Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Banana Bread Cookies

After Tuesday’s confessions I forgot to add one more: I’ve hardly been cooking at all lately. True, we made some chilaquiles for Cinco de Mayo (which looked like dog food but tasted amazing) and I did make some homemade granola (which practically burnt), but I haven’t made anything really blog worthy…until last weekend.

On a whim I decided to bake after looking at some spotty bananas. Of course I could have made my trusty banana bread, but I was all breaded out after using my birthday coupons from the Breadsmith (If you sign up for their email newsletters they send you a free coupon for dessert bread during the month of your birthday. Since I subscribe to two different locations, I got two coupons :)

Instead I adapted the flavor of banana bread into an oatmeal cookie – my favorite. These cookies are definitely on the softer side, which makes them even more bread-like. So in other words, if you’re looking for a crispy cookie, these are definitely not it. But if you love oatmeal and bananas, these babies are for you.

Question: What’s your favorite cookie? It’s a toss up for me. I love a good old-fashioned oatmeal raisin cookie and those thick sugar cookies from Panera. Yum!

Vegan, Dairy-Free Pumpkin Muffins

I know. I know. You’ve never seen me post a vegan recipe. Ever. To be honest, whenever anyone bakes vegan, I immediately think whatever I’m about to eat will taste terrible. Why is that?! For some reason, cooking without any animal products has a stigma of being hard-as-a-rock, tasteless and sub-par to the real thing.

Well, my friends, these muffins will convert you. I promise.

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared my journey into cooking and baking on the blog, but one of the first things I started making by myself in college were quickbreads. I’d make banana bread constantly and learned a lot about baking (like the correct way to measure flour and the importance of letting the bread cool before you wrap it up in plastic and give it to a guy you like, instead of giving him a hot, sticky mess. Yes, this really happened).

After banana bread, I found a recipe for Pumpkin Flax Quickbread that seemed really healthy. It used ingredients like whole wheat flour, canned pumpkin and flaxseed. It didn’t even occur to me that there were no eggs in the recipe. I didn’t know at the time but vegans make eggs using flax and water. It just so happened when I made these that I didn’t even have eggs in the house. I guess it was fate!

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

2 tablespoons ground flax
6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup diced prunes
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line 18 muffin cups.

Whisk together flax and water. Mix in sugar, pumpkin and applesauce. In a large bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, baking powder and spices. Add prunes and walnuts.

Fill muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 22 minutes or until golden on top.

Tell me: Are you a fan of vegan cooking/baking? What’s your favorite recipe? Links welcome!

Cranberry Swirl Bread + Giveaway Winner!

Until we hit the 50s in Wisconsin, I’m milking winter baking season for as long as I can. There’s nothing like the aroma of warm, fresh bread wafting through your home when there’s a foot of snow on the ground (like today). Plus, the athlete in me says I need the carbs to continue my running streak. I’ve got five days under my belt so far, with two more to go until I hit a week. So far the only thing that’s sore is my left bicep (huh!?).

While I’m still hunting for the perfect cinnamon raisin swirl bread, I have found its sweeter cousin, cranberry swirl bread. The bread is so light and airy, which is the perfect vessel for ribbons of sweet cranberries and walnuts. On top is a flaky, buttery streusel topping that will convince you to make a loaf of this homemade goodness yourself.

I made this loaf using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment. When it comes to using this kitchen appliance or our 20-year-old bread maker, the KitchenAid is a little hard to beat. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to use.

Making Pumpkin Pie Dip in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Edgeware Grater and Zester Giveaway! The Winner is:



Congrats, Carol! Please send your address to me at and your zesters will be on their way! For those of you who didn’t win, I have my biggest giveaway ever coming up tomorrow. Here’s a little hint.

Question: What’s your favorite thing you’ll miss about winter? Besides baking, I’ll miss the soup :)

Alpha Bakery Banana Bread

Happy President’s Day! Don’t forget, you still have until Tuesday to enter my Dreamfarm Giveaway! This weekend I actually had some time to bake and watch TV (neither of which I’ve been able to do lately!). For me, that means catching up on Nashville, American Idol, Smash and America’s Test Kitchen :)

Fresh Valentine’s Day flowers make TV watching that much more enjoyable.

Yesterday I FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s by Bayshore Mall. In addition to stocking up on produce like organic gala apples, kale, spinach, carrots and broccoli, I had to pick up a jar of their Crunchy Cookie Butter. I actually stopped myself from picking up a jar of smooth cookie butter because I figured one jar was enough!

One reason I especially love weekends is that I actually have time to bake for fun. As a kid, I remember learning to bake with Gold Medal Flour’s Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook.

Although I only remember us making one recipe, I would constantly flip through the pages because I thought the illustrations made the food look delicious and fun. Because this book meant so much to me, I grabbed in when I rediscovered it from my parent’s house about a year ago. I didn’t want it getting lost or, god forbid, thrown away.

One of the first things I ever remember making with my dad was banana bread. And when I rediscovered cooking and baking in college, this was what I made, loaf upon loaf.

Instead of sticking to our tried and true recipe, I decided to bump up the health factor and make substitutions. I swapped out much of the oil for applesauce, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and I added Navitas Natural Cacao Nibs instead of chocolate chips.


In addition to this healthy banana bread, I’ve also created a version of a guilt-free Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread.

Question: What types of foods did you make as a child? Did you ever have a childhood cookbook?

Baked Oatmeal for a Quick and Easy Breakfast

I could live on baked oatmeal. Seriously. I’ll take it over regular oatmeal or oats in a jar any day of the week.

Although I’ve been making these for breakfast for years, I’ve never even mentioned them until a few days ago in my Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay recap.

Brenton’s mom was the first person to introduce me to baked oatmeal. Before then, I didn’t know such a thing existed. The recipe she used was from I’ve adapted it heavily over the years to make it healthier (I cut the sugar in half, substituted the butter and added some fun extras, like flaxseeds and wheat germ).

This dish is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast during the week or a special treat on weekends.  The best part? It’s guaranteed to keep you full until lunch. Feel free to substitute any dried fruit you like. Dried cherries and cranberries are my favorites, but use whatever you have on hand.


Question: What’s your favorite quick and easy breakfast? What’s your favorite way to eat oatmeal?

Homemade Pumpkin Doughtnuts + Weekend Brunch

Happy Hump Day! Yes, half the week may be over but we’re finally seeing a break in this Wisconsin cold. The high is 22 today (it’s been in the single digits all week). I am more than ready for winter to be over and April to be here, because we are going to FLORIDA!

Still, we’ve been doing a ton of fun things lately despite the cold – like the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay and book club on Sunday. Check our Laurie’s review for the book we chose, “Gone Girl.”

Personally, I liked the book until the end. Psycho people like Amy don’t sit well with me. True, Nick was a cheating dog, but Amy was manipulative, insane and a ying character. My main gripe with this book was there wasn’t a character I liked or gravitated toward.

I just finished our next book club book last night, “Matched” by Ally Condie. This one was a much faster read for me. I’ve even moved onto the second book, “Crossed.”

Anwyay, back to Sunday’s book club.

Each of us brought something to Laurie’s house for brunch, and I made pumpkin doughnuts using a Doughnut Pan Kit from Stonewall Kitchen.


I’ve wanted a doughnut pan for the longest time. I’m so glad I finally buckled down and bought it! Baked doughnuts are so much healthier than fried. Karis made some AWESOME Maple Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts  for brunch once, so those are my next project. I also added some homemade coffee/chocolate cookies to the platter.

Laurie made these delicious mimosas using almond champagne. BEST mimosas ever! By the way, we finally got to see Laurie and James’s new house. I’m so jealous of all the space they have and their huge backyard! Milo, Murphy and Oliver had a blast running around.


Brittney and Ryan brought homemade cinnamon bread and qunioa cups. I asked Brittney where they got the bread recipe from and she said we gave it to her! HAHA. We did loan them our bread machine and gave them a copy of recipes we use for it. #BlondeMoment


Laurie totally blew me away with her Sausage and Egg Bake with Green Peppers. This is the perfect brunch casserole to make for out-of-town guests. I love dishes they are easy to make but feed a lot of people. She also made Strawberry Bruchetta, which she originally made for her sister’s bridal shower. Delish.

Three words to describe Sunday: Book Club Rocks!

Question: Are you or have you ever been in a book club?

This is my forth book club. From my experience, they’re more fun when you have fewer people (I was in a club that had 14 people once!) and everyone has similar taste in books, which Brittney, Laurie and I definitely do.

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)


Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.

#12) Coffee Rum Chata

#11) Canned Apple Pie Filling

#10) Stuffed Pepper Casserole

#9) Tamale Pie

#8) Homemade Marshmallows

#7) Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

#6) Corn and Scallion Sourdough Pancakes

#5) Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread

#4) Spicy Tomato Peanut Butter Soup

#3) Japanese Eggplant Parmesan with Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce

#2) Chicken Enchilada Soup

#1) Shrimp and Grits

Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!

Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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