gingersnap cookie dreams…

Never fails! I declare I’m cutting something out of my diet, and within a day, I’m baking with said ingredient in large quantities! So here it is, plain and simple: I’m a flour junky! Apparently I’m not alone, according to Wheat Belly, the book I just read, there are millions of us out there. So I’m cutting bread (and wicked bagels) out of my diet. And that’s why I’m baking gingersnap cookies, duh!

I used my The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, and I’ve got to say their gingersnaps are delicious. I’m having company over for dinner tomorrow night, so I doubled the recipe and I’m keeping the dough in the fridge to bake some right before they arrive. Mmmm…the house will smell like a gingersnap factory (I can’t help it, I used to be a realtor).

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
And voila! The finished product. I cooked them a little longer than suggested, because I love a crunchy gingersnap. Mmmmmm.

gingersnap cookies

stuff a cookie in it…

You know how sometimes you’re giving a presentation on the joys of blogging, and you say something flippant, like…oh…I don’t know…maybe, “If you ever see me blogging about food and recipes, you’ll know I have writer’s block!!”?

And then you go home and think about it for a while, and you realize that you probably just insulted half of the attendees in the room and flipped the bird at one of the things that gives you great pleasure?

Was I drunk?

Do you want to know what the kicker is? I used to have a baking business called Sugar Drops, and I loved baking! Duh.

So, as a peace offering to all the food bloggers out there (and there are a frighteningly high number of you), here is my highly-coveted SUGARDROP’S CHARLIE BROWN COOKIES recipe. Ta Da (said in a pathetic eating-crow kinda voice). They’re Charlie Browns ’cause there are peanuts and chocolate in them…get it? I know. Brilliant, right?

Makes about 40 absolutely amazingly delicious peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, if you like that sort of thing. They’re perfectly crunchy and chewy at the same time.

1 cup unsalted butter (if you even think about using margarine, I’m gonna come over there and smack you with my spatula) room temp

1 cup peanut butter chunky or smooth (I use KRAFT unsweetened unsalted ’cause it actually tastes like peanuts)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (shelled…duh)

5 ounces or more Bernard Callebaut milk chocolate (I use Callebaut ’cause it’s AWESOME. If you love something else, use it.) chopped into 1/2-inch chunks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (You can use an ungreased pan if you don’t have parchment. For the love-of-Pete, go buy some parchment!).

In a mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugars and mix well. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix.

Sift dry ingredients together and then add them to the butter and mix well. Fold in peanuts and chocolate by hand so they don’t get crushed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto pan about 2″ apart (they spread out), and pat down with a fork dipped in flour. Bake on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes. Leave on the pan for a couple of minutes on top of the oven before removing to cool.

Bon Appetit!!!!

blissful showers…

Did I mention that I love weddings? I did? Oh well, you’re going to probably hear about it another gazillion times if you hang around this shabby blog for long (please stay…I promise I’ll share the ball).

So here’s the thing: Showers are WAY more grand then when I was a blushing bride (1000 years ago). Back in the day, somebody would call a few girlfriends, light a couple of candles, slap some appetizers on a plate and buy a cake featuring various unmentionable body parts in the most sickly, fleshy colors. Et voila, it’s a party.

These days, we’re talkin’ seriously creative and seriously beautiful. I want a do-over. I can actually hear my mom picking up the phone as I type. My afternoon is going to be spent on the phone calling all my girlfriends, aunts and cousins who hosted my wedding showers and apologizing. “I’m just a stupid kidder…I really loved my showers”.

I just think these umbrella centrepieces are exquisite. Thank you The Knot & The Party Dress for the photo.

photo from The Knot via The Party Dress

Aren’t these just the darlingest cookies? They’re from a new cookbook called Cookie Swap (by Julia M. Usher). I can see putting them in clear plastic boxes and giving to guests as party favors!

photo via Bakerella

At Nicole Jane Home, I carry the best glass drink dispensers EVER!!! I wish I had come up with the idea! I’d drop this blog like a hot cake and skeeedaddle on over to the Cayman Islands for a lifetime of luxurious leisure. Sorry, I’m back from my momentary drift into dreamland…anyhoo…I sell out of these drink dispensers every time I bring them in. Brilliant!

Jericho Drink Dispenser from Nicole Jane Home

I have proof that I’m not just being biased. Look at these drink dispensers at very cool parties. I think the shape and size of ours is even better, and the ice holder at the bottom means the ice doesn’t dilute the drink and it covers more surface area (phew…I knew that Physics 12 would come in handy).

photo from One Charming Party via The Party Dress

The bride & groom at this wedding served raspberry sweet tea and lemonade to their guests…awwwwe!

photo by Red Tree Photography via The Knot

Lanterns are the bomb (see how hip and jiggy I can get with the teen lingo…the kids love it when I talk like that…NOT). I want to be at the party where they have these adorable lanterns. I’m going to sell Nicole Jane Home and just make paper lanterns (“Hide your homework paper, Jane…mom’s got the scissors out again”).

photo via The Party Dress

There. That’s Part One (A) of my 45-part wedding blog line-up. I’m really on to something here!!!

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