Papaya & Strawberry Smoothie

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I’m having a hard time believing that it’s that time of year already! That’s right, it’s my favorite time of year. Today marks the first official day of Spring!

It’s the time when the weather finally begins warming up, the earth comes alive after the long and frosty winter, and vibrant fruits and veggies are in abundance! Honestly, what’s not to love?!? Ok, if I’m going to nitpick, my allergies tend to take a beating in the Spring, but otherwise I have a hard time finding anything to complain about.

This is also the time of year when I absolutely crave smoothies! So light and refreshing, they just seem to hit the spot. I’ve already begun cramming my fridge and my kitchen counters full of every kind of beautiful fruit and veggie that graces the grocery aisles. Lately, I’ve had a huge hankering for papaya
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Broiled Oatmeal Grapefruit Bowls

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It’s that time of year again–the time when citrus fruits are at their peak freshness and are in abundance at the grocery stores. Most grapefruit varieties are in season from approximately October/November through April so right now is the perfect time to enjoy them! Just check out this beautifully brilliant red Texas Star grapefruit below!

20140118-144556.jpgBeyond their vibrant color and sweet flavor, grapefruits pack a huge Vitamin C punch. With the cold and the flu spreading like wildfire during this time of the year, it’s as if Mother Nature knew that we would need these citrus fruits to help us stave off those nasty sicknesses. 

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

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What’s a girl to do when an ice storms hits and you’re stranded at your house for days with no TV? Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the five-kagillionth time, do approximately 50 loads of laundry (or maybe it just felt like 50 loads), read a whole lot of magazines, play with makeup in the wee hours of the night after reading said magazines (I looked eerily similar to the Joker when I was done), and bake–A LOT.

I must say, I’ve been thanking my lucky stars that my hubby and I have even had electricity   all weekend while so many others have been waiting out the weather in cold and dark homes. I’m even more thankful that my genius hubby made a run to the grocery store to stock up before the storm hit. With so much free time on my hands and a fully stocked fridge and pantry, I decided that the oven would become my best friend.

This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf was the first–and by far the best–thing I prepared all weekend.
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Gluten-Free & Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

20131107-170549.jpg Because today is my birthday, I wanted to share something extra-special. Yes, that’s right, it’s my birthday! Today I join the ‘Dirty Thirty’ club. I won’t lie, I was downright dreading my thirtieth birthday up until today. When I was younger, 30 just seemed so mature, so grown up, so responsible.

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Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (gluten-free, vegan)

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I had such an amazing long weekend, especially since it was rainy and cooler outside! The weather forced me to stay indoors, do some much-needed laundry, clean my filthy house, and relax a bit. I also tried to get some work done, but I’ve noticed something: the more work I have to do, the more I cook. Basically, I get distracted easily and start procrastinating, so all of a sudden I just have to make the recipes I’ve been wanting to try for weeks–anything to get me away from the work I should be doing.

The funny thing is, it’s while I’m avoiding work that I come up with my favorite recipes! These Pumpkin Spice Pancakes are the most recent result of my procrastination. I’ve been wanting to try pumpkin pancakes for a while, and now that I have I’m head-over-heels in love! And because it’s starting to feel more like fall, these are the perfect pancakes to work into my Sunday morning pancake rotation. In fact, I may just have to start making pancakes every day now…..
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