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
26

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I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Of course, my family requested that I make my brown butter and sea salt chocolate chip cookies. Somehow we ‘forgot’ to bring them to the Christmas Eve party we were attending. However, I’m pretty sure they meant to leave them back home so that they could eat them all.

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Breakfast — why am I so obsessed with it? I appreciate it. I wake up for it. I even crave it at night! Brinner (breakfast for dinner) is now a crucial part of my diet! My new obsession is skinny french toast with peanut butter and maple syrup. I’m thinking about adding bananas next time. Or bourbon? Yes, probably bourbon.

I seriously might have to create a how-to just on that french toast.

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Fashion wise, cranberry colored jeans are totally the way to go. Except when you spill chocolate donut sprinkles all over them; then bring on the black. Or just get a napkin and stop eating donuts like I should.

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Dec
18

I’m turning the big 24 this Saturday. Do you think it’s normal to celebrate by eating cookies for the ENTIRE WEEK? 

Of course… because you know the world is supposed to end Friday or whatever. So I’m suggesting we all eat cookies this week (good excuse, right?).

But seriously, these cookies are essentially a mini, delicious birthday present to myself.

It occurred to me that this really couldn’t be just ANY cookie though; it had to be incredible. Kinda like those Nutella-stuffed cookies. Wait, what about the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies?  Or those sensational Brown Butter Snickerdoodles? Clearly if a man wants to know the way to my heart, it’s through cookies made with brown butter.

What? Baking your way to love is TOTALLY a thing you know.

Okay, enough about brown butter and man bait and such. Let’s talk cookies because that’s why you are really here. 

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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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Dec
12

I was just thinking about how much has changed this past year. I mean isn’t it a bit exhilarating how fast life happens? We’re learning tough truths, letting go of the things that are out of our control, and heck, we’re growing and changing!

Last year I was working on the east coast.  I barely had any time to blog and was struggling with what I wanted to do with my life. I referred to it as my early quarter life crisis. It was like when Felicity had to choose Ben or Noah, and decided to become an artist (seriously, go buy all the seasons of Felicity). Anyway, it wasn’t until I was completely lost did I discover my passion that I absolutely had to pursue. It was so obvious at that point: food is the recipe to my heart and happiness! I love creating it, photographing it, and eating it.

I know I talk a lot about following your dreams and living your passion, but that’s because I completely believe in it! Helping you, whether it’s in your kitchen or in your life is essentially apart of my success.

Today’s success comes in the form of soup. A soup that I’m completely in love with. Of course, I’m in love with a lot of things, but simple soup fills me up with contentment. Adding crispy lime and salt studded corn tortilla chips on top just makes it that much better.

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Dec
10

When I fall in love, I’m head over heels. I’m the type of person who can’t get enough of a good thing.

And today I’m introducing you to the recent love of my life: brown butter.

I think it will be particularly helpful, as many of my cookie recipes use brown butter.

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is a crazy good thing. No really crazy freaking good. Basically unsalted butter is melted in a saucepan which separates the butter and milk. The milk from the butter sinks to the bottom of the pan, which essentially browns and turns a caramel color. The french call is beurre noisette, which translates to hazelnut butter. I believe it’s called this because once the butter is brown, it gives off a nutty aroma. I love it from the bottom of my heart… obviously.

What do you need?

Unsalted butter, a medium saucepan, and a whisk.

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Dec
06

This past weekend I attended Mixed Conference, my very first food blogging conference. OH.MY.GOODNESS it was full of food, fun, and new friends! Huge shout out to Lucky Leaf for sponsoring me to attend!

I began my trip with a short pit stop for a few days in Boston where I was visiting a friend from Australia. We had the best time; I can’t wait to share more photos with you soon! After that I jetted to Roanoke, VA in a tiny plane. A little frightening, but I made it! From there we took a shuttle to Mountain Lake Resort & Hotel, where the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed. The original movie was filmed before I was born, so I was a little clueless but whatever… if there’s food, I’m there.

When I arrived there was a huge pile of Hershey’s candy on my bed. I wanted to throw them in the trash (for obvious reasons) but decided to eat all of the ones with fillings because that seemed like a compromise. You know because not eating all of the candy is excusable in some weird way… it’s kind of like when you tell people, ‘well I only had half of my giant double cheeseburger’. Okay and plus, peppermint patties and Reese’s peanut butter cups are dear to my heart.

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Dec
05

During my younger years, my Mom used to bring me along to grocery store while she went shopping. I was always excited to go on these weekly trips because I knew she would buy me the crispy wedge fries from the Deli counter. They were incredibly delicious and basically everything you need in your life at the age of four. Especially when you’ve got ketchup to dip them in.

I specifically remember the fries having this incredible crunchy golden brown coating on the outside with a hint of spice. But the inside? Pure bliss. An incredibly soft texture that I still remember to this day. We called them Joe-Joes; I’m still not really sure why.

Anyway there I’d be sitting and snacking delightfully on my little bag of Joe-Joes with a little (or A LOT) of ketchup all over my hands and face. I was probably grinning ear to ear.

Is it wrong that I kind of want to do that again? Probably. Well because adults don’t sit in shopping carts, nor do they have messy faces or hands.

Growing up is tough guys… especially when you grow out of eating joe-joes. However, I’ve realized that fries can be so much better with flavor combinations that could fill up an entire book and dipping sauces that are completely creative.

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Dec
03

As the holiday season quickly approaches, our ovens will continue to warm. Butter, flour and sugar will be tossed in bowls. Cookies will fill our bellies. Our hearts will sing with love and our faces will fill with laughter. And the gift giving will begin! Oh but what to give this year? You don’t have money to spend, and you’re not sure what your friends will like. Well, I have a super tasty solution that won’t be forgotten.

Banana bread! Yes, seriously!

It’s goes a little something like this: here I baked you something from scratch. I put a bunch of love and bananas into a bowl, added flour and a smidgen of other things. No really, I did! Then I popped it in the oven for an entire hour, just staring through the window with the oven light on, waiting patiently for that dang bread to rise and turn that gorgeous golden brown.  Wait, and then you know happened? Well I resisted eating an entire loaf just so I can bring it over to YOU. You know, so YOU could eat the entire loaf and experience the happiness that occurs after shoveling three slices in your mouth. Yeah, that’s love right there; resisting freshly baked banana bread.

Sure banana breads are simple… but they’re GOOD. And actually quite perfect paired with freshly brewed coffee or a glass of wine. You see, people don’t forget banana breads. People DO forget what movie you bought them or that gift card you handed over.

Here are some of my favorite banana breads to make AND an intro to some of my favorite kitchen baking accessories:

Healthy Coconut Banana Bread.  One of my favorites! Made with greek yogurt, a splash of orange juice and coconut. This bread is tropical and gorgeous. WAIT, and there are only about 120 calories per slice! My advice? Buy this awesome Wilton Excelle Elite 4-Cup Mini Loaf Pan! You can totally make a couple of mini loafs and keep one for yourself. My friend Courtney has some pretty ideas for Holiday gift wrapping on her blog Pizzazzerie!

 

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Nov
29

Soup is one of my favorite things during the cold winter months. I literally dream about the days where I can sit with a good book, a cup of soup, and a slice of crusty bread to soak up  all that warm comfort left on the bottom of my bowl.

And of course in between eating pie for breakfast (there were leftovers!) and shoveling Christmas cookies in my mouth; my soul craves soup. Perhaps because it’s the only thing that isn’t made up of purely sugar and butter. Goodness, my body needs a break from that. And this soup? Well, it leaves me full, warm, and richly satisfied.

The butternut squash is roasted in the oven to bring out it’s natural sweetness. Meanwhile the apples, carrots and onions are sauteed with a bit of cinnamon. Lastly the maple and milk are added. The soup is easily pureed into a fairly thick and creamy delight which ends up being quite delicious paired with croutons, or a warm crusty bread for dipping.

It’s really quite perfect in between those overindulgent family get-togethers, cookies exchanges, and peppermint lattes.
Enjoy!
 
 
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