Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something on here. I’ve been busy with the holidays and stuffing my face, haha not really (okay maybe a little bit)! Whether or not we celebrate certain holidays, the grocery store sure makes us feel like we do. I mean, who can avoid the cute holiday candies and yummy desserts at the local bakery. Some of the best foods and sweets come out during the month of December, and it’s really hard to avoid; otherwise we’d have to wait another 12 months- and that wouldn’t be fair!

As you may have noticed from previous recipes, I’m a peanut butter lover so when I found this recipe I had to make it; as if I needed another excuse to eat another cookie! I’m sure we all have made a similar type cookie, but this ones a real winner!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Hershey’s Kisses

1 can of Carnation sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup JIF Peanut Butter

2 cups Bisquick all purpose baking mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup of sugar

Directions:

First heat the oven to 375 degrees, then get all the candies out of the wrappers and set them aside.

Beat the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in a large bowl until smooth. Add baking mix and vanilla, blend it well. Then shape the mixture into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar. Squish the cookie with your thumb to make a little dent in the middle.  Place them at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until they look lightly browned. Immediately press the Kisses in the center of each cookie.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Pie

Fall is pie season, and I’m taking advantage of that as much as I can! With Thanksgiving around the corner, I started thinking of my favorite flavors to create something new to add to our Turkey Day dessert. Don’t worry the usual suspects will still be present. I can never abandon delicious pumpkin, apple and pecan pies (you can never have too much dessert, right)? Well while watching Food Network, which I may add I do religiously everyday, I got inspired by a vanilla pudding pie that had… wait for it.. peanut butter and powered sugar crumble on top! So, I decided I had to make something similar. I chose to make chocolate pudding on a graham cracker crust with cool whip, sprinkled with the delicious peanut butter topping, and the result was heavenly!

What makes this recipe even better, is that you don’t even have to cook anything! I tried this pie two ways, one that I just left in the fridge and one that I froze, and both were delicious. The frozen version tastes just like ice cream without all the calories, trust me you won’t regret it. But, this pie is nothing without the cherry on top aka the peanut butter crumble.

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker crust
Peanut Butter
Confectioners Sugar
Cool Whip ( I use the light, and there is no lack in flavor).
Instant Chocolate Pudding (You will need milk for the pudding, I used Almond Milk).

Recipe:

First, you need to get a food processor and add the peanut butter and powered sugar, and let them mix together until you get a constancy like this. Depending on how big your pie crust is and how much crumble you want, you can use a couple tablespoons of peanut butter with equal amounts of powered sugar. You might have to add more of one or the other, just continue until you get a crumbly constancy, you’ll know when.

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Once processed, grap a spoon and apply the mixture on the bottom of the crust. Make sure to push the crumble into the crust so it can look like one flat surface.

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Then after following the instructions to your instant pudding, quickly add it to the crust before it starts setting. Then allow the pudding to set for a few hours, just so the whipped cream doesn’t melt into it. Although the instant pudding does start setting in 5 minutes or so, it still needs more time to get firmer.

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Once the pudding has set, start applying the cool whip to the top. Make sure to defrost the cool whip a few hours before in the fridge so that it isn’t too firm. Once you apply the cool whip, sprinkle on the peanut butter topping (as much or as little as you like). You can eat it right away, but if you want the cool whip to get back to it’s firmer state, stick it in the fridge for an hour or so. If you want to freeze, just stick it in the freezer overnight or at least 5 to 6 hours.

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Now, make sure to grab a slice before everyone in your house gobbles this down!

Wishing you all, a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pistachio Cupcakes

I’m a total Pinterest junkie, especially when it comes to finding new recipes to cook. Long gone are the days when you went through your grandma’s huge recipe books that were almost disintegrated. Okay, maybe not completely gone (no one can cook as good as your grandma anyway, right)? But these days, beautiful pictures of mouth watering food can make anyone want to put that apron on! If you can think of it, you can probably find a good recipe for it online; done a million different ways. We all have been there, thinking we came up with a brand new recipe that no one else did, until you check online and realize a hundred people thought of the same thing.

I love anything salty, but lately my sweet tooth has been creeping out. Luckily when I worked at a bakery over 7 years ago, I couldn’t care less about the delicious cupcakes or cookies or else I’d probably not fit in my car today! Although I do splurge on desserts and foods on the weekends, I do behave myself Monday – Friday (for the most part). So when I want to have something sweet but not want to feel too guilty afterward, I search for low-fat desserts that are just as yummy as that ice cream sundae.

There are so many desserts to choose from, so I decided to make one every week or two and post it on here and let you guys know if that dessert is just as delicious as it looks! We all want to feel good about ourselves, but we will NOT compromise our taste buds! I’m also going to try to think of some myself, but we’ll see how that works.

So, the first dessert I chose is one I found on Pinterest from skinnymom.com. Not only does this site have good recipes but also articles about fitness, health and lifestyle. The recipe I chose was the Skinny Pistachio Cake. The link for the recipe is here: http://www.skinnymom.com/2013/05/12/skinny-pistachio-cake/?_szp=437279

I did change mine to cupcakes. I also didn’t add the yogurt and it still tasted delicious. I basically followed the instructions on the cake mix and added pudding. This recipe is super easy to make and doesn’t take much time for prep.

Overall, if you’re a pistachio lover you’ll adore this cake or cupcakes. Every bite you take has that nutty flavor, whether it be in the frosting or cake. Oh and let’s not forget to mention the pretty light green color you get from the pistachios. It’d make a perfect St. Patties Day dessert! But I’ll take mine any day, holiday or not.

Here are some pics from my version of this healthier dessert.

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Let me know if you try this dessert and what you think of it!

Here’s the recipe again :http://www.skinnymom.com/2013/05/12/skinny-pistachio-cake/?_szp=437279

Travel to Bora Bora

I really wanted to add a travel section to my blog because of my love of traveling and exploring different parts of the world. To me, travel is more than laying around drinking margaritas but more about learning different cultures and discovering things you had never even heard of before.

Growing up, I didn’t travel much. The only places I remember traveling to were Texas and Virginia, but even that gave me an insight on how different we are to people in the same country! Growing up in New Jersey, people are usually in a rush and, hate to say it, not the friendliest. So, seeing how people who live in different regions act and live differently made me want to widen my horizons.

It has been a few years since I started traveling every summer. I’m not going to lie, I love any place with a beautiful beach, and lately that’s exactly where I’ve been going. Yes, I am a beach bum, but I always make sure to go on as many excursions to explore the area and the culture. Although I love the beaches, the excursions are always the most memorable parts of my trip.

So, I decided to make a section of my blog about the places I’ve been, the places I want to see and everything to do in between. This week, I choose a destination I have always dreamed of going to and that’s Bora Bora. Seeing the photos of this tropical island and beautiful beaches mesmerize me, and I can’t wait to take this location off my bucket list!

Here are some facts about Bora Bora, and of course beautiful pictures to follow.

1. Bora Bora which is in the French Polynesian, is one of the most secluded islands in the world. Many honeymooners travel here to escape the typical travel spots filled with people, and nothing can be more romantic than feeling like the only two people in the world!

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2. Bora Bora is known for their resorts that feature over the water Bungalows. A private retreat with the ocean right at your feet, literally. Walk out of your door, and take a dip into the clear, almost, pool like ocean.

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3. There is virtually no public transport on the island. Visitors are recommended to take rental cars or bicycles for all their transportation needs, not that you would want to do anything but lay in the calm ocean all day.

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4. Bora Bora is actually surrounded by coral reef and smaller “islets”, which is just a fancy word for a large rock without much vegetation.

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5. The population of locals is roughly less than 9,000. It’s not hard to understand why so many people choose this destination for some R&R.

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Hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Bora Bora. I will be sure to post my own pics when I arrive at this amazing island, one day (wishful thinking).

Have any of you traveled to Bora Bora, if so, tell me about it below in the comments!!

 

Leftover Halloween Candy Into Dessert

Well now that Halloween is over, and some of us are left with tons of candy, the question is what to do with it all – besides eat every little piece left! Sometimes we go overboard shopping for Halloween candy, and then two kids show up to the door; Trust me I know the feeling. If you’re anything like me, you can eat candy like a 10 year old kid, but I really try to keep it to a minimum as much as I can. Growing up with my dad as a dentist, I know I do NOT want a cavity. I try to avoid that drill at all costs!

I went over to a friends and saw all her leftover candy as well, and I thought what kind of desserts can I make using these leftover goodies! What can be better than candy desserts?!

Here is a list I made of some of the yummiest recipes to recycle your Halloween candy.

1. Chocolate dipped peanut butter cup stuffed oreos

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Get the recipe here :http://www.recipeboy.com/2012/08/chocolate-dipped-peanut-butter-cup-stuffed-oreos/

2. Frozen Snickers Pie

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Get the recipe here: http://www.shugarysweets.com/2013/08/frozen-snickers-pie#_a5y_p=2136229

3. Halloween Candy Blondies

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Get the recipe here: http://www.justataste.com/2013/10/leftover-halloween-candy-blondies-recipe/

4. Butterfinger Rice Krispie Treats

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Get the recipe here: http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/02/20/butterfinger-rice-krispie-treats/

5. Milky Way Fudge

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Get the recipe here: http://www.recipeboy.com/2013/03/milky-way-fudge/

6. 3 Musketeers Frosting

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Get the recipe here: http://cookiesandcups.com/3-musketeers-cupcakes/#_a5y_p=11542457.

7. Heath Bar Trifle

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Get the recipe here: http://partiesandpatterns.blogspot.com/2011/01/heath-bar-chocolate-trifle-1-pan-of.html

8. Twix Blondies

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Get the recipe here: http://cookiesandcups.com/twix-blondies/

9. Frozen Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter Pie

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Get the recipe here: http://dashingdish.com/recipe/frozen-reeses-peanut-butter-pie

10. Snicker’s Bar Cookies

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Get the recipe here: http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/03/09/snickers-bar-cookies/

Lip Colors To Try This Fall

Fall is in full swing here in New Jersey, and with the seasons changing so quickly, we have to keep up with the forever changing trends in beauty. Bold bright colors have dominated this past summer, and that trend is seeming to roll over through Fall. Seasons like Winter and Fall are usually known for their neutral tones, but luckily for us lips are the exception this year.

Not only is choosing a supersaturated lip color a statement, but it gives us a break from having to focus on eye makeup -which I might add can be a pain in the butt. A bold lipstick brightens up your face without having to go overboard in the makeup department.

So when it comes to lip color, choose wisely and just have fun with it!

Here’s my top picks for lip color this season.

1. Dior- Diorific Shock Colour Lip Duo

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With this two lip colors in one, you can choose to mix it up or just keep it one tone.This is a great lipstick for all day. You can choose the more subtle passion shock in the morning and become more fierce at night with the dark red.

2. Marc Jacobs- Love Mark Lip Gel

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This Deep Maroon lip color is just the right amount of dark without looking like a witch. Dark lips have been an ongoing trend these past few months, and I’m onboard!

3. Dose of Colors – Merlot

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I’m totally in love with this brand, not only are their colors amazing but their lipsticks are Vegan, Cruelty, Gluten and Paraben Free. This color is the perfect look for any date night.

4. Givenchy- Le Rouge

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Now let’s talk about red.. I mean, red lips have been the most popular lip color as of lately. You can’t log on to any social media site and not find your friends rocking some sort of red lip these days, not to mention the celebs going crazy for red. This warm poppy red, is just the perfect amount of right to make you feel sexy with just it on!

5. Dose of Colors- Pinky Promise

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I told you, I love this brand. Now, I could’t make this list without some pink! This bright pink with a little shade of red is perfect for those who don’t want to look like Barbie but still have some pink on their lips.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Pudding Cups

So as you might have seen in my previous recipe, I am an addict to anything pumpkin. I have tried anything and everything I could find this Fall that had any pumpkin in it . So far, I’ve had pumpkin donuts, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin coffee (even though I am not a coffee drinker), pumpkin chocolate treats etc. I could go on forever, but I’ll stop there.

Anyway, my favorite treat this season is plain ol’ pumpkin pie. Growing up, I never bothered trying pumpkin pie. I always thought I wouldn’t like it, but a few years ago that all changed. Now I can’t wait until Fall so I can buy and bake some delicious pumpkin pies.

A few years ago, I was a contestant in the Miss New Jersey pageant, and since then my eating habits have changed. So, as you can guess eating pumpkin pie regularly is not the best for my tight jeans. When I feel like having pumpkin pie without all the calories attached to it, I had to think of an alternative. While at the grocery store, I passed something that got me really excited.. pumpkin spiced pudding! I decided to add the mix to a pre-made shell and top with low fat whipped cream, and yum it was just as good and made me feel less guilty.

All you need is 4 ingredients. It’s so simple, here’s how I did it.

1. To keep it low-fat stick to skim milk or fat free, as well as fat free whipped cream.

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2. Just follow the directions on the pudding packet. Try to buy the instant pudding so you don’t have to wait too long.

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3. Use a ladle or ice cream scoop to get them into the mini shells without making a mess!

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4. All you have to do is put them in the fridge to make sure they get firm enough for the whipped cream. You can have it right away if you wish, but if you don’t want your whipped cream to melt like mine did, then I would stick it in the fridge for at-least 15 to 20 minutes.

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Now enjoy some mini pumpkin pie look a-likes, that taste as good as they look!!