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

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…)


Blueberry Peach Pie Bars

Peach season is undoubtedly one of my favorites. There is little as wonderful as biting into a fragrant, juicy peach, and feeling the juice dribble down your chin and arms as you enjoy the true flavor of summer. I hate getting messy when I eat, but I love peaches, so I’ve learned to just let it slide. Last fall I went apple picking, and can remember sneaking into the cordoned off peach part of the orchard, plucking the last of the plump orange fruits from the trees. Those peaches were incredible — so fragile and tender I had to carry them oh-so-gently back to the car, carefully giving them their own space on the car seat for the ride home. But they were worth it — rule breaking and all. (more…)


Whale Watching with Boston Harbor Cruises + Giveaway

Last summer was a total dud as far as spending time outdoors is concerned. I think I made it to the beach a grand total of 2 times, even though I lived in South Boston mere steps from the beach, and had a car which made accessing coastal areas easy. So this summer, I vowed to change that. I still haven’t made it to the beach nearly as many times as I’d like, but I have been making a point to get outside more often, and even took my first trip out to the Harbor Islands recently. As luck would have it, the very week after I visited Spectacle Island for the day, Boston Harbor Cruises reached out and offered the opportunity to take part in their Boston Harbor Cruises Blogger Day Out. Given my great first experience, and desire to be on the water as much as possible, I eagerly agreed. (more…)


Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

It probably won’t come as a shock, but I used to be a big fan of the Food Network. I’d watch Ina and Giada and Bobby and Tyler all day long, salivating over their dishes, and wishing I could be just like them. As someone who is completely enamored with food, it seemed pretty obvious that that’s how I would spend my idle time — especially in college, when I would rather have done anything than homework. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve grown out of it somewhat, opting for ridiculous reality TV, network shows, and HGTV. When I was going through the home-buying process, kitchen reno’s and backyard re-dos were so much more my jive, so for a long time that’s all I would watch. (more…)


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