Tag Archives: ginger

Christmas is 17 days away and I’ve done none of my shopping, so to make up for that, I’ve decided to just be super festive with my baking.


Vegan gingerbread muffins

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The first time I had fresh papaya was in Thailand. I was 8 years old and my mom got to attend a conference in Bangkok so she brought me along for the ride. Our first morning there, I was starving – thanks to a combination of jetlag and skipping dinner the night before – and raced down to the hotel restaurant, hoping to see a buffet lineup with waffles and eggs and bacon. What I got were plates of fruit – pineapple, papaya, and honeydew – and toast and jam. I was disappointed, to say the least, and was fully expecting to walk away hungry, but something about that fresh fruit turned out to be exactly what I needed. I’m sure we ate other amazing things during our stay, but the only thing I can remember is the fruit.

Ever since that trip, I’ve always associated papaya with Thailand – exotic and refreshing. It makes me feel a little fancier, even if it’s just going inside a muffin.

Fresh papaya

This might be my official summer fruit

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It’s that time of year again! The real start of holiday baking.

I can always tell when the holidays get here based on my contents of my pantry. Today, I counted not one, not two, not even three, but seven – SEVEN – bags of chocolate chips. I know chocolate chip cookies aren’t really a holiday cookie, but they’re one of my favorite cookies to gift because they’re such a classic. Around this time of year, I consider it a pantry staple so I pick up a bag every time I’m at the grocery, which explains how I have a couple pounds of chocolate in my fridge. And of course they’re all different brands – Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, Nestle – and different types of chocolate – milk, dark, semi, and bittersweet. Live like there’s no tomorrow, AM I RIGHT??

Cookie cutters and chocolate chips

You know you’re a baker when you have one drawer full of cookie cutters and another full of chocolate chips

But I digress. Chocolate chip cookies are among my favorite to gift, but gingerbread cookies are probably my favorite to eat this time of year. They’re full of flavor but aren’t too sweet or heavy, so they’re a great light cookie for snacking on.

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Get ready to bust out the molasses – it’s gingerbread time! Also, this is my 25th muffin from the book! I’m 1/30th of the way there! This is what progress looks like.

Gingerbread pear muffins

Gingerbread pear muffins

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So it’s the last week before December and I’m in baking limbo. I always felt like Thanksgiving signaled the beginning of the holiday season, but it came early this year and threw everything out of whack. It’s still November, so do I continue baking with pumpkin? But Thanksgiving’s over, so do I move on to peppermint? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Enter the mighty ginger cookie. It’s probably technically more associated with Christmas, what with gingerbread and all, but I think it’s a pretty good transition cookie, with cinnamon and nutmeg for fall and ginger and cloves for winter.

I’ve never made a gluten-free cookie before, mainly because I always thought gluten was crucial for soft and chewy cookies. But these cookies totally sink that theory – they’re lighter-than-air soft, and most importantly, they stay that way. And with a plate of these cookies, limbo doesn’t seem so bad.

Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies

Gluten-free, but you’d never know it

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After the week of terrible eating that came with Hurricane/Frankenstorm Sandy (I ate Halloween candy for dinner on more than one occasion), some healthy muffins are in order. And these are just what the doctor ordered. Sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich as it is, but baked into a muffin, they’re a great way to start your day off right. And if you eat these for breakfast, you might even be able to get away with eating chocolate for dinner. No you won’t, but you might fool yourself into thinking so.

Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins

A great, guilt-free morning muffin

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