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Blueberry Sour Cream Scones

I wish I could say I had a good reason for not posting anything new for months now. I mean, I have several little reasons. Things like exams and newspaper duties. Things like a new job for the summer (administrative duties). And then another job.

I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth would you pick up another job when you’re already exhausted every day after your first job?

Because the new job… is as a pastry assistant.

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Gluten Free Maple Walnut Bars

Gluten-Free Maple Walnut Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been so full all week. Ben and I went on a road trip, hitting Boston, Providence, and New York, and it should come as no surprise that our days were planned largely around our food excursions. We’ve been eating some amazing things, but let’s just say that I feel like my skinny jeans are feeling a little tighter than usual.

One thing that can be tricky about a food trip as someone who has a gluten sensitivity is that it can be very hard to turn down delicious-looking dishes and desserts when everyone else seems to be enjoying them so much. I’m very grateful and lucky that I don’t have Celiac’s, but eating gluten does give me some stomach troubles, so ultimately I have to ask myself whether or not eating the food in question will be worth the tummy ache later on.

And with a food trip? It usually was. Yikes.

Gluten Free Maple Walnut Bars

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Oatmeal Craisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Craisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on vacation. Thank goodness for vacation.

So far, on our roadtrip, we’ve hit Boston (+Cambridge), Providence, and now we’re in New Haven. It’s so weird to be in all these college towns after applying to and attending college. I feel like I’m three years late to my college campus tour. But these campuses have all been super gorgeous and Ben and I have been eating so much great food. Definitely going to need to cut back a little when we get home…

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Dark Chocolate Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Let’s talk about decisions for a second.

Decisions are hard. And life is always filled with them—the most difficult kinds. And the worst part is, avoiding them typically only makes things worse.

I have a thousand and one different things I should be doing right now, and one of them is studying (as per usual). The other is baking for a bake sale that I promised to help with. And another is preparing for an interview I have tonight. One that could potentially mean a lot of big changes in my forthcoming life. But the thing is, that’s barely scratching the surface of my to-do list. So what’s the decision? What do I deal with first?

I opted for baking first. Mostly because I think it uses my time best with my wacky schedule today, but also because baking is calming. And so what to bake?

That decision was easy.

BROWNIES.

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Cinnamon Babka

Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal in my books, but my attitude toward it has changed quite a bit since high school. In high school, I rejected it upfront, convinced that it was a soul-sucking holiday that tried to force-feed everyone pink hearts and chocolate. I was a pretty jaded high schooler, I’m not gonna lie.

But for the past year or so, I’ve felt my feelings toward February 14th shift. Even though I’m still not big on the flowers or excess of pink and red, I do feel like Valentine’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for people to remind themselves about the people they love. We’re so busy all the time now that it’s easy to prioritize school, work, and stress, but on Valentine’s Day, people all over the world set aside a bit of time to appreciate and be with the people they love. Now ideally, everyone would be able to do this no matter what day of the year it was, but the reality of life is that it’s busy.

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Honey Sesame Ginger Chicken

Often times, when I make baked goods or cook something that requires longer than a microwavable dinner during exam time, people will ask me: “How do you find the time to do that?”

And I wouldn’t say I’m proud of the fact that I will frequently prioritize a batch of cookies over studying for an upcoming midterm, but I will say this:

For me, making time for food is a key part of keeping in touch with reality and happiness. You know that all-too-famous Parks & Rec quote: “TREAT YO’SELF?”

That’s how I want to approach food. Not as simply fuel or an obligation, but as something that I—and the people around me—can enjoy. And being able to make time for that is important, not just for the sake of eating, but for the sake of my sanity. Because midterms will do that to ya.

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Spiced Honey Sticky Buns

The human body has this really cool way of having multiple solutions for any given problem that might get thrown at it. For instance, if you experience a drop in blood pressure, not only do your baroreceptors activate to send information through your ninth and tenth cranial nerve to the Nucleus Tractus Solitarus in your hypothalamus, which through its nonadrenergic receptors sends information to the magnocellular neurons. This is all to increase your levels of vasopressin, but if that doesn’t work, your angiotensin levels also increase, which go to the subfornical organ of your hypothalamus to also send info to your magnocelluar neurons.

This all is to say two things:

1. The human body is wicked crafty.

2. I am slowly but surely losing my mind in my attempts to study for my midterms.

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