It’s that time of the year again. I wish it could have been Thanksgiving but no, it’s midterms time where any form of joy is killed. It’s when you really appreciate the carefree time you had last week where you had the luxury to choose whether to watch a new episode of American Horror Story or go grab a quick bite at Panera Bread. This is all up to you of course. Midterms or not, we always have food so why not use it as a stress reliever and motivator? Step away from living off vending machine snacks and camping out at a single cubicle to learning simple tips to making your studying experience a bit more enjoyable.
- Find a few great studying spots and alternate. Studies show that alternating your study area improves retention compared to studying in one location. Try studying anywhere and everywhere to find out what works for you, even if it’s while flipping pancakes.
2. Sometimes we all need a little motivation and it doesn’t hurt if it comes in the form of a gummy bear.
3. Studying with a furry (or not so furry) friend nearby can lend for some company. Not when they steal your chair though haha.
4. Next time you grab for a snack, go for berries and fruits. They are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants which helps your memory and improves brain performance.
5. Go for a change and try out coconut water: it’s high in potassium and low in sodium and calories. A diet low in potassium can cause fatigue which is a bad combo for studying. A high potassium and low sodium diet helps lower blood pressure, therefore lowering your stress levels.
6. If you are in the mood for an actual meal then Chipotle is the way to go! It’s an easy to-go meal that you can save for later if you get full. The best part about October is that you can get $3 Burritos if you come in a costume for Halloween.
7. Need an actual break from studying? Whip up these 3-ingredient Nutella brownies or make yourself an easy mug cake.
8. We all know what’s not good for us, yet we tend to buy it anyways. Treat yourself every now and then, because you know you deserve it.
9. When studying gets dull, you can always light a candle or candles. Candles can help reduce your stress, improve your productivity, and help you stay more focused on your studies.
10. Pack a healthy snack like a salad or some pumpkin spice scones to the library so you aren’t stuck living off of vending machine food, because all the real food is way too far away.
Chocolate Loaded Rice Krispies
The best recipes are always those that are impromptu! This one was created with a few friends that I had invited over. There was nothing planned in particular, as we are usually a spontaneous type of group and any type of baking episode that we create is always a memorable one; one where we usually double or triple the actual amount of baking time. No worries though, the time spent is invariably amusing and full of whimsical moments & shenanigans to look back at and laugh upon haha. As a big fan of simple recipes that are effortless, after eyeing the new bag of Rice Krispies on top of the fridge, I knew that we must attempt the unfailingly, delicious task of making Rice Krispy treats. I checked the recipe online and turns out that I had all the ingredients we needed (always a happy sight!). We ended up not following the exact recipe and added our own creativity to this delightful bite, which I highly recommend you do as well with your favorite chocolates or whatever you might have waiting to be used in your pantry. Some of the added goods included mini Reeses bites, mini chocolate M&Ms, peanut butter, & a satiny Nutella glaze to finish it off.
HomeMade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Krispies
Printable Version Here
- 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 10 ounce marshmallow creme/bag of marshmallows
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- optional: various candies/chocolates/pretzels
- Spray a medium 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray
- Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat
- Stir in the marshmallow creme until incorporated and remove from heat
- Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla extract
- Move to a larger bowl if the saucepan is not big enough and add the 5 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
- Gently mix all the cereal with the marshmallow mixture and add any of your optional chocolates
- Press the Rice Krispies mix into the prepared dish and refrigerate until set (about 30-60 minutes)
Different Flavors to Try:
*Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies: add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
*Nutella Rice Krispies: add a 1/2 cup of Nutella to your mixture
*This is an easily adaptable recipe to what you like, for example if you do not prefer peanut butter then take that out or if you like extra m&ms in your rice krispies then add a whole cup of them
*For a chocolate icing simply melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, add 1/2 cup of Nutella to it, & drizzle all over
Pumpkin Spice & Nutella Rice Krispies
There’s no season for me when it comes to pumpkin spice anything. It can be eaten anytime & anywhere. Some foods though do just happen to taste better in certain types of weather than others. I guess we can say that Pumpkin Spice is one of those, because it just goes perfect with the nice crispy & chilly fall weather outside! I am in love with this weather because it brings back so many of my past memories from chilly Chicago winters. I always look forward to the Starbucks signature seasonal drinks, one of them being the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The last time I bought it though, it just tasted too sugary and syrupy so I decided that I should attempt to remake it on my own terms. The recipe I found was amazing because it makes enough to last you for about 8 lattes. You can just refrigerate it during the week and take it out whenever you please.
The Famous Pumpkin Spice Latte
For the Pumpkin Spice Syrup:
- 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree or 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mixture or ( 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground dried ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp allspice)
- ready made coffee
- whipped cream
- Combine all the pumpkin spice ingredients in a blender and puree for about 30 seconds or till your desired consistency
- Pour about 1/2 cup of the mix in a mug and microwave for about 15 seconds
- Add a cup of hot brewed coffee and stir
- Finish it off with some whipped cream and pumpkin spices
- Pour the rest of your mixture in a container to put in the fridge (it will last up to one week)
Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie
Crust (or pre-made graham cracker 9 inch crust)
- 1 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch of salt
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 15 oz. of pumpkin puree (1 can)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice mix (make your own: 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Nutella (or ½ cup of chocolate chips)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Preheat to 350 F
- If making your crust from scratch, spray a 9 inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Combine the crushed gingersnap cookies with the butter, sugar, and salt. Press into the prepared pie dish about halfway up the side. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes and let it cool.
- Whisk the eggs together and add the remaining ingredients for the pie except for the Nutella/chocolate.
- Reserve one cup of your mixture and set aside. Pour the remainder of the pie mix into the crust.
- Microwave the Nutella for 30 seconds. Mix the reserved cup of pie mix with the Nutella until well combined.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mix all over the pie and swirl it gently with a knife.
- Bake for about 55 minutes or until the filling is set (it will jiggle slightly).
- Cool for an hour.
- For the whipped cream topping: whip the cream, vanilla, and sugar for 3-5 minutes until stiff peaks form using an electric hand mixer or hand whisk.
– if your pie survives a day in your household, you can store the pie for up to four days refrigerated or can freeze it for up to 3 months
– you can make this recipe without the chocolate swirl if preferred
-if using mini graham cracker crusts, decrease the baking time from 55 minutes to 15-17 minutes
Any favorite seasonal recipes or foods?