Freutcake http://www.freutcake.com , Inspiration for the modern day hostess. Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:00:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 The Happiness Project Book Club Discussion http://www.freutcake.com/book-club/happiness-project-book-club-discussion/ http://www.freutcake.com/book-club/happiness-project-book-club-discussion/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.freutcake.com/?p=15806 The time has come to wrap up our discussion of our January/February book club selection, The Happiness Project, and my question is… are you any happier? Have you at least defined what happiness means to you? The author, Gretchen Rubin, really did her research when preparing to write this book. She read countless books on the subject, spoke with both scholars and everyday individuals, did a lot of her own contemplating, and conducted a number of her own mini experiments that proved very inspirational to me.

The Happiness Project

Even if you didn’t have the opportunity to finish reading this book, it’s worth your time to come up with your own version of Grethen’s Twelve Commandments. Her list included principles that help her get by like “let it go,” “act the way I want to feel,” and “there is only love.” Some of the items that made my personal list include “try new things,” “stop whining,” and “do it anyway.” I’ve proud to say that I have internalized my “commandments of happiness” and have really implemented some changes into my life. Everyday doesn’t prove successful, but the small steps added up can feel really good and certainly lead to happiness!

Question

So now it’s your turn. Rather than listing questions for you to consider and respond to, I encourage you to share a “commandment of happiness” or two in the comments below. What are those principles you like reminding yourself of to guide you through the good days and the bad? What are the simple yet profound lessons you have found beneficial to your overall success and happiness in life? Everyone will have different ideas and this is excellent! As we share these personal pieces of our hearts, we help one another realize that we are not alone in our struggles and we are, indeed, all capable and deserving of happiness.

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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai http://www.freutcake.com/in-the-kitchen/5-ingredient-recipes/spaghetti-squash-pad-thai/ http://www.freutcake.com/in-the-kitchen/5-ingredient-recipes/spaghetti-squash-pad-thai/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:21 +0000 http://www.freutcake.com/?p=15798 If you’re nuts for noodles like I am but hoping to eat clean before spring (read: flouncy skirts and tank top season) rolls in, this is the 5-ingredient recipe for you!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I’m a spaghetti squash addict. My obsession started in college since it was an easy meal I could cook in my microwave without feeling gross about myself. That’s right! You can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave five times faster than roasting. Steal that trick!

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

I’ve made spaghetti squash and meatballs, spaghetti squash Alfredo (amazing!) but one of my favorites in spaghetti squash pad Thai! It’s 100% healthier than take out and done entirely in the microwave.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

This is a crazy-easy, 5-ingredient, take-out makeover…so heads up to authenticity sticklers; this is a simple riff on the real deal! What you’re left with, though, is a super-satisfying bowl of the same bright, salty, umami, crunchy goodness that comes from lots of fresh lime juice, fish sauce, shallot and brown sugar.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Serve these “noodles” plain for an incredibly light meal or as a quick side dish to serve with grilled chicken or pork. If you’re looking for something more substantial, top this bowl with chicken, shrimp, whatever you’d like! While we’re on the subject, you can go ahead and add your favorite pad Thai toppings to round things out. I happened to have some peanuts in the pantry, so I added those. You could add chili flakes for heat, cilantro for herby-ness—you get the idea.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

photos by Erin Phraner

5-Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Yields 4
Pad Thai made simple with only 5-Ingredients and a twist on classic noodles.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
  2. Juice of 4 to 5 limes, plus wedges for serving
  3. 1/4 cup fish sauce
  4. 1 shallot, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  6. PANTRY STAPLES: Salt
  7. OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Chopped peanuts, chili flakes and/or cilantro
Instructions
  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Prick the outside all over with a knife; generously season inside with salt.
  2. Place squash, cut-side down, in a pie plate or other microwave-safe dish. Microwave on High for 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, shallot, brown sugar and about 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until combined.
  4. Scrape the spaghetti flesh into strands using a fork; transfer to a colander and press out any excess water (if desired). Toss in a bowl with the prepared dressing and more salt if needed. Top with your choice of toppings.
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Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies http://www.freutcake.com/in-the-kitchen/double-chocolate-pudding-cookies/ http://www.freutcake.com/in-the-kitchen/double-chocolate-pudding-cookies/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:00:29 +0000 http://www.freutcake.com/?p=15788 Pudding inside of a cookie? Stop it…just stop it right now! Who knew the secret ingredient to the gooeyest most delightful cookies you’ve ever sunk your teeth into is pudding?

Easy Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Well, I certain didn’t until I made a batch of these Easy Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies yesterday on a whim. You see, I’ve been on a mission to use the random cans and boxes, bags and jars of ingredients that are literally exploding out of my small cupboards. Yesterday, I felt especially inspired, moved, hungry, to use a box of Chocolate Fudge Pudding I had stashed.

Easy Chocolate Pudding Cookies

A little bit of quick web research and it turns out that my lone box of chocolate pudding makes for some pretty darn perfect cookies. I had to give it a try! A couple of very easy step later and I was scooping thick and extra chocolatey cookie dough filled with dark chocolate chips onto cookie sheets.

Easy Chocolate Pudding Cookies

A quick bake for exactly 12 minutes and you have puffy, gooey, chewy and delightful cookies worthy of any specialty bakery but so much better because they were made at home. With just the right amount of crisp around the edges and a center that hints at the main ingredient, these cookies are mind-blowing.

Easy Chocolate Pudding Cookies

This is the double chocolate cookie recipe you’ve been searching for my friends! So get out that box of chocolate pudding from way, way back in your pantry and get to baking. I promise, you will be making these cookies again and again.

Easy Chocolate Pudding Cookies

photos by Leah Bergman

Easy Double Chocolate Pudding Cookies
Yields 40
Double chocolate cookies made with chocolate pudding mix and dark chocolate chips.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
27 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
27 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 tsp. baking soda
  3. 1 cup butter, softened
  4. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  5. 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine flour and baking soda.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry pudding mix; beat until blended. Add eggs; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Drop large tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto lined or greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly crispy and set. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Adapted from Kraft Recipes
Adapted from Kraft Recipes
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