I am a sucker for cookbooks.

fettuccine alfredo

I guess it should be no surprise at this point since that’s how I really got into cooking. Between cookbooks and the Food Network (before all the weird reality shows and cooking competitions), that’s how I learned. Reading cookbooks, cover to cover. It still took me a while to make things from some cookbooks because I was intimidated about certain recipes – and still am! But that’s why I love America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.

I had the chance to review their Cooking School Cookbook last year, and it’s still one of my favorites! So I was really excited to review this new book – the New Family Cookbook.

And it just happened to show up at the perfect time. Nick had been talking about making some fettuccine alfredo, so I decided to test out the recipe in the new cookbook and it did not disappoint!

baked macaroni and cheese

I am all about the carbs lately.

I mean, I guess I have a valid reason, but still. The only fruit I’ve been able to handle the past 2 months is in juice form and I want exactly zero vegetables. Some nights I’m able to have salad with dinner, but green beans? Peas? Broccoli? Nope, nope, big nope.

baked macaroni and cheese

So while I’ve been trying to eat as balanced as possible, the majority of my meals have definitely been carb heavy.

But – I think I’m turning a corner!

And regardless of what I’m eating, ya’ll need to be making this macaroni and cheese.

baked macaroni and cheese

I’ve talked about the Lowell’s before (especially because of breakfast casserole), and this is another dish that is full of memories for me. Jill always made the best baked macaroni and cheese. THE BEST. No one else at church fellowships or holiday get togethers could touch hers – it was always, always, always my favorite. And I still love it more today than any other mac and cheese I’ve had!

brownie spoon pie

This isn’t your typical pie.

There’s no crust. No separate filling. No shaping the dough edges or pre-baking or fruit filling.

It’s a brownie spoon pie, which also means no slicing into even wedges! No worrying about pretty, perfect slices! This may be the best pie ever.

brownie spoon pie

Even without the usual pie characteristics, this should be on your list to make soon.

It’s a baked cookies and cream dessert, essentially. Baked cookies and cream! And it’s probably one of the easiest pies you’ll ever make.

If you can crush cookies and whip egg whites, you’re set.

brownie spoon pie

The pie bakes up super tender inside with a lovely top crust from the egg whites. The cookie crumbs are in every bite, and the creme chantilly puts it over the top. I’m still not sure how I’ve missed pies like this for so long – this one honestly takes 10 minutes to put together and get into the oven!

oatmeal cookie smoothie

Seems I might have a little bit of an obsession of making smoothies that taste more like desserts.

Is this a bad thing?

oatmeal cookie smoothie

It took me YEARS to figure out smoothie recipes that I actually like. Years! And I have no idea what my aversion is about them. I think, as tastes change over the years, I just had some smoothies that weren’t really up my alley and it totally turned me off to ALL smoothies for a while.

For years, I would never, ever buy or make a smoothie that had yogurt in it. I didn’t want any tang at all in mine! Just milk, thankyouverymuch. Or just a mix of fruits + juices. I guess, because smoothies usually look like milkshakes that I expected them to taste like a milkshake – sweet, not tangy.

oatmeal cookie smoothie

Plus, my other issue is that smoothies seem like a breakfast thing to me. And for the majority of the year, I cannot have cold breakfasts. At all. From fall through spring, I want warm breakfasts – I’m already cold in the mornings and a freezing cold smoothie does not sound appealing.


Summer is a different story. And, afternoons are one of my favorite times to have smoothies now, as an easy snack, when I’ve been awake for longer and am warmed up a bit.