I Drooled & Creating Masterpieces

I’ve spied some great food around the sphere the past week.  And then I drooled.

Here are a few of the gems I’ve been salivating over:

1. Marla’s Very Blueberry Layer Cake


2. Jess’ Balsamic Honey Tofu


3. Katie’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheeze


4. Emily’s Copycat Girl Scout Thin Mints


5. Jenna’s Oatmeal Cream Pies with Cinnamon Buttercream


6. Angela’s Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Buttercream Frosting & Raspberry Glaze


7. Bitt’s Creamy Basil Raw Lasgana


8. Jessica’s Peanut Butter Stuffed Hot Fudge Cupcakes

I could go on and on and on with what I’ve spied lately that makes me drool me really excited.

It makes my food seem far less exciting.

Do I need to justify this?  No, but I will:

I work full time, I have a family, I have a blog.  I am not always Mrs. Masterpiece.  And you know what, millions of other working mom’s aren’t either.  Or millions of college students who only have a microwave, a small space, and no expensive appliances in which to create their meals or recipes.  And that’s ok!  We all do the best we can!

So in honor of that sentiment, today’s “masterpieces” are a couple Microwave Recipes…

1. Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cake

2. Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars

3. And a No Bake recipe:  No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cake Bites

Notice a theme here: Simple, fast, not a lot of dishes, microwaveable, no-bake.  This is my speed lately.

I didn’t always used to be this way. 

Raw Vegan GF Girl Scout Samoas-Inspired Cookies were quite an undertaking.  As in a multi-day cooking affair.

But now, I try to create masterpiece-looking and masterpiece-tasting recipes that are fast and easy.

Like Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls with 2 Minute Peanut Sauce


From my last post about having a productive day, it was fun to read what you’ve done that made you feel productive.  And just how often you change the sheets on your bed.


1. What have you spied lately that’s made you drool? Do you think you’ll actually make it or just admire it and drool over it from afar?

I admire all kinds of recipes and cooking.  I can admire beautiful food, and a wonderful recipe for just that even if I have no intention of ever making it.  I don’t intent to take up painting but I still admire great art and am moved by it.  Same with great food.

2. Would you describe your cooking style as KISS (Keep it Simple, Sweetie) or more along the lines of Mrs. Culinary Masterpiece?

I can create masterpieces, and if I had time, I would love to just fritter around in the kitchen just for the sake of cooking, creating, and relaxing.

But life has changed.  And life is always changing, and for now, I love to drool over all recipes.  But what I will end up creating in my own kitchen is going to come down to the time investment.

But I don’t know any women with small children and full time jobs out of the home who have ample “kitchen fritter time”.  If you do, have them email me because I need to know their secrets!

If I can make sure a hot bowl of oatmeal is waiting for her when she wakes up, that’s just as important as anything else in life to me.  Oatmeal as a masterpiece.  Isn’t that what the blogosphere was built on, anyway?


  1. OK. This post has be drooling — big time. I can’t even choose which one is doing it the most. However, those microwave chocolate-peanut butter bars and definitely on my to-make list now. Sounds so easy!<3

  2. Wow these food pics are AMZING! I am going to click on each link and check out the blogs! Angelas blog I know ; ) saw those cupcakes today!

    That is the sweetest pic of Skylar , how precious! I love how you said, we all do the best we can, : ) I agree!!!

  3. I share your drooling–especially love the blueberries and the cupcake! Wow.

  4. oh my gosh- that last picture melts my heart :) So many pretty masterpieces. I usually don’t have the patience to make things look too pretty- I wish I did! I want to make this creamy black bean soup:


  5. Aw, Skylar is such a cutie! And you are a great mother. All your masterpieces are so yummy!

  6. That blueberry cake looks amazing!!! Of course, I gave up sugar for Lent! I’ll have to wait til Easter to make it…

    There are some days I spend hours in the kitchen making various foods, and other days where I just want to heat something up! I find as my work week goes on, the less inclined I am to cook something haha. I love your blog for the short, simple and nutritious recipes :)

  7. Averie, your simple and delicious recipes are WHY i come to your blog! Just because it’s simple does not mean it’s not creative. Maybe it takes the same amount of mind power to think of just a few things that will be delicious together without a lot of embellishment, as opposed to a huge fancy dish. I can see the beauty in both, and always in you! Hope you have a wonderful day! xoxo

  8. I’ve pined over the same things. Funny how all the desserts that make us drool are gluten-full :-)

    • They say people crave their allergens.

      And there is just not a way to make certain desserts QUITE as good without gluten. I mean, we can kid ourselves and say they are Just as good..but nah, probably not.

    • Just want to let you know that not only is my blueberry cake sugar free, it is gluten free as well. Made with GF corn & oat flours. Trust me on this – you will never miss the gluten. I can’t even tell the difference. It actually tastes better than wheat flours :)

  9. That blueberry cake looks amazing!!! Wow.

    Averie I am totally “KISS” when it comes to cooking. I either follow someone else’s recipe or I just throw foods together and call it a meal. A salad with a hard boiled egg and dressing plus a baked sweet potato? Sounds like a feast to me.

    Even when I have free time I don’t use it for Kitchen Fritter moments — I’d rather make a recipe that someone else has done and that works! Some people make time for that and enjoy it, but not me!

    That pic of Skylar sleeping is so precious!!!

  10. I can’t work and I can’t have kids so I’d gladly trade that in and abandon my projects in the kitchen that seem complicated but really aren’t that hard.

    Everyone makes different choices and has different abilities, no need to justify. Plus some of the people who you posted about, baking IS their full time job, it’s not a hobby. So they better be good at it, huh?

    • So true! I think a lot of us forget that some bloggers get paid to blog. and that is what they do!

    • Thank you ladies…YES…..some other bloggers don’t have FT jobs or kids!

      If I had 40 hours a week at home in my kitchen

      and then another 4-6 hrs each day MORE that I wasnt parenting..

      I would REALLY be a good cook :)

      Both of you have awesome recipes, which is why I featured you both :)

    • Plus I choose to blog less frequently so I can use the hour or so to make food rather than blog daily.

  11. Hi!! I just happened to bump into your blog 3 days back and since then have been religiously going through your many posts!! I am a vegan and would like to eat raw food occasionally! Awesome blog and lots of great information. I have already tried your raw vegan choc. chop cookie dough recipe .. it was YUM!! I also placed my order for a Spiralizer. I often go to the raw food bar at our local Whole Foods and enjoy the raw noodles and raw pad thai sauce. I can’t wait to make it myself now.

  12. My entire life right now is devoted to finding ways to eat healthy as simply and quickly as I can! So I can’t thank you enough for the microwavable (and non-bake!) recipes from the bottom of my college heart. I tried the banana cakes yesterday, and it was a beautiful experience!

  13. PRECIOUS picture!!
    omg cauliflower cream cheese?! that sounds so interesting…i am intrigued!

    and the blueberry cake looks awesome as well! great recipe picks!!!

  14. Wow. So much “food porn” all in one post! I am drooling along with you now! I feel like i need to step up my creativity in the kitchen. You and all these other bloggers are so amazing in the kitchen! I def have a KISS method. Anything too complicated and I want no parts of it. Unless it’s something I REALLY want to make and have the time.

    That Skylar pic is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! (that rhymes)

  15. So true that spending a lot of time on recipes can be hard with limited time and money, purchasing exotic ingredients has been holding me back from trying many recipes on my wish list so I don’t blow my grocery budget.

    1. Too many recipes to list! Vegan pizzas, sprouted lentil burgers, avocado ice cream and raw breads to name a few.
    2. In between depending on how much time I have. My work schedule and half-marathon training has been taking a lot of resources lately, so I’ve been more keep it simple. But soon I’ll have more time in the kitchen. :-)

    • AMEN to this :”purchasing exotic ingredients has been holding me back from trying many recipes on my wish list so I don’t blow my grocery budget”

      Sarma, Matthew, Ani…lovely but sometimes their budgets both money and time (well not as much Ani) are just not the same as my levels.

  16. You really made me drool…but I totally do not spend the time to make things that elaborate!
    KISS…all the way.

  17. You’re Ms. Masterpiece to me! The fast, easy, and delish recipes are their OWN sort of masterpiece.

    I’m with you, sister. For me lately, it’s all about ease of prep. Sometimes I do putter about in the kitchen and love it. But it’s not often. Like you said, life changes.

    And hey, my food photography ain’t winning any awards, but oh well. If and when I choose to put my energy in that direction, it’ll improve. And it already has, to some degree. I’m def not losing any sleep over it, though.

    Clearly Sklyar isn’t losing any sleep either. Adorable, peaceful pic! :-)

  18. Yep. Drooling now ;) And seriously honored to be on this list!
    I loooove being able to spend a lot of time tinkering in the kitchen, but have found I’m more apt to enjoy a quick or one-pot meal anyways. I’d be totally fine with having sweet potato wedges and tofu every night, and I definitely go through runs where I do just that. It is fun to switch up the flavor profiles though ;)
    Bria said it best – in my eyes, you already are Ms. Masterpiece! I’ve been loving on your desserts page especially ;)

  19. Your fresh spring rolls and your micro-bluberry oatcake take the cake in my opinion. Seriously, making your own spring rolls…. now THAT’S creative!! I second many of the comments above, I love your blog because the things you create ARE do-able by the average Joe such as myself. I don’t have an icing piper, or a zillion different baking sheets to try out fancy recipes on. As long as it taste good and is make of nutritious, non-processed ingredients, it is a stellar recipe in my book! And, I’m all for simplicity! Tonight I simply oven roasted some kale with EVOO + salt, had a raw shaved fennel & parmasan salad, along with left over black bean soup – whole ingredients I can pronounce!!

    Keep it up you wonder-woman!

    • Besty, thank you so much.

      I have serious self-doubts at times when I see what other bloggers make. But I remind myself that I am doing what I can and that the average joe doesnt have time/money/desire to create masterpieces so hopefully I can create pretty food that’s easy and tastes great :)

  20. best photo in this post is skylar sleeping – the innocence just brings tears to your eyes, doesn’t it. you just want to keep them safe like they are at that moment!
    i am def NOT mrs masterpiece in the kitchen. you hit the nail on the head with your comparison to admiring art – i can be “wow-ed” by recipes on others’ blogs but i really have no inclination to make them myself. five ingredients or less, 10 min prep?? yes!

  21. thanks for linking my cheeze!! But, it is not at all complicated like the others in that list. Which is just my style. I love looking at those pictures, yes, but to actually take the time? Huh uh. I don’t even like to make cut out cookies, because of the extra time to roll and cut.

    Some people can spend all day in the kitchen. I get an hour, maybe two if I am lucky.

  22. I think your photos and food look gorgeous im excited to try a few out im doing gluten free for the next month!

  23. Aww, Skylar’s such an angel.

    1. I’m drooling over everything here … but especially the spring rolls. And yes, I’m going to try them!

    2. Totally 100% KISS.

  24. I have been seriously craving tofu for like a week now and I’ve been looking for a recipe that strikes me and that honey balsamic is THE ONE (except I think I’ll sub maple syrup for the honey, since it’s what I have on hand). And no need to justify quick and easy — that’s all I do! I like looking at the more complex recipes and drooling over them, but the ones I actually make are 95% of the time the ones that are one bowl/pan/pot or minimal prep.
    btw — I finally tried making your spicy doritos cheesy dip stuff (because I *finally* learned what nutritional yeast is called in German) and the flavor turned out awesome, but I wasn’t able to get it to blend up to a nice dip consistency. I’m blaming this on my cheap food processor and using this to convince my man that we need to invest in a vita-mix when we get back to the U.S. I also used all sunflower seeds instead of a mixture, if that might have affected it? But regardless, we both thought it would be great on sandwiches as a spread or on salads, and we actually kind of like the crunch the sunflower seeds give it when they’re not ground up smoothly!

    • tofu, check out my tab with my tofu recipes

      you can use maple/agave rather than honey in any of them.

      dip. sunflower seeds are MUCH more coarse/hard/firm them hemp seeds so in addition to their harder texture AND your cheap food processor, it would be hard to get the dip as smooth as mine. The #1 issue is your food processor, though. Because with my raw cooking, I blend and grind hard seeds/nuts all the time and have no issue. So yes, you may need an upgrade one day….


  25. i’ve been dying to try a raw lasagna!! and your spring rolls! i looked for those wraps at WF yesterday but couldn’t find them

  26. I LOVE that pic of Skylar!! Thanks for linking my cupcakes! Wish we could share them. :)

  27. Thank you so much for the links! Some of these come from blogs I haven’t seen before, so doubly exciting. And I think you do amazingly well at coming up with fabulous new recipes :)

  28. Averie, thanks soooo much for linking to my blueberry cake. I had a blast creating the recipe, styling & photographing that cake. My job is beyond full time. I love it, even when it gets the better of my sanity ;) You know I had extra time that day to play with that one. No time for laundry – but we gotta pick our battles, right??

    I am so proud of you and I love watching your success as you grow as a mom, recipe developer and blogger. It is a fun journey to be on together. I am so happy you are my friend :) xxoo

    • I am so proud of YOU!!!

      What you have accomplished with your blog, your site, your vision, you were and always have been very steadfast, and focused, with your eye on the prize, so to speak as it comes to your blog and your goals and that is inspiring, and admirable.

      And the fact that you had childcare just to shoot your cake…well, that is just all kinda fabulous in my eyes. Anyone with a nice camera, a blog, and kids…knows what a GIFT childcare for a photo session would be.

      I am so happy you are my friend…and cherish you more now than ever…seriously, Marla :)


  29. Did I mention how much I love all those pics & how much I MUST make your microwave blueberry oat cake!

  30. OMG drooooooling!! These look so amazing!!

  31. Thanks for the shout out! All of those recipes sound so good! I’d love to try all of them.

    Your spring rolls look delicious! So beautiful!

  32. Yummm all your pictures look delicious. Good gathering of favorites.
    I would call myself a Miss Culinary Experimenter Wanna-Be Masterpiece. ;) If that makes any sense. But I definitely have Keep it Simple days too. However, I don’t have any kiddos just some kitties… which makes thinks A LOT easier.

  33. I’m totally fine with waiting until AFTER college to become a culinary master. Thanks for the microwave recipes! Spring rolls have been on my to-make list forever; hopefully they’ll happen soon.

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  36. Hi Averie!

    I like to KISS in the kitchen but do go out of my way for special occasions (working full time, I baked 3 dozen mini cupcakes on Tuesday evening and prepared meringue buttercream icing and iced the cupcakes on Wednesday for a Thursday morning work event. Do I do this regularly no? Do I have to plan for this? You bet!)

    I have a busy life, so don’t have too much time in the kitchen, but just enough to create healthy, whole-food, delicious meals (no complaints from my husband!).

    I enjoy your one-pot meals, 5-minute-prep meals, and simplicity of your cooking. With your busy life, every meal you make is delicious and healthy. Kudos!


  37. KISS is pretty much my motto for everything!!

    Angela’s cupcakes looked totally delicious to me too! Now I have to look at all of those other recipes. Yummm

  38. SUPER sweet pic of your baby, momma averie! she is such a doll <3

    I didn't read your blog for a day and look at all these goodies you've left me to drool over!!! I will definitely be giving some of these recipes a shot in the near future!

  39. That blueberry layered cake looks CRAZYGOOD! I’ll tell you though, that picture of your spring rolls and the peanut sauce makes me drool a bit every time! :)

  40. OMGOMGOMG those cupcakes look AMAZING!!!! ok… its bookmarking time!

  41. I have seen most of these recipes and drooled a bit myself, LOL. I didn’t see Katie’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheeze, though. Wow, that looks DELICIOUS. I was thinking about making cauliflower cheez (nooch) sauce just yesterday. Yum!

    Awwww, Skylar teepies is so adorable. And yeah, oatmeal… blogs… indeed. :)

  42. I have been drooling over ALL kinds of foods from blogs … I bookmark a lot of recipes and then organize them into categories, and then print them and set aside ones to make each month …

    I like simple recipes, but I also love a challenge!

  43. When I first started my blog I was able to do a lot more baking and create more of my own recipes even though I had 2 kids, a house, husband and full time job. Then Noah started palying hockey on a travel team last year and I just couldn’t fit it all in anymore. Heck, lucky if I can post once a week these days!!

  44. I simply want to tell you that I’m new to blogging and site-building and seriously loved your page. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog . You surely come with perfect stories. Bless you for revealing your web page.

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