#HousefulOfCookies 2018

I miss baking, which I used to do much more frequently. (Yes, for anyone who pays extreme attention to detail, this is exactly how I started off last year’s #HousefulOfCookies post too!)

Thanks to Natasha and #HousefulOfCookies, I’m back in the baking business, at least for one batch of Nutella Brownie Cookies.

I’m sharing a recipe from PointsKitchen*, and hope you’ll join ALL the bloggers in the hop. You’ll be well-prepared for any cookie exchanges you have on tap in December AND for any visitors who hail from the North Pole!

The recipe says it each cookie is 3 Weight Watchers points. Guess I need to add another fraction for the quality control process!

And the recipe:

Nutella Brownie Cookies (by PointsKitchen)

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg
¼ cup nutella
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
⅔ cup white flour
1.5 Tbsp mini chocolate chips
2 Tbsp cookie butter (or nutella) for topping


Preheat oven to 325F, spray a large cookie sheet with non stick spray.
With an electric mixer beat together the applesauce, vanilla and sugar for 2 minutes, add the egg and continue beating, then add the Nutella while still beating.
Using a spoon mix in dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Spoon cookies onto cookie sheet and in the middle of each cookie add ¼ tsp of cookie butter, you can use Nutella for the middle if you don’t have any cookie butter (I used Nutella – pk).

Bake for 8-10 minutes, makes 20 cookies at 3 smart points each..

Nutritional info per cookie..

Calories 70…Fat 2g…Sat fat 0.9g…Carbs 10g.. Fiber 0.5g..Sugars 8.6g…Protein 1.2g

Please join my fellow cookie enthusiasts!

Holiday Rich Butter Cookies – Houseful Of Nicholes
Rolo Pretzel Cookies – Creating Really Awesome Fun Things
Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies –  Ashley & Co
Minty Holiday Cookies – Amy Ever After
Scottish Shortbread Christmas Cookie Wedges – Albion Gould
Loaded Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – This Worthey Life
Brown Sugar Shortbread – Eat Picks
Pretty Decorated Sugar Cookies – 100 Directions
Christmas Rose Cookies – Divas With A Purpose
No Bake Cookies – Hysterical Mom
Norwegian Cookies – Kringla – Little Family Adventure
Cake Mix Christmas Cookies  – Mom Generations

** Note

i intentionally did not link to PointsKitchen. Although the recipe is yummy, the site seems a little “iffy” to me! You’re welcome for the lack of viruses/malware!

What’s YOUR favorite holiday cookie?


Eliminating the Dinner Dilemma with World Port Seafood

I received product and compensation in exchange for this post. Chef Wayne comes with the deal no matter how I feel about it. Otherwise, all thoughts are my own! 

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo Credit: World Port Seafood

How many times have you said “I don’t know what to have for dinner”?

If you’re like Wayne and me, you’ve lost count. Our dinner quandary got worse over the last few years as we were caring for his dad, who was living with us as he declined. Even though he didn’t often want to eat with us, dinner was still fragmented — either by him needing something or by our exhaustion or both. It wasn’t as satisfying as it used to be.

The dinner decision changed once Dad passed away in July. My son moved out to go to college shortly thereafter, leaving two of us facing yet another change in routine.

World Port Seafood sent me a fabulous collection of seafood to try. It’s the kind of addition to our lives that can make eating fun (and delicious) again.

My package included:

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Stuffed Sole with Scallops and Crabmeat

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia Fillets

Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp

These products have so much going for them.

Convenience Matters

World Port Seafood comes right to your door, well-packaged to ensure temperature control. I only have to take a few steps to the freezer to know dinner is (forgive the pun) “in the bag.”

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Especially with the entrees (as opposed to the basic cuts of fish/shellfish), the World Port Seafood chefs do the hard work of preparing enticing options.

Seafood cooking can be tricky; that’s why World Port Seafood has a hotline that operates daily from 9 am – 11 pm Central Time at 1-800-315-FISH (3474).

Quality Matters Too

World Port Seafood’s attention to quality eliminates any niggling questions about precisely how “fresh” that seafood is at the grocery store.

The selections from World Port Seafood are always in season, because they are sourced for freshness then frozen to remain fresh and perfect (like this salmon).

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo Credit: World Port Seafood

With World Port Seafood, I Can Be Confident

Besides the convenience, the commitment to quality, and such a wide choice of options, another asset of World Port Seafood is the reassurance that every order is 100% guaranteed. 

Our First Adventure with World Port Seafood

For our initial foray into the World Port Seafood arena, we chose to make Shrimp and Grits from this Epicurious recipe (we chose not to use the egg on top though). It was such a joy to work with these large, beautiful shrimp. Our mouths were watering the whole time.

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

I also want to mention, though, that even though I chose to use Weight Watchers points on a delicious gourmet meal, I could also have spent zero points if I had chosen to steam the shrimp and eat them by themselves. I love the flexibility.

Want to Try For Yourself?

I wish I could dish up a little serving of this shrimp and grits to share with you (they’re quite convincing).

Since I can’t, I’ll just encourage you to consider giving World Port Seafood a try for yourself. (It’s also a fantastic gift. Your recipient will think about you every time they are saved from tyranny of the dinner dilemma!).

To order or learn more, click here.

And note: There’s free shipping on orders over $49.99!

Eliminating the dinner dilemma

Photo credit: World Port Seafood

#HousefulOfCookies: Ready for you, Santa!

I miss baking, which I used to do much more frequently.

Thanks to Natasha and #HousefulOfCookies, I’m back in the baking business, at least for one batch of Soft and Chewy M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I’m sharing a recipe from Averie Cooks, and hope you’ll join ALL the bloggers in the hop. You’ll be well-prepared for any cookie exchanges you have on tap in December AND for any visitors who hail from the North Pole!

Here’s what “getting back in business” looks like:

Holiday Cookies

Here’s what “getting back in business” tastes like:

Holiday Cookies

And the recipe:

Soft and Chewy M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies (by Averie Cooks)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (1/4 cup light and 1/4 cup dark is ideal)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

3/4 cup M&Ms, plus more for adding to the mounds of dough

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for adding to the mounds of dough


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I used a large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix (DRY – not made into pudding!), baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the M&M’s, chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds (I hand-stirred this — I don’t think my mixer was up to it!).
  4. Form 12 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip — Place a few M&Ms and chocolate chips on top of each mound of dough by taking M&Ms and chips from the underside as well as adding more as necessary for a nice pop of color. (I used red and green for the holidays.)
  5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading. (Note — don’t be like me and read this part at 9 pm! OOPS.)
  6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (Averie does 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 10 to 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. It is not necessary to use a rack.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

And here’s what “I’m ready for ya, Santa” looks like:

Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies

What’s YOUR favorite holiday cookie?

Holiday Cookies

Chocolate Delight (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

When Random.org handed me Mama’s Losin’ It prompt number three this week, my friend Merrio’s go-to dessert that she brings to almost every office pot luck came immediately to mind. The prompt was: Share a favorite dessert recipe.

This recipe is technically called “Chocolate Delight” but it has a naughtier nickname. I’ll get to that.

I had a plan – I would prepare the dessert over two nights (there is a little baking, a little softening (cream cheese), a little thawing, and a little chopping involved), take some pictures, and time it so I could get this blog post up then provide a nice dessert to my coworkers on Friday, after the weekly Biggest Loser Challenge weigh-in.

The problem is: I kept messing things up! I failed to thaw the whipped topping before mixing it in. I used all of the whipped topping instead of 1.5 cups, which left me completely without a white layer to go on top of the chocolate layer. The crust got hard in the refrigerator waiting for me to assemble the rest of the dessert.

What I ended up with is something passable enough for pictures:

And actually still pretty tasty (but not up to my good-enough-to-take-to-work standards).
When made right, though, it’s fantastic.
I really recommend you give it a whirl, like Merrio’s mom and her friends have been doing for a long time (I love the “vintage” look of the recipe):

Once you try it (and do a better job than I did of following the directions), you’ll know why the dessert’s nickname is “Better Than Sex” cake!

Nom nom nom.