Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread, and a Good Lesson Learned in a Moment of Vulnerability

Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread |

There's nothing like the sweet taste of a warm slice of Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread to take some pleasure in as we begin navigating this brand new year that's already full of opportunities for lessons and positive change going forward. Happy New Year!! Here we are, once again, unwrapping a sparkly, shiny, and spankin' brand-new year, pulling it gleefully out of the box. Ah...does it have that “new year” smell? That never-been-lived-in-before, fresh, clean aroma? Let's just take a moment to breathe it all in, and revel ... {more please!}

Snickers Brownie Bars, and the Best Reason of All to Get into My Kitchen

Snickers Brownie Bars |

Getting into one's kitchen to whip up something tasty can be fun and rewarding anytime; but when you get in there and prepare something specifically to comfort someone you love and hold dear, something like these rich Snickers Brownie Bars, then there's nothing better! For a momma, there is no better feeling in the world than to see her child, young or grown, enjoy a meal or dessert that she's prepared with complete abandon and gusto. Am I right, Mommas? Though my passion for cooking and ... {more please!}

Strawberry Lemon Cream Tartlets, and Existing in That Delicious Tension between Sweet and Sour

Strawberry Lemon Cream Tartlets |

Finding truth in the paradoxes in life can be an awakening experience for the spirit, just as experiencing both the sweet and the sour in these strawberry lemon cream tartlets can be invigorating for the tastebuds. We, human beings, seem to be most comfortable mingling with those things that are clearly defined and fit neatly into a very specific category or a beautifully wrapped box. We tend to be that way when it comes to our politics, our religion, and our social beliefs, and feel most ... {more please!}

Strawberry Sundae Cupcakes, and Celebrating the Precious Moments between Us

Strawberry Sundae Cupcakes |

Finding joy and gratitude in the precious moments that we do have together is the best way to make a time of change feel a bit less like a loss; so why not enjoy these Strawberry Sundae Cupcakes while celebrating what we mean to one another? I find it sort of interesting that I'm choosing to do a recipe post for Strawberry Sundae Cupcakes at this particular moment in life, since I'm not necessarily in the most specifically celebratory of moods, I suppose you could say. ... {more please!}

Sweet Cornbread Cake, and Taking Sweet Bites of Inspiration from a Golden Moment

Sweet Cornbread Cake |

The soft, warm, pale-yellow glow that envelopes all of us growing and sprouting creatures is something that I simply can't help but to draw copious amounts of pleasure and inspiration from. Just this afternoon, this late afternoon with its breeze, its scents of blooms, its buzzing little beings, its green grass swaying, I took a cup of warm, lemony-blueberry green tea as one companion, and my little dog Lola as another, and off I went into the back yard to daydream for a just a smidgen ... {more please!}

“Bananas Foster” Baked Donuts with Buttered Rum Glaze, and the Unexpected Gift of Challenge

Bananas Foster Baked Donuts |

I've heard it said that it's not until the rubber meets the road that a person can truly know what he or she is made of. And lately, I feel like life is trying to show me just that, in a myriad of poetic ways, some trivial and some a little more major. Take for a silly and simple example these delicious little "Bananas Foster" baked donuts here. They weren't quite so delicious in the beginning, you see. I found myself challenged with creating a recipe ... {more please!}

Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cookies, for When Finding Joy in the Small Stuff is a Good Start

Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cookies |

Sometimes in life, there isn't much opportunity for replenishment of the soul, as important as that can truly be. And I always know when it's time for me to begin to draw into myself some nourishment from the external world as well as from the spiritual one, because the things that I typically so easily find to be shimmery and glowing, seem like they're beginning to lack a bit of luster and shine. And I begin to feel, quite frankly, like I'm beginning to lack a ... {more please!}

“Sweet Heat” Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies, and How a Little Spice Can Be The Best Thing

Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies |

Sometimes a little heat can be just the ticket to making things...interesting. In food, spices turn up the volume on the eating experience, filling the one partaking with a gentle warmth that seems to radiate, awakening the senses, making them heightened and better able to receive an experience of the culinary kind in all of its glory. Spices such as cinnamon and cayenne have an earthy and very primal note to them, and when they're sprinkled into something either sweet or savory, create a unique and ... {more please!}

Christmas Eve Sipping Chocolate, and Luxuriating in the Light of Anticipation

Christmas Eve Sipping Chocolate |

There's a reverent hush that seems to fall over Christmas Eve the way a soft blanket gently drapes across a body in need of soothing comfort and warmth. As the twilight of this special evening comes upon us, it creates a space for the glimmering, shimmering lights to sparkle and reveal themselves, and makes way for the twinkling stars in the cold, clear sky to blink and wink at us as if to express their own joy at this precious and wonder-filled time of year. In ... {more please!}

Winter Snow Flurry Cake, and Not Allowing the Season’s Dreams to Melt Away

Winter Snow Flurry Cake |

The winter season holds a particularly soft spot in my heart. When I was a little girl growing up in Michigan, where the winters are bitterly icy-cold and heavy with powdery white snow, and made shimmery with clear, glass-hard icicles that hang off of rooftops and tree branches, my favorite thing to do was to go outside, open up my little mouth, and stick out my tongue to taste the soft snow flurries and allow them to dissolve on my tongue. Though they had no real ... {more please!}

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