Strawberry Peach Smoothie

We all know moderation is key.

I talk a lot about butter and sugar here, but realistically those aren’t staples in my every day life. At least, not always! I try to balance my crazy sweet tooth with healthier foods and workouts.

I’ve always been a gym girl and love indoor classes like spin and yoga, but lately I’ve been trying to make myself actually run outside more often (thanks for running s.l.o.w.l.y by my side, Ryan!). And, I’ve been experimenting with different weights and programs, too. The following are a few great resources I’ve found for anyone looking to expand their workouts.

Of course, another aspect of a healthy lifestyle is food. This strawberry peach smoothie is the best breakfast or lunch on the go! The Greek yogurt adds protein, and it’s super easy to make – especially since peaches are everywhere right now.

In fact, we were lucky enough to have a big box of peaches delivered to our office the other day. I brought so many home that I ended up having to cut some up and freeze them! Then, when my freezer was overflowing with frozen bananas, berries and peaches, I decided to start making smoothies. I made this one several times last week.

PS: As if you needed one more reason to make this, August is National Peach Month. Drink up!

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Strawberry Peach Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 peach
  • 3-6 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • Ice + honey to taste

Directions

Place all ingredients in the blender and mix. I typically use frozen fruit, but you can use fresh (you’ll just need to add more ice for texture).

 

My Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls are in my blood.

I mean it: I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s butter and sugar running through my veins. I didn’t take many science classes in college, though, so I can’t confirm if that’s actually possible or not (ugh). But, you get the idea.

I grew up making cinnamon rolls with my Grandma. She’s famous for them! And I’m lucky to be able to learn her ways. When I was younger, I rarely paid attention to the technical aspects of it. I just waited for my turn to spread butter and sprinkle cinnamon and roll!  Now, I’m practicing my cinnamon roll baking skills like crazy.

My Grandma always brings pans of cinnamon rolls whenever she visits. She brings them on family vacations, or to people’s houses in times of need (like when the neighbors had twins, AGAIN).  You just can’t go wrong with classic cinnamon rolls. They’d make the perfect homemade housewarming or holiday gift: pair the rolls with a little basket of mugs, coffee beans or tea and dish towels.

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They also freeze really well. So, make a big batch, and then transfer over the rolls you want to freeze into a different pan (like a tin or tupperware, something you won’t miss for a while). When you’re ready to eat them, they defrost the best slowly at room temperature. Just leave them out on the counter overnight. And, while they’re frosted before you freeze them, you can always add another layer after!

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Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 2-3 pans

Sweet Roll Dough:

  • 2 T yeast dissolved in l/2 cup of warm water (let stand 10 min. then add along with milk)
  • 3 eggs
  • l cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1  1/2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 T salt
  • 6 to 8 cups flour

Filling:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • Lots of cinnamon – sprinkled evenly throughout

Frosting:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 t milk
  • 3-5 cups of powdered sugar

To make the dough, mix in the ingredients in the order listed.  The key is to not make the dough too stiff, so add flour until it just begins to not be sticky.  It should feel light when you work with it. Then, pat down the dough in the bowl. Lightly spray it with cooking spray and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it stand until doubled in size (usually within an hour it is to the top of the bowl).

Next, preheat the oven to 350. Divide the dough in half and roll it out into a long rectangle shape. Spread the first half with an even layer of butter and brown sugar, and then sprinkle cinnamon all over the top. Roll it up into a long log, then cut to your desired thickness. Place the rolls into a greased cake pan or pie plate. Repeat these steps with the other half of your dough.

While the rolls are baking, whip up the frosting. This recipe is an approximation, but I always start with 1 stick of butter and vanilla and milk. Then, add powdered sugar until you get the desired thickness. In this case, you want the frosting to be a little more fluid so that it ices over the rolls.

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I’m totally failing at weekly menu life.

I was in coma of exhaustion at work on Monday after spending a whirlwind girls weekend in San Francisco with my mom and grandma. We nicknamed it the “macaron tour” because that’s pretty much what we ate the whole time… along with other amazing food like shrimp tacos, cotija gucamole, clam chowder, sesame chicken and strawberry crepes, of course. A few favorite restaurants we came across: Lolo’s, L’Osteria Del Forno, and Fang’s.

Plus, we took a macaron class at Sur La Table there. It was a ton of fun, and I’d definitely recommend it! I’ve tried making them before without much success, so the tips from the pastry chef were super helpful. You can expect some macaron experimentation soon!

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Before I left last week I made this Cranberry Almond Biscotti. It’s a special recipe for me, because it’s a family favorite and I grew up watching my parents make it together! My dad would chop the cranberries, almonds and white chocolate – and my mom would do everything else 😉

I love having it around to snack on, especially with my morning coffee. Some places make it too hard or crunchy, so I love the idea of controlling the consistency when it’s homemade. When I’d make this in college, one of my roommates would beg me to keep out a few pieces after cutting them so that they were like soft cookie bars.

The steps can seem confusing at first glance, but I promise it’s really easy! And the end result is so worth it.

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First, prep your almonds, cranberries and white chocolate.

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Then, follow the directions to mix together the dough. Add it all together and spread it out on your pan.

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Stick it in the oven until barely browning. Then, pull it out and let cool. Cut it into pieces – you can choose your desired thickness and length – and put it back in the oven to finish browning.

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Let them cool, or enjoy them right away!

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Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 2 whole  eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • ½ cup  toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, egg whites and almond extract until blended. Add the flour mixture to it and continue beating until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds, cranberries and white chocolate.

Spread the dough on the baking sheet, smoothing it into one big strip (as shown above). Bake until firm and barely browning (light golden). Then take out the pan and lower the oven temperature to 300. Let the pan cool for a few minutes, and then cut into strips. Arrange slices standing upright on baking sheets and put them back in the oven until crisp (about another 15-20 minutes). Enjoy!

The Best Homemade Granola Recipe

Who knew granola could be SO EXCITING?

I don’t even know who I am anymore. I used to be indifferent toward granola, and now I’m shouting my love for it from the (digital) rooftop.

It all started a few weeks before Father’s Day. I was panicking because I had to get a package ready early enough to ship and my Dad is so difficult to shop for, when my Mom mentioned to me that he was going through a big health food phase and putting granola on everything. Ah, I thought, I could make him homemade granola! It can’t be that hard.

And, it wasn’t hard at all. It was just the most delicious thing I’ve ever made (Ok, maybe not EVER).

But anyway, I kept a few jars of the granola here, and it was all gone in a matter of DAYS. Granola + Vanilla Greek Yogurt = my new favorite snack/lunch/everything. And then my Mom called wanting to know how to make more because they’d eaten it so quickly too! Clearly this is a recipe that needs to be shared.

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The simplicity of the process really surprised me. You just mix everything together in a big bowl, then spread it on a baking sheet to stick in the oven.

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Once it’s cooled and crisped up, add in your dry fruit and it’s ready to go! It keeps for up to two weeks in mason jars. But, I doubt it will last that long.

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Get the Honey Almond Homemade Granola Recipe over on Cookie + Kate. Enjoy!

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Orange Poppyseed Bread

 

 

butter

“You are the butter to my bread and the breath to my life.”

Julia Child seriously knows how to make something like bread and butter sound extraordinary. I’ve been obsessed with this simple but magnetic quote since finding it on Pinterest. How cute would it be framed in the kitchen?

In general, I’m just obsessed with Pinterest. But who isn’t these days? It’s the perfect place for decorating inspiration, recipe ideas, clothes shopping, and of course, quotes – motivational, cheesy, you name it. I totally fall for all of it!

As is evident from some of these recipes and my love of related quotes, I’m having a bread moment. It’s my ideal sweet comfort food. Lately I’ve been gravitating toward banana or berry breads, but the other day I just HAD to make poppyseed bread. My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember, and as soon as I mixed the batter together, I was overwhelmed with the smell! You know how some scents just cultivate a feeling? This bread smells like home to me… aka a mix of vanilla, almond and butter extracts! And, it tastes even better than it smells – if you can believe it.

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Orange Poppyseed Bread

Ingredients:

Mixture A:

  • 3 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Mixture B:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 1/8 C oil
  • 2 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 T poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 t  vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 1/2 t butter flavoring

Glaze:

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla, almond, and butter flavorings
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 3/4 C sugar

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease your pans (I used four small to medium-sized loaf pans). Prepare the two different mixtures in bowls, and then fold mixture B (with the wet ingredients) into mixture A. Bake until top bounces back.

While the bread is cooking, prepare the glaze. Heat the ingredients in a bowl in the microwave (or on the stove) until sugar dissolves; pour over breads as soon as they come out of oven.

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Easy Egg Frittata

I will not write any egg puns. I will not write any egg puns. I will not write any egg puns.

I’m trying so hard to keep from cracking. It’s just that this recipe is eggcellent!

Too far?

Anyways, when I think of all of the different ways in which you can cook eggs, one my favorite movies – Runaway Bride – always comes to mind. In this movie, Julia Roberts egg-related indecisiveness is a symbol of her lack of identity. She doesn’t know how she likes her eggs, so she just adopts the preference of her boyfriend or fiance at the time. Toward the end, she actually makes eggs every way (scrambled, over easy, poached, fried, etc.) and makes up her own mind. And then marries Richard Gere… but that’s besides the point 🙂

I rarely have the lack-of-opinion problem when it comes to anything! As for my eggs? Baked in a frittata with bacon, spinach and cheese, please.

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Easy Egg Frittata

Ingredients: 

  • 6 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
  • 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350. Do all of the prep work first: cook the bacon (I prefer to stick it in the oven for 20-30 minutes instead of the stove), then chop it up once it’s cooled a little. Get your cheese and spinach (and whatever else you want to throw in!) ready to go. Mix all of the eggs and egg whites together in a big bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray, then pour it all in! Stick it in the oven for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, or until it’s firm to the touch.

Serve with toast and a fruit salad!

Nutella Sprinkle Rolls + Three Things

Happy Friday!

Please celebrate the weekend by making these Nutella Sprinkle Rolls! They are crazy good. I made them Easter morning, and have been dying to share them ever since. They make the perfect easy treat (only three ingredients!) to make for birthday breakfasts, holidays, etc. Find the recipe here!

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Plus, three more sweet recipes I’m obsessing over: