cream (or even cinnamon!) between two of the Triple Chocolate cookies to make an ice cream sandwich? Mmmm

I also want to mention that Archway is partnering with First Book from June 1 until July 15 and donating a portion of the proceeds to this organization in order to purchase 10,000 new books for children of low-income families. What a great cause! And lastly, you can also nominate someone to receive a "Goodness Package" full of cookies and a glass platter and pitcher here!

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment telling me what your favorite cookie is! Announce this giveaway on your blog or on Facebook? Just leave me a separate comment for each and you'll get another entry! Contest ends Tuesday, June 14 at 6pm CST. I apologize in advance, but only residents of the continental U.S. are eligible due to shipping restrictions.

Good Luck!!!! :)

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