09 May 2010

Everything and the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Sometimes, I just really need to cook. It's a craving.

And sometimes, there are no eggs in our apartment.

And when these two events coincide, bad things happen. Like these cookies. I just kept throwing things in until the dough tasted good. 

The end result? Banana-pecan-apricot-spiced-chocolate-chip-cookies. 

Kitchen Sink Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Blend butter, sugars, bananas, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (except for chocolate chips, pecans, and apricots). Add dry ingredients incrementally to the wet mixture. Once blended, add the good stuff. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Procrastination: Making a Bachelorette Party Cake

Helped to throw and attended my first bachelorette party for an engaged friend.

As if I didn't feel old enough with graduation coming up so soon.

I took it upon myself to create this (lovely? maybe?) cake for the bride-to-be. The reaction by most was "that's a cake?!"

Please oh please don't let me end up on CakeWrecks for this one.

Devil's food "bed," angel food "pillows," fruit roll-up "quilt", and Barbie and Ken.

Talk about a recipe for disaster.

05 May 2010

Getting my rear in gear!

Dear Friends and Family,

While getting ready to begin my graduate career in the biomedical sciences, I have thought a lot about how I ended up choosing research as my life's work.

Dr. V offered me the opportunity to work in one of his clinical research laboratories when I was only 17. That was my first introduction to laboratory work and to research protocols. It sparked my interest in cancer genetics, in which I will be starting to pursue my PhD this June.

Dr. V passed away a year ago from colorectal cancer. His passing was a great loss to all who knew him and to the scientific community at large.

In memory of Dr. V, who opened up the door to a career in research for me, I will be running my first 5K to raise both awareness and money for colorectal cancer research.

Please consider joining me in honoring this great man's memory by donating to Get Your Rear In Gear. Every penny makes a difference.

Thank you for your time and support!

Much love,


03 May 2010

Cinnamon-Sugar Challah

With graduation looming ever closer, I find my time slipping away from me more and more. I hit the brakes last Friday and decided to make myself a nice loaf of bread. There's nothing better to slow down and unwind with than some nice yeast dough and a few episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" while it's rising.

This was also deemed the best loaf of challah I have ever made by my roommates. Further proof that cinnamon makes everything better.

Cinnamon-Sugar Challah

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp salt
1 cup oil
4 eggs plus 1 egg for egg glaze
6-8 cups flour

Mix together granulated sugar and warm water. Sprinkle in yeast, and allow to proof for 15 minutes.
Mix in 4 eggs, 1 cup oil, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
Add flour cup by cup until just slightly sticky.
Place dough ball in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise for at least 4 hours.
Once doubled in size, remove dough from bowl and knead lightly a few times.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Separate into three balls, and slowly shape the balls into three ropes.
Braid the three strands, tucking the ends under.
Beat the last egg with a fork. Using a pastry brush, glaze the bread.
Bake for 45-60 minutes. The best test for doneness is a hollow sound when the bread is lightly tapped.