Recipe Testing: Cookie Dough Dip

One of my favorite things to do over winter break is actually go through my Cuisine and Libations Pinterest board (usually the Desserts sub-board) and try to make one or more of the recipes I’ve saved over the past year. Even though I haven’t had the same commute and travel commitments this year as in previous years, I just haven’t had the energy after work or on the weekends to bake for only myself. As a novice baker, I like to have my mom in the kitchen with me to show me how to do things I’ve never tried before. (Plus, her kitchen is like three times the size of mine!) Last year, we added my nine-year-old nephew and my cousin’s gorgeous KitchenAid stand mixer, which was delightful!

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I Went to a David Duchovny Concert

Back in the halcyon days of early November, while we were still basking in the glow of a Cubs World Series win, David Duchovny tweeted his North American tour schedule. (I know, I know, I’ll give you a moment to deal with that sentence.) I put out the call to find my other “ladies of a certain age” who needed to share this experience with me.

And I found my people quickly.

Five days later, the U.S. elected a new president and my attention was focused elsewhere. (Has it really only been three months? I feel like I’ve aged YEARS!) Luckily, my friends were on the ball:

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35-for-35 Recipes: Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

I have a chicken tortilla soup recipe that I’m totally in love with, so I was excited to try another similar soup. However, this one just fell flat. The beans are a nice addition, but there just isn’t enough taste to make it worthwhile. I’ve spiced up the tortilla soup by using taco seasoning instead of the multitude of spices listed, so that might be an option for this one. Also adding some Papalote salsa to my bowl made it more palatable. I’m not a spicy food lover, but it need a little SOMETHING to make it more than just beans and chicken in broth.

35-for-35 Recipes: Crockpot Cocoa

A couple weekends ago, we had some stormy weather, so I thought I’d break out this new cocoa recipe. It was fairly quick, though it’s not a set-it-and-forget kind of recipe. You need to be stirring this fairly frequently to keep a skin from forming and to make sure that all the chips melt into the mixture.

It also makes a LOT of cocoa. I had two mugs full fresh out of the pot and was able to fill one of my large Pyrex bowls AND a Glad storage container. I popped the plastic storage in the freezer to enjoy later, which was also delicious. This is way richer than my normal Swiss Miss packet, but I’m sure the calories reflect that as well!

35-for-35 Recipes: Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

The results of this recipe are not attractive. The recipe calls for the chicken to be shredded, which takes a long time. I also missed that this should be served over pasta, so it looks even worse, just sitting on the plate. I think it could totally work without shredding the chicken, which would make it visually more appealing. The flavors are on point, however, and I will definitely be adding this to my rotation.