Fall Break Eats

Jack was home for fall break last week. What a gift to parents of college students! An entire week to look at my baby's face! AH!

We didn't go anywhere. Jack visited with some friends and was happy for some downtime. We also ate some good stuff while Jack was home...now I'm on Operation Work Off Fall Break Calories...and I want to share some of the deliciousness with you.

First up, I learned a lesson. Last year, every time Jack was about to come home on break, I would ask him, "Is there anything special you'd like to eat when you're home?" His answer always, "Not that I can think of." Okaaaaaaaaaay.

I wised up this time around. I texted him, "What cookies would you like in the cookie jar: chocolate chip, peanut butter, or peanut butter chocolate chip?" PEANUT BUTTER was his answer. So, we had the peanut butter cookies from The Cookie Book by Rebecca First. (Remember I made the pumpkin chocolate swirl cookies from the book a couple of weeks ago?) They were a hit and were delicious for over a week!

Jack's first night home, I made King Ranch Chicken from the United Tastes of Texas cookbook. The recipe was a little more involved (read: no cream of anything soups) than the one I've made for years, but so worth it. Like most casseroles of this type, it was better the next day. Believe it or not, I didn't take a photo, but Leite's Culinaria has the recipe posted online here. [NOTE: when I make it again, I'll tear the tortillas rather than leaving them whole.]

Of course, we had sandwiches and I made that potato bread from a few weeks back. Jack took one bite of his grilled cheese and said, "What kind of bread IS this?!?" Oh yeah. It makes for killer grilled cheese sandwiches.

Trader Joe's Almond Kringle

Speaking of lunch, one day our lunch was Trader Joe's Almond Kringle. (Don't look at me like that.) Jack woke up late and I typically skip breakfast, so Almond Kringle was perfect. I was even tempted to eat it again for dinner.

Have you ever heard of Maid-Rite Sandwiches? Apparently, they're a regional dish from Iowa. Well, when I saw the recipe on Dine & Dish's site, I knew I had to make them for Jack. They just look like comfort food. Think, sloppy joes without the tomato/brown sugar element. I was right about Jack liking them...he had two!

brown butter chocolate chip cookies from The Cookie Book

Back to cookies...again, I went back to The Cookie Book and made the brown butter chocolate chip cookies. First off, they're GORGEOUS cookies. I think I might make all of my cookies with chunky chopped chocolate from now on. We thought they were best eaten warm or within 48 hours of making. Shouldn't be a problem...they go quickly. ;)

THIS ALMOND CRUMB CAKE from How Sweet Eats really capped off our Fall Break. LOOK. AT. THAT. CRUMB. I made it for breakfast one day and all three of us swooned. We collectively decided that we'll make it on Christmas morning instead of our traditional monkey bread. Who says you can't start new traditions?

Jack also helped me test out a few recipes that'll be coming really soon to The Pioneer Woman Food & Friends. Yay! Thanks, Jack! What are YOU making this fall?

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