Category Archives: Breakfast & Brunch

Mini Churro Donut Muffins

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If you love churros, donuts, and the excuse to justifiably eat them both for breakfast–trust me, these sugary babies are for you.

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Mini Churro Donut Muffins are, as their name implies–ahem–the perfect balanced breakfast food. Okay, so they’re rolled in glorious cinnamon sugar post-baking, and maaaaybe they’re more like a donut/cake than a muffin–but they’re baked instead of fried, which has got to count for something…right?

And that makes them okay to consume for breakfast.

And lunch.

And dinner.

And maybe dessert, if your stretchy pants are feeling particularly stretchy.

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We’ve been having a lot of sweets around here lately…and I mean a lot. The boy is a chronic snacker with an enviable metabolism and I’m always catching him rummaging through my kitchen for freshly baked sweets. Last week, I baked a batch of these donut muffins for my students, tucked them away in tupperware, went to the bathroom…and emerged again to the sound of a hastily closed plastic lid and smacking lips.

The upside of smothering all your baked treats in cinnamon sugar (besides the obvious): you’ll always catch the culprit. And this particular culprit agreed that the donuts were very good indeed.

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As with all great things, you’ll need to coat the donut muffins in melted butter before proceeding to roll them in a snug, cozy coat of cinnamon sugar goodness. The butter-meets-sugar combo is what gives these breakfast treats extra crunch on the outside, so don’t skip this step!

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My students, friends, and friends’ coworkers all RAVED about these Mini Churro Donut Muffins, and really–who can blame them? I recommend making a double or even a triple batch.

You know, just in case someone in the kitchen happens to eat half of them before they make it out the door.

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Who’s the biggest sweets snacker in your house?Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Breakfast & Brunch, Muffins

Fluffy White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

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I never used to love scones. They always looked so bland sitting on the tray of continental breakfast pastries that I never gave them a second glance as I reached for an apple Danish or blueberry streusel muffin—poor dry, dusty hockey pucks!

Then a few years ago, I had my conversion moment. It happened during one of my friend’s weekly movie nights. We had all just settled down for the opening sequence of Singin’ in the Rain when she brought out a tray of scones—warm, buttery, fragrant scones that resembled their hotel counterparts about as much as Dobby looks like Hagrid. The heavens parted, choirs sang, and Gene Kelly stepped right out of the screen to claim the first one. For the rest of the movie, which I was watching for the first time, we hummed and sang and made up the words and munched on another melting scone, and yet another.

And another….

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Since then, I’ve been experimenting with no end of scone recipes. Oftentimes I’ll polish off an entire batch for the week’s breakfast without finding the time to photograph them—whoops!—but then at a recent Friendsgiving dinner, I had a fun conversation with my UK friend about the British naming of baked goods, which rekindled my dormant scone fanaticism…

From what I gathered, British cookies correspond with a very specific type of American cookies (your traditional round baked cookie, e.g. chocolate chip “cookies”), whereas everything else sweet falls under the category of the British “biscuit.” Of course, this begged the question of what the American biscuit—the fluffy, buttery kind eaten with jam and butter—was named, to which he pleasantly replied: “Those are sort of like scones, I think!”

(Which is about the most adorably British thing that any Englishperson could utter, by the way! Just FYI.)

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Of course, being the slightly obsessive-personality-disordered individual that I am, “scone” was a trigger word, and I immediately went home that night and whipped myself up a batch so that I could hoard them for the coming week.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Breakfast & Brunch, Cookies

Vegan Coconut Scones

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I have so many updates (I mean, seriously. SO MANY!!!) for you guys from the World Food Championships over here in Kissimmee, Florida, but I can’t get into them now because we’re in the middle of soooo many crazy things and they haven’t quite sunk in as it is. But I’ll be tweeting and IGing pics as much as I can before I write my recap post (er, or posts) in a few days, so if you’re impatient then follow me on social media for the latest and greatest news!

But ermigawd I’m so excitedddddddddd. Also, please don’t take it personally if I don’t reply to your comments or visit your lovely blogs in the upcoming week–I haven’t been out of the kitchen all this week!

Okay, that’s enough of a teaser for now ;) moving on!

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I made these vegan coconut scones the evening before my flight to Orlando last week–if you’ve never made scones at home before, you’re in for a real treat. Rather than being of the crumbly variety, this recipe yields a scone that is feather-light and omg-I-NEED-this-now kind of fluffy. I had neglected to ask my students whether any of them had dietary restrictions, but I love making vegan treats so I decided to try my hand at a dairy and egg-free scone.

Remember my “omg” moment like, 5 seconds ago?

Forget that for a minute. Because ermigawd these scones so gooooooooooood!

Yeah, I get excited pretty easily. But these really are amazing and simple to make!

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All it takes is some of your usual suspects: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dairy-free margarine, etc etc. I also swapped in some coconut oil (to add that classic coconutty flavor) and some sweetened dried coconut for texture. If you’re not a fan of coconut, feel free to play around with this recipe as you like!… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Breakfast & Brunch

Breakfast Tiramisu Parfait

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

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Fun fact #1: I love mocha.

Fun fact #2: I can’t have coffee.

What a way to start a story, huh?

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Once in a blue moon, I’ll drink mocha. That rich, sweet, milky, strong taste is a balm to my soul (no black coffee or espresso shots here!) and it’s also a literal headache–yes, apparently my migraines hate the caffeine.

Sometimes, when I go for long periods without coffee in my life, I’ll strategically position myself at the coffeehouse so that I’m surrounded by people drinking coffee and that wonderful smoky aroma. (So if you ever meet me in a coffeehouse, I am probably that person creepily sniffing your cup while you get up to use the bathroom. You have been warned!)

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Luckily, there is hope for people like me that appears in the form of mocha-flavored everything-you-can-think-of: mocha almond fudge ice cream, mocha-flavored chocolate, and my all-time personal favorite: this tiramisu. Now I don’t know about you, but one of the best parts about drinking coffee seems to be waking up every AM to that amazing aroma and taste, knowing that hundreds of millions of people around the world are doing the same thing. It’s like a whole imagined community of coffee lovers–how great is that?

I wanted in. I ran through a list of all the things mocha-related that I know and love–but after deciding that consuming a slice of tiramisu for breakfast every morning probably wouldn’t be sustainable for my wardrobe–and okay, that it probably wasn’t a great idea to ingest alcoholic anything before 8 AM on the regular–it was back to the drawing board…

And then I stopped and thought to myself: well, why shouldn’t I have tiramisu for breakfast?Read more


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch

The Fluffiest Little Pancakes {secret ingredient!}

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

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It feels like food bloggers are always on a quest to find the perfect something. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, donuts………pancakes?

Well today you can call me Frodo, because I think I’ve nailed this quest. Without further ado, I give you: the fluffiest little pancakes!!!

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There are a lot of theories out there about what makes the “perfect” pancake. Some folks are of the buttermilk & baking soda camp; others use baking powder as leavening. When the Humanities grind gets to be too much, the fun of experimenting in my cozy kitchen gets me excited again and makes me feel like I’m back in 5th grade Mad Science camp. And guess what I discovered?

You don’t need a fancy formula for perfectly fluffy pancakes. You don’t need kitchen know-how. You don’t even need milk or eggs, if you wanna roll the vegan way.

All you need is a super top-secret ingredient…

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Whoops, did I spoil it?

(Here’s me actually pouring it into the bowl–you’ll notice I erm, missed a little bit above)

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Yep–bubbly, effervescent, all-natural, unsweetened, zero calorie, and zero sodium goodness: seltzer water!!!

Lifts you right up just thinking about it, right? Ha!

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I discovered this surprise ingredient while I was scouring the interwebs for a pancake recipe that wasn’t just the same chummy shlummy formula. Luckily, I had fallen in love with seltzer water a few years back when Canada Dry sparkling seltzer water was all the office stocked in its fridge, so I quickly ran down to Ralph’s and hauled my butt back up the giant hill with one of these wonkin’ 12-packs in tow.

Fluffiest Pancakes Ralph's

The things I do for you guys, really.

My arms might still be sore–I hope one of you had the decency to at least call my masseuse.… Read more


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch

Healthy Spiced Apple Granola

This shop has been compensated by Vons. All opinions are mine alone. #AStockUpSale #Vons #CollectiveBias

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Whenever I get stressed, I go on these epic grocery store raids. They wouldn’t really be a problem, either–I mean, who doesn’t need 15 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch sitting around, right?–…IF I had a car for transporting all of my crazy impulse buys back to my place.

As it turns out, I don’t have a car, and with the first week of school upon us (FINALLY) stress levels are at simmering somewhere around a pleasant 7 out of 10. Apart from spending way too much time trying to figure out enrollment issues and kick-start a regular study group schedule with my fellow grads, I’ve also been going to Disneyland and watching a sneak peek screening of The Martian two nights ago um, not been going to Disneyland and definitely not spending my time watching awesome movie screenings. Pffft. (You guys have to see this movie, though.)

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Staying true to the spirit of stress shopping, I decided to take the afternoon off yesterday after class + 6 hours of extra office hours and make the 3-mile trek–yes, on my feet–down to Vons so that I could raid their aisles for some serious schooltime snack food.

Now, this is where things get silly. Have you ever walked into a grocery store with exactly two items on your shopping list…and come out carrying twenty instead? Oh, and here’s the real kicker: it’s only when you’re on the way home in your (hypothetical) car that you realize you’ve completely forgotten to buy the things for which you went to the store in the first place?

This happens to me all. The. Time.

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Now, when you’re without a car (like me) and weak (like me) and seriously distracted (like me), impulse buying + forgetfulness is not a good combo.… Read more


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch, Healthy, Snacks

Easy DIY Peanut Butter Honey Greek Yogurt Scoops

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Have you ever heard that saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”?

Well, I’ve got a will–so can we pleeeeeease just have a few more weeks of summer? Please?

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Not that I have any reason to complain: here in the southern locales, the sun is still beaming and the temperature these days ranges from a svelte high 80s to a sweat-bullet-projecting low 100s…

But then again, who ever needed a REAL reason to gripe anyway? If we all waited for legitimate concerns to crop up before we started moaning and groaning about them, I’d never get to embark on all of my crazy life rants about schoolwork and parents and professors and cookie drama and everything else that makes up 100% 70% of my discussions here, and let’s face it: nobody wants to spend all day reading about my picture perfect imaginary world record winning collection of stuffed animals…

(well, except maybe me)

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The absurdly high end-of-summer temps is one of the big reasons why I’m still reluctant to go anywhere near my oven, even though it’s already the first week of September. My parents visited the other day and practically blew the lid of the place off in annoyance because I turned on the oven on the hottest evening of the week, so the whole place felt like the brimstone-and-flames inner core of Mount Doom…

So I’m sticking to no-bake snacks & bites for now. Which brings me to this awesome, creamy, protein-filled, no-bake, & Mount-Doom-free snack.

Haaaaave you met yogurt?

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When the lovely folks at Chobani reached out to me about whipping up a summer celebration recipe with their iconic yogurt as part of their #MadeWithChobani series, I just had to say yes. I’m kind of a diehard fan of their Greek yogurt–

and by kind of, I mean the “kind of” that you say when your in-laws ask you if you love chocolate cake and you say “kind of” just so that you don’t seem like that person who’s going to eat them out of cake and home, but in reality you love chocolate cake so “kind of” is kind of a really big lie.… Read more


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch, Healthy, Homemade/DIY, Snacks, Snacks, Vegetarian

Easy Mickey Mouse Waffle Iron Omelettes: Guest Post on Neighbor Food Blog!

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Growing up, our house was chock full of Disney paraphernalia: classic Disney VCR tapes here, Ariel candles there, the obligatory Winnie-the-Pooh plushies sitting on top of our piano, right next to my Pochahontas and Lilo & Stitch stuffed collections. In our hallway, there even hung a framed portrait of Mickey Mouse from my mom’s old Disney days that, I later learned, was actually a rather rare reproduction of the same portrait that hung in Walt Disney’s animation office. (Say whaaat?)

Mickey Mouse was such a big part of my childhood, I honestly couldn’t imagine growing up without him and the rest of the Disney crew. That’s why, when my WONDERFUL blogger friend Courtney from Neighbor Food asked if I would guest post on her blog during this exciting time with her adorable baby boy, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to share. Because let’s be honest: is there anything more emblematic of childhood happiness than this little round-eared, adorable mouse in Waffle Iron Omelette form?

No, I didn’t think so, either 8:) <–those are supposed to be cute Mickey ears on a smiley face, FYI

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I’m sharing the recipe for this Memory Lane breakfast idea over on Courtney’s blog today–so make sure to hop on over and give her (and these ridiculously cute omelettes) some lovin’!

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Hope your day’s as bright a one as these smiley little bites, Courtney and all the rest of you lovely folks!






Filed under Breakfast & Brunch

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.


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:


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


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch, Cookies, Healthy

The BEST Bread Pudding for #OXOCookware

Disclaimer: I was selected to be part of OXO’s Blogger Outreach program, for which I received an OXO Stainless Steel Pro 5 Qt. Casserole Dish + Cover. All opinions in this post are 100% my own.


So my latest trip to Disneyland proved that I am the queen of not being able to spot celebrities, ever. Period. Even when I pass by them so close I actually have to maneuver to avoid hitting them in the ribs with my elbow.


Two nights ago, we paid the Happiest Place on Earth a fond visit to celebrate–along with other annual passholders–the 20th anniversary of the Indiana Jones ride. Twenty years. Geesh! I still remember when the attraction first opened and they still handed out those little flimsy AWESOME decoder cards where you could read the ancient runes on the walls while you waited.

Wow, I just dated myself, didn’t I?


Anyway, one of my friends hadn’t eaten anything the entire day. It was past 9 PM when we arrived at the park, so I decided to go with her to grab a bread bowl from New Orleans Square. Of course, she was so hungry at this point that I could barely do more than dodge through the crowds and keep her bobbing head in sight through all the moving bodies. At one point she screeched to a grinding halt and ducked behind a group of folks taking pictures–naturally, I sped up, swerving dangerously close to the subjects of the photo on my right as they arranged themselves. It wasn’t until I had already hopped between them and the camera that my friend grabbed me by the arm, yanked me around, and pointed to the guy in a black and white checkered shirt whom I had nearly decapitated with my elbow a second earlier.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Breakfast & Brunch