Pumpkin Spice {no yeast} Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is perfect if you are lazy, in a hurry, hungry, or any combination of the three. The part about cinnamon rolls I hate is waiting for the yeast to rise! I know it some recipes it is crucial (pizza rough, etc) but for cinnamon rolls I feel like it’s over kill. The alternative to yeast, is baking powder. Which all my chemists out there will understand- adds more gas bubbles into you food creating a more “cakey” final product. But for me I want my cinnamon rolls to be cakey and fluffy! So I said buh-bye to the yeast and proving time, and hello to instant delicious homemade cinnamon rolls! I hope you enjoy 😊.

Pumpkin Spice {no yeast} Cinnamon Rolls:<<<<
h:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (I actually used this holiday almond nog from Califa Farms)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée

Cinnamon Filling:

  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (again, I used nog)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. For the filling, in a small bowl combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to form a crumble.
  3. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cut in softened butter (I used clean hands instead of a pastry blender and it was super easy!)
  5. Stir in milk(or nog) to form a soft dough.
  6. Roll out dough on a lightly floured into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Spread the filling on the rolled out dough.
  8. Roll up the rectangle, with a sharp knife slice into 18 small rolls about 1inch thick.
  9. Bake for 20-25 min at 400°F.
  10. For frosting, whip butter and cream cheese in a kitchen aid mixer (or use a hand mixer) until light and fluffy.
  11. Add powdered sugar and salt. Slowly add in milk (or nog) and whip until combined.
  12. Let cinnamon rolls cook for 10 min so they are still warm enough to slightly melt the frosting but not hot enough to make it gross and runny.

ENJOY! Follow me on Instagram (@theplumstethoscope) and tag me in your posts if you make these! I want to see! 🤗

Vegetable Picnic Pie

Hi Everyone!

I am 2 days into my “dedicated study” time for boards, yikes. We finished our block up last week, and we had a week off! I spent that time seeing friends and relaxing and trying not to think about boards. However, now I am back to it, studying daily. I think I’m going to do a separate post about my “plan of attack” and how I intend to allot my time, and I think it will be fun to come back to the post after boards and tell you what I liked, didn’t like, what I changed, etc. Hopefully this can help rising M2’s on their board journey! I’ve been so good about running daily, and I’m actually really proud of myself. Even over my week off I only took 3 days off out of 10, which isn’t bad!

For now, I’ll keep this post pretty short with a delicious recipe. I got inspiration for this recipe from The Great British Baking Show (FYI – I am obsessed with this show. It is so good!). Enjoy!

Vegetable Picnic Pie 

  • 1 sheet homemade or store board pastry dough
  • 2 sweet potatoes shredded
  • 2 zucchini shredded
  • 1 pkg of mushrooms, washed
  • 1/2 can of corn
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tbsp (or more) saffron
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp egg white with 1 tbsp water

Preheat to 350. This recipe is so much easier than it looks! All I did was sauté all the vegetables up separately, then I placed them each in their own bowl to the side. I added the saffron in to the cooked rice to give it the beautiful color. And I sautéed the garlic with the mushrooms. Feel free to add salt and pepper if you’d like. After this, I placed my pastry dough in a bread pan, and began layering it with the vegetables. I made an doable lattice crust for the top of mine, but you definitely don’t need to do that. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash (egg white with water mixture). Pop in the oven for around 40 min, or until the top is crisp and golden brown. Let cool, enjoy!


 

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Hello everyone!

As boards are approaching and so is the end of my second and final year in the med school classroom (PRAISE!) I’ve been so so busy. I can’t wait until this beast of an exam is over and I can finally live my life again! For now, I leave you with this amazing recipe that you must must try!

Homemade Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Batter-

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 4-oz sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups cashew, almond (or regular) milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in separate bowl. Set aside. In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two. Next, add in some of the flour, then some of the milk, alternating between the two until they are all in the bowl. Mix until batter is smooth. Pour into cupcake liners –  I use these and love them! My cupcakes always come out perfect!

Frosting-

  • 3 ½ c. confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Cream butter alone in electric mixer for ~2 minutes. (THIS IS THE KEY TO FLUFFY FROSTING). Next, add the confectioners sugar. Mix for another 3-4 minutes until frosting  is light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Mix for another minute or so. Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost them! Top with cinnamon sugar if you’d like!

For the “cake” part of these cupcakes I used one of the best cupcake recipes I’ve found, yet! I made a few changes to it for this recipe but they were perfect! I really hope you enjoy them, these were some of the best cupcakes I’ve made ever! I brought a plate of these to the residents I was working with the other morning and they scarfed them down. Thats my number one tip as a medical student – always bring treats for everyone!


Have a wonderful weekend!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Hello again!

Most people in my life know that I have a huge love for baking. Cupcakes, cake, cookies, I love it all. This week I wanted to whip up a special treat because I’ve been swamped with exams, but the worst part is, when I have a few days off from exams I’m studying for boards. So there really isn’t any time off right now which its hard and exhausting. So to counteract the bad vibes that UWorld and Pathoma are giving me (those are my board study resources, for those of you not in medical school… haha) I decided to bake!

These cupcakes were so good, I had to give them away to anyone and everyone to keep me from eating them ALL. I’m actually not even a huge chocolate fan, but these were good.

This is the recipe for the frosting, I just used a vanilla cupcake recipe for the actual cupcakes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole milk (or almond)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (OR MORE! if you’d like)

With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and the brown sugar. Add salt and vanilla. Mix. Add flour slowly. Mix. Add milk, a little splash at time. This way your frosting will stay fluffy. Finally, manual stir in the chocolate chips. ENJOY!


 

Spinach Ricotta Calzone

Hello!

I have a wonderful recipe today that is perfect for two. I thought this would be a nice recipe to put up before Valentine’s Day because it’s super easy but also is a really nice treat!

 I hope you enjoy!

Spinach Ricotta Calzone 

  • Pizza dough
  • 12 oz frozen spinach
  • 8oz Ricotta cheese 
  • 3 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella 
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white + splash of water 

Preheat oven to 500. Thaw the spinach in the microwave, squeeze all water out. Add all the cheese (Ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan), garlic, pepper and salt. Split dough into 4 pieces and roll out each of the pizza dough into a circle on a cutting board. Fill half the circle with the spinach filling and hold the dough over. Pinch the endges and cut three 1in slots in the calzones. Wish egg, egg white and water in a bowl and gently brush over the dough. Pop in the over until golden brown. Enjoy!

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

Hello!

Yesterday it hit 28 degrees. I couldn’t believe it… I ran in shorts and a tank top the day before! How crazy is that? I went to evening mass on Saturday (because Sunday mornings are my favorite study times) and it was flurrying (sp?) SNOW! I obviously grew up in the desert because I love snow, and I get overly excited when it begins to snow. Everyone here makes fun of me but I don’t even care! Winter is by far my favorite season. Since the cold weather came on rather quickly, I want to make something warm and cozy for dinner. This recipe is super cheap, super easy, and makes a ton of food! I’m pretty sure we will be eating it for a couple of days and I even shared it with my roommates! I only have 1 more exam and a clinical procedure lab before I’m free for Thanksgiving Break! I have a fun idea to share some of my Thanksgiving recipes with you all, so stay tuned :-).

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 clove mined garlic
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups uncooked ditalini or macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but monterey would be good too!)

In a large pot, heat coconut oil in bottom, add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent. Add flour and chili powder. Rinse and drain all 3 types of beans and add to pot. Add corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and veggie broth. Heat throughout. Add noodles. STIR constantly for 5-7 minutes (or until noodles are cooked). Do not let this sit for too long, I learned the hard way it will burn and stick to the pot :-). Remove from heat, add in the cheese and stir until melted. Serve. Enjoy!img_6920

 

Everything I learned in Med School: GI/Renal Block

Hello!

Another block down, and only 2 more to go! How crazy is that?! We have happily transitioned into Block 6 now, but I wanted to reflect on the rigors of Block 5. Our Block 5 was GI and Nephrology. This block was literally “bittersweet” because I LOVED GI, and I did NOT love nephrology. This was also our last block of anatomy, which was bittersweet at the time, but now with all the extra free time I have, it is just purely sweet ;-).

Don’t forget to check out everything else I learned in medical school! Here is Musculoskeletal, Neuro, and Cardio/Pulmonary!

Everything I learned in Medical School: GI/Renal

  • Pancreatic cancer is devastating. Often considered so deadly because such a small percent are diagnosed at a point when surgery could be helpful. The rest are diagnosed so late, that surgery isn’t a helpful option.
  • Although the abdomen is complicated, it makes sense. I loved in anatomy that I was able to understand the flow of food, and visualize the absorption of nutritions.
  • GI makes sense. We need food for energy, and our digestive system ensures that.
  • Renal physiology is math. I’m not very good at math, so it was really challenging for me. This was by far one of the hardest exams I took this block, and in medical school in general.
  • Gallstones are common, and most are asymptomatic! Many people have them their whole lives never knowing about them. And most people never have any issues from them, either!
  • Your arteries are not symmetrical. Even the venous drainage of you internal organs differs from right to left, who knew!
  • There are so many anatomical anomalies in different human bodies. Its really only appreciated in the cadaver lab, but it is amazing. Here is an example of some of the different ways your renal veins can be attached.
  • Your adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex (both part of the adrenal gland) are derived from completely different parts of the developing embryo. This makes it a pain in the but to try to remember the different nerve innervations!
  • The vagus nerve is in charge of the innervation for most of your gut – but provides very “nonspecific” pain, making GI pain hard to localize. Which is why having abdominal pain can lead to an entire novel for a differential diagnosis.
  • Often times the appendix is located NOT in the lower right corner, which is actually very important to know! So any complaint that sounds like an infection gets a CT, even if it is in a location that is not where the appendix typically is.
  • Embryology is important, especially in GI block. The development of the gut is amazing, and I really think its something that is clinically relevant.

This block really flew by quickly, and was pretty surface level knowledge. There are general surgeons, nephrologists, gastroenterologist, etc to deal with the field! So it makes sense that what we are taught isn’t very in depth (although it feels like it is). I really enjoyed this block but I’m ready to head on to Block 6 Endocrine/OBGYN!


Have a wonderful day!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi 

Hello!

Chugging along through Block 6. I love November, its such a wonderful time of the year. Ivy is enjoying running through the leaves although they are just about as tall as she is. I’m really trying my best to not decorate for Christmas but its so hard. At least the Starbucks red cups have come out, to tide me over!img_7565

I was feeling extra “fall” the other day and wanted to experiment with a new recipe. I also ordered this amazing marble block cutting board from amazon and I’m obsessed with it and want to use it every chance I can. I had two extra sweet potatoes to use up, which I give credit as the inspiration to this easy recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt

First, poke holes in the skin of your sweet potatoes and cook them in the microwave for 3-4 min. You could also bake them in the oven if you are more patient than I am ;-). Then, cut your potatoes in half and scoop out all of the insides. Place them into a big bowl. Then add in your  pinch of salt and the flour, one cup at a time. Mix with a pastry blender or your hands until a dough like consistence has formed. Split the dough into 4 pieces, and roll out long like a log until its about 1 in wide. Cut with a knife about 1in long sections. Roll each section down the spokes of a fork to create the decorative lines.

Cook in boiling and salted water until each gnocchi floats. Scoop them out and toss them in the sauce of your choice! I made a white cream mushroom sauce, but the options are endless!

Enjoy!

 

Perfect Pear Apple Pie

Hello!!

I’m well into Block 6 of med school! This block is our Endocrinology/OBGYN block and I’m enjoying it. I can’t believe we only have one block block left of content before boards. Sometimes I flip through first aid and am in awe at all that we’ve learned!

For those of you who are not familiar with how medical school works, your first two years are all in the classroom. Lectures, exams, practicals, anatomy, etc. After these first two years you take your board exams (USMLE, COMLEX). Finally after this, you are free to begin 3rd year, which is rotating through all the different services in medicine. You rotate through Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, OBGYN, Surgery, Geriatrics, Psych, etc. This allows you to get more of a feel for what field of medicine you want to go into. Lots of people don’t figure out what they want to do until 3rd year, which is totally normal! I’m about half way through my second year, and we finish our class work in April. Then we have ~2 months to study for boards, and we begin rotations shortly after! Its crazy to think how fast/slow this journey has been.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately, trying to be more plant-based. I haven’t eating meat in almost 3 weeks, and I feel really good. Honestly, I prefer my meals much more when they do not contain meat. As most of you know, I haven’t eaten red meat in almost 3 years. So I’m just trying to get rid of chicken and turkey!

Lately I have been trying to find some good recipes that a quick and easy. In the midst of searching for thanksgiving recipes last night I stumbled upon this pie recipe. I had some pears I wanted to use up as well, so I created my own version! I hope you enjoy!

Perfect Pear Apple Pie

  • 6 granny smith apples
  • 3 pears (any kind really)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS cinnamon (or more if you’d like!)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c)
  • pie crust dough

Preheat oven to 350°FWash, peel, and slice all of your fruit into thin slices, add lemon juice and cinnamon, mix. Press pie dough over a pie pan and roll over edges to make them smooth. Melt butter in big pan, and add fruit and sugar. Stir until fruit becomes soft (10-15min). Remove from heat and add flour. Mix in, and place back on heat for 5 more minutes. Dump fruit mixture into the pie dough, flatten. Cut strips of pie crust and weave them over the top of the pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes, but keep and eye on it. Take it out of the oven once its golden brown.


Hope everyone is having a wonderful November!

 

Zucchini Mushroom Marsala 

Hello!

Chugging along in week 7 of 11 for Block 5, I’m so excited we’re more than half way there. Like I mention in a previous post, this is our last Block where we have gross anatomy. Come October 7th I will be done with the lab forever :-). I ran 3 mornings this week, which I consider to be successful since I was feeling under the weather for a couple days.

I’ve been focusing on eating healthy and for most days I have a “burrito plate” for lunch. I basically just throw rice and beans on a plate and heat it up, and then top it with guacamole, salsa, lettuce, and whatever else I have laying around! It usually looks a little something like this.

img_6748

For dinner recently I’ve been into making a huge batch of stew, pasta, etc and just eating it for dinner for a few days. It saves so much time, and in med school I usually only have 2-3 nights free to cook a week, every other day is a day before an exam so my day is packed with studying and learning. Recently I’ve been looking for recipes that involve less dishes, so clean up is quick and simple! This recipe is perfect! I hope you enjoy :-).

Zucchini Mushroom Marsala

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 chicken breast
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 pkg of mushrooms
  • 1 box orecchiette pasta
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Cut up the chicken, then melt the butter in a pot on the stove and cook the chicken thoroughly. Move cooked chicken to a separate bowl. Add the mushrooms and zucchini to the pot and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender, Add the chicken back in along all of the spices. Top it off with the veggie broth, cream, and orecchiette. Let it simmer until pasta is al dente. Remove from heat. Add in cream and yogurt. Mix until broth has become a creamy thickened consistence (you can add more/less yogurt to your liking). Enjoy!

img_6768