Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

I think I'm just as seasonally confused as mother nature seems to be. I swear the calendar says it is spring, but there was still snow on the ground a few days ago. And regardless that it is officially spring, I'm in a fall state of mind. Go figure. I think I'll blame mother nature for this one.

Skinny Cake Batter Dip

With spring right around the corner, I can hardly wait for all of the fresh produce that will soon be available. I'm not a fan of winter for a lot of reasons, but the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables is at the top of my list. For someone who could eat berries all day, every day, having to settle for frozen and/or imported berries just doesn't cut it. Bring on spring and all of your delicious fruit.

Banana Upside-down Cake

Look at those caramel covered bananas. I can't even begin to describe how scrumptious this cake smells, let alone tastes. But before I get into this amazing and easy recipe, let me ask you something: have you had a chance to visit my other blog, Reading and Recipes? I'm actually a co-blogger with my dad (Hi, Dad!). As the "Welcome" page explains, we are both very passionate people who have fun doing projects together. This is our first formal project in which we each take our special talents and put them together--he enjoys writing and loves sharing his work even more, while I enjoy baking and sharing delicious recipes with you. If you have a free second, swing by and pay our blog a visit.

Relished Foods: Easy, Fresh, and Delicious (discount code included!)

Do you ever have days or weeks, heck maybe even months, where you feel like you can't catch your breath? Your to-do list is growing quicker than you can check it off. You run around all day like a chicken with its head cut off only to feel physically and mentally exhausted, knowing you have to wake up and do it all over again. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Come over to my house, I'll make you and drink and we can commiserate--forget about the to-do lists long enough to enjoy a drink or two; you know we deserve it.

In addition to rewarding yourself with a (strong) drink(s), give yourself a break in the kitchen. If your hubs/wife, kids, roommate, or dog can take care of dinner then take them up on that and consider yourself lucky. For most people, you have to turn to something else. And I found just what that perfect something else is: Relished Foods.

Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding

Happy February 13! Happy almost Valentine's Day! Happy snowday funday (depending on where you live in the country)! Happy day before Friday! Happy almost weekend! No matter where you live, what your relationship status is, or what your work schedule is like, I'm wishing you a happy day. And to bring even more happiness into your life, I'm sharing this recipe. Even though I made this dish a little while ago, I couldn't think of a better day to post it. A rich, chocolate-y dessert made in a small portion perfectly fit for two individuals (or one individual with a serious sweet tooth)--this screams Valentine's Day. Not attached? Cool, me either. But it's still a happy day because this recipe is out of this world simple and knock-your-socks-off delicious.

Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms and Spinach

I don't know what has taken me so long to make polenta. I love the stuff; it is right up there with my favorite breakfast, grits. No idea what grits are? Go down to North Carolina and you'll quickly learn what grits are, along with hush puppies, the REAL way to prepare BBQ, and that Southerns don't skimp on butter or desserts. But back to polenta, it is actually quite similar to grits in texture and preparation; the main difference between the two is that each are made from different types of corn. So, basically there is no difference. Want to make creamy grits with sauteed mushrooms and spinach, be my guest!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies (Bake Sale for Noah)

Ever heard of an online bake sale? It's pretty self explanatory--there are baked goods advertised online, you bid on the items you want, and the highest bidder wins. Kind of fun, especially if you win. However, today winning and participating are equally fun and rewarding, and here is why: this particular online bake sale is raising money for Noah, a three year old who was recently diagnosed with severe autism. (Click here to read more about Noah and his condition.)

Strawberry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Saturday mornings are made for sleeping in, recovering from the week and/or Friday night, and full-fledged relaxing. So why the heck is my to-do list well on its way of being completed? It's not even noon yet! Please tell me what is wrong with me. Especially after such a hectic week, the only thing my body wants to do it relax, but my mind won't let me. This.is.not.okay.

Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Omgosh, I've been dying to post this recipe. I actually made this right before I began my detox, so I had to finish my detox posts before I could share how glorious this recipe is. Unfortunately, I've been slammed this week (a couple of 14 hour days will make a girl plop down, face first on her bed and neglect everything, including her blog), so I'm just now getting around to finally sharing this deeelicious pasta recipe.

Detox Recipe Round-Up

If you are one of those people who hates the word "detox" like I talked about in this post, you might want to reconsider your feelings. I've done various cleanses, detoxes, and other modified diets, and I've had the best experience with this particular detox. I feel better all around--I sleep better, I am not reliant on caffeine to get through the day, my skin looks better, and I'm not constantly craving sweets or salty snacks. I also lost a few lbs, but that is just an added bonus to how great my body and mind feel. If you are interested in trying a detox, I highly recommend browsing Whole Living for their wellness plans (I used the 2011, specifically). Here are the do's and don'ts of the exact detox that I did.

Need more convincing? How about that before my detox, I couldn't survive a day without a few cups of coffee, something sweet after every meal, and carbs with every meal. And when I say carbs, I mean the most decadent bread or pastas; not exactly whole grain, healthy carbs. And when I say sweets, let's just say that ice cream didn't last long in my house. Modifying your diet for a couple of weeks does wonders to how your body reacts to the foods you feed it and how foods actually taste. I can't even eat some of the sweets that I was accustomed to devouring because they are too sweet now. Never thought I'd say that!

Spicy Broiled Tilapia

My last detox recipe--so bittersweet. I've actually been done with my detox for a few days now, but this recipe was just too easy and way too delicious not to post.

Roasted Chickpeas

I have a confession to make: I'm a snacker. The first part about changing is admitting that you have a problem, right? My problem, or one of them at least, is snacking. When I'm bored, I snack. When I'm hungry, I snack. When I'm thirsty, I snack. When I have a craving, I snack. When I'm up late and think it's time for fourth meal, I snack. I have a snacking problem. Help!

Breakfast Rice Pudding

It has been about a week since I last blogged. For the few of you who might be wondering if I'm surviving this detox, I am. I'm alive and well and detoxing away! I am in the second half of my detox, which means the end is in sight. And surprisingly, or not, I'm not counting down the days. This detox really hasn't been all that bad...except for one minor issue: I've been forced to break my routine of eating oatmeal every morning. I know, I have this weird obsession with oatmeal. I eat it at least five days a week and never seem to get sick of it. Even in the summer, I make oatmeal. Nothin' like a bowl of oatmeal and some fresh fruit to start your day on the right foot. But because I had to cut gluten and most oats are processed with the same machines and in the same factories as gluten products, technically oats are not gluten-free (unless otherwise specified). So, what's a girl to do if she can't have her beloved bowl of oatmeal? Try this Breakfast Rice Pudding, obviously.

Detox Quinoa Salad

"Detox"--it's a word that you either love or you hate, but probably hate. In the past four days since I started my detox, I've had friends ask me about my experience. Without fail, the reaction I've received is a raised eyebrow or even a slight groan followed by something along the lines of "Wow...that sounds horrible." Gee, thanks guys; as if depriving my body of every food and drink it has ever loved wasn't reminder enough. Despite that, I don't hate this detox. I've already started noticing benefits even after four days. If I stick with this for the full two weeks, who knows how great I'll feel. So, "detox", I'm one of the few who loves you. Let's be friends, at least for the next ten days.

Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Soup

First recipe post of 2014 is a detox post--go figure. I, along with probably the majority of the world's population, made some sort of resolution, promise, or goal for the new year. I usually skip this tradition and just opt for making goals throughout the year. However, this holiday season (and last six months) have been especially fun and crazy busy. And, unless you are superman or woman, usually that means less time for eating well and exercising. In my case, that can be translated to occasionally eating a vegetable in the form of a potato and casually neglecting my gym membership for months at a time. Go me!

New Year, New Blog

Happy 2014 y'all! I can hardly believe that it has been six months since my last post. So much has happened in those months that it feels like six years worth of events. My life is finally settling down, and I'm ringing in the new year with many goals for me to work toward and new projects and hobbies for me to try; one of those being this blog.

I know, I know, this blog isn't exactly a *new* hobby. But a six month break makes it feel almost new. It's as if I broke up with my blog, took some time for myself, and am now at ready to be in a relationship again. Cooking to Perfection, will you give me a second chance? Good thing blogs are always there for you, even when you neglect them for months and months.

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