Go to recipes you can’t go wrong with from Lovestruck

In For Seven Nights Only by Sarah Ballance the heroine Kelsie is one of those people who should probably end up on America’s Worst Cooks in America. We know she’s not alone so the Lovestruck team wanted to share some of their easy recipes that you can’t go wrong with.

We would love to hear how they turn out if you try any of the recipes a try.


Chewy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies from Sarah Ballance, author of For Seven Nights Only

I have a love-hate relationship with this recipe. I love it because it’s easy and amazing. I hate it because it’s amazing and I always eat too many. And there I am, writhing in agony, because of this stupid amazing recipe that even the least talented kitchen dweller can pull off. (Except maybe Kelsie. She did, after all, screw up a boxed brownie mix, but to be fair, she was terribly, wonderfully distracted…)

Okay, time to get your hands dirty. If you have kids, bring them on board. They’ll LOVE helping with these chewy chocolate sandwich cookies!

Ingredients (cookie):

  • 2 boxes of devil’s food cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

Ingredients (filling):

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lb box of powdered sugar

Make it happen:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out an ungreased cookie sheet (or two).
  2. Beat the eggs in a mixer, then add oil and cake mix. Keep beating until you have a well-combined, albeit sticky mess.
  3. Put some oil on your hands (I swipe some of what settled to the bottom of the measuring cup), then scoop out enough of the dough to roll into a 1” ball. It’s going to look like something the neighbor’s dog did on your lawn. Embrace it. (The comparison. Not the stuff on the lawn.) Giggle if you must. Channel your inner 13-year-old boy and think of great practical jokes. It can’t be helped. You’ll see.
  4. Place the 1” balls about an inch apart on the cookie sheet. They should be smooth and shiny. Then ever so slightly put a fingerprint in the top of each one. Don’t flatten them. Don’t do anything more than leave a dent—one so light that your kid asks “What was the point of that?”
  5. Bake for 8-10 mins then take them out. This is the only place you can possibly screw up this recipe. THEY WILL NOT LOOK DONE. They will look like hot dough with a slight crust. Go with it. Trust me.
  6. Set aside baked cookies to cool. If you need to stack them, put waxed paper between layers or you’ll never, ever get them apart. (#thingsIlearnedthehardway)
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Cream the butter and cream cheese in the mixer, then splash in the vanilla, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat until you have delicious, gooey cream cheese icing.
  8. Recruit the kids again. Lay out half the cookies “bottoms” up, then, using a plastic bag or a dollop from a spoon, add filling to each cookie, then find the perfect lid for each one from the remaining stash. (Tip: I know the icing is delish, but don’t overfill the cookies. You’ll hate yourself later if you do.)
  9. And if you did it right, notice that you have about half your icing left over, so make another batch of cookies. You know, to use it up.

Yield approx 3-4 dozen, depending on how you handle your balls. 🙂

Soft ‘n Chewy Pudding Cookies from Heather Howland, Editorial Director for Lovestruck


Photo credit: For Love of Dessert
You’ve been tasked with bringing sweet treats to the party, but you don’t have time to whip up a cheesecake or pull together the perfect mixed fruit tart. The solution? The most customizable cookie recipe ever created! Change the flavor of the pudding and/or the flavor of the chips to create endless combinations. To really kick things up, add dried fruit, nuts, or candy.


The base recipe (which can be halved if you’re not cooking for a crowd):
4 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 – 3.4 oz packages of instant pudding
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°
Combine flour and baking soda. Set aside.

Mix the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add the eggs, and mix well. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and any fruit/nut additions.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. The cookies will have a soft, cake-like texture.
Try these combinations:
White chocolate cherry cheesecake (my signature recipe!)
– cheesecake pudding, white chocolate chips, dried cherries
THE chocolate chip cookie
– vanilla pudding, milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips, optional: chopped nuts
Chocolate butterscotch toffee
– butterscotch pudding, milk chocolate chips, toffee chips
Chocolate peanut butter
– vanilla pudding, Reeses Pieces, peanut butter chips, milk chocolate chips, optional: finely chopped peanuts
Death by chocolate
– chocolate pudding, semisweet chocolate chips, chopped dark chocolate, cocoa powder (decrease the flour a smidge to compensate), optional: top with milk chocolate frosting
– vanilla pudding, mini marshmallows, semisweet chocolate chips, ground graham crackers (decrease the flour a smidge to compensate)
Macadamia pistachio
– pistachio pudding, white chocolate chips, chopped macadamia nuts
– Oreo pudding, chocolate chips (white or semisweet, your choice!), chopped Oreos
For even more creative ideas, visit Chika over on the For The Love of Dessert blog. She’s made more variations than I could possibly dream up! 
Aesthetic warning: While it’ll still taste awesome, devil’s food pudding mix creates reddish brown colored cookies. If that’s not what you’re after, try chocolate or chocolate fudge pudding mix. If you like a bit of red coloring (maybe you’re making red velvet cookies?), this is the pudding mix for you!
The best part of this recipe…it involves ZERO actual cooking 😉 And without fail it is always the first dish to be emptied at a party, guaranteed! So basically it’s the perfect dish for the non-cook to look like a celebrity chef. SCORE!

Taco Dip from Meredith Johnson, Social Media Extraordinaire


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (16 ounce) container nonfat sour cream
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce – rinsed, dried, and shredded
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives, drained (optional, personally I skip the olives)
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning. Spread this mixture in a 9-inch (or a little larger) round serving dish. Top the mixture with lettuce, Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper and black olives.
Quick and easy and always sure to please.

Easy Cream Puffs from Debbie Suzuki, Publicity Director for Lovestruck

This is my all time favorite recipe that my college roommate gave me.  It’s easy to make and I haven’t taken it to any gathering without at least one or two people asking for the recipe.


  • 1 box pepperidge puff pastry
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 tub cool whip
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar


1. Thaw puff pastry as directed on box. Cut into 1 1/2 x 2 inch pieces. Bake as directed on box.

2. Soften cream cheese and mix in pudding, milk, powdered sugar and cool whip.

3. Pour mixture into zip lock bag and snip one bottom corner slightly.

4. Cut puff pastry in halt and fill with mixture.

5. Top with powdered sugar if desired.

Easy, peasy and delicious!

Easy Shrimp Scampi from Tracy Montoya, Editor of For Seven Nights Only

I hate cooking. I mean, I really, really hate it, to the point where I’d rather scrub my floors, clean the bathrooms, and do a mountain of laundry instead of making a meal for the family. I also married a man who doesn’t love cooking, so we’re a sad, undernourished bunch in our household.

Consequently, my husband has two meals he can make that are in heavy rotation during any given month. While I offer a bit more variety, I’ve become the queen of fast-and-easy recipes. I could definitely relate to Kelsie while I was editing the early drafts of Sarah Ballance’s For Seven Nights Only, since I have a tendency to try out new fast-and-easy recipeswhenever the whim strikes, often with disastrous results.

One recipe that never, ever fails me—or fails to impress if I make it for other seafood lovers—is my shrimp scampi. As promised, it’s fast, easy, and it’s incredibly difficult to screw up. The only way I’ve found to do so is if you overcook the shrimp, but it’s still kind of tasty even then.

Easy Shrimp Scampi

1 bag frozen shrimp or 2 lbs. fresh shrimp

¼ cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, smashed

½ cup chopped fresh flat Italian parsley

¼ cup dry white wine

¼ cup lemon juice (adjust to taste, increasing wine if you decrease lemon juice)


Black pepper

Clean and devein fresh shrimp, or thaw frozen shrimp in warm water.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil and garlic on medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Add the parsley and shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.

Add the wine and lemon juice and cook the shrimp until done. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with rice.

We hope that the next time you need a go to recipe that’s guaranteed to please and that you can’t mess up, that you will give one of these a try.


And believe me you won’t want to miss some of Kelsie’s cooking adventures that proves the stomach isn’t the only way to win a man’s heart in For Seven Nights Only.

For Seven Nights Only by Sarah Ballance

About the book:

He’s made an offer she can’t refuse…

Kelsie Reed is over bad luck and bad men. Newly dumped, she’s now the pathetically single maid of honor in her sister’s wedding—and her ex is the best man. Her bad luck continues when a plumbing meltdown in her apartment sends her sexy neighbor running to her rescue. He’s got “serial dater”written all over him, which is unfortunate because the man is hot.

Sawyer Chase loves women, but settling down? He’ll leave that to his brothers. But when Kelsie confesses she’s a dating disaster and is about to become the laughing stock of her family wedding, Sawyer takes control. He’s got one week to teach her how to land the man of her dreams, and he’ll do it on her terms: no touching, no kissing, and definitelynothing more. But some rules need to be broken, especially when, for once, there’s something on the line worth fighting for…

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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