Adventures in the kitchen, in fitness and with glitter!

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Settling into the End of Summer

The end is near for my summer of travel and that means some much needed catching up with my other favorite past times – cooking and regular exercise!

The dwindling of summer also mean the return of students to Madison – our office interns have arrived and I used it as an excuse to whip up some cookies in the kitchen. I had salted carmel chocolate chip cookies on the brain but misplaced my favorite cookie recipe in the chaos of my moving/living situation, so I subbed in this one instead. I also used some spring time Nestle morsels to brighten up the cookies. They were soft and delicious but a bit on the too salty side. The interns didn’t seem to mind, they devoured the entire batch before I could snap a picture!

I returned from a weekend in Portland late last night, but in anticipation of spending the next three weeks in Madison I decide to spend some time in the kitchen tonight with an old trusty recipe – an adaptation of  Mexican Lasagna. I opted out of the lasagna/tortilla portion and instead just made a scramble with the inside mix for the lasagna. I added low sodium taco seasoning to the chicken, some red bell pepper I had in the fridge and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper while the mixture simmered.

All the ingredients simmering over the stove!

All the ingredients simmering over the stove!

I served the mixture over a bed of spinach and topped it with one of the many avocados that are rapidly softening in the fridge. It was delicious and now I have lots to eat throughout the week!

I’ve satisfied my itch somewhat in the kitchen, for now. Next item to tackle on my personal to-do list is refreshing my workout plan and finding the next running race and location. Onward and upward, happy Monday!




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4th of July Pinwheel Cookies

I have one final touch from my July 4th celebration to share with you all – Pinwheel Cookies! These festive beauties were a couple day process including some time in the freezer, but really fun to create!

Red, white and blue!

Red, white and blue!

The recipe was again a Pinterest find, originating from the Just A Taste blog. It is a new favorite read of mine, tons of amazing looking recipes and the author has a really neat story. I didn’t exactly capture the vibrant red, white and blue colors in the original recipe but it was fun to make the dough, separate it to make three colors and then roll up the pinwheels. The recipe made nearly four dozen cookies, so there were plenty to share with 4th of July guests and in the office this week.

Pinwheel cookie platter

Pinwheel cookie platter!

Happy cooking!


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Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins

It’s officially Farmer’s Market season here in Wisconsin and Madison has one of the most fabulous farmer’s market line-ups I have ever seen. It’s encircles the Capitol Square in downtown Madison, over eight blocks of stands selling fruits, vegetables, plants, crafts and most importantly CHEESE!

I wandered around the Square after my run yesterday and picked up spinach, my BF’s favorite cheese, Everyday Cheddar, and most importantly some fresh rhubarb! The rhubarb (and the half-quart of blueberries in my fridge) was my inspiration in the kitchen today.

I based my recipe from this site but adapted it with a few healthy ingredients. I substituted butter for applesauce, some whole wheat flour and used my favorite Greek yogurt.


Prepping the ingredients!

Prepping the ingredients!

The batter came together quickly and I love using fresh ingredients!

Overflowing with blueberries and rhubarb!

Overflowing with blueberries and rhubarb!

A quick 20 minutes in the oven and they are ready to go! I’ve already packed some up to bring to the office in the morning.

Yummy! I may have had a couple as my dinner...

Yummy! I may have had a couple as my dinner…

These will be a great mid-morning snack this week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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I was in a panic Sunday night, we were hosting a final gathering for our interns on Monday night and I had neglected to make treats. An intern once told me I was only second to his mother with my baking talents, I didn’t have the heart to tell him it’s because I practice, a lot. I’m a sporadic reader of Siriously Delicious (i.e. I binge on her posts a few times a month because we share a sweet tooth and she is so dang funny!) and had remembered these amazing looking Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies she had shared a couple weeks ago. The recipe had originated on Averie Cooks, which is another blog I have now added to my reading list.

The recipe substitutes cream cheese for a portion of the butter and includes cornstarch, which after refrigerating the dough overnight made the softest and chewiest chocolate chip cookies! So good in fact I didn’t even get a picture of the cookies before they disappeared! College kids plus exams is a recipe that makes food vanish. I may have to whip up another batch here soon and promise to share the the results. Click here to try yourself. Happy cooking!