Category Archives: Food

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Well it’s official. I’ve jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon. In my defense, this isn’t anything new. I’ve been on the bandwagon ever since the creation of Pinterest.

 

Last week I was really craving baked goods, specifically something with pumpkin in it. I was out to create something that combined two of my favorite things in life: pumpkin & dark chocolate. I used pumpkin puree from a can, and also added pumpkin spice to make it extra pumpkin-y (is that a word?) If you don’t have any pumpkin spice on hand, you can find it in the spice section of the grocery store.

 

Obviously, I added whole wheat flour to the recipe to make this slightly healthier. Hey, A for effort, right people?

 

I was very pleased with the way these turned out! I can always tell how good my baking is by my fiance’s willingness to eat whatever it is I made. He liked them so much that we asked me where I hid them a couple days later. Unfortunately, I had to break the news to him that I finished the batch the night before. Sorry honey. No regrets here, they’re that good!

 

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes approximately 2 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (you can find this in the spice section of the grocery store)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin and mix until combined for 2-3 minutes.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin spice until combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips

5. Scoop cookie dough into round balls and disperse evenly on the baking sheets. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely then serve.

 

Bon appetit!

 

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Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

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I felt the need to add the adjective “simple” to the title of this recipe because it really doesn’t get much easier than this when it comes to making bread. Seriously, I promise you won’t be able to mess this one up!

Ask my fiance, I have screwed up a fair share of baked goods in my day. Baking is very particular when it comes to measuring everything out precisely to find what works best, which is something that I didn’t understand until recently.

I shop at Trader Joes a lot and a majority of their fresh produced is pre-packaged in various containers. When I want to buy zucchinis, I’m forced to buy a minimum of 5 of them at a time. I bought some for veggie tacos last week, and they were laying around in my fridge for far too long. Eventually I had the urge to make zucchini bread to put them out of their misery  put them to good use.

 

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Simple Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray

2. Lightly beat together the eggs, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla until it is combined well

3. In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, pastry flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture and stir thoroughly

5. Stir in the zucchini, raisins, and walnuts until well-combined

6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 15 minutes before serving

 

Enjoy!

Oh How I love October

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[love these simple & rustic autumn decorations // source]

 

No, I haven’t had a pumpkin spice latte yet this year. No, the leaves don’t change in Arizona. No, I don’t get to wear cozy sweaters and boots for another couple months. So why do I still love October?

I love the feeling and nostalgia that October brings. Autumn is such a comforting season and everyone always seems like they are in a good mood. Even though I’m busy and stressing over my gigantic exam tomorrow, I am in much better spirits than I was a month ago. The mornings have really begun to cool off and it’s comforting to be able to open the windows and relax with the fresh air blowing in. October is when it begins to cool off around my parts (think steady 80 degree temperatures everyday). That might not sound “cool” to the rest of the country but it feels awesome here. This is also the time of year when all the tourists start coming back. Restaurants, shops, and highways start getting busier. Side note: you can spot a tourist a mile away here because they are wearing shorts and t-shirts when the locals are wearing jackets and boots. 

Autumn is the time of year when my baking addiction begins to kick in again. This started last week when I had the urge for some zucchini bread (recipe coming soon). Last year I made entirely too many baked goods with pumpkin in them. When cans of pumpkin begin to hit the shelves in stores again, I stock up. But lately I think the pumpkin obsession has gotten a little out of hand. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin everything, but do you think maybe we’re taking it too far? I saw pumpkin spice M&Ms the other day. That blows my mind.

In honor of fall I decided to stray from my usual banana and blueberry oatmeal and switch it up with chopped apples, walnuts, and cinnamon. This was about as close as it comes to eating apple pie for breakfast!

Since it’s What I Ate Wednesday, here is the photographic evidence of my recent eats:

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[apple, walnuts, & cinnamon oatmeal]

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[satisfying my urge to bake with some classic zucchini bread]

Follow along on: Bloglovin’, Facebook, & Twitter

 

What is your favorite part of autumn?

Eats & Engagement Photoshoot

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[love how perfect this gorgeous blue j.crew dress was for our engagement pictures]

Happy Wednesday everyone! I finally stopped to smell the roses (and take food pictures) a little bit this week. Are you proud of me? On Monday, we drove to a beautiful arboretum about an hour outside of the Phoenix area for our engagement pictures. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and very rustic, which is rare in Arizona. To save myself the time and stress of doing my hair, I decided to pamper myself and went to Drybar for the first time for a blowout. All I can say is: wow. That place is incredible! They gave me coffee and cookies and had a movie playing right in front of my chair. It was the perfect remedy for all the stress that’s been building up the past few weeks.

When we got home from our pictures, we were exhausted. I thought going to bed early would be the solution to the problem. However, I felt more tired all day on Tuesday and could barely keep up in my classes. Our vitamin E lecture yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks due to the complex metabolic pathways, it was brutal. My plan is to relax a little bit today before I travel back to Ohio (again) this weekend. I swear this is the last time I’m ever going back. Ok, not ever, but you get the idea. I need a break from that 4-hour flight! Plus, I think it’s time my friends and family started visiting me more often! (hint hint).

I’ve been keeping everything relatively easy around here (in terms of food) simply to save on time. Normally I make at least two trips to trader joes and/or other grocery stores per week but these days I’m lucky if I even make one trip. As a foodie, this kills me inside! Do you have any idea how tragic it is when I’m stressed the night before a test and I don’t have any dark chocolate left? It’s terrible. Oh well, life goes on!

 

Here is a look at some of my favorite plates (more like bowls) from this past week:

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[spinach, romaine, tomato, & chickpea salad with balsamic vinaigrette]

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[veggie bowl with lettuce, quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, chickpeas, avocado, & salsa]

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[simple breakfast of kashi autumn wheat, bananas, blueberries, & almond milk]


Enjoy this last Wednesday of September. It’s almost my favorite month of the year!

Chocolate Coconut Covered Almonds

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Happy chocolate-covered Monday!

I eat almonds almost everyday. They’re a filling snack and are a good source of vitamin E, B2, and monounsaturated fat. However, sometimes I need to step it up a notch and satisfy my sweet tooth at the same time.

Every once in a while I buy a bag of dark chocolate covered almonds at the store. Naturally, this eventually led to the desire to make them on my own. This recipe is super easy and quick. These chocolate almonds are a great alternative (financially and nutritionally) to traditional store-bought chocolate almonds.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (milk or dark)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes

 

Directions:

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

2. Pour chocolate chips into microwave-safe bowl and melt on high for 1- 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds

3. Dip almonds into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper. Sprinkle shredded coconut over the almonds. Refrigerate for 10-25 minutes then serve.

Enjoy!

 

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