Where have I been?

Wow, I have really been slacking off on this blog – my apologies. But, I have to say that “slacking off” is in no way a global description of what I have been doing these past 4 weeks or so. I have in fact been getting my s*** together – let me explain. Sometime around New Years, I promised myself that I would rededicate myself to getting fit – this pretty much happens every year. And translation, what it actually means is I need to lose 5 or 10 lbs, which I usually succeed in doing. I also subsequently succeed at gaining back 5 or 10 lbs and … repeat cycle. I’m always super impatient and quite upset that after two weeks of working out I haven’t lost 5 lbs – goals lofty much? In general I’m pretty impatient, and I am even more so when it comes to losing weight. Anyway, back to the explanation…

About a month or so ago, I decided to get on my usual journey of weight loss – just before the summer. And the very same thing happened, I worked out like crazy for two weeks and nothing happened. So what did I do – complain to my boyfriend. Now, I will spare you and not tell you how many times this has happened. He is always kind and supportive, and always tells me the same thing – weight loss is slow and it may take months. For some odd reason, I actually listened to what he told me this time and ,in the process, changed my entire mindset about weight-loss and fitness. Ask him and he will tell you this never happens – hence my shock. So yeah, I’ve finally realized that fitness is truly a journey and a full time commitment and ,although I’m just starting, I’m loving it!

So, what does this all mean for my blog? Well I haven’t really figured that part out yet. I love sweets, especially when it takes the form of sugar and bread – yumm. As a kid I perfected many ways to sneak extra sugar into my food – sorry Mom. My best work was filling the bottom of my cereal bowl with sugar before I poured in the cereal – pretty sure no one ever knew. But I digress, I love to bake and I love to eat what I bake, but I do want my blog to represent how I’m living life. That means cutting back on the sweets and learning to appreciate foods that make me feel good and make my body feel even better. So that’s where I am. As always thanks for tagging along and stay tuned for some healthier creations :)

Simple Italian Meatballs


I am a big lover of everything carbohydrates. As you may remember bread is my poison of choice, but every once in a while I can get down with some pasta. Me and spaghetti go back a long way – it was my regular lunchtime selection in middle school. I always got the spaghetti with meat sauce, for some reason they never had meatballs. And I think I can count on my hands how many times I’ve had spaghetti with meatballs, that is until now.

A few days ago I decided to make some meatballs for myself and M, and I wanted to find a recipe that would let me break in my slow cooker – which I’ve had for over a year and for some reason have not used. So anyway, I was all set to make meatballs in the slow cooker using this recipe that required 6 -8 hrs of cooking time. Unfortunately, I realized at around 4 in the afternoon that I needed to start dinner, obviously that recipe wasn’t going to work. So I looked around for some others that would be quicker, but I definitely still wanted to indulge in some meatballs that had been slowly simmering on top of the stove. So to make a long story short after some recipe browsing and improvising check out what I came up with. Lets get to it.



  • 1 lb Ground Beef 85/15
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – pressed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • A jar of your favorite marinara


  1. Mix beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme, parsley, egg, pepper, salt, and half and half together in a large bowl. Mix using your hands for the best results
  2. Roll meatballs to about the size of a golf ball. 1 lb of beef made about 16 meatballs.
  3. Put the meatballs into a pot of your favorite marinara sauce
  4. Simmer on low to medium heat for about 1.5 hrs.

Avocado Hummus


So it feels like forever since I last shared anything with you. My mom was in town for a while and I thought it was a good time to take a step back and reflect on my blog. Since I’ve started I’ve gone in multiple directions – I and my blog have been evolving. So anyway I wanted to give some thought to what I really wanted this to be and find out what things were important to me and what things were not so important. So here is what I’ve decided – to make a long story short I like to eat lol and I’m really good at it. I also love taking pictures, but I’m only so so at that. So I hope to share with you in my adventures in baking, cooking, eating, and finding my place behind the camera. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m not the most comfortable at being less than great at something. So I hope my continued blogging will be a lesson in patience and self acceptance. I have loved sharing with you these last few months and I look forward to continuing on that journey while remembering to take a step back to be present in my journey. So let’s get back to it :)

I grew up in a small town in the south and until I moved up north there were soooo many foods that I had never heard of and certainly never had the chance to try. When I met my M nearly 10 years ago – where has the time gone – he expanded my mind in so many ways and because of him I am willing to try so many more things – one of the many reasons why I love him so much. One of the most tangible examples of that would definitely be food.

Years ago I had hummus for the first time – I wish I had a cute or funny story about it but I don’t :) Anyways I love hummus, its simple and easy, and really who doesn’t love hummus. But, even though its so simple, I have never made it. So I decided to give it a try. From time to time I catch Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network so I thought I would share my adapted version of her Avocado Hummus Recipe. Let’s get into it.


This post was added to Easy to Cook Meals blog, please join us there or Cunning Lady Friday Party.


  • 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large or 2 small avocados, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 packed cup of arugula
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine beans, avocado, parsley, lemon juice, arugula, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined.
  2. Add in olive oil and pulse to combine.

Diet Epiphanies: Skinny Blueberry Smoothies


So right around this time of the year, I realize that I have already blown off the commitments I made to myself at the beginning of the year. Pretty much every week – since Jan 1 – I’ve had all kinds of good intentions to eat healthier and go to the gym regularly. And let me tell you – I have done neither one :) I’m guessing I’m not alone in that.

The good news is, I think I have come up with an idea that’s actually feasible and sustainable. It just occurred to me that I can use my blog to support a healthier lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been loving baking all these amazingly delicious treats, but I think I should mix it up a bit – include some recipes that are less sweet tooth friendly but just as tasty :)

So now that you are caught up on my post new year laziness, I’m going to pop my website’s healthy cherry with a new recipe – Skinny Blueberry Banana Smoothies. I love fruit – really who doesn’t – but I love it even more blended. At various points in my life I have been more or less on the smoothie thing, and recently its definitely been less. But, I’m going to dust off my blender and get to work so I can lose this natural winter coat I’m wearing lol. P.S. I went to the gym two days in a row!! Let’s get to it.

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller ones  


  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger – grated
  • 1 tbs agave
  • 1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt


1. Add all ingredients and pulse in blender until smooth

The Best Gluten Free Apple Crumble!


Do you love apple pie – because I do – but you know what, sometimes apple pie is just way to involved. And only the craziest craving will push me to spend hours creating a yummy pie, but what about your average everyday craving. What to do? Well, there is a brilliant, yet simple shortcut to enjoy all the goodness of apple pie without all the hassle. Apple pie crumble – quick and painless with an awesome pay off.

I’ve been making this for a while, but most recently the man and I, M ( I think its finally time I give him at least an initial :) had them for  dessert on V-day. So I have apple on the brain, and I think its only right that I share it with my readers. Oh and did I mention its gluten free, which in my mind makes it guilt free – but I know thats not actually true. Any how lets get to it, so you can soon find yourself fork deep in unapologetic deliciousness.   



  • 5 small apples (I like Gala)
  • 1 stick of butter – around room temperature
  • 1.5 Cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown Sugar
  • 1tbs Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and liberally grease a small baking dish (about 8 x 10).
  2. Peal and core apples and place them in the bottom of your baking dish. Sprinkle apples with tbs of granulated sugar.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Slice stick of butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Using your hands work the butter into the crumble mixture made in the previous step. Mixture should appear coarse.
  5. Pour crumble mixture, evenly, on top of apples, and bake in oven for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Pomegranate-Lime Gin and Tonic


Ok, so I’ve never really been a drink aficionado. I’m more of a throw some pineapple juice in with – fill in the blank – kind of girl. So, needless to say, I’ve never really had a favorite drink, until recently. Sometime last year, I had a gin and tonic for the first time and loved it. So if you ask me now what my favorite drink is, that would be it.

Now in general, I’m way more into sweets than I am into drinks, which is why I hadn’t thought about posting a drink recipe until now. But I thought, why not. So I came up with a simple twist on a classic cocktail. Lets get to it.


  • 2 oz part  Gin (my fav is Bombay Sapphire)
  • 4 oz Tonic Water
  • 2 oz  100% pomegranate juice
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tbs simple syrup


  1. Combine gin, tonic water, pomegranate limeade, and juice from half of a lime into a glass.
  2. Garnish with a wedge of lime
  3. Enjoy


Cognac French Toast Muffins


Ok, I think I must be on a muffin kick. It’s kind of a testament to my personality, once I find something I like I tend to wear it out. But what is life really without a healthy amount of indulgence. I think I might repeat that to myself anytime I eat an entire box of something in one sitting, oops, or I’ve been listening to the same song for over an hour, double oops.

So, my absolute favorite thing to have for breakfast is french toast – love it, love it, love it. I’ve been wanting to share a french toast recipe, but I decided to think about it for a bit and give it a little twist. And here is what I came up with, they are cute, delicious, not too sweet, with a subtle adult  kick. Cognac French Toast Muffins. Lets get to into it :)



  • 10 cups of bread (1/2 in cubes)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 3 tbs cognac
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon


  1. Grease a 12 inch standard muffin pan
  2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, brown and white sugars, cinnamon and cognac
  3. Evenly distribute bread into muffin cups, then evenly pour mix from step 2 on top of the bread in muffin cups. You may have to push the bread down to help you evenly distribute the mix.
  4. Cover the muffin pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hrs. Preheat your oven to 350 about 90 minutes after you have placed your muffin pan in the refrigerator.
  5. For the topping, combine butter, sugar, and ground cinnamon using a food processor. A couple of pulses should do the trick
  6. Evenly distribute the topping across all muffins. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Place muffins on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy them while they’re hot!



Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffins


A couple christmases ago my man bought me Baking Illustrated. At the time I had just decided to get more serious about my baking. Up until that point I was more of a casual occasional baker. When I opened it I was thrilled because I needed a cookbook, but I really had no idea until recently how great of a cookbook it really is. I should have known immediately what gold it was, because my man is the king of reviews :) But I digress. I could go all day about why I love Baking Illustrated, but I’ll spare you and simply recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in baking and especially those interested in the trial and error behind recipe development.

So now for the good part, these yummy Blueberry Muffins. I think I professed in an earlier post that I am a bit of a blueberry muffin connoisseur because I’ve spent a lot of time eating them. What I love about this particular recipe, from Baking Illustrated,  is that its kind of a cross between a biscuit and a muffin, so it basically chews like a soft scone. I love all takes on anything bread and would love any muffin, but I like a recipe that goes against the grain a bit. So lets get into it.


  • 2 cups unbleached all -purpose flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 large lemon
  • Extra sugar for dipping


  1. Place your oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Go ahead and grease a standard sized 12 cup muffin tin
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl using a whisk.
  3. In a second medium sized bowl whisk 1 egg until its completely combined – this will take about 20 seconds. Now add sugar in with the egg and whisk vigorously until its thick and homogenous – about 30 seconds. In two additions add melted butter , make sure to mix after each addition. Finally add sour cream to this mixture in 2 additions – you just want to whisk enough to combine.
  4. Now add blueberries to flour mixture – toss lightly to mix in blueberries. Using a rubber spatula gently fold in the sour cream mixture from step 3 until the batter just mixes together – about 30 seconds. Its really important here to not over mix. In fact if you have a few spots of flour in your mixture its completely fine.
  5. Divide your batter up in the 12 muffin cups. You can spray a spoon with non stick cooking spray to keep the batter from sticking to your spoon. You will bake your muffins for 25 – 30 minutes until they are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test. About half way through the full cook time rotate your pan to help insure even baking.
  6. Invert muffin tin onto a wire wrack and allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. While muffins are cooling juice one lemon, remove pulp and seeds, and heat on low heat in a sauce pan. Add in 1/4 cup of sugar and let it simmer until a syrup forms.
  8. Pour about 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush coat the tops of the muffins with lemon syrup and then dip muffins into sugar. Enjoy!!


Double Chocolate Brownie for One


Ok, it’s really no surprise that I love sweets – they are and will forever be my kryptonite. I know that’s the story for a million other people out there, so I thought I would put together a recipe to help me and all the other people out there do the whole “only in moderation” thing.


I love a good brownie, and what I love more is a good brownie whipped up in about 5 minutes with stuff you most likely already have in your pantry. So let’s get to it, so you can indulge responsibly.


  • 2 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs canola oil
  • 2 tbs cocoa
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 oz dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla


  1. Finely chop dark chocolate and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder.
  3. Now add in canola, milk, vanilla and chocolate. Mix until fully combined
  4. Spray the inside of a small ramekin with cooking spray and pour in the brownie mix.
  5. Heat in a microwave for 1.5 – 2 minutes.




Lindor Truffles White Hot Chocolate


I have never been a huge fan of chocolate, don’t get me wrong if you put it in front of me I will eat it, but I certainly don’t crave it in that stereotypical way. However, I do have a special place in my belly for white chocolate….yum! So it was only natural that when I decided to put together a hot chocolate recipe that I’d make it  with white chocolate. And since I loooove Lindor Truffles, why not use that as my source. Fair warning, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, this recipe is probably not for you. I’m hoping maybe it will convert some people though. Lets get into it.


  •  3  White Lindor Truffles
  •  1   cup of milk
  • 1/2   tsp vanilla
  •  Dash of salt


  1. Bring milk to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Add in White Lindor Truffles, allow them to fully melt
  3. One truffles have melted add  in vanilla and salt

Makes 1 serving