Brandi’s Cookie Stuffed Blondies pretty much sum up this fabulous weekend, even if I did have to work for some of it 😀

Sweet, delicious, wonderful and just plain ol’ good!

Make these.  Then thank me.  And her.  Obviously 😉

The weather finally started to show signs of warmup too, fresh n’ crisp just like this amazing salad.

Remember The Gracious Gourmet…?

Things I learned this weekend:  TGG Fig Almond Spread + balsamic vinegar makes a ridiculous vinaigrette atop a bed of romaine plus crumbled bleu cheese and fresh cracked pepper.

Just sayin’… 😉

And remember that dinner I was looking forward to sharing with you?


Another meatless meal outta the Fanatic kitchen.  A pretty darn good one at that!

Spicy Chickpea, Spinach and Rice “Stoup

Serves 4

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups Pomi strained tomatoes (or plain tomato sauce)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cans full of water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 bag frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

Start by cooking the onions in olive oil over medium until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add garlic in last minute.

Then add the tomato sauce, drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans), 2 cans full of water and uncooked rice.  Plus some salt & pepper.

Bring to a boil.  Then turn down to simmer, cover, and let cook for 40 minutes (or until rice is done).

Then add in your frozen spinach and turn up the heat to medium, cooking for another 5-10 minutes.

At the very end add your fresh parsley (which has been growing quite nicely on the counter for a week now!)

Stir it up.

And sprinkle with as much hot sauce as you like.  I’m in deep love with Cholula.  We have a “thing” 🙂

And amazing “thing” 😛

Then just serve it up, piping hot!

This “stoup” (Rachael Ray’s combo of a soup & stew) was very hearty with the spicy tomato & chickpea combo while also feeling fresh & light from the spinach and fluffy rice.  It was almost creamy too!

Fanatic Mom and I munched on some leftovers the next day and she rolled with a grating of Parm on top too…

So you could roll like that too 😀

Yum yummmmmm!

Tell me, what was your favorite part of the weekend?!


  1. Looks delicious!
    My favorite part was a surprise visit from my dad and stepmom!

  2. Yum!!! That stoup looks tasty!!! I love super hearty soups like that.

    Favorite part of the weekend was definitely running in the 10k!

  3. Looks yummy! I absolutely loooove chickpeas!

  4. This looks wonderful! I’m all about meatless main dishes. 🙂

    My favorite part of the weekend would have to be the two hikes my husband and I did – beautiful weather to be outside!

  5. Those bars look ridiculous awesome! And yes- stoup! The best!! I can’t do thin soups, I need some substance (unless they’re a blended soup and thats still kind of thick and a whole other story). This looks and sounds so yummy. Glad you had a nice weekend. Best part of mine? Just spending time with Josh and going to dinner with my parents

  6. yay! so glad you tried the blondies! they are killer 🙂

    best part of my weekend was getting that fruit wallpaper down in the kitchen 🙂

  7. Those BARS!! There is nothing about those I don’t like. 🙂

    I LOVE stoup….really brothy, runny soup doesn’t fill me up on its own….but this definitely would!

  8. Why are all of the bloggers putting awesome things into awesomer things? Oreo cookies in blondies, reese peanut butter cups in cookies…these are seriously killing me. I’m looking for an excuse to bake them…because if I make them just for me, i’ll eat the whole batch in one sitting. Your stoup looks great too! Love that word!

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