April came and went in the blink of an eye for me. Here’s what I made, along with noteworthy events, and my reflections on the month.

Slice-and-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Slice-and-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread

Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter (GF)

Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread (vegan)

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

10-Minute Homemade Hot Fudge

10-Minute Homemade Hot Fudge

20 Fast and Easy Desserts in Under 30 Minutes

20 Fast and Easy Desserts in Under 30 Minutes collage

Nutella Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Nutella Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze

White Chocolate Buttery Waffles Snack Mix

White Chocolate Buttery Waffles Snack Mix

Chocolate-Covered 7-Minute Microwave Caramels (GF)

Chocolate-Covered 7-Minute Microwave Caramels

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Mango Coconut Water Tropical Martini

Mango Coconut Water Tropical Martini

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins

Fluffy Vegan Coconut Oil Banana Muffins

Notable Events:

24 Hours of Peanuts Cookbook – Nearly a year ago, the National Peanut Board approached me and wanted to know if I could submit some peanut butter recipes for an upcoming cookbook they were publishing and it just came out. My own cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, comes out on June 4!

24 Hours of Peanuts Cookbook

The Big Potluck – I met up with 75 of my closest blogging friends for a fun-filled event in Temecula (Southern California’s wine country). About an hour away from my in San Diego, but breathtaking, calming, centering and I love it there.

Ree Drummond and Matt Armendariz

It was great to connect with so many bloggers whom I’ve known for years but had never met. Here are some shots I posted to Instagram (or FollowGram)

The Big Potluck bloggers convention

The wine flowed, and so the the laughter, fun, and sisterhood.

Wine glasses on a table

Ree is exactly like I thought she’d be in person and it was awesome to see her. She was holding this little girl and just loving on her like she was her own daughter, and it was so sweet and tender.

Ree Dummond

It was such a special time and I hope to attend again next year!

The Big Potluck convention

Reflections:

I’ve always loved the chewy nature and texture oatmeal lends, but this month was especially smitten with it. I made 4 different cookie recipes with oatmeal. Slice-and-Bake Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter Trail Mix, Oatmeal Scotchies, and Carrot Cake Cookies.

I’m especially proud of the Oatmeal Scotchies and Carrot Cake Cookies. The oatmeal cookie dough base is the one I foresee using forever because it’s soft, chewy, thick but not too thick, and everything I want. After going through 4 other dough bases in the past 4 years, the fifth one is the charm.

The Carrot Cake Cookies were a feat because they are soft, chewy, and dense without being cakey. I didn’t want a carrot cake cookie that was like a carrot muffintop or a carrot whoopie pie that was softer, flimsy, and cakey. I wanted cake, in a non-cakey cookie form, easier said than done. After years of tinkering with the recipe, I’m finally happy. I started tinkering with it 2+ years ago and included a Carrot and Cream Cheese Cookie recipe in my cookbook.

I made 3 recipes with butterscotch. The Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Scotchies, and Carrot Cake Cookies. I love the sweet zing of butterscotch, and vowed to use it more, and I did.

The Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter is my favorite peanut butter I’ve ever made or had, and I wrote a book about peanut butter, so that’s saying something. I love, love, love it. The 10-Minute Hot Fudge is also straight-off-the-spoon-worthy and my ice-cream loving husband was in fudgy heaven.

I made three breads; all different and all new favorites. Sweet potato, Fluffy Sandwich, and Cinnamon-Sugar Crust. I almost didn’t post the Sweet Potato because it’s reminiscent of pumpkin and uses ‘fall’ flavors, but am so glad I did because many people have written to say they’ve made it and loved it. Sweet potatoes are season-less for us. The sandwich bread has gotten some glowing comments from long-time breadmakers saying it’s the best sandwich bread recipe they’ve tried, which makes me happy.

It’s harder posting yeast recipes because they do take time to write about in detail and I like to be as clear as I can so no one has a bread failure, so when people write to tell me they’ve made a yeast bread of mine and they’re pleased, it’s extra nice and makes it all feel worthwhile.

I also post bread recipes because, in general, I love the relaxing aspect of working with dough, and then of taking pictures of the finished bread. It doesn’t always hold true, but when the light is bouncing off a golden piece of bread just so perfectly, there is very little more satisfying than capturing it.

I made two cookie bar recipes that I will dream about for the rest of the year, Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars and Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars. Both are amazing, but the Peanut Butter version is just music to my peanut butter loving ways.

I remade 7-Minute Microwave Caramels and dipped them in chocolate. The original post never really took off and I think it’s such a unique recipe and wanted to do everything I could to help boost it, so I remade them with chocolate and sprinkles. It’s seems to have done the trick because in the last two weeks, the post has been pinned about 10k times.

I made vegan banana muffins that are light, airy, fluffy, puffy, and nothing like the vegan banana muffins I’ve made 4 years ago or that I’ve ever tried. They’re so light and remind me of mini-donuts.

I hit a milestone on Foodgawker with over 300 recipes/photos accepted. It’s hard for me to believe that I have 300 different recipes, and that 300 of them were pretty enough to make it onto their site. My first year of blogging, and the first 100 recipes or so, don’t get any pretty-food awards and those never made it.

From Special K Bars, my first accept

Special K Bars

to French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze, accept #302 – It’s been quite a journey on so many levels; from the kind of recipes I post to the photography. I couldn’t imagine my life without blogging, food, and photography, nd I am grateful for anyone who reads my blog. Thank you!

 French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

Previous Recaps:

January 2013 Recipes

February 2013 Recipes

March 2013 Recipes

What did you do or make in this month that was memorable?

 

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