… and the 1st Ever “A Lot On Your Plate’s Use What You’ve Got” Bake-off Winner is … (Guest Post)

Congrats to AmySue @ A Healthy Life For Me

You all did such an amazing job and I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to participate in the bake-off.

I will be hosting one of these contests each month, so if you didn’t win this time around, there’s always next month!  Please don’t be offended if you didn’t win this category.  It was extremely hard to choose a winner and you all should be very proud of yourselves.  You’re all tremendously talented.

Now for the winning recipe:

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies Dipped In Chocolate

(Written by: A Healthy Life For Me)

These cookies are so simple to make, with limited ingredients, time and easy clean-up.  They look so elegant and are quite addictive!
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cup of bittersweet 60% chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with baking spray.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars and salt for about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla.

 Reduce speed and add flour in 3 additions, beating just until blended. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

 Transfer dough to an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Press dough evenly on bottom of pan with your fingers.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes; do not underbake. Let cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer cookies onto parchment paper and cut into triangles or rectangles.

Melt bittersweet chips in glass bowl in microwave for 2 minutes.  Taking halfway out to stir.

Dip ends of cookies in melted chocolate and cool on parchment paper.

Please be sure to check out ALL of the other participant’s recipes as well! 

Dry Fruits & Oats Cereal Apple Cookies submitted by: Sara @ Fooding Rookie

Lofthouse At Home Cookies submitted by: Learn2Kitchen

Fabulous Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies submitted by: Alison @ Love Bake Chocolate

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies (Gluten, Egg, & Dairy Free) submitted by: Aubin @ In The Usual Way

Lemon Cranberry Cookies submitted by: Hollie @ Hollies Hobbies

Peanut Butter Cookies submitted by: notimeforironing

Basic Oat Mix; Choco Chip Cookies, & Seed and Honey Cookies submitted by: Paula @ All About The Bake

Cookies and Cream Cookies submitted by: Mary Beth @ Mary Beth Cooks

English Breakfast Tea Cookies submitted by: Add A Little Sunshine

Oatmeal Raisin & Chocolate Chip Cookies submitted by: Laura @ Confessions of a Young Chef

Momofuku Inspired Banana Cookies submitted by: Crafty Bake Oven

MockLava Cookies submitted by: The Poor Baker

S’mores Bites submitted by: Sara Tedde @ Cook by the Book

Pignoli Cookies submitted by: Quinn @ Quin Goldie

Lemon & Thye Tea Cookies submitted by: Christine @ Angry Cherry

Peaches & Cream Oatmeal Cookies submitted by: Audry @ Tonetiki

Stove Top Oatmeal Cookies submitted by: Karen Lynne @ Karen Lynne’s Kitchen

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies submitted by Stefanie @ Hugs Kisses & Snot

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies submitted by: Fika @ Fika And More

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip w/ M&Ms submitted by: Alice @ Modern Alice

Chocolate-Toffee Cake Batter Cookies: submitted by: Erin @ Erin’s DC Kitchen

Chocolate Espresso Cookies submitted by: Morgan @ Gradually Ginger

Twodaloo Cookies submitted by: Stephanie @ Twodaloo

Again, you all did such an amazing job.  I can’t thank you enough for participating.

Be sure to check back for next month’s Contest/Giveaway!

Happy Monday!

- J

Happy Father’s Day from A Lot On Your Plate!

I just wanted to use today’s post to thank all the wonderful fathers, grandfathers, & father figures for all they do to support their family’s!  Your hard work and dedication to your family is truly appreciated.

Just like the mothers, without you, this blog wouldn’t be possible.

Please be sure to use today as a day to honor and express appreciation for the fathers, grandfathers, & father figures in your life, who inspire and push you to be the best they know you can be.  Always be grateful for them, as they are for you.

Have a healthy & happy Father’s Day!

Happy Sunday!

- J

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I just received the Very Inspiring Blogger Award from AcornInMyKitchen!  This award is definitely one of my favorites, thank you so much!

7 Facts About Yourself:

  • I love anything vintage.
  • Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines of all time.
  • I think bike riding is pretty awesome.
  • … so is kite flying.
  • I own a replica Jouets poster like the one from Monica’s apartment on F.R.I.E.N.D.S
  • I collect wrapping paper.
  • My favorite season is Fall; Summers a close second.

& 15 Nominations:

A big thank you again to AcornInMyKitchen!

Happy Saturday!

- J

Website of the Week: The Knack by Michaels

The Knack

This is such a fun way to get kids excited about arts & crafts.  This week’s website is The Knack brought to us by Michaels Crafts.

The Knack is a club exclusively offered by Michaels.com, branched off the Michael’s site, for kids of all ages. The Knack offers free online projects as well as a printable club card. The club card is so easy to use. Simply, print the card off The Knack and attend a Knack in-store event held by (in) Michael’s.  For each event your child or children attend hosted by The Knack, a hole is punched in their card(s).  Once 10 holes are punched, your child wins a special prize. The Knack club card never expires.

The Knack Club Card

The Knack Club is that its 100% free to join and the site its super cute and very well done, guaranteed to get your child excited about arts and crafts.

For more information on The Knack, head over to Michaels.com and click the tab labeled “The Knack” (or just click here).  Be sure to follow Michael’s on Twitter @MichaelsStore.

Happy Crafting!

- J

Happy Mothers Day from A Lot On Your Plate!

Happy Mother's Day!

I just wanted to use today’s post to thank all the wonderful mothers & grandmothers in the world for giving 100% to their families on a daily basis;  To the women who had to sacrifice for their family’s, who work as hard as they possibly can, the ones that keep calm & carry on, even when times get tough, and to the fathers who may have to play the mom role as well, your hard work and dedication to your family is truly appreciated.

You are all so inspiring to me and without you, this blog wouldn’t be possible.

So, please be sure to use today as a day to honor and express appreciation for your mothers, grandmothers, & mother figures in your life, who inspire and push you to be the best they know you can be.  Always be grateful for them, as they are for you.

Have a healthy & happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Sunday!

- J

A Lot On Your Plate’s: Top Picks For Mother’s Day Gifts

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought it’d be fitting to put together a list of top Fab Find gift ideas, guaranteed to wow any mom, without breaking the bank! (To find out more about each product, click on each individual photo).

Milk Bottle Measuring Cups, Anthropologie, $24

Milk Bottle Measuring Cups

Organic Tuscan Blue Rosemary, William Sonoma, $12.95

Tea & Crumpets Apron, Anthropologie, $32

Tea & Crumpets Apron

 Chloe Fragrance Gift Set, Sephora, $65Chloe Fragrance Gift Set

Tocca Love Yourself Fragrance Collection, Sephora, $18

Tocca Beauty Set

Pink Blush: Reed Diffuser, Yankee Candle, $19.99

Godiva 19 Piece Gold Ballotin Assortment, Barnes & Nobles, $24.95 


A Perfect World White Tea Antioxidant Facial Cleanser, Origins, $21


Feel free to comment below and/or suggest any of your favorite Mother’s Day gifts.

Happy Thursday!

- J

The One Lovely Blog Award

 The One Lovely Blog Award:

I woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise in my inbox.  Dwittoptions (http://dwittopinions.wordpress.com/about/) had nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so much, its extremely appreciated!

So, in accordance with accepting this award ~ these are the guidelines:

* Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post

* Share 7 things about yourself

* Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know 

Seven Things About Me:

1. I LOVE flowers.

2. I’m a huge Greys Anatomy fan.

3. I always wake up super early and very rarely sleep in.

4. My family & friends are my everything.

5. I put 110% into everything I do.

6. I’m obsessed with William-Sinoma & Anthropologie.

7.  I am grateful for everything in my life.  Always have been, always will be.

Here are my nominees for the One Lovely Blog Award:

1. wlbillings: http://jazzydoodledesigns.wordpress.com

2. Fashion Blogy: http://fashionblogy.wordpress.com

3. Baking, I Love You: http://bakingiloveyou.wordpress.com/

4. luv4wickless: http://luv4wickless.wordpress.com

5. Erin’s DC Kitchen: http://erinsdckitchen.wordpress.com

6. CereusArt: http://cereusart.wordpress.com

7. madisoncary: http://madisoncary.wordpress.com

8. Terra: http://virtuouswoman73.wordpress.com

9. alicecarman: http://alicecarman.wordpress.com

10: thelissachronichles: http://thelissachronicles.wordpress.com

11. Ingaphotography: http://ingaphotography.wordpress.com

12. ChefConnie: http://marinatingonline.wordpress.com

13. Deborah Delong: http://romancingthebee.wordpress.com

14. jennysserendipity: http://jennysserendipity.wordpress.com

15. gwenacaster: http://gwenacaster.wordpress.com/

Here’s a bonus choice: artistmum: http://artistmum.wordpress.com/ (her artwork is beautiful)

Again, HUGE thank you to dwittoptions for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!

Happy Friday!

- J