easy

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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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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Low Fat Butter Chicken

So I’ve got a problem. Well, it’s not so much of a problem as it is me complaining about two main things:

1. I’m pretty much out of flour in the apartment which means no baking.

So why not dip into the money I’ve earned and spend more on groceries? (Which I already do quite profusely—barring rent and tuition, I legitimately spend about 75% of my money on groceries) Because of the second thing.

2. I have 4 midterms coming up.

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Sesame and Poppy Seed Bagels

I’ve officially caught that bug. No, not the winter cold or a seasonal flu—the bug that makes you want to make everything from scratch. Chicken stock, sandwich bread, hummus… and now bagels.

When I played volleyball in high school, we’d always have dozens of bagels from Panera at our tournaments, and I could polish off two of those things in one day. Hey. I was a hungry athlete. Or that’s what I told myself, anyway. Those cinnamon crunch bagels were just too delicious to pass up.

But an oldie but goodie flavor I’ve always loved were poppy seed—and adding sesame seeds to the mix only seemed logical at this point! And all those myths about bagels being difficult to make? Gone!

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