I'm not a morning person. Not in the least. 7am and I go together like oil and water, fire and ice, toothpaste and ice cream, the Wicked Witch of the West and a bucket of water...
...you get the idea.
Some people need a bit of motivation to wake before the sun. Most turn to a hot cup of coffee to put some pep in their step. Others slip into their runners and hop on the treadmill or onto the pavement to get their blood and brains moving. I haven't really warmed to coffee that isn't bathed in sugar and doused with vanilla or chocolate and it's best I don't consume all that on a daily basis. As for running, I'm not altogether sure where my running shoes are and, if given the opportunity, I'd trip you in a zombie apocalypse because I quite literally can't run to save my life.
So, given that I've started getting up earlier than I'm used to the last few weeks, I need an alternate source of motivation. When you're half asleep, you're sporting a pillow-creased face and your slippers are on the wrong feet, I find that smoothies are a quick and easy thing to make. They don't take much thought, which is good because I'm pretty sure my grey matter is solar-powered.
So there you have it: Sunrise Smoothie. It's packed with creamy banana, tart strawberries, sweet pineapple and bright orange, all good vitamins and cheerful fruit to jump start your thinking thingy.
October is a month that's all about welcoming Fall. Baking pies and roasting turkeys for Thanksgiving. Raking leaves into neat piles, jumping in them and raking them all over again. Stringing up cobwebs, carving jack-o-lanterns and donning your creepiest costume for Halloween.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and and that's a fact we shouldn't easily forget. In support of this wonderful cause Tic Tac Canada has donated $25,000 to The Breast Cancer Society of Canada and released a yummy new Tic Tac flavour called Strawberry Fusion.
Guess what my new favourite flavour of Tic Tac is? You guessed it! They're tart, sweet and bursting with two levels of strawberry goodness.
I was so happy with my sample of Tic Tacs that I was inspired to make something strawberry and pink in support of this most auspicious month. I sandwiched light and airy strawberry mousse between layers of vanilla bean cake and fresh strawberries then topped it all off with vanilla bean whipped cream. It's tasty, it's luscious, it's pretty, it's pink!
So I suppose there's one more colour to add to the vibrant list of Fall colours and it certainly is a sweet one.
Meet Berrie. He's spunky, inquisitive, adventurous, incredibly smart, a little grumpy, a bit spoiled and definitely adorable.
He enjoys mirrors, seed balls, messy baths, nomming on computer keys, hanging out on noggins and chirping at cats. He's a cute little lovebird we recently had the pleasure of bird-sitting.
Berrie was named after the colourful fruit that his feathers resemble. His soft face looks like it was dunked in a bowl of white raspberries or pineberries. His tail feathers are splashed with blueberry and his wingtips with blackberry.
I just want to eat him up!
But that would be weird and wrong...
...So I made these Berry Baby Bundts instead inspired by his yummy name.
I think breakfast gets the short end of the stick. Everyone is under the impression that dinner is the romantic meal. Juicy steak, buttery lobster, saucy spaghetti. Then, naturally, dinner is followed by dessert. Dripping with chocolate, sticky sugar, warm and spicy, sweet berries.
What if you could have dessert for breakfast? Forget breakfast for dinner, dessert for breakfast is where it's at. It's cake for breakfast. Do you need further convincing? A stack of fluffy pancakes and melted chocolate chips all drizzled with thick and sugary strawberry syrup.
If you really want to impress your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, make them breakfast. There's nothing better than waking up to the smell of unsolicited bacon. Or being served breakfast in bed complete with a bird of paradise folded napkin. Or a steaming latte topped with the perfect rosetta poured with barista skill. Or sitting down to a plate of perfectly formed heart-shaped pancakes. It's easy to make pancakes from a mix and slather some off-brand table syrup on them but, to show you really mean it, make them both from scratch this year.
It's the little things.
Today is a very special day! Today Hot Polka Dot turns two and yours truly turns twenty-six. To mark the occasion I have precisely twenty-six grey hairs sprouting from my right temple. I also had two pieces of this impressive specimen of pink sweetness.
I thought long and hard about what sort of cake to make to celebrate Hot Polka Dot's second birthday. I wanted it to be a symbol. I wanted it to be the embodiment of everything Hot Polka Dot stands for.
It's cute and pink, but also classy and understated. It's fashionable, sporting a trendy ombre outfit and bunting accessories. It's speckled with vanilla bean, sweetened with strawberry and enrobed in luscious white chocolate. She's a little messy, a little out there, but she's able to pull it together for the big day, not unlike myself.
I feel like this day is made extra special by you. You might be new to my blog, but many of you have stuck by me from the beginning and I'm very thankful for that. You've seen how my little corner of the internet and I have grown up and matured into something I'm not ashamed to say I'm very proud of. I've experienced so much and learned so much more. It really is a joy to share it with all of you. Thank you for your patience, your kindness and your friendship.
Here's to another year of pink, pretty and, most importantly, playing with your food!