I’m Back! Here’s What I’ve Been Up To


Remember me?

Last year, I decided I needed to take a break from blogging. The short version is that I didn’t find it enjoyable anymore. But the long version is more complicated. Of course I loved, and still do love, sharing my life in food with y’all, but I had too much on my plate at once (no pun intended) to the point where blogging felt like homework.

It took a while to figure out what I needed to do differently to enjoy this again, but the answer was simple in the end: I have to do it my way – no forced trips to the grocery store to cook when I don’t need to, no making food for people just because they ask, no churning out posts unless they are my best and worth your time.

I want what I put up here to always mean something to me and to you. I also want to be more focused, and that focus was easy: cooking smarter, not harder. That’s what The Smart Cookie Cook recipes have always been about, making the best food in the smartest way. It’s about creativity, time-saving, and money-saving.

I’ve got so much food I’m dying to share with you after all this time, but I figured a good place to start is what we’ve missed. This is our recap of the past nine Cookie-less months.

  1. I went to California.

    My whole family vacationed in Sonoma and San Francisco last fall.
    We went wine-tasting…
    …and did a whole lot of eating.


  2. I added Les Mills™ CXWORX™ to my certified instructor repetoire.

    13407269_10209576661882627_2652562037831882319_n-2I love teaching group fitness, so I decided to take on another program. CXWORX is a 30-minute core training class, and it’s a killer! It’s a huge physical challenge for me, and the training weekend was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was so satisfying to pass certification. I highly recommend seeking out a CXWORX class near you. It’s a fitness game-changer.

  3. I furthered my BODYSTEP™ instructor education.

    After taking on a second program, I realized I was ready to be a better instructor in my first love, BODYSTEP, so I attended an Advanced Instructor Module. It was such a beneficial day. I couldn’t have imagined it possible to learn so much in one day.

  4. I celebrated my 23rd birthday in style.

    Hello Kitty, cake, and more Hello Kitty.

  5. I kept on cooking.

    Although it was nice to cook without any pressure, or writing down recipes, or needing to do a photoshoot before I could eat anything, I am looking forward to sharing some of the creations I dreamed up in our time away. Please note all the CHEESE!

  6. I helped two cats find homes.

    Earlier last year, Ryan and I fell in love with a Tortie cat at a local shelter, but we were unable to adopt her. After a bit of guilt-tripping, Sister Cookie drove 4 hours from her home in NJ to adopt the cat herself. We also found a home with Ryan’s family for an abandoned long-haired beauty that showed up on our doorstep in the dead of winter.

  7. I nailed my Halloween costume with Ryan.

    Meet Frankenstein’s Monster & his Bride, all with inexpensive costumes, and my very inexperienced make-up & hair skills – or what I like to call “winging it.” That said, it turned out great!

  8. I went to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC.

    It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime chances, so I jumped on it and joined my friends in NYC! I don’t know that it’s something I ever have the desire to do again, but I DID get to see the Hello Kitty balloon in person!

  9. We hit our 5-year anniversary of The Smart Cookie Cook!

    Yes, it’s been five years since I started blogging! Can you believe it?? I’m so happy to be back and refreshed, and always hungry! I hope you’re ready for what’s in store!

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Colleen Bierstine

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