Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Recipe for Friendship in 2012

In yoga the other day, as my head and upper back fell into an easy forward bend, the instructor asked us to think about the year 2011, and to let our actions and experiences shape our vision for 2012. So, as the blood rushed into my upside down head, I did a quick review of the events and people that have made a mark on me in the past year and thought about where I am now as a result of certain events and special people. 

How awesome are these gingerbread cookies? 
photo from http://www.yogadork.com/news/because-its-friday-gingerbread-yoga-cookies/

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rugelach for Chanukah

If you read the title correctly and out loud, you should be choking on a bit of phlegm right now. Take a moment to sort yourself out.

All sorted? Good.

I mentioned on Christmas that I made a yummy Jewish cookie to bring to a very non-Jewish event that happened to land on a Jewish holiday.

Rugelach are often made for Chanukah as well as other holidays because they are so delicious. The secret is in the cream cheese crust! Seriously, how smart are Jews?! We put cream cheese in everything! On our bagels, in our kugels, and in the creme de la creme of little pastry cookies — Rugelach!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Red Velvet Brownies Follow the Feast of the Seven Fishes

This year, my family celebrated Christmas Eve in the traditional Southern Italian way — by indulging in a Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci) at my cousins' half Jewish, half Roman Catholic house.

While the Feast of the Seven Fishes originated with seven fish dishes, our particular feast included even more types of fish and was followed up with twice as many types of desserts, including the Red Velvet Brownies and two types of Rugelach I brought.

The dessert spread, starting with my cousin's Tiramisu cake

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fat Mint Cookies

For such small cookies, these little guys were a HUGE hit. One of my bosses (and everyone else’s boss) named these cookies when he tried to explain how much he enjoyed them: “I thought they were Fat Mints. You know? Those Girl Scout cookies?”

…he meant Thin Mints.


I couldn’t resist renaming my creation "Fat Mint Cookies" (originally Polka Dot Cookies). For these tiny, minty cookies that look like plumped up versions of my favorite Girl Scout cookies, "Fat Mints" is just the perfect name!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oreo Truffle Surprise

Lately at work, everyone has been on edge due to fast approaching deadlines and a company-wide meeting on Friday — all of our out-of-towners are coming in for the holiday party this weekend, so our assignments are all due before they arrive.

Last Friday we all un-wound with several batches of break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies that had been sitting in the freezer in case of emergencies. Several of us also indulged in a most-epic Nerf gun war.

This week, the marketing team planned a “Blitz” day that involved all of us locking ourselves in one of the conference rooms and cranking out work through dinner. The mere thought of it made me yearn for my baking things. Unfortunately, my supply is quite limited these days. 

Lucky me, (and lucky co-workers) there has been an incredibly simple, show-stopping, NO-bake recipe floating around the food blogging world: Oreo Truffles. Requiring only 3-4 ingredients (5 if you want them to look fancy), Oreo Truffles take about 25 minutes to make, not including freeze time.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Cinnamon Chip Cupcake Ode to Firenze

Rather than bore you with a three-stanza lyrical verse, I'll just get to the point. I haven't written in over a week or baked anything new in almost as long. My apologies.

On second thought, I may still write an Ode to Firenze or something along those lines and see what I can do to link it to baking... maybe I'll write each verse on a cookie.

...I'm still working out the details in my mind, but look forward to whatever I come up with!

A View of Old Florence from Across the Arno River
I would write a verse in Italian, but the Italian vocabulary I’ve retained since my semester in Florence one year and a half ago is really pathetic. I used to be able to interpret any menu and find my way around a train station in perfect(ly flawed) Italian. Now, I can’t even remember how to say “I’d like a glass of red wine please,” which was one of the first phrases I mastered – wine is very important in Italy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1 Minute Peanut Butter Cake

It could be the many hours I've spent holding a hand mixer while I mix up batters for baking. It could be the solid 45 minutes I spent holding a hair dryer at a 90-degree angle creating this melted crayon masterpiece over the week:


It could also be my total and complete refusal to do any kind of weight lifting or muscle-building push-ups. Whatever the cause, the result is undeniable: my right shoulder, neck, and back hurt. I’m talking chronic nagging pain that won’t go away with a simple stretch or rub. I figured I should take it easy for a few days until my body healed itself, which unfortunately means no heavy lifting and no baking. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not Your Typical College Football Party...


Michigan 40, Ohio State 34.

I am SO PROUD to be a Michigan Wolverine right now!

Yesterday was a momentous day for Michigan Football:
  • We beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003! (2,926 days since our last victory against Ohio State!)
  • For the first time since I started following Michigan football as a lowly freshman in 2007, Michigan finished the season with 10 wins!
  • For the first time in program history, Michigan won all 8 of their home games!
  • After the big win, everyone rushed the field– something that NEVER happened while I was a student!

Why, oh why did I have to graduate on time? 

I SOOOO wish I could have been there!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friendsgiving Giant Maize and Blue Cookie

Last year, the weekend before Thanksgiving featured a "family" feast shared between my house and our sister house across the street where some of our best friends lived. We divided up the cooking and joined together on my living room floor for Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all our favorite dishes, many bottles of wine, and a turkey costume.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Movember Manly Cupcake Contest — Mos of the Movies

It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Compare this to 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disparity between how much publicity, fundraising, and research is dedicated to each seems obscene — breast cancer receives far more on each of these counts and as of 2010, breast cancer research received double the funding as prostate cancer research.

Given that I participated in Frosting for the Cause — an online organization designed to raise awareness and funding of women’s cancer research — last month, it seems only fair that I do something for the leading male cancer.

Enter the 2011 Manly Movember Cupcake Contest — an online competition to create the tastiest and manliest cupcakes that fit the theme "Mos in Movies," while raising awareness of prostate cancer. I’m so there!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes Painted Purple


This week’s GO BLUE post is dedicated to a color bigger than blue — Purple!
…Because it’s made from a combination of blue and red …
…Twice the color …
…Get it?

Earlier in the season, I pledged to bake something Michigan themed every week. While plotting out all of the possible Michigan themed baked goodies I could create, blueberry served well as a go-to ingredient — in theory anyway. As it turns out, blueberries are not blue at all once you bake them into something, and if you heat them on their own, the purple REALLY comes out.

Yesterday, as I browsed the web for recipes (an activity that is fast becoming my Saturday morning ritual), I stumbled upon Paint it Purple, an annual global campaign created in 2010 by The Pixel Project to raise the profile of the USA’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month worldwide (description copied verbatim from the website). The campaign has since been extended into November to account for November 24: the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence.

The project and the message — it's time to stop violence against women together — really touched me, and I knew immediately I needed to become involved. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Very Berry Crostata

Weeks ago I made a rustic free-form berry tart, but never shared the recipe because it was ugly. Delicious, but a visionary disaster.

Still, because it tasted so great, I haven't been able to accept the idea of keeping it off this blog just because it didn't present a nice photo-op. I'm still working on (drastically) improving my food photography skills, so why not share the good, the bad, and the really @#%$ ugly during this learning period?

With all the buzz about Veteran's day going on in my office this week, I thought now would be as a good a time as ever to share the ugly and tasty Berry Crostata I've been withholding.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Bananas

One of the perks of living with my aunt and uncle is the abundance of ready-to-eat foods. K-cups for instant coffee, frozen meals from Trader Joes, take out meals from Whole Foods, and plenty of fruits and veggies for snacking. I've gotten into the habit of eating a banana for breakfast every morning, and accordingly, have not seen a single banana in the house turn brown... until now.

TWO very spotted bananas sat on the counter staring at me yesterday, quietly chanting: "Bake Me. Bake Me."


Naturally, I couldn't resist the temptation. At first impulse, I thought banana bread or banana muffins, but then I decided to be a bit more creative and make banana cookies. Totally original right?

Wrong - the Internet is filled with banana-based cookie recipes. So, I picked one, adapted it slightly, and set to work baking these Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies - a cakey and semi-nutritious delight!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

GO BLUE-berry Pancake Breakfast

After we moved out of the dorms and into our first apartments, houses, or sorority houses sophomore year, my freshman friends and I started a tradition that would continue throughout college of getting together one Game Day Saturday a year for a pancake breakfast. I was thinking of them this morning (noon) as I made these Lemon-Scented GO BLUE-berry Pancakes.

After perusing ALL my old photos for a worthy one to post, I have to ask my freshman friend buddies: Why are there NO photos from any pancake breakfast!?!

I've been forced to resort to a select few embarrassing photos from freshman year - consider it punishment for lack of more recent photos, and a few photos of our second favorite activity after eating pancakes - partying.

And, as an apology for posting these images, here's a montage from my pancake breakfast this morning... OK, it was after noon.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

I thought the Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins for among the best things I've ever made, but when I brought these Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips into work a few days later, my boss declared, "these are the best things I've ever eaten... the best!"

So, if you are a pumpkin fan, cookie fan, or just someone who enjoys life, give these cookies a go. They may or may not have been my breakfast for two days in a row... OK, they absolutely were my breakfast for two days in a row.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Filled Dark Chocolate PMS-Buster Brownies topped with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Is there a woman reading this who has ever woken up at in the middle of the night feeling extra moody and crampy? How about a man reading this who thinks PMS is something women made up to create an excuse to bitch once a month? To the woman reader, I've got your remedy. To the man, go to hell.

... Just kidding (sort of).

I woke up this morning transformed into a new person - today, instead of the cheery Young Idealistic Baker you may be used to, Cranky McSourpuss will be guest posting about these scrumptious Candy Filled Dark Chocolate Brownies PMS-Busters topped with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (and an M&M "M" - GO BLUE!)


Editor's Note: After devouring a chunk of brownie, Cranky McSourpuss is feeling a little bit better.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins

I almost regretted making these Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins when I took them out of the oven and realized they looked just like some store-bought mini pumpkin muffins that had been sitting in my office kitchen for a few days. Then I ate one and that mild sense of regret melted into a sigh of pleasures my senses were overcome with the surprisingly pleasant taste and texture of the donut.

My aunt declared: "perfect taste, perfect texture. The pumpkin really comes through." After brief discussion, we decided that from a scientific analytical point of view, these donuts made no sense. How can something that looks like a mini muffin or cupcake taste so light and fluffy like a donut? How do they achieve their donut-y texture with neither yeast nor vat of hot oil?


True, they weren't so light as a fried donut, but they could give any of the best cake donuts a run for their money. In fact, in a comparison to the Dunkin' Donuts version of a baked pumpkin munchkin donut I bought on a my way to work one day, these were a mile ahead in the race - DELISH!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies

On a typical day at 9am, I'm sitting (sometimes standing) on a train, commuting to work. A few times a week, I get to depend on the kindness of some neighbor co-workers who pick me up so I don't have to ride the train. Lucky for me, today is one of those days, and the reason why I can say it's 9am, and I have already accomplished so much!

Earlier this morning, with the help and driving assistance of my aunt, I delivered a batch of cookies to the Chestnut Hill branch of Brigham and Women's Hospital.


I made these special cookies as part of my contribution to Frosting for the Cause, an organization that asks guest bloggers to create a batch of baked goods, guest post on Frosting for the Cause, and donate the goods to a local hospital or Cancer Society office. I posted about signing up back in July and you can read about it now, if you missed that post.

To read about the Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies that I made and topped with White Chocolate Crusting Buttercream Frosting, go to Frosting for the Cause to read my guest post! While you're there, be sure to check out some of the other bloggers' amazing recipes and stories about women they know who have been affected by a woman's cancer such as breast or cervical cancer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegan Gluten Free Fruity Peanut Butter Oatmeal Mounds

Late Thursday night (9pm: not that late, but hey – I’m a working woman now) I scoured the web a little desperately to find a recipe that could hold up to three very important qualifications:
  1. Must be gluten-free (to accommodate for my co-worker’s gluten intolerance) 
  2. Must be dairy-free (she’s lactose-intolerant too – talk about high maintenance!) 
  3. Must call for ONLY ingredients that I already had on hand 
Thank goodness I found a recipe for Vegan Gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies during a Big Bang Theory commercial break!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michigan vs. Michigan State Hard Apple Cider Pie

A warning: This pie, much like today's football game underwent a series of ups and downs in its preparation, followed by an outcome that was less than satisfactory. It did taste nice though, so if it still sounds like something you'd want to try out, be sure to read through and learn from my mistakes.

Before I can get to the Hard Apple Cider Pie, I have to tell you a bit about how it relates to Michigan football. So... a bit of background:

The Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry is a very big deal to fans of both schools' football teams! Those who grew up in Michigan also grew up rooting for one team or the other, and those of us who grew up elsewhere and moved to Michigan for school had to scramble to keep up with the rivalry.

Sometimes the banter is friendly, but other times the back-and-forth insults can be downright nasty.

Thanks to this guy, my house said "U of M is a Toilet" from the day of the
Michigan vs.  Michigan State game until the day I moved out!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes and a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Rain, rain, go away. Come again when my commute to work doesn't include a 10-minute walk uphill to the office from the T-station (subway stop, for all you non-Boston folks).

It's days like this that make you long for sweat pants and hot coffee or tea. At work, I compromise by kicking my shoes under my desk and sipping some pumpkin-flavored coffee from our kitchen.

For the weekend though, I have bigger plans: a super special Michigan vs. Michigan dessert to accompany tomorrow's big game, and these pumpkin pancakes I made once last week that I'll pair with a homemade pumpkin spice latte, the taste of which rivals Starbucks!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Maize and Blue Shapable Butter Cookies

After nearly two months apart from some of my best friends and even more time apart from some others, I spent the entirety of last week giddy with excitement for my looming weekend in Chicago. I made sleeping arrangements, followed the weather forecast with increasing disbelief at my good fortune for going to Chicago during the warmest and most beautiful October days I could dream of, and perused the web for a recipe that would both capture the Michigan spirit and travel easily without crumbling into an colossal mess. Thus the birth of these Maize and Blue Shapable Butter Cookies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin + Snickerdoodle = A really good cookie

Add some homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice, and you've hit it out of the park!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Spice

To make almost any good pumpkin recipe you need a key set of spices that come together to make Pumpkin Pie Spice. This delectable Fall spice can be purchased pre-made in an expensive tiny package at your local grocery store OR you can save the cash, make only as much as you need, and see how cool the inside of a whole nutmeg looks after it's been grated if you make it yourself at home!



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maize Salsa, Blue Chips

Maize Salsa, Blue Chips. Great concept. Easy to pull off. Easier still to mess up.



Let me explain. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Sweet Finale to the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival


After 3 months of the 3-part Weight Stigma Blog Carnival, the end is here. And I’m stumped. Affected by writer’s block. And late!

The third installation was scheduled for Wednesday, September 28, but before I realized what was happening the day had come and gone.

Follow that with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year from sundown on the 28th to sundown on the 29th, and I’m not a full 2 days late. My apologies to everyone who was eagerly awaiting this post, checking back hourly to see if I’d created it yet. I’m sure many of your were sorely disappointed when I failed to post on time (assuming you noticed, that is).

The third and final Weight Stigma Blog Carnival question is was: “How is weight stigma (in culture) a form of abuse that can lead to trauma and/or possibly to eating disorders?”

Well, I think I answered this question pretty well in POST #2 as I studied magazine articles, book titles, and shared my own negative feelings toward them. Remember those adorable cupcake and muffin cartoons that allowed me to tie-in my love of baking with my hopes of contributing to social change?

How about now?


Monday, September 26, 2011

Ribbon Birthday Cake — Four Layers and Flavors, One Cake


For my mom's 18th birthday, my aunt and uncle baked her this aesthetically pleasing and tastebud stimulating Ribbon Birthday Cake. This was years ago, and the recipe has been preserved on a piece of notebook paper in a binder. 


For my cousin's birthday this weekend, I thought it would be fun to replicate the cake.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, Banana Rum Cupcakes For Me ... GO BLUE!

Once again, it's game day Saturday and I want to share some memories and a recipe that has to do with Michigan Football. While neither Maize nor Blue, these Banana Rum Cupcakes with Rum Buttercream Frosting brought back some of the happiest memories from a game last year.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candied Orange Peels Dipped in Chocolate

When I arrived to my aunt's house earlier this week carting a tupperware container of these Candied Orange Peels Dipped in Chocolate, she asked if I was channeling my Grandma Margaret. Apparently this simple treat was a favorite of hers, and for good reason - yum!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pizza Pie Goodbye (and Frosting)

Less than one month ago, I was enjoying my final days in Ann Arbor with my friends and packing up to leave. Now once again I find myself packing up my things and rushing to do all of those last minute things: haircut, doctor's appointments, etc. 

And naturally, I'm baking several things in the final days before my big move. Today I spent several hours making my kitchen citrus-scented, but because nothing is ready to eat yet, I want to share my final creations from Ann Arbor instead.


I made this pizza for dinner with my roommate on our last Friday night in town. We shared it on the porch (best place in the house!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Childhood Memories Sweeten the Transition into Adulthood

First things first: If you like butterscotch, buttercream, and/or cream soda, this post holds the recipe for you! Read on!...



Saturday, September 10, 2011

BLUE Velvet Cake Swirled with Colored White Cake - Go BLUE

Six hours of baking, 50 cupcakes, and oh so much food coloring later, I managed to create two-cake cupcakes. BLUE Velvet Cake Swirled with Colored White Cake. Happy Football Saturday everybody!



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cheering on Michigan from the Beach

Today is the first Michigan football game of the season, and I’m not there. Instead I’m at my Aunt and Uncle’s beach house on Cape Cod with my family, cooking meals with my cousins and thinking of all the memories that I associate with this house. 

I remember building cabins in the upstairs living room out of Lincoln Logs with my cousins.

That little one in the center is me!

I remember a house full of cousins and a dining room table overflowing with fresh fruit and nuts to snack on all day long.

I remember walking along the beach and collecting hermit crabs, bringing them back to the house in a bucket, and then discovering them all dead in their bucket the next day — what’d I do wrong?

The last time I visited the Cape, I dragged my friend out to my favorite childhood location — the Harwich Trampoline Center. Never too old for trampolines!


Today I’m remembering all of my favorite things about Cape Cod, because if I start remembering my favorite things about Michigan Football Season, it will make me too sad.

The season is just getting started though and I will definitely be thinking (and baking) in terms of Michigan often from here on out.

I made football cupcakes once before for this past year’s Super Bowl. How creative will my baking become this football season? Keep checking back to find out!


GO BLUE!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weight Stigma's Effects on Body Dissatisfaction

In July, I discovered the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival and pledged to post three times over three months to do my part in raising awareness about weight stigma.

Maybe it's because I'd been working out ideas for my monthly post for the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival, or maybe it was that headlines about health, and dieting, and weight loss were seriously everywhere while I traveled from airport to airport to airport last Thursday, but suddenly I could not escape the effects of weight stigma.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lessons in the Kitchen and One Really Good Key Lime Curd

Since I started this blog, I’ve been proud of myself many times. I’ve been a proud baker following a delicious experiment with my Banana Oreo Muffins, and the successful execution of an intimidating dessert with the Goat Cheese Souffles.

I’ve been a proud blogger as well, every time someone comments who isn’t biologically related to me. No offense Mom and Aunts, but knowing that there are people out there who read my blog and have never even met me is very humbling. Hitting 1,000 views was pretty exciting as well. 

I’ve also experienced a few disappointments, usually looked at through rose-colored glasses. The ice cream I attempted to make for the cupcake and ice cream contest turned out like slush, but the cupcakes were delicious and the Almond Buttercream Frosting was good enough to eat with a spoon. The watermelon cupcakes lacked watermelon flavor, but they looked pretty and I made a great Mojito out of the watermelon mint syrup.

Most recently, I made a dessert I was really looking forward to, only to end up with lackluster results. At least in this case, I’m fairly certain I can attribute part of the failure to the ingredients and not the baker.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paula Dean's Peach Cobbler

I went into making Paula Dean's recipe for Peach Cobbler determined to achieve two goals. The first: Use the peaches I purchased to bake with BEFORE they go bad. Remember the mold fiasco with my peaches when I wanted to make Peach Tea Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting also from Paula Dean?



The second goal: Improve my food photography.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Forest (-esque) Cupcakes

When I arrived home earlier this week, I was greeted with mixed messages:
  • We're so happy to have you back, and we're never letting you go again. Now you better get a job and move out soon.
  • I know you like to bake and will have a lot of free time to do so, but if you make me fat I'll be furious. Now make something with those cherries because they're going bad.

I was happy enough to oblige with the request to bake something with cherries, and respectfully reminded my mom that I would never force her to eat anything I'd baked. I'm simply here to create and offer delicious goodies. The effects of consuming such treats — well, that's on the consumer.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Serviceberry Cupcakes from the Street (An economical alternative to store-bought berries)



Back in Orlando, I'm still thinking of the summer in Ann Arbor and missing my friends. Months ago, I concocted a cupcake recipe and matching frosting made from berries I found growing on a tree next to a bank. The story is as follows:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out with a Cupcake - Bye Michigan

This post is bittersweet, and that's not just a reference to the Chocolate Ganache or Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting I used to top these Peanut Butter Cupcakes.


Today marks the day I move out of my college house in Michigan and back into my parents' house in Florida until I take a job elsewhere, preferably in a big city.

These past few weeks have been emotionally charged and incredibly strange. I've said, "goodbye" to many of my best friends, finished working at each of my jobs, packed up and shipped home all the things I'm keeping, and thrown out or donated the rest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Goat Cheese Souffles for Two

One of the first recipes I bookmarked this year was one I found for goat cheese souffles. Souffles have both awed and intrigued me ever since I ordered my first one at a fancy restaurant. It was chocolate heaven!

These goat cheese souffles caught my attention immediately. However, I was so intimidated by the idea of making (and the fear of ruining) my own souffles that I kept putting it off. I also learned that even though I imagined goat cheese souffles would be delicious and fabulous, others found the concept to be a little weird. Therefore I had to wait for a time when I could make these to share with someone who would savor and enjoy them as I knew I would.

This past Thursday, because my sister was visiting and because it was my last Thursday in my beloved college home, I faced my fear and baked little ramekins of goat cheese heaven for the two of us.





Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tumbling

Confession Hour: I'm cheating on my Blogger blog with Tumblr.

This blog continues as it has been - lovely written blogs about food, nonprofit organizations, and whatever else I decide is appropriate for this Young Idealistic Baker.

The Tumblr will link to this blog whenever there is a new post, but will also link to other websites and blogs related to nonprofit organizations or baking recipes. It will also feature pictures that didn't make it to the full blog, but that I think are worth sharing, food fun facts, and whatever else comes to mind. A post a day! I'm in the process of filling in all of the recipes here, but have already added some pictures and links that you'll only find on the Tumblr.

Check it out, but keep coming back here for full posts and recipes.

By the way, today is National S'Mores Day!

Happy baking! And, more importantly, happy eating s'mores!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars


Always on the hunt for grab-and-go breakfast ideas, I started to research breakfast bars made with oatmeal and banana. The first banana oatmeal bars I considered making called for an entire cup of butter. That’s two sticks! That’s more butter than I’ve ever used to make a cake… A CAKE!

Therefore, I continued searching until I found this recipe that contained no butter, only 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and most importantly added peanut butter to the concept.

When I was a kid, my favorite thing to have for lunch was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It was great on regular bread, and especially delicious on challah!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars? Cha-ching! Sign me up. I quickly pulled two bananas out of my freezer to defrost and use.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherry Crumb Muffins

I woke up yesterday to a text from my mom telling me to check out Google. Anyone else see it? The home page had a little tribute to Lucille Ball in honor of her would-be 100th birthday. Now, I have been a long time fan of "I Love Lucy," and suddenly felt inspired to bake. 

I've had this snap shot from the show on display in my college room for the last four years.

To properly honor the brilliant comedian, I decided to bake something containing the three ingredients of Vitameatavegamin: 

Vitamins, Meat, and Vegetables...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Birthday Bloggin'


TODAY, for my birthday, I will be making my way around Ann Arbor for some of its finest desserts and collecting all the birthday specials I can. Here are some cake truffles my sweet roommate bought for me along with the adorable cupcake card in the back. Thanks A!

(Clockwise from left: key lime, chocolate peanut butter, caramel apple cider, and vanilla birthday cake)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes for Two

After a long day of working, packing, and errand running, I was sitting back in my living room when my sweet tooth and my baking bug partnered up and hit me full force. I needed some dessert. I needed it bad.

I pulled up my computer and did a scan of all the recipes I've book-marked in recent months. Every recipe that called for ingredients I lacked or that made some 20 + servings got scratched. I wanted a bite of something sweet, not an armload, and I was not about to go grocery shopping.

After just a moment I hit the jackpot. Individual Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes... For Two!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Baked Oatmeal (Muffins)

While many think of the summer as I time to relax and hit the beach, I have a different view. I see the summer as time to catch up on everything I’ve wanted to do all year but haven’t had time for:
  • That stack of books next to my bed that gets higher faster than I can read one
  • One particular novel in Spanish that I’m hoping will refine my Spanish language skills
  • Start the baking blog I’ve been dreaming about for months
At least one of those bucket list items was accomplished.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weight Stigma Blog Carnival Part 1

I came across the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival thanks to a post I found on the Body Peace Corp's Facebook page

The Body Peace Corps is a student group at the University of Michigan that promotes healthy body image among college students and teenagers. I became involved with this group last year and have thought of it many times since I started this baking blog. More specifically, I think of it when I ask myself, "can I be a health conscious baker or is that an oxymoron?"

I also think about the Body Peace Corps whenever I find myself straying from thinking "healthy" to thinking "thin." In today's weight-obsessed society, remaining health-focused rather than weight-concerned can be difficult.


As soon as I finished reading the information and rules for the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival, on voiceinrecovery.com, I knew I was going to take part in this series of events. Essentially, I will post a blog on the last Wednesday of every month for the next three months regarding weight stigma until Weight Stigma Awareness Week September 26-30. 

The first topic that all participating bloggers are responding to is simply titled: What does weight stigma mean to you?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Frosting for the Cause

The summer after graduation is filled with a lot of uncertainty for those of us who aren't going to graduate school in the fall and are still looking for post-summer employment.

Frosting for the CauseSure, we're keeping busy now. I'm working no fewer than three jobs (two paid, one volunteer) and blogging in addition to job hunting and future planning. It's also important to me that I make time to hang out with my college friends who I won't be seeing as frequently come August and staying in touch with the ones who have already left Ann Arbor.

Despite all that I'm doing now, I can never quite evade the question, "so what are you doing next year?" that follows me everywhere I go. Every neighbor, friend, and family member who doesn't already know my condition asks me this question within moments of saying, "hello."