Pajama Cookies, Homemade Soup, and Hiking!

Good morning and happy November!

I hope you all had an awesome Halloween! What were your costumes? Matt and I decided to be lame and just stay home and pass out candy to cute kids in costume instead of dressing up ourselves, so I want to hear what all of you did :)

The weather was so beautiful and warm (75 and sunny!) here in NC yesterday that it was hard to believe we were only one day away from November! I had a wonderful, relaxing day. I started by baking some cookies in my pajamas. I really like baking in my pajamas. Don’t judge.


Mmmm… Matt requested some cookies and I was happy to deliver! Making cookies always makes me think of my mom, because I used to “help” her bake cookies when I was little. I was usually in charge of mixing or helping to spoon the batter onto cookie sheets — although my cookies always got progressively larger as I went along, heh. I seem to have gotten a bit better at that by now :)


These are my Oatmeal Banana Coconut Cookies — I love them because they are really yummy but also healthy enough to eat for breakfast :)



Matt was a big fan and renamed them “Delicious Oatmeal Blobs” and/or “Banana Bread in Cookie Form.” Heh

Then, after a 4 mile run in the sunshine with a friend (I knew I was hiking later but I couldn’t pass up a last minute running date on such a gorgeous day!)I made some homemade minestrone soup! We had a bunch of veggies, beans, and some cooked pasta to use up, so it was perfect :)


I followed my Veggie-tastic Minestrone Soup recipe, which I love because it’s so easily customizable. For the veggies, I used carrots, zucchini, green pepper, and spinach. The beans involved were black beans (leftover in fridge) and kidney beans. Yum :)


We enjoyed some of the soup for lunch out on our porch! Eating outside = yay.


Along with the soup, we had toast topped with 2% sharp cheddar cheese:


And some communal grapes :)


Yum yum!


After some relaxing and reading (for fun! I did not let myself do any homework this weekend, and it was so nice — I’m reading The Hunger Games and it’s SO GOOD I can’t put it down!), Matt and I headed out to meet my high school friend Kristi and her husband CJ for a mid-afternoon hike!


The weather seriously could not have been more perfect.


We hiked the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail, which is only about 20 minutes or so away from where we live. Sweet!


Here I am with my friend Kristi :)


And with Matt, although it’s hard to see us with the sun/shade combo!


Kristi and CJ’s adorable basset hound, Julep, came along for the hike, too :)


We were impressed with her stamina! The hike took about an hour and a half and had us going up some steep climbs. She totally rocked it!


What a wonderful day :)


We met friends for dinner at a bar around the corner (I was STARVING after such an active day!) and spent the rest of the night relaxing. Now, sadly, Matt is on his way back to DC for work and I need to get back down to work myself! It’s going to be a really busy week, with a paper, an assignment, and biostats homework due, culminating with my leaving for San Francisco on Thursday night for the Foodbuzz Festival. Exciting!

Have a good one — and don’t forget to enter my Mighty Leaf Tea giveaway if you haven’t already — you have until tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. EST, when I will draw the winner!


  1. 1

    “The Hunger Games” are amazing books! The whole series is awesome! I was so sad when it ended– and not for the characters– for me! Peeta is my favorite character!

  2. 2

    I LOVED the Hunger Games trilogy. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts once you finish Mockingjay. I’ll zip it but IT’S SO GOOD. And also: I’m totally team Peeta.

  3. 4

    YOur blog is such a delight !!

  4. 6

    I love the cheese+toast (or in your case, bagel) combo! It’s simple but so good. I <3 cheese!
    PS – Yesterday must have been a great day to hike – not too hot not too cold. :-)

    • 7

      It WAS a great day to hike! And those were the new Bagel Thin thingys – like sandwich thins but with a hole in the middle like a bagel :) Fun!

  5. 8

    What a perfect weekend. Lovely… Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. 9

    I think that about sums up some perfect fall days. The hike looks gorgeous! I love hiking in the fall.

  7. 10

    I love baking in my pajamas!

  8. 11

    Love the hiking pics. And the basset hound… but I might be biased since I have a basset too. :) She’s a real trooper on hikes too! We are going tomorrow and we’re both excited about it. ;)

  9. 12

    What a wonderful weekend full of fun activities and beautiful scenery. We had a big fall festival yesterday afternoon at our church and I had to man one of the games for the kids. It was a huge success and everyone including the public was invited. We had a bluegrass band and bar-b-que. It was great, we got to throw balls and try to dunk our pastor, the kids got a big kick out of that. And everything was free.
    Good luck on your assignments for this week.

  10. 13

    I heart the Hunger Games in a big way! I am on the last book and have even gotten my husband to read them. It totally has filled the Potter void for me!

  11. 14

    The cookies look fantastic – I love “breakfast cookies”! I am so jealous that it was 75 where you are yesterday…I’ll be lucky if Boston hits 50 today!

  12. 15

    I love to bake in my pajama !! :D Two winters ago we were snowed in for about 2.5 weeks – I wore pajama or yoga pants the whole time! It was lovely~!

  13. 16

    Hey lady! It was so much fun hiking with you yesterday! Gorgeous pictures :)

    Believe it or not, Julep still had energy when we got home — what the heck?? We’ll just have to make her run it next time ;)

  14. 18

    is there really any way to bake EXCEPT in your pajamas?! that’s the best! :) i love the cheese on bagel thins idea! kinda like texas toast! xo.

  15. 19

    Great views – I wish I lived close to a trail like that! We have beautiful mountains 1-2 hours from here, but if I want something closer it’s all woods and no views.

  16. 20

    I love all of the scenery pictures, gorgeous! Your soup looks really good too, I am excited to try it and the cookies :)


  17. 21

    What a gorgeous hiking trail!
    oh and baking in Pjs = awesome!!!

  18. 22

    YES! Cooking in PJ’s should be required. :)

    Sounds like a perfect day. I almost forgot you were in NC and at first thinking, “wow how was it so warm in DC yesterday and so bitterly cold here?” LoL

  19. 23

    I love how your pics turn out!!! Hiking =awesome!

  20. 24

    I have to know! How come your rotini didn’t expand to mammoth proportions in your minestrone? Whenever I put noodles in soup, they become gargantuan and suck up all the liquid…

  21. 26

    I love that you like baking in your pjs! My slippers have a few batter stains of their own!

  22. 27

    Everything you make looks so delicious! I need to try these recipes out asap. Looks like you had a great weekend!

  23. 28

    wow! looks awesome! I’m jealous of your warm weather hike!! (it’s about 45 degrees in Boston right now)… How long are you in California for?? Just the weekend? I’m going to be in San Diego for the big neuroscience nerd meeting Nov 13-17, any chance of a cali meet up? ;)

    • 29

      I will just be there for the weekend – although I’ll be in LA from the 17th until the 19th (for another blog thing)! But I won’t be in until afternoon or so on the 17th… how long are you around for??

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