Giada De Laurentiis - Lemon Ricotta Cookie Mix

Not only do I love discovering new cookie recipes, especially ones that do not involve chocolate or peanut butter, but I especially love discovering new EASY cookie recipes. On a somewhat-related note, I watch the Food Network show, Giada at Home, all the time. I might be a little obsessed. I like Giada's commitment to making easy recipes and keeping her hair teased up big enough to rival Ricki Lake in Hairspray.

So when I saw this box mix at Target, I just had to try it.

If memory serves, you beat ricotta, butter, and one egg...

Add the cookie mix...

Drop onto cookie sheet...

 Bake according to directions.

For the glaze, just combine fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and the pre-packaged glaze mix.

The glazing process is pretty messy, so I'd advise using some kind of lining under your cooling racks.

While I wasn't falling-over-in-love with these, they were definitely good enough to finish. The end result is a moist, mild, cake-like cookie. This is a great item to keep on hand for when you need to whip up a dessert that will make you look fancy and cultured.

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Making Dreams Comes True Since 2013.

You know that dream you have when you're a little kid and you wish and hope and pray that one day your parents will do something cool and keep you home from school so you can spend the day doing something ridiculously fun, like going to Disneyland?


Eric and I decided to take a spur of the moment (planned two weeks in advance) trip to the happiest place on earth. Only, we didn't tell Pearl anything about our plan.

Due to a scheduling arrangement we had previously made with her mom, Pearl knew she would be missing school on this particular day. We told her we'd be spending the day doing something really awful and boring. As far as she knew, we'd be spending three hours in the car so that we could give a gift to our friend, Paul.

This is how she discovered we were going to Disneyland.

I'm so glad she never got upset at the prospect of spending the day doing boring stuff because it would have totally backfired to be like "Keep it up and we'll turn this car around!" Eric and I may or may not have been looking forward to it even more than Pearl, and the build up of secretive anticipation was almost enough to make us keel over.

Here are some highlights from our day.

Outside the main gates

Blending in with the natives

The view from the Finding Nemo submarine

In line at It's a Small World

Laying in Pluto's bed, pretending to be a dog 

Toon Town (my least favorite land, in case you were wondering

Jessie has a bit of a neck problem (maybe thyroid...?

Churro: The best edible item in the park

Waiting in line for the Jungle Cruise: 
She was doing some weird Fonzie thing with her thumb. I like it.

The gun shots on the Jungle Cruise made someone a little nervous 

I didn't even tell her to make a face. Apparently, this is her impersonation of a Brit. 
I think it's spot on.

It's a Small World lit up at night 

The whole day was a success! No meltdowns or complaints, except for maybe me when we were at the front gate getting ready to leave and I realized we'd have to walk all the way back down Main St. USA to look at the professional photos that we ended up not even ordering.

We grabbed dinner at La Brea Bakery, located at Downtown Disney. Our table was outside, under heat lamps, which was perfect because it not only kept us warm, but also allowed us to catch the fireworks.

As you can see, Pearl was delirious by this point.

It was a great day.

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Halloween 2013: The Big Reveal.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter or Vine, you already know what my costume was and this isn't much of a surprise. But if you don't follow any of those accounts, GET READY FOR THE MOST EXCITING NEWS IN THAT I'M EVER GOING TO SHARE WITH YOU IN ALL OF 2013!!!!!

This year, I ended up wearing two costumes. The first was kind of a makeshift throw together project for my sister's Halloween party. It's definitely not my best work, but it got the job done.

I found the top at a thrift store and later learned that it is the top half to a Jack Sparrow costume. It worked pretty well with some raggedy, drawstring capris from my Pippi Longstocking costume and Pearl's Puss N Boots hat. We didn't have a pirate sword, so I substituted a fencing sword.

Pay no attention to the giant spot on the door where Biscuit tries to eat the mailman everyday

In case you're wondering if I have a hormone problem, yes, I do. But thankfully not enough to cause a full grown beard. To achieve this "more than a woman" look, I had to call in the big guns with black and brown eye shadow.

My office goes all out when it comes to Halloween, and our department was determined to win the title of either Best Decorated Department or Best Group Costume. In order to really seal the deal on these awards, one of my coworkers came up with the crazy-brilliant idea of Disneyland rides as our theme. Sounds strange, I know, but it really came together nicely. There was a group of about 15 of us who not only showed up in costume, but also decorated our cubicles accordingly.

The ride that I chose was The Matterhorn. Seeing as how I'd never been on this ride because I hate scary/ big/ fast/ mountainy rides, this involved some research. Somehow, I ended up coming across a photo of a Disneyland employee who was wearing a uniform that looked Matterhorny (say what?) and also like something I could piece together from the thrift store. Luckily enough, I found the PERFECT skirt and vest at the same thrift store and only paid $1.41 for the two. It was like God wanted me to pick the Matterhorn. But then God was like "That was too cheap. I know you like to spend stupid amounts of money when it comes to Halloween, so here's a rad, velvet hat all the way from Salzburg that I know you're not going to be able to resist, even though it's freaking $38. Happy Halloween, you fool."

The pins were both eBay purchases.

And just in case you want the full effect...

By the way, we totally won Best Group Costume.

I spotted these fishing waders at the thrift store and they fit Eric just right. The costume didn't take much effort and everyone know's who the Gorton's Fisherman is, so it was a no-brainer.

This is the costume that I'm most proud of. We watched the Jack Black film, Nacho Libre, a few months back and Pearl loooooved it. Some of her favorite catch phrases are "Get that corn outta my face!" and "You crrrrasy." As I was brainstorming ideas for her top-secret costume, the thought of a mini Nacho grew on me more and more. I knew it was a risky move, but I felt it was a risk worth taking. Mostly because I thought it would be bad ass.

I found the leotard, tights, shoes, and cape on eBay. Eric ordered the mask through Corazon Fair Trade. I bought an old, silky negligee from the thrift store and cut out rectangles for the knee pads.

Man, I love Halloween. It's going to be a hard day when Pearl finally outgrows my obsessions.

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