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

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

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, and Luxuriating in the Light of Anticipation post image

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, and Not Allowing the Season’s Dreams to Melt Away post image

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!}

Cranberry & Vanilla Bean “Cheesecake” Parfaits, and the Glistening Jewels That Shimmer

Cranberry & Vanilla Bean “Cheesecake” Parfaits, and the Glistening Jewels That Shimmer post image

The other night, I drifted off to sleep thinking about an amazingly sweet exchange between my husband and teenage son that I had overheard just moments before, without them even knowing. I had gone to bed a little while before they had, and as I laid there in quiet prayer with my Creator, reminiscing with Him about my day and expressing gratitude for the multitude of tiny little gifts that I had found in it, I heard my precious boys pass each other in the hallway ... {more please!}

Pumpkin Patch Spice Bread, and Adding a Touch of Sweetness to a Day

Pumpkin Patch Spice Bread, and Adding a Touch of Sweetness to a Day post image

I very much adore the unexpected sweetness that a simple day can hold within it. Many mornings, it can be a challenge just to wipe the bleariness out of the eyes, to get the spirit uplifted, and to get that little inner motor roaring and ready to function at full capacity, never mind with gusto, style and a little flare. But it sure can make a difference in our day when we mercifully experience those little hints of sweetness, those palette pleasing flavors that are like ... {more please!}

Apple & Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cake, and Knowing When Something Is Perfect Just As It Is

Apple & Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cake, and Knowing When Something Is Perfect Just As It Is post image

I'm pretty sure that each and every one of us have our own ideas about how something should be. We imagine in our mind's eye the qualities that should make up a thing, and we decide whether or not those qualities are present based on some (often hidden) standards that we have. Or sometimes, we have actual knowledge of how something should be based upon real experience and previous observation, and surely that counts for something. It seems like it's often a balancing act trying to ... {more please!}

So This Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Walks Into A Bar…

So This Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Walks Into A Bar… post image

No joke, I love a good cookie. Thick, soft, and loaded with comforting sweetness (and perhaps even still a bit warm, fresh out of the oven), a cookie can be the perfect grab-n-go dessert to nibble on with a cold glass of milk or a strong, hot coffee. But when a good cookie can be turned into a thick, decadent bar, then things get seriously (and deliciously) taken to another mouth-watering level. (I guess you could call it “raising the bar” on cookies.) A few weeks ... {more please!}

Warm Vanilla-Bourbon Peach Crisp, and Luxuriating in the Sweet Taste of this Season of Life

Warm Vanilla-Bourbon Peach Crisp, and Luxuriating in the Sweet Taste of this Season of Life post image

Each season in life brings with it its own flavor. Some seasons are sweet; and some seasons are salty, bitter or tangy. But rest assured that each time period of life—each unique and special season—has a flavor all its own, and a taste that is special to it. The season of summer has, for me, always had a fragrantly sweet and fruity flavor to it. It reminds me of the seasons of life that offer up “fruits” that have had the time to ripen and mature, ... {more please!}

Raspberry Swirl & Greek Yogurt Cake, and a Woman’s Attempt At Relaxation

Raspberry Swirl & Greek Yogurt Cake, and a Woman’s Attempt At Relaxation post image

Many months back when my husband and I knew that my parents would be coming to visit with us from Europe for the summer, my husband had a wonderful idea of taking a special “boys” trip with our son and my dad. See, my hubs is a beautifully, wonderfully sentimental type, and that's one of the very things that I love best about him. We both realized that this would be one of those unique summers where all of us would be together, possibly for the ... {more please!}

Lemony “Sunshine” Cheesecake Bars, and Putting a Little Light Into Our Lives

Lemony “Sunshine” Cheesecake Bars, and Putting a Little Light Into Our Lives post image

A lemony dessert just makes me want to smile. It also makes me want to pucker up and then perhaps even use that very pucker to smooch someone, and tell them that I love them. A sweet and tangy lemony treat brings out the kid in me; it brings out my innocent side, my whimsical self that wants to finger paint and draw silly faces and big, bold and brightly yellow-gold suns with long reaching, arm-like rays that mischievously tickle the people below. A lemony summertime ... {more please!}