Apple Fritter Cake {+ Friendsgiving}

Another friendsgiving has come and gone.  During the five years we lived in Columbus we hosted a Friendsgiving at our house annually and it was one of my favorite gatherings to host.  By the end of the night I remember always feeling that my heart was full with happiness and my belly was full with delicious food.  This year the feeling was no different.  Tonight we were fortunate enough to attend Friendsgiving at our friend Kait’s house (Thanks Kait!).  I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few hours sine we ate and it still kind of hurts to breathe #worthit.  It was potluck style and we had some fantastic dishes.  I brought green beans with garlic roasted almonds and an Oreo cheesecake for dessert.  Stay tuned for those recipes!


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In honor of Thanksgiving being just a few days away, I am sharing a great recipe for Apple Fritter Cake. This sweet cake with a cup of hot coffee will make the perfect Thanksgiving day breakfast treat, trust me on this one.  Not to mention the old-fashioned creme glaze that is so good you’ll be spooning it out of the bowl and in to your mouth.   Make this for your family and friends, it will be a huge hit!

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Ingredients for the cake: 

  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or reg milk)
  • 2 apples peeled and chopped, mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the old-fashioned crème glaze: 

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons milk (adjust depending on desired thickness)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use an 8×8  pan and spray with non-stick spray (or use a 9×5-inch loaf pan).

2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

4. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.

5. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.

6. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

7. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

8 Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

9. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

10. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.


11. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.

12. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.

13. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.





Here are some other great Thanksgiving desserts for you to check out:

Current Obsessions Wednesday {#1}


Happy Wednesday, friends!  I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks; since returning from Orlando time has whizzed by me. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! I still haven’t finalized my menu, but I am looking forward to a low-key thanksgiving day with Husband.  He has to work on Friday so we are staying in Cincinnati for the holiday.  I plan on eating and lounging all day long.  

I decided to take this opportunity to share some of my current favorite things with you.  Some of the things I will share will be food related and others will just be life related.  I think it’s so easy to get in to a food rut so whenever I go to the grocery store, I make an effort to branch out and try something new, sometimes these become obsessions and other times not so much.  Hopefully this post will inspire you to branch out and try something new! 



One of my favorite fall/winter fruits is pomegranate.  There’s only one problem with this fruit… peeling out all of those tiny little seeds! They fly everywhere and leave me frustrated with red fingertips. This is genius, why didn’t I think of this? These little Pom Poms are the perfect serving size.

Sargento Balanced Breaks


I found these Sargento Balanced Breaks in the cheese section at the grocery store a few weesk ago. They have these in different cheese-nut combinations, but so far my favorite has been the pepper jack cheese with honey roasted peanuts and raisins.  When you open this package for the first time, expect a little sadness. Holy portion control!  I will admit, I am always left satisfied; it’s just alarming initially when I see how little I get to snack on.

Happy Feat 


The name says it all… Happy Feet – “The original big sneaker slipper.”  Husband and I treated ourselves to some new house slipper and they are AMAZING! I’m not going to lie, it took me awhile to commit to one, there are so many great options.  Mine are Ohio State polka-dot ones and husbands are black bears.  I tried to make husband walk around making bear-like growling noises, but it didn’t work.  These slippers are so soft and squishy and make my feet so happy. I think these would be a great gift for loved ones for Christmas!

Sweet Kale Chopped Salad 


I take salads to work most days for lunch and usually top the salads with protein left overs from the night before.  I am loving this sweet kale mix, it has broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and radicchio.  This mix is a nice change from a traditional spring mix.

Fresh Flowers 


Fresh flowers are seriously my favorite thing right now.  Having fresh flowers on the kitchen table just brings a smile to my face.  Our local grocery store sells small boquets for about $6.00 and they last about two weeks.   Six bucks for two weeks worth of happiness, sold!

What are some of your current obsessions?

Eggplant Rolled Chicken Parm {+Orlando Fun}

My co-residents and I spent this past weekend in Orlando at the AAPD Sedation Conference and it was wonderful! I am so thankful for the opportunity to attend this course; it was a great reminder of how fantastic my residency program is and just how much I really am learning! Even though we are still in recovery mode and a bit worn out, it was such a nice change of pace and it was great quality time with my co-resi’s.


If you are heading to Orlando I recommend going to Fulton’s Crab House in Downtown Disney.  All of our meals were on point, seriously so good! I ordered the fried catfish/scallops/shrimp platter and to attempt to make this a little “healthier,” I chose asparagus for my side.   Oh my, look at all of that fried goodness. Don’t judge me, I ate all of it.  


My little seester recently moved to Treasure Coast, Florida, so I also got the opportunity to hang with her for a few hours one evening.   We walked around Downtown Disney and grabbed dinner at the Smokehouse, yum in my tum.    I tried to convince her to kidnap me so I could stay in sunny Florida forever, but no such luck.  Here I am, back to life… back to reality.


Tonight I’m sharing this recipe with you that I created with ingredients I already had in my pantry/fridge.   Do you prefer chicken parm or eggplant parm?  Tough question, I know.  Stress no more… you can have a taste of both with this recipe.  I think this turned out fantastic and I hope that you will give it a try!

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  • 1/2 Eggplant, sliced (think long, thick french fries)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Chicken breast
  • 1 Minced garlic clove
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon basil
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 cup of Italian flavored Panko crumb
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Slice eggplant in to thick wedges.  Lightly coat with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

FullSizeRender (2)3. Pound chicken with a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness.  I recommend placing the chicken in a ziploc bag while doing this, it will prevent, well… chicken splatter from going everywhere.  

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4. Season chicken with garlic, Italian seasoning, oregano, basil, and pepper.

5.  Roll with 3-4 eggplant wedges and about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese in to center of chicken breast.


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6. Place rolled chicken breast in baking dish. Cover each piece of rolled chicken with pasta sauce, panko breadcrumb, and more shredded cheese.

7. Bake in uncovered in oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with a Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

Brace yourselves for a dramatic moment.  

I have some sad news to report, something near and dear to my heart is no longer with me…


This was one of those moments where everything was happening in slow mo and I couldn’t seem to move quick enough to save my precious cupcake carrier.    Ugh, seriously I’m still upset about this. My cupcake carrier has been through so much with me, it’s been used and abused that’s fo sho.  I sent Husband a text immediately after the event and this was his response, verbatim:  “We will go buy you an even better set right now.  I promise.  We will leave as soon as you get home.  I know how much you loved that thing.”  Umm, talk about true love, right?

We ventured off to Bed Bath and Beyond right when I got home.  To say I was dissapointed with the selection s an understatement!  I really just wanted the same carrier I have now, but no. Does anyone other have this cupcake carrier?


I don’t know, I hesitated with this one. I was messing with it at the store and every time I took the lid off, the entire tray came with the lid.  This could be problematic.  I’m thinking that may be once the tray is filled with cupcakes the weight will prevent it from being lifted?  Maybe.  I mean, do I really want to take that chance though?  I think not. The hunt continues, for now.  Let me know if you have one that you recommend.

So in loving memory of my beloved cupcake carrier, I’m sharing this fantastic recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes #basic. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  Everyone is out of control with this hashtag basic business. Anyways, I converted non-pumpkin lovers with these, so trust me they are worth it.   I paired the cupcake with a cinnamon buttercream frosting, perfection!


Cupcake Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice*

*Note:  The use of 1 cup of milk + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice was in substitution for buttermilk.  For every one cup of buttermilk, substitute for one cup of milk plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mix together and allow to sit for 5 minutes before mixing with other ingredients.  This little trick has worked for me like a charm! 

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of butter flavored shortening
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of water*


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin.

3. Combine flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg.

4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternating with milk+lemon (or buttermilk) and beating well after each addition.


5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.


6.  While cupcakes are cooling, mix butter, shortening, vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and water in an electric mixer.   Add more water to make consistency thinner for easier decorating.

7.  Once completely cooled, frost cupcakes and enjoy.

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Check out some of my other favorite pumpkin recipes:

14 months later… Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

How has it been 14 months since my last post?! When I spend time and reflect on the past year, I think to myself – how has it only been a year?   At the same time I think, how has it already been a year?  It’s funny how time messes with you like that.

My first year of my pediatric dental residency has come and gone; I sure have learned a lot.  Honestly, I blame being on call for my time away from blogging.  These kiddos seriously know how to mess up their teeth at all hours of the day and night. I’m not even joking. My future children will be missing out on so many things thanks to my residency experience:  no playing baseball, basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse, they can forget about bike riding, no running through the house with socks on, no trampolines, no jumping in to swimming pools, no water slides, no roller blading, no coffee tables allowed in the house, no running on cement … I’m sure there’s more that I am missing.  The point is, my future kids will be watching a lot of tv.. while wrapped in a bubble.   Take a moment and be thankful for your two front teeth (please forgive me if you’ve experienced a trauma and are missing your front teeth).  

Anyways, what matters now is that I’ve been re-inspired and reminded of my love for the kitchen,  I’m back and I’m committed.  Boom! I already have so many recipes to share with you.

The weather is cooling off here in Cincinnati… aka soup season aka crockpot season.   I threw together this delicious Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup one day last week.  This recipe is great because you can literally use what you have. Make substitutions/additions with veggies based on what’s in your fridge.    Husband and I made grilled cheese sandwiches on the side (Mine: cheese and avocado.  Husband:  cheese, turkey, bacon, ranch).  Yum in my tum.  I’ll be making this recipe many more times!

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  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional Toppings:
    • shredded cheese*
    • sour cream*
    • diced tomatoes
    • green onions
    • cilantro
    • diced avocado*
    • tortilla strips*
    • (* = what I put on mine)


  1. Spray crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.  Place chicken breast at bottom of crockpot.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix together condensed cream of chicken, chicken broth, salsa, corn, black beans, water, and all spices.  Mix well.  Pour on top of chicken in crockpot.
  3. Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours (I think mine cooked for 8 hours)
  4. Remove chicken and shred.  Stir shredded chicken back in to crockpot.  Serve soup with your favorite toppings.

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Modified from:  The Recipe Critic 

Chicken Cheddar Jalapeno Burgers

Life has been wonderful,  I am loving my residency program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  It’s amazing how much I have already learned in my first few weeks!  Finishing dental school and moving on to the next chapter is really quite terrifying, but these past few weeks have reassured me that I am exactly where I should be.  My new co-residents have also been awesome, I am so thankful that I have such a great group of people to work with and learn from.  A few of them came over for fourth of July, I made some delicious berry cheesecake bars, I’ll have to share the recipe a different day.


Today I want to share the recipe for these delicious Chicken Cheddar Jalapeño Burgers, these might just be my new favorite burger. Ok fine, nothing beats a classic cheeseburger, but these chicken burgers are full of so much flavor.  If you’re feeling adventurous,  try these, they won’t disappoint! I can’t wait to make them again.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño (more or less based on spice preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Optional burger toppings: salsa, guacamole, lettuce, sour cream


  1. Prepare an indoor or outdoor grill over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl mix ground chicken, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, cheddar cheese, salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use your hands to incorporate everything well.
  3. Form the mixture into four 1/2 inch thick patties.
  4. Grill burgers over medium heat until cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Serve each patty in a burger bun.  We topped ours with guacamole,  sour cream and salsa and it was delicious!


White Chip Chocolate Cookies

One of my all time favorite things to do is explore new cities.  I love wondering aimlessly and exploring all the nooks of a city.  Although I hate change, making the move from Columbus to Cincinnati has really given me the opportunity to explore an entirely new city in Ohio.  I am loving it; Cincinnati is yet to disappoint.

Kentucky is right across the river from Cincinnati, so one of the neat things to do is walk over the “Purple People Bridge” that crosses from Cincinnati to Newport, KY.   Husband and I explored Newport on the Levee this weekend and it was great! There were plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.   We ate at Tom + Chee, which by the way is known for the grilled cheese donuts (I know your mouth just watered, its ok…admit it), followed by aimless wondering.  It was wonderful.

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Tomorrow is my first day of orientation for my residency! Eeee! I’m bundle of excited nerves… which is probably why I baked multiple times this week.  Today I baked my all time favorite cupcake: Buckeye Cupcakes for the cookout all the residents are having tomorrow night.  My other new co-residents aren’t from Ohio, so I figure this will be a good way to explain the Buckeye craze here in Ohio.  Earlier this week I also made these fabulous cookies! I was in the mood to bake, so I used what I had in my pantry.   They turned out extra fluffy and moist.



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups white chocolate morsels


1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Set aside

3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

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5. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

6.. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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I suppose its time for bed,  early day tomorrow.  Night friends.