Wednesday, December 30, 2015

French Vanilla Cupcakes with (Eggless) Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Frosting

MAN, I haven't been so proud of a cupcake concoction in a long time! I feel like I found a way to bring cupcakes to a whole new level of indulgence and comfort by pairing a well-loved, classic vanilla cupcake with arguably the most-loved cookie flavor ever: Chocolate Chip! I am tooting my own horn as loudly as possible from over here!
Even if I'm not the first to do it, I am absolutely thrilled with the way these turned out. Only downside: I didn't get to try one :( HA! But that's okay. I could tell that they were delicious by the way they looked and smelled!

Chocolate Fudge Hidden Kiss Cupcakes

I don't know about you, but I (usually) love hidden surprises in desserts! I really love hidden surprises in cupcakes-- a truffle center, a buried peanut butter cup, a secret cookie in the bottom--it makes me smile when there's more to a cupcake than meets the eye. It adds to the allure!
These cupcakes are just that, with a milk chocolate Hershey's Kiss right in the center. I made these for my sister to gift to her boss and his wife, as they had a death in the family and she wanted to cheer them up. I figured that while cupcakes are cheerful enough, finding a chocolate center could only enhance the experience!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Red Velvet Truffle Cupcakes with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

GUYS. These cupcakes are gorgeous. GORGEOUS! I don't usually toot my own horn...but man, I fell in love with these cupcakes the moment the idea came to me--and they did NOT disappoint in the looks department! (It definitely helps that they match my fabulous Christmas tree, Carmen! Yes. I named my tree. Judge all you want!!)
My sweet friend Annette came into the US this week and had a very specific request that I meet her at the airport with cupcakes and Gatorade. She flew about 16 hours total, from Ghana to here, with her 17-month-old daughter. She definitely deserved a little cupcake love. She didn't have any particular flavors in mind; she just asked that I surprise her.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sparkling Apple Pie

Happy December, everybody! And Happy Thanksgiving! That's the holiday I missed with you guys (and the occasion for which I made this pie!) Man. Once November hits, the rest of the year always seems to fly by at breakneck speed. Goodness! Christmas parties and decorations and White Elephant gift exchanges and suddenly, it's the new year.
I had so much to be thankful for this year, as with every year--but tonight, I am particularly grateful for opportunities to learn more about myself and others. Self-knowledge is a great thing! It's not always easy to come by, but I am ever the richer and wiser for each new lesson learned.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jumbo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay. Is there anyone here doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie?? (If you raised your hand, don't tell me. My heart is saddened. The only allowable exception is for people who have chocolate allergies or dislike chocolate, for whatever astounding reason). Moving on: I LOVE chocolate chip cookies! They're classic and delicious and customizable. Kids love them. Adults love them. It's a picky eater favorite.
Some people like their chocolate chip cookies with walnuts in them for extra crunch. Others prefer to use chocolate chunks or mixed (milk, semi-sweet, white) chips for variety. Still others throw some candy in there to keep things interesting! A select few gravitate toward a thin, crispy cookie; and others like them puffy and cakey.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

I've been trying to venture out and try new food things in the kitchen; particularly as it relates to fall produce. Squash is in season, so it's EXTRA cheap. If there's anything I love more than good food, it's a good deal!! Can I get an Amen??

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

FALL FOOD IS MY FAVORITE! Let's just get that proclamation out of the way. I love the way it looks, smells,'s beautiful, inviting and all things wonderful! As the weather grows colder, it's so nice to know that a few staple ingredients, combined correctly, lead to a comforting, hearty, delicious dish like today's!
I had a bunch of sweet potatoes that I hadn't really decided how to use yet, so I decided to get creative. I wanted to do something other than bake them! I made a spicy black bean soup around this time last year, and wondered how the two might taste together, so I started experimenting, and I'm so pleased with the results!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Halloween, folks! And just like that, November will be here day after tomorrow and we will be THAT MUCH CLOSER to 2016. I feel like I comment every year (well, who am I kidding? More like every MONTH!) on how much faster time seems as I age, but I suppose I wouldn't comment if it weren't truer each year I live! Thankfully, cupcakes help to soften the blow.
I baked these for our annual charity fundraiser bake sale at work, and they completely sold out! I didn't even try one! #SelfControl #Willpower #NowIHaveToMakeThemAgain-- and on that note, SORRY for the weird photos. I made these at night and was photographing at like 10:30 pm, so I had to get creative with lighting since I don't have any fancy lighting equipment! Hopefully, you get the point here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

It's finally starting to feel like October!! I couldn't be happier. My windows have been open all day long, and it's been a beautiful day! I was making pancakes for breakfast (an appropriate celebration to welcome the cooler weather), and was planning to eat them with syrup, like always, when my eye fell on two beautiful, crisp apples sitting on my counter! Of course, I couldn't leave them out of the celebration, so I promptly picked them up to put them to good use.
To me, there are few flavors that represent the onset of autumn more quintessentially than apples, particularly when paired with spicy cinnamon! Apples and cinnamon smell absolutely delicious together, and they taste so homey and welcoming; evoking warm, cozy memories of sweet days gone by.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

So if you'll remember, earlier in the year, I had the great good fortune to stumble upon a cookbook about Mac and Cheese. I stalked the book for a while, hoping that the price would drop, because I WANTED the book. I didn't need it--but man, I really wanted it.
One day, I was in the store checking out and it had dropped to less than $5.00! "My moment has come!!" I excitedly thought as I yanked it off the shelf and threw it in with the rest of my stuff. I carried the book home and read it cover to cover...and then it sat there for the next eight months. *Sigh* My life.

Naked Vanilla Layer Cake

Hi, guys.'s mid-October and I'm posting for the first time since August. I am terribly sorry. I've been battling a combination of work and life busyness in tandem with the "I don't wannas!" But I've also been getting some exciting things together, and I look forward to sharing them with you.
In the meantime, all of my siblings celebrated birthdays last month, and mine is next Wednesday! Life just keeps on rolling while things are rolling. You know what I mean? Things change or stay the same, but life keeps moving.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Honey-Garlic Shrimp over Jasmine Rice with Sauteed Asparagus

You know, sometimes, important conversations require beautiful food. I invited my dad over for a chat today and wanted to make sure that the meal was beautiful and memorable, because I've never invited JUST him over. It was so fun! We had a great conversation and enjoyed this delicious, easy, healthy, and tasty meal.
I don't cook with shrimp that often, and I think the only reason I don't use them more is because they can be expensive. It's worth the occasional splurge, though, because they cook quickly, taste delicious, and are so healthy and versatile.

Monday, August 10, 2015

One-Pan Turkey Enchilada Pasta

And here we are, in August. How?! I last posted a month ago, and suddenly, we're in the middle of August! I'm obligated to say this: It's blazing outside...ugh. If every Texan you know isn't commenting about the weather in some capacity, they're doing it wrong!
So the last time I wrote, I had a zillion updates and reasons for neglecting you guys--and my blog. Today, there's really just one--I went to Belize a few weeks ago for a mission trip with a wonderful team from my church! We were there for eight days and spent time serving at an orphanage called Laugh Out Loud Children's Home. What a transformative, humbling experience we shared!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Elote: Mexican Street Corn

GUYS. Oh. My. Goodness. We are in JULY!! What the heck happened to JUNE? And where have I been for the past MONTH? And why have I neglected my BLOG?
There are good answers to all these questions, I promise. Here's the biggie: I totaled my car on May 31st...I hit a deer on my way home from church. The (pregnant) deer died...along with my beloved car...and thus began the circus of insurance claims, insurance settlements, Carfax searches, used car queries, test drives, pre-purchase inspections, and rental cars...the WORKS! THAT'S what happened to June. That's where I've been for the past month. And that's why my poor blog has sat, untouched, since May 21. I'm very sorry...but thanks for understanding!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Turkey Stuffed Avocado Tacos

Hi, friends! It's nearly the end of May! This year is seriously flying away. Wow. North Texas has gotten some pretty crazy weather lately, too! Tornadoes and flooding and earthquakes, oh my!
But that doesn't stop spring flavors from entering my kitchen. These stuffed avocado tacos made my day! I saw the recipe and fell in love immediately. The original uses ground beef, but I figured I could make a leaner recipe using healthy turkey!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cheesy Chorizo and Black Bean Taquitos

Hello, friends! I'm on a roll this week with posts--I think it's a combination of being in the cooking mood more often than usual, and having more daylight within which to take food photos (the irony here being that the sun disappeared as the taquitos came out of the oven...*sigh*) Anyway--I'm playing with a new (to my kitchen) ingredient today: Chorizo!
Chorizo is a spicy Mexican pork sausage that goes well with...well, nearly everything! It's great in breakfast tacos, and absolutely MADE to pair with sweet potatoes in a sweet and savory hash. I've been singing its praises from afar--until today.  Today, I got up close and personal- and I'm so glad I did!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Roasted Strawberry, Avocado, and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Hi, friends. I can't believe it's May already!! You know, if I hadn't already used my corny "May the fourth be with you" joke LAST year on May the fourth, today would totally be the day to break it out ;)
Today's post will be short and sweet. I was on Foodgawker today--it's one of my very favorite food blogger sites, and the inspiration for many of the recipes you see here on Foodie & Fabulous! Everything on there looks delicious, but there are some days when it seems that EVERY recipe speaks to me!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shredded Pork Sliders with Fresh Mango Slaw

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a recent kitchen victory! Let me tell you the background story. In the past, I've attempted to make pork carnitas in my slow cooker, with ZERO success. Ugh. When I've tried, I always follow the directions EXACTLY, and it would smell so wonderful after eight hours in the crock pot. I'd rush into the kitchen and grab my forks, ready to shred some tender, juicy pork, was never what the recipe promised. Though always tasty, it would be chewy and sometimes tough...always disappointing.
 I have no idea what went wrong each time--whether I didn't get the right cut of meat, whether I didn't trim enough fat or didn't add enough liquid for the meat to soak any case, my pork attempts always left me with dashed hopes and feeling like a kitchen failure, ha! I took it really personally, but I learned something new each time.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa

Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Lend me your bellies...ha. Hi, guys. It's been a while since I've been here, and I'm very sorry about that! It's not that I haven't been cooking; but like usual, it's about finding the time to get recipes to you guys!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tostadas with Avocado Lime Crema

Hello, friends! Oh my gosh, it is GORGEOUS outside today! My windows are open and letting the sun in...the wind is blowing and it's warm, but not too warm. It's the perfect day for a picnic or a bike ride or something lovely, spent with pleasant people. (Yet, here I am, behind my computer, blogging. Eh...such is life).
I'm late posting this recipe--I made it a few weeks ago and haven't had time to write it out or edit the photos. I reached a point today of deciding that it doesn't have to be *perfect* in order for me to share, so I'm going to share it anyway!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Okay, quick poll: Who loves lasagna?? *Raises hand* Great. Now that we've gotten THAT out of the way, we can move on to today's recipe! Lasagna is one of the ultimate comfort foods, don't you agree? Ooey, gooey, cheesy, and indulgent. Mmm.
This recipe offers a delicious, meatless twist on lasagna that's so tasty and FILLED with good (and good for you!) ingredients like spinach, mushrooms, tons of cheese, and an absolutely wonderful homemade creamy mushroom sauce!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Crunchy Tilapia Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw and Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Hi, friends! I hope you're well and enjoying the not-icy weather these days. So here's the deal: I love tacos. I especially love fish tacos. Mmm. A good fish taco just makes the foodie in me so happy!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes with Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

So...Texas is sunny one moment; then raging with snow and thundersleet the next! Personally, I don't mind all that much, because what it means for ME is: quality time in the kitchen. Work was supposed to open at noon today, but they gave us the whole day off due to poor driving conditions! So I've spent the day in my sweats, eating delicious leftovers from earlier meals this week, and baking and photographing today's recipe for these Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes! : )

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Asian Salmon with Strawberry-Pineapple Salsa

As promised, I'm back again with the second recipe of the day! I couldn't be happier :) I really love salmon, guys. I find it flavorful, tasty, and it contains all those wonderful, heart-loving omega-3s!
I also love pairing salmon with fruit; particularly a bright, cheery salsa like the one I made today! It has fresh strawberries, fresh pineapple, a little bell pepper, and some cilantro. YUM. While we're on the topic of pineapple, it occurs to me that I rarely purchase fresh pineapple, and there's not really a good reason for it. I LOVE pineapple! I hereby resolve to make it a more permanent part of my kitchen staples :)

Smashed Avocado Toast with Sauteed Bell Pepper, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Fried Eggs

Guys! These ice days have been absolutely brilliant because they've allowed me to get back into the kitchen, cook, and photograph food in actual daylight!! Goodness. I didn't realize how much I've missed being in the kitchen, buzzing around chopping and prepping and tasting! Expect at least one more post (maybe even later today) before the weekend is over. I'm so excited that I've been able to blog!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Roasted Tomato, Tortellini, and Spinach Soup

Let me just go ahead and break the ice: IT'S SNOWING! (<--See what I did there? *Snicker*) Oh, good grief. This has been a crazy week for weather here in north Texas. Rain turned to ice on Sunday evening, effectively shutting down the city for all of Monday and most of Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday were cold, but not freezing--and then today, Friday, I went to work and the university sent us home at 10:30 this morning due to snow and rapidly worsening driving conditions!
I've had plenty of quality time to myself this week, which is always delightful--and I've also had some great kitchen time! I made the Turkey Chili Taco Soup again, which is a wonderful, hearty soup for cold weather--and today, I'm trying my hand at something new!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Quinoa Veggie "Fried Rice"

Hi, friends! Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are well, happy, and loved, wherever you are. It's great to take some time to appreciate those who love you--and if you don't have a Valentine this year, it's also a perfect time to enjoy the friends, family, and the other amazing things in your life that have nothing to do with romantic love, like your HEALTH! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Mushrooms (and Avocado Toast!)

It's cold here in Dallas these days, and has been for some time. It's so cold, in fact, that my car has trouble starting more days than not; at least lately. Hopefully that doesn't mean it's time for a new one (ain't nobody got time for that!) Anyway, this baked egg breakfast seemed like the perfect way to warm up on a cozy Saturday morning. I'm sure you'll agree!

Winter Lemon White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Welcome, 2015!
 These are all things I should have said weeks ago--but you know how it goes. I made these cupcakes for Christmas at my parents' house, and they went over well. I like the idea of lemon during the winter because it's a bright, fresh change of pace against some of the heavier, nuttier, cinnamon or chocolate-laden holiday dessert offerings.