Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream

One reason I love fall is pumpkin. I don't know what it is about the fall months, but everything just tastes better with pumpkin in it. I hope y'all are ready for some pumpkin recipes, because I'm about to go on a pumpkin baking and cooking spree! But don't worry, I'll try to throw in some non-pumpkin recipes to keep things interesting. Just considered yourself warned of the pumpkin overload coming to Cooking to Perfection.

Ultimate Layer Brownie Bar

Have you ever tasted something so rich, so sweet, so decadent, so downright good that you know you should only have a few bites, but you can't find the willpower to make yourself stop eating it? These Ultimate Layer Brownie Bars will have that affect on you.

Chobani Winner (and other Chobani stuff)!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Chobani Giveaway! I used a random number generator to select the lucky winner... 

...congrats Natalie at Free Range Human!!

Baked Spaghetti Squash

Who doesn't love a warm, delicious, baked pasta casserole? While summer is full of dinners that are prepared on the stove top to avoid heating up the house, fall is all about using your oven dial once again. I have really missed using my oven; I'm welcoming cooler weather so that I can indulge in some fantastic baked pasta and casseroles dinners.

Quick Pumpkin Oats

Happy fall y'all! Now that mornings are starting to get cooler, I have the perfect excuse to indulge in my daily oatmeal. (Not that hot temperatures or odd looks from coworkers ever stopped me from making oatmeal in the dead of summer.) Since I eat oatmeal on a daily basis, I'm always experimenting with different ingredients to add; and so far, I have yet to get tired of oatmeal and still have so many ideas of how to prepare it and what combinations of ingredients to try.

Chobani Giveaway!

{This giveaway is now closed.}

To end this very special Greek Week with a bang, I'm hosting my very first giveaway! YES! One lucky reader will receive 6 16-ounce tubs of Chobani yogurt. The wonderful flavors that will be sent straight to your door include Mango, Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Peach, and Pineapple.

No Bake Peach Cheesecake

I dunno about y'all, but I've loved every second of Greek Week. I was already a huge fan of Chobani yogurt (ask my coworkers-I'm religious about bringing one in every morning), and this past week has taken my love to a new level. Challenging myself to find new ways to use an amazing product was a lot of fun. And rewarding-it's not a shabby job to taste test all of these recipes! And as I said in my previous post, I'm already thinking of doing a Greek Week part 2. So stay tuned!

Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

I can't believe Greek Week is almost over! I started off with so many tubs of Chobani yogurt, all which have been used to make delicious recipes. Looks like I need to go out and buy more flavors and do a Greek Week Part Dos. But that's getting ahead of myself. Let's focus on this yummy and refreshing Black Cherry Chocolate Smoothie.

Mango Yogurt Chicken

Welcome to Day 4 of Greek Week and my first savory recipe using Chobani yogurt. As I've mentioned in the previous Greek Week posts, I used my Chobani giveaway win to challenge myself to create new recipes that use yogurt as a key ingredient. In addition to this challenge, I was also determined to find an easy and delicious dinner recipe that utilized one of Chobani's amazing products.

Pineapple Macadamia Nut Muffins

Welcome to Day 3 of my Greek Week celebration! (Read more here!) Today I'm featuring a recipe that uses Chobani's Pineapple Greek Yogurt. When I was brainstorming ideas of what recipes to make with each flavor of Chobani yogurt I received, I had trouble coming up with ideas of what to make with the pineapple flavor. It wasn't until I talked to my Mom about Christmas and Christmas shopping (yes, she is already starting to plan for Christmas) that it hit me to make a version of her Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bread.

Chunky Monkey Frozen Yogurt

Along with oatmeal and smoothies, I have another food obsession. If you have already met me, chances are you found this out within the first few days of knowing me. But if we have never had the pleasure of meeting, let me share a little secret: I am head-over-heels in love with frozen yogurt. Frozenyo, a frozen yogurt chain in the D.C. area (and my absolute favorite frozen yogurt), recently opened a location within walking distance to where I live. This is one of the best and worst things to happen to me recently, because, for example, I may or may not have insisted on making an appearance at their opening night. And this may or may not have been after I returned from a Pilates class. Some would call this crazy, and I would have to agree with them. But it's just part of accepting this obsession of mine.

Very Berry Fluffy Pancakes

Happy Saturday everyone! I dunno about y'all, but I think Saturday mornings are pretty much the best. To me, Saturday mornings are all about sleeping in, staying in your pjs longer than usual, not having to rush out the door to get to work or school, and taking a little extra time to make a yummy breakfast. 

Greek Week

It's GREEK WEEK! If you joined a sorority or fraternity during your undergraduate education then you are probably having flash backs to all of the numerous and mandatory FUN and EXCITING Greek Week activities that you participated in each year. Well don't worry, this post is nothing like that. This post is all about Greek Yogurt. Specifically, the best brand of greek yogurt out there: Chobani! Thanks to Sally for hosting an amazing giveaway on Sally's Baking Addiction, I won six 16-ounce tubs of Chobani yogurt. To say that I was excited when I got the email from Sally is an understatement. It made my entire week. All of you foodies out there can surely appreciate this; it's not every day that you get free food delivered to your house!

Pumpkin Biscoff Cookies

Yes, my first pumpkin recipe! I tried to wait until the first day of fall to make something with pumpkin, but I. just. couldn't. resist. Seeing so many people blogging about pumpkin and making things with pumpkin got the best of me. I'm only human, after all. Even though I broke down and used pumpkin before September 22, I'm perfectly ok with that because these cookies are amazing.

Falafel Cakes

Here is another quick, easy, and delicious dinner to add to the books! If you've seen some of my previous posts, then you are probably starting to pick up on the fact that I love chickpeas. They are a great ingredient to use in dinner recipes because they are versatile, healthy, full of fiber and protein, and cheap! With a lot of other food prices going up recently, I always like to find and purchase items that won't break the bank.

Brownie Batter Dip

With summer coming to an end, I'm having to say goodbye to my outdoor concert venues. The summer of 2012 has been the summer of concerts for me-I've gone to nine concerts so far and might have one or two more I'll try to sneak in. I sure do love my live music!

One of the many things I love about concerts is tailgating. Bringing good food and cold drinks and hanging out with friends before a concert has fun times written all over it. This past weekend I went to the Luke Bryan/Jason Aldean concert outside of D.C. and decided to treat my friends to this Brownie Batter Dip. The entire container was wiped clean by the end of the night.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

For someone who gets cranky when I'm hungry (also known as hangry), snacks are one thing you can always find in my purse. Foods that are quick to make and easy to pack are essential for people who get hangry easily. On a recent road trip I made to Connecticut to visit family, I needed a quick and easy snack to bring. I thought granola bars would be a nice recipe to try-they are healthy, quick to make, easy to pack, and are packed with oats that'll keep you full for hours. The only downfall to granola bars is that some varieties are rather bland. However, when I saw that Sally posted a granola bar recipe on her blog, I knew she wouldn't steer me wrong. 

Healthy Strawberry Muffins

I sure do love strawberries. I always go back and forth between choosing blueberries or strawberries as my favorite fruit. I think I'll go with strawberries for now, but that'll probably change next week. ANYWAY....my love for strawberries comes in all forms. One form that I have not tried is a strawberry muffin. This seems silly since I bake muffins all of the time. Why it never crossed my mind to add strawberries instead of blueberries, who knows. But once I saw the idea on Sally's blog, I was sold.

Summer Vegetables and Sausage

Does anyone else feel like it's already fall? I realize that technically fall does not start until September 22 this year, but I always associate the end of summer with Labor Day. (And yes...I know the exact date because I'm trying realllllllllllly hard to refrain from making anything with pumpkin until it's officially autumn.) To remind myself that we still have a few more weeks of summer left, I decided to embrace the fresh produce that will soon be limited in the cooler months. So on my last trip to the grocery store, I grabbed just about every fresh vegetable and fruit available.

Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookie

Happy Labor Day everyone! If your long weekend has been anything like mine, it has been a mix of relaxing and stressful. I took a little road trip up to the Connecticut shore to visit some family. While the beach was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, and seeing my family is always a pleasure, the traffic insisted on putting a damper on the weekend. New York City and Connecticut traffic, I loathe you.

Happy Labor Day!


I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day, whether you are relaxing by the water, firing up the grill for a BBQ, taking advantage of those sales at the mall, or checking off that to-do list that's been growing by the day. Today is all about recognizing the hard work that we do, so be sure to take a few minutes to drink a cocktail or two for some R&R!

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