Banana Muffins

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My husband, Michael, and I are looking into buying a house. We got pre-approved and started shopping online and then with a realtor. There are dozens of available homes online, but many of the ones we were interested in were already spoken for. We had to learn to let go, and know that if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. We may not live here in Wisconsin forever, but we’re getting tired of renting and we’re ready for our own place. We’ve been renters for 6 years now!
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Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Do you ever find yourself kind of WANTING baked goodies, but no real energy to make them? Thanks a lot, winter.

One of my resolutions this year was to blog monthly. Some months I can get so many recipes created and others, I feel completely buried in work and school that I just can’t find the time or energy to bake. The gloomy winter days make me sleepy, and a recent change at work has me a little stressed.
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Perfect Cookies: Shortbread

ccHow is Christmas next week?? I don’t understand it. I decorate for Christmas (well, I decorate the tree while my husband does everything else), I make cocoa and fudge and drink eggnog, but Christmas just never hits me until it’s here, but it’s okay, I still soak it all in. Michael and I get each other lots of presents because we’re really just large children, and we always wait until after his birthday (the 19th) to open them. After our celebration, we’ll head down to our parents’ houses in Iowa. They only live 20 minutes apart, so that’s pretty handy, and we usually split our time between the 2 houses. This year, both our families are having Christmas on New Year’s weekend, so we’re mainly going to relax on Christmas weekend, other than some grandparent visits. I get a lot of time off work and Michael’s done with school for the semester, so it should be a nice Christmas vacation! I do a treasure hunt for the kiddos on my side, and we always decorate Christmas cookies.
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Perfect Cookies: Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

I just got my eyes lasered on Wednesday, but I made these on Thursday. If my bleary eyes can do it, so can you!
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Laser surgery is super traumatic. I wasn’t expecting to be so stressed out. They made it sound like 40 seconds of being uncomfortable, but it was more like 10 minutes of someone messing with your eyes while you try not to hit them and run away. My stress meter was maxed out by the time they were done, and my eyes were on fire. The numbing drops weren’t very effective. I had a coworker who had it done 16 years ago, when they gave people Valium before doing it…basically, the good ol’ days!
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Perfect Cookies: No Bake Cookies

nb-cookOkay, yes, there a million recipes of this out there and they all look the same. But this one turns out soft, fudgy, not sticky, and is completely perfect in every way. And they’re even better the next day!

I had to run to the grocery store before making these tonight. Worth the effort! They’re full of fairly healthy ingredients, so don’t worry when you end up eating them in excess….
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Perfect Cookies: Chocolate Chip Cookies

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They’re uncomplicated. They’re buttery. They taste fantastic freshly baked AND a few days later. Introducing…the chocolate chip cookies of your dreams! Crispy edges give way to soft centers. No cakey textures allowed- these melt in your mouth.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and what better way to enjoy the time off work than to make some cookies? I just spent an entire morning baking- pumpkin pies, chocolate pecan bars, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, and fresh whipped cream are all done! I also made a batch of these to live up to my promise of weekly, amazing cookies.
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Perfect Cookies: Gingersnaps

Yes, it is time for a new series. This one is going to be all about the perfect classic cookies. I’m still searching for the perfect snickerdoodles (the ones shown here were too dry), but these things take time I suppose. I have found some amazing chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate peanut butter cookies, so those are up next.
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Thanksgiving Plans

I love any holiday that has to do with food, family, and gratitude. This past year has been filled to the brim with awesomeness, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for that.

  1. I graduated college, finally
  2. I got a job before I graduated
  3. I enjoy my challenging job
  4. My husband is able to do school full-time while I work
  5. Wisconsin is all kinds of beautiful
  6. I was able to travel a lot, and even saw the Sequoia trees, a life-long dream
  7. Everyone in my family is healthy and happy

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And I could extend that list a lot, but I’d like to focus on the “food” part that I mentioned. I love to cook and bake for Thanksgiving, but since I live 5+ hours away from family, this year I’m focusing on easy recipes. I thought I’d share what I’m going to make! First, from my own brain: I’m wanting to re-make a Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake I made a few years ago. If that happens, I’ll be sure to share the recipe. Continue reading

Cocoa & Marshmallow Cupcakes

I’m going to pretend like it hasn’t been forever, skip all the rambling and excuses for not blogging, and dive right in. These are worth the wait, I promise:

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My mom always made cocoa in a big pot on the stove while we went sledding in the backyard (we had the perfect sledding hill). I helped her a few times when I was little, and then started making the recipe in a cup for myself almost every morning. We dipped hot buttered toast in it, which was amazing.  Continue reading

Steps to Officially Becoming a Food Scientist

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Step 1. Take classes on everything from organic chemistry to the scientific study of food and enjoy making donuts but not chemical structures out of toys (seriously, they still do that in college).

 

0739t0001tStep 2. Graduate and ‘make history’ by being a part of the largest graduating class ever. This translates into the longest ceremony ever, in which I left immediately after getting my diploma cover.

 

Step 3. Have a big park party with family and friends that includes a popcorn bar and two pinatas. Go out with friends for an after party that consists of laser tag and bowling until 2 AM.

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Step 4. Get a job as an Associate Analytical Scientist and try to figure out what that means before starting work 1 ½ weeks after graduation (hint: nailed it. I think).

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Step 5. Try to survive as an adult after having the easiest last semester ever! 🙂

Note: My USB port and memory card reader on my computer stopped working, so I’m struggling to upload pictures of some recent baking creations. As soon as I get it fixed, prepare for some addictive recipes!

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