Is Cookie Butter the new Gourmet Marshmallow?

cookie butter 1I’m something of a junk food connoisseur.

I try not to indulge too often, but I can’t resist a loaded up hotdog, warm Krispy Kreme donut or Old Bay coated French fries.

I have not been shy in sharing that I have a special place in my heart for marshmallows – whether they be stale peeps, the gourmet version or just a plain oversized one that I can shove on a stick and roast in my fireplace.

Well, I decided to do some self-improvement and branch out a little bit… with cookie butter.

Apparently cookie butter is where it’s at. I’ve heard about it for months and it’s gotten to be such an “it” item that there were rumors that Trader Joe’s was only offering a small amount for sale each day. On pinterest there are a ton of recipes that use this elusive buttery beast and there are even Facebook fan pages dedicated to its awesomeness.

So as you can imagine, when I was recently cruising the aisles of Trader Joe’s and saw a big display of their Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter I grabbed a jar to try for myself. I wasn’t really sure HOW to eat it though, so I asked for suggestions on my Facebook page. According to my followers, the best ways to eat cookie butter are…

  1. On your finger
  2. On a spoon
  3. On everything
  4. With chocolate
  5. On toast or pancakes
  6. On ice cream
  7. On graham crackers or cookies
  8. On a marshmallow (of course!)

With your suggestions in mind, I took one for the team and tested the cookie butter. Yes, it was hard work, but I survived. The Trader Joe’s cookie butter has the texture of slightly crunchy peanut butter. It has a sweet taste which makes it work well with dessert recipes. Although I didn’t have a chance to try it, I think it would probably also be really good on top of freshly baked brownies!

My tasting range goes from 1 (just okay) to 5 (back up from my cookie butter or I’ll cut you!):

cookie butter chart

Although the cookie butter wasn’t terrible on things like marshmallows, cookies and crackers… it was just so much better on a spoon. Whether it be alone or with a dollop of Trader Joe’s Cocoa Almond Butter (like Nutella , but with almonds instead of hazelnuts).

Truth time: the container of cookie butter lasted in my house for exactly 5 days. I didn’t share with anyone and I ate that whole darn thing by myself. I also may have a second jar hiding in my pantry (so my husband can’t find it) for emergencies.

Around day 2 of testing, I thought long and hard about whether it would be inappropriate for me to hide the jar in my purse for an afternoon treat. The evening of day 3 I noticed that my jar was in the front of the pantry and not where I had left it (hiding behind the peanut butter) and threatened my husband that if he wanted to keep his wife he would not eat any of MY cookie butter.

I think I have a cookie butter problem.

Have you tried cookie butter? Do you randomly threaten your family members to stay away from MOMMY’S SPECIAL SNACK if they want to keep their dingle dangles in working condition!?

Disclaimer: Trader Joe’s did not provide me with the cookie butter or ask me to review it. However, I would not be against having them send me some cookie butter with maybe another jar of their cocoa almond butter… for testing purposes, of course.

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Meal Planning for Slackers

This morning I gave my Facebook followers a chance to Choose Their Own Adventure (oh gosh do I miss those books) and decide on today’s blog topic. The choice was between my experience with the Tata Wrangler of getting an actual grown-up bra fitting over the weekend OR  how I suck at planning meals during the week.

After a super quiet morning on the FB page, I was surprised to see that meal planning won! So either you all are still knocked off-center by Daylight Saving Time or you have the same issues I do when trying to cook during the week.

Basically what it comes down to is a lack of time. Well, lack of time in addition to just being plain exhausted by the end of the workday.

I work Monday – Friday each week and typically get home around 6:30 or so. I usually have a work event once a week (sometimes more often), where I don’t get home until 9:00 or later. So, that leaves me with 4 weeknights that I SHOULD be able to cook dinner.

Here’s what usually* happens: I start the week off on the right foot by making a list of potential meals on Sunday and then getting all the ingredients needed from the grocery store. However, I decide to forgo dinner for Cheerios on Monday because my husband ends up working late. Then, Tuesday night I actually cook one of the dinners I planned. On Wednesday, I get stuck in traffic and it ends up taking me 2 hours to get home, so I stop through the drive-thru on my way. Most Thursdays, I work late and then once we hit Friday I’m so tired from the week that I don’t want to cook and would rather go out someplace nice.

Before I know it, Saturday is here and whatever food I purchased the previous week has gone bad in the refrigerator. It’s a waste of money. It’s also terrible for my waistline because of all those extra on-the-go calories that are creeping into my mouth. Frankly it annoys the crap out of me that I can never seem to get it together enough to have actual homemade dinners.

That’s when the mommy guilt kicks in. Or wife guilt. Or WHATEVER guilt. Why am I such a FAILURE? Why do I SOMEHOW FAIL every single week to provide my family with sustenance. I mean, why can’t I get it together enough to make a damn dinner for everyone?!

Oh, and before you make the suggestion — my husband doesn’t cook. We tried having him be in charge of food one night a week and he came up with either sandwiches or pizza delivery. As far as I know HE doesn’t feel guilty about his lack of cooking skills though, that’s reserved for me.

So if you have the same issues that I do with getting dinner on the table, I have found a couple little tricks that help us:

  • I invest in a few Let’s Dish meals that are the ones that you cook straight from the freezer. These work out best for us because they usually take about 30 minutes to cook and if I change my mind, the meal just stays in the freezer and nothing goes to waste.
  • I try to make a super-sized crockpot meal that can last for two dinners. If I throw something in the crockpot for Tuesday’s dinner, we can reheat it again another night.
  • I buy quickie meal ingredients for last minute options: spaghetti sauce and noodles, sandwich makings that could be smushed in the George Forman for homemade paninis, salsa and shredded cheese that can be smeared on a tortilla for a quesadilla, etc.
  • BRINNER – It’s breakfast for dinner people and I always keep the ingredients needed for pancakes or French toast in the house.

This isn’t enough though and I’d really like to be one of those people that have an actual dinner at home a few nights a week. So, I’m going to try really, really hard to find some new recipes that are quick and easy. In fact, I think I’m going to make April our month of eating at home with me making something for dinner each night that I’m not working late.

Help me out, what are your tricks for getting meals on the table during the week? Do you have a go-to recipe that always saves the day? If so, PLEASE share it with me because I could use all the help I can get!

 

*This does not include my son – he ALWAYS gets a well-rounded dinner which includes vegetables and fruit. I just need to start caring about what I put in my body as much as I care about what goes in his!

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A Quick, Easy & Delicious Holiday Treat

You know that feeling when you’re going out to dinner with some friends and it’s kind of near the holidays so you’re not totally sure if you’re supposed to bring them gifts? And then they BOTH end up bringing you a sweet little something and you have nothing to give them?

I hate that feeling!

So around this time of year, I usually keep a little somethin’ somethin’ around for exactly that situation. I figure I’d share it with you in case you wanted to try it for your friends too!

Now, I’m no Rachel Ray or that BAM guy, so this recipe is pretty much the easiest thing ever. The goal isn’t for it to show off your mad baking skills, it’s to have something cute and tasty!

Here we go:

1
I used this super cute Martha Stewart Treat Set from Scribble Shop!
2
Here’s the rest of the ingredients — rolos and pretzels. That’s it.
3
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put a rolo on each pretzel. I also put down foil wrap to contain the mess because I’m lazy.
4
Bake for 5 minutes until rolos are all smushy. Then add another pretzel on top and smoosh them all together. It’s okay if you get chocolate on your fingers — you can totally lick that off later.
5
Once the smooshing is complete, stick the whole pan in your freezer. My freezer is obviously smurf-sized because this is the biggest pan that will fit.
6
After the chocolate has re-hardened, put 10 in a sandwich baggie. Shove the baggie into the adorable treat box.
7
Close box and add on ribbon and sticker. Isn’t it CUTE?!
8
What’s cuter than one box? Oh, just a PILE of little boxes of treats!

There you go, it’s super easy… but yummy. And obviously it’s more delicious than something store bought because it was made with love in my own kitchen. No BAM required.

If you’d like to get your very own Martha Stewart Treat Set, they are less than $9.00 at the Scribble Shop here.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored and all my opinions are my own. However, the Scribble Shop gave me $25.00 to spend on whatever I’d like and I bought these treat boxes along with some other cute stuff that I may be blogging about in the future.

 

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