Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things I’m loving right now

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my favorite things, and I feel like I have a few right now. Most of them are food. Like always. What can I say? I love to eat.

My girlfriend Jessica introduced me to this a couple weeks ago: Stephen’s Peanut Butter Cup hot chocolate. It really tastes like you are drinking a Reese’s peanut butter cup. So delicious. I also picked up a can of Stephen’s Candy Cane and Cherry Chocolate flavored hot chocolate, but I haven’t tried them yet. BONUS: Stephen’s were on sale at Pick N Save 2/$7. Score! Of course it goes without saying that I use my CocoMotion to make my hot chocolate, another one of my most favorite kitchen appliances, even if it isn’t a multi-tasker. (Sorry, Alton!)


I saw these at the grocery store and had to try them. I’ve been looking for healthy snacks (besides gnawing on raw carrots) and these looked decent enough. Plus, only 100 calories! I didn’t have high expectation for them, since I think their cereal bars aren’t that great. HOLY COW! These are amazing! They taste like Pop Tarts! They are even crispy, like a toasted Pop Tart! I never toast my PTs because I’m always too impatient, but I love the crunch these crisps have. So, so good. I have to really contain myself and eat only one package (which has 2 crisps). Tasty, tasty.


While Daneise was here this weekend, she introduced me to Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s. They are only around during the holidays and apparently sell out fast. So the day after she left I went to TJ’s and picked some up. They taste like Thin Mints, which is why I think I love them so much. They essentially are an Oreo, with a peppermint filling, dipped in dark chocolate then sprinkled with candy cane bits. There will definitely be a party in your tummy after you eat these. I’m thinking they will be good holiday gifts for the mailman/garbage man, etc.


I had a coupon for some Greek Yogurt so I tried it. I’ve heard other brands are better than Dannon, but that’s all Super Wal-Mart carries, and I’m just too lazy to go to multiple stores just for yogurt. Besides, these are good enough for me right now! It is soooo thick and creamy, it’s almost like eating custard, which I pretend I’m doing when I eat it after dinner. It’s just the right amount of sweet. It’s also great for a snack…tons of protein, no fat. I like the honey flavored variety. But I love honey. Buy it local and fight of seasonal allergies!


When my brother in law Daniel was here in September he told us about Tosh.0. How I’d never heard of it is beyond me. Actually, I know how. It’s called, I have DVR and never watch commercials and 2 kids and hardly any time to watch TV and if I do have time I’m catching up on my Martha Stewarts or Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (so awesome) or SNL’s. Anyway, it’s hilarious. And he’s kind of hot.  tosh.0

I’ve been searching for matching Christmas dresses for the girls. It’s not an easy task to find the same dress in a 2T and a 3 month. But babyGap always pulls through for me! I coughed up an old email address and they gave me 30% off! I can’t wait to dress the girls up in them. Black tights and black patent leather shoes and a Christmas bow I’m whipping up---how darling will they be!?

 gapdressAnd last, but certainly not least: a recipe! Our friends Matt & Lindsey brought this to us after we had Hannah. It has bacon, and really, that’s all you need to know to know that it’s going to be fabulous. They didn’t add the salad on top, and neither do I. So really it’s more of a BT Mac N Cheese than BLT. I’m ok with that. And, they sell bags of frozen leeks at Trader Joe’s, so I picked up a couple. Now I can really make it any time I feel like it, because I’ll have all the ingredients! Well, maybe not the cheese. And since it’s a Rachael Ray recipe, you know it’s quick and easy. Perfect for taking to a sick friend or just making because you need some mac n cheese to warm up your sad soul on a cold wintry day.

BLT Creamy Mac 'n' Cheese

  • salt
  • 1 lb ziti pasta (may sub penne)
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (EVOO)
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped (I always use more!)
  • 2 leeks, trimmed halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • two 3-ounce bricks cream cheese, cut into pieces (I use a whole package)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded asiago cheese (I use a bagged Italian blend mix)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 500°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
  • While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, then the reserved pasta cooking water.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Pile into a casserole and top with the tomatoes and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until browned on top, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, toss the arugula and basil with the lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO. Serve on top of the pasta.


    Maria said...

    The Stephen's cinnamon hot cocoa is super yummy too!

    Melissa said...

    Thank you for sharing all of these things! I love the french vanilla from Stephen's. I have been wondering about that Greek yogurt- now I'll have to try it. The TJ Choc. Peppermints look amazing! The dresses are darling! Tosh.O is okay and that recipe sounds intersting- maybe I'll try it, too.

    Abraham + Marci said...

    Karen I love all your posts they are so funny and cute:) You have to try Coconut creamer in your hot coco. I picked some up by mistake I thought it was just the plain kind and it is soooo yummy! I also LOVE the peanut butter cup!

    Bushchicken said...

    The best greek yogurt (by far) is Chobani. And it has a ridiculous amount of protein. It's worth driving to a different store, which is what I also have to do.

    Melissa and Trevor said...

    yum. I have to get that hot chocolate and pretend it is cold in az

    Nikki said...

    I love all of your favorite things, it makes me want to get them all. The Stevens Candy Cane cocoa is delish as well. I have to try the PB variety.
    I love those dresses from GAP. I need to get Hattie a Christmas dress but I'm too cheap...maybe I'll still come through though:)

    Bushchicken said...

    I finally tried the Dannon honey greek yogurt yesterday. Cyn bought it at your suggestion. I still think you'd greatly prefer Chobani (they even have honey-flavored!)

    vanessa said...

    Just made the BLT mac n cheese tonight for the elders. They loved it! They actually scraped the 9x13 dish clean! Thanks for the recipe. Definitely a keeper!