Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies

I was on a mission walking through Harris Teeter the other day when the Pumpkin Spice Oreos caught my eye.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I love Oreos, how could I pass these up?

A thought popped into my head. I have a yummy recipe for Cookies and Cream Oreo cookies, why not change it up for pumpkin season?!?

The original recipe is from Notes From Nessa, and I’ve linked it before. These are amazing cookies as is, but I wanted to add some of the fall flavor. To bring out the flavors of the Oreos’ I chose the butterscotch pudding mix, added the semi-sweet chocolate for some contrast to the sweetness, and spiced it up with the traditional pumpkin pie spices!

I have no control; I’ve eaten ten. These are so so so good. They’re like those Otis Spunkenmeyer cookies that have an incredibly rich and melty middle, but a solid crust. I’m incredibly proud of myself. Now go make these.

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1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package Butterscotch Pudding Mix
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
15 Pumpkin Spice Oreos, chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cream together butter and sugars.
Stir in pudding mix.
Add eggs and vanilla to mixture.
Mix flour, baking soda and salt into mixture.
Chop 15 oreos into small pieces.
Add chopped Oreo’s and chocolate chips to dough.
Stir to combine.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly brown on top.
Make sure to let them cool!
ooeygooey
Look at this ooey gooey goodness!
Recipe adapted from here.
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Travel Nashville-Part II

I’m sad to say, the next morning we were a tad bit hungover.

But we pulled ourselves together and had some good old fashioned hangover food at the Pancake Pantry. A Nashville institution since 1961, I was delighted with the banana bread pancakes. Our waitress was hilarious too. My favorite part was the family feel of the place and it wasn’t out of the normal to chat with our neighbors.

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The day was spent roaming around Opryland, all in all, not my thing. But I did enjoy saying I’d been to the Grand Ole’ Opry! I was a rebel and sat on the guitar.

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The next day it was time to drive home to Charleston, but before we left we visited two more famous Nashville places!

The Loveless Cafe was top of my list and this is where we had breakfast. OH MY GOD. I had the biscuit sampler and it was just too good. A Nashville hot spot since 1951, the Loveless is located in an old motel off of US 100. You’ll see it from its bright neon sign!

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The decor is country vintage, and the walls are covered in autographs from famous country stars. Which brings me to the must see tourist attraction in Nashville: The Country Music Hall of Fame, duh.

My friend Rachel and I are huge country fans so the stop was necessary.

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Overall we spent about an hour admiring the exhibits. I have to say that Alan Jackson’s was my favorite! There was a little too much text in the exhibits, so after a while it was overwhelming. But I still highly recommend it as a must-do!

This was a fantastic trip. Although typically touristy, I had such an amazing time and hope to get back soon.

Plus the road trip through North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains was pretty cool.

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Visit Nashville-Part 1

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Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to go to Nashville. I was raised on 90s’ country music (think Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn).

This past summer I finally made it, and got to spend time with a college friend at the same time!

Oh my lord, it was amazing. My friend Rachel flew into Nashville, and I drove up to meet her. We were lucky enough to stay at her friend’s home in Nashville so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel!

The 8-hour drive was intense, but once I got there we went out on the town. Our trip began at The Row, a restaurant downtown Nashville. I had the most amazing hot chicken, a Nashville specialty, and we listened to some beautiful live music.

From there we moseyed on up the street to The Patterson House. Oh My God, let me tell you about this place. It’s a speakeasy, decorated in 1920s art deco fashion, that specializes in high quality mixed drinks. Patterson refers to the Tennessee governor during the early 1900s who vetoed restrictions on alcohol. The rules are, no cellphones, no fighting, and leave with the people who you came with.

I had the most amazing drink, the creole fashioned. A play on the original old fashioned, the taste of the whiskey mixes with flavors of orange and coffee. Lord have mercy. I snuck a photo through snapchat, sue me.

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We continued downtown via golf cart, yes that’s right, they have a golf cart taxi service in Nashville. We went up, down, all around Broadway. The live music was incredible!

All in all, it was an amazing first day. Stay tuned for part II.

My Fall Bucket List!

Admittedly, fall is my favorite season. Maybe it’s because I’m from the Pacific Northwest where the season change is accompanied by soft rains, crunchy leaves, and wrapping oneself in a cozy Pendleton blanket!

I’ve already started decorating my apartment in fall colors and mini pumpkins. And that’s a pumpkin latte flavored coffee in my cup!

Here are the top 10 items I really want to do before the season ends:

Have a pumpkin decorating party!

Make this yummy Caramel Apple Sangria

And also in the food category, these fabulous cheesecake stuffed baked apples, perhaps for a date?

Visit a haunted corn maze, also a lovely date! Boone Hall has a wonderful one.

Indulge in ABC Family’s Halloween specials, starting Oct. 15th! Hocus Pocus, anyone?

Go apple picking, another great date. Ha, are y’all sensing a theme?

Decorate my nails in fall colors, loving this Butter London shade!

Purchase a plaid cape, so trendy (and cozy) right now!

Go on a hike to see the changing fall colors.

And of course, go to a football game!

Of course I have a bit of time before it starts to feel like fall in South Carolina, but it doesn’t hurt to pretend, right?

A Little Taste of Italy

On my grad student budget and schedule, I’m always trying to find cheap and quick food options, that are also tasty and healthy!

Sound difficult? It is.

This recipe I’m using today is from Picky Palate, a blog I absolutely love! Her photos of the Chicken, Arugula, and Hummus Tart were making me drool, and since the ingredients were healthy and affordable, I thought I’d give it a try.

I was not disappointed! The yummy flavors made me reminisce on living in Northern Italy, and it made a lot of servings to last through out the week.

Here we go:

Ingredients

  • 1 package/2 sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup Sabra Hummus, I used Roasted Garlic
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 cup arugula leaves
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or a silpat liner.
  2. Unfold puff pastry and slice each sheet into thirds. Place each piece onto baking sheets, spacing about 1 or 2 inches apart.
  3. On each puff pastry piece, spread a thin layer of hummus, top evenly with shredded chicken pieces, arugula leaves, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cheese is melted and pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes then serve warm!

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It says it makes six servings! Depending on who you’re feeding, it may give you a little more or less.

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Guys, these were amazing. Full of flavor and it only took me ten minutes to put together. Highly recommend!

Earl Grey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there anything more relaxing than tea? I love coffee, but when I need to relax, my go to is tea.

And there is nothing more perfect than Earl Grey.

And second only to Earl Grey in terms of comfort: the chocolate chip cookie.

I was giddy when I found this recipe on Pinterest. I love baking, especially as a form of stress relief from graduate studies. (And as I’m writing this I’m thinking perhaps I should find a healthier form of stress relief….does blogging count?)

Anyways, I tried out this recipe this past weekend, and I fell in love.

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Between books and papers, I cuddled up with Maci to enjoy my hard work and a cup of tea. There is rarely anything more heartwarming than your cat and some cookies. Yes, I’m a cat lady.

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Here it is:

Ingredients
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon loose leaf earl grey tea
• 2 tablespoons milk, hot
• 2 ¼ cups flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• pinch of cardamom
• pinch of nutmeg
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• ⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

• Using a tea strainer, steep 1 teaspoon of the earl grey in a small mug of the hot milk for 15 minutes. While the milk is steeping, grind the remaining tablespoon of tea in a clean coffee grinder or blender until powdered. Set aside.

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, ground tea, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg until combined. Set aside.

• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and the milk and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the flour, mixing until a smooth dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips.

• Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the dough and place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of space around each ball of dough, until the baking sheet is full. Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before placing cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Credit goes to the lovely blogger at Design Love Fest.