Recipe: Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

As I'm writing this, the windows are open and a cool breeze is blowing through my living room. I'm drinking hot tea and an Anthropologie catalog is lying on my coffee table with some serious cozy vibes. Fall is beginning and we're jumping in head first with some oatmeal cookies. 

These little gems are stuffed with chunks of white chocolate, cinnamon chips, and a handful of spices. We're keeping them soft and chewy because that's what I'm looking for in an oatmeal cookie. Hope you're into it.

Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats
3 oz white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a nonstick baking mat onto a baking sheet. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy and creamy. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the butter mixture, large spoonfuls at a time, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in oats by hand. Once combined, add in white chocolate chunks and cinnamon chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. Before placing in the oven, press the circles of dough down slightly on the top, making them the shape of small hamburger patties. Bake 8-9 minutes until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling fully on a cooling rack.  

Recipes Ideas for the Holidays

It's almost here! Thanksgiving is only a handful of days away!

Maybe you need to bring something for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a Friendsgiving or a holiday party in the near future. Maybe you're hosting friends or family and need a little something special. I've got you covered! Here's a handful of recipes that are sure to impress.

Let's start with the best part: Dessert!

Above: Very simple Apple Galette. Easier to throw together than a standard pie, just as good.

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée: Way easier than they sound. For when you want to have all the pumpkin vibes, but don't want to bake a pie.

Apple Cranberry Pie: Pouring a caramely sugar mixture over the top of the lattice crust gives this pie a crispier top and caramelized flavor.  

Apple Crisp: Easy to throw together and feeds a crowd. Also, great reheated for breakfast the next day.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes: For the people that need to have chocolate at every event. This is a classic combination that most people will love.

Pumpkin Tart with Gingersnap Crust: Something different for the pumpkin pie loves (a.k.a. me). Everything you want in a pumpkin pie with a thick, gingersnap crust.

Applesauce Cupcakes: One of my favorite cakes growing up. Similar to a carrot cake with the carrot. Moist and covered in cream cheese frosting. Yum.

Apple Crumb Pie: A classic with a crumbly topping instead of a top crust.

Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes: For the ice cream lover. Throw that pie into a blender with some ice cream and drink up!

Let's move on to Appetizers.

Baked Brie: Served with slices of green apple and crackers, this baked brie is addicting. Though it is best served warmed and melty, it's really a crowd pleaser. 

Pear and Goat Cheese Tart: If you like goat cheese, this tart is perfect. A mix of creamy goat cheese and sweet pears, topped with chopped thyme and honey, and sprinkled with a little black pepper to cut the sweetness.

Pumpkin Pie Dip: A sweet treat before dinner. Pumpkin and cool whip and dipped with gingersnaps. 

Pear and Brie Tart with Cranberries: Similar to the Pear and Goat Cheese Tart, this puff pastry-based tart has pears, brie, and dried cranberries mixed in. Best served warmed.

Need a Cocktail?

How about something with Apple Cider? Maybe an Apple Cider Margarita, Apple Cider Moscow Mule, or a SNAP and Cider Cocktail (above). Looking for something else? Maybe a simple Cranberry Fizz or a Grapefruit & Rosemary Gin Cocktail!

Recipe: Lucky Charms Popcorn

Did you know you can buy 1 pound bags of dehydrated marshmallows (a.k.a. Lucky Charms) on Amazon for $10? Maybe you're thinking, who would want to do that? And the answer for that is me. I bought them. I knew it would be awesome to use them but didn't know what to do with them. I could use them to top cakes and donuts, but I wanted to incorporate them into something different. I'd been seeing different recipes for birthday cake popcorn floating around the internet and all of a sudden it clicked and I knew I could throw these marshmallows in it to make it even better.

I didn't think I would like this popcorn as much as I do. It's really intense. Very sugary and vanilla-y, but also strangely addictive. I found myself not being able to walk past it without grabbing a piece. And this recipe makes the popcorn from kernels on the stovetop, because it's honestly the most fun thing to do. Watching the kernels pop in a pot makes me giddy. It just seems like magic or something! 

Lucky Charms Popcorn

Yields 6 cups of popcorn

Adapted from this recipe.

1/2 cup of coconut oil, separated into two 1/4 cups
2/3 cup of popcorn kernels
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1–1 1/2 cups boxed white cake mix
1/2 cup Lucky Charms marshmallows
1/4 cup sprinkles

Make your popcorn: Add 1/4 cup of coconut oil to a large pot with a lid and add three kernels to pot. Cover and cook on medium high heat until the kernels pop. Remove them from the oil, add the rest of the kernels, cover, and remove from heat for a minute. Put back on heat and cook until the popping starts to slow down. Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt, and remove lid. I found this walkthrough really helpful.

Make your topping: In a medium heatproof bowl, melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Stir in 1/4 cup of coconut oil, then add 1 cup of the boxed cake mix. Add up to another half a cup if desired.

In a large bowl, add half of the popcorn and half of the melted white chocolate/cake mixture and stir until well incorporated. I used my hands for this process. Once mixed, spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with half of the marshmallows and sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining popcorn and white chocolate/cake mixture and spread it out overtop the previous batch on the baking sheet. Add remaining marshmallows and sprinkles and let harden. I left mine out overnight with some loose plastic wrap over top. Enjoy or store in an air tight container. 

Recipe: Apple and Cranberry Grilled Cheese

A weird fact about me is that growing up, my family ate cranberry sauce a couple times a week with dinner. I also didn't realize that wasn't normal until I was about 16 or 17 years old. I don't know where I was or what conversation I was in that I realized this, but I've yet to meet a family that eats cranberry sauce as much as mine does.

I was reminded of this when I was searching the market for some kind of cranberry sauce or that wasn't the kind from a can. I asked around, people thought I was a little off for asking about cranberry sauce in March, but I knew I needed it for this sandwich. This sandwich is maybe perfection. Creamy-melty brie, crisp tart apples, and tangy cranberry chutney between thick slices of toasted bread. If you have homemade cranberry sauce, even better! Let's make an indulgent lunch, shall we?

Brie and Apple Grilled Cheese

Yields one sandwich

Two slices of thick, crusty bread (I used Italian)
1/3 granny smith apple, sliced
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce or cranberry chutney
4 quarter inch slices of brie

Well, hopefully we all know how to make a grilled cheese but here we go. Heat a pan on low heat, we're going to cook this sandwich low and slow. Butter one side of bread and place butter-side-down on the preheated pan. Add two pieces of brie, spread with a generous tablespoon of cranberry chutney, arrange apple slices, top with more cranberry, two more slices of brie, and a final piece of buttered bread, butter side up. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown and cheese is fully melted. Eat immediately.

Recipe: Pineapple Gin and Tonic

I spent last week house/petsitting in the suburbs for a friend of mine's parents, which was a great change of pace for me. A beautiful house, some fun pets, and a change of scenery, SOLD.

With the spring-like weather over the weekend, I knew I wanted to make a refreshing cocktail and use up some ingredients that were lingering in my house. Then I stumbled upon this BEAUTIFUL glasses one night while looking for a wine glass and I knew I wanted to photograph them. Look how gorgeous they are! I gasped when I spotted them! Forever a sucker for beautiful glassware.

It's maybe a little early for this cocktail. This is probably best served while sitting by a pool. Or lounging on a beachchair. Or even just at brunch outside on a spring day. BUT I'm hoping this weather stays for good. So this cocktail is part of my wishful thinking. It's super simple and easy to throw together at home, but very different and sweeter than a traditional g&t. 

Pineapple Gin and Tonic

Makes one drink

2 oz gin
2 oz pineapple juice
tonic water
half a lime
lime slices for garnish

Fill a tumbler glass with ice. Add gin and pineapple juice and then fill the rest of the glass with tonic water. Squeeze half of a lime into the glass and give it a stir. If you like a stronger drink, add 1-2 more ounces of gin before adding the tonic. Cheers!