This and That

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1. Since getting our “manvan” I have taken it as a challenge to see what it can do. It can fit 36 bags of of leaves with a little help from a bike rack.

2. If you use Instagram, you have to watch this video. It made me laugh. FYI-there is some inappropriate language.

2. Caleb got to see Santa. He stared at him for about ten seconds then touched his beard and started crying. It was classic.


1. Last week was a busy cookie week! We launched our new cookbook, Holiday Cookie Cravings, I attended a blogger cookie swap, and we taught a cookie class. When Becky, from SLC Mixers asked us if we would teach a holiday cookie class, of course we jumped at the chance. The class was so much fun! We answered cookie and baking questions, made cookies, and of course ate cookies! Thanks to everyone who attended the class and a huge thanks to our sponsors-KitchenAid, Gold Medal Flour, Bake It Pretty, Dairy Council of Utah, Orson Gygi, and Silpat.

2.  I am usually not a hot chocolate fan, but I am dying to try Jenny’s Creamy Junior Mint Hot Chocolate. You need to try it too!

3. Trader Joe’s opened in Salt Lake City! Yahoo! I’ve been waiting for this day for a long long time! It’s been a madhouse, but we fought the crowds to pick up a few things. I know we will be making a weekly trip to TJ’s. What are your favorite Trader Joe’s items?

4. I am the worst present wrapper ever. I always end up with too much paper or not enough and I can never get the paper smooth. And don’t even get me started on bows. I am hoping these FREE printable holiday gift tags will help make my presents pretty…or at least prettier:)

5. We put up our Christmas tree! This is my favorite ornament:) Now, we just have to keep Caleb from tearing it down.

6. Do you need an easy and festive holiday appetizer? Make Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites.

7. Candied Citrus Peel is amazing! Plus, it makes a great gift!

8. Don’t forget to enter our other holiday giveaways! We have some GREAT ones going on right now: iMac & $500 Visa Gift Card GiveawaySilpat GiveawayNeato Vacuum Cleaner GiveawayLe Creuset GiveawayChobani Giveaway, KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway, and Keurig Giveaway. Happy Holidays!


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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. No way is that your car in the first pic? Crazy!! Yah!!! Trader Joe’s is opened near you! Be warned, your going to become addicted to that store. Congrats again on the cookbook!!

  2. Loved today’s This and That. I look forward to this every week! Congrats on the cookbook! And TJ’s is one of my fav stores! I use to drive to the nearest one which was over an hour away at least once a month. Finally we have one open about 10 minutes away – love it! Gingersnaps – you must try the gingersnaps!

  3. awww! I guess Santa is just scary when you’re that little!! I love that you had a cookie class- wish I could have attended. That ornament is adorable. Yall are brave having a big tree. I knew Kaylin would pull ours down in a hot second (hence the mini tree)

  4. The picture of Caleb is classic! Favorite Trader Joe’s item right now is their pancetta so I can make carbonara.

  5. What is not to love at TJ. Try the corn relish. One of our favorites. It is absolutely delish! I can’t live without it. Love it on hotdogs/hamburgers/nachos. Loads of cheese options – including the cute individual portions – which are great for afternoon snacks. Flowers are very reasonable & hold up great. Chai tea & mulling spices are worth purchasing if you like that sort of thing. Don’t forget the nuts. Josh will be able to pick up single serve packs which would be great as an energy boast will riding his bike or hiking. But the best part is the samples they serve in the back of the store. It’s a must at every visit. Enjoy!!!

  6. Thanks for all of the cool give a ways!!! Sweet of yall to do them.
    Pick me!! Pick me!! Pick me!!!!

    Anyway to get around the facebook requirements for the Kitchen Aide Mixer? I haven’t joined and prefer not to as I barely keep up with my email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Oh my gosh… that man van is hilarious! And YAY you on all the awesome things you are doing. Love seeing you guys Rock the World! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Haha I LOVE the picture of Caleb! And I can say that without feeling bad because I was horribly afraid of Santa as a kid too ๐Ÿ™‚

    And that ornament is perfect for you!

  9. It was so fun meet you all at the SLC Mixer (and the night before Maria). You are a beautiful family and certainly know your way around the kitchen. And that van pictures is hilarious!

  10. Thank you for the link love, friend!!!

    I am sooooo excited that you have a Trader Joe’s. LET THE FUN BEGIN!!! xoxox

  11. I love how Pinterest keeps hooking me up with free printable gift tags! My gift never need to look boring again.

  12. I am sure you have seen it….but there is this tree on pinterest I saw with felt and the ornaments are felt so babies have their own tree to play with ๐Ÿ™‚ They can rearrange the ornaments and have a blast!

  13. If you like hummus, you’ve got to try Trader Joe’s White Bean and Basil Hummus. It’s my absolute favorite. Also, the dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar are to.die.for. I could probably list hundreds more items but those are the first on my mind! Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚