Category Archives: Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Monster Cookies { + loads of updates! }

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Time for some SERIOUS updates.

I know, I’ve been flagging on the writing/commenting/replying end of things (which is a total shame, because that’s the part of blogging I love best). In between teaching, prepping for my Part II exam (more on that in a sec), and some really exciting new developments in the cooking/baking part of my life, I’ve been catching about 4 hours of shuteye a night…when I’m lucky and don’t get insomnia. So to perk things up around here, I thought I’d take a big break from everything else, share some of the BEST colorful cookies I know (seriously, I served these at my ice cream cookie sandwich party a few weeks ago and they were ALL GONE), and sit down for a little life chat with all of you.

Got your tea or coffee? Good.

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1. First parcel of big news, which you might have read about on Sunday’s post, but anyway: guys, I’m competing in this year’s annual California Strawberry Festival Berry Blast-Off competition! After an hour of intensive cooking in a professional kitchen last week, the judges picked my original Steamed Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake as one of two entries for the final showdown. This will be my first time on a live stage (eep!) cooking (eep!) in front of hundreds of people (EEP!) with a microphone and cameras trained on me as I try to keep my hands steady enough to crack an egg like a normal person which I cannot for the life of me do (okay, where’s my fainting couch?). We’ll be traveling to Oxnard that morning so if you’re in the area, you might want to stop by the Strawberry Promenade at 1 PM! You can read more press releases about the competition here and here. Wish me luck!… Read more

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The BIG Blog THANK YOU { + peanut butter chocolate rice krispies-smothered jumbo marshmallows }

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSummer #CollectiveBias

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The post you’re about to read to me is SUPER near and dear to my heart in many ways, mostly because it features two of my DEAREST friends, fans, and unconditional supporters (who you’ll be meeting today, yeee!). What’s more, today’s post is a rare chance for me to put my blogging overdrive on pause and say a BIG thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to the people who have meant the most to me throughout this amazing blogging journey: yep, that’s all of you!

An Introduction to the SUPPORT (SUPer ImPORTant) Team: Behind every blogger is a critical SUPPORT–or SUPer ImPORTant people–system. Whether this consists of the entire food blogging community or just your mom, blogging is never a solitary activity. It takes a lot of dedication to update your Instagram account every day at 6 AM with #frappuccino, photograph everyone’s food every time you go out to a restaurant, and hurl your kitchen into a tornado disaster zone on a semiweekly basis only to clean it up again right away because the clouds set in and all of your hard work is no longer photograph-worthy. Sure, who doesn’t admit that we’ve got our work cut out for us?

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Cheering squad at the annual Edible Book Festival

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In Vancouver 2014, meeting Nancy, the wonderful, lovely, multi-talented lady behind Gotta Get Baked

But when you’re the person who has to put up with the person who does all of this loco stuff on the regular, like most of my friends and family do, it takes much more than time: it takes patience, enthusiasm, and a genuine willingness to put your faith in the fact that your friend is not perhaps just a crazy loon whose life goal is to give every single person around her onset diabetes.… Read more

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How to Host Your Own Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich + Sundae Bar

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StartSummer and #CollectiveBias

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Last Wednesday, I did a wonderful thing. I did a wonderful, very cool thing. I did a wonderful, very cool, crazy thing that has revolutionized the way I think about summer. Can I get a Josh Gad/Olaf solo about summer in here? No? Well bully that, here it is anyway….

I hosted my very own ice cream cookie sandwich + sundae bar!

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The only thing better than getting together to celebrate the arrival of summer with friends in late April is getting together to celebrate the arrival of summer with friends AND homemade ice cream AND homemade cookies AND homemade toppings. I stopped by Walmart the weekend before to grab some dessert-making essentials, like Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream Bars for my cookies ‘n’ cream cookies, a big bag of M&Ms for my loaded Kitchen Sink cookies, and the hit of the party: my homemade no-churn Twix ice cream, which I’m sharing here today–scroll to the bottom for the stellar (and simple) recipe!

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Hosting parties for no official designated holiday makes me one seriously happy crazy person. The night before the big get-together, I cranked up the TSwift, pulled out every pot and bowl I own, whipped up an insane amount of ice cream, and belted out the lyrics to “Blank Space” straight into my ice cream scoop while I was doing the dishes like a responsible adult-like human being thingy.

If you’ve ever experienced this feeling and love it, take my advice and throw the party. You’ll thank me for it, I promise!

If you’ve never experienced this feeling before: THROW THE DANG PARTY NOW. TRUST ME. It’s been a full week and my friends are still raving about the sweet idea!… Read more

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Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cookies

Whether we’re out searching for our ideal partner, building relationships with friends, or already happily settled in a 50-year marriage, it’s no surprise that we spend the better of our lives seeking affirmation from the people around us. On a recent trip to Seattle, we gave ourselves plenty of “nothing” time–time to really back away from our busy day-to-day lives and think about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, where our lives our headed. Every night at the hotel, Richard would look over and grin when he saw me just sitting on the bed and hugging my pillow, thinking.

He called it pondering time, and (apart from the donuts, and the reunions with friends, and okay maybe the pizza) it was probably the part of the day I looked forward to most.

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Between blogging and baking and schoolwork and teaching and working, I hardly give myself much down time to think any more, so it quickly became apparent that I had a lot of catching up to do. For starters, I had no idea I had so many thoughts about friends and life relationships to sort out–and visiting all these new places and seeing so many old faces gave me plenty to think about.

One way I like to gauge my development is to periodically play a game we called Three Attributes. You start by listing the top three traits you looked for in an S.O., and each one is supposed to reveal something about not only your ideal mate, but yourself as well. If you’re interested in playing, I’ll give you the breakdown so you can try it for yourself before I do the big spoilers:

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So you start by picking your top three traits for a significant other–this can be either your ideal potential one or the one you already have.… Read more

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits for #SundaySupper

Semi-serious writer’s note: I am currently struggling through a prolonged, increasingly aggravated case of carpal tunnel onset. While I’m doing my best to keep this blog running in the meantime, if I don’t reply right away to your comments or leave comments on your blog, don’t think I don’t care–I do! It’s just this silly problem, so I’ll get back to you as I can :) thanks for reading!

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My first time on a red carpet was at my friend’s Netflix celebration, which took place at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles a few months ago. Sparkly gowns, diamond necklaces, stilettos: the whole shebang.

In my too-big white dress from the clearance rack at Ross, I fit in as well as a dairy cow at a dog show. A big fat one, too.

While it would be awesome to say that I’m completely at home on the red carpet, at big celebrity gigs, or attending all the other events that come along with the entertainment industry, I’m all too happy to sit here at my computer on a slow Saturday night. Black leggings, an oversized swim sweater, and messy hair that hasn’t met a brush in three days–that’s my kind of weekend in a nutshell.

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Of course, networking and big parties play a big part in the entertainment world, which is why I’m slowly working my way up to the big screens. Last week, I made my first TV appearance (!!) on The Price is Right. My family even recorded the episode so I could come home and watch for myself with them. My friends and I appeared a grand total of four times.

…Okay, I actually only made it on three times, since they seated me right at the very edge of the room and the panning camera didn’t even bother with my little dairy cow corner.… Read more

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No-Bake Cookie Butter Avalanche Cookies

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So apparently one of my students lives next door to me.

Forgive me if I don’t jump for joy.

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Living next door to any of my students–as you can probably imagine–isn’t exactly my idea of a delightful development. I guess this means I’ll have to actually put on pants now when I open the windows.

Kidding. I’m totally kidding. (Except maybe on laundry day.)

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Though this news has made me self-conscious enough to stop blasting Taylor Swift out the open window at odd hours of the day now, weirdly enough, my first reaction when s/he asked me if I lived in his/her building was to simply laugh.

Sometimes, in the midst of all this labeling and titling and instructing, we forget that our students are every bit as human as we are. We complain (rightly so) that our students think we live in our offices and have nothing to do but answer all their last-minute essay-related emails–but aren’t we teachers guilty of the same thing? I mean, it’s a bit unfair to assume that the only thing our students have going on in their lives is brainstorming, outlining, writing, and revising their 8-page paper on Stuart Little.

(Okay, so maybe that keg of beer they consumed while they were actually supposed to be writing was a bad idea…but seriously, it’s college. When else are they going to get the chance? Certainly not when they “get their act together” and “grow up,” which is what the world always seems so keen on rushing them–and us all!–to do.)

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At the end of the day, I’m actually a bit glad life decided to Punk me with this bizarre, slightly awkward development. It’s a smart reminder that we’re all sort of in the same boat together, even if we’re not exactly operating on the same level.… Read more

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Funfetti Sugar Cookies

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When: Last Thursday. Location: Starbucks Coffee Shop. What: Story material. Lots of it.

If you have spent any time in my company or on my blog, you’ll appreciate how much I love meeting strangers. When I walked into the coffee shop last week for a late-night study sesh, I had no idea what the next four hours had in store for me.

Here’s a spoiler: It’s not a romance story. It’s something much better than that, believe it or not.

It’s a story of humanity.

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The funny part–and my personal favorite part–of the encounter was that it had two outcomes placed literally on either side of me: one directly to my right, the other to my left. The left seat at the counter was empty when I sat down, and I barely glanced at the guy sitting next to me on the right as I unloaded my books. He was immersed in his phone, checking the web while his book (probably a theory text) lay open, ignored, in front of him. At one point over the next hour, I asked him to watch my things while I went to the bathroom; about 30 minutes later, he asked me the same favor while he went to order a coffee and half a banana (I didn’t know until then that you could even buy bananas in halves at coffee shops). I said thank you. He said thank you back.

He didn’t seem like much of a talker.

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An hour or so goes by this way when the door to my left opens. I notice immediately because the wind is chilly and something on the patio outside makes the air smell like unwashed socks. I look up, prepared to pinch my nose at the appearance of some unwelcome stranger, and notice a young guy–probably in his early 20’s–smiling broadly.… Read more

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One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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 This weekend I did nothing. Nothing except go to my first women’s basketball (and Harry Potter themed?!!!) game, drop in with a friend to a grad housing social filled with free veggie rice bowls + orange soda, swim at a club meet, have an epic girls’ night sleepover watching Dirty Dancing (first time!!) + Grease10 Things I Hate About You, annnnd eat dim sum. Also known as dim yum. Also known as say whattttt.

I might have graded a few papers here and there, and done a lesson plan along the way. I dunno, it’s pretty hard to keep track when you’re having this much fun working this hard as a professional baker + blogger grad student.

Dang! Priorities.

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So you’ll need to excuse me if I seem a bit short on time today. Fortunately, 15 minutes were all it took to pull these cookies together from bowl to baked–and since they’re a version of my super popular go-to Idiot-Proof Chocolate Chip Oat Bars recipe, I basically had zilch work lined up for this post. Laziness and extreme fun-having sure have funny ways of turning me into a surprisingly productive person sometimes.One-Bowl Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 10--012615

If you’re hesitating over whether you should try these cookies or not–don’t. Just do it. Seriously, read these comments and you’ll see what I mean about this recipe being universally loved and insanely easy–it really is a dump-fest (as in you dump everything in one big bowl and stir it together) and the results are perfectly crumbly, chewy, and crispy, all at once. And I daresay they were the ONE thing that made this epic weekend of adventures even better than they already were.

Oh! And speaking of epic adventures, stay tuned for my next post, in which I tell you something juicy….

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What are you waiting for?… Read more

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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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Thick, Puffy Ginger Molasses Sugar Cookies

{a year in Facebook statuses} 

Every once in a while, I stop spamming my feed with #bakerproblems and share something meaningful. Today I’m spreading the holiday joy with these warm, puffy, thick, ginger molasses sugar cookies and a glimpse back at where this year has taken us…

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{December} 

Sitting at Starbucks, I bought a large coffee for a homeless man who was asking for any type of help people could give. As I continued working, I watched him, fascinated, as he limped around outside, cup out but constantly in motion. Then I realized that he was taking napkins and wiping the outside tables dry so people could sit there after the rain; he was also picking up cigarette butts and pieces of trash from the ground all around the coffee shop and throwing them away. There are people sitting outside now at the tables he dried, and there are people walking past his proffered cup on the sidewalk that he cleaned. The things we normally ignore when we’re rushing past with our heads down and our defenses up–try not to take them for granted. You never know what beauty you might miss.

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{December}

There’s a special spot in heaven for bus drivers who wait for you when they see you running to catch your transfer, instead of closing the door in your face and rolling with painstaking slowness away from the curb. Or if there isn’t, there should be. A salute to all nice public transit operators who have ever made life easier for us!

{November}

Instead of becoming a batty old cat lady, I have decided to be that token girl who bakes apple pie cheesecake donuts at 4 AM after watching the world’s worst rom-com on the couch with her stuffed whale and has nobody to share them with except herself. Read more

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