Archive for April, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Look at this amazing recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars that Center Cut Cook recently posted on her site. The recipe comes together much faster than regular chocolate chip cookies because you don’t have to scoop out individual cookies onto a cookie sheet.

Instead, you just spread the cookie dough in a 13×9 pan, bake it, let it cool, and then cut your pieces as big or as small as you like. What could be easier?

She recommends that if you want an ultra soft, almost cookie-dough like result then you should under-bake the cookies a bit. And if you’re looking for a more firm result, then bake the chocolate chip cookie bars a little longer.

Another neat tip she suggests is to line your pan with foil to sort of create handles. That way, once the bars cool completely, you can remove the whole cookie from the pan and cut it into squares.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan OR for easy removal, line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil, then spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. With your mixer combine butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the speed down to low and add in flour, baking soda and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips until they are distributed throughout the dough.
  7. Spread the dough into your prepared baking dish.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes. If you bake them for 15 minutes, they are going to appear undercooked. This is what will give you the super soft result.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool completely before cutting them into squares. Sometimes I pop the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to help speed the cooling process along.

Enjoy!

Picked Up Some New Pumps For The Summer

summer pumps

I’m not sure if you’ve been to the mall lately, but it seems like everyone is having some great shoe sales! I’ve been searching for a new pair of shoes for the summer, but I have had no luck at my go to stores like DSW and Macy’s. But then I decided to check out Lord and Taylor, and I saw that they had plenty of options to choose from, with an awesome sale rack to boot!

The open toe pump you see pictured above got my attention right away, and I ended up leaving the store with them. The 2-inch heel gave me a nice little lift, which helps since I’m only five feet tall. The design is adorable and sexy at the same time, and at just under $40, I thought I scored a pretty great deal.

What do you think of my new summer pumps?

That Toyota Highlander Commercial Cracks Me Up

I’ve seen this freaking Toyota Highlander commercial probably a hundred times already, yet I find myself laughing every time I watch it.

My two favorite quotes from the spot are “It’s got a bin for your chicken” (referring to the huge center console that can hold 53 juice boxes) and “A computer from the future” (aka the navigation system).

Toyota was smart to partner with The Muppets, as the typical Highlander driver grew up with them, so it hits that nostalgic nerve. And judging by how many new Highlanders I’ve seen on the road, it appears to be working!

What do you think of the Toyota Highlander commercial?

Happy Easter & Passover From Lavish Treats

Easter Cupcakes

Wishing a Happy Easter and Happy Passover to everyone who’s celebrating this weekend!

15 Things Only Girls With Curly Hair Understand

woman with curly hair

I recently came across this amazing list on Beauty High about the 15 things only girls with curly hair understand, and as someone who’s had to deal with curly hair my entire life, I felt compelled to share it with you guys.

As much as your straight haired friends can try to understand, curly hair is something that can’t be fully grasped unless you have it. Some days you look like you could be in a shampoo ad, while other days it looks like you’ve awoken some kind of beast that’s now sitting on top of your head. If you’ve got curly hair, you know exactly what I mean.

So here are 15 things only girls with curly hair will understand:

  1. Rainy days are the devil.
  2. When you’re at the movies and someone behind you says they can’t see over your hair.
  3. Girls with naturally straight hair constantly say they wish you had your hair. (They’re wrong)
  4. A morning with curly hair is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get.
  5. If you want to use a curling iron, you need to use a blow dryer and/or straightening iron first.
  6. Bangs are not a possibility.
  7. Your hair will never look the same way twice.
  8. When you straighten your hair, no one will shut up about how your hair looks so much better like that.
  9. The underside of your hair — which is seen by no one ever — always looks flawless.
  10. The second you decide to put your hair in a ponytail, there’s no turning back.
  11. Brushes are a joke.
  12. You and your curly-haired friends will have hour long conversations about which products work best.
  13. You’ll never know what it’s like to straighten your hair in less than an hour.
  14. Frustration builds when one side is curlier than the other.
  15. You can never try a new hairdresser. Once you find one that works, you’re bound for life, or until they move.

How many of these things can you relate to?

I Attended An Early Screening Of ‘Transcendence’

Transcendence

If you’ve turned on the TV in the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen the commercial for the new Johnny Depp movie Transcendence. I was fortunate enough to attend an early screening off the movie on Monday night, and I wanted to give me quick thoughts on the movie for anyone thinking about seeing it this weekend.

The movie’s storyline is a little “out there”, but here’s the premise: Artificial intelligence researcher Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is dying, so he uploads his brain to a computer so that he can go on “living”. Inside of the computer, he’s able to transcend the abilities of the human brain, and we get to see how this plays out.

I can’t really say much more about the movie without giving away critical plot lines, but I will say that it was an enjoyable two hours, though it does get a little confusing at time. It’s one of those movies that you’ll leave the theater still thinking about, and that’s a good thing in my opinion.

There’s also LOTS of eye candy for the ladies in the cast, and I’m not just talking about Johnny Depp. Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Cole Hauser, and Lukas Haas, among others.

It’s well worth the $12 price of admission, so if you’re looking for a movie to see this weekend, check out Transcendence. You won’t be disappointed!

Bonefish Grill Does Sunday Brunch – Who Knew?

Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill now opens up early on Sunday mornings for brunch. Sounds odd, right? After all, they’re a seafood restaurant. But after hearing good things about their brunch menu, we decided to go yesterday and try it out for ourselves.

Their brunch menu has a mixture of traditional breakfast meals (eggs benedict, specialty omelets, French toast) and lunch items (Kobe beef burger, Bang Bang tacos), and plenty of brunch cocktails to choose from.

We decided to stick with breakfast food. I ordered an egg white & asparagus omelet, and my husband went with the traditional eggs benedict.

BoneFishBrunch-1

BoneFishBrunch-2

Both meals were delicious, and we’re definitely going back again. Next time we go, hubby is going to try the Kobe Beef & Egg Burger, which sounds incredible. But I really loved my omelet, so I’ll be sticking with that.

If you’re for a new brunch spot, try out Bonefish Grill’s Sunday Brunch, and let me know what you thought of it!