July 1st: Happiness Is…

Hey everyone!

This month I want to get your input about what makes YOU happy! It’s easy, send me an email with what happiness is to you! 

For instance:

Happiness is…

…snuggling with my boy while watching a movie he has picked out. It’s not often that we get to do this anymore now that he is officially a teenager, so when he makes a suggestion you betcha I make a big deal about it(in a cool way of course). I grab some yummy snacks for us, a cozy blanket, and enjoy the time we have together. It brings back memories of when he was a little guy and would curl up on my lap to watch his favorite shows. Oh how I miss those days and cherish the ones like in the picture. ❤️

-Amanda Gayle(Alabama, USA)

Simple! Now, of course you can write as little or as much as I did. The point is, with all the ugly and bad things going on in this world it would do us some good to see some happy things for a change. Send me an email at nightowlkitchen@yahoo.com with the following: 

*Please include your name, State/Provence and country. 

*Include the heading: “Happiness Is…” in your email, along with a short blurb about why it makes you happy.

*You may include one photo. 

*Any recipes need to include a link back to the original site, if possible(unless the recipe has been passed down through your family, which is adored here at Night Owl Kitchen!) Kids are welcomed to get in on this, I know several like to get in the kitchen these days, don’t be shy. Share with us your favorite summer treats! 

*You can share anything that has inspired you: a quote, a song, a book, a movie…keeping it family friendly of course! 😉

Each week I will choose a selection to share. Let’s spread some happiness this month! 

Have a blessed 4th of July weekend!!!


NCIS Season 11 Premiere Special

I am hooked on NCIS, I love the characters, the story lines, plots and any time it’s on, even the re-runs, I am watching it! To kick off the new season premiere last night I whipped up a  batch of “bloody” thumbprint cookies!! *queue sinister music* I think Abby would have been impressed! They were amazing, soft with a hint of a crisp to them and the homemade strawberry preserves I used killed it with perfection!

The recipe comes from Simply Recipes(<—click there for recipe). I had this whole NCIS theme planned out and ready to put together but alas I could not find my low temp glue gun, uber sadness over here. But I didn’t let that stop me! I pulled together photos of each character from the show and made this collage in honor of the new season.

ncis collage

Since the season is opening up with Ziva’s farewell I decided to keep our dinner a little more kosher, if you will. Served up some chicken scratch chicken with baked kale chips on the side. I am uncertain if any of that is truly kosher, but since I used Kosher Salt for both I’m just going to go with it 🙂 Ziva is going to be greatly missed on this show, I have loved her character from the beginning and how Cote was able to play her off of Michael’s character, Tony. The opening of this new season is definitely bitter sweet.


When I decided to make these cookies I had Abby in mind, what would she think about these deceptively delightful confections? At first a few of my followers on Facebook were unable to make the connection between the cookies and the show. After a brief explanation it clicked and the cleverness roared on! Above I just had to indulge in a couple of the cookies, it was a difficult decision to make but it had to be done 🙂 These are definitely a keeper!! @nok_amandagayle is my Instagram handle, feel free to follow me there if you like.

Thumbprint Cookies 001    Thumbprint Cookies 002

I did manage to catch the perp red handed…jammy fingers and all!! She was “tampering with evidence”, but I let her off with a warning 🙂 Were there any leftovers? Sadly no, it was a mob attack that descended upon this beautiful scalloped serving plate. Two narrowly escaped the delicious slaughter last night but were discovered in the wee hours of the morning and met their end in my son’s tummy 🙂 It’s a tragedy really, but they shall always be in our thoughts, our taste buds, and the recipe will forever be within an arms reach to make more 😀

In all seriousness, this was an easy recipe, I had never made thumbprint cookies before and was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. I didn’t deviate from the recipe, other than not covering the them in nuts. I asked my child what he thought and he said he wants them for his birthday along with his strawberry poke cake! He’s taking after me, not much of a chocolate fan but loves his fruity desserts! I must say these are so much better than the store bought variety I remember from my childhood. No chemical after taste, the homemade strawberry preserves brimming with strawberry flavor and the cookie just utter perfection. Light, buttery, and melts in your mouth! You can use any jam or preserve you like (perhaps apple butter or pumpkin butter to give a more harvest vibe), but these are definitely going on my holiday cookie list (only doubled)!

What is your favorite cookie? (Share below)


Have you ever honored your favorite tv show with a party and themed food? (Share below as well)