Hot Cocoa Cookies

If you know me, you know I love to bake and am a complete sucker for a seasonal treat. These fantastic cookies are a riff on Glorious Treats' Rocky Road cookies and have very quickly become a hit among both family and friends. The base of these cookies is quite possibly the best ever chocolate cookie. Rich and moist, these cookies are the perfect marriage of cookie and brownie.

 Since these treats are not based on an original recipe, I hadn't intended to post them (hence the awesome cell phone shots!). After putting a picture up on Facebook and Instagram, I received quite a few requests for a post.

Requests granted!

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be modified in so many different ways...peppermint mocha, rocky road, pecan praline...the possibilities are endless! 
 Adapted from the absolutely fantastic Glorious Treats recipe for Rocky Road Cookies found here.


for the cookies-
1 stick of softened, salted butter
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 bag mini-marshmallows (you'll use most, but you need a whole bag because you will need some leftover to eat while you bake, duh.)

for the glaze- 
1 tbsp. butter
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups mini-marshmallows

Preheat your oven to 350 (mine runs hot, so I always heat to 330). Melt the butter and chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. If it gets clumpy, add a splash of cream or half and half then stir. In your mixing bowl, mix the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla for one minute on medium-high speed. Add the chocolate-butter mixture and combine on low speed. Add in the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and flour, mixing on medium-low until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix briefly until no lumps remain. Using two spoons or a cookie scoop like this one, drop by the tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about ten minutes until partially cooked then remove from the oven and press four mini-marshmallows into the center of each cookie. Bake on the top rack for another five or so minutes until cookies are done and marshmallows are toasted. While cookies are baking heat the glaze ingredients in a small sauce pan until completely melted. Cool for a few minutes before pouring into a quart baggie or a plastic squeeze bottle (awesome tool, but a pain in the tush to clean!). When you're ready, snip the tip of the baggie and drizzle the marshmallow chocolate across your cookies. Make sure you drizzle some in your mouth too. Just saying. Store on a cake plate or in a container for 3-4 days. 

Make sure you bring some to your neighbors. 
They will love you for it.
I promise.
Photo credit to my sweet friend, Stacey.
 Stay tuned for a fun and completely hilarious holiday craft coming soon!

Christmas OBSESSED.

As soon as the temperature falls below 60 degrees, I am consumed by Christmas. I am one of those people who fights the urge to decorate the instant that Halloween is over, yes, but I'm owning it! 
Thank goodness my husband draws the line at putting up the tree before Thanksgiving otherwise, I'd have THAT on my conscience!

Since this will be our first Christmas in our new home, I'm doing a lot of pinning and Google searching to find ideas for front door, mantle and dining room table decorations.

I've decided on two small trees flanking our front door and thankfully found one heck of a deal at Michaels this morning! Check it out here! Now I just have to figure out how to get the tree bases to stay in my planters.
 I'm thinking maybe foam blocks? Ideas welcome!
 I love the aesthetic here. I'm taking baby steps and will probably deck out our windows next Christmas since I have some many other decorations to figure out in the next few weeks.
I came across this front porch decor and was a little bewildered. 
That's like roughly $600 worth of Hunter boots... I have no words.
Beyond the front door, I'm on the lookout for a pretty, festive tablescape for my dining room. There are so many great ideas out there...thinking I'd like to incorporate candles and some fresh greenery into mine like the two below...
And I will definitely have some of these around the house! 
There's nothing better than a house that smells like Christmas.
If you're in the market for some new decorations, I love, love, love Target's 2014 Christmas line.
They just keep upping the ante every year!
Here are a few of my faves: 

In saving all of these pictures, it is now apparent to me that I am GOLD OBSESSED this year. 

In other related news, the Catfish threw down leaving preschool this morning screaming at the top of her lungs, "I want to go to Target to look at Christmas decorations!"
It was awful and awesome at the same time as I was filled with both pride and shame. 

Can't wait to share my decorations once they're finished!

Happy Holidays!

Pork Carnitas

I was totally planning to make this post about the vegetable sandwich I mentioned the other day, but then I came across this post that I'd started a few weeks ago with my recipe for pork carnitas. This was the first time I attempted to make carnitas, and I am hooked! They were super simple to put together (you can probably throw all of the ingredients into a slow-cooker and let it do all the work!) and the leftovers I froze fed our family FOUR meals! I served it with roasted poblanos topped with melted chihuahua cheese and diced peppers and onions, homemade guacamole as well as pickled onions. The yummy carnitas were served on flatbread (it's actually a naan recipe, but who's counting, ha!). 
Here we go!
1 3 1/2 to 4 pound pork shoulder, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
juice of one lime
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice
2 bay leaves
pepper to taste

The assembly is crazy complicated.
 The Catfish pretty much did it all herself...
Just place all of the ingredients into a stock pot or Dutch oven (or crock-pot, if you're so inclined).
Bring it up to a rolling boil then simmer, uncovered for five minutes.
Cover and place the pot into the oven, cooking at 300 degrees for roughly two hours (until the meat shreds easily). 
Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to remove the meat without burning yourself the shred the meat with two forks. 
Strain the liquid through a sieve then return the liquid back to the pot and bring it to a boil then simmer it until it reduces by half.

Place the shredded meat onto a lined pan then broil it for up to five minutes until the edges get crispy. Add the meat back to the broth and serve! 
I will post my pickled onion recipe soon. I am obsessed and make these all of the time!
For the flatbread/naan recipe, click here!

Playing Catch Up

I've taken a little break from blogging to spend time with family as we said goodbye to my father-in-law early last week. It's been a difficult time for us, but we're incredibly thankful for the extra time we spent with the people we love most in the world.

Now we're back home and trying to get back into the routine of kindergarten, preschool, blogging, errands and play dates while just taking things one day at a time. In this giant game of catch-up, we've managed to squeeze in a few fun activities this week.

We received a sweet little package from our very best friends back in our old state that included these delicious candles. Delicious! The package also included my favorite Cinnabon k-cups, mint chocolate dove squares and a gift card to our favorite date night spot.
We are so thankful for this sweet family- they always make us feel so loved!
 The leaves here are just past peak, so we had to hurry outside on the last warm day for some fall photo fun.

Got a whole lot of these...
 In search of this! I have to admit though, that the goofy picture above is probably my favorite of the bunch.
 The Catfish and I took a nearly five mile walk down the trail near our house. It was an eighty degree late October day, so we couldn't resist.

Pretty sure we found where the American Horror Story clown lives...
 It was a picnic-perfect day, and we took full advantage.
 My little witchy-woman adores this little wooden witch.
She loved posing for pictures in her favorite Halloween shirt (thank you, Auntie M!).
And, after eating SO MUCH restaurant food over the past week, it was nice to get back to some home cooking. We ate as many vegetables as we could get our hands on, and it felt so good to eat something a little healthier.
This is one of my favorite vegetarian meals that my carnivorous husband actually requests! It's a grilled portabella with just about every vegetable around topped with pesto mayo and red onion marmalade. Melted provolone and homemade Italian bread make this my hands-down favorite sandwich.
So yummy.
Recipe coming soon...
I also bought myself this fantastic wine this week.
 I was a little ashamed bringing my 3 year old with me into the liquor store, but they did have a basket of stickers and lollipops for kids, so clearly I'm not the first desperate mom to have done it! Anyway, I have every intention of buying this stuff by the case.

That's all for now- back very soon with some yummy recipes perfect for fall feasting!