The Schell Cafe has moved…

Please come to The Schell Cafe’s new location at

If you are a subscriber and receive updates from The Schell Cafe via feeder or email, this will be the last! Unfortunately, when you move blogs around in cyberspace, subscriptions do not transfer. But don’t worry, you can easily re-subscribe at the new location.

I hope you’ll continue to be a special patron at The Schell Cafe!

Come see!

xo, Kristin


Catch you on the flip side…

It’s finally happening!

The Schell Cafe is temporarily closing for (yet another) renovations. We fully expect to be back up and running early next week.

I can’t wait to see you at the new digs next week.

See you soon & Bon Appetit!

xo, Kristin

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or so the story goes. The story of this recipe actually begins in a trash bin. You can read the inspiration for these yummy after-school cookies at The Meaning of Pie. After making several batches of these quick and easy treats, I am grateful the old Southern Living recipe was rescued from the recycling bin and lives on!

Like the game of Telephone, recipes get handed down, passed around and changed up along the way so that eventually the end result looks (and tastes) much different than the beginning. Sounds like this simple recipe has endured the test of time and I am happy to share the version I settled on.  I tried different peanut butters and played around with the sugar(s), added a little vanilla and think it’s a keeper.  I took a batch to school last week and the cookies disappeared so quick the only evidence of their being was a few chocolate covered finger tips. In a more civilized manner our sweet staff at church gave the cookies ‘thumbs up’ as Littlest and I passed them around the office this morning. And, church people tell it like it is y’all. 😉

Without further ado, here is our favorite after school cookie-du-jour. The good news is they are gluten and dairy free. The even better news is they are so tasty no one will know or care.

Sadly, however they are not calorie-free. I’m still working on that one.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (I use fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter from Whole Foods)**

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup + chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life allergy-free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Mix well. Add the chocolate chips. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully. They are best slightly undercooked!

** I tried several peanut butters in various test batches. The bottom line is if you like your peanut butter, you’ll love these cookies. Use your favorite!


Sometimes life gives you lemons. And sometimes a surprise comes with your lemons. A month or so ago I picked up a bag of lemons, probably at Costco or HEB. Tucked in the Sunkist sack was a robinet pour citron. Fancy, huh?

This tiny yellow faucet easily twists into the stem end of a lemon and with a squeeze you have fresh juice.

Can you stand the excitement?

Here’s the twist. I like to drink hot lemon water. Quirky, I know, but it works for me. Pre robinet pour citron, I would slice a lemon in half, attempt to flick out the seeds, squeeze the lemon into my favorite mug, and generally ignore the citrusy juice running elbow-bound down my arm. Clearly life has changed for the better since the robinet pour citron.

Why am I so passionate about lemon water? Because of it’s many health benefits, of course. Lemon juice is rich in several essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. And, it’s loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants which provide a definite boost to your immune system. Lemon water is known for its gentle cleansing properties and aids in flushing unwanted toxins from your system. It boots your metabolism and helps regulate other digestive functions like heartburn, nausea and indigestion.

So, keep your eyes peeled for your very own robinet pour citron. In the meantime, slice a lemon and enjoy it in a warm cup of water for your health.

A Votre Sante!

Rosemary Kind Bars

Trust me…

Rosemary Kind Bars

1 1/3 cups dates, chopped

1/3 cup raw almonds

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 sprig rosemary (I used a little more!)

generous dash of celtic sea salt (1/4 + tsp)

Process all ingredients in food processor. Don’t worry if you still have large pieces of almonds or dates, the mixture is hard to completely process. With wet hands roll into bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Makes 6 bars.

Forget back-to-school snacks for the Littles these healthy, raw bars are all kinds of yum for the mama! I’ll let you know what the Littles think if I decide to share, but for now Rosemary Kind Bars are my grab & go, carpool snack of choice. And just in time since school starts tomorrow! Oh my…

Happy Birthday!

This my friends is the breakfast of  birthday champions. As soon as the light of day breaks through the windows, the Littles will enjoy a nutritious, hearty helping of birthday cake. All before 8 am. Cake for the Littles, coffee for the mama.

Nine years ago on my 33rd birthday, our second Little and first daughter made her way into the world. I can see you doing the math in your head, you know. I’m 42 today. My beloved Little is 9. So today we celebrate! Beginning with Birthday Cake for breakfast. Because, why not?

Here’s the birthday girl just moments ago opening her presents. She found the princess crown (from her 1st birthday) and somehow woke up with it already perfectly in place on her sweet birthday head. Clearly her mother’s daughter.

Bed head and dragon breath, the birthday girls pose for their first pic of the day. Y’all it’s still in the 7’s in these parts…very early.

Yesterday, the grand assembling of the cake occurred. Dubbing the occasion in this manner makes it seem more important because the truth is…

Our cake came straight out of the box. Both of them. I just didn’t have my wits to try all the new flours and sweeteners necessary to make a perfect gluten-free cake. So can I get an AMEN for Pamela’s gluten-free cake mixes? And icings too!

The birthday princess requested a double layer cake of vanilla and chocolate. She also requested a strawberry layer, but Pamela’s Baking Goods glory does not extend that far. Here is the cake at the ‘big fat oreo’ stage.

I love this photo and it will always remind me of Littlest who is ‘up the counter’ in her princess big girl panties. We are 10 days into successful potty training and this it the ultimate birthday gift in my book. I do wonder what I will think in years to come about the purple finger nail polish on my birthday girl? I hadn’t noticed her manicure until I took this photo. Nice.

About this time during the grand assembling of the cake, just as the finishing touches were settling into place, Littlest threatened to destroy the masterpiece by secretly pulling the cookies off the cake and leaving finger trails through the icing. The birthday princess extended grace and patience as she swiftly moved her younger sibling from the scene of the crime. I was proud. Then the birthday girl declared ‘I want a gluten-free, dairy-free, SISTER-FREE cake’.  And proceeded to bop her sister on the head. Again, my pride swells.

Gratefully, this  younger sister stopped short of removing cookies and left sprinkles in place. But, she gave it a long contemplative thought…

Neighbors joined us from a far (long blocks, really!) and distracted the Littles from completely eating the cake on the eve of the celebration. All was quiet during the night.

This is the live-real-time-blogging scene from my writing perch. Littlest is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to cake. She wise beyond her three years.

And I am powerless to keep this birthday Little waiting any longer. Excuse me, while we celebrate 9 and 42 with birthday cake. For breakfast!

A Peachy Salad

It’s peak peach time here in central Texas. Husband & I were in the Hill Country last weekend and picked up a flat of freestone peaches in Fredericksburg. I tweeked a recipe I found from Cooking Light and came up with a delicious, summer salad. It’s a great way to enjoy the bounty of peaches before they’re all gone.

For the dressing I used a sweet wine (’08 Muscat Canelli) we picked up at Santa Maria Cellars in Fredericksburg. Any sweet wine you have will do. Husband & I don’t typically drink sweet wines, but I always keep a bottle on hand for recipes or friends who enjoy the sweeter side of things.  Pick up an inexpensive bottle at the store (ask the wine guys for help!) and let me know what recipes you find.

Hill Country Wine Dressing

1 cup sweet white wine (riesling or muscat are great)

1 Tbs walnut oil

1 Tbs white wine vinegar

dash of sea salt

In a saucepan heat wine over medium-high heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. I set a timer for 10 minutes. If you walk away and forget wine boiling on the stove, you’ll return to a sticky, burnt pan. Don’t ask me how I know this…

Remove wine from heat and let cool. Pour into a mason jar or glass container, add vinegar, oil and salt. Gently shake to combine.

Dressing will keep in refrigerator for up to a week.

Peachy Salad

4 cups of butter lettuce, or mixed greens

2 – 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

handful of toasted walnuts, or sliced almonds

generous sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese

Toss the salad with the Wine Dressing and enjoy the sweet flavors of summer.