I can’t stop making these easy cookies using spreads. It’s definitely my current obsession and I love the results.

This time around, I used a cappuccino mocha hazelnut spread from Jif. The cookies spread a little more than the Nutella version but they still turned out delicious and chewy.

I added a tiny more espresso powder to really bring out the coffee flavor because I thought it was a little light in the spread. I also added some chopped chocolate too so they wouldn’t look so plain.

If you don’t want to go out and buy the Jif spread, you can always use Nutella and espresso powder instead.

Since I wrote a fast food redux last week, I thought I would try to balance things out with some healthier snacks I’ve recently been consuming.

Carrot Cake Vita Tops

I love Vita Top muffins. I discovered them a few years ago through Hungry Girl. Each muffin top uses healthier ingredients than regular muffins, such as whole wheat flour and bran, and are only 100 calories each. No, they don’t taste as rich as regular muffins and are slightly dryer in texture since they are healthier and are frozen, but they still taste pretty good and satisfy my sweet cravings.

Usually I buy them in bulk at Costco and my favorite flavor is chocolate. I recently tried the newest flavor, carrot cake. I really enjoyed this one, much like I’ve enjoyed the others. I like carrot cake but regular carrot cake has a shocking amount of calories and fat so I don’t eat it often. These Carrot Cake Vita Tops allows me to eat have a taste of carrot cake every day. I especially love that it’s studded with plump raisins on top. I like to pop these in my purse and eat them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They are available at most grocery stores and online.

Ingredients: Water, Whole Wheat Flour, Inulin, Egg Whites, Carrots, Organic Sugar, Sugar, Apple Flake Powder, Soy Bran, Raisins, Oat Bran, Wheat Bran, Wheat Gluten, Leavening (Potassium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Vitamins, Spices, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Natural Sweetener (Rebiana).

Kellogg’s Special K Popcorn Chips

I was given two boxes of these as part of the Award Show Package Giveaway I’m currently running (which you can still enter) and I’m totally hooked. At first I thought these were like the Pop Chips, which I already love and have blogged about, but these are different. They are popcorn chips, made with corn. They are super crunchy and the sweet and salty flavor do make them taste like popcorn in chip form. The taste also reminds me of rice cakes even though it’s not made of rice. And I just love rice cakes! Each serving is only 120 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. My only complaint is that I need individual snack packs because I ate the entire box in one sitting.

On my last trip home during the holidays, my family found a Chinese restaurant that we enjoyed, mainly because of the cheap prices. The food isn’t anything spectacular and the service is even worse than the average Chinese restaurant, but it was hard to beat the prices.

I heard they offer cheap dim sum prices as well, but we came for dinner. You can order straight from the regular menu, but the best deal is to order off one of the family set menus. The six person set ($69.99) includes soup, chicken dish, lobster dish, choice of any four dishes from the main menu (which ranges from $4-14), fried rice or noodle dish, and dessert. All of the dishes on their regular menu was up for grabs, even the lobster dishes.

My lobster loving family joked that we could technically order four lobsters from our choice of four if we really wanted to maximize on the deal.

The restaurant space used to be occupied by another Cantonese restaurant that had also been quite cheap, but when the quality of food deteriorated, we stopped going. It’s a big space, but also quite loud and crowded and the service leaves something to be desired. It was a similar experience with the previous restaurant as well.

Yellow Skin Chicken

This is one of my mom’s favorite dishes. The chicken is simply steamed and served with a minced ginger dipping sauce. The chicken has a natural subtle sweetness and this preparation allows that sweetness to come through. As you can guess, the name comes from the vibrant yellow skin.

Seafood soup

Seabass with Congee

Mixed Mushroom and Goose Intestine

This was my first experience with goose intestine, which apparently is a childhood favorite of my parents. I actually really enjoyed it. The intestines were thin and had a crunch to them, unlike the typical chewy texture of most intestines. Offal usually has a strong flavor that can be off-putting to some, but this was much lighter. I would have guessed it was a vegetable derivative if I didn’t know what it was.

Sauteed Lobster

The lobster was so depressingly small. I’m not even sure you can call it a chicken lobster. We were quite disappointed by the size, and were glad we didn’t order all lobster dishes. My family has since been back and on their last trip the lobster was bigger, so I guess it’s just the luck of the draw.