Tag Archives: apple

Apple Cheddar Veggie Meatball Skewers

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

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Everyone in my family has an obsession. My dad and brother are obsessed with football; I’m crazy about cooking (obviously); and my mom–well, she loves puzzle games and…paper towels.

I kid you not.When we went out for some quality grocery shopping time a few weeks ago while my dad and brother were at home watching the football game, she said to me: “Now where’s Viva?”


“Viva. You know, Viva.

I had just begun to look around in bewilderment for a dog or person who might answer to this strange name when I looked up–and realized that we were standing in front in the paper towel aisle.

“Oh,” I said. “Ohhhhhh. VIVA.”

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My mom likes to tell the story about how she once visited a friend in Boston and brought her own paper towels with her, heaven forbid Massachusetts suddenly put a tax on all paper products and there was a towel shortage or something. The roll she brought with her was, predictably, a Viva® one–and the friend, as it turned out, must’ve made excellent use of it after my mom left, because the next week my mom received a phone call. It was her friend, who demanded to know how she had never used such incredibly soft, absorbent paper towels in her life.

Again, this is a true story.

And my mom, in usually fashion, simply replied:




So we’re kind of Viva® purists over here.

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All of this brings me back to the grocery trip a few weeks ago. When the two of us finally got back from the store, scores were in full swing and my brother and dad were “OOOH”ing and “OHHHH”ing like madmen.… Read more


Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Snacks, Vegetarian

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

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


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

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


Filed under Breakfast & Brunch, Healthy

Healthy Salted Caramel Apple Bars for #studentbloggers

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Thanks so much to everyone who has joined us for this #studentbloggers series. This is our final installment (for now, at least) as the school year revs into gear. See you guys on the other side, and don’t forget to check out all these incredibly TALENTED bloggers who have participated!

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(See our interviews from Week 1 and Week 2.)

QUESTION 1. Let’s be honest: how much time do you spend on schoolwork/research vs. the blog?

Ala: I treat school like a full-time job…and it is one! I still spend a good chunk of time every night blogging though (anywhere from 20-30 hours a week), and my friends think I’m crazy for doing it because I insist on having a social life as well. That leaves me with some scary number of hours of sleep…you can do the math.

Bec: Majority of the week is spent a) procrastinating and b) mentally and physically stopping the procrastination/procrastibaking c) attempting to smash out Uni work

Nicole: In all honestly – about 60 % research, 40 % blog (but I do spend almost my entire weekends and lots of evenings solely on blog work)

Shelley:  Schoolwork comes first ;) I’ll blog when I have the time!

Zainab: I am ashamed to answer this just in case my PI sees this one day. But in a 24 hour day, I think 9 goes to schoolwork and the rest the blog. Just so much goes into blogging and being new at it, the learning curve is steep so it’s sucking lots of hours of my day. With research, I am very efficient at this point. I get to lab in the morning and can hammer out my experiments pretty quickly. I try to do most of all I need to do there (9-6.30pm) and most times once I leave lab, I leave it all there.… Read more


Filed under Bars, Blogger Series, Fruit Desserts, Healthy

LWOM: Healthy Apple Spice Bars with Caramel Penuche Icing

It was a Wednesday, and as a consequence, Piglet was sitting on a log. Mind you, this was his Wednesday log, which is different from his Thursday or Saturday log, although sometimes you found it hard to tell the difference, and so did Piglet.

“Tiddly pom, hum,” he said, since it seemed like the right thing to say when one is sitting on a Wednesday log.

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Speaking of the right thing to say, it was an afternoon perfect for soft, warmly-spiced apple bars frosted with caramel penuche icing and–

“Excuse me?” said Piglet.

“Excuse me,” I said,  startled.

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“Were you speaking just now?” he asked, looking up with a slightly mesmerized expression, as I’m sure you’re wearing at this very moment. Because his attention was fixed on this gif right above us, too.

“I think so. Or at least the gif above you was. It was one or the other of us, you know.”

“Oh. I thought somebody must have been.” He paused and twiddled the daffodil that he had been twiddling after his thumbs had been all twiddled out. “And…and who were you speaking to?”

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“Why–to the readers, I suppose,” I said.

“Oh.” The flower wiggled its petals and worried its stem. There was a pause.

“Not to me?” he asked finally.

“Well, not at first,” I said, but I added kindly, “But it could have been to you.”

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Piglet considered this. He considered saying “Oh, hooray, and three cheers for Piglet!” but decided that might make him sound what he called “over-eager.” So he said instead, rather randomly, “You know, people like to talk to Pooh very much.”

“I know,” I said. Because it was true.

“But he can be a bear of very little brain–as he says himself, of course,” Piglet finished hurriedly. And then he added, so as not to sound too self-interested, “I admire your the pig cup in your pictures.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

LWOM: Caramel Apple Pie Bars (from the Perspective of Pooh)

I’d like to do something a bit different today. Today is a Friday, which is different from a Thursday or a Saturday or a birthday or an unbirthday, so of course things would be different to begin with. But today will be a different-in-a-meeting-new-friends-kind-of-way day, which is our favorite kind of day. And I’d like you to meet a friend of mine. You may have heard of him before.

Why don’t you say hello to our friends, Pooh?

“Hello to our friends,” said Pooh.

“Thank you Pooh,” I said.

So this is Pooh. Also known in the 100 Acre Woods (where he’s from–Pooh, that is) as Winnie-ther-Pooh–or at least that’s what Christopher Robin calls him. And Christopher Robin is usually not wrong about these sorts of things, except on every other Thursday, and sometimes when it’s his unbirthday.

“What sorts of things are we talking about?” a growly bear voice said.

“About you liking honey, for instance,” I said.

“Oh,” Pooh replied. “I thought we were. I just wanted to make sure.”

“That’s a very good thing to do,” I said.

“And well–if you don’t mind my asking–what other sorts of things do I like?”

“What about these caramel apple pie bars?” I asked, pointing at the picture you just saw. “What do you think of them?”

“I don’t see them quite well,” said the bear, who scratched his head with his paw in a puzzling sort of way. “It’s a very hard thing to do when you’re on the same screen page as a picture.”

“Well, maybe if you look from the outside,” I suggested quietly.

And so he did. And it looked something like this. From your point of view, of course. I imagine it looked quite different to Pooh.

“Well?” I asked when he had pondered for a pondering while.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

Apple Pie Streusel Bread


This has an embarrassing amount nothing to do with the fact that I’ve just started teaching an undergraduate course.

Have you ever had a teacher you respected to the core?

Like an apple core–you know, strong, sturdy, and full of so many little seeds of great ideas?

Now that I’m a full-fledged apple-core teacher of sorts, I’ve also crowned myself queen of magnificent metaphors. Because apparently everything I says actually has weight now, or at least so I’ve gathered from the fact that every ounce of word vomit that spews forth from my lips is written down by a dozen zealous pen-wielding university undergrads.

Funflour Fact #7: Did you know that (according to www.fotps.org) the average teacher…a) Spends an average of $443 per year of their own money to meet the needs of their students, and b) spend an average of 50 hours per week on all teaching duties, including non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty and club advising? 

Teachers have been on my mind a lot lately. Just last week, I graded my first full batch of papers and nearly flew off my rocker at the sheer amount of work that goes into such a seemingly “simple” task.

Probably the only thing we got right about our teachers when we were still little bright-eyed brats was that they basically live in their classrooms. I’m stuck in my office at 9 PM as I type this, but I guess that’s about the same thing. And until I started teaching this fall term, I never really–I mean really–appreciated how much our teachers have done and continue to do for us.

Just this morning, I attempted to channel massive levels of anxiety into productive writing energy for nearly half of my students, whose second paper is due this week.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread, Fruit Desserts