Favorite Shots: Bar Candy

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Picked up some neat rocks n jewels as memorabilia from Colorado, and then I turned them into bottle stoppers to dress up the bar. It totally felt like a Pinterest win, except that I didn’t find this idea on Pinterest, but on this blog. So easy worth it projickt. Try et, frans.


Task Attraction: Millet Banana Bread


One conversation I had with a group of friends went approximately like this:

“Would you still hang with me if I was 20% less smart?”

And some dude said, “I don’t know, Lauren…would you be able to cook 20% less well?”

Whatttttttttttt? CHECK. YO SELF. (Actually, I just blinked a little bit.)

Now before all my girls get all up in a huff (because all the dudes are like, “Fair questions, fair question.”), I would just like to present that it is probably not totally anyone’s fault that this question has to come up.

I mean, let’s be real. There is a thing called task attraction, which means that you find someone attractive based on their abilities, like being able to cook. And, when combined with the reward theory of attraction, which means that you are attracted to those who in some way make you feel good, the whole cooking thing can be a devastating combination. I get it. Baking is my half-joke version of how to win friends and influence people, as you well know.


And I mean, yeah it’s attractive if you’ll mow the lawn and fix the car and do crazy hang time bball shots or whatever other “guy” things you do that make my life better. But I would still hang with you if you did those things 20% less, no question, because there are other important things in life that you’re about!


I’m not sure I’ve explained very well why I’m kicking you out of my house right now, but will still be friends with you later, but there it is. Task attraction, guys. It’s real.


Millet Banana Bread

Find the recipe on smitten kitchen. I opted for 1/4 cup maple syrup instead of 1/3 cup. This is really good banana bread.

Introducing a yeast alternative: Seeded Parmesan Soda Bread


We all know that making yeast bread can be a pain (except this one that’s pretty chill). First, you have to make sure your living, breathing yeast organism is still alive and hasn’t hit its expiration date. Then you have to coax it into bloom with quality milk that’s hot, but not too hot (kinda like a relationship that works because both parties are hot but not too hot and don’t overpower and have qualities beyond their physical appearance amirite). Then you have to wait for the interminable double rise time, when all the while your brain is just like CINNAMON ROLLS DO WANT. And after all that, the stuff STILL might turn out hard, dense or soggy.

So we avoid it like the plague except for special occasions and for love.


parm bread 1

For all of you that know the pain of making yeast bread, I’d like to present the simpler, heartier, done-in-a-flash option: soda bread.

It uses baking soda (haha get it?) as a leavener, which is far more forgiving and makes the process easy as cake. Actually though.


I once made a version with cranberries and nuts in it, but this round, I went for RYE and CHEESE and NUTS and FRESH HERBS from my friend’s garden (she is living the dream and grows her own). Served hot, fresh from the oven, it was a delightfully hearty, wholesome side. Plus, it’s from Pippa’s book, and she is the cutest. I think of her as the British version of Giada.



Seeded Parmesan Soda Bread

From Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends

1 cup rye flour

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

large handful of fresh herbs, such as oregano and thyme, chopped

3 ounces mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, divided

3 ounces grated Parmesan, divided

10 ounces buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stir together all ingredients except 1 ounce of Parmesan, 1 ounce of the seeds and the buttermilk in a large bowl until well-combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter milk. Stir together until the mixture just comes together. Add more buttermilk if needed, but it shouldn’t be a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead a couple of times. Gently pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inches deep. Cut a deep X in the top and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan and seeds.

Place the dough on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for another 30 minutes until golden. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then serve warm.

Dang it, Huckleberry Round II – Nectarine & Brown Sugar Muffins



So the blueberry muffins from Huckleberry that wouldn’t dome?




It could still be my fault. I will still be trying every other recipe in the cookbook.


Nectarine & Brown Sugar Muffins

Adapted from Huckleberry

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or regular)

2 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons oat flour

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 large nectarine, chopped into small chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking together until just combined. Fold in the nectarine chunks.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full, then sprinkle with the reserved crumble. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are browned and spring back slightly when touched. Allow muffins to cool before removing from the pan.

Dang it, Huckleberry – Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Muffins


Gosh,  Huckleberry, why did you have to be such a dang disappointment?

You were so great in LA. Your basic building blocks are good (seeds, grains, fruit, brown sugar, crumble), so this should have worked out. But the at-home execution was a sad mess. All anyone wanted from a muffin was a domed top and crunchy crumble, and you just wouldn’t deliver.


I mean, maybe I was running too hot, and it was all my fault. One never knows with my oven these days. But still, I’m tempted to blame your sugar overload and the addition of sixteen trendy included grains. Not enough substance to hold all the goodness together.


Anyway, you still tasted like the way everyone wishes that hippie muffin from the co-op would taste, and this picture gets me every time, so

no regrets,


Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Muffins

Adapted from Huckleberry

For the crumble:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or regular)

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon raw millet

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon flax seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the muffins:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons almond flour

1 tablespoon oat flour

1 tablespoon raw millet

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon flax seeds

1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.

To make the crumble, combine all ingredients and blend with your fingertips until homogenous. Set aside in the fridge.

To make the muffins, whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking together until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Fill the muffin cups almost to the top, then sprinkle with the reserved crumble. Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins are browned and spring back slightly when touched.

Favorite Shots: Wildly Abundant Life (and cheese plate)

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If you like this cheese plate setup, you’ll definitely like the rest of TAPESTRY Magazine. Check them out at www.the-tapestry.com. I spent one delectable afternoon with the wind in my hair and cheese in my belly, learning about the vision for the mag and holding flowers for the camera. The whole things was such a great reminder that Jesus came to earth so that we might have ABUNDANT LIFE. He actually said that. It’s the BEST.


P.S. I think the first ever print edition is out. You can find me within MAYBE.

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Pipe Dream #340: To Mask My True Colors – Fudgy Zucchini Almond Cookies


I’ve made a lot of chocolate zucchini baked things, kind of like the rest of America making chocolate zucchini bread and only chocolate zucchini bread with the leftover squash from August.

I think Americans do the chocolate thing because it masks the green. It’s not like it has this massive zucchini flavor that needs to be fudged. If you were to make a green vanilla cake, your conditioned mind would be thinking, “This tastes like Nickelodeon slime!” So zucchini never gets baked into anything but chocolate. It’s true colors are hidden for the sake of your visual-taste-brain connection.
DSC_0076 zucc cookies 1So bright, so right.


Almonds for texture. These babies needed the crunch because they were actually like liquid fudge, and I didn’t even underbake them. Ultra moist like these fail volcano brownies. I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE, ZUCC. I CAN TELL. “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” In life, and in the kitchen.


Keeping it real,


Fudgy Zucchini Almond Cookies

Adapted from An Oregon Cottage

½ cup shredded zucchini (finely shred onto a towel to soak extra moisture while proceeding with the recipe)

⅓ cup butter

½ cup dark chocolate chips

½ cup cacao powder

⅓ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

⅓ cup Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

slivered almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with Silpat.

Melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave whisking at 30-second intervals until smooth. Stir in both sugars and cocoa powder until combined. Add yogurt and vanilla. Stir in flour, soda, and salt, if using, until smooth and then add the zucchini, stirring until incorporated (mixture will be thick).

Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, drop onto prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top of each cookie. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Peach Cobbler

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