Coffee Break

drop sugar cookies with sprinkles

Let’s catch up. (Drop Sugar Cookies above!)

Update on Jude

Thank you so much for all your kind words and well wishes last month. All of your positive vibes definitely helped lift our spirits! In August, we learned that our older dog, Jude, has cancer. Jude had a cancerous tumor removed and has been recovering well since surgery. In fact, ever since his stitches healed, Jude’s been smiling, wagging his tail, chewing his bone, playing with Franklin, and doing his usual bark-at-the-mailman routine. We are ELATED that he’s acting like his old self again!

Vet says Jude’s blood work is healthy and physical shape is awesome. He’s doing well in his post surgery treatment, too! We understand the cancer will likely return, but we know Jude has more love and life left to gift this world. ♥

Thank you again!

New Sally’s Baking Challenge Email List

I’m so excited to announce that I started an exclusive email list for readers interested in my monthly baking challenges. If you’re on my Sally’s Baking Challenge email list, you’ll receive a few Sally’s Baking Challenge emails per month including the recipe announcement, reminder/details about the recipe, a preview of the following month’s challenge before anyone else, and participant’s recipe photos to keep you inspired.

If you’ve ever wondered how to join Sally’s Baking Challenge or can’t find the challenge recipe, this is it! It’s all sent directly to your inbox.

Sign up for Sally's Baking Challenge Emails

*If you’re already on my email list, you’ll need to sign up to receive these separate emails.

5 Year Anniversary

I can’t believe this day was 5 years ago! It was our 5 year wedding anniversary last weekend. We actually call it the Ultimate Celebration Week because it was my sister’s birthday, our anniversary, Sally’s Cookie Addiction‘s 2nd birthday, and Noelle’s 2nd birthday. WOW!

Wedding bride and groom photo on

To celebrate, we went out to a beautiful dinner. And now we’re headed to Stowe, Vermont for a quiet weekend getaway together. ♥

Noelle Turns 2

And the biggest celebration of all! Our sweet Noelle turned 2 earlier this week. We can hardly believe our eyes and ears as our nearly 36 inch tall (!!!) toddler talks in nearly full sentences. I feel like her speech grew 1000% just in the past month!

We celebrated with a fun morning apple picking, then had an Elmo themed birthday party. We kept her party fun and simple with homemade Elmo cake, easy Sesame Street party decor (the set I bought was so cute and easy), and a special Elmo shirt for the birthday girl.

Franklin… so hopeful. Noelle… just eating the nose.

She was SO EXCITED about her Elmo shirt!! It shrank a bit in the wash, so I’m glad I bought the 3T. (Noelle is normally between 2T and 3T.) The little ruffle details are everything!

Dinners Lately

We were in a dinner rut for awhile. You know the kind. But we’re finally back in a groove and here’s what we’ve been making lately:

  1. Pizza on the grill with homemade pizza crust. I always follow these instructions (steps 2 and 3) for grilling.
  2. Healthy Sheet Pan Sausage & Veggies – We loved this! Toddler approved! I used 1 sweet potato instead of regular potatoes and extra green beans instead of broccoli.
  3. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili – As soon as the weather dips below 70 degrees (even if it was for 1 day!!), I make a batch of this chili.
  4. Chicken Meatballs with Pesto Pasta – I actually used up 2 lingering zucchinis and made this with zucchini noodles. We all loved it and I was happy Noelle (messily!) ate the pesto zucchini noodles. Victory!

I froze half of the chili and I actually updated my old Freezer Meals post! I recently began using these glass freezer containers and they’re fantastic for larger batch items.

chicken chili in glass container for freezer meal

Sugar Cookies Makeover

Sugar cookies got a little makeover. Same recipe, new photos, clearer instructions, and a new video tutorial. Master them for the holiday season!

decorated sugar cookies

I also updated the photos for Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. These are a total treat this time of year. I live for those brown sugar crumbles on top and know you’ll flip for the cheesecake filling inside too.

pumpkin cheesecake muffins

September Baking Challenge

September Baking Challenge recipe: Homemade Cheese Bread

September’s baking challenge recipe combines bread and cheese. Need I say more? What you’ll love most is that it’s a completely approachable recipe, even if you’re a bread beginner. If there’s ever been a time to conquer your fears of yeast, this is it. Here’s my Baking with Yeast guide to help, too.

Absolutely salivating over your cheese breads this month.

Thanks for reading and have a delicious weekend. Happy Fall!


  1. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thank you so much, Denise!

  2. Christina L McLaughlin says:

    Loved reading this. You have a beautiful family! So happy your pup is ok. Thanks for such a wonderful site, love your recipes!

    1. Thank you so much for taking time to read today’s post, Christina! 🙂

  3. So many well deserved blessings! Congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much, Jane!

  4. I’m so glad to hear about Jude, Sally! Praying for a full recovery for him. And congrats again on 5 years! Sounds like you’re celebrating it well…and Stowe is beautiful, especially this time of year!
    So much to celebrate and give thanks for…you definitely deserve it 🙂
    I signed up to the Baking Challenge emails straight away – I’m so glad you’re doing this! Great job to all challenge participants so far this month…your cheese breads look amazing ❤

    P.S. Just had to relook at the photo of Jude at the top of this post….cannot get enough of his gorgeous coat!!! Every time I look at it I smile – he’s so beautiful Sally!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Gemma! It’s been a wonderful celebratory week- feeling so thankful 🙂

  5. Denise Henderson says:

    What a great weekend to start the fall season! Happy Anniversary to you and Kevin. Happy Birthday to your sister, your cookbook and last but certianly not least your sweet Noelle!! Looks like it was a wonderful celebration for sure!! And I am so happy to hear Jude is doing so well too!! My heart is warm with your life update!

    1. Thank you so much, Denise!! I appreciate your kind words 🙂

  6. Your sweet Judd looks so happy! Just had the same situation with my 11 yr old Lab…stay in the moment and enjoy your furry boy
    Btw obsessed with your website, have made probably 20 of your recipes

    1. Sending healing thoughts to your pup! Thanks for baking and trusting my recipes 🙂

  7. Happy Anniversary!! May you have many more!!! Noel is super blessed with great parents! We are super blessed to have you and your baking addiction!!! Love all your books and cooking hints!! Thank you so much! Best to you and yours!

    1. Thank you so much, Kathleen!!

  8. Yay! So happy to hear Jude is doing well. What a handsome pup!
    Happy anniversary to you and Kevin! Also I love Noelle’s special birthday shirt. Isn’t planning your own kids birthday parties the best?!
    Enjoy your special weekend 🙂

    1. It’s so much fun! Thanks for your kind words, Stephanie 🙂

  9. Nancy E Goodell says:

    Hi Sally, I’m a Newby on here! Although I have been collecting and using your recipes for quite a while now this is the first time I’ve read about your beautiful family! I’m in my late 50’s and am the oldest of seven daughters. I have been cooking from a young age. Mom had her hands full so I took over cooking dinner for a family of nine! I love cooking and baking!
    Now it’s just my husband Dan and I, and I still have a habit of cooking large batches!

    1. Thank you so much for reading today’s post! How fun to have grown up in such a large family 🙂

  10. Kristin Ann Threlkeld says:

    Wonderful news on Jude!
    I remember seeing the wedding pics, so beautiful, but how can it be 5 years…
    I enjoy all the coffee breaks with the updates on everyone nearly as much as the recipes. 😉

    1. So sweet, thank you Kristin!!

  11. Happy Anniversary!!!

    1. Thank you Linda!

  12. So very happy that Jude is recovering well and is back to his old self! Treasure him! I can’t believe your wedding was 5 years ago! Happy Anniversary! I still love your wedding dress and Jude looks so dapper in his bow tie! Noelle is 2! Wow. Time flies! She is adorable. Looks like she loved her Elmo cake or should I say Elmo nose? I’d like to wish your sister a Happy Birthday too. You have a lovely family, Sally. At the end of the day, family is all that matters. Hug them all and hold them close. And thank you for allowing us to get to know you in this very personal way.

    1. Thank you so much, Joan! We are thrilled Jude is back to his old self- and we had such a fun celebratory weekend 🙂

  13. Happy Anniversary! You continue to inspire us to take on new challenges whether it be cooking or especially baking. I instantly signed up for the emails. Even though I am way older now, I love to bake for my 3 grandchildren. The Elmo cake was so cute. Long, long ago, I made a Cookie Monster one for my son. Memories you will cherish forever. Wishing your family many more fun years with Jude. So happy he is recovering well.

    1. Such sweet memories- I bet your Cookie Monster cake was adorable! Thank you for signing up for my baking challenge emails!! 🙂

  14. Happy Anniversary. Have a great weekend

    1. Thank you so much!

  15. Happy Anniversary Your family is lovely… Franklin is adorable
    I’m excited to try the one hour yeast rise cinnamon rolls. Just a tad nervous about the kneading part, but I’ve watch videos and went to the site you suggested do I’m going for it. My sister and her hubby are flying in for a visit, he loves sweets, so I’ve been practicing several cookie recipes, 2 pies and now the rolls, BTW coffee in the icingBRILLIANT!!!!

    1. What a delicious baking week you’ve had! Enjoy your visit with your sister and family! 🙂

  16. I so enjoy everything you post. I am a fan! Getting the new recipes and challenges brighten my day. You are blessed with a happy life and I pray that continues for you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much!

  17. Happy belated Anniversary. You should see some gorgeous foliage up in Vermont right now. I love this time of year. Glad to hear that Jude is getting back to his usual routine. Love that shot with Noelle eating Elmo’s nose and Franklin just hoping it slips out of her hands for a chance at getting to eat it. As always thanks for sharing your family with us. I have loved watching your family grow, It seems like just yesterday you were introducing us to Franklin. Have a great weekend.

    1. Time sure does fly! Thank you so much for your kind words- we are really looking forward to seeing the fall foliage this weekend 🙂 I appreciate you reading my blog and trusting my recipes!

  18. Congratulations! How do you stay so fit and healthy with all the baked goods!? Everything looks scrumptious! Best to you and your family!

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle!

  19. Happy anniversary! I really enjoy these update posts. So thrilled Jude is doing well. And thank you for the reminder about those pumpkin cheesecake muffins! The perfect fall treat. I’ll be making for my students this week.

    1. They really are PERFECT for fall- I hope your students love them!! Thanks for your kind words!

  20. Love all the updates and blessings upon your dear family!

    1. Thank you so much, Vicki!

  21. September is certainly your month Sally. Finding out your dog is currently cancer free, your sisters birthday, your wedding anniversary, your book anniversary and your baby’s birthday I’d say so!!!! Congrats on everything!!!!

    1. It has truly been an amazing month! Thank you for your kind words, Shatha 🙂

  22. Praise the Lord for Jude’s recovery….and congrats to you both on your anniversary. Enjoy each and every day.

    1. Thank you so much, Mary!

  23. Martha Davidson says:

    Wonderful news about Jude! Your baking site is a blessing to me as I love to bake. Unfortunately, I have RA and it affects my hands so I am not always able to do the baking I love to do. Reading the recipes and seeing all the results of the challenges lifts my spirits. God’s blessings for you & your family.

    1. I’m so sorry about your RA but glad that this site is able to lift your spirits!

  24. I’m happy to find and meet you throug this blog… I love read all the experiences and the recipes… I just need more time for read, try the recipes and enjoy.

    1. Thanks for your readership! I’m so happy you found my blog 🙂

  25. I know baking is supposed to be your thing but I have to say your dinner recipes are out of this world good! My family has many of them on our regular menu rotation. Our current favorite is your jalapeño pepper jack turkey burger, so delicious. Have you ever considered writing a savory cookbook? Thanks for all your recipes!

    1. Thanks so much, Claire! I’m thrilled your family enjoys them! I do enjoy sharing savory recipes every once in a while in this format but at this point my books will focus on baking 🙂

  26. Carolyn Kelsey says:

    I so enjoy using your recipes and watching the videos. I use many of your recipes regularly.

    Happy Anniversary. Thanks for sharing with us about your family. I’m glad Jude is feeling better. Believing for full recovery

    Beautiful pictures of u and your family

    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn! Thrilled you enjoy my recipes and videos- I appreciate you! 🙂

  27. Happy Everything at this time! So happy to read about your Jude doing so well. Pets are family, too! Have a great getaway!

    1. Pets ARE family! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, Janet!

  28. Have a wonderful time in Stowe! It’s so beautiful there. Stowe Street Café and thé attached bookstore are places I would recommend stopping by.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! We are so excited 🙂

  29. So happy to hear about Jude!!!! Have a fun relaxing getaway!

    1. Thank you so much, Hallie!

  30. So glad to here that Jude is doing well ❤ I’ll be praying that he will stay with you for a long while yet.
    Happy 2nd birthday to Noelle! Love that picture where she’s just going for the nose And happy anniversary to you and Kevin! You were a beautiful bride; love your wedding dress.
    Have you ever considered developing a recipe for pumpkin donuts? I had some a while ago and they were really tasty, which was surprising considering how I’m usually not a pumpkin fan.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Erin!! 🙂

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally