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King Arthur Sugar Cookies

So…I believe it’s finally fall outside you guys. I tried to deny it. I even keep wearing my flip flops, but it’s definitely not summer when you’re in flip flops and a sweater. While I’m sad that summer is over (it’s too short!), I do love fall. I love cider mills and the leaves changing and most importantly of all Halloween! It’s one of our favorite holidays around here. We used to throw a huge costume party every year.

King Arthur Sugar Cookies

I’m excited that I’ll finally be able to hand out treats this year! That means I have an excuse to dress up!! Which is all I really want to do, but it’s just not the same when you’re sitting around the house. I decided to try and make some sugar cookies this year for Halloween. The last time I “made” sugar cookies was when I was only in charge of cookie cutters and sprinkles…and we were making them for Santa. I’m almost 30 now...so…you can see how long it’s been. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever made a batch of sugar cookies from scratch by myself.

King Arthur Sugar Cookies

At first I was all excited to use the recipe we made as kids! But then I looked at the ingredient list and it called for shortening. I’ve been trying to stay away from that, so we don’t have any in the house. Luckily, I just got a library card and have been checking out books left and right! Bren thinks I went a little crazy, but they’re free books! How can you not get excited?!? Anyways, one of the books I borrowed is the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion cookbook.   This book is massive and awesome! I think I may end up getting my own copy one of these days. They have 3 to 4 different types of sugar cookies. It was almost hard to pick one out.

King Arthur Sugar Cookies

I decided to go with their special sugar cookie. It looked simple and I liked the ingredient list. You should definitely check out the King Arthur Flour cookbooks when you can. They really know their stuff when it comes to baking. This post isn’t sponsored by them at all, but if they saw this and wanted to send me a cookbook or two I wouldn’t say no. Hello King Arthur Flour people! Are you listening to me?! No? Oh well, I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did!

King Arthur Sugar Cookies

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Carrot Cupcakes

I’m still trying to get out of vacation mode…and I think these cupcakes may help me. And by help, I mean I’ve been craving carrot cake, but decided to make cupcakes as they’re easier for the two of us to eat. For some reason, carrot cake reminds me of fall. It might be all the nutmeg and cloves reminding me of colder times.

Carrot Cupcakes

Cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites (right after butter cream!). It’s got that tang to help balance the sweetness out. For the cupcakes themselves, I used this recipe that I found on Averie Cooks’ website. She has some super awesome recipes, so you should go check her out (if you haven’t already)! I adapted her frosting slightly by only adding 2/3 cup of powder sugar instead of the 1 and 1/2 cups.

Carrot Cupcakes  Carrot Cupcakes

If you don’t use a liner, be sure to oil the cupcake pan very well! Don’t make my mistake. Vacation brain had me quickly spray the tins and I thought I was good to go. I was able to get them out, but I had to do a little digging to get them out. Not the prettiest, but they curbed my craving.

Carrot Cupcakes

One of these days, I’ll convince myself to make a cake, but in the meantime cupcakes are a great middle ground. These days I dream in cupcakes!

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 Green Smoothie

It’s back to reality this week, so I thought that I’d finally give one of these detox/green smoothies a chance. After a week of drinks, sweets, and sun, it was time to put something green in me! I will say that I was a little weary at first. I mean…how could one not taste the spinach in these things!? That’s why they’re green!

Green Smoothie  Green Smoothie

I know, I know. Everyone who’s had one has said that they were delicious…but they totally could’ve been lying. I didn’t believe them until I had this one. Now, I think I’m going to be hooked on them. Surprisingly, the bananas were what I tasted most. Remembering to cook vegetables is not my strong suite, so I may have to try and make this once a week just to get my veggies.

Green Smoothie

I added about half a cup of pomegranate seeds in for a boost of antioxidants. I didn’t notice it adding to the flavor, so don’t feel like you need to run out and get them for this smoothie. It’ll be just fine without it. Feel free to play around with it and let me know what you tried and how you liked it!

 Green Smoothie

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 San Diego

You thought you were going to get a recipe today, but I’m on vacation. So you’re going to get a status update instead!

San Diego

This week has been super relaxing, and I don’t want it to end. I love San Diego!  It's one of my favorite cities to visit, and I'm happy we've made this our annual gathering.  I’ve gone on multiple runs by the beach, lots of long walks, boogie boarding, and most importantly of all sat and watch people walk the boardwalk. There’s something about running near the ocean that makes it more enjoyable. Running at home always feels like a chore, but I get excited about running when I’m here. Bren runs with me and it’s a nice to run with someone.

San Diego

We’ve been munching on chips with salsa and guacamole, fruit, and of course Mike’s hard lemonade. We also bought a margarita mix and bottle of spiced rum from Costco to help round out our drink selection. Nothing better than drinks on the beach. Yes, my family made a Costco run on our vacation. There are about 8 of us, so we figured there’s no easier place than Costco to pick up snacks. We also got their cream and berry pie as a way to celebrate everyone’s birthdays and accomplishments over the past year. It was actually pretty good, but it’s a shame that there’s simply too much for two people. I don’t think I’ll be getting it any time soon once we get back.

San Diego

The one sad part was when Bren forgot his phone was in his pocket and it got a bit wet in the ocean. As of now, it’s still not powering on so we’re going to have to replace it soon. It put a damper on things for a bit, but the rest has been pretty good. These vacations always make me wish we lived on the beach. Maybe one of these days…until then we’ve got a cute little apartment to get back to!

Quick and Easy Chili

While you read this, I’ll be in sunny California! This is my first real vacation for the year, so I’m super excited for this. It’s time for our annual family get together, which can be both wondrous and stressful. Luckily, things are going fairly well and I’m just relaxing on the beach.

Quick and Easy Chili

Let me back up a bit. We made this chili the week before we left. It’s not only easy (which is awesome because we’re still unpacking) but also makes up a lot of servings. We were able to eat this all week long. Usually we ate it for lunch because it heats up very nicely in the microwave.

Quick and Easy Chili

This chili has a secret weapon, which is cocoa powder. It adds just a bit of richness while the chocolate taste goes undetected. Chocolate and beef actually complement each other quite nicely and the chocolate actually just enriches the beef flavor. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! This chili became quite the regular over last winter.

Quick and Easy Chili

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MeHi! I’m Alexis, a 20 something college grad from the Midwest. I began to step into the kitchen when I wanted to learn how to make Korean food, and noticed that dishes which looked complicated turned out to be simple to put together (most of the time!). It’s also easier on my wallet, which is always an extra bonus. Thank you for visiting!

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