Back to school (for the husband). Back to routine. And back to eating healthy. My, has summer done a number on us. Our consistent workout patterns have been, let’s just say, more organic. Our healthy eating patterns have been in hibernation. And our routine in general has been on vacation. Read more

I went on a baking spree this weekend. Baked straight through. And then Monday happened. I forgot to rest. At least the weekend tasted good. It started with pop tarts. Then vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. Topped off with strawberry shortcake. (Don’t worry, we had people over to help consume all these treats.) Blame it on the lack of sleep, I couldn’t decide what to post the latter half of the week—cookies or shortcake. So I used a lifeline and polled the Facebook audience. Cookies and shortcake were neck and neck. But when I started writing this post, strawberry shortcake was winning by 1 vote. I checked an hour later and it was losing. Shoot! Not gonna lie, I may have asked my husband and sister to cast their vote. And I may have told them that I already started the shortcake post. Chicago is rubbing off on me in a bad way. The good news–vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookies are coming early next week. Pinky promise. Read more

Do you ever have those light bulb moments—the ones that seem too idiotic to share out loud. Yeah, I had one of those this weekend. While making pop tarts. Remember the a-ha moment when you realized that U-Haul just wasn’t a company name? It literally means “you haul it”. And remember the a-ha moment when you realized that Pop Tarts are really just tarts. Tarts?! Yeah, that happened this weekend. And I don’t even care where the word “pop” came from. Popular? That’s not even cool. Read more

I’m on an ice cream kick. Have you noticed? Third post of the summer. Sorry if it’s getting redundant, but dwelling in Chicago requires living up summer as much as possible. In a few short months winter will be here—for six loooonnngg months. Therefore, I must make and eat as much ice cream as possible. Forgive me hips. Read more

It’s back-to-school time again. And it’s kinda a big year for us. No, no little ones on the way. It’s Kevin’s (aka graduate school husband) last year of graduate school. Next year, we leave for internship. Time flies. Three short years ago, we married, moved to Chicago, and Kevin started graduate school in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist. Hopes are beginning to turn into realities. And I’m gonna have to rewrite the first paragraph of my bio. One year closer to dropping the sugar momma title! Read more

One man’s dessert is another man’s breakfast. At least that’s what happened with my leftover mascarpone filling from these tarts. Can I tell you—nothing goes to waste at this casa. Nothing. You would think we lived through the Great Depression. Oh, wait. But on a happier note, this leftover treasure made for one, no two, very delicious breakfasts. I’m talking, so good, you don’t need to leave your house breakfasts. True story—we went out to breakfast one morning, stood in line to be seated, and decided to head back home and make this—Mascarpone French Toast. Read more

I’ve written and rewritten this sentence 13 times. How do I compete with this?

Aren’t they cute? And tiny. And little. I have an affinity towards small things. Simon Birch is my favorite movie. And the only movie I can quote every line. “Ah, it’s a horse!” Simon says in a squeaky voice after coming into contact with a large dog. I feel that way sometimes too, Simon. Five. Zero. That’s all the length I’ve got. We short people have to stick together. And that’s why I like mini tarts. They’re just my size. Read more

I’m not sure if I should title this Cupcakes 101, Baking 101, or Melissa’s Baking Philosophy. I did a presentation on this a couple weeks ago and called it Cupcakes 101. So we’ll stick with that. Just know—this isn’t your ordinary cupcake talk. I apologize.

I mentioned doing a presentation. On food. First time ever. Yes, I was nervous. Nail biting nervous. I’m used to presenting logos, brochures, and ideas, but food…I love food. It’s got an extra soft spot in my heart and in my stomach. But I’m no expert. I’m self taught. I guess you could say Martha taught me everything I know via daytime television. That gives me some credibility. But it ends there. Most days, it’s just me, my kitchen, trial, and error. Read more