toasted marshmallow and toffee rice krispie treats // baking serendipity

I realized last week that I’d only roasted marshmallows once this summer. Once!

So…I put an entire bag of marshmallows under the broiler. I think it was a gut reaction. I dunno. But my hair didn’t smell like campfire afterward and an enormous amount of marshmallows were golden brown, which I was really okay with.

While my eyes were glued to the oven, (seriously. this is necessary.) my husband planned a camping trip.

Opposites attract?

toasted marshmallow and toffee rice krispie treats // baking serendipity
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double chocolate pudding pancakes // baking serendipity

This week, I’ve learned two otherwise obvious things I probably should have known a long time ago. (And it’s only Wednesday.)

One. Dog training is more about training people than dogs. These days, Hunter is getting so many free treats…and I’m trying not to freak out about whether or not I timed the treat giving exactly right. Someday we’re going to live with an animal that doesn’t go bananas when the doorbell rings, the crate door closes or another dog walks past us. Someday.

Dog Training // Baking Serendipity

In the meantime…I just love this face.

Two. PUDDING IN PANCAKES!! I finally realized that if pudding can make a perfectly soft cookie, it can also make a perfectly fluffy pancake.

Can’t stop // won’t stop.
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Butterscotch Pudding Cookies // Baking Serendipity

I baked these cookies to shut my brain up.

I really want to tell you that I baked them for you…but the truth is, they’re a full-on brain distraction.

I was trying to find the exact perfect way to say there are things happening in my kitchen that I feel inspired to stand awkwardly on chairs and take pictures of again…but I’m seriously committed to figuring out a life/work/blog balance situation too. It came out wrong every time…so I just ate baked cookie dough.

This is real life.

Also…totally unrelated real life: the city tornado warning went off. It beat my tornado app. Take that technology. (?)

PS: We’re totally down the basement (with the cookies) and everything’s fine.

Butterscotch Pudding Cookies // Baking Serendipity
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Life, Lately

July 5, 2013 · 11 comments

The weird thing about not over-sharing your life on the internet…about unplugging and just living it…is that it kind of makes you want to sit down, drink too much coffee and tell people just exactly what’s in your brain again.

This is that.

Also…it’s the best way I know how to say, I’ve missed you.

And, I made chocolate chip cookies with vanilla pudding in them two days ago. Life.changed.

cookie dough

Seriously. I’m somehow inspired to make cookies with every pudding flavor ever and put them in your face. We’ll get there. First, there are some important things you should know.
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Two Weeks.

April 9, 2013 · 7 comments

What a difference two weeks makes.

snow day house

snow day street

(Snow day.)

opening day

opening day balloons

(Opening day.)

Basically…I just wanted to tell you, there’s iced coffee in my fridge for morning. Summer polish on my toes. And, I wrote the white noise of ceiling fans in big letters on my gratitude list.

This spring season is the best.

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On My Heart.

April 7, 2013 · 15 comments

Since moving to Ohio, almost nothing has gone according to my plan.

It’s been frustrating. It’s been humbling. It’s been worth celebrating.

This has been my constant prayer: Dear God, I’ve tried my best, but if today I lose my hope, please tell me that Your plans are bigger than my dreams.

One year ago, my dreams were to publish a cookbook. To work from home. To be a freelance writer…and to never be a teacher again.

But, God had other plans for me.

(I think this the best transition to ever exist…even though it hardly ever seems so right in the moment.)

And I can’t wait to see what comes next. Because right now is so, so good. Because I’m so, so blessed.

But the (hard) truth is this: I don’t know if it involves food or recipes or this place. I’ve been floundering here lately. I want to be here with my full heart…and I just haven’t been.

Writing this feels a little like a break-up…and I don’t want it to be that. I just want to tell you, I don’t know where this place is going. But I’m praying about it, and fighting hard to live a life where that’s always enough.

I hope you understand. I hope you’ll peek in from time to time. I don’t know what will be here, but I hope it will make you smile and bake and believe.

xoxo, Sarah

PS: Thank you all for your prayers and love. I think my awkward disappointment over feeling less inspired here lately overshadowed everything else. I’m confident and so happy that my purpose is in education, and love the job I’m working outside of this place!

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White Chocolate Jelly Bean Bark | Baking Serendipity

Living in Ohio again has made me appreciate the sunshine so much more.

It’s also made me consider opening a window when it’s alllllmost forty degrees outside. I can’t decide if I should be proud of this or not.

I wish I could learn how to drink iced coffee in the cold now, and run somewhere other than the treadmill when it’s below…65 degrees. I could call these goals for next winter…but all my brain wants to think about right now is sangria and sundresses.

Some things change. Some things don’t.

Last year, I put jelly beans in popcorn. There were skeptics. And there can be again. It just means more chocolate for me anyways.

White Chocolate Jelly Bean Bark | Baking Serendipity
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Easter Candy Bark

March 27, 2013 · 6 comments

Easter Candy Bark | Baking Serendipity

In high school, I wore sandals…with nylons…in Cleveland February…on purpose.

It was the 90′s. (For six months.) It was also Valentine’s Day, and I had bought a pink, spring skirt from Express that only.looked.right.with.sandals. (I still hate these problems.)

I think there were clumps of ice stuck to my shoes/feet by the time I made it to my car in the far student parking lot.

Sometimes I’m just glad I’m a grown-up with more sense than this. There are taxes to pay and dishes to wash…but at least I can do this in snow boots.

I only tell you all this because I think my Easter outfit might involve a near sandals and snow situation, and it’s taking up a good portion of my worry brain.

This is really the only excuse I have for what happened here.

Easter Candy Bark | Baking Serendipity
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Playing Fetch

Playing fetch in the sunshine…proved just how out of shape Hunter has gotten this winter. He limped around all day after this with a soft tissue sprain. I tried (miserably) not to freak out and realized just how attached I am to him. PS: I think he’s all but back to (crazy) normal now!
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Apple and Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing

I think I discovered the acceptable secret to outsmarting Monday mornings…or Tuesday through Thursday for that matter.

It’s cinnamon rolls.

Kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise is a Sunday afternoon dream. And the thought of a cinnamon roll and coffee breakfast is enough to wake up for even when there is freezing rain on the roof and a serious to-do list at the office come Monday.

I can deal with grown up life when cinnamon sugar is involved.

Another thing…I may have also discovered the secrets to the omgbestcinnamonrollever. (Sorry…sort of.)

Apple and Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Icing
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Pretzel and Bacon Grilled Cheese | Baking Serendipity

Pretzel bacon grilled cheese. (It’s as good as it sounds.) Also…I love days at work that are short enough for a late lunch at home.
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Garlic Bread Galette

March 14, 2013 · 15 comments

Garlic Bread Galette | Baking Serendipity

Fact: This could definitely be considered dinner. Just add a glass of red wine. Maybe a bottle? It’s almost the weekend. These are acceptable things.

It could also compliment a pasta meal. At a grown up dinner party…or a date night.

I like this sort of simple versatility.

Garlic Bread Galette | Baking Serendipity

Here’s another thing. Last summer, I made a galette with fresh strawberries and blueberries in my cast iron skillet. It was a back patio dessert on a warm night. I think I was waiting for this exact perfect summer moment to make a galette again.

And I realized…life isn’t all about waiting for summer. It’s for making snowmen and fires in the fireplace and savory galettes. (Even if it is March.) It’s short, but it’s ours everyday.
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I got ridiculously excited about finishing this chevron necklace board over the weekend and sharing it with you…and sort of forgot about the rest of my week. Oops.

Pup in the Sunshine

This animal loves being lazy and also sunshine. (But not having his picture taken.)
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Chevron Necklace Board | Baking Serendipity

Pinterest and my new house have been inspiring me to get out of the kitchen and get creative lately.

This is equal parts excitement and trouble…because while I’ve mostly mastered butter and sugar, I probably shouldn’t be trusted anywhere near a saw (yet). Instead, I’ve learned to enlist the help of my husband, and solve problems like a ball full of tangled necklaces DIY style.

I’m still making pancakes (a lot). But I’ve realized there’s time for other projects too. Also…I might be obsessed with this chevron design. No bigs.

Chevron Necklace Board | Baking Serendipity
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Grilled Almond Butter and Blackberry Sandwich | Baking Serendipity

Today, I really just want to convince you to make a sandwich.

I think things like almond butter and smashed blackberries will help my effort.

Grilled Almond Butter and Blackberry Sandwich | Baking Serendipity

If not, the fact that the bread is buttered and toasted, melting the insides of the sandwich and crisping the outer layer should definitely do the trick.

Grilled Almond Butter and Blackberry Sandwich | Baking Serendipity

Life is short…you already know this. Days are hectic, and comfort food is best.

Please tell me peanut butter and jelly is comfort food in your world too. And, that this sandwich is about to become a breakfast/lunch/brunch reality. (It’s a totally versatile option.)

Grilled Almond Butter and Blackberry Sandwich | Baking Serendipity

Also…smile, and stay warm. It’s almost spring. Blackberries on sale prove this.

xoxo.
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