Nut Bars & Musings of an #SSS

salted nut bars

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


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”

apple banana lemon green smoothie [recipe]

photo 3

Green smoothies continue to be all the rage in the realm of healthy food trends. There’s something about drinking your greens in a tasty, cleansing smoothie that makes those vegetables much more appetizing.

In my town, we’ve been experiencing a bit of a heat wave this week. Because I had frozen bananas stocked up in the fridge (confession: I quite frequently eat them straight out of the freezer like popsicles), it was even simpler to whip up this cooling smoothie in a matter a seconds. Continue reading “apple banana lemon green smoothie 

Marcy’s Jewish Almond Cookies


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.


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”

Can’t Get Enough Pumpkin


Are you tired of pumpkin yet?

Me? I never get tired of pumpkin.

Before the holidays end and the cans of pumpkin puree become relegated to the lowest shelf in the supermarket, we purchase canned pumpkin in bulk and keep it in our garage. Talk about pumpkin goodness all year long.

Besides enjoying the canned pumpkin in a rich pumpkin bread with cocoa accents, I just found another way to get my “pumpkin fix.”

Cue the pumpkin pie smoothie. It’s a light, nutritious and delicious breakfast or mid-afternoon snack packed with wholesome ingredients such steel cut oats and chia seeds. Continue reading “Can’t Get Enough Pumpkin”

A smoothie to jump-start your morning

I do agree that there has been a bit of a hiatus in my little corner of the Web recently.

Junior year seems just as crazy as people said it would be. I constantly feel like I’m running on too few hours of sleep as I juggle a sport, a student magazine publication and school work.


Nonetheless, I try to eat as healthfully as possible although it has not always been easy. The past week, the school magazine has been in production meaning that on most days, I haven’t gone home until it’s dark outside. At the same time, production week means that there’s chips, popcorn, salsa, pretzels and snacks galore because high school students need to somehow fuel their sleep-deprived brains.

Suffice to say, I’m all for healthy breakfasts to start off the day on the right foot. Or should I say on the right food?

This date smoothie which is kind of based on The Kitchn‘s recipe can be whipped up on any busy morning.


Banana Date Chia Smoothie

Serves 1

1 frozen banana

2-3 Mejool dates, pitted

1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other kind of milk)

1 teaspoon chia seeds, soaked in 1 tablespoon of water for 15 minutes

1 teaspoon flaxseed meal or wheat germ


Sea Salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender for about 30 seconds until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add a pinch of sea salt.



PB&J Thumbprint Freezer Cookies

P1040874 I love cookies but I don’t love the way our convection oven is like a heater. Especially during the summer, I want to satisfy my sweet tooth quickly and without too much unnecessary sweat.

But crisis averted! With these PB&J freezer cookies, you only need a microwave and a freezer or fridge. If you prefer not to microwave, the binding ingredients could be melted in a saucepan on the stove.

These cookies are a twist on that classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One of my best memories of PB&J was in my 6th grade English class. The goal was to teach us young middle schoolers how to write clearly. After we each wrote instructions for the steps to create a sandwich, the teacher got her hands dirty and made the sandwich exactly the way she interpreted our instructions. Suffice to say, my classmates ended up with open-faced sandwiches, peanut butter or jelly spread on the bread with bare hands, or no sandwich at all. Mine turned out to be a decent sandwich besides the fact that I had forgotten to clarify the need to remove the plastic knives. My sandwich had a few plastic knives smooshed in the middle. At least mine was edible.

No worries, though. I guarantee that these cookies (and the cookie dough) are 100% edible!

P1040860  P1040863  P1040866  P1040870 Continue reading “PB&J Thumbprint Freezer Cookies”

oil-free granola

Welcome to the first official post in my new series, From the Mixed Up Manila Folder (aka FMUMF), where I cook recipes from a stash of newspaper clippings. 

I’ve been waiting a long time to share this granola recipe with you. It’s one of my family’s staples because once you make a (double) batch, it’s the perfect grab-and-go breakfast, post school/work sustenance and even a satisfying late night snack. Plus, its versatility makes it ideal for delicious yogurt parfaits, breakfast cereal bowls, and granola baked goods.

Granola cup – homemade granola, almond milk, sliced bananas and strawberries

Continue reading “oil-free granola”