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Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

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Posted in Baking

One of the many perks of working at a university are the beginning of semester festivities. One of the favorite traditions (for students and staff alike) is “cookie week”, when university staff pass out cookies to welcome students and faculty back to campus. The most popular cookies are cranberry walnut. These massive cookies are soft and gooey and packed with enough oatmeal, cranberries and nuts that we can pretend they are healthy (they’re not, I read the nutrition facts once). Now that we are half way into the spring semester, the next cookie week (and batch of cranberry cookies!) is more than two months away. Instead I made my own! I decided to swap out the walnuts for pecans because I prefer pecans, and I

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Gingerbread Cookies

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Posted in Baking

When I was growing up, we didn’t make many Christmas cookies. Several of our neighbors would make batches upon batches of cookies and give them as gifts, which meant our house was filled with delicious treats without any of us turning on the oven. I enjoyed so many amazing Christmas cookies over the years, all baked by our generous friends. I no longer live in that neighborhood, and confess I miss all those treats. For our date night last weekend, Luke and I decided to bake Christmas cookies. At the top of my list was a recipe I’ve always loved, but never made before- gingerbread. My perfect gingerbread is deliciously spicy, but still sweet and soft in the center, but still firm on the edges.

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Chai Pot de Crème

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Posted in Main

I love chai. Spicy and aromatic, it’s perfect for snuggling up with a good book on a cool evening. The smell of chai makes me think of my grandma. Even though she’s first generation Swedish-American, the distinctive smell of cardamom always reminds me of her. Cardamom is a key ingredient in chai, and also a staple in Scandinavian kitchens. Chai’s spicy flavor lends itself well to baking, and while I’ve used Earl Grey in baking before, I’d never tried chai. I also love French pastry, and desserts like crème brulée and pot de crème. Pot de crème is similar to custard, where flavored cream is added to egg yolks. Aromatic chai and silky pot de crème sounded like a delicious experiment. I started by steeping

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Carrot Zucchini Muffins

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Posted in Baking

Saturday is baking day at our place. Luke had to go into work for a few hours, so I decided to make a special surprise – Muffins! Muffins are Luke’s favorite breakfast food, and I’ve been dying to try this new recipe I found on Pinterest. These muffins are packed with carrots and zucchini, but are still light and sweet. Luke is the first to call foul when I put vegetables where they don’t belong, but he gave these carrot zucchini muffins his stamp of approval. I wouldn’t go as far to call these muffins healthy (there is a lot of sugar and oil!), but there’s enough vegetables and whole wheat to justify a second helping. Or third. Print Yum Carrot Zucchini Muffins IngredientsDry Ingredients

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Banana Cookies

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Posted in Baking

With only a handful of ingredients, these delicious and nutritious banana cookies are easily one of my favorite snacks. Friends, there a two recipe claims I am sick of hearing. The first is that a recipe only has 2 or 3 ingredients, but one of the ingredients is cake mix or cream of something soup (gross). The second is when a recipe claims to be healthy or “skinny”, and the nutritional information is downright scary. I promise this is not the case with these cookies. These banana cookies have become my favorite post-workout snack. I usually crave sweets when I exercise (not a great habit), and these cookies satisfy my craving and won’t negate my hard work in the gym! The basic recipe is one

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Guilt-Free Banana Ice Cream

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Posted in Baking

Nothing says ice cream like summer! Minnesota summers are hot and humid, and nothing is better than a cool bowl of ice cream on a cool day. I would love to have a bowl of ice cream every day. Unfortunately, ice cream is an occasional indulgence, not an everyday treat. This banana ice cream satisfies my ice cream cravings, but it’s healthy enough to enjoy as often as I chose all summer long. Would you have guessed that frozen bananas could become thick and creamy like ice cream? I discovered this in college, when my favorite post-workout snack was a chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie. I noticed that decreasing the liquid in the smoothie (in this case, milk) resulted in a decadent milkshake-like smoothie. Soon

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Chocolate Sangria Cake

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Posted in Baking

My parents were out of town this past weekend, and Luke and I volunteered to dog sit. Our apartment doesn’t allow pets, so it usually makes the most sense to pack up our bags and spend the weekend at my parents’ house. Gunnar, the family dog, loves this arrangement. Long walks, trips to the park, hours of playing tug of war with Luke- what’s not to love? Whenever we dog sit, my mom makes a list of food we should use, lest it goes bad before it she returns. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, a new kind of cereal my dad didn’t like; these are all typical list items that Luke and I are happy to use. This time, the list included something unusual: Sangria. Sangria

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Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

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Posted in Recipes

This week, we turned our calendars from August to September. As summer winds down, I am so excited for my favorite season- fall! Time to unpack the sweaters, boots and scarves, and pull out my peacoat and mittens from the back of the closet. I love the crisp and refreshing fall mornings and the bright autumn leaves falling from trees. I love pumpkin, and enjoy it all year round. Fall has arrived, and you can bet I’m capitalizing on this season. Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes to inspire you this autumn! Pumpkin Spice Bagels My favorite pumpkin recipe of all time- pumpkin spice bagels! Seriously, these bagels are so good, I get requests for them year round. If you’ve never made bagels

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For many, salads are the quintessential healthy food. They’re easy to make, easy to pack for lunches or dinner, and relatively inexpensive. However, it’s easy to fall into a rut and find yourself eating the same boring salad again and again and again. I’m a vegetable lover and salad enthusiast and I usually enjoy a salad every day for either lunch or dinner. Eating seven salads a week can get monotonous quickly. These are my favorite tricks for keeping my salads new, exciting and delicious day in and day out. 1. Toasted Almonds or Nuts Toasted almonds add a perfect crunch to any salad. Toast sliced almonds at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned. I toast large batches of sliced almonds

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Fruit Bars

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Posted in Dessert Recipes

It’s hard to believe that it is already the end of August and summer is almost over. We’ve been making these fruit bars all summer, and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you! It’s been a hot summer. We’re lucky enough to have air conditioning in our home, but we spent much of our summer soaking up the sun in the backyard. Even in the shade, the heat and humidity can be overwhelming. Oh the joys of Minnesota summers! These fruit bars are so refreshing! Nothing beats an ice-cold popsicle on a warm summer’s day. Fruit bars are the perfect healthy summer treat- refreshing and cool, and sweet and satisfying. We always keep a batch of fruit bars in the freezer for warm

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