S’more Bars


I’ve always loved the idea of summer … and sun … and all things hot …. gosh, I miss summer. I’m totally channeling my inner Olaf right now.

Oh summer … what makes me think of summer is s’mores. Seriously, I love them. The melty feel of freshly browned marshmallows over a crackling fire, the crunch of graham crackers crumbling everywhere (no matter how careful I bite into the thing), and the chunky goodness of a bite of chocolate. So yum.

In the winter months, I’ve been known to make s’mores in the microwave. It’s so not the same experience, but it’s really fun to watch the marshmallows blow up. It’s like I instantly become a 5-year-old again who must look directly into the microwave and observe every moment of what is happening to my mallow; I don’t care about the radiation. And by the way, is that even a real thing? If it is, whatevs. Live on the edge with me. Channel your inner child. Go crazy.

I recently discovered another way to enjoy my love of s’mores. Did you know we can enjoy all of the flavors of our favorite campfire treat in bar form? No fire needed for this one.

I made some minor tweaks to the recipe I found online and seriously, one tweak I must strongly encourage you to do is put some of the marshmallows on top of the batter after you’ve mixed everything together. Don’t forget that step. You get to watch the mallows blow up in the oven now and then you get this pretty toasted look on top. It’s worth it.

Summer is coming soon. This will be a good warm up. Enjoy.



  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half a package of graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 1 – 10oz bag of marshmallows
  • 6 chocolate bars, broken into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9×13 pan. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. In a stand mixer (or handheld), cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix over low-medium speed just until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix over low-medium speed for another minute. Add flour mixture slowly and mix just until incorporated. By hand, fold in graham crackers, all except 12 marshmallows (I actually tore the marshmallows in half so it was a little easier to mix in with the batter) and chocolate. This is thick batter so put get your arm workout in. Press into greased 9×13 baker. Top the batter with the 12 marshmallows you set aside. Bake in a 350º oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (see notes).When the bars come out of the oven, you are totally going to want to slice them up immediately because the smell is going to kill you. Really, my whole house filled up with the scent of chocolate and sugar. But, you will have to wait a bit because they will be very gooey. Just like a real s’more. So, it’s best to wait and let them set for about two hours in the fridge. 🙂


When you are inserting your toothpick to check for doneness, try to aim for the batter areas. Avoid the chocolate or marshmallows as of course the toothpick will be sticky.

The Best Blueberry Muffins


I don’t claim many things to be the best. I really don’t. “Best” is so relative. Maybe they’re just the best for the moment. Or for the season you’re in. It’s just your opinion. Everyone’s got their preferences.

But I’m confident in these little bundles of buttery, blueberry goodness. They’re the best. I’ve tried a dozen or so blueberry muffin recipes over the years and none of them come out quite like this. Favorite. Ever.

They’re moist and buttery, they’ve got just a hint of citrus to bring out the flavor of the blueberry, and have the crumbly topping. I LOVE the crumbly topping.

muffin dough

In my classic Courtney form, I’ve combined the genius ideas of a few recipes and made my own. It’s just the way to go, you know? You can do the same. Go ahead, merge my thoughts with your own. Or with your mom. Or Ina Garten. I don’t care. That’s the beauty of baking and cooking at home — it’s your own form of art. Live on the edge.


The Best Blueberry Muffins

adapted from Williams Sonoma, Smitten Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated
For the topping:

2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup flour

For the muffins:

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin cup tin with butter or a 24 mini-muffin cup tin.

To make topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugars and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Add flour. The order of the ingredients is important here — by adding the flour last, you’ll guarantee to have bigger “crumbles.” I like big crumbs. If you don’t care, throw it all together. 🙂

To make the muffins, in a bowl, using an electric or standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a third bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk mixture. Stir just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a spatula, gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Be careful not to over mix — it just takes a few strokes to get those blueberries in there.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the topping.

Bake the muffins until golden, dry, and springy to the touch, 20-25 minutes (standard), 16-20 minutes (mini). A toothpick entered into the center of one of the muffins should come out clean. Transfer to wire wrack and let cool at least 5 minutes.



Erick’s birthday & Court’s BBQ

Erick turned 28 yesterday. I love celebrating birthdays — especially celebrating my husband’s birthday. He picks his favorite foods for me to make and we invite a bunch of people over. Birthdays = parties. And you know us, we love parties. And one of the extra fun bonuses about this party is that one of our friends and co-workers, Lee, shares a birthday with Erick. Double the fun, people. Double the fun.

Erick & Lee with their birthday pies!

Erick & Lee with their birthday pies! — and Matt photo bombing — typical 😉

The men requested BBQ for their birthday weekend so naturally we did pulled pork, cole slaw, grilled corn and baked beans. I even made my own BBQ sauce to make it extra special. And for reals people — I impressed myself. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so good.

Besides the corn and the pies, all the food I had never made before. Some would say that’s risky, but honestly, if the recipes come from chefs you trust, you should be good to go. I made my own tweaks to the recipes along the way, but that’s the beauty of cooking. There are no rules — do what you want. Baking is another story but that’s a tale for another day.

Pulled pork & cole slaw

This is what the sandwiches looked like (if you put coleslaw on the top of yours like I do — which you should). I’m so sad there aren’t any left overs. My biggest regret from the evening is that I didn’t lick the inside of my crock pot when the last of the pork was dished out. I doubt my friends would have judged me.

A few of our friends have already asked for the recipe so here you go. 🙂 I actually combined three different pulled pork recipes to make my own — so a big shout out to my bro-in-law Gary, Deb from Smitten Kitchen, and Mr. Alton Brown. I wouldn’t still be drooling on Monday without you.

Enjoy my friends!

Court’s Pulled Pork

adapted from Alton Brown, Smitten Kitchen & Gary Cooper
serves 12

2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper
6 to 8 pound Pork Butt

1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika

  1. Place pork butt in a deep bowl/pot/tupperware container. Pour Dr. Pepper over top of the pork making sure it is completely submerged in the pop, cover, and let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. 12 hours is ideal.
  2. Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in coffee grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  3. Remove pork from Dr. Pepper and pat dry. Sift the rub evenly over the shoulder and then pat onto the meat making sure as much of the rub as possible adheres.
  4. Place pork in crock pot turned on High and cook for 10 to 12 hours. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours of cooking time. Use fork to check for doneness. Meat is done when it falls apart easily when pulling with a fork. Once done, remove the larger chunks of fat and any bones from the crock pot. Pull meat apart with 2 forks and turn your crock pot down to Warm.
  5. Serve as sandwich with coleslaw and BBQ sauce.

Traditional BBQ Sauce

adapted from kitchentreaty.com

2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in an airtight container — I used a mason jar. Keeps refrigerated for up to one week.


adapted from smittenkitchen.com

1/2 small head green cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
4 large carrots, scrubbed and shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh green onions
2 cups mayonnaise, low-fat is fine, as is swapping half with yogurt
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Halve the cabbage halves and cut out the cores. Slice the cabbage as thinly as you can with a sharp knife.  Transfer chopped cabbage into a large bowl, discarding any very large pieces. Stir in the shredded carrot and green onion.
  2. Make the dressing: Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper in a smaller bowl.
  3. An hour before serving, toss the cabbage mixture with dressing to taste –- you will probably not need all of it, but it keeps in the fridge for weeks –- and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. Note: Vegetables can be prepped and dressing can be the day before.