Breakfast Smoothie of Champions

Peanut butter + banana. What a great combo. I was skeptical about it smoothie form because usually I like my smoothies fruity and refreshing, but this protein-filled has been growing on me! It’s filling and with the added coffee helps wake me up for the mornings. It’s my go-to for breakfast on-the-go and sometimes as a post-workout snack. Plus it’s got some protein good-ness from the peanut butter, oats, and bananas!

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Banana Bread!

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Banana bread is one of those recipes that are great for using left over ingredients that you don’t know what to do with. Specifically I’m talking about bananas. I don’t know about anyone else, but my bananas always ripen at a quicker rate than I can eat them. Next thing I know I’m left with mushy brown bananas that I don’t want to eat (and probably shouldn’t). Then I found a solution to my problem: banana bread! This baked good requires SUPER ripe bananas (and I mean the brown-all-over kind of ripe), so I no longer feel like I’m wasting the bananas I buy them. This recipe really doesn’t require any crazy ingredients to make, and it doesn’t use butter so it’s basically healthy!

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Wake up and smell the coffee pancakes

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What’s better than starting your day with a cup of coffee? Answer: having coffee pancakes with that cup of coffee. On my trip to Vancouver I bought bacon-flavored maple syrup as a souvenir and I couldn’t wait to try it when I got home. I decided to whip up some pancakes to enjoy the syrup with, and my love for – or rather my addiction to – coffee resulted in my new favorite way to eat pancakes. So I grabbed my cheap instant coffee that I keep saved in my cupboard for baking, turned to Google for a basic pancake recipe, and here are the results!  Continue reading “Wake up and smell the coffee pancakes”

Pumpkin Cheesecake: the improvised recipe

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This is the pumpkin cheese cake I made for Thanksgiving dinner. Cheesecake was the first dessert I learned how to bake from scratch so it holds a special place in my heart. When I was younger, I baked it so often that I memorized the recipe! My ever supportive family ate cheesecake at least every other week (thanks, Fam!).

When it came to pumpkin cheesecake, I could not find for the life of me a recipe that didn’t use 3 cups of cream cheese. The recipe I used as a kid only used 1 cup and yielded plenty of flavor, not too sweet, and was just the right about for those 9-inch store-bought crusts. So instead I went for a risky Thanksgiving move and decided to make up my own recipe and hoped that it would turn out okay enough for my roommate and sister to enjoy. It is based on my family’s (or probably a cookbook found by my mom) cheesecake recipe but changed some of the measurements to accommodate for the pumpkin.

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Ingredients

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cool whip
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
9-inch crust (I used a pre-made graham cracker crust, but you can totally make one if you want)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin. (*note: It’s easiest to have the cream cheese at room temperature first, and I highly recommend using an electric mixer unless you want a serious arm workout!)
  3. Beat in one egg at a time. Finally, add in all the remaining ingredients and combine until batter is smooth.
  4. Poor the batter onto the crust and bake for about 45min to 1 hr or until the center has set.

Personally, I think the cinnamon and nutmeg are what make the pie so don’t be afraid to layer those on! If you have all spice, that would work too. I ate my finished piece of pie with some cool whip and sprinkled graham cracker crumbs on top for some extra flair (since the crust is also my favorite part of pies).

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I was pleasantly surprised with how well the pie turned out and will definitely be making this again! I am proud to say that my sister and roommate also enjoyed it. ‘Twas a successful Thanksgiving!

✌Carissa