Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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The Pantry


No Bake Cookie Butter (or Nutella) Cookies

How was your weekend?

I spent two days outside and enjoying the fresh, open air and it was nothing short of glorious. Penelope and I spent Saturday in Brooklyn with my sister Kimberly and then Sunday we had family day in Jersey City. I'll have a full recap later this week, but I really wanted to talk about cookies today. These no bake cookies, specifically.

Have you ever made a no bake dessert? So often I find that it sounds great from the outside looking in. To me, a no bake dessert sounds like it would be simpler, faster and easier. A quick throw-it-together situation. But...I've also often found that once I read through the recipe, it doesn't really seem that easy or care-free. Perhaps I just need to shift my thinking. But! This is not that recipe.


No, this recipe is no bake and it's easy and quick and churns out a no bake batch of cookies that were the perfectly sweet end to a wonderful weekend. I found these on Pumpkins & Peonies and decided they'd be a great pick for Secret Recipe Club! I love SRC because it forces me out of my comfort zone. And now I have a simple no bake cookie recipe to show for it! Jess has so many great recipes and beautiful photos that it was hard to choose just one recipe, but I think I picked a winner. Though the original recipe calls for Nutella, I went with cookie butter because I had it on hand and because I wanted to make these nut-free for bringing some to work. They were great with cookie butter, and I bet they'd be amazing with Nutella...or peanut butter!

No Bake Cookie Butter Cookies

*Adapted from Pumpkins & Peonies

1/2 C butter
1/2 C milk
1 1/2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C cookie butter
3 C quick cooking oats


Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter and whisk in the milk and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Let boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and cookie butter.

Stir in oats with a rubber spatula.

Let cool for 1-2 minutes.

Scoop out tablespoon-sized blobs of the cookie dough and let sit to cool and firm up. I fit 12 on a cookie sheet.

Let cool and enjoy!


Jess said she yielded about 30 cookies, but I only made 24. So if you want more, just make them smaller! These are super sweet and rich, so smaller might be a better serving :) I used a small cookie scoop for mine. Another note: these came out very sweet, so next time I'd plan to use only 1 cup of sugar, or even 3/4 cup. Thanks Jess for this great recipe! I can't wait to share them with my office!

Happy Cookie Monday!



Happy Friday!

{the most amazing hydrangeas that i've been walking passed all week long}


How was your week? Mine was a little busy and I had a work trip to Dallas thrown in for good measure. I'm running on fumes this morning but so excited for the weekend ahead. It's supposed to be absolutely gorgeous here and so I see a lot of park time in our future. Tomorrow we are heading to Brooklyn for park and lunch, and then Sunday we'll probably do the same around Jersey City. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


And now for my favorite links of the week:

what do you think of gwyneth paltrow's food stamp challenge?

these favorite streets in europe are really fueling my already OOC wanderlust

another baked pancakes recipe!

my favorite celebrity couple

are you watching outlander? scotland is now added to my bucket list.

aaaahhh this maple pudding cake. i can't even.

i have a crush on this ceo

have you read any of these most complained about books? i've read the kite runner & a stolen life.

lilly for target starts april 19. i'm usually not a fan, but i love everything in this collection!

this photo of an attacking lion



Toddler Closet Update

By far the most trafficked and pinned post on my blog is the DIY custom baby closet that we put into Penelope's room. Since we live in an apartment, every square inch of space is a treasure and when we started turning our second bedroom into a nursery, I knew one of the biggest challenges would be creating a closet with tons of space and function. After using the closet for over two years, I'm happy to say that it's still one of my favorite spaces in our entire apartment and though it's been updated in how we use it, the closet has all the space and function that I could hope for.

The closet shelves reach up to the ceiling. On the top shelves, which I cannot possibly reach, we keep items out of season or out of use. Moving down, I still love the double hanging bar for all of her jackets, zip ups and dresses. On the shelf in between we keep some blankets and her big diaper bag.

Her long things, like dresses, usually go on the bottom hanging bar. On the floor, we use the same bins as before, but instead of 3,000 baby wipes, we now also use these to corral extra diapers and wipes, and all of her crib mattress covers and sheets.

The inside of the door is still my favorite feature. These baskets provide so much extra storage, I can't even tell you how much of a difference it has made. We installed this inside door system in under 30 minutes, and though it wasn't cheap (from Container Store), it was worth every single penny. Of course, we've moved on from bibs and burp cloths, but the space is still very valuable. Near the top, I keep extra sunscreens, boogie wipes, her monitor that we don't use anymore, her music class books and really any other random items that I just don't know what to do with. I also have a basket for some of her smaller tote bags and her diaper changing mat.

We use the lower half to wrangle Penelope's many snacks. Our kitchen is overflowing at the moment, and so it's nice to have a space just for her little goodies. There is always a mix of fruit snacks (her absolute favorite, to my chagrin), freeze dried fruit (climbing the ranks to favorite), raisins, applesauce pouches, dry cereal and occasionally yogurt melts or gerber cheese puffs.


So that's how we are using her closet these days. It continues to be a great investment in her bedroom and I'm confident it will grow with Penelope!

I'm always on the hunt for kiddo organizing tips (toys, anyone? Helllp!), so tell me, what are your favorite ways to organize your kid stuff?

PS: the original baby closet/p's final nursery (which also needs an update on here!)/more baby talk