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For the the love of sugar, happiness and serendipitous occasions.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies and a Giveaway [Closed]

As a kid, I thought Halloween was an epically awesome holiday. I mean, how can you not love a day that revolves solely around candy? Especially for someone like me, who has an insatiable sweet tooth. I can remember many a Halloween-eve, putting the finishing touches on that year’s costume at my Grandparents’ house, before we would venture out for trick-or-treating. After we’d filled our candy bags to the brim, and our parents had tired of walking the streets in the bitter cold, we’d retreat to my Grandparents’ living room and sort our candy — piles of chocolate and non-chocolate first, and then specific types of each candy if there was enough of it. Bartering ensued before we dove in to actually eat it, and I always liked this part the most – apparently I was already starting to become a type A negotiator as a little tyke! (more…)


Cranberry Crumb Bars with Mulling Spices

The older I get, the more I come to realize the way memories take shape as they fade into the canvas of our lives. Moments of deep loss and suffering lose their heightened pain — a dull ache slowly replaces them — and those more perfect, luminescent moments soften too, so when you think back on them they’re simply shrouded in a warm glow. It’s the way we humans survive, I think, because those insane peaks and valleys would be all too much to bear if their strength and intensity never softened, making room for those that come next. Life is all about the ebb and flow — the good and the bad moments, the successes and failures — they all somehow work together to create a unique set of circumstances that paint the picture of each individual life. (more…)


On Gratitude, and a Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

I made this pie weeks ago, and wrote the accompanying post then, too, but I’ve been holding off on posting it. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I can be a bit of an over-sharer, and sometimes I wonder if that’s not the right thing? When you open yourself up on the internet, you’re allowing the whole world to come to know who you are, and while I am well aware that not everybody in the world is reading this blog, it’s URL does live in the signature of my personal email, and in my professional portfolio, and on my resume, and in many other public places. (more…)


Spiced Apple Blondies

Have you ever tried to locate a bag of cinnamon baking chips in September in the Greater Boston Area? If not, don’t bother — been there, tried that, failed miserably. I even had my coworker go on a hunt of her own for me, to no avail. Who knew it would be so hard to track down one single ingredient? I even checked Amazon, but at over $4 for a tiny bag, I just couldn’t justify the purchase. So I made my own rendition of these blondies instead.
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Late Harvest Strawberry and Fresh Ginger Muffins

Somehow I’ve managed to make it through nearly 27 years of living without realizing that late (second) harvest strawberries exist. Perhaps I knew once and forgot? Or just never gave it much thought to begin with? At any rate, on a weekend home a few weeks back, my Mom presented me with a quart of super flavorful late harvest berries, and let me have at it! After tasting a few on their own, I decided to find a recipe that would do them justice.
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Pumpkin Apple Streusel Bread

The first pumpkin recipe of the season is always a big one for me. Embracing pumpkin means embracing fall wholeheartedly, bringing cold-weather clothes out of storage, wearing slippers around the house, and contemplating a switch back to hot coffee in the mornings (don’t worry, that one still hasn’t happened yet… Dunkin iced all the way!). But honestly, this pumpkin recipe made the transition a breeze — this is easily one of the best quick bread recipes I have ever made. I realize that as a baking blogger, I rarely post a recipe that I don’t really enjoy, but this bread just takes things to a whole new level. It’s truly fall magic. (more…)


Pumpkin Sangria and Two-Pound Tacos at Margaritas

If I could only eat one type of ethnic cuisine for the rest of my life, it would very likely be Mexican. I’m a sucker for really good Italian food, a novice (but very curious) Indian food eater, I enjoy Japanese cuisine and the occasional unhealthy dish of Chinese food, and I love what the Greek have going on, but there is just something about Mexican dishes that has totally won my heart. I think it stems from many childhood visits to see my Aunt in the heart of Mexico, where I was treated to the most authentic Mexican dishes, and the most authentic Mexican people. Something about the people and the place always made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and as a (very novice) Spanish speaker, I always got a kick out of trying to fit in there, make conversation with the locals, and find our way through the city. (more…)


Individual Chocolate Caramel Poke Cakes

It feels like it has been forever since I did any baking with chocolate. The first part of my year was pretty lean on the baking in general, and then when I finally got back into the swing of things, the focus was on fruit and citrus and summery flavors all the way. Now that the seasons are changing, and the weather along with it, I can’t ignore that it’s time to change up my recipes, too. This year, I definitely didn’t feel like I got enough of the fruity, citrusy, summery stuff done, but fortunately, I love apples and pumpkins and warm spices, and of course I love chocolate the most. So I guess it’s time to get back to it now, and these adorable little cakes weren’t a bad place to start. (more…)


Brown Sugar Oat Cherry Muffins

These muffins have been one of my favorite offerings at Flour Bakery for as long as I can remember. To other people, these always seem like a rather bland pick — why choose an oat-and-wheat-filled muffin when you can have flaky homemade pop tarts or luscious lemon scones or cream-filled brioche? I don’t really know what it is, but there’s just something about the flavors and textures that come together to make these muffins especially magical to me. They’re rich and hearty and delicious and satisfying. They aren’t always available, but when they are, they’re my go-to. (more…)


Local Small Batch Goods at Olives & Grace

Before we dive in here, can I just say — I cannot believe it’s September. As I was writing this post shortly after 7pm, I couldn’t believe I needed to turn on my couch-side lamp to see my computer screen! Where did the summer go?! Every year I vow to make the most of the gorgeous weather, and then in the blink of an eye it’s over. I did have some great outdoor experiences this summer — got to take some boat trips, visit some beaches, ride my bike a lot, and spend plenty of quality time outside, but it still didn’t feel like enough. Never does! Good thing fall is the best season of the year, and we’ve still got that to look forward to. (more…)


Fresh Peach Coffee Cake

I said I’d be back with another peach recipe, and here I am! Finally! I was really sick for much of the past week (what is up with getting sick in the summer?!), so it’s been really hard to write this post — either because the thought of food made me nauseous, or I was so starved for food but couldn’t eat it that looking at these photos made me ravenous. I got some crazy stomach bug or really intense food poisoning, so my diet the last several days has consisted of white bread, white rice, applesauce and bananas. Delicious! As someone who only eats predominantly whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, it’s been an interesting diversion… and certainly not an experience I need to repeat anytime soon. I do take it as a good sign that I’m craving most foods again though, and I seriously cannot wait until I’m finally able to eat veggies again — especially the beautiful tomatoes hanging out waiting to be picked in my back yard! (more…)


A Sweet Time at Chestnut Hill Square

Given everything that’s been going on lately, I have been doing my damnedest to stay super, duper busy. Sometimes its really exhausting, but other times pretty fun. I’ve always been a bit of a homebody, so its been an interesting change to be constantly on-the-go. Fortunately, it has forced me to take part in more activities than I normally would, and this recent Boston Brunchers event was one such experience. Normally, as the name so aptly describes, we bloggers get together and we brunch, but this particular event was something totally different — and totally up my alley. (more…)


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