Really Good Oatmeal Cookies [recipe]

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Ah, oatmeal.

It seems that people either love it or hate it with a passion.

I’m a fan, but oatmeal can be a divisive subject within my family.

Dad: OK, I’ll eat it because it’s a fresh, hot breakfast.

Mom: This is so healthy for you – it’s whole grains and is good for lowering your cholesterol

Younger Sister #1: Eh, not oatmeal again. It’s not my favorite.

Younger Sister #2: I think I’m going to eat waffles with whipped cream for breakfast instead.

My grandma: (nodding her head) I love oatmeal. I eat it with salted egg and dried fish for breakfast and it’s almost like Chinese rice porridge.

So, you see, even within my family everyone has their own reaction when they see a pot of oatmeal sitting on the stovetop in the morning. To each their own, I suppose.

I might do a future post about some of my favorite *healthy* oatmeal toppings, but for now, here’s an oatmeal cookie recipe that can please everybody except those people who really can’t stand chocolate, dried cranberries, raisins, and sugar. Continue reading “Really Good Oatmeal Cookies 

Nut Bars & Musings of an #SSS

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It’s funny how we use food for both celebrating and for coping.

This has become increasingly evident to me due to one word: college.

In the last two weeks, many early deadline college decisions have been released, either through online portals or in emails. I can’t say I’m a fan of all this digital messaging because it makes the whole process quite impersonal, but such is life.

While these early decisions don’t directly affect me, it has been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster watching some of my friends hear from their top choice schools. When they’ve received good news, food has been used for celebration. And when my friends have unfortunately been rejected or deferred from their top schools, food has been used to as a coping mechanism. (Disclaimer: I don’t recommend this, but sometimes people need to do what they need to do to deal with disappointment.)

All this college hullabaloo makes me feel kind of wishful because I won’t know where I’m going to spend the next few years of my education until late March or April. Four months seems like an eternity. I just keep reminding myself that I and all my friends will eventually find a place where we’ll be happy and able to grow as people. Maybe we’ll find out now, maybe it’ll be in the spring.

Continue reading “Nut Bars & Musings of an #SSS”

Egg Roll Cookies

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My family has a semi-strict rule against purchasing kitchen appliances that only serve one purpose. For example, a cherry pitter or a kiwi knife or a panini maker are absolute no-goes because they take up valuable cabinet real estate. If the device or appliance has only a single capability, we believe that more multi-purpose paring knife or just a good ol’ frying pan can do the trick. Continue reading “Egg Roll Cookies”

Weekend Cheesecake [recipe]

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Let’s talk guilty pleasures.

Okay, yes, in reality there should be no such thing as a “guilty pleasure” because we eat decently healthy 80% of the time, leaving us room to splurge about 20% of the time (the 80-20 rule) without feeling an ounce of guilt.

I don’t follow that suggestion to an absolute “T,” but I do try to eat healthy most of the time and save the not-so-nutritious stuff for special occasions.

All that goes to say that I am a dessert connoisseur — probably not in the way you were thinking. Yes, I always consider my options (and who doesn’t love options?), but I look for quality. If I’m going to have dessert, it better be worth it.  I’m not a fan of a low-fat diet food ice cream sandwich with unpronounceable pseudo ingredients. I want the  real thing made with cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla bean.

Continue reading “Weekend Cheesecake

Marcy’s Jewish Almond Cookies

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Believe it or not, we’re on the verge of entering a new year. It’s crazy to think that 2014 has zoomed by and in just a few hours, when I write the date I’ll have to scribble “5” on top of the “4” I’ve grown used to. It’s a struggle until February when 2014 starts to feel like the long-lost past.

Can you tell that this was supposed to be a Christmas cookie post? Okay, sorry, I am most definitely late to the (cookie recipe exchange) party.

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Nonetheless, if you’re having a major freak-out right now about what you’re bringing to the upcoming New Year’s Eve party tonight, I’ve got you covered. These cookies might have been perfectly timed for Christmas, but with their dusting of snowy powdered sugar and fragile almond bits in the middle, you can enjoy them at any moment of the year. Continue reading “Marcy’s Jewish Almond Cookies”

The Bake Sale Life

P1050390The funniest part of the whole day was when the guy drove back down my dead-end street and slid open his car window.

“Pregnancy cravings,” he said, referring to his very pregnant wife who sat in the passenger seat. We made the quick trade: $3 for a still steamy cranberry orange scone wrapped in a sea foam green paper napkin. Then, he immediately reversed the car all the way down the street towards the corner stop sign.

Mind you, this was after the couple had already walked down all the way to the end of the street and picked up a generously-sized steamy scone. Continue reading “The Bake Sale Life”

Cupcakes in Moderation

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Or so they say. P1050204

Now, of course I’m exaggerating. In this case, the desperate time was the reality of having to go back to school. Most specifically, it was starting junior year, the year every single person I talk to says is the hardest year of high school. 

It’s a bit of a shock to transition from sleeping in until 11 a.m. to waking up before the crack of dawn (or at least while it’s still dark). 

I found myself dreading Monday morning. 

My solution to counting down the days until school began was to whip a batch of Kara Lind’s Chocolate Cupcakes. 

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If you’re not familiar with Kara’s Cupcakes, it is a business started by Cupcakes Wars second place finisher Kara Lind. Kara’s cupcakes are fluffy and light and some flavors are paired with a heavenly cloud of butter cream frosting. I’m lucky enough to go to a school that has a Kara’s right across the street which makes it the perfect place for a minimum day sugar rush. 

Of course, I was overjoyed when I’d found out that the recipe for these chocolate cupcakes was out and I could make them at home. 

Let’s just say that was a perfect way to end my summer. Of course, you can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting following the recipe I used for the banana cake

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Enjoy! 

Bethany 

A Great Way to Spend the Next Few Hours of Your Life: Make No Knead Artisan Bread

If you were waiting in suspense to know how you should spend the next few hours of your life, the wait is over. As a disclaimer, this is from the opinion of an extreme foodie. This foodie happens to believe that food brings people together and therefore is very much worth the effort.

P1030654 Continue reading “A Great Way to Spend the Next Few Hours of Your Life: Make No Knead Artisan Bread”