Tag Archives: 31 before 32

Sweet & Vicious: Serious Oatmeal Cookies

My traditional holiday plans have been a bit wonky this year, but one of the things I knew I wanted to do while my mom was visiting was make cookies. I also figured it would be a perfect opportunity to knock another recipe or two off of the 12 I wanted to try from my Sweet & Vicious cookbook. Since I wanted to make something I knew she liked, I made a supreme culinary sacrifice and offered up the book’s take on my least favorite cookie, oatmeal raisin. Shudder.


  • These cookies turned out thick, chewy, and lightly sweet. There was a hint of kick from the ginger and the tang of the dried cranberries made them almost bearable for me. Almost. Andy and my mom, however, gleefully consumed cookie after cookie and then packed them up for Andy to take into work since they couldn’t stop eating them.
  • Despite a few quirks, this recipe was pretty straight forward and easy to follow. The only issue I had was the cook time. It may have been my oven, but I needed an additional 4 minutes of bake time per batch. Just keep an eye on yours and make sure to let them sit for a couple of minutes before trying to scrape them off the cookie tray.

Hiker’s Bravado Cookies

Inspired by my success with my last recipe from Sweet & Vicious, I decided to try out another one ASAP. One of the things I am really enjoying about this book is the names of the different things she comes up with. Plus, each recipe has a little blurb about her inspiration and more often than not they are quite hilarious.  These Hiker’s Bravado Cookies sounded delicious and appealed to me in spirit since I frequently pray that people will think I am wearing yoga pants because I just came from a work out and not just because they are comfy. I mean, I do have a yoga mat; I’m just not entirely sure where it is right now.


  • As you can see, these are not the most attractive cookies; likewise, they are not the cleanest to eat. Expect to end up with pretzel pieces all over; I mean, it looked like a bag pretzels exploded on my counter top by the time I was done. Ultimately, it’s worth it though. These cookies were very good and fairly easy to make. The rolling in the pretzel bits part got a bit messy, but I got rhythm going towards the end.
  • The flavor balance in these cookies is deeply satisfying. You have the richness of the peanut butter, the sweetness from the chocolate chips, a little tart from the dried cranberries, and a nice pop of crunchy salt from the pretzels.
  • The other thing I think is a big selling point for the recipe is how easily it can be made gluten free. Just use GF pretzels and you are good to go. No weird flours or conversions required 🙂

31 Before 32

And here we go again, it’s resolution time people! I am now securely “in” my thirties and I am planning big changes to take control of this new decade. Of course one of the ways I do that is having you guys hold me accountable to my yearly “to do” list, so here you have it, my 31 before 32.

  1. Take 10 classes.
    Intuitive Painting
    Hand Lettering
    Mermaid Sign Painting
    Lavender Make & Take
    Moonlight Painting
  2. Make profiteroles.
  3. Try 12 recipes from Sweet & Savage.
    Southern Sartorialist’s Cookies
    Maniac Fire Bread

    Blackberry Cobbler Quickbread
    Orange & Lavender Extract
    Hot Pepper Extract
    Fruit Compound Butter
    Upside-down Skillet Corn Cake

    Hiker’s Bravado Cookies
    Serious Oatmeal Cookies
    Kahlo Cookies
    Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    Jacked Up Ginger Cookies
  4. Do 2 DIY’s a month.
  5. Visit Chicago.
  6. Find my “sexy”.
  7. Write 10 new recipes.
    Chocolate Lavender Cake with Blackberry Filling
    Chocolate Chip Pistachio GF Cookies

    Chocolate Chai Cake
    Simple Delicious Fruit Dip
    Vegan Snickerdoodle Mug Cake

    Brioche French Toast Casserole
    Banana Bread with Brown Butter Glaze
    Lightly Lavender Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
    Not Your Middle School Valentine Cupcakes
  8. Mini makeover on the guest bathroom.
  9. Repaint the hallway.
  10. Make Swiss Buttercream.
  11. Read 30 new books.
    Missing – Kelley Armstrong
    The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
    The Shark – Mary Burton
    The Doll Maker – Mary Burton

    The Hang Man – Mary Burton
    Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski
    The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
    Double or Nothing – Craig Schaefer
    Lioness of Morocco – Julia Drosten
    Girls in White Dresses – Alex Gates
    The Haunting of Rachel Harroway – J.S. Donovan
    Dreamers Pool – Juliet Maillier
    Stillhouse Lake – Rachel Caine
    Beneath the Surface – Sibel Hodge
    The Star Touched Queen – Roshani Chokshi
    Rituals – Kelley Armstrong
    A Beautiful Poison – Lydia Kang
    The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
    The Barefoot Summer – Carolyn Brown
    The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin
    Wild – Cheryl Strayed
    The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
    The Wonderful Wizard of OZ – L. Frank Baum
    The Marvelous Land of Oz – L. Frank Baum

    Ozma of Oz – L. Frank Baum
    The Fallen – Kelley Armstrong
    A Fierce & Subtle Poison – Samantha Mabry
    Cold Spectrum – Craig Schaffer
    Sworn to the Night – Craig Schaffer
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
  12. Go somewhere I’ve never been.
  13. 13 random acts of kindness.
  14. Upgrade the light fixtures in the hallway.
  15. Host a girls night.
  16. Watch a well known movie that I’ve never seen.
  17. Clean up and re-do my back patio.
  18. Create 5 new paintings.
  19. Wear 5 fashion trends that scare me.
    Body Con Dress
    Bright Colors
    Sheer Cutouts
    Cold Shoulder Shirt
  20. Plant rose bushes in front of the garage.
  21. Create and maintain a yoga practice 3-5 days a week.
  22. Dye my hair purple.
  23. Take a weekend trip with friends.
  24. Go on a picnic – with a basket & everything.
  25. Wear heels at least 1 day a week.
  26. Go through all of my crafting supplies and get rid of at least 25%.
  27. Make and give a handmade gift.
  28. Make a pie.
  29. Collaborate with other creatives on two new projects. Not quite it the way that I’d hoped, but I did it. 
  30. Try 12 new restaurants.
    Sidecar Gastrobar
    Izzy Pub & Sushi
    Toothsome Chocolate Emporium
    Baker Miller
    Bistro Champagne
    The Allis
    Shake Shack
  31. Paint the front doors purple!

Last years “TBD” ended up being a lot of fun, so I decided to finish off this years list with another one. I was pretty pleased with the progress I made last year, if you’re interested you can see how I did here.


Image from here.