Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

Camera Findings

Oh hello.

It’s been a while.

So long, in fact, I look back at my collection of pictures and have no idea which meal goes with which day or exciting event in my life.

Looks like I had quite a few salads:


Apparently I had an apple or 10 throughout the past week.


And lots of yogurt with fruit.  I’ve actually gotten a lot better about simplifying my breakfasts lately.  Yogurt + fruit + coffee + a small scoop of nut butter seems to have been doing the trick.


I guess I put that leftover oat bran to good use?


And free Panda Express that burnt the roof of my mouth off might have been consumed.


Actually, I wasn’t lying about the burning my mouth part.  Even though I picked out all the peppers.  They obviously still left their fiery remnants amongst the chicken.


I might’ve had to chug almond milk afterwards.  Or I’m just doing this for show.  Who knows?  I can’t remember.


I do remember how excited I was for my fortune cookie.  I love fortune cookies. 


Heyyy I’m likin’ the looks of this fortune Winking smile


Except then I learned that if you eat your whole fortune cookie the fortune won’t come true.  Darn it.

I don’t have evidence of my waffles, chips, and a slice of pizza dinner.  So that obviously never happened.

A little baking did go gown in my kitchen though. 


Hello gorgeous.


Come to me.


Nutella cream cheese brownies anyone???


I swear by this brownie recipe (although I also added about 2 tsp of instant coffee powder and ~1/4 cup Nutella to the batter).  And then based the Nutella cream cheese topping off of this recipe.  However I wanted to make them extra Nutella-ie so I used:

  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • ~1 cup Nutella (maybe even more.  I honestly just scooped it in until it tasted right)

And doubled everything else (except I used no butter since I figured the extra Nutella more than made up for the lack of butter Winking smile).

Ooooey gooooey deliciousness.


So so rich.


However it was my cookies that got the raves!  These cookies never ever fail to disappoint.  Seriously.  Make them.  (Note – I added probably about 2 Tbsp. worth of cinnamon to this batter.  And cooked them for 7 minutes.  But they usually take 9 minutes.  Everyone’s oven is different!)


Oh crap.  I found this on my camera too.


But I’m pretty sure I used the whole jar in my recipe, and I was just scraping some of the sides off.  I think? Winking smile


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Weight of Baking

Sounds like many of you don’t think you can rock the running skirt Winking smile I honestly think they’re kind of….strange too.  I just found one on sale and thought I would try it out.  I think we’ve all come to the consensus that Miss Skinny Runner is the queen of rocking a skirt and we should let her continue to hold that crown.

This weekend was full of baking, eating, and good times Smile For Friday night’s potluck, I tried my luck (ha – no pun intended) at dough balls once again.  Instead of Mama Pea’s version, I made these  Cookie Dough Balls this time around (since I had real butter on hand and I also wanted to make chocolate chip ones).  Here’s the story in a nutshell.

The dough tasted rather….just…doughy.  Not sweet at all – that’s where I knew something went wrong. 


That’s when I realized I forgot to double the sugar.  Double the recipe, but only half the sugar?  And the comment section already seemed to say these cookies were under-sweet to begin with.

So I took to rolling my dough in sugar.




Sure they turned out doughy on the inside.  But tasted bland and rubbery.  I know it’s my fault, and I’m sure the original recipe is delicious!  I just need to make it right.


Cookie dough ball fail #3.

Fail #1?  Doubled the oil.

Fail #2?  They turned out delicious, but very crunchy.

Maybe I should just leave ball-making to the pros.

At least we had delicious brownies and ice cream to bring to the get-together!


And I whipped together a batch of boxed sugar cookies I had stored away in the cabinet.  Boxed or not, they were still a hit Winking smile

And we bowled!!  (excuse the dark, flashless photos)


Saturday was spent – get this – sleeping in!!!!  Have I mentioned yet how I now get Saturday’s off work??  Rather than working Saturday-Wednesday, I now work Sunday-Thursday (at the hospital.  I still nanny other days as well).  I lose 3 hours a week, but honestly this will do SO MUCH for my sanity, well-being, and social life.  I’m excited. 

I hit up my friend’s birthday BBQ for a bit and delivered her some cake Smile


And baby cupcakes!


My mom is super into birthday cakes, and she passed down the tradition when she gave us our own bear cake pans this Christmas!  I was excited to try it out myself for my first time.


The frosting was definitely hard to do – I’m awful at the star tip thing, and it wasn’t sticking to the bears!  But it all tastes the same in the end, right? Winking smile


Baby cupcakes are dangerous!!  I popped 3 in my mouth just while frosting. 


I also used my new yoga mat (review and giveaway coming soon!!) to complete Jillian Michael’s six-pack abs DVD.  This DVD is hard!  I honestly barely feel it working my abs (my abs weren’t exhausted afterwards or sore the next day), but it was tired from the squats and lunges she has you do!  Sad that I found this DVD more of a lower body workout than abdominal workout? 

I also competed some upper-body weights.  It feels really good to get back into weights/dumbbells.

Speaking of weights, remember this post?  Yeah, it might’ve been in July.  But I’ve been hitting obstacles for months – injuries, moving, a new job/routine to get used to, too insanely busy to exercise, more injuries, drinking, holidays….the excuses could go on.  But according to my resolution goal I made a couple weeks ago, I’m really buckling down on the weight-loss/toning up plan.

I want to include you guys and update you on my progress.  This is a life-blog about myself, anyways.  But I don’t want to overwhelm you all with weight-loss talk.  I know some blog readers out there can be sensitive towards that type of thing, and I don’t want to lose dear readers because they’re tired of typical weight-related issues! 

So I’m asking you guys – do you want me to post about my weight-loss journey?  Do you want me to post my weekly weigh-ins, progress, some daily food/meals (obviously I still won’t post everything), workout talk, etc?  Or is that too much?  Please, let me know your opinions!

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Thanksgiving Baking

I volunteered to bring a few dishes to Thanksgiving dinner this year and I whipped them up last night and today. 

But what oh what did I decide to make??




I spent last night whipping up some sweet potaoes.  And today baking and sampling a delicious dessert.  Plus some cranberry sauce.


I decided on pumpkin whoopie pies!  Following Angela’s recipe but with a few alterations.  I added an egg (not sure what that did to the recipe).  And added a tad more cinnamon to the batter (it didn’t taste pumpkiny enough to me).  The frosting was super dee duper sweet.  I ended up using about 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice in the frosting.  And added a teensy bit of almond milk.  It was slightly thicker than I wanted – I don’t think I used quite enough butter.


Homemade Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 12-oz bag cranberries
  • 1 peeled apple, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • Cinnamon

Boil water, cranberries, and apple until cranberries pop.  Add agave nectar and some cinnamon and reduce to simmer.  Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until sauce it thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool.


Candied Sweet Potatoes (will show picture with dinner – not quite done with them yet!)

  • 3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I used more)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Salt

Microwave sweet potatoes until cooked.  Let cool.  Scoop out the insides into a bowl.  Mix in egg, seasonings, and brown sugar.  Spread in baking dish, top with marshmallows, and bake until warmed through or marshmallows are golden.


I’m actually working tomorrow morning (6 am-2:30 pm shift).  I’m glad to be working Thanksgiving, because that means I get Christmas off(!!).  And I’m lucky to be working the morning shift, because that means I get to hit the road immediately after, and meet my family halfway home at my aunt’s house! 

I’m excited to see my whole family –it’s been over 3 months since we’ve all been together, and since I’ve seen my brother and sister.


I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow, wonderful family time, and safe travels.


And don’t forget about my giveaway ending Friday evening at 6 pm!

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Cookies & Nuts

Yes.  That’s as creative a title as you’re gonna get.


It’s been a while since I baked my favorite cookies.  When a friend’s birthday came up, I had the perfect excuse Winking smile


However, when it came time to mix in the chips, I realized I had no chocolate chips.  I had debated buying chocolate chips the other day at the store, and I ended up putting them back on the shelf.  I guess I thought I had decided to buy them?  Not sure…

But I did have cinnamon chips!


Seriously – make.  these. cookies.  Life changing!  I definitely had a good 3 cookies worth of dough.  And probably 3 cookies of actual cookies.  And that was just in the afternoon.  So addicting.

I also think they make excellent post-run food.


I mean, made with oats, whole wheat flour, and canola oil – it’s like a super sugary energy bar cookie, right?



I’ve also decided that these make an awesome pre, post, & during (?? I’d stop during a run for these babies) run snack as well.


A seriously 100% impulse buy at Costco.  I’m usually so good at avoiding these.

Best cinnamon almonds ever.  No joke.



Would you like some running talk?  Okay.

My run yesterday was great.  4.5 miles.  And today was another 4.5 miles.  Both were okay – nothing great, but not horrible.  Just normal runs.

And that’s good Smile However, my knees, and left ankle are slightly bothering me.  As is my left inner shin at times.  I did get refitted for new orthotics, and I’m hoping that’s the solution here.  According the orthotics doctor (what are they called?), my ankle is rolling inward and my feet are just overcoming my current orthotics.  And my shoes aren’t super supportive.  So without the support of orthotics, I do think I’m feeling the pain from that.

I hope.

I just am not looking forward to buying another set of expensive orthotics :-/. Boo.

In din-din news….

Dinner was semi-homemade. 

Enter this rice:


These beans:


And this sausage:


Which I was really sad to see has lamb casing.  Boo.  Oh well Sad smile


Give you this:


Yes….there were veggies and sausage under there.  Very good.  But very salty.



I can’t believe I haven’t asked….what are you all being for Halloween this year?!?!  I love love love Halloween and dressing up!  But you’ll have to wait and see what my costume is Winking smile

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One Zero

10 things on 10-10-10.  Cliché.  But deal.

1. Milestones.

Speaking of ones and zeros….


My car (Sophie is her name, by the way) has reached a milestone and is now over the hill.  Getting up there with the old fogies.


2. Grocery shopping.

Because of my work schedule, I really only eat breakfast, some lunches, and 2-4 dinners at home per week.  However, I really was dwindling down to nothing.

Costco goods:

  • Chicken sausage – $14 for 3 pack
  • 18 eggs – $1.50


  • Vanilla extract – $7
  • Pumpkin spice coffee – $8.99 for 32 oz!
  • 2 pack of CPK BBQ sauce – $6.99 for 2 40-oz containers.  I need BBQ sauce, and this was a pretty good deal!


Other grocery goods (Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and local market):

  • Voskos Greek yogurt – $1 each.  Splurge.  But cheap for Greek yogurt. Plus it’s an 8 oz container
  • New Laughing Cow flavor!  $3 on sale, and wanted to try
  • Guacamole Hummus – $3 (Dislike.  I actually ended up throwing it away today.  It was like bland bland weird textured avocado.  Not a fan)
  • Pistachios on mad sale!
  • Black beans – $1
  • Oats – $2.30
  • Peanut sauce dressing – on sale for $2.50



  • Nectarines – .68 cents/lb
  • Kobacha squash – .59/lb!!!!  Cheapest I’ve seen it anywhere.  This squash ended up being $2 something.  Crazy good deal.  I was so excited I bought 2.


Anyways, this was a slightly big shopping trip for me, but now I have pasta, sausage, rice, beans, and a few frozen foods to eat for lunches and dinner.

Plus squash.  I’m so excited.


3. There’s really no way to make string cheese look attractive.  Fact.



4. Muffin baking.

I’ve been wanting to bake with that open jar of applesauce I have.  I’ve also been wanting to make pumpkin bread or muffins. 


Following this recipe, I used applesauce instead of oil.  And 1 cup of brown sugar instead of white.

I also topped it with a streusel mixture of:

  • 1 Tbsp Earth balance butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Cinnamon


5. Muffin eating


With vanilla pear butter spread spread on it.


These are delicious and healthy tasting.  You can tell they don’t use oil or butter, but are still moist and slightly chewy.  So good.


6. Peanut butter loving.

Literally.  They love each other.



7. The return of pumpkin cream cheese.

This is one thing I will splurge on no matter what.  Yes, $3.60 is expensive for cream cheese.  But it’s once a year.  And so so good. 


From Einstein’s if you have one near you.


8. Sushi.  It was good.  Especially the tempura vegetables.  And when I saw tempura kobacha squash, I was excited.  Of course.


9. Accidentally setting my alarm for 6:00 am rather than 5:00.  And waking up, getting my coffee, taking my time….until my phone rings at 6:15 and I see the time.  I’m supposed to be at work at 6:00. 



10. Finally getting cable and watching the Giants win their second game of the series.  YESSSSSSSSSS.



You can list your top 10 recent moments lately, or just your #1 Smile Go for it!!

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I know there are a multitude of motherly devoted posts floating around out there today. So add one more to the bunch 😉

Mommy – I love you!!! You’ve done so much for all of us. I don’t know how you put up with 5 kids!! We share a passion for health, nutrition and fitness, and I don’t think I would have those interests if it weren’t for her!

Trying our first Cosmos in Mexico together (yes, she never had a Cosmo until a few years ago!)


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We did the SF Women’s Nike marathon 3 years in a row. Only one year I walked the half with her, and the others years I ran on my own. But it was still great to have her support. I keep trying to motivate her to run, and dream to run a half with her one day!




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Love you Mommy!!

This weekend, the kitchen and I have gotten busy. Most of the roommates were out of town, and I some POM juice I wanted to experiment with, so I thought to msyelf “Taylor – this would be an excellent weekend to bake.” So bake I did.

Yesterday I whipped up my first ever batch of homemade granola! (Recipe to come tomorrow)

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And maple pecan nut butter.

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  1. Toast 1 1/2 cups pecans at 350 for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Process in a food processor, sraping down the sides as needed.
  3. Once the nuts are smooth, drizzle in 2-3 tsp maple syrup and 1/4 tsp salt.
  4. Continue to process until completely smooth.

My mini-food processor is not that powerful, and I definitely didn’t process this for long enough. I also added way too much maple syrup, and it became an ooey gooey mess. But I do not lie when I say it tastes exacly like cookie dough. Therefore, I deem this pecan butter a complete and utter success. Not very practical for spreading, but definitely practical for crumbling over food – such as oats or apples!

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And also practical for eating straight up. Duh.

Today I hit up the gym (2.5 mile treadmill run!), then hit up our school’s baseball game. Which was slightly painful. I came back and snacked on this:

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Which was good!! I was not expecting to like an orange-chocolate bar. But it tasted like a fig newton.

And granola:

IMG 7558

Someone send me lotion ASAP.

And then got busy with Mr. Kitch again. Together we made Blueberry Pomegranate Muffins.

IMG 7559

I seriously couldn’t wait 1 minute to try these out as my plate obviously shows 😉 Spread with some nut butter for good measure.

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Oh and uh seconds, obvs.

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This one a bit more cooled & structured. With cream cheese in the middle.

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Recipe for these to come tomorrow as well. Be patient my friends! It is a virtue 🙂

Now I’m eating carrots and ranch + BBQ sauce dip.

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And obviously won’t be hungry for a big dinner, since I did eat all this at around 4:30-5:00. Snackin’ my way through the evening!

How was everyone’s Mother’s Day? Did you see your momma?

My siblings all pitched in to send our mommy an edible bouquet. I’m kind of sad I’m not home to try out some of the fruit!!

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Lesson learned…I may want to rethink cream cheese on my oats if it’s not plain flavored.

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Chive cream cheese doesn’t exactly pair well with oats and almond butter :-/ Oh well still delicious!

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Lesson learned…while delicious, Nature’s Path instant flaxseed oats don’t keep me full nearly as long as old fashioned rolled oats.

But you gotta take what you can get when you’re running late out the door for work!

Lesson learned…kids nowadays have really cool playhouses.

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Doorbells and mailboxes? Not fair. Can I move in?

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Lesson learnedit’s been far too long since I’ve had my favorite sweets for breakfast. Which led to 2 days in a row of this:

French Meadow Bakery flax & sunflower seed bread toasted then soaked in a mixture of:

  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Maple syrup

IMG 7190

Cooked on my griddle, then topped off with

  • Almond butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Syrup
  • Granola

IMG 7191

O.M.G. This bread was amazing with french toast. It was nutty, chewy, and had an underlying sourdough taste to it, but is whole grain with nutty sunflower seeds throughout. I normally just make french toast with whatever normal whole wheat bread I have, but I loved this!

Repeated the next morning. Duh.

Dear french toast and pancakes – why did you let me go so long without you? I would’ve appreciated a phone call 😦

After seeing Janetha’s “pancakes” yesterday, I knew I wanted to recreate. I pretty much used to the same recipe with a few changes. In mine:

  • 2/3 cup egg starts
  • 2 T. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Few drops stevia
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 T almond milk
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • Love chocolate chips (in half of them)

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Holy Moly! Look how much it made! But they were thin. Flat as a pancake, if you will 😉

I topped mine with almond butter, Crofter’s jam, and maple syrup.

These were pretty delicious! The chocolate chips ones were especially decadent 🙂 Definitley no traditional pancake, but still a tasty alternative. Kind of bland though, so I highly recommend the cinnamon and/or other additions (chocolate chips, blueberries, banana, etc).

Lesson learned…5 people can do some serious work on a pan of brownies.

Last night I got the urge to bake. My roommates chanting me to the kitchen didn’t help either 😉 I found this brownie recipe online, but only had egg starts and whole wheat flour in the kitchen. As much as I like experimenting in recipes, substitutions usually end up sub par for me. Luckily, this recipe was a success! As seen below, this was all that was left from the pan this morning:

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Yup, one single lonesome brownie. Pretty sure it’s because we all went back for seconds (or thirds??).  I highly recommend this recipe! Ooey, gooey, and oh so delicious.

What successful substitutions have you made in baking?

I know the No-Pudge brownies are delicious made with yogurt or applesauce. But other recipes are usually too dry and unsatisfying for me when I do that. I think my above brownies were still delicious since I still used a whole stick of butter 😉

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