Finding Time to Celebrate

When it comes time to celebrate just about anything, I rely on food to set the mood. This is true for big celebrations like holidays and birthdays, all the way down to little celebrations like sticking to my gym schedule or meeting my quarterly goals at work.

Those who know me beyond this blog however know that celebrating doesn’t always come easily to me. When everything in life starts going my way, my anxiety and depression weigh in with doubt and negativity to put a damper on the good. Luckily, I know this about myself so over the last couple of years, I’ve made my mental health a priority and find time to celebrate (and appreciate) life’s ups when they come my way.

Between upgrading apartments, getting engaged to the love of my life and adopting a rescue kitten in the last two months, I’m riding a serious up and have lots of reasons to celebrate! If you aren’t a cat person, the kitten part of my life update might not seem as exciting as the rest but honestly until last week I didn't know I was a cat person either! I’ve been wanting a pet for ages so when the timing worked out and we were able to get Onyx from City Dogs Rescue, I knew it was meant to be. Plus he likes to cuddle and watch NCIS marathons with me so he’s pretty much the best thing ever. 

Since the only way I know how to celebrate is with food, I took the opportunity to treat Colin and I to some new treats this weekend! After a summer of traveling I'm slowly getting back into my rhythm of recipe testing on the weekends. There is something so calming about baking so even though I get nervous to jump back into the kitchen after so much time away, every time I do I feel so great about it. Even when the recipes don't turn out (at all) as expected. 

As for these cupcake/cookie/dunkaroo treats, the adorable cupcake liners and toppers I used as decoration were part of a gift from my soon-to-be sister in law. The recipe is still a work in progress but all you need to know for now is that the funfetti icing is stuffed with so much goodness, most notably sprinkles and heath bar pieces.

How do you find time to celebrate the good in your life?


S’more Cookie Sandwiches

The weather has been consistently below 80 degrees for a few weeks now in DC so as much as it pains me to admit it, summer is officially over. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to my favorite summer flavor quite yet though so I made room for just one more s’mores recipe.

I was at a wedding last weekend with a s’mores dessert option at an outdoor fireplace and I spent an embarrassing amount of time braving the remnants of Hurricane Matthew to get my fix. Having to pick between time on the dance floor and time making s’mores was a toughie but I somehow managed to balance them both. And I wasn’t alone! Apparently a lot of people are still craving summer s’more flavors, not just me.

Are these s’more cookie sandwiches a little over the top? Absolutely. Since s’mores are harder to get my hands on in the fall, I like to go big or go home when I can find an alternative.

These cookies are some of my favorite because they have all the graham cracker flavor but no actual graham crackers in them! I know, no graham crackers at all? When I first saw the list of ingredients on Handle the Heat I had my doubts but as soon as I took my first bite I was a believer. Dipping the sandwiches in chocolate ties it all the together and allows a medium to incorporate actual graham crackers into the sandwich.

Give these a try and let me know. Do you prefer real s’mores, or the elaborate s’more cookie sandwich?


  • 2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ Cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 Ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • ¼ Cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups marshmallow creme
  • 1 Cup icing sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter, softened
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Chocolate chips
  • ¼ Cup crushed graham cracker crumbs

Recipe (Cookies adapted from a Handle the Heat recipe)

  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until to mixed well
  • In a small bowl, combine honey, milk and vanilla extract. Pour liquids into the food processor and pulse until batter forms.
  • Roll a disk and cover in plastic wrap, refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. Scoop dough in 1 ½ tablespoon sized balls and flatten with a fork on prepared trays. Bake one tray at a time for 12-14 minutes.
  • While cookies cool on tray, make the filling to the sandwich by adding the marshmallow creme, icing sugar, remaining butter and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Place filling in an icing bag or ziploc with a corner cut to facilitate piping. Pipe filling onto one cookie and top with another. Place on baking sheet. Repeat until all of the cookies sandwiches are made. Place baking sheet in freezer to set for 20-30 minutes
  • Melt chocolate chips in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted. Dip each sandwich into the chocolate and sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top. Return to freezer for about 20 minutes for chocolate to set.

Debate Night Snack: Election Pretzels

Did you know there’s an election in a few weeks? It’s been a bit hard to miss these past few months. Being Canadian, I don’t get to vote in the US election but that doesn’t mean I don’t get invested in the race. After all, I live in the States so the final decision affects me whether I like it or not.

I’ve always found one of the best ways to get a feel for the candidates and their temperament is to watch the debates leading up November. Of course, no TV viewing event would be complete without a themed snack to match!

These ‘election’ pretzels are pretty much the ideal Sunday snack because a) they are super easy to make and b) they don’t take much time so you can make them during commercial breaks while watching football! Unless of course you have NFL RedZone (guilty) in which case you can just pop yourself in front of the TV while you make these and not miss any of the action.

Pretzels and chocolate have always been a good match because they’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Once you master these in time for tomorrow’s debate you can adapt them for just about anything. I brought a test batch of these to book club last week and my taste-testers’ enthusiasm was some of the highest I’ve seen. If you’re also ready to adapt these in the future, here are a few ways to do so:

  • Dye the chocolate orange and use only the dark M&Ms for Halloween
  • Use red and green sugar crystals for a festive Christmas snack
  • Stick to the blue crystals on white chocolate for a festive Hanukkah treat
  • Wow your friends during the next Super Bowl by using team colors as your guide to decorating


  • 1 Cup white chocolate
  • ½ Cup red, white and blue M&Ms
  • 2 Tablespoons blue crystals
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon sugar
  • 1-2 Cups of pretzels (depending on how chocolate-y you want to make your treats)


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat and set aside.
  • Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes or until fully melted, stopping to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. While chocolate is melting, place M&Ms in a ziplock bag and roll over it with a rolling pin to crush the candies. Place M&Ms in a small bowl and set aside. Do the same with the blue crystals and the cinnamon sugar.
  • When the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and set next to the candies and sugars. Dip pretzel into chocolate and then dip into one of the three topping options. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat until all of the pretzels are used up. Place baking sheet in fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
Debate Night Sack- Election Pretzels.png

Baked Zucchini Donuts

When I visit new cities, I always look for wonderfully Instagram-able spots to visit. Last week’s trip to New York city was no exception so when I knew I was heading to the big apple, I immediately reached out to an Instagram friend with a propensity for posting donut pictures.

Instagram is a strange networking tool but if you’re only using it for posting pictures, you’re doing it wrong. I’ve met some really interesting bloggers and foodies through Instagram that I hang out with IRL. Yes, meeting someone for coffee that you’ve only ever interacted with online can feel weird but I’ve gotten some fantastic recommendations out of it and even a few friends.

After spending less than a week at home following my New York food-cation, I was craving donuts again. In an attempt to stay healthy in the lead-up to my wedding next year, I opted for baked donuts rather than the traditional fried. Definitely less flakey but still delicious in a non-traditional cake-like way. Think of these as the perfect solution to when you feel like a naughty dessert but the side of your brain responsible for estimating the size of your waist starts to protest.  

The cinnamon glaze is a nice twist on the traditional sugary topping. Plus, who doesn’t love the combination of cinnamon and zucchini in a baked good? No seriously, do these people exist?


  • 10 Tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ Cup grated zucchini
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 4 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon cinnamon, separated
  • 1 ¼ Cup milk, separated
  • 2 Cups icing sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe (Adapted from a recipe)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a donut pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and the grated zucchini. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoons of cinnamon. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ones until fully combined. Slowly add in 1 Cup of milk.
  • Scoop batter into a ziplock bag and clip one corner of the bag to facilitate pouring batter into the donut mold. Pour batter into mold, keeping the dough shape smaller than the size of the mold - it will expand when it cooks.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes. Using a spoon, flip the donut in the mold and let cool. Transfer donuts to cooling rack and fill molds with remaining batter (you will do this twice to use up all the batter).
  • While donuts cool, mix icing sugar, remaining milk, remaining cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Once the donuts are completely cool, hold them upside down one at a time to dip in the glaze. Let dry on the cooling rack. Once the glaze starts to harden, dip them each once more for a thicker covering or dip the other side for a different effect.