7 days of christmas : Day one

So last Sunday I decided that since there were 7 school days left before break, I was going to bake something for each of those days. Monday I figured would be cake pops and my goodness did I have my work cut out for me! 6 hours and 100 cake pops later, I had something that I was really really proud of. I made two kinds of pops; one of the pops was a tree, the other was a snowball pop. Everyone really loved them and it made me so happy to know that they enjoyed them.

For the cake base I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe :
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C  semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Melt butter and chocolate in 30 second intervals. Let cool to room temp.
2. Mix in sugar until just combined.
3. Add in egg, and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
5. Mix into wet ingredients.
6. Put into pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. When you check the cake don't rely on a toothpick, it'll come out clean even when it's practically goop. Check by applying pressure onto cake with figure, or slicing into it and making sure it's actually done.

For the butercream I used one I found in the bakerella book (where I also got the idea for the tree pop). However, I can't find it online but any basic chocolate buttercream would work (aprox 2 cups worth).

Now once you bake your cake, make the buttercream, let the cake cool (thank god it was sub 30 degrees outside! I just set the pan outside and within a half hour it was cool), shred the cake up, mix in the buttercream, and let that cool more, you're ready for some real fun!

I made cute little trees (the first couple are hard, but it gets easier!), and then decided on a traditional ball. After I molded all of those I just set the trays outside for an hour until they were nice and firm. Cake pops are quite easy but if they aren't firm enough, coating them is a pain.

Once the cake pops are firm, melt the candy coating according to the directions and dip away! The trick with coating is dipping the stick into the candy coating first before you put them into the cake pop. I did a couple not coating the stick firsst, and the cake pop fell right off.

I did the balls first and here's what I ended up with :
I loved how simple, and graceful these were. I tinted the white with a little blue, and they felt very icy and pretty.

Next were the trees and these were a pain. I burnt the candy coating and it seized up on me. Oh what an up hill struggle they were! I'm really proud of what I ended up with. Here they are post coating, pre final decoration.

 Overall, these were a blast! I really want to experiment with them again in the future. Day two was sugar cookies, look for that post tomorrow!



Things that I like of the week!

Happy Saturday! Here's a small list of some things that I dug this week.
 My Week With Marilyn : This movie was a wonder to me. I went with a friend last night and we were dazzled by Williams portrayal of the icon. I can't even tell you what this movie was about as any actual plot became completely irrelevant when she came on the stage. After the movie was over we just sat there, in shock of how amazingly well she was portrayed. Definitely check it out if it's at a theater near you!

UP by Jawbone : This is a nifty little thing for you health fanatics out there! Basically it's a body bug that's not ugly! It goes on your wrist and it tracks everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Tells you how many calories you burn doing exercise, how many calories you burn by just existing, has a pedometer, tracks your sleep cycle, it's really cool! It comes along with an app for the iphone where you can track your food, and get fun challenges, even connect with friends! It's 99 dollars and you can bet it'll be on my christmas list!
The Keurig coffee maker! My Dad got this for my Mom as a early Christmas gift but I'm secretly reaping the benefits of it in the morning after they're gone ;). The coffee is actually really really amazing. My family aren't big coffee drinkers, my Dad has never taken a sip of the stuff in his life, my Mom will only have a cup, and I could drink buckets of it but I tend to get hopped up if I have more than a cup. This is perfect for our family because it's convenient, makes only a cup, and tastes GOOD! I was a little unsure about it at first, I'm really specific about what kind of coffee I like, but this wasn't just brown water. It was rich, it was full bodied, it was delicious. Highly recommend this if you're looking for a new coffee pot!

 Whole grain pita bread : I've always wanted to make my own pita bread. Yesterday I went after this challenge and it was a win. I only eat grains 1 time a week and I'm thankful that I went after this. Never, ever, will I eat a store bought pita again, these were chewy, a little nutty, and tender! I'm going to try and make more of my own breads so I can make it as clean and pure as possible. Most likely I'll fail, but what is life without it?

So that's it for this week. Any cool things that you've seen this week? Hope you have a good weekend!


Winter Goals!

It's good to have goals. I'm a big believer in goals. Goals give me direction in my life, however, when I've made goals that are too big I've gotten too overwhelmed and I end up failing. I once, before I figured things out, wanted to lose 20 pounds in one month... lets just say that failed miserably. After I started to make small goals, like replace one grain with a veggie every day, I started to see that living a healthy life was possible, and the weight came with it. So I'm a big believer in goals and as we enter the winter season I thought it'd be fun to write down a list of some of my goals!

  1. Begin to learn French!: So, I'm going to France and England this spring break but there is just one issue : I don't know French. True, I'll be with 10 other people who will know French but I'd really like to not be super confused the entire time. I'm not trying to master the language, but I'd like to be able to get around. Therefore, I'm going to attempt to learn French on my own! I've downloaded every app, subscribed to every podcast, and even ordered a book! Hopefully if I just put in 40 minutes every day before bed, I'll be able to learn French to a certain degree. 
  2. Find joy in the little things in life : I'm a pretty positive person. However, it's hard to not get completely jaded by the negative things that happen in life. I've found that whenever I focus on the small things that are amazing and good in my life, I'm happier. It's hard, but my goal is to write down three things that were beautiful every single day. 
  3. Get a job! : This one is a biggie, I quit my job at an ice cream store due to school and college and did senior pictures on the weekend. However, I'm all done applying to college, school is slowing down, and I'm done shooting a ton of senior pictures. In short, I have no money. I just applied to 2 jobs, one at a gym, another at a noodle shop, hopefully one of those pull through! 
  4. Lose the last 7 pounds : I'm so close. I just have to rip off the band-aid and push through the next 4 weeks. It's my ultimate goal weight, and I know that it'll be the best Christmas present ever if I get there. I don't want to drone on about this because I have a weight loss blog to ramble on and on about this there but I don't think it'd be honest if I left it off. 
  5. Try one new food a week : This one might seem simple but I've found it to actually be hard. I find that I get into the same like 4 or 5 meals a week even though I eat a good 5-6 times a day. That's not a lot of variation. I like my salmon and cauliflower rice for dinner, I dig my spinach salad with chicken for lunch, and I'll munch on an apple like a boss. A couple weeks ago I tried pomegranate and it changed my life, now I try to put it in my life every couple days! They say that you should vary your diet so your body doesn't get bored and more importantly you don't get bored. Therefore, I want to try one new food a week. This week? Brussels sprouts! I'll find a good recipe and post it for you guys. 
  6. Give more : I think this can all apply to everyone. The more you do for others, the more you do for yourself. I know that statement can be seen as a selfish reason to give but it really isn't. Personal growth arises out of the ability to give something to others. Whether or not it's baking cookies for a friend who is having a hard time, or volunteering somewhere, we all have time to give and it makes us better. I know that whenever I do something for another person I learn a little more about myself, it's a wonderful cycle of feel goodness that I think we all need this holiday season. So go and write a thank you note to a friend, clean out your pantry and give cans to a food pantry, buy a stranger coffee, play with a kitten, spread some love. 
So, those are my goals for this winter season, what are some of your small goals and what will you do to achieve them?



Sometimes you just need a little something sweet.

Hello friends! I have another recipe for you, on the complete opposite side of the apple pielet spectrum. These are low fat, low calorie, chocolate oat cookies! I live a very healthy lifestyle so these fit just a little better into what I would eat everyday. I'm a firm believer in treating yourself with a little something every day so you never feel deprived. Delicious cookies like these allow me to do that, and maintain a clean lifestyle!

Don't they just look scrumptious? They certainly are! With only 190 calories per 2 cookies they're definitely a steal.

Low-Fat Chocolate Chippers!
Barely adapted from Skinnytaste


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°.  Line two cookie sheets with non-stick silicone baking liners such as Silpats (I highly recommend for best results) or lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and stir to blend. In another bowl, whisk the sugars, butter, egg white, applesauce and vanilla together until light and fluffy.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. If the batter looks more “crumbly” than smooth, add just a drop of water at a time (ONLY if needed) until it smooths out.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by level spoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto baking sheets.   

Bake 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let them stand 5 minutes before removing the cookies from the pans to cool on wire racks.

Makes 2 dozen! YUM!

What's your fav healthy desert? Have a lovely night you guys!!



Apple pielets

In my opinion there are two kinds of people, pie people or cookie people. The pie people find comfort in the tradition, the hearty filling of pie encased in a buttery crust gives them comfort. The cookie people are slightly more adventurous and enjoy the quick, one bite nature of their treat. I've personally always had a soft spot for both, and that's why I enjoyed this cookie recipe so much.

If I could describe these, it would be an apple pie, in a bite. They're perfect in the way that they aren't quite a pie, not qite a cookie, they're a little in between and that's okay. I made these little beauties for our Thanksgiving dinner. My sister-in-law told me that she was going to make these wonderful little mini pumpkin pies for our thanksgiving desert. I thought that was a good idea so I decided to continue with the mini desert mania! I saw these a while ago on a couple food blogs I follow, and they appeared easy enough, so last minute I grabbed the butter and began to whip 'em up. Thanksgiving morning is awesome in the way that nothing goes on, but that can also make my brain want to explode. This was a perfect before dinner activity because they took a lot of mindless time. I made them while the dog show padded on and it really was quite a perfect hour or two. As the weather turns colder it's easy to disregard more "fallish" recipes but I think the winter months makes me turn to comfort foods such as apple pie.

With that being said I must ask, are you a cookie or a pie person?
Enjoy your Sunday?

Apple Pielets

barely adapted from Annie's Eats!

Yield: about 30 cookies

For the crust:
2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (4 grams) salt
2 sticks (8 oz. or 1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
½ cup very cold water
For the filling:
2-3 medium apples, whatever variety you prefer for baking
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1 tbsp. (2 grams) ground cinnamon
Dash of grated nutmeg
For assembly:
1 large egg lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
Sugar, for sprinkling

To make the pie dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Using a pastry cutter (or your preferred method), cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is coarse and the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than small peas. Stir in the water and mix gently just until the dough has come together in a a cohesive ball and all of the dry ingredients have been moistened. Form the dough into a disc and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.
When you are ready to make your cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Peel the apples and cut off the sides in four large chunks, removing and discarding the cores. With each large piece of apple, further slice into thin slices (somewhere between 1/8- and ¼-inch thick.) Use a small round cookie or biscuit cutter (about 2 inches in diameter) to cut round discs out of the apple slices. Place the apple rounds in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice. In another small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and whisk to blend.
To assemble the cookies, transfer half of the chilled pie dough to a lightly floured work surface (keep the remaining half chilled). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out very thin, about 1/8 to ¼-inch thick. Use a larger round biscuit or cookie cutter (about 2½ to 2¾ inches in diameter) to cut out rounds of the pie dough. Transfer half of the rounds to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the rounds lightly with water (this will help the pies seal). Take a few apple slices at a time and coat them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place each on top of a round of pie dough. Layer a second round of dough on top of each apple slice and gently press the edges to help seal. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and apple slices. Crimp and seal the edges of the mini pies with the tines of a fork, dipping in flour if needed to prevent sticking. Lightly brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. Use a small paring knife to cut tiny slits in the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with additional sugar, if desired.
Bake for 25-28 minutes or until light golden brown.

Portland roundup + a small hello

Hello friends! Just decided to revive the old blog to track my life and post inspiring new things. If you don't know anything about me then let me introduce myself, I'm a 17-year-old senior in high school with a passion for photography. I've been taking pictures for 5 years now and I can't imagine my life without it. I shoot with the 5dmkii and if you want to check out my work you can find it here. I'm planning on going to school for photography in either New York or Chicago. About 4 months ago I decided to take a look at my life and change things for the better. I love to live a healthy life full of running, biking, and, of course, cooking! In addition to that, you can often find me mulling over shoes, clothing, fashion and design, and trying to write a conclusion sentence in my first blog post.
Still getting used to this.


Anyways! This week is thanksgiving and every year we spend it in Portland, Oregon. My family usually resides in Columbus, Ohio so this is a bit of a trek for us. The 5 hour plane ride is honestly so worth it though! I love the city, and I especially love the peoole. My grandma, brother and sister-in-law all call Portland home so it's amazing to spend time with them. We arrived Monday night and we leave tomorrow, it's been a great trip! Thanksgiving was nice and quiet and yesterday I had my senior pics done! I'll do a post about that and my thoughts on college in a couple days (so many post ideas already!). Anyways, here are some photos taken with instagram (follw me! sarahhaege) that give a nice snappet of my time here.
My uncle does amazing melon art.

My grandma has the coolest wallpaper!

I made apple pie cookies, more on these another day!

At Lee's Christmas Tree Farm. No good trees, but pretty decorations!

A sweet wall at Big Little Burger

Fun food truck near Pok Pok.

Another view of the mini apple pielets.

Sushi = love!

Farm to Fork

Crazy book from the 1940s

Not sure any of those photos actually told you anything about my trip but hopefully you'll enjoy looking through them. I'll do a post about the food side of our trip (MMM!) tomorrow so look for that and enjoy your weekend!