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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My Type: Tall, Cute & Goofy

When I first met my husband, I told him that I’d never date him.

Yes, I’m obviously a woman of my word. But let me back up to the beginning…

I would consider myself kind of a late bloomer. I mean, I had a supersized crush on a guy in high school that never really panned out. I found out years later that he turned out to be gay, which really does explain so much. The funny thing is, that’s not the only guy I’ve kissed who later turned out to be gay, but back to the main story…

I had my first real TRUE LOVE kind of relationship in college – I started dating that boyfriend at the end of freshman year and we stayed together (on and off) for about 4 years. That relationship ended badly (cheater cheater liar pants) and I jumped directly into a serious relationship with a guy who I stalked/met at the gym. I was with him for 3 ½ years and then that relationship died a slow fiery death.

Apparently I don’t do graceful exits.

At this point I was in my mid-twenties and had just bought my own townhouse. This was the first time in my life I just enjoyed being single. I dated around a bit, had some fun random make-out sessions and mostly spent a lot of my Friday nights at the local bar with my friend, Annie.

One night we went to our bar directly from work. It was one of those crappy days where it was pretty much a requirement to drive straight there without changing from your work clothes and immediately order a pint of hard cider and a shot.

I remember it like it was yesterday, we were sitting in a booth and there was the group of guys standing at a table near us. Practically the moment Annie went to the bathroom, the tallest of the guys darted over, slid into the booth and asked if he could buy us a shot. He was kind of cute in a goofy way, so I said sure and before Annie even returned from her super-quick bathroom trip our booth was filled with guys.

That was the beginning of our relationship with The Boys. They were all younger than us and worked blue collar jobs. I was kind of a snob at that point, only dating professional guys who were my age or older. So The Boys were our bar friends.

We’d hang out with them each week and have an awesome time laughing and drinking. Every so often there might be a joking invitation for a date, but I stuck to my “I’m never dating any of you!” stance. Oh I might have made out with one of them, but that was about it.

So, this goes on for about a year. I date a couple guys, but always return to Annie and The Boys at our bar.

One night, a couple girls walk into the bar. You know the type – the girls who are looking for a GOOD TIME so they put effort into their makeup and upgrade their t-shirts and jeans to tight tops and heels. The moment they enter, they are SWARMED with The Boys. Well, all of The Boys except the tallest, goofy Boy that I was hanging out with.

Being the total clueless broad I was, I asked him why he wasn’t swarming the slutty girls with his friends. He shrugged and said that they weren’t his type. So, of course, I had to ask him if THEY weren’t his type, then WHAT WAS his type?!

That’s when it happened.

He turned to me, looked at me with this look I’d never seen on his face before and said, “You”.

I can’t remember exactly what came next, but I’m sure we awkwardly started talking about other stuff. Later that night and through the next week, that response just echoed in my head. I remember having a conversation with Annie and saying to her, “I think I like Tall, Goofy Boy?!” She was just as confused as I on how this had somehow snuck up on me.

Another week later, I ended up hanging out with him one-on-one at the bar. He had stuck around waiting for me to show up after a work event, and had a little more to drink then he was comfortable with. So, I invited him to sleep in my guest room.

Yes, that’s right – in the guest room. I’m a nice girl!

He spent the night and we flirted up a storm, but didn’t even kiss. The next morning, he was laying on the futon, covered in blankets. I was sitting on the office chair (because I was classy and totally had a futon in my office and called it a guest room). My dog, Potter, jumped up to lay with him while we chatted.

Then, it happened.

While we were talking and smiling at each other with googly eyes…

My dog pooped on him.

Yes, Potter literally squatted over him and dropped a doggie log right on top of the blankets on his lap.

Shock.  Awe. Embarrassment. Actually, complete mortification would be a better term.

And that was when it really happened – he didn’t get mad or freak out that my dog had just randomly POOPED on him. He laughed. Hysterically. In fact, we both laughed so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

We spent the day together, just hanging out, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. He went home that night and I wasn’t really sure where things were going. I mean, we still hadn’t even kissed yet!

Two days later, I get a call from him. He’s at the Subway on the corner and wants to know if I want anything. I don’t, but invite him to come by anyways. We had our first kiss that night. He never went home – staying that night and following night, and the next. So on and so forth until we realized that he might as well move in.

We got engaged a little over a year later and married about 8 months after that. Travis and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary in October and he still makes me smile and laugh so hard that my face hurts. He’s an amazing husband to me and an incredible father to Jack.

Oh yeah, and besides that whole pooping thing, Potter likes him too.

So now it’s your turn – what was THE MOMENT that you knew your spouse was IT for you?

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I Survived my 5k!

If you’ve been following along to my randomness, you know that I decided impulsively last Wednesday to go ahead and run the Baltimore Running Festival 5k on Saturday. I was incredibly unprepared since I hadn’t actually run 3 miles in over 16 months (before conceiving Jack). I decided that it was a total “mind over matter” moment though and decided to just suck it up and run the darn thing.

I bought this sticker and wore it on my back during the race.

My only goal was to run the entire race (no walking allowed) and to complete it in less than 40 minutes.

Jack and I woke up super early to get ready and pick up my brother, Jason, on the way to Baltimore. Jason had offered to hang out with Jack while I ran, which made this little challenge possible. Even though we gave ourselves plenty of time, we were (of course) running late.

After we parked and were finally walking towards the race start, we split up so that I could jog over in time for the race to start. Yeah, I said jog. It was such a waste of running energy. By time I got there, the race already started, so that kind of sucked. Timing chips were in our race numbers though, so in theory my actual race time wouldn’t start until I crossed the start line.

I turned on my super awesome iPod mix that I created especially for the race and started the run. One cool thing about starting dead last is that you get to pass a bunch of people! And pass I did, first I jogged passed a couple cute grandma types with walkers. Then, I darted around some blind walkers with their handlers.

Yeah, I felt like a freaking Olympian with my incredible quickness.

Um, no. No I didn’t.

Anyways, the first mile was pretty easy. I had purposefully loaded some chill songs on my mix, so I kind of relaxed into the run. There were a TON of people there though, so I was continuously darting around runners and walkers so that I wouldn’t smack into the back of anyone. All in all, I passed almost 1,000 people – which when you think about it like that is pretty darn cool.

I started feeling it somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 miles – that was the point where I had to start giving myself a little pep talk. It pretty much went like this:

Me to self: Come on, you can DO IT! You pushed a baby out of your hooha, you can totally run three stinking miles!

Self to me: I can’t. This sucks and I would so much rather be sitting on the couch in my pajamas.

Me to self: Don’t be a little bitch! Look at all the people you are passing. You are a BEAST. (Looks at thin and beautiful girl in an adorable running outfit). See that girl? You just passed her. I PASSED YOU SKINNY GIRL! BooYA!

Self to me: Okay, that’s pretty cool.

Me to self: See that guy. Yeah, I’m going to pass him too…. BOOM. That JUST happened!

Self to me: {giggles} I am kind of a beast.

Me to self: Dude, this song is awesome. I’m totally going to sing along in my head to it and gesture wildly because I’m AWESOME. {Starts run-dancing along with ipod song and mouthing the words. May accidently be singing some of the words out loud}

Self to me: Um, lets dial it back a bit Ms. Crazy.

So yeah, that was pretty much what was going through my head for the middle part of the race. At one point between 2.5 miles and 3 miles I was convinced that they moved the mile marker sign. I don’t know if it was that I was running uphill or that I kept passing and then being passed by an 8 year old girl, but this part of the race seemed to go on slow motion.

Jack and me after the race — my shirt says: “Running slow is not a character flaw… QUITTING IS!”

When I FINALLY passed the 3 mile sign I started sprinting towards the finish line like I had made the mistake of eating lunch at Taco Bell. My arms were flailing around, I had an angry look on my face and I may have shoved people out of my way.

It wasn’t graceful, but it was a finish!

Since I started the race late, I didn’t know if I had accomplished my goal of completing it under 40 minutes. However, later that evening I was able to see my stats online… and I finished the race in 38 minutes and 49 seconds!

{Insert victory dance here! Victory dance is kind of lame though because my body hurts.}

Yes, I know that my time isn’t fast by any means – but I’m darn proud of myself anyways. With no preparation at all, I knocked out three miles in under 40 minutes! My overall place was 2,205 out of 3,181, so I was faster than 976 other people. And of the 2,022 women who ran the race, I came in at 1,310th – so I totally BEAT 712 other ladies (100 of them were in my age group)!

So yes, I’m proud of my accomplishment. And if I can accomplish this random goal what in the heck is holding me back from my other goals?

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