Chocolate · Cookies · Dessert · Healthy · Winter · Winter Treats

My childhood memories become my adult addiction

Only 4 days left to the Olympics and I am starting to get concerned about how I will spend my time moving forward. For two weeks every two years I completely shut my life down and do nothing but watch athlete after athlete do the impossible. There is a great commercial that references every time the Olympics happen you, the normal folk like you and I, get inspired by these athletes to go out there and do the impossible. I am the number one culprit of this. For two weeks every two years I go to work, rush immediately home and wait until the Olympics are on and then I watch them until well past my bedtime.

This year I am at least doing something with that inspiration and have started pushing myself workout wise AND focusing on my eating. Anya on the daily burn always says “its not just about working out, diet is also important.” Well she says something like that and I have finally said ok, fine, you are right, maybe the pound of gummy bears I eat almost every day, although made with fruit juice so technically a fruit, may not be helping in my progress to lose weight.

I don’t believe in Diets and I don’t believe in denying yourself. I have an addictive personality. No I am not an addict, but I am someone that struggles to say no in a lot of ways whether it be more one more cocktail, one more piece of pizza, one more beige colored cardigan sweater because this one has pockets and the three I already own don’t! Its taken me until just this year to realize that I truly struggle to do things in moderation and also tell myself no, in many ways in my life.

In November I tempted the Whole30 Diet. I made it about 23 days ( probably more like 20 because I think I cheated a couple of times). The problem with this is I was telling myself a COMPLETE NO to things. This doesn’t work for me, it might for others, but not for me. I did it but I did not do it well or enjoy myself. Instead, I am focusing on moderation and not denying myself what I want.

I have set a few rules for myself:

  • Desserts or sweets only on the weekend
  • If i am going to go out to eat or drinking, I need to make sure I workout in the morning
  • Workout, especially when you don’t want to. If you are at home and just watching TV, you have to do a light weight and ab workout.
  • No more drinking at home, only when out (if I have to pay for it, I am less likely to consume as much #poorlife)
  • Cook for the week every weekend
  • BAKE! and then Bake again!

Maybe calling these rules is a bit harsh, I think perhaps they are life mantras, or mantras at least for the moment. Focusing on these mantras or rules should hopefully open my eyes to not how little of something I am doing, but how much of it I was doing prior to now. For me, this is where change can actually happen and become a life change rather than a quick fix.

This weekend I got real crazy and started a new puzzle and spent about 6 hours on Sunday working on it.
When I was a kid I spent summer nights with my mom and sister working on puzzles. We would go to the local multi-purpose store, this was before Target and Walmart existed and buy a new puzzle every few weeks or so. I think we bought every Charles Wysocki puzzle that was every manufacturer in the 90’s and only Charles Wysocki puzzles. Why? Honestly, I have no idea but they are the only puzzles I like to do. There is also a solid chances these were the only puzzles the store sold and thats why we always bought them. Either way, I fell in love with them.

I have fond memories of sitting on our screened in porch at night, with tons of candles and a table lamp, basically in the dark working on our puzzles and listening to the crickets chirping in the summer night. I can’t pinpoint when this all basically stopped. Likely when I started playing soccer in my teen years, which quickly became my life obsession.

A few months ago the store we used to buy our puzzles from, a local family owned business finally closed its doors. It was really sad. It was just a store, but its one of those things in my childhood that holds a lot of memories. My mom and I were reminiscing and I brought up all the puzzles we used to get from there. Two days later, I got a package when I cam home from work. Now, every time I come home and there is a package in the doorway of my building I always look at it. You know, just to double check if its for me, not that I bought anything and not that I am expecting anything, but you never know when someone might just randomly send you something right? Never happen to you either? Well it finally did for me! It was literally so thrilling to actually see a random, spontaneous package waiting for me. I may have squealed a little. Turns out, while we had been chatting my Mom was on Amazon and mailed me a Charles Wyscoki puzzle.

This was about 4 months ago. I blame my father for what happened next. My Dad insisted on buying me Amazon Prime at Christmas. Dad loves Prime he also LOVES Alexa. He asks her to tell him jokes and the weather. He now has her in the living room and the kitchen where she plays music for him while he eats. He wanted me to have an Alexa even though I asked him what would I do with an Alexa? I have a two room apartment so small that it feels cramped when there is more than just myself in it. He just so happened to have an extra Echo to give me and in order to have an Alexa… I had to have Prime.

What comes with Prime?
-Two day free shipping.

What can you order on two day free shipping?
-Every new 1000 piece Charles Wysocki Amazon sells, thats what!
This might go back to the whole addictive personality thing. Also, if you have an Alexa, ask her if she knows the Muffin Man?

Puzzling… I think that’s an actual word… has been really stimulating for me. It gives me something to do on my days off and something that I can easily start and stop if I need too. Its also great to do while you are impatiently waiting for things to cook! This weekend I came across a recipe I made a few times last year for a friend who is GF. I thought I would whip up a batch of these PB and Nutella Crinkle Cookies because I was craving something a little sweet and they are fast and super easy to make. What makes it for me is the chopped, toasted hazelnuts on top.
There are a lot of things you can do with hazelnuts, but like Almonds, if you do not toast them prior to eating them or baking with them,they will taste very raw and almost flour like.

Baked · Breakfast · Cake · Chocolate · Dessert · Donut · Snacks · Valentine's Day · Winter Treats

I never met a donut I didn’t like, until today!

The Donut.

It’s a staple in American culture, it’s an excuse to eat cake for breakfast and it’s flavor and topping options are endless. One thing for me should be a firm constant when it comes to the donut.Donuts should always be fried. Whether it’s a cake donut or my personal favorite, a yeasted donut, they should always be fried: NOT BAKED!

Donut pans are something I only recently started using. About a year ago I was teaching a donut class and had my first baked donut encounter. If I can remember correctly we were making a Nutella filled yeasted donut, an apple cider donut and for some god awful reason the third donut, a lemon poppyseed with a delightful lemon glaze, as a baked donut. In a pan. A donut pan to be specific.

The donut pans themselves are cute. I have seen three basic sizes for the pans- regular size (the size of a donut from the supermarket or dunkin, not a fancy giant donut) a medium one and a small one. The small donut is a little bigger than a silver dollar.

I have several issues with baking donuts in pans, but the main two I will talk about are as follows:

1. The texture
2. The look

Donuts are typically made from a dough. It’s rolled out and shapes are cut out with a cookie cutter. It’s dense, almost heavy and when fried gets a soft but firm interior texture and a firm, sometimes crunchy, outer texture. They are easy to pick up and handle, especially when dipping in ganache or glaze.

Baked donuts are made from a batter that is thin and handled easiest when piped into the donut molds. The texture is soft, almost crumbly and the exterior is thin and delicate. Baked donuts are literally cake, shaped into the image of a donut.

The Look:
Donut pans CAN produce very round, symmetrical pretty looking donuts. The issue I constantly have when I make these is figuring out the perfect amount of batter to add to each mold.

You can see from both images the different amounts of batter I added to each row of donuts. Lookig at the second picture, the first row is what we are looking for shape wise. I filled the molds about 1/3 of the way full.

The middle row is a little overfilled and the donuts looks bloated. They basically look the way i feel after eating a burrito. These were filled about 1/2 the way full.

The last row are overfilled and the middle hole has been engulfed with batter. These molds were filled almost to the top of the pan.

Personally I think donut pans should be used to make anything except what I would call a donut. Since my first time using them in class, I have dabbled here and there in trying out different recipes. Each recipe I have made has come out fine, if I was aiming to make round shaped disks of cake. They just aren’t donuts and not what I want when I want a donut.

The latest recipe I made comes from King Arthur and was pretty good! I omitted the chocolate chips in the batter and used vegetable oil instead of melted butter. I also made a traditional ganache for the top:


Chocolate ganache
8oz dark bittersweet chocolate
5.5oz heavy cream

Heat the heavy cream and chocolate over a double boiler until the chocolate is melted. Let cool down for 2-3 minutes before using.

Bread · Breakfast · English Muffin

2017, I thought you would never end!

A year ago I started this blog with the desire to have a platform to share my thoughts, some personal and my passion for food. This blog was for me; at a time where I really felt like I didn’t have much.

A year ago I was in a job I hated, working for people who I loathed and I was bored. I would go into the office every day, sit down at my computer, turn on Netflix and 8 hours later leave to go home. I honestly don’t know how I managed it, but I was the Director of an entire department, across 9 cities, managing 20+ people and I literally had nothing to do on a day to day basis.

This blog became my job. It made me excited to bake or cook something new. It gave me a chance to explore my other passion which is photography and I finally felt like my day to day had a purpose.

In April I FINALLY got a new job and was immediately thrown to the proverbial wolves when it came to work. I quickly forgot all about blogging. It felt like I had purpose again. I was stressed and anxious, worried I was going to make a mistake at any moment and I was finally again, learning things. I won’t say that I was exactly happy, but I was a lot happier there then I had been in the last 3 years. My new coworkers were not exactly nice to me and I had to fight a lot of battles with them and my employees, but again, it was better than the last place.

A few months in though I realized I hadn’t blogged in awhile and it frustrated me. I felt like I was giving up the few things I enjoy doing that make me happy in life, simply because work was getting the way.

2018 has me thinking a lot of about what I want to do differently in the new year. So I made a list :


Yes, I wrote it down on paper. I even put it on my door as a reminder each day before I leave. I think this will be good for me!

I started the new year off being positive for a change and being completely and utterly sober. I have not given up alcohol entirely but it is something I am trying to consume in much smaller doses and less frequently. The fact that I have ben battling a head cold for over a week was also a factor in my decision to ring in the new year booze free and wake up with a clear mind and ability to tackle the day vs. being hungover all day and cuddling with my cat on the couch to tired to move.

I wanted to bake something simple for the new year and something I could bring to work with me tomorrow for our weekly Tuesday Morning Manager Meeting. I feel that when I bring baked goods in before these meetings everyones just a little bit nicer to one another during them.

One of my resolutions for the year is to get rid of the clutter. Thats not proverbial, thats literal. I have so much stuff its getting a bit out of hand. I found this awesome recipe for English Muffin Bread that I have probably had for over 5 years and never actually made.


English Muffin Bread


6 Cups AP Flour 1/2 Baking Soda 4 tsp Instant Active Yeast 1 TB Sugar 2 tsp Kosher Salt 2 Cups Whole Milk 1/2 Cup Water 1- 1.5 Cups Cornmeal


  1. You will need to grease 2 8-inch loaf pans and dust them with cornmeal.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the whole milk and water and heat until its hot to the touch. DO NOT BOIL! You only want to heat the milk so that its warm and will active the yeast quickly.
  3. Combine 4 Cups of the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and with a paddle, mix until combined.
  4. Pour the warm milk and water mister into the mixer and mix on low for 20 seconds.
  5. Add the remaining 2 cups of Flour and mix on low for another 30- 40 seconds. The dough should be a big dough ball that is not very sticky and comes together easily.
  6. Separate the dough into two even sections and place into he prepared pans. Cover with 2-3 TB of cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap or a damn towel. Let rise for 40- 50 minutes or until the dough has risen above the rim of loaf pan.
  7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove the loaves immediately from their pans and let cool on a wire rack.


I let the bread cool completely before cutting into it and it was much softer than I thought it would be. The crumb of the bread was small but had visible little holes in it, much like what you see in an english muffin.

I paired mine with homemade plum jam I made over the summer.


I think next time I will coat the top of the bread with butter before I cover it with cornmeal, hopefully it will create a crusty crust. I wouldn’t say this taste exactly like an english muffin, but its darn tasty.


Cocktails · Dinner · Healthy

Secrets and Celebrations!

Yesterday was National Margarita Day and I was too busy consuming said Margaritas to actually sit down and share with you all my favorite Margarita recipe. I figure a day late is still better then never for the best darn Margarita you will ever have!


I woke up today feeling really happy, tired, but happy for the first time in a long time. I had an awesome interview for a new job yesterday that I feel very positive and hopeful about. To celebrate I met up with two of my favorite people for Margarita’s and Nacho’s at my favorite Mexican restaurant, something we have not done in a while.

A year ago I spent almost every Monday night saddled up to the bar stuffing my face with Nacho’s and beers while trying to process my breakup. It was not a pretty sight but I have moved on from those pathetic times. Well, mostly moved on.

On my way to work I also rode the T with the cutest Pug named Milton. Dogs with old man names just seem that much cuter then they already are! But seriously, what is it about animals that just make everything better?

So seriously, yesterday was a great day and I have to mention it was great because its rare when a perfect snow storm of great days happens.

As I sit at my desk and mentally waste away from the mind numbingly dumbness of my day to day workflow all I can think about is the rice noodle and spicy pork dish I have waiting for me for dinner tonight.


I kind of threw a bunch of stuff together but will work on putting together a more cohesive recipe since the end product was amazing.

Happy Thirsty Thursday!





Breakfast · Healthy · Juice

I made a Detox drink and didn’t hate it

I have been having a lot issues over the last year when it comes to my weight and how I feel. A large reason for this was the 6+ months living off of nachos, tater tots and beer while I was trying to mend a broken heart. Through this period of time my anxiety was so overwhelming, I ended up losing a lot of weight. As I started to become human again and get back to normal, my habits didn’t change much and before I knew it I put on a ton of unwanted weight.

With the unwanted weight which seems to still be coming, has come a lot of other issues. One of them is feeling bloated all the time. I have been reading up on some of the things I could do to aid this problem. One of them is I realized I was eating too many carbs and zero protein. So, I started eating yogurt again in the mornings and chicken for sandwiches or dinner.

Other articles highly praise drinking warm water with lemon in it first thing in the morning. They say it gives you energy and helps flush out your system and starts your day off right! I don’t know if i am buying this… I think it’s just making me pee even more than usual.

Next up the magic of Turmeric and Ginger! Again, lots of articles on the health benefits of Turmeric and Ginger with digestion and bloating. There are a thousand and one recipes of various detox drinks out there so after looking over a few, I made up my own with a little bit of everything that is supposedly going to help me start feeling better.

  • Turmeric for Inflammation
  • Ginger for Digestion
  • Grapefruit for Fiber and Potassium
  • Oranges for Vitamin C
  • Lemons for Iron
  • Mango for Sweetness, Fiber and B6

I find the juice VERY intense, especially with the Turmeric in it so I am finding I prefer to do a couple of quick shots of it in the morning to get me going, rather than gingerly sip it over time!


Orange Ginger Turmeric Detox Drink


2 Oranges, 1 Pink Grapefruit, 2 Lemons, 3-4 inch piece of Fresh Ginger, 2 tsp Turmeric


Juicing by hand: If you have a bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, I suggest you use that. With a handheld juicer, juice the oranges, grapefruit and lemons into the bowl.

Add the flesh of the mango to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add mango puree to the juice.

Add the turmeric and with a microplane, grate in the ginger. Wisk juices together and when ready to drink, strain juice through a small mesh strainer into your drinking cup! This will catch any chunks of ginger and mango.

Using an Automatic Juicer: Follow your machines instructions for juicing. Cut away the peels on your oranges, grapefruit and lemons making sure to cut away all of the white pith (this is really bitter). Add the citrus and mango to the juicer, a little at a time.Using a peeler, peel the ginger and remove all the outer skin. Cut into small chunks and add the ginger to your juicer. Add the turmeric to your juice and whisk until dissolved.

I drink about 4oz of this a day. Depending on how juice is in your citrus, this recipe will last you 2-3 days. Store juice in an airtight container in your refrigerator.


Cookies · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 5- Happy Valentine’s Day from my cold Black Heart to Yours

I started Valentine’s Day off the only way I know how… by promptly waking up, laying on my couch and stuffing my face with a Cookie Butter Blondie. Off to a swell start I would say!

I came home last night and to my surprise, there was a card in my mail box! Could it be a card from my POS ex-boyfriend finally telling me he is sorry for being a terrible human being and a check for the $300 he still owes me? Nah… life never works out that way.

The only cards I ever receive are literally all at Christmas. I usually get 3-10 cards each Christmas from friends or family wishing me a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” from their perfect little family to mine. Me? Well, I don’t have a perfect little family. I don’t have a husband that loves me no matter how terrible I am to him and a bunch of filthy kids that look like said husband, but would be cuter if they looked like me… I am just saying what you are all thinking. New plan for next Christmas, I am gonna start sending out cards of me and my cat and see how they like it.

I could tell by the writing on the card it was from my parents. My mother has the most beautiful handwriting, always has. I remember as a kid purposefully asking her to write things for me because it was so elegant. People do not write like she does anymore. Literally, they don’t teach cursive in schools anymore, hell I bet kids don’t even know what a pencil is.

I opened up my card and laughed harder than I have in weeks. Inside was the cutest card with a cat on the front giving me the biggest stank eye and striking a yoga pose.

Oh, if you have not figured it out, I am a crazy cat lady.


It immediately warmed my heart and I knew the message inside because 5 years ago my parents sent me this very same card for the very same reason; something to brighten up my day when I was feeling down!

“I Meditate, I do Yoga, I Chant… and I Still Want to Smack Someone!”


This card has lived on my fridge for the last five years and whenever I have had a bad day, I repeat the message inside over and over to myself to find some kind of zen. I think I might need to actually frame these now…

This, is the closest thing I am getting to a Valentine this year. I can always count on my Dad and I suppose knowing that he is my rock is all I really need. I am not going to do the whole GIRL POWER thing where all the girls I know get together and pretend like they are not sad depressed ladies and try to convince the world that things are SUPER COOL and that they LOVE being single.


All Lies.

You know it, I know it, lets embrace it and accept it.

Yeah, I am single with no lovers insight. I have been single for a while now and I do wish I had someone to share my life with. What I am okay with is not having someone to share today with, because I think everyday should be Valentine’s day. Society and greeting cards should not have to tell you when to confess your love for someone… you should be able to do that on your own, on a random Wednesday, in July!


So in honor of my new optimistic outlook on this stupid silly holiday I whipped up some Sugar Cookie Conversation Heart Cookies and went out of my way to buy each of my co-workers a little something something to brighten up their day.

Also, although I will not see him, I had to make my dad some granola since he is my valentine!

I started making my own Granola over 10 years ago once I realized how easy it was and how much better it tasted than store-bought. Traditionally I like to keep my granola plain, no nuts, no dried fruits. Today though, I am going to live dangerously and do something different.



The shredded coconut and pepita seeds are small enough that they provide a little bit of texture to the granola and a whole heck of a lot of flavor. I added some of it to my morning yogurt and it paired really well with the grapefruit and mangos in my yogurt.


Coconut Pepita Seed Granola


3 TB Brown Butter, Melted
3 TB Coconut Oil, Melted
1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 TB Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Pepita Seeds
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Buckwheat Honey (or orange blossom)
1/4 Cup Real Maple Syrup


  1. In a small sauce pan melt and brown the butter. Once melted, add the coconut oil until melted.
  2. In a large mixing bowl mix together the oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, wheat germ, flax-seed, pepitas and coconut.
  3. Add the maple syrup, honey, brown butter and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients absorb the liquids.
  4. Pour granola onto a parchment lined sheet pan and spread it out evenly using an off-set spatula.
  5. Bake the granola at 325 for 20 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan and using a spatula, mix the granola around so the bottom does not burn. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Note: If you let the granola cool completely before touching it, it will break up nicely into little chunks.

Whatever you are doing today and whether you are alone or lucky to be in love, I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!


– K

Bars and Brownies · Chocolate · Dessert · Valentine's Day

Day 4-of Swoon worthy V-day desserts has me updating a classic

As a kid I never liked blondies. I always thought of them as the brownies sad, ugly cousin. It wasn’t until I worked in a kitchen and was forced to make blondies that I learned to appreciate them and eventually, fall in love them. There is something so mind-blowing simple and delicious about the combination of melted butter, brown sugar and chocolate chips.

Blondies are also a great vessel for a variety of ingredients like chocolate, nuts and dried fruits. Me? I like the classic combination of semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts but you can do whatever you like.

Around Christmas my mom gave me a jar of Cookie Butter she bought from Mom tends to see things, think they look interesting and then randomly buy them for me. As you can imagine, I usually make out quite nicely when this happens.


After a moment of fat kid weakness where I pretty much ate half the jar of Cookie Butter, with a spoon, straight from the jar I started thinking of ways I could use it in baked goods. I have seen lots of recipes over the past couple of years that call for the use of Cookie Butter but recently came across one that incorporated it into a blondie.

YAAAASSSSSSS Blondies meet Cookie Butter. Cookie Butter meet Blondie 🙂

The Cookie Butter definitely adds extra moisture and sweetness to the batter so I adjusted my recipe by adding more flour and decreasing the brown sugar in the recipe. The result is a soft, gooey texture that is moist and packed with flavor.



Cookie Butter Blondies

  • Servings: 9
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1/2 Cup Cookie Butter
1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg plus 1 yolk
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups AP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts


1. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan and cover the bottom with parchment. Its goo
2. In a mixing bowl combine the cookie butter, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until smooth.
3. Once mixture is smooth, continue to beat on medium until everything becomings fully incorporate, mixture becomes thick and fluffy (it should appear lighter in color as you aerate it).
4. Add the remaining flour, baking power and salt and mix on low just until all the flour gets incorporated.
5. Remove the mixing bowl and with a spatula, fold in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you go.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the center is set.
7. Let cool before cutting!