learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Category Archives: baking

Gooooood morning!!

I hope everyone is having a good Thursday so far. I can already say mine is MUCH better than my Wednesday was.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling fine. I at the same breakfast I eat probably four or five days of the week: egg whites with spinach , and a side of peanut butter toast with banana. About 30 minutes after finishing breakfast I had a serious pain in my stomach. I initially thought the upset stomach feeling would only last a few minutes, but no go.

I had to keep pushing off going to the gym because I could barely move from my couch. The only times I did move was to be sick in the bathroom. It was that bad. Around noon, I started feeling alright and decided to make a break for the gym. I completed a shoulders/back workout and things were feeling okay during weights. It went south when I hopped on the treadmill. BIG mistake. As soon as I started sweating and bouncing around I felt like I was going to be sick right then and there. I was sick again after lunch and really have no idea what was wrong with me.

My little episode yesterday has me thinking about pushing yourself through a workout when you’re not feeling so hot. Honestly, it might sound crazy that I even went to the gym yesterday, I know. But I’ve realized from past experiences that sometimes a workout can make you feel better. That said, it’s important to take things slow and set some limitations. I should have known better than to try to get on a treadmill when my stomach was in shambles.

Under The Weather Exercises

I think when we’re feeling under the weather, the best thing to do is focus on exercises that don’t require too much movement. That might sound impossible, but it’s not. Think simple weight lifting techniques. Obviously kettle bell swings would not fall into this category, but there are many that do:

  • bicep curls
  • should presses
  • leg presses
  • leg extensions & curls
  • lat pulldowns
  • planks, etc.

And if you really want to get some cardio in, try just hopping on the bike. Any type of sweating was making me feel awful yesterday so cardio was off the table completely. Just be sure to use your judgment and don’t push yourself too hard!

Also, if you’re not feeling so hot it might be a good time to get a good stretching and foam rolling session in.

In other news…

It’s really fall.


More than a week into October, we’re in the thick of Halloween candy, pumpkin spice, and changing leaves! Mike is coming to Sioux Falls this weekend which means I have a reason to bake for someone! Last night I thought I’d make one of my favorite fall baked goods that’s a little less traditional than your average pumpkin loaf or banana bread.


Apple Cake! I had never heard of apple cake before I started babysitting for a Jewish family in college. I learned that apple cake is a traditional Jewish holiday dessert, and I can see why. It’s so delicious and just embodies all things fall.

I’ve shared this recipe on the blog before, but I did not have a bundt pan before yesterday. Highlight of my day.

IMG_2451If you’re looking for a festive, comforting treat this season that has nothing to do with pumpkin, I’d give this apple cake a try. It’s very simple and can me made without a bundt pan.

That’s all for now!






It’s a great day!


Because Fall is finally here!

Fall is by far my favorite season. The changing leaves, cooler weather, holidays, and pumpkin-flavored treats are just a few of my favorite things that come along with the season.

I had today off, so I decided to celebrate the first full day of Fall by whipping up a festive recipe — Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins.

pumpkin muffins

I’ve made healthyish pumpkin muffins before, but they’ve never turned out quite right. I think I always try to get a little too creative with things like whey protein powder, agave, flax and all those other ingredients that just scream “healthy.” Well, today I kept things simple. And I’m excited to bring a rather tasty recipe for pumpkin muffins to the table.

I followed this recipe loosely that I found while looking for muffin inspiration.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins:


  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease muffin tin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, honey and oil. Mix until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients slowly. Mix until just combined.
  • Remove bowl from mixer stand, fold in canned pumpkin.
  • Scoop even amounts of batter into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-19 minutes.


These muffins turned out great! They’re super dense and not overly sweet. I’d like to spread some peanut butter over one of them for a snack or dessert. I’d like to try adding some nuts or raisins to the recipe next time.


Also, if you do not have an electric mixer you can easily mix these muffins by hand.

Get ready for more pumpkin themed recipes to start popping up on the blog. It’s that time of year!



Good morning! It’s been pretty gloomy in Sioux Falls these past few days which has got me feeling reeeally lazy. My top accomplishments yesterday were making it to the gym and renewing my apartment lease.

Over a week ago I checked out the Sioux Falls Peach Fest and picked up a couple pounds of fresh Georgia peaches that were brought in on trucks. I was set on using the peaches to experiment with different recipes, but I must admit most of them were consumed just by themselves.

I did make a peach & blueberry protein oatmeal, and am now here to share a delicious peach dessert I whipped up!

Simple Peach Crisp:

Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp

I had never made peach crisp before a week ago. I’ve made apple crisp and similar blueberry crisp bars, so I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. After browsing through various recipes on Pinterest and a couple cookbooks, I finally found one that looked perfect from gonnawantseconds.com.

The original recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and calls for raspberries as well.

Here’s the recipe I followed:

Peach Mixture Ingredients:

  • 8 large peaches, peeled and sliced
  • zest from a large orange
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 TBS all purpose flour

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 sticks unsalted cold butter, cubed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine peach mixture ingredients. Gently fold mixture until well combined, spread into baking dish evenly.
  3. Add all topping ingredients into the bowl of a stand-up mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until butter is the size of peas. The mixture should be crumbly.
  4. Spread crumble topping over peach mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until top is crispy and the juices are bubbling. I needed to add about 7 extra minutes to my baking time.
  6. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Image 16

I tried a small portion of my peach crisp before dividing the rest into multiple containers for sharing and refrigerating it. Vanilla ice cream would be great with the peach crisp, but sadly I didn’t have any. Here’s a little tip: frozen light whipped topping works as an alternative to vanilla ice cream.

And with that, all my peaches are gone! This recipe was great, but a little sweet for me. I think next time I’ll reduce the amount of sugar used in the peach mixture and maybe add some raspberries to cut the sweetness of the peaches. The topping was by far my favorite part of the dish. I would not make a single change there!




Good morning!

It’s Sunday! Normally I love Sundays since they’re my first day off of the week, but things have changed. I’m now working both Saturday and Sunday. I still have Sunday mornings free, which means I can join in the Sunday fun by being extra lazy and lounging around like everyone should do on this day.

This is also my 100th post on Biggest Food Junkie! I would have liked to reach this milestone long ago back when I first started this blog in 2012. However, being a college student kind of takes up a lot of time and distracted me quite a bit. Blogging is not always in the cards. I’m excited to share many delicious treats and eats on the blog today for the 100th post.

I missed my ‘Friday Favorites’ post so let’s talk about some weekend favorites.

1. Oats In A Jar


IMG_2315I’ve finally hopped on the oats in a jar bandwagon.

This oatmeal eating tactic is something I’ve wanted to try ever since the trend started popping up on Pinterest long ago. All you need is a nearly empty jar of peanut butter or any other nut butter. I happened to have one on hand so I decided to give it a whirl this morning! So good!

I cooked oatmeal in a bowl with 1 egg white and added chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, sliced banana and craisins. I then poured it into the almost empty jar of peanut butter. The warm oatmeal melts the peanut butter that’s scraped on the sides of the jar and it mixes in real nicely. I’ll definitely be saving my almost empty peanut butter jars from now on!

2. Monster Cookies


Monster cookies! I have these bad boys to thank for my empty peanut butter jar. Yesterday was nuts at work, so I decided to bake some cookies last night to bring in to everyone today as a little pick-me-up/reward for all the hard work. When I asked my coworkers what their favorite cookies were, everyone seemed to say the same thing; chocolate chip, m&m, peanut butter. So, I decided to combine a few of those to make some bomb monster cookies.

This is my favorite monster cookie recipe, and I’ve tried many. They’re soft, chewy, and packed with goodies. I love experimenting with different chocolate chips, chocolate pieces and different nut butters. I just used plain old creamy peanut butter for this batch, which is how I was left with my jar for my oats this morning!

3. Scrambles



I’ve been really into my egg scrambles lately. The first one was made with egg beaters, spinach, black beans, onion and feta cheese. Topped with Sriracha, of course. The second is egg beaters, black beans, bell peppers, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese. All topped with a dollop of plain greek yogurt and salsa. Sides of fruit are necessary for a little sweetness.

I’ve always been a fan of scrambles, but lately I’ve been eating the exact same thing for breakfast every day; egg whites with spinach, wheat bagel then with peanut butter and banana. It’s starting to get a little old, and I figured it was time to mix things up. Now I need to get some chicken sausage to throw in the next one.

I’m off to the gym to complete a biceps & back workout! Hopefully this Sunday morning will mean an empty gym.

Good Morning!

We’re two days away from race day people! Nerves are setting in!

I completed a 2 mile run last night and am debating whether or not to do an easy 3 miles tomorrow morning. I really want to get one more run in, but will not have any time today as I am driving to Minneapolis straight from work.

Let’s jump into the second installment of Friday Favorites: a collection of random things I’ve been diggin’ lately.

Friday Favorites:

1. Baking

Okay, so this is not a recent occurrence. I always love baking, but I’ve been on a hiatus since Easter which is a long time for me. Mike’s birthday is this weekend, so I had an excuse to make the best cake on earth: Oreo cake!


This is seriously one of the most amazing cakes ever. I made the same one last year following this recipe, and made the addition of little cookie dough balls in the cream filling this year. Hopefully it’s a hit!

2. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter


This is also not really a recent development. Peanut Butter & Co. has some awesome flavored nut butters, but this one is close to the top of the list. I’m not normally a chocolate in the morning kind of person, but this peanut butter isn’t terribly sweet and has a nice cocoa taste. I actually have two jars in my cupboard right now and have been putting it on a bagel thin or english muffin pretty much every morning this week. So good!

3. Quest Bar Lemon Cream Pie 


I absolutely love Quest bars, but unfortunately, I can’t afford to buy them all the time. I recently discovered the lemon cream pie flavor and it may have taken the place of banana nut muffin as my favorite. It seriously tastes like a lemon poppyseed muffin. If you’ve never tried Quest bars, you should check them out. They’re all natural, packed with protein, fiber, and actually taste good.

4. HIIT Cardio

This might sound stupid, but I really miss HIIT cardio. I have gotten so bored with steady state cardio and running throughout my half marathon training. Last night I decided to turn my scheduled 2 mile run into an interval run by going 1 minute at a slower pace, and 1 minute at a faster pace and just the slight variation felt so good. I really miss sprinting. I feel like it makes the time pass much quicker for some reason. Definitely looking forward to fitting more HIIT into my workouts after Sunday’s half marathon!


Alright folks, that’s all we got. Sorry this was so food-centered, but I do like talking about food. Next time I post will most likely be after the half-marathon! Scary!

I’ve got a case of the Mondays. But in my case, I’m sad that my weekend is coming to an end. So in reality, you could say I have a case of the Sundays.

This weekend was a blast. Mike was in town and we went out for a co-worker’s birthday Saturday night. Sunday was spent lounging and running errands before he had to head out. Now it’s back to the work thing!

Today was a great day. It was a great day because I had a great run and felt like I could have done it all over again as soon as it was over.


Today was my first “long” run of half marathon training. I feel kind of silly calling this a long run, since it’s still pretty close to my short runs of 3 miles. It was just over 40 degrees when I set out around 11:00 this morning, which I call perfect running weather. I took things slow and tried to hang just under 9 minute miles the whole time. I never felt exhausted or like I was running out of steam. I honestly felt like I could have tacked on 2 or 3 extra miles easily. This is the exact pace I want to be able to keep during my half marathon, so I’m feeling hopeful!

For me, there’s nothing worse than feeling like I just barely scraped by after a run. I loved the optimistic, confident feeling I had at the end of today’s run, and really hope I can carry that into my long runs for the rest of my training.

The rest of the day included:

  1. hair appointment
  2. grocery shopping
  3. picking up new headphones that don’t sound like static in my ears

When I returned home I was ready for a little relaxation. Since it’s spring break season, I decided to get a little tropical in Sioux Falls. I put on my swimsuit and headed down to the hot tub in the pool area of my apartment complex. I was beyond happy to see there was nobody else in there.


Exotic Sioux Falls

I brought down some iced pomegranate green tea and the April issue of Women’s Health to enjoy during my “me time.”


And of course a pen and paper to jot down any notes throughout my reading!

Once I started sweating profusely, I knew it was time to head back up. I was planning on baking something for another co-workers’ birthday after dinner, but I jumped the gun and hopped to it still in my swimsuit!

She requested O Henry Bars, which I had never heard of but recognized them after Pinteresting them.


Look familiar? Here’s the recipe I followed:

O Henry Bars


  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 4 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter


  • Combine melted butter with brown sugar and vanilla.
  • Mix into oats, add corn syrup. Stir until everything is nice and sticky.
  • Press mixture into 9×13 baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes, let cool completely.
  • Once cooled, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave and spread over the top.
  • Refrigerate until chocolate sets.

As you can probably see, mine are not completely set yet, but they look delicious!


My co-worker told me her mom used to make these all the time. I hope mine pass the test!

It’s been a fantastic lazy Sunday. I spent the day doing a little bit of work and a lot of lounging around while watching the final day of the Olympics.

On these types of days, baking is always something that pops into my head. Today was no exception! I’ve had several ripe bananas sitting in my freezer for weeks that I’ve been meaning to use for banana bread. Tonight I bring you a new banana bread recipe: Minnesota Farmer Banana Bread.



My mom gave me a Twin Cities cook book this past Christmas. It’s filled with delicious looking recipes that originated from different areas around the Twin Cities. This was the first recipe I’ve had a chance to try from the cook book. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but added whole wheat flour and a dash of cinnamon.


Minnesota Farmer Banana Bread


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • t tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
My favorite ingredient!

My favorite ingredient!

Stir it up

Stir it up


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  • Blend together flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, stir together the eggs, oil, and bananas.
  • Fold banana mixture into flour mixture to create a thick batter. Fold in chopped walnuts.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.
The loaf!

The loaf!



I used a slightly smaller loaf pan for this, about 8×3 I believe, and it turned out just fine. This is a very simple and tasty banana bread recipe. The loaf came out perfectly moist. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from this cook book in the near future!








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