Saturday, December 17, 2011

Banana Pecan Pie Shake

It's been another one of those crazy weeks when life is busy and all you want to do when you get home is blow off some steam by exercising, then put on your jammies and read trashy magazines in bed. Yep, that's been my week!

I am super excited for Christmas coming up. I have 4 days off in a row and can't wait to relax! I took a half day off yesterday, spent some quality time with my hubby, and enjoyed some much needed down time. Today it's back to the races: optometrist appointment, grocery shopping, rounding up the last few Christmas presents, and  happy hour with some friends. Ready, go! :)

I actually made this shake right after Thanksgiving. My mom likes to send us home with leftovers anytime we visit, and we had pecan pie as one of our two Thanksgiving desserts. It was reeeeeally sweet (thanks Costco!) - almost cloyingly sweet, so I was trying to think of ways to eat it than all by itself. I thought a milkshake sounded good, but was too lazy to go to the grocery store to buy ice cream. We had a banana, so it became a banana-shake instead!

The shake is super creamy and sorta healthy if you forget about all the pie in there :) It's perfect for sharing, too, or just sipping on your own sitting in bed reading trashy magazines.

Banana Pecan Pie Shake
Makes 1 large shake or 2 small (8 oz.) shakes


  • 1 small slice pecan pie (about 1 1/2 inches wide at the crust)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • In a blender, crush ice.
  • Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve in a cold glass with a straw. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chewy Ginger Cookies for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Wow, y'all. It's been a long week (and you know that's true for me when I break out the Southern slang!).

Two of my coworkers lost family members in the past week, and one of them has been out for two weeks. I spent many days by myself in the office = I needed serious Christmas music blasting from Pandora on my office computer to keep me going! I also had a night meeting after work on Wednesday (=14 hour day) and another work event yesterday. So...blogging...not on the top of my to-do list after all that!

Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. Lindsay and Julie matched me up with three groovy ladies, and we each received 3 dozen cookies (1 dozen from each person). I absolutely love receiving packages in the mail, so these cookies made my day each time a new package arrived.

First off...
Christina from 2 Hour Party sent me these tasty treats!

Mmm...shortbread sandwiches with a chocolate and plum filling. They melt in your mouth!

My second batch arrived from Crystal at Eat*Drink*Cleveland.

Too cute!

Chocolate it :) Fun fact: it's one of a few states I have never visited!

What did Santa bring?

Yummy cookies! I tasted almond, coconut (maybe?), and of course the cherry on top :)

And finally, Jamie at Kanga and Roux sent me these. Jamie lives in San Diego too so I was excited to 'meet' a fellow SD blogger.

Delicious mixed chip cookies!

For my own recipe I was to send out, I had a hankering for gingerbread cookies. There was also a container of crystallized ginger chips hanging out in my cupboard begging to be used. Believe it or not, my recipe came from the side of the container, and it was delicious! The cookies are chewy and not super sweet, and the ginger flavor is very pronounced (which I love). A great alternative to your traditional gingerbread cutout!

Blogger fail: I totally remember taking pictures of my cookies, but when I uploaded them onto my computer, they were nowhere to be found :( Oh well. Use your imagination and you'll probably get it just right :)

Update: Crystal let me borrow the picture she took below of my cookies :) Thanks Crystal!

Chewy Ginger Cookies
makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
recipe adapted from The Ginger People

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (I used Earth Balance), softened (= 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 oz. (1/2 can) Ginger Chips

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in molasses and egg.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, and mix well.
  • Stir in ginger chips.
  • Chill dough for 1 hour.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Roll in granulated sugar.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove while still soft. Transfer cookies to cooling rack to cool.

I had so much fun participating in this and look forward to the 2012 swap! If you'd like to take part, sign up here to receive notifications for next year's event.
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