We Are Totally Getting Back Together



My first real boyfriend broke my heart. My friends took me out. “You need a rebound,” they said. A guy you won’t stay with but could be fun and will buy you things. I was told I needed time to get over him. Get back to myself. At 25 I didn’t really know what that meant. I was myself. I broke up with him, remember?

Well now I do. I broke up with New York in May 2011. I was over it, bored, looking for something better. I didn’t even look back as I drove out of the city and south for a new adventure. And what and adventure you were, DC. City living in the heart of a small town. Fifteen minutes from the White House and fifteen minutes from everywhere. But then I began comparing you to New York. Nothing was ever as exciting, as inappropriate, as beautiful. I missed New York and I was blaming DC.

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This is when I say it’s not you, it’s me. But seriously. This is what you say when the city is wonderful and amazing and exciting. Just not for you. I want subway rush hour, all my best friends, city lights. I tried to make it work with DC, I really did. I made friends, I found a job I thought I’d love, a new sport. 2 years there was a lesson worth learning. Judging those around me and a growing disdain for a profession I was supposed to love had me finding solace in 4 AM wakeups for rowing, the only thing I felt a part of. From a girl who never belonged anywhere, I found my footing in New York. New York is my city. This city rebound was fun but my heart belongs in New York City. And it will never leave.

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After a month of playing house –which I absolutely cannot stand (but also making many delicious things)– I’m jumping in again. After a few weeks at my dream job, in my dream city, I am absolutely ecstatic. Everything is fresh and new. The food is better than I remember. The people are nicer. The subway is my favorite. It’s like I’m brand new and everything is brand new to me. Except I’m not and it isn’t. It’s just everything I’ve been searching for. My off-and-on relationship with New York is absolutely on. New York, I’m even more in love with you than I ever thought possible. Thanks for giving me time to figure that out. And still being you when I was ready to come back.

 

Stay tuned for more awesome adventures in the awesome city. And please bear with me as I get settled. Moving sucks. No matter how many times you do it.

 

Strawberry Banana Scones

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Sometimes I like to be a nice person and bake something for my boyfriend for breakfast. And sometimes this happens on a week day. I know. I can’t believe it either. But sometimes cereal or yogurt or pop tarts just won’t suffice. So I make him eat scones. I’m really a terrible person.

If you are like me you also struggle with making scones. Or maybe you are a scone prodigy and we need to become best friends immediately so I can create these in my sleep. Or maybe we can just be friends and eat whatever comes out of the oven. That’s also a good option.

I usually rely on the geniuses at Alice’s Tea Cup in perfecting my scones. But this time I relied on my friend, Joy the Baker. Well, we are friends in my world of baking heaven. Seriously, this woman is my kitchen kindred spirit. Her pies are amazing. And she is definitely the most cool blogging baker ever. My brother’s girlfriend gifted me her cookbook, which I am absolutely loving. I knew she was a scone master so I turned to her for this spontaneous kitchen adventure.

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Between adding oats in place of some flour and using a box grater to slice butter (like I said — genius) this has just become my favorite scone base. And its super easy. My scones will no longer be droopy and dry. I’m making brunch scones over here. Mimosas are optional.

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Strawberry Banana Oat Scones

*adapted (lightly from Joy the Baker)

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1//4 teaspoon ginger
  • 10 tablespoons unsealed butter, cold
  • 1/2-1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 banana, sliced

Directions

  • Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Whisk together buttermilk and egg. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Using a box grater, quickly grace cold butter until all is shredded. Incorporate all butter with fingers until it is pebbly in texture.
  • Pour buttermilk mixture over flour mixture and stir with fork until dough comes together — it will be wet and sticky.
  • With a spatula, gently fold in berries and banana.
  • Turn dough onto a well floured surface and press dough together to form circle 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Use biscuit cutter (I used 3″ round one) to cut out dough balls.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
  • Cool for 10 minutes — if you could wait that long, I definitely couldn’t.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies

There is never anything wrong with some good old fashioned oatmeal raisin cookies. My variations never stray from the original, especially since I really started to embrace raisins. I used to be a rebel and stick with chocolate chips instead. I know. Such a daredevil.

Usually I make these when I need to be nice to people. Apparently boys are big fans of these cookies. Probably since they are also the healthiest cookie. Except not at all. In preparation for spending all day at a rowing regatta, I needed to make a healthy munchie for my teammates. I adapted my original recipe by substituting whole wheat flour. So by omission of white flour this variation just became healthy. This is what I tell myself. Just go with it.

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I’m loving this recipe because it gives me a chance to explore another awesome addition: butterscotch. The carmelly sweetness blends so well with the spice of oatmeal raisin cookies. Oh my God. So good. Phenomenal. I’m not sure I can go back to original now that these have been consumed. And they were completely.

It’s kind of exactly what you need after a killer rowing race. Or a brutal spin workout. Or on a rainy day. Or you know, for breakfast. Oatmeal, people. Oatmeal is always a good choice.

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So good I couldn't even take a picture quick enough

Oh. Also, I roll them in cinnamon sugar before baking. Right. You want to get on these, stat.

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Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

*adapted from my Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 ¾ cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 cup Golden Raisins
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/8 cup of spiced rum

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy, add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  • Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  • Add oats and raisins; mix well on low, but be careful not to over mix.
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Fourth of July Brownies

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I love chocolate. More than most things. But the summer makes me only want citrus and ice cream. Hellooooo Key Limes (coming soon, I promise). And watermelon. And fizzy summer drinks. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room in my heart for chocolate.  There is.  There always is. I typically like my brownies dense and fudgey.   The heavier the better. But heavy in the summer? No thank you. Which is why these are perfect. Light cocoa flavor, perfect for a celebration. No drink required. Milk is a bad choice anyway.  Its 89% humidity. Oh, but there’s frosting, so these are perfect. These are the most natural brownies you will ever eat. I’m kind of in love with cocoa powder when making chocolate things since it isn’t as overtly sweet as when using melted chocolate. And you don’t want sickly sweet brownies when its 101 degrees. But you definitely want this.

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A Toasted Marshmallow Love Triangle

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I told you I would try all the flavors of my childhood, and here we go again. And don’t pretend it bothers you. We all know that is not true. Not even a little. The star of the show today is my love for marshmallows. I’ve always been a fan. Like I know all the facts of your life fan. Do I know a majillion ways to use marshmallows? Duh. Rice Krispie Treats? Of course. Marshmallows in my hot chocolate? Only about 17 of them, especially when the cup only hold 9. Bailey’s marshmallows too. Yes it’s a thing and it’s my favorite thing. Another marshmallow thing? S’mores.

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For reals. The main star of my s’mores is always the biggest, toastiest marshmallow around. I always grab 4 — 2 to eat when I burn them and 2 for s’mores making. I’m a total marshmallow hog.

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Look, Mom. I didn’t burn them.

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