Cinnamon Almond Meal Cookies

This year for the holidays, my sister, mom and I are having a cookie baking party. I remember fondly the parties my mom had when I was a kid and the delicious dozens of cookies we would get each year. Each lady my mom invited made something I now associate them with.

Mrs. Poulsen made butterscotch chow mien cookies.

Mrs. Seymour cheated and bought sugar cookies and then frosted them.

Mrs. Eastman made white chocolate raspberry cookies.

My mom usually went with cherry mocha balls.

Each year I looked forward to it, so this year I took matters into my own hands and so the Pell girls are having one of their own.

Of course I need to start testing recipes now. What cookie do I want to be known for? Peanut butter automatically comes to my mind, but honestly, the holidays are a time when I expand my dessert preference. I don’t want to make peanut butter cookies (at least I think I don’t).

I am a big texture person when I comes to food, and almond meal has a more course consistency that works for these cookies. It’s heartier, more filling and a great option for my holiday baking.

The cinnamon and brown sugar though, they make these cookies. They add to the rustic, down home goodness that a cookie should have. And to be honest, my house smells amazing right now.

Cookie party test cookie number one, complete.

Cinnamon Almond Meal Cookies

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 20Total:

You'll Need...

  • 2.5 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3 T oil
  • 1 t cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. The result will be a course, moist texture.
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Using a wet fork, push the center of the balls in to form grooves.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. The edges will start to turn golden brown.

Recent Eats August 2017

I really love to cook. Honestly I don’t even care if what comes out is particularly spectacular, it just makes me feel so relaxed to get in the kitchen. Since moving back to Ithaca and having a larger space to work with, it has been a great joy to actually bust out the Pinterest recipe boards and get my hands messy.

I’ve attempted a few new things over the past month, and thought I’d share them, along with some other sandwich porn from my lunches at CTB.

First and foremost, I made seitan!!! This was a the biggest accomplishment for the summer. It seemed like such a daunting task, but once I got the ingredients and started, it was quite like baking bread. I used this recipe, but cooked it for 90 minutes, wrapped in in foil and added some liquid smoke.

I made Mac and Cheese from The Skeptical Vegan cookbook after finally getting my hands on my friend Eric’s book. I was also fortunate to go to his first book signing at Buffalo Street Books here in Ithaca, where I tried some more Miyoko’s vegan cheese and met the Susie of Susie’s Seitan, a local Ithaca company. The cheese sauce is based from milk, Daiya cheddar and Toffuti cream cheese. It was tasty, but I can see why, after purchasing these ingredients, people think going vegan is expensive. Certainly a treat for my parent’s and me.

I finally started making waffles again after a few month lay-off. My mom bought me a mix a while back (the name of the mix escapes me) but all you do it add water and cook it. It’s actually a pancake mix, so I adjusted the amount of liquid to mix a bit, and used milk instead of water.

The other night I got a craving for baked beans. I really love them (my mom has the best recipe!) and actually will eat Bush’s baked beans out of the can. I was of course on Pinterest that morning, so I made some of my own. Pretty simple and although not exactly like my mom’s, but good enough for me.

For a long while now, on my baking bucket list was Pop-tarts. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to make them. I didn’t even like them overly when I was a kid, they were good, but nothing I looked forward to. Well, I had this great idea to use my mom’s pie crust recipe (only 4 ingredients, but the best thing ever!) for the pastry part of the tarts. So I borrowed that, and made the dough alright…but struggled with the rolling out part. We don’t have a rolling pin, so I tried to use a wine bottle and it just didn’t work.

I ended up with three ugly Pop-tarts filled with strawberry jam. Not one to waste the rest of the dough, I made mini-tarts using cupcake tins. I filled half of those with s’mores peanut butter and the other half with almond butter and jelly. Lesley loved the s’mores ones. I enjoyed the almond butter and jelly, they just needed more jelly, which I added after the fact.

I’ve been having fun making my own sauces after I remembered to buy dressing bottles. It’s so much easier to use them! I made cheese sauce using carrots and nutritional yeast, which paired lovely with my spiral pasta. I think I like my homemade cheese sauce more than making it out of Daiya and Toffuti.

Alright and now for some CTB sandwich porn. I tried Foccacia bread for the first time last week and OH MY STARS, what a treat! It’s basically a lighter bread made with rosemary and saturated with olive oil. It was very tasty even if my hands were a mess afterwards. On this sandwich I had avocado, veggies and one of the sauces I had made (I call it Moo-Shoo sauce…but that doesn’t really tell you much about it haha)

When the Ciabatta bread is perfectly baked in the morning, I usually have my lunch on that. This sandwich is Ciabatta, chive Toffuti, hummus, lettuce, tomato and sprouts.

Pumpernickel bread smells so good to me, yet I forget about it a lot because when I am looking at the bread, it is kind of hidden underneath one of the bagel bins. This sandwich definitely has a great hummus to bread ratio wouldn’t you say?

Then I must end this food filled post with a simple lemon-blueberry scone. Extra butter, and a coffee. A perfect breakfast watching the sun rise.

In September, I have a few things I plan to make:

Salted Caramel Brownies

A different kind of Seitan

Sausage Biscuits and Gravy

Pretzel Granola Bars

Looks like a great start to fall!

Oreo Almond Butter Truffles

Let’s get this out of the way, I did not use Oreo brand sandwich cookies to make these truffles. I used Wegmans Double Stuffed Os.

Ok, confession over.

Most people have their favorite cookie. I’d say that over 80% of the people I ask would describe a perfect chocolate chip cookie. Warm, dense, and I agree, that is yummy.

I myself, have always preferred the humble Oreo.

Why? Because I’m a dipper. I love to dip things in other things.

An Oreo is [soy] milk’s favorite cookie is it not? I have counted the amount of seconds it takes to get the perfect amount of soggy, but still a bit crisp, on the outside of an Oreo. It is 14.5 thank you very much.

My dad taught me a trick after he watched me lose my cookie in my milk one too many times. He taught me how to appropriately spear the Oreo cream center with a fork so I wouldn’t get my fingers messy nor lose the cookie. That was a game changer, but I’ll admit, I haven’t used that Jedi technique in a while.

Oreos were made for dipping in milk. I’m not a fan of dipping them in coffee or hot chocolate (the cookie becomes too soggy too quickly), but a bit glass of milk, that’s where it’s at!

After watching The Parent Trap (yes…with Lindsay) I began to dip my Oreos in peanut butter. Did peanut butter replace milk? Why NO! I simply dipped them in the peanut spread and then dipped them in the milk. The peanut butter actually helped to keep one side of the cookie crispier and I enjoyed that even more.

So thank you Lindsay, you wise Master Jedi.

I created these truffles with these memories in mind. I branched out from the peanut butter to almond, but essentially, this creation is a fancier version of my favorite after dinner treat. What I also enjoy about this recipe is that you can also use other flavors of Oreo and it will work well. I might even try the mint next time, why not get crazy?

TRY THIS NOW! Oreo Almond Butter Truffles with @barneybutter Bare Smooth. A childhood favorite, all grown-up! #veganrecipe Click To Tweet

The coating is simple enough to change chocolates or even put something on the outside. My chocolate had cacao nibs in it, so I felt like adding nuts on the outside was overkill.

Rules are meant to be broken my friends, so have at it.

Enjoy the recipe! It also doubles well…if you want more than 6 truffles…just saying 🙂

Oreo Almond Butter Truffles

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 6Total:

You'll Need...

  • 12 Oreo Sandwich Cookies
  • 3 T Barney Almond Butter
  • 1-3.5 oz dark chocolate bar


  1. In a food processor, pulse the Oreos and almond butter until a crumbly buy sticky consistency is achieved.
  2. Form into balls with your hands. Place in fridge if needed for 20 minutes to harden.
  3. Melt the chocolate bar in the microwave in 30 second intervals.
  4. Roll the balls in the melted chocolate.

My Emergency Snack Kit

Some days man, I feel like an bottomless pit. Seriously no matter what I do, I am really hungry all day. This kind of sucks with the job I have, because if I’m not prepared with something, I won’t get to eat for a long time, and by the time I do, I am so hungry I stuff myself and then feel lethargic all day.


After a few weeks of this, I had to get smart, so I started bringing a snack bag both to work and with me in my car (so I have TWO snack bags!) so that I am never very far from something to eat. I waffled through a few different types of things to keep in there, and have finally found my perfect bag.

Something to hit each of my usual cravings without being too much.

The standard apple, Barney Butter snack pack, water and my new favorite granola bar: Go Macro.

I have eaten these bars in the past when I lived in Ithaca. I picked them up when they were on sale, and then rotated them in with the other bars I like. When I moved, I forgot about them as my grocery stores changed and I didn’t eat as many granola bars. Now that I like to have a few snacks each day, they have made a comeback.

Go Macro bars are nut-butter based, which is probably the most delicious way to make granola bars. The bars have super clean ingredients and no filler. Completely plant-based protein, raw, vegan and certified organic nutrition bar.

Essentially all the good things other than taste that matter to my ethical side.

I have had a great time trying each of the flavors (there are ten) and my favorite is definitely the sunflower butter bar. I am just a sucker for sunflower seeds and that delicious creamy spread. BONUS: sunflower seeds were recommended by my blood work from Inside Tracker.

Actually, all of the ingredients fit in somewhere with the foods I am trying to eat more of. They are also a higher caloric content, so I don’t have to add peanut butter on top or eat two of them. That’s kind of great!

Always having a snack has been crucial to having more energy, recovering from whatever I am doing and just making me feel better.

I just love these bars, I can’t wait to try them in my next long run or race.

Any other bars I should try?

Fueling Two Days in the Life (a double long run weekend)

This past weekend I had a double long run. I ran bigger mileage (at least for me) on both Saturday and Sunday to simulate the later miles of race day fatigue.

I noticed that as the distances get longer, I pay closer attention to making sure I get enough throughout the day. Sure, I’m hungry for breakfast after the run, but making sure enough fuel is consumed become more important later in the day when I’m not ravenous.

It is also important when I am running long again the next day.

My biggest advice for doing back-to-back long runs and recovering appropriately between them is to eat DURING the run. I honestly don’t think that eating much while running influences my performance too much. I think products like Run Gum, water and electrolytes help out immensely, but unless the run is over 25-30 miles, eating on the run is specifically for recovery.

This is just my experience. Obviously, eating while run does help on that run, but I want to make it clear that the most benefits I see from eating/drinking while running is that it aids in recovery.

That said, the following are two days of eating on double run days:

[running fuel]

Day 2

Same running fuel as pictured above.

Plus the same dessert as the night before

That was what I ate for my long run weekend.

Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions.