M&M Cookies


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I got to thinking the other day about food and memories. I don’t know about you but for me, a photo will help me remember a brief moment but my sense of smell is the one that truly brings me back to those places. The feeling is exciting, strong, and personal.

Many of these food memories are from my childhood in New Hampshire. Now living in California I miss the New England lobster and clams but one of my absolute favorite food memories from my life there will always be M&M cookies from the small bakery in my hometown of Windham, NH. Luckily, Klemm’s Bakery was located next to a small country store that my mother frequented and occasionally she would let me run in and get one of their giant buttery M&M cookies. I distinctly remember the sweet smell of butter and sugar in the air. Klemm’s is now gone from the town so now I am left without my beloved cookies even when I visit. I knew I had to recreate them myself.


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The Best M & M Cookies

(Adapted from All Recipes)

36 Servings

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 (rounded) teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup M & M’s
  1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add 1/2 cup of M&M candies.
  2. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 9 to 11 minutes, to your liking.


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Sure enough, as soon as I opened the oven door I felt a rush of memories of spending time with my mom, enjoying one of our old favorites. These are slightly chewier and less crispy than the original but they have that same balance of butter and sugar so the smell is exactly the same. Reggie and I could not stop eating them. I will be bringing them for my family to try tomorrow. You should too.


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Crowd Favorite

Today is quite possibly my favorite day of the year. I am sitting here sipping my coffee, rocking my Tom Brady jersey with my heart racing. Football is back baby! Everyone in my family is a huge New England Patriots fan other than my husband who loves the Denver Broncos. We love him anyway. 😉

The start of the season always reminds me of the early Sunday morning football tradition my mom began years ago–her famous Biscuit breakfast sandwiches. In fact, my mom is sort of famous in my circle of friends for these sandwiches. Anytime we are at her house on the weekend they casually ask if she is making them. They are a weekend alarm clock, waking up my family with the smell of bacon crisping and biscuits baking. Happens every time like clockwork. So incredibly simple but so addictive.


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I prefer to make my own biscuits from scratch but these made a great substitute in a pinch. They are perfectly flaky and buttery and not too large.


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Organic Farm Fresh Eggs, preferably cooked Over Medium


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Topped with a slice of cheddar cheese and crispy Niman Ranch bacon


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Definitely a crowd favorite.

Go Pats! 🙂

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Happy Friday!

I am at home today with the little puglet and loving all of the cuddle time! He is pretty much attached to my feet and while this is adorable, every day activities have become more difficult.

Oh and have I mentioned that I am teaching again? After taking the last year off to explore some other opportunities, I am back at Cal State Long Beach teaching Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication.

As much as I don’t like admitting it, I am one of those “grass is greener” type of people and I really felt like I needed to explore other careers before settling down with my first option after college. I graduated college in 3 years and then went straight to my competitive Master’s program where I started teaching immediately. I was overwhelmed and burnt out. I really think that a year off helped me to realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to teach and that teaching really is one of the best jobs in the world. But I don’t think I would have ever realized that unless I took that time off.

And this semester, my students are INCREDIBLE! Every day I am amazed by how thoughtful, smart, and mature they are. And we are only 2 weeks into the semester! Needless to say, the transition of teaching again and having a new puppy all in the same two weeks has been a bit stressful. What do I do when I am stressed?


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Just kidding! But this really is an incredible beer. I nearly jumped up and down when I saw that it was back. Probably the best pumpkin beer ever!

What I really do when I am stressed, of course, is cook! And wow, do I have a great meal to share with you. Jessica from How Sweet It Is is one of my favorite bloggers. She has great recipes and shares my affinity for bacon. I have already made her Red Velvet Pancakes, which are the stuff dreams are made of. Her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Burgers is equally amazing!


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Naturally, I made a couple changes to the original recipe based upon ingredients that I had on hand. First, I decided to fry up a little bit of Niman Ranch bacon. If I am going to buy or eat meat, I really make an effort to make sure the animals are raised in a humane, sustainable environment free of harmful antibiotics or hormones. Thankfully, that is Niman Ranch’s mission as well.


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I added a bit less hot sauce than recommended due to the fact that the one I had on hand was a bit…strong, to say the least. This is a great hot sauce that will have you breathing fire so pace yourself with this one my friends.


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I also reserved some of the bacon grease to pan fry the burgers. Oh yea, I went there. 😉


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Putting the burgers together was a breeze and after about 8-10 minutes, you have perfectly cooked Buffalo Chicken Burgers. I topped mine with a slice of cheddar cheese, a strip of bacon and Annie’s Organic Cowgirl Ranch Dressing. This was my first time trying this particular dressing and I was not disappointed. I am always turned off by really thick, bland ranch dressing and this one gave that great creamy, herby taste without all of the weight.

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On the side I served freshly steamed corn on the cob. Some people might like all those fancy corn on the cob toppings but I am an old-fashioned type of girl. Give me some creamy butter and salt and I am a happy girl.

This was the perfect comfort meal after a week of lots of life changes. What is your favorite comfort meal?

Pug Life

So I realize that I have only been blogging about twice a week but I have a really good excuse…promise. You want to see?




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Meet Crosby.

When Reggie and I first started dating, about 7 years ago, we both talked about how much we LOVE Pugs. When we moved into our new place, we both decided that this was the perfect time to find our pug. So for the last 6 months I have been stalking Petfinder.com for a Pug we could rescue. See, after watching this episode of Oprah, I have not been able to get the idea of rescuing a dog out of my head.

I was fortunate enough to come across Happy Ending Rescue in Los Angeles. However, Stephanie and her team do not just rescue dogs in Southern California–they also rescue internationally. In fact, our boy Crosby is from South Korea. Tragically, the practice of dog slaughtering for meat is still a major problem in South Korea.

Amongst the South Korean population that does not eat dog meat a growing segment of proactive supporters has been fighting for animal rights; fighting to bring about the long overdue realization that eating dog meat, a Korean tradition born during times of life-or-death, is now unneccesary and its continued practice is inhumane. (Happy Ending Rescue)

For more information, click here. I warn you, though, it is very graphic and disturbing.

The adoption process was a breeze and Crosby has been making us laugh nonstop for the past couple weeks. Plus he loves the camera so expect to see him making an appearance every now and then. 🙂

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P.S. Apple’s next ad campaign?I can only hope 😉

My Favorite Season

Fall, is by far my favorite season. I love the leaves changing color, the return of chunky sweaters and BOOTS, pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween, apple picking, and cooking my favorite soups. Once the weather begins to cool down and the fall weather begins to kick in a bit (this is Southern California after all), all I can think about is making soup. Not just any soup–broccoli and cheese soup. See, I was a particularly picky child (Sorry Mom!) and I rarely ate anything that was not a chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, or drowned in blue cheese dressing. I hated vegetables. That was until I tried my first bite of broccoli and cheese soup. I loved the cheesy creaminess and, to my surprise, I loved the taste of broccoli and it was not poison after all. 😉

Years later, I am a much more focused on eating a more balanced diet and I can actually say that I like vegetables. Now when I get the craving for this beloved meal, I turn to this recipe . Not only is this version incredibly easy and quick but the best part is that you get all that delicious creamy cheesy flavor with much less calories than your standard version. In fact, I am going to go heat up a bowl of it now.


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Have a beautiful Labor Day weekend friends!


xo,


Jenna