The Weekender: Happy Easter, Cat Beds, & Sweet Potatoes


Winter 20126Happy Easter to all you little bunnies and chicks! Did the Easter Bunny pay you a visit? I sure hope he brought a plethora of Cadbury Crème Eggs, jelly beans, or whatever Easter confection tickles your fancy. But if you’re still hungry even after all the treats the Bunny bestowed upon you, then get a gander at this week’s mouth-watering Smart Cookie recipes. Perhaps these will satisfy your hunger.

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Baked Pepper Jack Cheese SticksDSC_2557
  2. 20 Easter Bunny-Approved Recipeseasterrecipes-2
  3. Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes w/ Salted Dulce de Leche-Cinnamon ButtercreamDSC_3693-2
  4. Sweet Potato & Squash Brown Rice MedleyDSC_3109
  5. Monster Granola BarsDSC_4118

It’s not too late to consult my Easter recipe round-up for last minute ideas to firm up your holiday menu. I’ll be enjoying a heaping helping of veggie lasagna (recipe coming soon), a generous slab of tiramisu (recipe also coming soon), and some of these adorable Spring Lemon Cookies my father sent me as an early Easter present. They’re almost too cute to eat, right? Good thing I’m merciless in the face of food.DSC_4134

Perhaps I should take it easy on the sweets though. I mean, isn’t it a bad sign when your butt is big enough for your cat to utilize as a bed?photo(18)

At least I can make some healthy swaps like with that Powdered Peanut Butter I raved about in last week’s Weekender. If that stuff wasn’t awesome enough to begin with, guess what else I discovered this week? They make a Chocolate-Peanut Butter variation, and it’s DELICIOUS!

Mother Cookie made a solo trip to Wegmans this week, so I had her stock up on the stuff. She also picked up some adorable Easter treats including my all-time favorite sugar cookie shaped like an Easter egg and a chipper chick cupcake. I ate both, and I have no regrets. Yum!DSC_4037 DSC_4022

I’ll just balance out the sugarfest with the world’s most supremely-stuffed sweet potato, because this hearty behemoth is loaded with nutrients. Stop by next week to get the recipe.DSC_3862

Tell me about your Easter feast. Do you have any traditional dishes? Are you trying something new this year?

See you on Monday!

The Weekender: Easter Week, Furry Friends, & Peanut Butter

Wegmans March 201312-2

It’s Sunday, which means Easter Week at Smart Cookie has drawn to a close. I hope you all had as much fun as I did! We had enough delicious and festive recipes to make the ol’ Easter Bunny proud. Next week, he’ll be hopping to our homes bearing baskets of Easter sweets. Are you ready for his arrival? If you’re not, never fear. My Easter Week recipes are a great jumpstart, plus I’ll be bringing you an Easter recipe round-up next week, as is customary here at Smart Cookie. But until then…

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Baby Chick Lemon Mousse Cookie CupsDSC_3479
  2. Peter Cottontail’s Carrot Cake BarsDSC_3531
  3. Bunny Rabbit Cauliflower PancakesDSC_3361
  4. Coconut Macaroon Easter Egg NestsDSC_3178

I took a little poll on Facebook to see what the favorite from Easter Week was, and the winner was unanimously the Baby Chick Lemon Mousse Cookie Cups. Not only are they beyond cute, but they’re easy to make and absolutely heavenly. That mousse filling is velvety smooth and tastes like lemon heaven. See just how effortless those little guys are to make in my newest video.

Let’s talk about food news now. Last week, I wrote about the edible wonders I encountered on my last trip to Wegmans. One awesome product I discovered was powdered peanut butter. DSC_2981-2It sounds odd if you’ve never tried it; I was skeptical myself. But this stuff is life-changing. Add just a little water, and you get instant thick and rich peanut butter. But get this: two tablespoons of regular peanut butter has an unsettling 200 calories and around 16 grams of fat; powered PB, on the other hand, has just 45 calories and about 2 grams of fat. That’s crazy talk! I am obsessed with this stuff; sometimes I use it twice a day. It’s not just awesome for making straight up PB; I also mix it into stuff like sugar-free pudding or a little bit of Cool Whip. Yum!

Speaking of non-traditional food items, how about this Mina burrito, eh?DSC_3852

My cats are just so darn good-looking that I can’t ignore them. One minute I’m trying to photograph food; the next, they’re getting all of my camera’s attention. Such was the case when I was baking cupcakes the other day. The Cast of Characters took a back seat to my babies.DSC_3685DSC_3679DSC_3681

Do you have a furry friend who’s always by your side?

I’ve got a co-worker with a…less traditional furry friend. She has a moose named Trax that she dresses up for every holiday you can imagine. So, when her birthday rolled around on Friday, I knew the perfect cake to make her.DSC_3826

He’s almost too cute to eat, right? I’m still not sure anyone ever cut into it…but there were delicious cupcakes to go along with him, which were devoured quickly. That recipe is coming at you next week, along with some healthy delights, and the Easter recipe round-up you don’t want to miss!DSC_3701

The best way to ensure you catch every new bite on Smart Cookie is to subscribe. You’ll get my new posts emailed to you every morning! Just enter your email in the top right of the page. Also stay in touch with Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

See you on Monday!

The Weekender: My 1st Giveaway, Wegmans, & Cat Antics


This week, we had a Smart Cookie first: a giveaway! In honor of Extra Gum’s Simple Swaps campaign, they provided me with a tote bag full of their assorted gum flavors, a notebook for keeping track of your simple swaps, and a $40 giftcard to Whole Foods. If you missed that boat, never fear. The giveaway is still going on. You have until Friday, March 15 to enter, so get on it! The winner will be announced in next week’s Weekender.

Along with my first ever giveaway, there was also a slew of mouthwatering recipes on Smart Cookie this week. You might have missed a bite or two, but that’s okay; I’ve got you covered.

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Bunny Butt Peanut Butter Pretzel BitesDSC_2323
  2. Spinach-Artichoke CalzoneDSC_1155-2
  3. Super-Sized Sausage & Pepper CalzoneDSC_1224
  4. Stuffed Mediterranean Eggplant + a GIVEAWAYDSC_2751
  5. Fluffernutter Oatmeal BallsDSC_2650

Which recipe of the week was your favorite? I think I have to go with those Bunny Butt Pretzel Bites. They’re just too cute! Not to mention, they’re super easy to make. You can catch a step-by-step tutorial in this week’s brand new video!

Now, what’s on the plate for next week? I’ve got some special treats for you! Monday will bring the most delicious twist on a mozzarella stick you’ve ever seen. And on Tuesday, we’re taking a trip to Wegmans to see all the goodies I found this month. Spoiler alert: there’s brownie pops, chocolate, yoga socks, and more!DSC_2545

You guys might recall a few Weekenders ago I exposed the cat conspiracy going on behind the scenes while I’m trying to photograph. This week, while I was trying to take pictures of my smorgasbord of Wegmans finds, Mr. Poe was an especially annoying pain in the butt.DSC_2977DSC_2981

But he’s just so darn cute!


And in other news, I got my hair dyed: subtle red & violet lowlights. Do you ever experiment with hair color?DSC_2853

The Weekender is great for catching up, but you don’t have to ever miss a bite during the week. Just like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date! You can also follow me on Pinterest and subscribe to my Youtube channel. That should be enough to satisfy your Smart Cookie craving!

Tell me about the good stuff you ate this week. What was your favorite meal?

See you on Monday!


The Weekender: Let the Easter Festivities Begin!

Winter 20124

It feels like I just wrote a Weekender. Where did the week go?  I guess time flies when you’re eating good food.

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Sweet  Spot Bake Shoppe – Chester, NJbakeshoppe
  2. Hits & Misses in NJ: Mama’s & Lockwood Tavernpizza
  3. Pot o’ Gold Ice CreamDSC_1776
  4. Healthy Cookie: Double Bean Enchilada SoupDSC_2046
  5. Chocolate Coconut Cashew ButterDSC_2143

Which post was your favorite this week? Mine was the Pot O’ Gold Ice Cream. It’s a refreshing twist on classic cookies and cream, using cool mint ice cream and Golden Oreos. Plus, it’s so festive for St. Patrick’s Day.

Now, on to the next holiday. Can you believe Easter is at the end of this month? I’ve already started preparing by making two awesome Easter recipes for you this weekend, the first of which you’ll see on Monday with a brand new video. Hint: it involves bunny butts!DSC_2313

Bunny butts are cute, but let’s talk about bunny faces now, like the grinning one on my new apron. I am obsessed! I bought it at Kirkland’s, and I’ll be sporting it in my new video on Monday.DSC_2245

Also, note my wooden spoon bunny ears.DSC_2257

You can get my full Easter recipe collection here.

And on another note, I thought you’d like an update on my babies. They’re doing very well and, much to my dismay, they’re getting so big!


One last thing before I head out. Facebook likes have been lagging lately. If you enjoy Smart Cookie, make sure you like my Facebook page so you can get daily updates, see fun pictures and posts, and never miss a bite. And if you already like Smart Cookie on FB, then tell you friends and family! Everybody likes food.

Also be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Twitter, and check out my Youtube channel for tutorials and more.

See you tomorrow for some Easter fun!

The Weekender: Cat Conspiracies, V-Day Recipes, & Loving Yourself

Mini Cauliflower Crust Quiches-2

Are you prepared for Valentine’s Day? Even if you aren’t celebrating with a sweetie, you should celebrate your love for yourself. After spending a couple V-Days single, I realized you don’t have to have a significant other to enjoy February 14th. Focus on appreciating yourself; partake in little indulgences like a big box of chocolate or a glass of wine. There’s no reason to wallow in self-pity; just grab yourself some good food, and you’ll feel great!

Or, if you’re looking for something even better, you can bake up something sweet and indulgent. Tomorrow, I’m bringing you my ultimate Valentine’s Day recipe round-up. But in the meantime, you can get a sneak preview by checking out the V-Day recipes I posted this past week. And since I didn’t do a Weekender last weekend, I’ll post last week’s recipes as well.

Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Copycat Chocolate Candy Shop BlizzardsDSC_0215-2
  2. Mini Cauliflower Crust Broccoli QuichesDSC_9555
  3. Italian Bean (& Bacon) Soup
  4. Strawberry Sweetheart Bars
  5. Puppy Love Brownie Cupcakes Stuffed w/ Lindt TrufflesDSC_0486
  6. Spinach Artichoke BurgersDSC_0346
  7. Confetti Corn Pop TreatsDSC_0685
  8. Chewy Red Velvet Bars with Whipped Cream FrostingDSC_0752
  9. Two-Bite Red Velvet Candy CakesDSC_1025

And of course, make sure you don’t miss my newest video this week where I show you exactly how to make those adorable Puppy Love Brownie Cupcakes. They’re so cute, but so easy!

Did you see Smart Cookie on DailyBuzz Food this week? My General Tso’s Chickpea Patties made it into the Top 9! They’re a healthy, vegetarian alternative to General Tso’s Chicken, so put down that take-out menu and check out the recipe here.


I was also featured on SheKnows Canada last week for my Homemade Conversation Hearts. That’s right;  Smart Cookie is taking over Canada!Fullscreen capture 292013 95435 PM-2

And now, my friends, it’s time for another day in the life of the Smart Cookie Cook. Churning out these posts isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when you have two nosy, mischievous cats conspiring against you. This is what happens when I try to take the “Cast of Characters” photo I do for every recipe:DSC_0928



I don’t get paid enough to deal with this! Good thing I love what I do and have such wonderful, supportive readers like you.

How was your week? What did you eat? What was your favorite post this week?

Make sure you like Smart Cookie on Facebook and follow me on Twitter & Pinterest so you never miss a bite.

See you tomorrow for a Valentine’s Day recipe round-up!