Sometimes I forget where I store all of my recipes. I've got some typed up in sticky notes on my MacBook desktop, some on actual recipe cards, some written on lined paper in a binder... they are everywhere! I just recently re-discovered my Microsoft Word recipe book! It was so great to see all of my childhood favorites pop up. After seeing the document, I remembered going through all of my parents' recipe cards and typing up all of my favorite recipes. Now I feel a little bad for all the email requests I've made for family favorites because apparently I had them with me the whole time! Regardless, it was super sweet to see my once favorite recipes all in one place. I hadn't baked for my coworkers for a while, so I decided that baking for this week's lab meeting was the perfect opportunity to bake an old favorite treat.

I hate blondies. I'm just going to put it out there. I don't just dislike them, I hate them. I will spit them out! They are flavorless! These aren't your typical brownies, but they are definitely not blondies. So don't even think the word! Anyways, these aren't standard chocolate brownies, but they are just as rich, just as gooey, and just as satisfying. Because they have PEANUT BUTTER!!! Soooooo much peanut butter. I go through phases of peanut butter cravings. You might, maybe, possibly, probably, no... definitely is more realistic... be able to characterize this week as one of those phases. But these brownies are packed with peanuts so you'll surely satisfy any peanut cravings (or even just sweet cravings!) after eating these! I'm not going to lie, I ate one for dinner. Yep, just a peanutty brownie for dinner. Best decision I've made all week. Besides deciding to make them of course :)

mom's peanutty brownies

1 cup peanut butter (go for the Jif-like brands for this recipe! I know people like organic stuff but this is not the time!)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl. Beat in eggs. Combine all dry ingredients except the chocolate chips and peanuts, then slowly add to creamed mixture. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips and pour into a greased 9X13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. The bars will be pretty gooey, but they are better that way! I promise.


Starting up school again after the holidays can be a little difficult. A little? Okay, sometimes actually difficult. As kids, a two week winter break felt like forever and we were ready to go back to school whether we admitted it or not. But by the time the end of your first semester of college rolls around, you've never wanted a break more! And you try to make the most of your time home- see family, friends, sleep all day on the couch, play with the dog- but as soon as second semester starts up you realize how much more appreciative you could have been towards your time off! Well... lucky for me, I don't have that exact same feeling anymore! Just the feeling of returning to work. Which is sort of the same... except that the evenings are free and I don't feel stressed 24/7... okay so not the same at all! Either way, we return to our normal lives, ready or not. Our little brother is just starting his second semester of college this week so he's beginning to become familiar with dreading homework once again. Ok, honestly, I think he's more excited to be back with his friends than dreading homework. But what I'm basically getting at is that transitions are difficult and exciting all at once! So to celebrate and toast to the new semester, I sent the boy a care package:) With tasty treats! Scotcheroos are his favorite, and after sneaking a tiny bite, I wanted to make a whole batch for myself. Tomorrow maybe? Yes. But really! Try sending a care package to someone you love. Just a simple baked good goes a long way! These are great to send because they don't go stale very quickly. And they are so good! We actually use Special K in my family, so we call them Special K bars, but they are the same as scotcheroos so use Special K or Rice Krispies.. whatever you have on hand. So, send them as encouragement, as celebration, as a fun surprise! It doesn't take much effort, but whoever receives it will definitely be thankful for the treat and thought behind it!


3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup white Karo syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
5-6 cups Special K (or Rice Krispies) cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Measure out 5 cups of Special K into a VERY large bowl (you'll be mixing and you don't want it to overflow!). Bring the sugar and syrup to a boil, then remove from the stove. Add the peanut butter and stir until melted and combined. Add the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the Special K and mix to combine. Add the last cup of Special K, a little at a time, until the cereal is completely coated but not covered with excess peanut butter mixture. Pat into a greased 9X13 pan. Melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave (you don't want them to burn!) and then spread over the bars. Let cool, cut into squares, and serve or ship away!


I haven't been posting to S&S like I'd like to the last couple of months- work has been busy, I've been traveling for the holidays, it's a cold walk to the grocery store, and it's too dark when I come home from work to take pictures of the food I make for dinner... So even though I think of posting often, I've been battling a winter cooking depression! So many amazing recipes have crossed my mind, and I do plan to post them eventually, but when I decided to write a post today, I decided I needed something easy. Something easy but oh-so-good. Easy for me to help guide me out of my cooking depression, and easy for you to bring into your kitchen. Sometimes those are the best recipes anyways, right? The biggest bang for your buck, if you will. For the amount of effort this requires, you'll definitely love it (as long as you like asparagus!). You might scoff at how intuitive and simple this recipe is, but I have to be honest- it surprises me to hear how many people haven't roasted asparagus before! I think it's the best way to prepare asparagus. Actually, I pretty much prefer every vegetable roasted. It's so easy and I think it brings out great flavor- especially when you use vegetables with a higher sugar content and they end up caramelizing on the edges. Yummmm. So ya, give this a try if you haven't before- you can use it as a great side for any meal and it will take you hardly any effort at all!

roasted asparagus

1 lb asparagus
Olive oil
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the asparagus by rinsing well and breaking off the ends where the stalk naturally breaks. Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and lay out on a baking pan. The less crowded the pan, the more the asparagus will brown. I try to leave space between each stalk because I like it more roasted! Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, flipping half way. That's it! Easy enough, right?


We were flipping through instagram and stumbled upon the most delightful arrangement from Glasswing Floral based out of DTLA. So, naturally, we had to check out their work online.

We swoon for their unique arrangements. Our favorite using cotton plant and peonies. One of our New Year's Resolutions is to play with more stems this year... including things outside of the floral variety!