2012 Gift Guide For Winter (Lady) Runners (under $200)

As I mentioned before, the only Christmas gifts I’m giving this year are delicious baked goods. Not a bad thing, certainly, and definitely something I would be happy to receive, but a big reason for this is my selfish obsession for running. Running gear and signing up for running races, to be exact. Because, as you will see below, running gear is expensive!

I know that a lot of you are runners yourselves, or at least know a lot of runners, so I thought I’d put together a nice little gift guide for any of you shopping for your happy, insane to be running in the cold, running friends this holiday season.

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1. Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Running shoes ($154.99) – Hands down my favorite shoe. It’s light, breathable, and long lasting, which is especially important for the long distance runner. I’ve had many shoes in my day, but my favorite brand so far has been Mizuno.

2. Women’s GTD Tights ($75.00) – Compression fitting to make those buns look mighty fiiiiine! haha but seriously, these tights rock!

3. DryLine Ponytail Toque ($29.99) – Every woman needs a a good toque to keep her ears warm and hair at bay while running outside. I only have one of these, and have never needed to buy another one!

4. A good pair of socks ($29.99 for 3 pairs) – a good pair of socks is especially important in winter to help keep your feet dry. Wet feet = cold feet in winter, and that just sucks.

5. Nike Fuel Band ($149.00) – counts your steps and tracks calories burned throughout the day. What more could you want?!

6. Good Gloves ($40.00) – Keep those digits warm! These are fabulous and allow you to change your ipod without taking off your gloves.

7. Women’s Animagi Jacket ($180.00) – Ultralight jacket that’s great for the cool weather. It also has thumb holes at the base of the sleeve, which is KEY!

Happy shopping! xoxo

Christmas Baking Time – 2012 Edition

I hope you like Christmas baking, because this year it’s all I can afford! You’d think I was kidding, but I’m totally not.

You need to know two things about me.
1. I’m a student and barely make any money.
2. I put all the saved money that I have into running clothes, props for the blog, baking ingredients, high quality food and coffee (the only important things, really).

If you have a blog and have put up a gift guide, don’t fret! It’s not lost on me. I’ll pin and and wish I had the money to buy it and maaaaaaybe get it when it’s 5 years out of style. It’s my thing.

So here we are. Poor, and with a heck of a lot of baking to do. I can guarantee this stuff is top notch. If it’s a recipe of mine, then it’s one I make every single December. If it’s a link to another blog, then it’s something new that I’m JUMPING with excitement to try.

Have the happiest of holidays! What are you baking this year?

Candy:
Puppy Chow
Buckeyes
Rum Balls by My Baking Addiction
Peppermint Patties by Savory Sweet Life
Eggnog Fudge by Brown Eyed Baker

Cake-ish things:
Chocolate Peppermint Roll by Bakers Royale
Gingerbread Cupcakes by Bakers Royale
Eggnog Tres Leches Cake by Cheeky Kitchen
Eggnog Bread by Recipe Girl
Vanilla Snowman Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting by Skinny Taste

Cookies:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies by Martha Stewart
Giant Rainbow Cookies by How Sweet It Is
Chai Cookies by My Baking Addiction

Squares:
Pecan Pie Bars
Nanaimo Bars
Shortbread by The Cookbook Chronicles
Baklava by How Sweet It Is
Toffee Squares by The Pioneer Woman

25 Recipes for The First Day of Fall

Happy First Day of Fall! My favorite season. Hello cute sweaters, boots, and tights. Also, hellooooo comfort food! I have compiled a few of my favorite recipes from my blog and others for you to enjoy. Happy cooking everyone!

Great Fall Appetizers:
Try my favorite hot spinach artichoke dip for any football gatherings you have coming up…orrrr just for couch munching. The latter appeals more to me.

Also try these dandies…
Wicked Good Tortilla Dip
Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Breakfasts and Bready Things:
This Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread is my favorite thing right now. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner right here.

Or try any of these:
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Recipe Girl
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by The Girl Who Ate Everything
Apple Sauce by Family Fresh Cooking
Cinnamon Sugar Glazed Donuts by Taste and Tell
My Chunky Chocolate Banana Bread

Cookies:
These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are lovely. The spice makes my chai tea jealous.

These are some dandies of mine too:
Chewy n’ Thick Ginger Drops
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delightful Fall Desserts:
This Butterscotch Pie is the most popular post on my blog AND my personal favorite recipe on here. Go figure!

These make me swoon with happiness as well…
Pumpkin Cream Oreo Tarts by Lauren’s Latest
Hawiian Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing
Classic Rice Pudding
Pecan Pie Bars
Apple Dumplings
Pure Canadian Butter Tarts
Lemon Meringue Pie

Drinks:
Grown Up Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes by How Sweet It Is
Apple Pie in a Glass by How Sweet It Is

Mains Meals:
Macaroni and Cheese by The Pioneer Woman
Creamy Carrot and Jalapeno Soup by Cookin’ Canuck
Potato and Cheddar Pierogies

Hope you like some of these! And again, Happy Fall everyone!

Marathon Time

If you know me, you know that I’m a runner. It’s one of those things that I do. All. The. Time.

Above is a picture of my and my grandparents. Aren’t they cute!?! In the past few years it has felt like I have constantly been training for something, and I guess I have been. I have competed in group triathlons (myself being the running leg), a personal triathlon, and many 10 km races. I completed two half marathons last year, and this Saturday will be my first marathon…in the Swiss Alps. Running a marathon is something I have always wanted to do, but I never actually considered it seriously. When I got a 5 month contract job in Switzerland starting this past April, I thought it would be a good opportunity to live out my dream.

Living in Switzerland has been amazing. And not the annoying use of the word amazing like “wow, that fruit salad is amazing”…really? REALLY?? You were amazed at the fruit salad? Seriously?….anyway, yes, living in Switzerland is amazing. I wake up every day so grateful to be here, and running in such a beautiful countryside literally takes my breath away sometimes.

Training has been hard. I work from 8 to 5:30pm everyday, so I often have to wake up at 5:30am to do my cross training (weights, kickboxing, cycling, etc), and then either run during my lunch hour, or after work. So, training pretty much takes over my life. I wake up, do cross training, work, run, sleep. The weekends are when I get to kick back and see the countryside of this beautiful place. Sunday is long run day, so sometimes I take the train to a nearby town and run in the alps for practice, or I wake up super early, train, and then go see the sites like any other person would.

So clearly I love it here. I love running in the alps and through the flowing hills. I love running through vineyards and along lakes. I can’t believe it will all be over this Saturday. I’ll be going through the post-marathon blues. But, I can keep exercising to to keep fit and keep eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to keep healthy. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite “marathon training” breakfast and snack recipes for you, so you know what a marathon gal gets to chow down on. Enjoy! Oh, and wish me luck!! :)

For breakfast try this protein packed salad from Oh She Glows.

Or try these yummy recipes:
Blueberry Banana Muffins
Multigrain waffles by 101 Cookbooks.
Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread
Cherry Pecan Granola by Healthy Food for Living.

For a snack try this avocado Chocolate Pudding. I love this stuff!

Or try one of these:
Pumpkin Cranberry Granola Bars
Energy-Packed Granola Bars
Marathon Cookies <—My favorite!
Green Monster Smoothie by Oh she Glows.

Warm Vanilla Sugar in Switzerland

Things have changed a bit for me lately. I moved to Switzerland, left my beautiful kitty behind with the boy (who will be joining me in May), and started a new job studying insects. I’m excited to begin this journey though, and I’m looking forward to learning new Swiss recipes to share with you guys! Beginning with chocolate – check out the grocery store isle’s here!!

Last summer when I visited Switzerland I posted about two traditional Swiss meals – Swiss Cheese Fondue and Raclette. The main ingredient in both recipes? Cheese of course.

Things are a bit different here in Switzerland. When I want a giant tub of peanut butter to make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, or Buckeyes, I can’t just run to the nearest Superstore and buy it! Everything here is closed on Sundays and stores usually close in between 4 and 7pm every day. So, I have to use what I have on hand. I’m really excited to see what I come up with, but in the meantime, have you seen this cake by Sprinkle Bakes? I’m in love.

Top 2010 Warm Vanilla Sugar Recipes

2010 has been a great year. I graduated university, went to Europe for two months, and got my own apartment (that I share with my boyfriend and our kitty). Also, I started this blog. I started it simply because I wanted an easy way to share my recipes with friends and family, and somehow amazing readers like you have found me! Thank you so much for your comments this year. It’s been a blast :)

Here are my favorite recipes from 2010:

Five: Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake. I made this for my boyfriend for his birthday, and we ended up eating the whole thing within two days!

Four: Strawberry Banana Muffins. My favorite muffin recipe.

Three: Chocolate Chip Cookies. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (the secret is the browned butter).

Two: Canadian Butter Tarts. A Canadian staple that tastes like heaven.

One: Butterscotch Pie. My Nanny’s recipe that has been my absolute favorite dessert since way before I could ever bake myself.

Happy 2011 Everyone!

Food blogs rock!

Hello!

My name is Katrina, and I’ve decided to begin a food blog. I’ve named my blog “warm vanilla sugar” because it describes what I love best. First of all, “warm vanilla sugar” is the name of a
Bath and Body Works cream that I use everyday, and I couldn’t go a day without its goodness. And second of all, you won’t find any sweet recipes in this blog that don’t include a little extra dash of vanilla. It is BY FAR my favorite cooking ingredient, and I love adding a little extra whenever I can.

I’m a university student who (if I could afford it) would genuinely be a professional baker for the rest of my life. I love sweets. So much in fact that when I make cookies I can never seem to have enough dough!! I have no idea where it goes, and I swear it’s not into my belly. Really.

Hopefully you enjoy some of the recipes that will be posted here. I’d love feedback! I’ll generally be posting baking recipes, but occasionally I’ll put some other foodies on here as well. Yum!