Category Archives: Breakfasts

More summer recipes I’m loving!

I’m waiting for a recipe fail to happen soon because I feel like these past few weeks have been full of so many recipe wins! Here is what I’ve been loving so far this week:

Breakfast: Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffin

Lunch: Greek Farro Salad

Dinner: Zucchini Lasagna

Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins


(makes 10 large muffins – I wanted these to be breakfast worthy and filling, but smaller muffins would make a snack-sized serving)


1 15oz can of pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch of salt

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup coarsely ground oats (or oat flour – I used Scottish Oatmeal that was basically just a fine oatmeal)

2 tsp baking powder

Optional streusel topping

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup crushed pecan pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a muffin tin (or use liners).

2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, syrup, extract, spices, and salt. Mix on medium until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, mix oats, oat flour, and baking powder.

4. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture, mixing until just combined.

5. Fill muffin tin with heaping 1/4 cups of batter.

6. In a small bowl combine streusel topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly amongst muffins.

7. Bake 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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Nutritional Info:

Calories: 300, Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 20mg, Potassium: 90mg, Carb: 49g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 20g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 108%

Greek Farro Salad


(Makes 6 meal-sized servings)


8-9oz package of farro (1 1/2 cups), prepared according to package instructions and cooled to room temperature (Trader Joe’s has a great 10 minute Quick Farro)

1 large cucumber, diced

1 large zucchini, diced

1 cup (10-15) grape tomatoes, diced

1/2 of a large red onion, diced 2 15oz cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and dried*

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Red Wine Vinaigrette to taste (6tbsp is my suggestion)  Directions

1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and add dressing to taste! Pretty darn easy!

*If you want to roast the garbanzo beans in the oven with some seasoning before adding them, that is a tasty option as well!


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Nutritional Info

Calories: 381, Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 660mg, Potassium: 220mg, Carb: 50g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 16g 

Zucchini Lasagna

Recipe HERE

I can take no credit for this recipe — I saw a great Buzzfeed article a couple weeks ago and this recipe is a total winner. I kid you not, I have had this for dinner 6 out of the last 14 nights. It’s just so good! There are a lot of great recipes on this site that I can’t wait to try! Also, just a tip – we baked it in a glass square pan, it was easier to store the leftovers for a second night and easy reheating. Plus it can get a little liquidy during baking so the pan keeps it all in one place.

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Nutritional Info

Calories: 120, Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 500mg, Carb: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 9g

And there you have it! The recipes I am loving this week!


Blueberry Avocado Muffins

Happy Monday! I had such a glorious weekend that started with a sunrise run in DC with a friend and we ended it right in time with the light of the new day waking up the cherry blossoms that were just starting their blooming cycle. God is so good and in the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to overlook the glory of newness around us. I’m so glad we got to enjoy these beautiful trees – it always seems like such a DC tradition to see the blossoms and battle the hordes of tourists (and photographers with tripods….oh my gosh, SO many tripods!) before we are really ready to acknowledge that spring is officially here.

After the wonderful morning, I headed up to Maryland for a fun afternoon of painting and wine with local girls from my larger Stella & Dot team. I was not feeling motivated by the pre-planned picture, so I dug into my phone for a photo from the morning and let the cherry blossoms inspire me!

Speaking of cherry blossoms, I have been enjoying local sweet blossom-inspired treats these past couple weeks….yum

And yesterday was just a relaxing day. I even got to soak up some sun on my porch while reading a book. I now have a VERY faint tan line. Yay! I’m ready for my pasty white winter legs to get some color! Then yesterday afternoon I got inspired to make some healthy muffins for an easy weekday morning breakfast. I am totally obsessed with avocado as I’ve said several times now. So these totally hit the spot – they don’t really taste like avocado, but I love knowing it’s in there! I made some extra muffins to take down the street to my wonderful friends who just brought their brand new 1 day old baby home yesterday!

Blueberry Avocado Muffins



1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour (you can use white flour, or a combo of both if you don’t like all whole wheat flour)

1/3 cup flaxseed meal (feel free to leave this out and just increase the flour measurement to a total of 2 cups)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ripe avocado (seeded and peeled)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup plain green yogurt (I used slightly more than a cup just because I got 2 single-serve containers of yogurt that were 5.3oz each and didn’t want to waste any)

1 1/2 cups blueberries (I used fresh, but frozen is always an option), rinsed and dried


1/4 cup whole wheat flour (again, white is fine)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup dry oats (quick or old-fashioned)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line muffin tins with paper liners

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, meal, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3) In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the avocado on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Next add egg, beating until well combined. Add the vanilla and yogurt, mixing until just incorporated.

4) Add half of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, beating until just combined. Repeat with 2nd half

of dry mixture. With a spatula, gently fold in blueberries.

5) Fill muffin liners with a heaping 1/4 cup of batter.

6) To make streusel topping, in a small bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in butter in small pieces and continue to mix/mash with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle onto muffins and press slightly into batter. Bake muffins 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes 14-16 muffins

Nutritional Info (14 servings)

Calories: 189, Fat: 5.7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 224mg, Potassium: 82mg, Total Carb: 33g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 17g, Protein: 6g

Easy energy balls

The monthly happy hour at my gym again means another healthy snack recipe!

Ready for some super simple energy balls?

Energy Balls
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
1 cup oats (I used quick oats because they’re what I had on hand, but old-fashioned work too)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
3/4 cup add-ins: I used 1/4 each of sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and mini chocolate chips (but shredded coconut, carob chips, other seeds or nuts, etc will all work!)

Put honey and peanut butter in a large microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 10-15 seconds, stir to combine. Then dump in everything else and mix! Form into small balls, layer into an airtight container with wax paper separating layers, and refrigerate 4 hours. Makes 20-30 depending on size.




Congratulations calls for Nutella!!

Last week was a crazy busy week! The cake making business has been booming which is awesome (and reminds me that I need to update that blog!), Stella & Dot is fabulous, my regular job is insane, and then there’s life in between it all 🙂 But it’s all good! Not to mention that spring will eventually be here. I am sort of enjoying these last few random snow days we’ve had — the rainy weekend just had even ended in snow. Crazy! But it’ll be a swampy 100 degrees here in no time so I’ll cherish these fleeting cool temps while they last!

Before I ran out the door to a trunk show in the middle of last week I decided that I should toss together a little congratulations treat for a coworker who has passed her exams to become a registered architect. It’s a huge accomplishment and worthy of a treat for sure! This coworker is passionate about Nutella so I grabbed a cake mix and a couple other items from around the house and tossed together this easy semi-homemade bundt cake.



1 box butter recipe cake mix

4 eggs, divided

1 1/4 cup Nutella (or other knock-off hazelnut spread — I used the grocery store’s generic version)

2/3 cup canola oil

8 oz sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 cup confectioners’ sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the cake mix, sour cream, oil, and 3 eggs on low for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 additional minutes, until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, mix Nutella, remaining egg, and 1 cup of cake batter mixture, stir until thoroughly combined.

3. Grease a 10 inch bundt pan. Pour cake batter into pan, then evenly spoon the Nutella mixture on top. Using a skewer or knife, swirl through the layered batters to create a marble effect (which will really be hard to see so just get a little crazy and wait for the surprise later — the Nutella mixture is more dense and will eventually work it’s way into the middle and leave you with a nice contrast).

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool cake for 15 minutes before inversting it to remove it from the pan. Make the glaze while it cools.

5. To make the glaze, combine milk, confectioners’ sugar, and Nutella in a small bowl. Feel free to adjust the sugar and milk ratios to get a consistency that will drizzle, but isn’t too “watery” — we want this to harden on top! Drizzle over the cake, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes to let the glaze harden, or just dive right in 🙂









Pumpkin Spice Latte Blondies

Last week was a loooong week, but now the countdown to my week long vacation in Italy is 4 days!!!! Can’t wait! I haven’t had a vacation since being home in FL at Christmas so this is some long overdue time off from work! Since we will surely not have any pumpkin while we’re there, this week has contained lots of pumpkin! I got home yesterday from work and had about an hour to kill before my roomie and a friend and I were meeting for dinner (we had pizza and wine — and no, I don’t get tired of those things so this was just a chance to prepare my mind and palate for what I hope is LOTS of pizza and wine all week long in Italy 🙂 oh, and gelato. And cannolis. Mmmmm. So, I got home, debated for a second whether I should go for a quick run and then be back in time for a quick shower, or if I wanted to try tossing together some quick pumpkin blondies I’d felt inspired by earlier. Since I really get unmotivated about unnecessary showering because I hate blow drying my hair without good reason, I opted for brownie making. 🙂 I also saw this as a great opportunity to bust out my pumpkin spice M&M’s and bake them into something.

I doubled the recipe and divided the batter into 2 8×8 pans. 1 pan got the white chocolate chips, the other got the M&M’s. I loved them both ways, but I did feel like I noticed the coffee hints in the white chocolate ones while the M&M one tasted just pumpkin spice-y. Both awesome, just different flavors. Thank goodness I can just keep having one of each so I don’t have to pick favorites!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Blondies
(I think this originally came from a Martha Stewart recipe, but lacking the latte)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or use a blend of white wheat and regular)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2-3 tsp of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Via packet (or use instant coffee/espresso)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or if you are trying to unhealthify these, use a full stick of butter and ignore the applesauce)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or M&M’s or whatever you desire!

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil, then spray lined pan with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, whisk flour, spice, soda, salt, and coffee with a whisk until combined.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), cream butter. Add applesauce and mix until combined. Next, add sugar and beat until smooth. Then add egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add pumpkin and continue to mix.
4. Slowly on low speed, add dry ingredients to wet mixture.
5. Add in white chocolate chips.
6. Spread into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.







Pumpkin Pasta and a Sweet potato hash!

I have been loving the crisp fall weather of this week! Definitely puts me in the mood for fall flavors!

Last night I came home from a great workout (ran to the gym, did Body Pump, then Zumba, and walked back home) and had a really yummy sweet potato hash. Sunday and Monday night we had a super super tasty pumpkin pasta. Loooove fall 🙂


Pumpkin Pasta


1 package pasta (we used pappardelle — even though it was like $8.50 at the grocery store, it was definitely worth it, it has such a great texture, shape, size, etc)
Olive oil
2 small shallots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup light cream
1 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 tsp plus a pinch of cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese (we had an Italian blend from Trader Joe’s on hand so use what you’ve got if you want)


1. Heat oil over medium heat in a sauce pot. Sauté the shallot until tender and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and good for an additional 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the pasta) and stir to combine. The sauce should simmer for about 10 minutes to allow it to thicken.
3. Prepare pasta per instructions. The pappardelle doesn’t take more than a few minutes so be almost ready to eat by the time you put it in.
4. We also tried our hands at frying sage leaves to put on top for a little flair and flavor — to do this, in a small skillet heat a small amount of oil (canola works great) and heat until rippling but not smoking, and add the sage leaves, frying until crisp.
Feeds 4-5






Sweet Potato Hash

This is a great dish for breakfast or dinner or both! A good paleo dish too. It could be vegetarian without the pancetta. I’ll looking forward to eating leftovers tonight!


3-4 tablespoons olive oil or butter for sauteeing
2 packages of diced pancetta (or bacon!)
2 small vidalia onion, diced small
2 small Macintosh apples, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into larger cubes
kosher salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4-6 large eggs (one per person)


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Put a small amount of olive oil in the skillet and add the pancetta. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Once done, put onto a plate lined with a paper towel.

2. Next, put the onion in the skillet, adding a little salt and pepper. Sauté the onion for several minutes until translucent. Stir often to keep it cooking evenly.

3. Add the apple and cinnamon to the onion and stir to combine. Cook this for a few minutes – apple should begin to brown. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.

4. Now add the sweet potatoes to the pan with a little more oil. Let then cook in a flat layer and begin to develop a crust. After a few minutes stir them to rearrange but maintaining a single flat layer. Add a little water occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir occasionally. Cool until tender to a fork, about 10-12 minutes.

5. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, add the apple and onion mixture and the pancetta back into the pan with the sweet potatoes and stir to combine.

6. While the hash is rewarming, prepare a small skillet on medium to medium-high heat with a little oil. Fry one egg at a time (should take less than a minute per egg)

7. Serve hash with egg on top

Serves 4-6


(We went the lazy man’s route for ingredients last night)








{paleo} acorn squash hash

This was one of my favorite breakfast experiments during the paleo challenge! It can really be any combination of stuff you have on hand.

The basics:
-about 6 cups of cooked acorn squash
-diced ham
-diced onions and peppers
-olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste

To make:
-cook the onions and peppers on the stove in a little olive oil until the onions are getting translucent and browned, add the diced ham (we used ham steak from Whole Foods) and cook until heated.
-them stir in the acorn squash and just sorta move it around in the pan every so often so that it gets browned in areas. There really is no science here! One weekend we made this and our burners were occupied with other things so we spread it out on a cookie sheet (one with sides – ya know, a jelly roll pan! Or use a 13×9 dish) and bake it till browned and maybe a little crispy on top.

We baked a dish of egg/egg whites and then breakfasts were set for the whole week and all I had to do was take a bit of each, pop them in the microwave, and I was set! Super tasty 🙂