Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 21

It’s a brand new year with brand new obsessions: ice cream, cookie butter, granola…I’m sorry, did I say new? I meant AWESOME.

This Overnight Brioche Cookie Butter & Chocolate Chip French Toast via A Cookie Name Desire is THE way to start a day. Seriously, though. I want to eat the screen right up!

A delicious and decadent brioche cookie butter and chocolate chip French toast

I’ve tried loads of Kelly’s granola recipes and they’re all fab, so this Healthy Cranberry Almond Granola Bar recipe via Life Made Sweeter is sure to be a winner, too!

Healthy Almond Cranberry Granola Bars by ---- @LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

And if we’re going to talk brekkie, we might as well delve into uncharted territory with this Sticky Toffee Pudding Pancakes via Top with Cinnamon. (I’ve made her Banoffee Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake before, and OMG.)

My Fave Gluten Free Pancakes (and Sticky Toffee Pudding Pancakes!)

And okay, let’s face it–breakfast isn’t breakfast without booze. So says I, Davy Jones…er, or so says Linda from Brunch with Joy, sharing this Boozy Baked French Toast!

brunchwithjoy_boozy french toast

45 Calorie Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins via Sally’s Baking Addiction

THE Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar via Deliciously Yum

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bagel Bites via Deliciously Yum

Easy Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pull-Apart Bread via Real Food by Dad

Fried Rice Vermicelli Vegetable Fritters via Brunch with Joy

Single-Serving Monkey Bread via Crazy for Crust

Vegan Timbits (Doughnut Holes) via Killer Bunnies Inc.

What’s on your tasting plate this week?

Ala

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Coconut Oil Cranberry Hootycreeks {guest post for Brunch with Joy}

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Linda from Brunch with Joy and I met a few months back through Sunday Supper–she’s one of the loveliest ladies on the planet, and I immediately fell in love with her vibrant blog. Since I began blogging back in 2012, I’ve had the chance to meet so many amazing people like Linda from every nook and cranny of the internet. Today, I’m the lucky gal who’s guest posting on her blog–check it out!

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In today’s post, I’m sharing a very near-and-dear story about one of my closest friends, M. We met in the unlikeliest of circumstances, separated by every continent conceivable and some that probably didn’t even exist yet. It’s a story about friendship, but more importantly it’s a story about how critical it is to remain open-minded in this day and age, when tragic recent events like Charlie Hebdo make us question our belief in one another, in a shared global community.

A word to the wise: don’t stop believing, but don’t be complacent, either.

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Linda is proof that people from such different little corners can find each other and celebrate in the most unexpected places! So visit this lovely lady (which you need to do pronto), read my post, and get the recipe for these absolutely awesome Coconut Oil Cranberry Hootycreeks–in short, get yourself acquainted with her blog here now!

Have stories of unexpected meetings you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Ala

 

 

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Mickey Mouse Waffles for #SundaySupper

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Raise your hands if you love Disney!!!!

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There are few surer ways to my heart than through an enthusiastic conversation about all things Disney. Heck, if Lord Voldemort showed up on my doorstep tomorrow night and told me he wanted to chat about this 3-year old with cancer who–thanks to the Make A Wish Foundation–will now have the chance to visit Disneyland, I would invite him in and ask him whether he wanted his Mickey Mouse waffles served with maple syrup, butter, or both.

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Disneyland is very much an American institution, but it is also a distinctly Californian landmark and experience as well. Conveniently located among the sunny orange groves of Southern California, I grew up visiting the theme park at least once a year–sometimes more, and always with a churro and a chocolate-dipped waffle ice cream cone from Gibson Girl’s Parlor on Main Street. While Disneyland isn’t my hometown (sorrows!), I might as well be an honorary citizen of the old mouse’s town.

I love the whole darn place, but my favorite part has got to be that swelling feeling in your chest when you step onto Main Street for the first time that morning. There’s something incredibly magical and old-timey that just can’t be found anywhere else…especially not with a double-scoop from the parlor!

Disneyland 1

Disneyland 2

This Christmas, for Secret Santa, my cousin gifted me this amazing Mickey Mouse waffle iron, which is ten times classier than anything I would ever buy for myself. Actually, it only costs $20–but if you know me at all, you’ll know that I am a total appliance prude. Pans? Dozens. Useless utensils and kitchen tools? By-the-drawerful. But appliances?

Every single one of my appliances has been gifted to me. Food processor, blender, hand mixer, and now……cue contented sighs, because this waffle maker is the best thing that happened to me all last month.… Read more

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Apple Fritter Blondies

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I am fairly good about self-control (said nobody, ever), but every once in a while somebody throws something in my path that sets all my cravings on fire like a match to a bucket of propane.

Something that looks very much edible. Usually shaped like an apple fritter.

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Apple fritter was THE donut of choice in our house growing up. In fact, I did not know there was such a thing as “options” at a donut shop until our eighth grade field trip to Florida, where I downed my first–and second, and third, and maybe a fourth–Krispy Kreme. Up until that moment, I always just assumed you walked to the counter of a place with the DONUTS FOR SALE sign, ordered “one of those,” and walked out with freshly-fried apple frittery goodness in a white bakery bag.

It wasn’t until college, when I started buying my own donuts (we had a place next to campus that fried piping hot donuts until 3 AM), that I even learned what an apple fritter was technically called. Which is probably a good thing, since my household has led to some very embarrassing misnomers…

…like calling it Napoleon ice cream for nineteen years instead of Neopolitan.

Also, my mom convinced me I was allergic to chocolate until I was almost in middle school, so I tried to keep “learning” in my house to a minimum. (Just kidding, Mom, I love you.)

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Still, my mom must have gone right somewhere along the way, because if I had to choose one food to crave for the rest of my life, it might just be apple fritters. Right up at the top there battling tooth and nail with ice cream–and even then, we could all just invent apple fritter ice cream, brush our hands, and call it a day.… Read more

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Apple Pie Overnight Oats {+ a giveaway!}

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Sometimes I like to talk about food. Other times, I like to talk about deep and meaningful topics relevant to a betterment of the human mind (or something like that).

And then there come the days where I wonder where the heck my Hogwarts letter got to and mope around the kitchen, dragging my finger through every bowl of batter sitting half-heartedly on the counter.

Today was one of those days.

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This morning I woke up from one of my many recurring Harry Potter dreams. Now for most people, this might sound like a really fun dream to have–flying, playing Quidditch, exploring the secret passages of Hogwarts: but not so, my friends. Not so!

Harry Potter dreams are my version of stress dreams.

Yes, read that one again. Harry Potter dreams are my mind’s freaking sadistic version of stress dreams.

….How messed up is that, right?? It’s about as fair as locking a puppy in a room with a fully-grown Blast-Ended Skrewt, in my professionally nerdy opinion.

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I’m a pretty vivid dreamer as it is, so when I have a HP dream and all my neurosensors are firing like crazy automatics in my sleeping subconscious, I remember the dreams really well. Sometimes, I am Neville Longbottom in the fifth book and am being chased by a bunch of Death Eaters who laugh maniacally whenever I try to cast a spell (presumably I have a nosebleed like Neville does in the book, so instead of saying Stupefy! and stunning my enemies, I say Stoobefy and am absolutely useless).

This morning, however, was the first day of classes with my brand new composition students. Unlike the classes I’ve taught in the past, I’m not a TA for this one: the curriculum is entirely my own, which means that the fates of 20 young, impressionable minds are completely, absolutely in my hands!… Read more

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Homemade Snickerdoodle Peanut Butter for #SundaySupper

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Last year was the year of the spoon.

I had my spoon in everything and anything delicious that could be spread, dipped, or straight-up eaten. Hummus, jelly, cookie butter, sweetened condensed milk, ice cream, and of course…

Peanut butter. Did I mention that the bottom of my mouth and the sides of my tongue have started swelling a bit when I eat peanut butter too many days in a row now? Because they do. I get the vague feeling (as I sit here with my spoonful of peanut butter hanging out of my mouth) I should be cutting back. Three words: Denial solves everything.

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This year, however, I have made a resolution. A good one. One that will make me a fundamentally better human being who is in touch with her fundamentally good human side.

This year, I declare 2015: the year of the finger foods.

Because really, wasn’t that what fingers were made for? Scraping out the very last drop of peanut butter from those hard-to-reach spots at the bottom of a cylindrical jar? And you even get ten uses–one for each finger–before you have to wash them! It’s like the Supreme Creator attached handy portable sampler spoons on the ends of our hands for this very purpose.

Human creation. They really did think of everything. Now all I need is a retractable wings and a manual-speed metabolism with overdrive, and this new year will be a breeze.

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I really didn’t start making homemade peanut butter until my friend gifted me a food processor at the end of my first year in grad school. If you know me at all, my lack of kitchen appliance ownership probably wouldn’t surprise you since I didn’t learn how to boil an egg until about junior year of college.

That’s when the finger-tasting obsession started: suddenly I was struck by a realization that the warm, liquidy goodness at the bottom of the food processor bowl could be scraped up and enjoyed right on the spot, and–what was more–that I could apply the same logic to most things that come in jars!… Read more

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{recap} 14 Life Lessons Learned in 2014

As the Year in Review statuses saturate our Facebook news feeds and we sift through the impossible, mounting pile of recaps about friends who have gotten engaged, friends who have had babies, friends who have traveled the world, friends who spend their youthful years recording themselves at the top of the Eiffel Tower with selfie sticks: as all of these things happen, the question inevitably arises. Has anything really changed for us?

The answer might be a simple one for you to answer, or perhaps it’s really difficult, depending on what has happened in the past calendar year. I find myself somewhere in-between: exciting things have happened (I passed my qualifying exam, earned my Master’s degree, moved back to school, met Jonathan Gold, started collaborating with some amazing companies and bloggers), but so have mundane everyday things like 72-hour research marathons in my grubby sweatpants or dragging myself out of bed at 1 PM after a late night so I can begrudgingly squeeze in my 8-mile “morning” run. If there’s one thing every year can offer, however, it is life lessons learned. So here’s a list of my favorite, funnest, and nearest-and-dearest ones–after you read them, make sure to share a few of your own in the comments!

1. Don’t say ‘no’ until you give yourself the chance to say ‘yes.’ At the start of 2014, I found myself on multiple occasions defaulting to ‘no’: no to that party happening all the way across the city, no to that guy who asks for my number after a 10-minute conversation at the coffeeshop. This year quickly turned into a year of ‘yes’ when the wonderful Nancy showed me a book called The Year of YesNo, I haven’t read it–but spending a whole year saying ‘yes’ to dates (including one with a homeless man, another with a divorcee with two kids) is one way to change a mindset!… Read more

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Creamy Carrot Peanut Soup

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I will always be young at heart, but I’m a stodgy old grandma in stomach.

I should know–I just spent the past week with my grandma and spent every mealtime sitting side by side shoveling the same pile of the mushiest, creamiest, dissolveable-iest edible stuff into our mouths. With matching chopsticks and purple down jackets, I might add. (We’re pretty cute like that.)

A huge part of this uncanny resemblance is that, since I started grad school, I have become a weirdly obsessive “texture person.”

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I have somehow always labored under the impression that most people outgrow their pickiness about food as maturity sets in. Either I missed that train or boarded on the wrong platform and am now hurtling full-steam ahead in the opposite direction, because while I have learned to love certain foods I wouldn’t touch as a kid (e.g. eggplant, mushrooms, watermelon), I have also become that person at the restaurant. You know, the one who insists that you order anything for the table (“no really, totally up to you, I’ll be fine!”) and then sits there picking at the steamed broccoli for the rest of the night because she doesn’t particularly like the curry, avocado salad, meat, and/or banana cream pie you ordered.

Whoops.

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Probably the strangest aspect of this retrogression, atavism, degeneration, or whatever you want to call it, is my penchant for creamy things. Set a huge bowl of peanuts in front of me and I might pop one, just to be polite. Plop a jar of peanut butter down, on the other hand, and I’ll ask you nicely for a spoon–along with an affidavit signature confirming that you won’t press charges if you don’t get your PB back. Like, ever.

Garbanzo beans? Eh. Hummus? Step aside, bub.

Carrots? Fine, I’ll eat them. Creamy carrot peanut soup?… Read more

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Filed under Lunch & Dinner, Vegetarian

Gingerbread Granola {Gluten-Free} for #BobsRedMill

{Congrats to Linda for winning my My Bakers Box giveaway last week! Can’t wait for you to bake up a storm, girl!}

So today I’m actually going to talk about food on my food blog (instead of completely random things like my year in Facebook statuses and goodness in this world). Imagine that.

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Exactly zero times a year before I became a food blogger, I ate gingerbread. Zero, zip, zilch.

Watch Harry Potter movies 1-7 five times on ABC Family? You betcha. But toss me the whole lot of holiday favorites–pumpkin pie, peppermint, figgy pudding, fruitcake–and you might as well be feeding your sink’s garbage disposal for all I cared.

Don’t get me wrong: I loved gingerbread in theory. And I adore the spicy smell of it wafting through the bustling supermarkets during holiday season. But gingerbread was to me what suave guys who get your number after a 5-minute conversation at Starbuck’s are to me now: romantic in theory or Hollywood rom-coms; kinda gross in real life. I may or may not be referring to a off-puttingly familiar Starbuck’s incident last Wednesday.

These days, though–boy, am I a canary singing a new tune! Ever since I bought my first jar of molasses a year ago, I’ve been scouring and searching and scavenging to indecent proportions for something to do with it. You might have seen my Gingerbread Obsessive Round-Up on Friday?

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But shopping/gifting/browsing season is inversely correlated to the amount of time any of us has in the kitchen during this busy season, meaning the more gingerbread recipes I bookmark, the less chance I’ll ever have of actually making one before next Christmas. Does anybody else face this (very real) struggle? Jeepers, I must’ve bookmarked at least 50 in the past 72 hours alone!

That’s why, when I was browsing my dear friend Kelly’s blog the other day, I was so so excited to see a recipe for gingerbread granola!… Read more

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Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 20

{Note: I’m busy in the kitchen these days taking holiday orders from my Etsy bake shop! If you still need holiday gift ideas, order up–ship straight to your home or a friend’s!}

Gingerbread cake is seriously one of the best reasons that the holidays even exist. Take that, and revamp it into a Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel  like the awesome Izy from Top with Cinnamon did, and you can wave a merry goodbye to all self-restraint.

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Whiskey Caramel

Did I mention that I love gingerbread cakes? For an easy one-bowl fix-all, I’m going to try this Gingerbread Apple Cake via Minimalist Baker!

AMAZING Apple Gingerbread Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting! 1 bowl, easy and SO tasty! #vegan #gingerbread #cake #christmas

My heart nearly stopped when I saw what Kelly had posted this week: more gingerbread cake, please! I wouldn’t pass up this Maple Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Ginger Oat Streusel via Life Made Sweeter for the world!

Maple Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Oat Streusel with @HodgsonMill #sponsored Recipe by @LifeMadeSweeter.jpg

And okay…why not? More gingerbread, because apparently I’m obsessed with the stuff. How about some Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles via Smitten Kitchen?

deep dark gingerbread waffles

Amaretto Coconut Biscotti with Amaretto via Kudos Kitchen by Renee

Apple Pecan Pie Brie via Crazy for Crust

Baked Pears with Warm Tequila Citrus  via Culinary Adventures with Cam

Cinnamon Walnut Stuffed Challah Bread via Completely Delicious

Cranberry Stuffed Oreo Truffles via Life Made Sweeter

Eggnog Sticky Rolls with Maple Bourbon Pecan Filling and Eggnog Glaze via A Cookie Named Desire

Gingerbread Yogurt Pancakes via Joanne Eats Well with Others

Healthy Baked Gingerbread Latte Doughnut via A Cookie Named Desire

Hot Buttered Rum Balls via Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Kahlua Bundt Cake via That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Kahlua Hot Chocolate Marshmallows via Bakers Royale

Pull-Apart Wheat Rolls via Anecdotes and Apples

Pumpkin Gnocchi Broccoli Rabe with Smoked Ricotta via Joanne Eats Well with Others

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Hazelnut and Sage via East of Eden Cooking

Rosemary Salted Caramel Linzer Cookies via Two Red Bowls

Rum Glazed Cookie Cream Buns via Ninja Baker

Tiramisu Biscotti via Redhead Baker

Toblerone Crepe Cake via Brunch with Joy

Want more daily updates with my blogger favorites?Read more

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