The Cookie Project


So I’m a bit of an oversharer. I’ve been described as being kind of like Mindy Kaling’s title character on her eponymous show, The Mindy Project. And after watching the show obsessively for the past 3 seasons, I must say, I slightly agree. If you don’t already watch the show: Mindy is a hilarious, hopeless romantic, oversharing OB/GYN, who puts all of her business out there for her co-workers–regardless if it’s welcomed or not. (For instance, Morgan, the funny and always inappropriate ex-con male nurse, has her menstrual cycle memorized.)

I’m kinda the same way. Working in a kitchen full of guys, I often find myself talking about my personal life (solicited or not) and never hesitate to let them know when it’s “that time of the month.” (It’s actually in their best interest to know, so as to not make a rather hormonally charged emotional woman even more irritated.) When I am actually PMS-ing, the following occurs: a long, dragged-out, piercing headache; bouts of random crying spells watching television shows and/or movies that don’t necessarily require a tissue box on-hand (like that time I was watching Sister Act and started balling my eyes out during the scene when they were singing “Salve Regina”); and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate and baked goods. During the latter symptom, I’m often found in the kitchen scrounging up any ingredients I have to create something on the fly to nourish that sudden and unstoppable craving. For the last two cycles, I’ve been repeating the following recipe which I’ve affectionally dubbed my “P.M.S Cookies.” It’s the perfect name for them, actually, considering their origins and the fact that they’ve got pretzels + milk chocolate chips + salt in ‘em.


P.M.S Cookies
(Pretzels + Milk Chocolate Chips + Sea Salt)

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
8 tablespoon unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup lightly crushed pretzels


In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.

In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the Nutella and vanilla extract. Add the egg.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and pretzels.

(If you’ve got the time and patience, keep reading. For all cookie emergencies, scroll down to the following paragraph.)
Portion dough with an ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer overnight.

Portion dough (using an ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon) 2 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes until the center is fully cooked.

Allow cookies to cool on the trays for 3-5 minutes then carefully place onto cooling racks.



A Love Letter of Sorts


Sooooo, I tried. I really, really tried. But as much as I tried not to, falling in love with Portland was inevitable. And now I can’t help but think about it. I know it’s already far too late for me to avoid the Jane Austen-iness of my words, but please allow me to put it out there right now: Portland, you have enamored me, mind, body and soul.

Here’s why:

  1. You’re well groomed. I love the rain.
  2. You’re a cheap date. You had me at “no sales tax.”
  3. You’re an excellent host. Between the endless supply of bars on every corner (most serving a slew of local brews), but you know good food. And you really know how to cook it, too.
  4. You care about the “big issues.” You’re all about sourcing local, organic, and sustainable produce. And I really like that about you. You’re also big on public transportation. Another major plus in my book.
  5. You have this elusive mystery about you. (Oregon has the 9 Wonders of the World, right?)
  6. But you’re also a bit naughty. Naked Bike Ride, anyone?
  7. And super sexy. I mean, have you looked at yourself lately?

I really can go on and on about how great this city is, but I’m almost positive this open love letter to the City of Roses has you also convinced.

When you just want to kick back and enjoy a couple of really good beers and “scenery”
Basecamp Brewery
WHY TRY: I am convinced I saw my future husband here. We exchanged nonstop glances from across the room as we sat in our communal tables while we simultaneously drank our respective beers. And right before I finally decided that I had mustered up enough chutzpah to get up and talk to him–he had been talking to his friends(?) a pregnant woman and her husband(?!?) at the time–he got up and left on his bike. One of those pedi-cab drivers. So Mr. Soulful Eyes with the bike, dark hair, beard and tattoos–this is my personal “Missed Connections” shout-out to you. Hiya.

When you’re ready for one of the best burritos you’ll ever have
Koi Fusion 
MUST TRY: The Bulgogi Beef Burrito with errythang. Let’s just say that not only was my  stomach filled, but my soul, itself, was satisfyingly full.



When you’re craving a good burger and an equally amazing beer
Slow Bar
MUST TRY: Local brews abound. My personal fave was the Boneyard


When breakfast and dessert have a meet-cute
Voodoo Doughnut 
MUST TRY: Lemon chiffon crueller; bacon maple bar; Old Dirty Bastard (key ingredients are chocolate, Oreos and peanut butter. I’m just sayin’.)


When the weather is perfection, and you wanna get high
Noble Rot
WHY TRY? Spectacular rooftop patio views.

When a burger just won’t do
Pine State Biscuits 
MUST TRY: The Chicken Club (House-made biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, bacon, iceberg lettuce and tomato with house-made blue cheese or ranch dressing.)

pinest1 pinest2

When you want a great piece of meat
Ox Restaurant
MUST TRY: It’s an Argentine-inspired steakhouse, so meat is a must. It’s fancy but completely unpretentious at the same time. And order a bottle of Malbec. You know what they say, “When in Argentina…”


When Brunch calls
Cafe Broder
WHY TRY: Swedish-style eats with a cozy sensibility. And the square-shaped cast-iron skillets are just darling.


When you could use a good distraction and a good drink to match
Roadside Attraction
WHY TRY: This place is so eclectic, the decor is super rad, I’ve never been to a place quite like it.


xoxo kelly rae