Postcards from Maine

Oh no! She eats a lot of leftover pasta and the dregs of Mr. 11's Dorito bag.

Oh no! She eats a lot of leftover pasta and the dregs of Mr. 11′s Dorito bag.

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Really Great Things #21

Really Great Things #21
Hello lovely readers,

Welcome to the latest installment, week #21 actually, of Really Great Things, which are recipes, websites, things, videos and crazy cute animals I’ve found floating around on the interwebs during the past week.

First, I must include my favorite makeup blog in this week’s roundup as a thank you. The Makeup and Beauty Blog blogger Karen writes and shoots all things makeup with her sidekick and my favorite furry nephew, Tabs.

Tabs most graciously authorized Karen to include Kitchen Serf as a Featured MBB Reader of the Week. Take a look at the screenshot below then go roam Karen’s site for the latest cosmetic reviews and advice. Girlfriend knows her stuff.


Moving onto more really great things:

Who’s tried Bulletproof Coffee? Should I? I love coffee and I love butter but blended together? I don’t know. However, I do have a raging Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino addiction and those probably do have butter in them. Or at the least the fat equivalent of a stick or three.

If you’re decorating sugar cookies in the next 72 hours, you need to read this tip.

The following is not a really great thing but something nonetheless, I felt as your good friend, I should alert you to:
Remember how we managed to survive the lime shortage? Well, we’ve got a related crisis on the horizon thanks to the drought in California. Avocados are in peril. Stuff yourself full of guacamole now before it’s too late.

I really love honesty in advertising so this bit had me on the floor laughing.

Your great aunt Mabel isn’t the only one who knows tis the season for ugly Christmas sweaters.

Does your cat hate Christmas? He has good reasons.

Your turn, tell me what your really great things are this week? Has anyone started decorating? Has anyone peeked at their Christmas gifts? You can tell me, I promise I won’t tell anyone. Double pinkie swear.

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Gingersnaps Amped


This recipe was my Grandmother's but I've tweaked the amount of spice to amp up the cinnamon/clove flavor.

This recipe was my Grandmother’s but I’ve tweaked the amount of spice to amp up the cinnamon/clove flavor.

If you’re looking for a cookie that can solve society’s ills, help you lose 10 pounds, eliminate your gray hair and magically pump up your bank account and get you a big raise at work, look no further than my recipe for Gingersnaps Amped. These are magical cookies.

So, I thought they would be the perfect cookie to send out to three other food bloggers whose names I received as part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014. Help kids with cancer and send and receive cookies. It’s a really great thing!

Gingersnaps are very special to me. My late grandmother would make oodles of cookies every Christmas and her gingersnaps, chewy and spicy and rolled in crunchy red and green sanding sugar, were my very favorites.

After my Grandma died, I took on the task of trying to replicate her cookie exactly, which was not easy. If these cookies are overbaked, they turn into little frisbees, suitable for throwing to your dog. But you can’t underbake them or they won’t hold their shape. You’ve got to use sanding sugar or turbinado sugar to roll them in for a satisfying crunch when you bite into them.

Turbinado sugar, by the way, is my way of making these cookies more economical. Sanding sugar right now is $5 for 8 ounces, which I can easily use in one batch. Don’t tell me to go to Aldi or Trader Joe’s. We have no Aldi and the closest T.J. is three hours away. I know, I don’t know how I live out in the sticks either.

But, turbinado sugar is an even better replacement. The sugar crystals are larger and you can buy a 2-pound box at Target for $3.79.

But I digress, back to the recipe. In all honesty, my grandmother was using Betty’s (Crocker) recipe for gingersnaps. But I like more spice so I increased those amounts. Except I didn’t increase the amount of ginger, I left that alone. I really like the taste of ground ginger in these cookies and freshly grated ginger in Asian food but that’s it. I blame it on a kind soul giving me a box of ginger tea during really vicious throes of morning sickness. Much of the time now when a recipe calls for ground ginger, it just makes me feel nauseous all over again.

I do hope you’ll try my version of these cookies. They are so yummy and festive.

I sent gingersnaps amped cookies to:

Sherri Jo



I received cookies from:

Delicious molasses cookies from: Becky at So Very Blessed 

Scrumptious eggnog snickerdoodles from Samanatha 

Really good browned butter Biscoff oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies from Erica

Plus, OXO and Imperial Sugar sent everyone swag. Imperial Sugar sent a vintage-y tin and OXO sent the lovely decorating kit shown below:


And a special thank you to the two amazing food bloggers who organize this event every year: Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil and Julie from the Little Kitchen.

Gingersnaps Amped


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sanding sugar or turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. 2. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except sanding sugar or turbinado sugar.
  3. 3. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls. Roll entire ball in small bowl until completely coated with sanding sugar or turbinado sugar. On cookie sheets, place balls about 3 inches apart.
  4. 4. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or just until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.


Tell me, do you have a wonderful cookie recipe you’ve inherited? Will you participate in any cookie exchanges this year? Have you done the #FB Cookie Swap before? If you’re a food blogger, I would encourage you to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap next year.  Leave a comment :)

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Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookie Recipe

double peanutbutter delight cookies text

So, I know I just said this a couple days ago with Chocolate Cinnamon Fantasy Cookies but I think I have a new favorite cookie recipe: Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookie Recipe using Nestle Toll House Delightfulls. Disclosure, I received free product for doing this post and promoting the new Delightfull products on social media.

If you like peanut butter you are going to love Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookies.

If you love peanut butter, you’re going to think you’ve died and gone to open 24-hours a day bakery heaven after trying Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookies.

peanutbutter delightfulls

I started my new recipe with inspiration from a recipe on the back of the package for making cookies with Delightfulls. The Delightfulls package recipe looks the same to me as the one for Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. And why wouldn’t they run with that recipe? Why mess with success?

Well, because I’m me, I had tinker. And, I was concerned because the Tollhouse packages are 11 to 12 ounces while the Delightfulls are 9 ounces. So I thought I would reduce the amount of cookie dough so that the cookies were really packed full of Delightfulls.

And, I really wanted the cookie to scream with peanut butter flavor. To do this, I added 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter to the dough.

I also used all brown sugar for added chewiness.

nestle tollhouse delightfulls

After adding flour, salt and baking soda, I stirred in nine ounces of deliciousness a.k.a. Nestle Delightfulls. And baked and watched the oven impatiently.


Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookie Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 9-oz package Tollhouse Peanut Butter Delightfulls


  1. Put dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Cream butter and sugar together for four to five minutes or until fluffy
  4. Add egg and blend until well combined
  5. Add peanutbutter and mix thoroughly, beating another minute or two
  6. Add dry ingredients and beat until combine
  7. Add package of Delightfulls and stir until well-combined
  8. Dough will be a bit moist. Drop by teaspoons or tablespoons depending on how large you want cookies on parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes or golden brown.
  10. Let cool for a minute or two before serving with milk.


Your turn, tell me if you’ve used the new Delightfulls yet? What did you think? Do you like peanut butter? Do you have a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe? I’d love to see it. Leave a comment :)

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Weekend Cooking Plan

Hello dear friend,

Where are you with your holiday preparations? I’ve barely started. Parent gifts bought, mother in law gift bought, nothing else bought, nothing decorated or wrapped or sprayed with glitter.

So, my weekend cooking plan is short and sweet.

Tomorrow is a big shopping and wrapping day so I’m not cooking. Oh maybe there will be sliced grapefruit and omelets for breakfast but we’re going to have a late sit-down lunch out and order dishes that result in leftovers, which will be eaten for dinner.

Sunday, we’ll have leftover Garlic Lime Chicken and Couscous for lunch and I’ll convert my recipe for Mexican Lasagna for the slow cooker so it’s a hands-off day.

What’s everyone else cooking? Tell me in the comments.

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