Hey guys! Happy 2 days ’till Christmas! It’s so crazy how fast this holiday season has gone by.
This year, I haven’t been in much of the holiday spirit at all, mostly because of this year’s crazy exam season (I’m a sophomore in high school). Even though we’ve decorated our house and put up our inflatable snowman outside, the stressing about studying for finals and trying to keep my grades up has honestly made me forget how soon Christmas is (and how soon it will be over!)
I was just reading through some of my most recent blog posts (although they aren’t exactly “recent” per se), and a LOT of them start off with me complaining about how busy I am, how sorry I am for not posting, and I will definitely post more consistently. If I counted how many times I’ve rolled my eyes at the incessant ramblings of my younger self, well… I’d definitely be much better at math.
This loooong break has really taught me some interesting things. Mainly, how much I’ve missed baking in my spare time. Especially since it’s the holiday season, it’s kind of sad that I’m not running out of butter and sugar because I’ve baked so many cookies, or that my house isn’t smelling like cinnamon and molasses from baking gingerbread treats from scratch. Also, I’ve missed the enjoyment and satisfaction of taking photos that are pleasing to the eye and fun to drool over. It’s always fun to challenge myself with how minimalistically I can edit my photos while making them look both natural and appetizing.
I’ve made a couple cookie recipes on my blog before. I’ve got my good ol’ nutella chocolate chip cookies (which I’m currently in the process of re-shooting/updating), peppermint sugar cookies, 5 ingredient chocolate peanut butter cookies, and even my homemade gingerbread cookies (that recipe is soooo old!!)
There are so many different cookie recipes out there, and honestly? Trying to pick just one to make is one of the most challenging aspects to baking, in my opinion. But I was flipping through Sally McKinney’s latest cookbook (her cookie addiction one), and I was delighted to stumble upon a whole section dedicated purely to oatmeal cookies!! Just looking at all the beautiful pictures was enough to make my stomach rumble. I’d forgotten how much I used to love a basic chewy oatmeal cookie.
I have a little folder I keep filled with various recipes I’ve accumulated through the years. Some of them are printed off from the internet, and others just consist of a couple ingredients I’ve jotted down when trying to come up with my own. Flipping through the stack, I actually found an old oatmeal cookie recipe I’d recieved from a baking class I took in elementary school! I played around with it a bit, because it was pretty outdated; I added less raisins and more chocolate, increased the amount of brown sugar, and added cinnamon.
They’re big, fat, and chewy—everything you could ever want in any type of cookie. They’re loaded with tons raisins and chocolate chips, but you could easily substitute nuts or any other candy. Most importantly, they’re seriously sweet.
You really can’t go wrong with an oatmeal cookie.
You guys!! This ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CAKE has me so so so excited. Moist, rich, and completely and undeniably pure chocolate.
I’ve spent the last month testing the perfect cake recipe. The one I’ve finally landed on, is actually kind of devils-food-cake-inspired! This chocolate cake is actually a teensy bit dense, but with an intense chocolate flavor (thank you thank you hot coffee).
I’d also like to point out that high quality baking cocoa is actually super important. I love Rodelle! With other recipes, I guess you could just substitute with hot cocoa mix or something, but this is the ultimate chocolate cake here. No time to skimp on the cheap stuff!
I know, I know, everyone’s been starting the new year with juice cleanses/sugar free challenges/new body resets, and I’ll admit, I’ve been tempted to start eating healthier myself. Then these churros happened. And I lost all self control.
Have you ever made a choux pastry before? When I was testing these a week or two ago, I started off by making these Pâte à Choux pastries from the Kitchn (y’all know I loooove the Kitchn), just to get the hang of it. Traditional churros are basically fried choux pastries, piped into logs and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re the best, and actually surprisingly easy to whip up! Don’t let the stovetop and seemingly-intimidating-piping scare you.
Side note: these churros kinda remind me of the cronuts I had in New York (here), and now I’m actually having post-NYC withdrawals. Anyone else? Where did you go for the holidays?
Sooooo 2018 is a couple days away…
So much has happened this year, yet it’s flown by so fast that I can honestly hardly remember anything! Anyone else? But I can’t wait for what the new year has in store. Even though 2017 has been a crazy year, I’m actually kind of sad that it’s ending. I’m grateful for all the excitement and adventure that this year has brought me. I wouldn’t go back and change anything!
Today, I’m partnering up with my girl Angie from Indulge Your Inner Foodie, to bring you some easy recipes to celebrate the new year with. I’m showing y’all how to make colorful confetti cinnamon roll muffins (!!), and over on IYIF, Angie is whipping up an some boozy Captain Morgan and Kombucha Shooter drinks (!!!!!!). What better way to end 2017 than with one last epic foodie collab? Make sure to check out Indulge Your Inner Foodie, as well as her Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
Christmas is in two days. Whaaat?
This year has been especially weird, because Christmas is on a Monday, and we don’t get out for winter break until literally the week before Christmas. The sad thing about that is, I’m so preoccupied with studying for exams and finals, that I don’t really get the chance to get in the holiday spirit! aka lounging around my house in fuzzy socks, sipping hot cocoa, and just enjoying the season. Which is why things like peppermint sugar cookies, drinking eggnog, and catching up on Youtube vlogmas are the only things keeping me from becoming a grinch.
Oh yeah, and speaking of eggnog, let’s talk about these eggnog scones. Because that’s really why you’re here, right? They’re chewy, yet with the perfect hint of the buttery flakiness that everyone loves when it comes to scones. Filled with thick, velvety eggnog instead of traditional milk, these pastries are the epitome of the holiday season. I guess I know what I’m having on Christmas morning! YUM.
Thank you to Nielsen-Massey for sponsoring today’s post! I recieved a product from Nielsen-Massey’s Vanillas to help develop this recipe. Remember, I only support brands I truly believe in!
My ideal day: wake up at 6AM, make myself some of Lindsay’s peppermint mocha, eat a nice hot plate of eggs and toast with peanut butter, get ready for the day in about 20 minutes, and watch some vlogmas and Christmas movies with about 30 minutes to spare before I have to head out the door. Then, when I come home from school in the afternoon, I spend a good hour taking pictures for my blog, about another hour doing homework, go on a run, eat dinner, and get ready to go to bed at 9:30.
Reality: wake up at 7:30, spend 95% of my morning making and eating breakfast, and the other 5% doing everything else. No time for YouTube… laziness strikes again! I come home from school, rush to get those food photos taken before the sun sets at like 4:00PM, then spend the rest of the evening drowning in homework. Oh yeah, we can’t forget about editing pictures until 10:00 PM and then taking a nice, long shower (aka one of the only stress-free parts of my day). Bedtime’s at about 11:00.
I hope y’all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving! Filled with lots of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pie, I hope. This year, instead of traveling anywhere (we went to Florida last Thanksgiving), I’ve been picking up the slack and really getting to work on my blog. And taking a long-anticipated break from schoolwork, of course.
To be honest, we aren’t much of a traditional-Thanksgiving-food type of family. My parents are both Chinese, so things like turkey and creamed corn aren’t exactly their favorite. However, for some reason my parents love stuffing and we made Tieghan’s butternut squash n’ mushroom stuffing which was SO GOOD. Let me just say, our fridge is stuffed. We’re going to be having stuffing for leftovers for two weeks straight, I swear!
Soooo my calendar is telling me it’s t-minus 4 days until Thanksgiving day… How crazy is that? All of October feels like a blur to me, which is so weird. My dad has already been splurging on some pre-holiday gifts for himself, which has been kind of funny to watch. Which means November is almost over, and the countdown to Christmas has already begun. Where has time gone?
(I haven’t posted in forever, so this is my lame attempt to start up a conversation, if you haven’t already noticed.)