Monster Cookie Mix & Desserts in Jars Giveaway

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by Amber on December 15, 2012

You know what’s really awesome? Being friends with super smart people. I don’t claim to be the smartest person on the block, but I do claim to know some of them. Case in point: Shaina Olmanson.

Shaina and I’ve been friends for a while, meeting in person for the first time at BlogHer Food in 2010. I noticed her out of the corner of my eye, and kid you not, thought she was 18. I know it drives the mother of four crazy, but she really does look like a gorgeous girl no older than 20.

So let me tell you about my friend Shaina. She’s wicked smart. She was once a musician, though I’ve never heard her play (it’s on my bucket list, actually). She has four great kids, and her youngest, Magnus, may have stolen my heart entirely. (Don’t tell David, Ava, Noah, Mateo, Clara, or Reese!)

And quite simply, she’s one of the best food writers there is. Seriously. Have you read her posts? If you’re one of those folks that eyes the recipe and glances at the editorial, I beg you – don’t do that over at Shaina’s blog, Food For My Family. Every post is filled with beautiful prose that has inspired me, brought me to tears, or made me smile ridiculously (and sometimes all in the same post!).

You might have heard that Shaina wrote a book, called Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine. You might worry that 50 recipes of desserts in jars would get repetitive, or the writing a bit monotonous. I’m here to tell you unequivocally: Desserts in Jars is a book you want in your cookbook collection. Each recipe is unique, and each page is a pleasure to read. The photos are gorgeous, and I want to eat every single thing in it*

*I reserve the right to refuse to eat anything containing blueberries, of which there are only two recipes in the book. A win in my anti-blueberry column, if I do say so.

All that being said, one of my favorite things about the book is the section on make ahead mixes that can be given as gifts. Nothing says love like a homemade gift, and they aren’t so hard on the pocketbook either. Combined with Shaina’s book, you’ve got an excellent hostess gift or gift for a fellow cook in your life that they’ll be delighted to receive.

How’d you like to win a signed copy of Desserts in Jars, plus the Monster Cookie Mix from the book, made by yours truly?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the recipe so you can make your own Desserts in Jars gift!


Important Details:

-This giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST.
-Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator software program. Winner will be notified via the contact email provided on the comment contact form.
-Winner(s) will have until 12/20/12 to claim their Desserts in Jars giftpack or we will choose another winner.
-Winner will receive (1) autographed Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine book (1) quart jar recipe of Monster Cookies Mix made by Amber Bracegirdle. Product will be shipped by Amber Bracegirdle.
-This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.


This giveaway is provided to you by Amber Bracegirdle of Bluebonnets & Brownies. The book, jar, and ingredients were purchased by me. All opinions stated here are my own.

Links to Amazon contained within this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you click this link and then later buy something on Amazon, Bluebonnets & Brownies will make a few cents from your purchase.


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Beth C. December 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM

My smartest friend is my husband, who can whip me at Scrabble with such an evil sparkle in his blue eyes! I love him, even as I kick him under the table.

ShazInNV December 15, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I have many smart friends. The most creative is Julie who can look at things at craft shows and figure out how to make them; see junk in a thrift store and know how to make it into something cute; and buy new items to decorate in a unique and clever way. She’s also got way with a recipe and brings a cooler full of treats to our get-togethers.

Katie December 15, 2012 at 6:13 PM

My smartest friend is my Grandma. She seems to know just about everything :-)

Lle SchreiberLle Schreiber December 15, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I have a lot of smart friends, but the smartest is probably my little sister – she’s 7, but so bright, such a quick learner, and so socially perceptive!

Jenne December 15, 2012 at 6:37 PM

My smartest friend is my other half. He’s so intelligent and my bestest friend ever!

Hannah December 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

My smartest friend is my college roommate Angelyn! I love that she and I can quote all of our favorite shows together and that she always knows what to say to make me smile!

Jennifer December 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

My smartset friend is my CAT.

sbasmiles December 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

She’s witty and smart and that combo is perfect!

LaurieJ December 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

One of the smartest people I know is my husband, you tell him he can’t do something and he will prove it can be done. He can fix anything.

Liz Blunt December 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

My husband is the smartest guy on the planet! I’m so glad he’s mine! Now, if I can just win that book you’re so generously giving away … !!

maureen December 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM

I appreciate all my friends for who they are and that includes my family. I have a brother though that skipped 1st grade .they wanted him to skip second too. But my parents didn’t want him to. Then when he was in college they wanted him to skip a year and just go onto another year. I love my brother for who he is

Rachael H. December 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM

My husband is DEFINITELY the smartest friend i have. he is an amazing, clever writer and i am always in awe of him. :)

great giveaway!

Michelle December 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM

My smartest friend is my oldest sister! I love her so much because she has never given me bad advice and she let me make my own mistakes but yet was there to catch me when I would fall!

MaryB December 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM

My smartest friend is my hubby. I love him dearly and I also admire him and his ability to handle any situation with aplomb.

Amy Tong December 16, 2012 at 12:47 AM

I’ll never out smart my smartest friend, I turn to her for advise, chit chat or just hang out. :)

Alishia Brown December 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

My smartest friend is my sister. She can do anything!! I love her!!

sharona December 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

definitely my mom– even when i think she is wrong, she turns out to be right!

maria December 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

my youngest daughter and my son graduated summa cum laude and magna cum laude respectively from college. got their brains from their dad. :-)

Jennifer Meadows December 16, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Love your site and would love this book! My best friend is the best! Always there when I need her and ready for retail therapy too. What would we do without our best friends?!?!

Jan R December 16, 2012 at 2:21 PM

My friend Pat because she knows how to eat healthy.

Rachael Bleymaier December 16, 2012 at 2:40 PM

My smartest friend is my partner, whom I love because we just “get” each other, and can be comfortable together, and take care of each other, and who has taught me a ton!

Kimberly December 16, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I’m always awed by my friend Marshall, he knows so much about the world because he travels so much

Holly December 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM

My smartest friend would have to be my daughter, who at 23, is so savvy about the world and has landed an amazing job right after graduation.

kathie December 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM

My most smartest friend that inspires me daily (and frustrates me at least once everyother day) is my husband. He is creative in so many areas and patient most of the time. Right now the only things I do better than him is baking and feeding our four month old (she nurses ;) ).

Clara December 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

This book looks lovely! I would have to say my hubby is my smartest friend. He excels at many things I am not so great at, but together, we are a great pair :).

Susan H. December 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

My smartest friend is my sister. She has no children but loves mine as her own…and they love and look up to her for her smart words of wisdom and advice. We are close in age and are very close. We love each other so much and enjoy spending time together.

Susan H. December 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Is there no flour in the mix?

Dawn December 16, 2012 at 4:36 PM

The smartest friend I know would be my 25 year old daughter. I look at her and am so proud of the smart, happy, strong, ambitious, kind, giving, non judgmental, beautiful woman she has grown into. She is so like my other smart friend, my husband. They are two of a kind. I love them so : )

Amanda J. December 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

My smartest friend is my hubby. Always willing to explain something with so much patience.

Jackie Watson December 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Smartest friend has to be the man that designed and built our home my hubby!

Allison C December 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

My smartest friend is my hubby. He retains a ridiculous amount of knowledge in that noggin.

Angela L. December 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

My best friend is my husband. He is so smart and so curious. He loves to learn. But I always tease him that I’m smarter than he is. :)

Evelyn R December 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM

My smartest friend is Rachelle who owns her own creative art studio business and still finds time to homeschool 4 children!

Elin December 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM

It’s hard to single out just one person. Each of my friends are smart in their own right and each have their own brand of “smart”. I need each one in order to get through my day.

Bethany December 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM

My smartest friend is Jill! First off, she has a PhD. Second, she’s just intelligent, interested in learning more, and doesn’t act like it. :o)

Cathy B*****y December 17, 2012 at 3:53 AM

ASking that question has opened a door of thought to just how blessed some of us are, truly! IN the midst of much pain and heartache lately, I have to say I am truly blessed to have numerous very smart friends… smart in different ways. 3 are artists- 2 stateside, one overseas. singers, pastors, authors, scholars, professors, psychologist, nurses, teachers, missionaries, salesmen and women, engineers, business owners, lawyers, volunteers, and the list goes on. Some are smart because of practical wisdom, some heavenly or divine wisdom, and others, well they are just well rounded smart. And my BFF, well she is just all rounded smart and loving and kind… she will laugh when you are down, knowing exactly how to pull you up out of the dumps, and then she knows how to lovingly give you a kickstart! We love to cook together – even went on our first Girlfriend getaway to the CIA=Culinary Institute of America in CA for a few days short course. The head chef teamed us up and called us the “Dream Team”… we had the best time of our lives.. I am battling for my life with life threatening inoperable spinal tumors.. so much of the time I am in great pain and have to lay down a lot… nonetheless, she never let me feel like a burden and always knew when to encourage me to be active or flat out tell me I had to rest. Having a friend like that is such a gift, isn’t it?!
Cathy B*****y pbprojecthope at yahoo dot com

Amy H December 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Would love to try some recipes in that cookbook!

Trina A December 17, 2012 at 11:00 AM

My smartest friend is My Husband, a school teacher :)

Cassie December 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I love Monster Cookies. Great gift idea.

Susan Pietrocarlo December 17, 2012 at 2:02 PM

My smartest friend is Gail who is not only bright but extremely artistic!

valerie December 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM

My smartest friend always knows just what I need :)

Gillian O'Callaghan December 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

My smartest friend always has a different perspective on situations. She is the one who makes me stop and think, “Maybe there is a better way to approach this situation.” Oh, and she makes me laugh a lot too!!

Marilyn December 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I bought a bunch of Mason jars to use in cutesy, fun desserts a long time ago, but never actually got around to looking anything up – I would absolutely love this book!

Marilyn December 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

My smartest friend is the one that makes me a better person. I respect her so much for having a strong moral code – I don’t really care about how much you know, but choosing to act in a set way that follows your values absolutely reeks of intelligence to me :)

Mary W December 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM

It’s so hard to choose, all of my friends have their own wisdom and experience and I love them all for it!

Kathleen December 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM

My smartest friend is my husband. He always knows what to do and how to solve problems. Plus, he married me….smart!!!

Carol Yemola December 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I absolutely love these recipes. Makes my gift giving a breeze!

Carol Yemola December 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM

My smartest friend is my daughter. Although she is young in years, she is mature in common sense and personal relationships!

Diane December 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

My smartest friend is my hubby he is the type that can do anything that needs to be done or fix any thing that needs to be fixed.
He also always has a way to work through any problem that comes up I really admire him plus he married me so :))

Rikki-Dee December 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM

My grandmother because she has been through so much and I learn something new every time I talk to her.

Shaina December 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Amber, you are such a sweetheart. Thank you so much for all your kind words. You have touched my heart. xoxo

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