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Keeping it real since 2013


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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Pudding Cookies

This is real. This is happening. I made up a recipe and everyone needs to make it.

You guys, I really like cookies. Surprise!

I bought banana pudding for our food blog, Food365. I didn’t use all of it, so I had to decide what to do with the rest of it. I love pudding cookies, so that seemed like a good way to go. And what goes well with bananas? Peanut butter. And what goes well with peanut butter? Chocolate. And that’s how this happened.

A real, actual recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box instant banana pudding mix

Directions

  1. Beat egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Mix in flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for approximately 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Grease cookie sheet.
  6. Scoop chilled dough onto cookie sheet.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Let cool.
  9. Shovel into face.

I didn’t take pictures as I was making it because I didn’t know that I was going to blog about it. But the only picture that really matters is the final result, yes? So here it is:

 


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Things I Love About Christmas, Even Though I Don’t Celebrate It

I suppose it’s fitting that Christmas falls on a Thursday this year. As Honesty Time’s resident Jew, I’m probably the only person available to write a real post today.

So what does a Jew do on Christmas? Well, I can’t speak for us all, but I can tell you what I do.

I’ve already described “Jewish Christmas” on this blog before: movies, Chinese food, family. Really, I imagine that Christmas for me isn’t all that different from Christmas for people who celebrate – just without the presents and the tree and the whole Jesus factor. But we totally have cookies. I love cookies.

I spent Christmas Eve last night making cookies alone in my apartment. It was awesome.

photo (41)

I’ve never had a real Christmas before, so I can’t really say I feel like I’m missing out on anything. My family just had our Hanukkah party on Saturday, and we all opened gifts and ate way too much and laughed and did family things. So…that’s the same thing as Christmas, right? We just don’t get Santa. Santa hates Jews.

Looking past the religious aspects of the holiday, I actually really love Christmas.

The best part of Christmas for me is the fact that I get paid time off from work. At this point in my life, I consider that a Christmas miracle.

I actually weirdly really like Christmas movies. Although, I am ashamed to admit that, of the movies that Allyssa listed in her post on Monday, I’ve only actually seen five of them. And probably not the ones that most people would expect: Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, The Santa Clause 1 & 2, and, upsettingly, Jingle All the Way. The Christmas movies I love are those unbelievably cheesy, probably-should-be-embarrassed-to-admit-I’ve-watched, “romantic” made-for-TV movies. Basically, if it’s been on ABC Family or Lifetime, I’ve probably watched the crap out of it on Netflix.

I also really like making gingerbread houses, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve done one. But I’m not sure if that’s because I like Christmas or because I like arts and crafts. And candy.

Oh, you know what else I love about Christmas, besides the cookies, the paid time off, and the terrible movies? The lights. I love Christmas lights. I don’t like when people go super trashy with inflatable decorations or flashing lights or a lot of crap on their lawn. I’m talking really classy, traditional Christmas lights. Hanukkah is a holiday all about lighting things on fire (right?!) so I’m obviously really into bright, shiny lights.

I’m not really sure what my point here is, except that, from an outsider’s perspective, you are totally right: your holiday rocks. And I’m pretty sure everyone enjoys it, even those of us outside of the club. Which is kind of lovely, in a way.

Just, please, for the love of all that is Santa and reindeer, stop playing so much damn Christmas music (sorry, Rachel).

Merry Christmas, bros, to those who celebrate and those who don’t.


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Cookie Monsters

You know what we don’t talk about nearly enough on this blog? Cookies. I mean, I just can’t think of one single time where any of us even mentioned the word “cookie.” I just feel like it’s my duty, as a friend and co-founder of Honesty Time, to right this wrong. I am taking it upon myself, on this most holy of days, to remedy our immense oversight. I’m basically a hero.

You see, my friends, today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. It is by far the most important of holidays. Homemade chocolate chip cookies are my favorite cookies of all time. No contest. And I eat a lot of cookies.

I was trying to figure out what my other favorite cookies are, and surprisingly the answer is not “all of them” (Thin Mints and oatmeal raisin can GTFO). This week I’m going to share my list of favorite types of cookies, because I know that there is nothing that you all could possibly care more about (spoiler alert: chocolate chip cookies are number 1).

Also, let’s just assume that unless I specify a brand, I prefer this homemade (I’ve included some recipes).

20. Frosted sugar cookies
19. Oatmeal chocolate chip (not raisin!)
18. Pillsbury’s cut and bake cookies
17. Danish butter cookies
16. Tagalongs
15. Chocolate crinkle cookies
14. Red velvet cookies
13. Shortbread cookies
12. Oreos (with peanut butter!)
11. Chips Deluxe Rainbow cookies
10. Samoas
9. Cookies & cream cookies
8. Amanda’s mom’s Christmas cookies (they all get grouped together…you haven’t lived until you’ve had them)
7. Black & white cookies
6. Apricot hamantaschen (minus the walnuts)
5. Sainsbury’s caramel shortcake bites (#1 reason I want to go back to London…)
4. Snickerdoodles
3. Monster pudding cookies (in case you missed last week’s blog)
2. Peanut butter cookies
1. Chocolate chip cookies (I like the classic Nestle recipe best)

These are the 20 I could think of right now. I’m sure I’m missing some obvious ones and that this list could probably be way longer. Basically, I usually don’t like nuts in cookies (although I love peanut butter and the occasional macadamia) and I hate raisins. And no  mint with my chocolate. Ever, ever, ever.

Anywho, clearly I have a lot of feelings about cookies. What are your favorites? Feel free to share any recipes you love. And don’t forget to eat a chocolate chip cookie today! (or 12)


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Birthdays Are For “Junk” Food

I’m old. That’s it. Officially old. Today marks it. I celebrated by doing some light sewing for my dancers and working with my interns.

My interns, speaking of, got me a $20 gift card to Rita’s. They know me so well. That’s a decent amount of Rita’s to be scarfed down there. Especially since I usually get a kiddie sized cup. I’m drooling just thinking about my next trip to Rita’s. I usually get the S’mores or mango flavor. Two very different tastes, but I always enjoy either, just never together.

How else did I celebrate? My Schmackary’s. Everyone knows I’m obsessed. I’ve written about these cookies before. I’ve been telling people for weeks that I was ordering a box of gluten free cookies from Schmackary’s for myself.

Talk about sassy. Ugh so good. Schmackary’s cookies have the perfect flavors and textures that I dream about at night. They are crisp on the outside, like a little shell, and “melt in your mouth” soft on the inside. How do they do it? It’s perfect. It’s so perfect. And almost all of the cookies have this little presence of salt that prevents the cookies from ever being too sweet, and it makes my mouth water, and it enhances every nuance of flavor.

Here are the cookies that I bought in my box.

 

Clockwise from Top left - Strawberries and Cream, Sweet corn, Lemon poppy, and the second Sweet Corn cookie. Drool. Attractive iPhone photo, no?

Clockwise from Top left – Strawberries and Cream, Sweet corn, Lemon poppy, and the second Sweet Corn cookie. Drool. Attractive iPhone photo, no?

Not pictured: Monster Cookie.

….Because I ate the last one today on the way home from work. It’s very filling. It’s another perfect monster cookie specimen. Gluten-free oats, M&Ms, chocolate, raisins, and peanut butter. I’m like “This is the perfect breakfast and/or snack because it’s totally good for me, right? Protein? Right? Anybody? No?” It’s heavy on the oats, so it’s definitely filling, but it’s not dry or hard or any of that. There are just the right amount of raisins in the batter to give a bite of sweet, fruity brightness every now and then. It was so good that I’ve finally forgiven all oatmeal and raisin cookies for whatever they did to me in the past to make me not like them. But still, they can’t ever hold a candle to this fabulous monster.

 

Strawberries and Cream

Ready to go back to your childhood? Eat one of these. Instantly that little cartoon captain is dancing around his pirate (?) ship on your TV set while begging you to eat fruity berry cereal. Yup, that’s what this tastes like. It’s childhood magic in a cookie. It has strawberries and white chocolate in it with a strawberry glaze on top. This bad boy is best eaten with a nice cold glass of (lactaid or coconut) milk. It’s just like eating that novelty, sugary cereal that I’m not allowed to eat anymore, except this cookie is never too sweet, and no one will judge me for eating the whole thing in a hot second (maybe).

 

Lemon Poppy

Imagine the best lemon poppy pound cake you’ve ever eaten. The perfect lemon bar. Combined. Now imagine them better. UGH this is so sinfully good! My taste buds are convinced that I’m eating pound cake. CONVINCED. I’m not sure what else I have to say about this cookie. It’s perfect, ok? Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, tart, sweet, mouth watering. My second favorite cookie from Schmackary’s.

 

Sweet Corn

THIS is my favorite cookie. This is the perfect sweet and savory cookie. It has corn flour and corn meal, so the texture is on point – not too mushy, but crunchy on the outside and around the edges. There are kernels of sweet corn, pieces of pecans, and a sprinkling of dried cranberries all packed inside of this cookie. Now this cookie is a perfect example of that little salt pop I was talking about before. This is like if cornbread got a slightly sweet makeover and cooked in a shallow “all-edges” brownie pan. This cookie is everything and I’ve been rationing my remaining Sweet Corn pieces of heaven, but I have to finish them sometime soon. They are fresh baked, after all.

 

Ok, so now I can stop groaning about my Schmackary’s craving. It’s been satisfied. For now. But everyone should try a Schmackary’s cookie at least once in your life. Maybe more. Maybe a thousand times. I told all of my students to go get them next time they’re in the city. I even shared a piece of one of my cookies to convince them that I’m not crazy. That’s true love. I’d never share my Schmackary’s otherwise.

So between the Rita’s and the Schmackary’s and whatever I’m about to eat for dinner, I can truthfully say that birthdays are for eating whatever the heck you want, whenever you want, and however much you want. Last year, all I ate was pizza dip and Rita’s cake. Perfect birthday cuisine.

Anybody else have a special “birthday meal” or snack that they go crazy for?


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Monster Pudding Cookies

This past weekend, I had a picnic to go to with my soccer team, and I volunteered to make cookies. Cookies are both my favorite thing to eat and my favorite thing to bake, and this particular recipe from For the Love of Dessert has become my go-to choice. Every time I’ve made it, people have asked me for the recipe. How can it be bad? Monster cookies are a combination of chocolate chip, M&M, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies. And adding instant pudding to cookies is the greatest baking trick I’ve ever learned. It makes them so soft. I recommend putting pudding in all cookie recipes.

So I decided to go ahead and share it. The version from that blog is basically perfect, so you should just follow that. The only differences I made were using regular sized M&Ms and leaving out the peanut butter chips.

Here is how it went for me:

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

I don't use mixers because I like to minimize how much stuff I have to clean.

I don’t use electric mixers because I like to minimize how much stuff I have to clean.

My iTunes shuffle gets me.

My iTunes shuffle gets me.

Sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter = delicious.

Sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter = delicious.

And now my iTunes has turned against me.

And now my iTunes has turned against me.

Tastiest cookie dough everrr

Tastiest cookie dough everrr

Time to watch Dr. Who while we turn dough into cookies.

Time to watch Dr. Who while we turn dough into cookies.

I make these bigger than I do with most cookies, because, ya know, "monster."

I make these bigger than I do with most cookies, because, ya know, “monster.”

It's a miracle I didn't eat them all myself.

It’s a miracle I didn’t eat them all myself.

 


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Another Crazed Picture Post

I’m getting ready for show #2! Here comes All Shook Up. And I’m done with 5 weeks of the 12 weeks of physical therapy, so those appointments also keep me busy. And I have almost no idea what day it is again! I have no idea what I’m doing! Get ready for a picture post! My week in pictures, again! Minus pictures of physical therapy, because I really don’t need to share pictures of the 60-90 pelvic tilts I do every session. Ok? Here we go!

 

First up! Sweeney Todd with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center!

sweeney todd cast

Here’s the list of the leads in the show. First of all – amazing. Second of all – the question mark was the best part. Click on that to watch clips from the show and at about 1:08 see that Audra McDonald was the Beggar Woman! NY Phil punk’d us all and surprised everyone with Audra! My queen!

sweeneytoddstage

The stage – pre show. If you watched the video, you see that obviously it doesn’t stay this way.

sweeneytoddcurtain

Here’s curtain call! Photo credz actually goes to one of the kids from 9 to 5. Another FYI – We were all on our feet, smacking our hands together so hard right at this moment. The ensemble, the NY Philharmonic, the lead actors, and the conductor all gave jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring performances. To be honest, when the lights went out, way before the cast even took their curtain call, the entire audience was up on their feet. It was that good.

christianborle

Here I am, looking absolutely crazy/crazed with Christian Borle, who was really nice when I asked for a picture.

ryanandes

 

Here I am with Ryan Andes! He was in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd and even more importantly was Karl the giant in Big Fish My friends and I met him at the stage door when we saw Big Fish, and he was honestly the nicest person ever and stopped to have a full conversation with us. I wanted to take a picture with him, but our ride showed up and kind of clogged traffic on the street, so we dashed. Here we are a few months later and I had my chance again! I may have delayed our school bus leaving by insisting that I stalk the stage door to wait for him. Sorry not sorry that I’m so weird and obsessive. Also speaking of Big Fish and Ryan Andes, please click here to see the world’s best GIF ever that I found on BroadwayBox.com. It’s really kind of massive so I didn’t want to post it on this page itself. But it’s the best, ever.

The cats missed me. Here they are being cute.

We’re doing some set painting and light hanging with the kids to get ready for All Shook Up. Some progress pics.

I bought fabric for All Shook Up! Two shopping carts’ worth, actually. And then I bought a serger too. Oops. I don’t even know how to use it, to be perfectly honest. Double oops.

So yesterday my pal and I went into the city again to go to 54 Below to see “54 Below Sings Side Show!” So next to Big Fish, my other musical obsession is Side Show, the show about conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton. My friend and I are so nutty for it, so we got tickets to this awesome dinner and a show night. While in the city, I went to my favorite place to grab a bite to eat – Schmackary’s. Yes, my favorite place to eat in the city is a cookie place. They had two!!! gluten free flavors yesterday – monster cookie and sweet corn. I ate them both, obviously. Just thinking about the sweet corn cookie makes me salivate. Best cookie ever on this Earth. I took a lot of selfies because I’m crazy. And when we went to 54 Below, out seats were actually right next to the stage. Practically on stage. Afterwards, we met Norm Lewis, Jeff McCarthy, Alice Ripley (pictured with me! She was so nice! She’s so talented! I died!), and Nick Cearley from The Skivvies. A very successful evening!

photo 4

And finally, today, a student brought her dog to rehearsal. Best rehearsal ever? Close enough when there’s a dog involved.

So there you have it! My very busy, very exciting, very exhausting week! I hope you click on some of the links and check out The Skivvies and 54 Below and everything. They’re all awesome and worth checking out if you like theatre or musicals or music at all. Also, again, the Sweeney Todd video is phenomenal. Hopefully next week I’ll be less crazy!


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A New Sweet Treat

Last summer was the summer of the cronut. I have yet to actually have one. They look gloriously delicious and I don’t care what anyone says. I’d like to evaluate one on my own terms. But I’d just like to tell the world how lucky we are to have someone who has invented the cronut. Why, you ask? Well the man behind the magic, French baker Dominique Ansel, has just came up with something that can rival his first sweet creation. He made this baby:

This is genius. Sure, it might be a little backwards when you think about how you normally eat milk and cookies, but why not change it up? It still tastes the same. So how do I get to SXSW to try one of these? Can I make one myself? I’m willing to throw myself full force into the kitchen to figure out a way to do this. If I have time and any success, I’ll certainly share. Or, if anyone just wants to get me some of these and bring them to my house, that will do just fine too.