Coffee Cake

There is nothing I love more than cinnamon sugar. I crave snickerdoodles, snickerdoodle bread, cinnamon sugar toast, and when I am feeling fancy – coffee cake. Despite what you might think (based on my love of sweets) I generally try to eat healthy. So naturally adding greek yogurt to this gives it protein and makes it a healthy meal right? But really, the greek yogurt replaces sour cream and works to keep the coffee cake moist. If you don’t have greek yogurt or want to use sour cream instead, go right ahead. I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it becomes a staple in your brunch menu!


1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8oz) plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325˙.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the topping. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Set aside.

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then, beat in the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. 

Pour half the batter into a greased 13×9 baking pan. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture over the batter. Add the remaining batter, then top with the remaining topping.

Bake at 325 for 40-45minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.



Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream





Whoever said homemade ice cream was just for summer is completely wrong. I believe there is never a wrong time for homemade ice cream. I am bringing this to Thanksgiving this year, and I think my cousin Hannah is capable of eating the entire batch by herself. It tastes just like pumpkin pie and it would be delicious in a gingerbread crust for an ice cream pie. I hope you enjoy!

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups 2% milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla

Begin by whisking the yolks with half the brown sugar (6T), cinnamon, and ginger in a heatproof bowl just until the yolks are broken. Set aside. In a saucepan, bring the cream, milk, pumpkin, salt, and remaining sugar to a slight simmer over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat to medium. Scoop out roughly 1/2 cup of the cream mixture, and while constantly whisking the eggs, add the the cream mixture. Do this again one more time. Then, using a rubber spatula, stir the remaining creaming mixture in the saucepan while you add in the egg mixture. Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly until it thickens. This will only take a couple of minutes. Next, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the base into a separate bowl. Place this in an ice bath and stir occasionally until the base has cooled. Then cover the mixture and refrigerate over night. The next day, whisk in the vanilla and follow the directions on your ice cream machine.


Mac & Cheese

When the weather gets colder, there is nothing I enjoy more than a nice warm bowl of mac & cheese. It is a comfort food that takes me back to a simpler time, which is always a nice break from the crazy life of being a graduate student. If I could have mac & cheese everyday, I would. This recipe is super easy and is the perfect end to a busy winter day.

1/2 pound macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
2 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350˚. Begin by cooking the macaroni. Grate the cheese in a bowl, dice the onion.


Set asideIn a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and powdered mustard.


Make sure all the lumps are gone. Add in the milk, onion, bay lead and paprika. Let simmer about 10 minutes.


In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Then temper the egg. Add egg mixture to the cream mixture. Mix in 3/4 of the cheese. 


Add in the cooked macaroni. Transfer to a casserole dish.


Top with remaining cheese.


In a separate bowl melt the butter for the topping. Mix in the panko bread crumbs. Cover the top of of the mac and cheese mixture with the bread crumbs.


Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes.




Snickerdoodle Bread

There are few things I love more in this world than cinnamon sugar. I would have cinnamon sugar on my toast and popcorn everyday if I could. This is probably why snickerdoodles are my cookie EVER. My grandmother knows me all too well and gave me this recipe since she knows my obsession with cinnamon sugar. This recipe was originally my Aunt Tina’s, and I am so glad it exists. My mouth is watering just writing about it. Plus I can smell it baking in the oven right now and the whole house smells delicious.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 t vanilla
2.5 cups flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 package Hershey’s cinnamon chips
3 T sugar & 3 t cinnamon mixed.


Typically, you can only find these in the grocery stores around the holidays. However, I have found that Walmarts with full grocery carry these year round at a lower price than the grocery stores.


Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease and flour 4 mini loaf pans.

Combine the butter and sugar.


Add in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.


In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and 2t cinnamon.


Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.


Mix in the entire package of cinnamon chips.


Combine 3T of sugar and 3t of cinnamon.


Pour batter into 4 mini loaf pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350˚ for about 40 minutes.


Cool completely before removing from pans.




Pumpkin Pie Bread

There are three easy ways to help you determine that fall has arrived. 1. When the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks. 2. When there is pumpkin everything lining the shelves at stores. 3. When the leaves turn to beautiful shades of oranges, yellows, and reds. With that being said, pumpkin is everything, and it is really only social acceptable to have pumpkin during October and November, so pumpkin lovers like myself have to soak it all in while we can. I was at the store, and naturally, I was drawn to a box mix for pumpkin bread, and I thought to myself, “I can totally make this myself, forget the box mix.” Thus, the thought process began, and by simply modifying my Banana Bread recipe, I came up with homemade Pumpkin Pie Bread. Next time I make this, I will have to drive across town and take a loaf to my cousin Hannah so she has something yummy to snack on in her dorm room. (Hannah loves pumpkin pie so much, she basically requires her own pie every Thanksgiving. Her rule is that there can never be too much pumpkin pie.)

Anyways, enough of my jibber-jabber, here is the recipe. It is to die for. Enjoy!

1 cup sugar
0.25 cup butter, softened
0.25 cup skim milk
0.25 cup vanilla yogurt (or fat-free sour cream)
2 large egg whites
1 can (15oz) pumpkin purée
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1.25 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350˚ and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. In your mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Add in milk, yogurt, egg whites, pumpkin purée. In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix well.


Pour into prepared loaf pan.


Bake about 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Pork Tacos

Every time I go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, I make sure my order includes carnitas. I am not sure what it is about carnitas, but I cant help myself. I have made slow cooker carnitas before, and my friends absolutely love them. But I always took the shortcut way and cooked them in packaged taco sauce, so making my own sauce on this recipe was a first. The best part about this recipe is that is is extremely modifiable. You can easily exchange the ancho-pasilla chiles for green chiles if you prefer that flavor (in which case you should omit the cinnamon). Plus, the left overs are almost even better than when the pork is warm out of the slow cooker.


4 ancho-pasilla chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 T honey
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 t dried oregano
3.75 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
warm tortillas

Place the chiles in a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water then microwave 2-3 minutes until they become pliable. Stem and seed the chiles. Place the chiles and garlic in a food processor. Add the chipotles, onion, 2 T of olive oil, honey, 1 T salt, and the oregano and blend until smooth. Place a large skillet with 1 T olive oil on the stove over high heat and add the chile sauce. Fry for about 8 minutes until it becomes really thick. Then add chicken broth and reduce.


Meanwhile, season the pork with salt and pepper, then place in slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.


Pour in the sauce. Cook on high about 5 hours. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the pork.


I made my pork tacos with avocado, fresh mango, cheese, and salsa ranch coleslaw (pack of coleslaw mix and salsa ranch dressing mixed together).




They were absolutely delicious.



This recipe does make a lot of food, so left overs were used in pork enchiladas a couple days later in the week. Also delicious.

Healthy Fish and Chips

**DISCLAIMER** there is no pictures for this post right now (my memory card was full from a busy weekend cross country races out of town), but there will be pictures up the next time i make this for dinner**


When I was stressed studying for midterms and finals, I had two go to places for dinner in Davis. The first was my favorite Thai restaurant, Sophia’s, and the second place was The Dumpling House. And, as strange as it sounds, I would order the fish and chips from TDH. In my defense, it used to be called London Fish and Chips, but new ownership changed the name, thankfully the recipe stayed the same. However, every time I ate it, I could not help but to feel guilty from consuming fried food. I have tried doing different batters to coat the fish and bake it in my oven, but it just was not the same. Finally, I stumbled upon this recipe, and while as strange as it sounds, it is absolutely DELICIOUS! It calls for Rice Krispies. That’s right, cereal on your fish. Don’t freak out, just try this recipe and you will fall in love.

1.5 pounds white fish (like Cod)
3 egg whites
3 cups rIce Krispies
Olive Oil cooking spray
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 450˚ and position the rack to the lower third of the oven. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat the rack with cooking spray. Gently crush the cereal in a bowl with your fingers. Add salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, white the egg whites and a pinch of salt until frothy. Dip the fish in egg whites then roll in the cereal. Place the fish pieces on the rack. Mist the fish with cooking spray. Bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.