Five-Minute Freezer Upgrades

While I love to cook (and love to eat), I also love spending a relaxing evening with those who I care enough about to feed. Around my house that means having about two-three frozen entrees waiting to go in case by the time my evening rolls around fruits and vegetables aren’t the highest thing on my list that I want to chop-up.

As someone who also enjoys actually being able to enjoy what’s on my dinner place, pulling something straight from the freezer to the dinner table with a little bit of heating isn’t appealing either. My compromise? Frozen dinner upgrades. Yes, they might add a couple of steps to prep, but the ultimate time savings is well worth the taste a hybrid-homemade dinner yields.

Here are my two of my personal favorite staple freezer upgrades that make for great, quick weeknight dinners (minimal chopping required)… Continue reading

Snow Day = Cookie Day!

Snowmageddon keeps hitting St. Louis. Over and over. What to do when it looks like a small mess of people might be trapped in your house? Get them all sugared up and then it will seem at least a little bit more fun than getting stuck in a paper bag.

My first stop- allrecipes.com, my go-to site for all things baking and cooking… especially when I don’t know what I am doing. This was my first time making chocolate chip cookies, and I stumbled across a recipe that called for adding a package of vanilla pudding to the cookies. I didn’t have vanilla, but I *did* have cheesecake flavored pudding and white chocolate flavored pudding hanging out in the cabinet.

My very pregnant best friend, who was staying a few nights during a trip to St. Louis, voted for the cheesecake pudding. In her words, “Either one will be good, but if you try the cheesecake you may have something amazing.” Trust the pregnant lady when it comes to sweet inventions… she is, after all, the one dipping everything in your fridge in a tub of leftover chocolate icing (true story).

It’s too good not to share!

Sugar rushes make everything seem more fun.

It’s A Snow Day So Let’s Cram Everything Sweet in Our Mouths, Chocolate Chips Cookies (adapted from someone’s Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Yields 24

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened just to the point of melting
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant cheesecake pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding mix, eggs, vanilla and milk. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.