My Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life

These aren’t your typical oatmeal cookies. To start, there are no raisins. Hallelujah! Even better, these oatmeal cookies are delicious-forward rather than oat-forward, if you catch my drift. Just the right level of sweetness, crackly on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, there will be not a single leftover (except for your full bag of raisins) after baking up a batch. PS This recipe comes from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar Life cookbook of amazingness. She’s a rockstar and these cookies prove that, hands-down. Bake up a batch and you’ll show the world that you’re an oatmeal cookie rockstar, too.

The other important fact about these oatmeal cookies is that there’s a secret ingredient. And, you don’t even taste the secret ingredient, but it gives this oatmeal cookie the perfect consistency, height, and chew. The secret ingredient is sweetened shredded coconut! Now, believe you me, no one will even know, especially if you have coconut haters in your circle of family and friends, like I do.

Oatmeal Cookies from Milk Bar Life cookbook | #milkbar #milkbarlife #oatmealcookies #grandmasoatmealcookies #withcoconut #cookies #kickassbaker

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Avocado Corn Salad with White Balsamic Honey Reduction

Looking for the perfect summer salad or side dish for your next BBQ? Look no further! This Avocado Corn salad is the winning dish. With all the flavors of summer, this salad is sure to please any crowd.

In all honesty, you’re going to want to make this all summer long, not just for those Fourth of July BBQs or family picnics or outdoor summer potlucks. This corn salad is easy, fresh, captures the essence of some of the season’s best produce and, of course, tastes delicious. The ingredient list is short, the number of pots and pans needed is minimal and the flavor factor is high – what else could you ask for in a summer salad?!

Avocado Corn Salad with White Honey Balsamic Reduction | #bbq #potluck #sidedish #cornsalad #avocadosalad #avocado #whitebalsamic #refreshingsummersalad #perfectsummersalad

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Easy Gluten-free, Nut-free Granola

Granola is a breakfast and snacking staple around here. And this version is ideal for paleo-ish folks like me who are looking for a delicious and easy gluten-free, easily customizable alternative to the pre-packaged brands. Bonus: It’s nut-free, too!

This recipe rocks! It combines healthy with sweet, a killer combo in my life, and it’s not one of those recipes you need to follow to the letter, also something that rocks. I’ve tried so many different kinds of granola out there – I find standard granola to be way too processed, sugary and calorie-laden. I find the Paleo versions of granola to also be too calorie-laden. I’m also not a huge fan of nuts or seeds period, let alone in my granola. So, I created my own granola recipe. And let me tell you, this one is awesome!

Here’s why this recipe rocks:

  1. It comes together quickly
  2. It will keep for a long time in your pantry
  3. It’s very customizable and versatile – breakfast, snack, plain, by the handful, over dairy-free yogurt, ice cream, fruit, you name it!
  4. It’s gluten-free, nut-free, and slightly sweet without any added refined sugar

Easy Gluten-free, Nut-Free Granola | #granola #paleoish #glutenfreegranola #nutfreegranola #glutenfree #nutfree #allergyfriendly #kickassbaker

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White chocolate chip chocolate cookies

These cookies are what you’ve been looking for.  Filled to the max with chocolatey goodness, they are substantial in size and in flavor. Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, rich cocoa powder – it all combines in this magically rich, brownie-like piece of heaven.

You will love these cookies. I mean, really love. They are sweet, but not too sweet, they are big enough to share (if you’re into that kind of thing) and they bake up quickly too. If you are the kind of person who likes variety in your cookies, give these a try. With chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and cocoa powder, you’ll get your chocolate fix and then some!

White chocolate chip chocolate cookies | #whitechocolatechipcookies #whitechocolate #chocolatechocolatechip #heavenlycookies #kickassbaker

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Classic Easy Homemade Amish White Bread

The smell of homemade bread is reason enough to dive into the world of baking it. And, because this recipe is easy, you just might give up buying store-bought white bread forever.

I mean really, is there a better aroma than freshly baked homemade bread? Nah, I don’t think so. And when it’s coming from your own oven in your own kitchen, made from dough you yourself mixed from scratch, it smells and tastes even better. Homemade bread can be intimidating, I can’t lie. There are definitely homemade bread recipes out there that I can’t even look at because they give me anxiety just thinking about attempting them, but this recipe is certainly not one of them. Go ahead, dive in! The water’s warm over here in the deep end of the bread-making pool. You’ll never look back down that grocery store bread aisle again.

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Refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

I could eat this salad all summer. Watermelon, the quintessential summer fruit, pairs so well with briny feta and fresh mint to bring together a mouthful of happiness in every refreshing bite.

You will make this salad again and again this summer. It comes together quickly, too, and no oven required. Does it get any better than that for a summer recipe? Not in my book!

I’ve already made this salad three times and it’s technically not even summer yet. I made it when my sister Steph and my mom came over for lunch recently, made it again for lunch with my knitting friends, Carriellen and Kathy, and once again this week when my wonderful friend-turned-neighbor, Basima, brought over half a watermelon for me just because she had extra and wanted to share. I have the best friends!

Refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint | #summersalad #watermelonrecipe #refreshing #mint

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Sweet Mint Iced Tea (Paleo-friendly)

There’s nothing more refreshing than a glass of sweet mint iced tea on a hot summer’s day. And this version is paleo-friendly, so it’s guilt-free, too!

I love mint. Like, really love it. But I haven’t always. It’s one of those your-taste-buds-change-as-you-get-older-and-things-you-used-to-despise-are-now-your-favorites kinda thing. (Tuna and mustard also fall into this category for me). It’s sort of like now that I do love mint so much I have to make up for lost time for all those years I didn’t like it and now I have to consume it in abundance. Which is perfectly okay with me because I love it so much and there are just so many different ways to enjoy mint. Especially fresh mint. I can’t get enough of the way it smells, too. Ahhhhhh….. heavenly. I’ve made fresh mint ice cream which is to die for and I make this mint iced tea recipe all the time. Especially in the summer because it’s so darn refreshing and it’s a fan favorite with my family.

Oh so refreshing Sweet Mint Iced Tea | #mint #summertimedrinks #icedtea #refreshing

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Fluffy Sprinkle Cookies

What kid doesn’t love sprinkles, especially when they’re inside of a deliciously chewy, fluffy, vanilla-y cookie?

I like to bake. And cook. Obviously. But I also love to take cooking and baking classes. I do so whenever I can. And, my husband, being the amazing gift-giver that he is, (no joke, I’m not just saying that, he really is very clever and thoughtful) gets gifts of cooking/baking classes often for me. Most recently I got to take a baking class at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in lower Manhattan. The class was called the Cookie Jar. Perfect for me! It was amazing – we baked about 10 different types of cookies over the course of 3 hours and then we got to feast on said cookies. It was well worth the trek into the city! Plus, I walked away with some new knowledge and recipes which I love. One of those recipes was this one, which I’ve modified to be even better and more vanilla-y and fluffy than the ones we baked in class. Part of what I modified was adding in delicious vanilla – I am a huge fan, to say the least. I buy the biggest vat of vanilla I can find (and afford) from Amazon and it typically lasts me anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on the season. I have also made my own and will put that recipe up on the blog soon. The only problem with making your own is that you can’t use it right away (sad face…); you have to wait several months before the alcohol absorbs all the delicious notes of the vanilla beans… Luckily, I have my huge bottle of vanilla on hand to make these cookies.

Fluffy Confetti Cookies | Easy Sprinkle Cookies - perfect for birthday parties and kids! Fluffy, soft, loaded with rainbow sprinkles and vanilla flavor | #cookies #rainbowsprinkles

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Easy Peasy Deliciously Moist Banana Bread

Bananas are destined, IMHO, to become nothing other than the best version of bread there is – Banana Bread!

I often find myself buying a bunch of bananas, placing them just out of sight from my family, and patiently waiting several days until they become perfectly overripe, mottled with big, dark spots of brown and black and smelling suhweeeeet. Yep, that’s my thing. I have a good excuse – banana bread is the best! It’s easy to put together, it uses up perfectly good fruit that you might otherwise throw away, it bakes up ultra moist, and it tastes heavenly, especially slathered in creamy butter. Yummmmmmmmmm.

The BEST easy & moist banana bread for using up those overripe bananas | #bananabread

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Ooey Gooey S’mores Cupcakes

Simply the best S’mores Cupcakes for summer (or anytime really)!

Who doesn’t love s’mores in the summer?! They’re iconic and reminiscent of hot summer nights around a campfire. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been spending time at my sister’s house in the Catskills at the end of summer and s’mores are always on the list of must-haves!  The kids love ’em and us adults love ’em because they are a simple, delicious dessert that requires very little effort – save for lots of cautions about getting too close to the fire or poking one’s eye out with the marshmallow roasting sticks. But, no one’s lost an eye just yet, so it’s all good.

Ooey Gooey S'mores cupcakes with burnt marshmallow frosting and a buttery graham cracker crust - summer in a cupcake! | #smores #cupcakes

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