Tag Archive | cookie butter

Ritz Crackers

I’m grateful for so much today! First, I woke up alive. Second, my gentleman caller made it safely back home despite a medical emergency. Third, I’m grateful that I had delicious organic eggs from free-range happy chickens to boil, and some leftover vegetables to chop small and add to an egg salad along with a big dollop of Duke’s mayonnaise. I love lunch. And I love something on something for lunch. A big green salad just didn’t sound good today, and I didn’t have bread for an egg salad sandwich. But what I did have is a new (old favorite) pantry staple, Ritz crackers.

A simple egg salad spiced up with leftover roasted cauliflower and sautéed string beans chopped small. I meant to only eat half of it but it was… so delicious. And so simple!

I’m grateful that Ritz crackers were always present in the home when I was growing up; grateful to the Colonel for spreading peanut butter and mayonnaise on top of them one evening, which I thought was a disgusting idea until I let him persuade me to try one–years later on a road trip I found myself craving that very combination, and it’s been a ‘guilty pleasure’ ever since. But… for decades I didn’t let myself enjoy many Ritz crackers, instead buying healthy whole-grain, artisanal, expensive, better-for-you crackers. Some of them were and are still delicious. But for a go-to comfort cracker to top with anything at all, nothing compares to a buttery, crispy Ritz. I’m grateful that I let go of that judgment, that self-imposed limitation about ‘healthy’ crackers, and have allowed myself to keep Ritz crackers as a pantry staple. For emergencies, like ‘egg salad and no bread.’ It’s not like I eat them every day, or even every week.

I finished the egg salad and there were two crackers left in the sleeve. Hardly worth putting back in the box. So I fooled the Diet Police (in my head) into thinking I had them with peanut butter, when I actually spread them with Speculoos cookie butter for a small simple dessert. Better than eating five cookies or a bowl of M&Ms! I’ve lost a few pounds since embarking on the weight-loss challenge with my neighbors, and was grateful to have my visitor’s healthy influence of simply eating less of almost anything I wanted. Instead of outlawing anything.

I could have done better for dinner. I should have had that green salad. But there is absolutely no room in my freezer for anything else and I needed to make some space for more jalapeños, so I pulled out a bag of sweet potato gnocchi that I made a few months ago. I boiled it, then scooped it out into a small skillet along with a few spoonfuls of pasta water, and added half a cup of arugula-walnut pesto, simmered until it was hot, and topped with grated parmesan.

I’m grateful that I was able to refrain from eating the entire pan of pesto gnocchi, and saved half for tomorrow. And no dessert!


What?! Is it peanut butter? Is it some kind of other nut butter? How had I never heard of it before?

It looks like peanut butter. It spreads like peanut butter. It sticks to your fingertips and the roof of your mouth like peanut butter. But it tastes oh so sweet. I’m grateful to have learned about this delicious cookie butter!

I was browsing recipes on Food52 and found this breakfast cake recipe. Cake is one of my staple breakfast foods so I clicked to learn more. Looks like a simple, fast recipe and I had everything I needed except this mysterious ingredient, speculoos. Or speculaas, if you’re Dutch. Found it on Amazon. The recipe calls for half a cup of cookie butter, but I haven’t gotten a chance to bake the cake yet. I’ve already eaten at least half a cup on graham crackers leftover from the chocolate mousse bar crust. It’s a great dessert at night when I don’t want the caffeine of coffee ice cream, or the buzz of chocolate. I hope this jar lasts long enough to bake the cake I bought it for.