Schmores cookie from Schmakary's in NYC

1. It’s been a month since I did a Happy Friday post and we have a ton to catch up on! First off, Jorge and I had a blast in NYC. We stayed in midtown and were close to everything. One of my favorite sweets of the weekend was at Schmackary’s. It’s a family business that the owner Zachary started originally from his apartment. Now they have a gorgeous store front and sell amazing cookies! I didn’t get a picture of my favorite one, but when you go, ask for a Fluffernutter Cookie!

2. Jorge has been traveling for 5 straight weeks now. He will swing in for a weekend visit and is gone again by Monday. This all comes to a halt on Friday, when he comes home for the next 3 weeks. Since he has been gone, I have been eating a lot of cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, popcorn and soups. Pretty sure he is going to actually expect real food for dinners again. I have been working on making a menu for the next couple of weeks…but every other meal is still soup. I just can’t stop my soup addiction.

3. Speaking of soup, I have been trying to make a recipe for Chicken & Dumplings in the crock pot. But every single time I make it, my homemade dumplings evaporate by the time it’s done. I am seriously about to go back to my stovetop method and use canned biscuits! Any one have any stellar tips that I am missing?

Better Homes and Gardens Prop Closet

4. Last week I got to visit Better Homes & Gardens in Des Moines. We got to tour their facilities including their test kitchens, photography studios and prop rooms. It was like getting to visit the mainland with all it’s glitz and glam…and then being sent back to your shack with only two plates and no special lighting. I dream of having all of their food props at my disposal!

5. Last weekend was our 5 year wedding anniversary and my birthday. Jorge spoiled me with a brand new Michael Kors bag that I have been drooling over and I somehow forgot to get him anything special. I am usually the best at giving gifts — I never forget! But between all of our travel and some really stressful crap going on in our personal lives…well, I just completely forgot. He has been playing it up big time. So for once the score tallies in at:    Jorge – 150     Jessica – 0.

6. What new TV Shows are you watching and liking? I’m honestly not loving any new dramas out. We gave a few of them a chance and none of them kept me entertained…I kept finding myself playing on my phone. However, I am enjoying a few of the new comedies! So far I am liking: Trophy Wife, The Goldbergs, and The Crazy Ones. I am also still obsessed with Two Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and New Girl.

7. Whoa. That sounds like a whole lot of TV. Does it make it better that I watch a lot of those while I am working/cooking in the kitchen? To make matters worse, I am currently re-watching all 6 seasons of 3rd Rock from the Sun on Hulu. I watch while I put on my make up and do my hair. I watch while I answer emails. I watch while I cook or clean dishes. I just can’t stop watching and it doesn’t help that I watch it on my phone (so it is always with me). I forgot how hysterical that show was!


8. My parents adopted a puppy, named Pearl, from the pound. <– that was a whole lot of P’s in a sentence! I live 11.1 miles away from them, so I kind of consider her my new dog as well. 😉 We think she was abused wherever she was before…but sadly know nothing about her because she was picked up running along the freeway. She is timid and a little shy…and won’t let you get close to her face. However, she is a very sweet girl and loves my parents other dog Walker! They instantly clicked and are practically inseparable at this point. However, Brody (my dog) and Pearl aren’t getting a long yet. She wants to be top dog and my dog Brody is the oldest and not ok with that. It’s been an adjustment, but who could say no to her sweet face??

9. This weekend my family and I are going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal in Orlando. It’s something we have made into a family tradition and it is one of my favorite things for the whole year! I love the feeling of being scared, but my favorite moments are watching my mother jump and squeal. Last year she had one of the zombies come into a restaurant we were eating in and breath down her neck. She screamed and jump so bad she was shaking after! I promise to try to capture some of this on video – so keep an eye out on Instagram (@thenovicechef) for me Friday night!

10. Tomorrow I’m sharing how I made these Monster Cupcakes. You definitely want to come back to see them! Oh and here they are judging me from the fridge.

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