May
31

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Ahhh the weekend is here. I’ve been craving it like chocolate.

Now it’s unusual for me to bring you a recipe on a Friday, but I just had to share this epic banana bread with you.

Strawberries + Coconut + Chia Seeds. Have you ever heard of such a lovely combination? It’s like a cozy little slice of heaven.

Speaking of things that need to be shared: I have some exciting news to tell you… but I have to hold off a bit (sorry!). Ugh keeping secrets is pretty difficult for me too! Look for a fun announcement very, very soon!

Anyway this banana bread is something I can share. In fact, it’s pretty major — beautiful even! And guess what? It’s also full of healthy ingredients that most certainly deserve a little special attention.

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Apr
18

Confession: I’m not a cake person.

I’d rather have pie loaded with whip cream;  it’s much more nostalgic. However, I recently discovered the downside of pie: it’s not acceptable to eat for breakfast. I mean could you imagine walking into a Starbucks and ordering a slice of French Silk? Here comes the judgy looks.

But coffee cake? Totally cool. Load up my plate at 8am with buttery bliss and give me a shot of espresso.

I think I can totally get down with cake for breakfast thing.

There’s something special about enjoying a slice of coffee cake with your favorite person. In fact, sometimes that is exactly what you need. Trust me on this. I’ve become an expert in wooing people with desserts.

So here’s what I did: I made you a coffee cake that tastes like a moist, fluffy blueberry muffin. The crunchy streusel topping is wonderful and I think you’ll find it perfect served warm with a cup of joe. Plus, it gives you an excuse to brown butter!

Just do it, okay?

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Mar
26

I’m leaving on a jet plane…  headed to incredibly sunny HOT weather to drink margaritas, eat cupcakes, mexican food, AND frozen yogurt. Maybe that’s not exactly how the song goes, but pretty close.

Okay seriously, I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! I apologize if I’m making you jealous but I’m pretty sure my new favorite hummingbird cupcakes will provide you with a little happiness. I mean they are topped with a heavenly TOASTED COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING!

Again, sorry for the excitement and excessive exclamation marks. I had a giant iced coffee the size of my face this morning. WHOOOOOOOO!

Wow, this is the most outrageous post I’ve ever written so I should just stop right now and give you the recipe. Unfortunately, I still need to explain a few things about these spectacular cupcakes.

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Mar
11

This past weekend was tough! I was in the midst of a juice cleanse and could not stop thinking about how much I wanted a salad the size of my face. Or grilled fish with a glass of wine followed by some Fro Yo with major amounts of sprinkles and pink-frosted animal crackers.

Then to make matters worse, I watched The Food Network again. They were playing Red Lobster commercials which nearly caused me to drool on myself. I guess you could say my cravings were pretty ridiculous; then again it was probably my own fault for watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

There is good news though: I truly feel incredible and since I enjoy sharing my discoveries with you, I journaled  my experience with the cleanse. I plan on posting it sometime this week. Perhaps it will inspire you, too!

Healthy Blueberry Oat Applesauce Muffins with Struesel

Okay enough chatting, can we get to the muffins?

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Feb
04

Every week on Instagram I’m posting some new photo of muffins that I’ve baked. You’d think I’m running some sort of bakery out of my house but nope, just a huge fan of compact little flavor bombs for breakfast.

And yes, I just referred to muffins as “compact flavor bombs”… Who the hell am I?

Do you know who I wish I was? Beyonce. I mean did you guys see her last night during the half-time show? What a goddess! Seriously, can someone just explain to me how to jump around with 6-inch heels and a microphone in some tiny outfit? These are skills they need to teach you in college. Maybe I can practice next time I make muffins? Yes, definitely… look for the Instagram pics.

Just kidding, I’ll stick to the things I do best for now. You know like baking muffins with fresh strawberries, sweet bananas, healthy oats, and a bit of chocolate chips? That’s just how my brain works.

In fact, I think it may be one of the best combinations out there. However whatever they put in my margaritas is also up top on my list. But margaritas and muffins aren’t quite the same so we’ll revert back to the subject of baked goods. I apologize, it’s Monday.

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Dec
30

The past week my diet has consisted of chicken noodle soup, saltine crackers, hot chocolate, and popcorn. I was stuck in bed battling a terrible cold; and I think I ate about three giant bags of cough drops. At one point I even went to the grocery store in my pajamas because I was too lazy to change. I don’t know it was weird, I felt like if I didn’t have ginger ale my life would end or something. Clearly my fever made me a tiny delusional and a whole lot of dramatic.

Anyway I’m getting a little sidetracked here. All I really want to do is bring you healthy whole grain muffins to start your year off right.

These muffins are made with whole wheat flour, coconut flakes, carrots, raisins, and walnuts. I used applesauce instead a bunch of oil to save calories; this also keeps the muffins moist along with the almond milk.

I find these muffins necessary during those mornings when I find myself waking up 15 minutes before work. Usually I individually wrap mine in plastic wrap and freeze them so that all I have to do is pop them in the microwave in the morning.

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Dec
16

With the recent tragedy in Newtown, I can only express how heartbroken I am. I will continue to pray for the families and those affected by this devastating tragedy.

With that said, I’ve wanted to reach out and hug the people who mean the most to me.

And sometimes I say I love you with bread. As simple as that sounds it means a lot.

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Aug
13

Welcome to Ambitious Kitchen.

I’m so delighted you are here. I feel like squealing like a little piggy. Is that weird?  Probably.  But it’s just me, you’ll get used to it.

Hold on… I have to switch my Pandora station.

…Okay, Louie Armstrong was playing.  Who put that on? I write to Adele and Florence and the Machine, not Louie Armstrong with his giant saxophone. It’s official, Pandora’s gone crazy.

But apparently I’ve gone crazy too. Crazy in thoughts.  Overwhelming myself with what I want to accomplish. Putting to do lists everywhere. Throwing clothes around my room.  Missing episodes of Project Runway.  You know the big things in life.

But really I was thinking about how short life is.  Each chapter ends as soon as it begins.  I literally blinked my eyes and college flew by. That happens to everyone though right?

You get dropped off on campus by your parents then… you cry, you party, you sleep in, you get an internship, you balance, you eat a lot of ramen, you gain 10 pounds, you learn right from wrong, you balance again, you struggle, you live, you laugh, you find love, you meet heartbreak, you find meaning, you find your best friends, you find you.

I swear that happens in a moment.  A small little flash that is taken for granted most of the time.  I thought about how I don’t want to take anything for granted. Ever.

Then I thought about pies. Ohhh pies. Sweet summer pies. Dutch and laced. Sugar crumbled and those topped with meringue. Blueberry, peach, raspberry, strawberry. All those summer fruits in that buttery flaky golden brown crust.  Never take pie for granted. It’s good for the soul.

 

I used to be afraid of pies. Probably because I couldn’t have one slice.  Pie was an enemy. The best tasting, most delightful soul soothing enemy.

I used to scream “Screw you pie. Screw you for making me eat 3 slices!”  I would always take it back. I love pie. And I always will.

If you can’t stop at one slice here are some suggestions: Bring it to the neighbors, they’ll invite you over for cocktails more often. Bring it to your boyfriends, his friends will love you and he might too.  Bring it to your parents, they’ll be impressed.  Or you can bring it to work and watch other people look at you like you are the next Betty Crocker.  Just sayin.

 

Making homemade pie crust is sort of an art. A scary art that will piss you off and haunt your dreams.  Just kidding, it’s just something you learn as you go.  Kinda like life, you learn as you go.

So don’t buy the Pillsbury boring crust from the store.  For heaven’s sake please don’t buy it. I’m begging you.

Make this pie. While your making it, think about what you’re taking for granted.  What are you thankful for?

Of course, you’ll be thankful for the pie when it comes out of the oven.  You’ll bask in pie glory. Sweet heavenly pie glory. You can do it. I know you can.

After all, It’s the summer of pies. The summer of baking. The summer of love. Don’t ya think?

 

Summer Berry Peach Pie
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • For Double Crust Pie Dough:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of very cold, unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • For the filling:
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups stemmed and pitted cherries, chopped
  • 3 medium ripe peaches, sliced
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To make the crust: In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt.  Place in food processor or pastry blender and add the butter. Pulse several times until small peas form.  Add lemon juice.  Next add 2 tablespoons of ice water to start.  Work dough so that it forms a mass.  Add remaining ice water if necessary.  You don’t want the dough too sticky, but in a large ball.
  2. Coat your hands in flour and separate the dough into two round balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together blueberries, cherries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour until well mixed.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove one dough ball from fridge and roll out using a flour coated rolling pin.  You will have to work at this.  You want the dough very thin and flat.  Next carefully place the rolled out dough into a 9 inch pie pan.  Fill with your fruit mixture. Take your remaining dough ball out of the fridge and roll out.  Cut out roughly 10, 1-inch thick strips.  Weave over fruit mixture, then trim off edges and make your pie crust pretty, if desired.
  6. You can brush edges with melted butter or egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Take foil and wrap around the edges of the pie crust so they do not burn.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown to liking.  Cool on a wire rack.

 
 
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