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Chocolate Chip Cherry #Muffins by @UpsideDownPear

This was not planned. I had something else entirely in mind for you today, but this happened instead. And I’m glad it did. It has been far far far too long since I’ve made a muffin, and these have satisfied this craving and more. The chocolate chips are nice and melty and the dried cherries give that hint of sweet/tartness that just makes these muffins crazy addicting. You need to make them to believe me. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

Chocolate Chip Cherry #Muffins by @UpsideDownPear

So have you made them yet? What? No??!! Alright, I’ll give you some time to round everything up. These muffins are soft and fluffy. The brown sugar gives it a bit of moistness and richness, the white whole wheat flour makes you feel like you’re being healthy, and the chocolate chips (which is what this really is all about) gives you that decadent feeling. You could totally make these with either all dried cherries or all chocolate chips, but I really do like the combination. I mean, it’s almost like having a chocolate covered cherry inside a muffin.

Chocolate Chip Cherry #Muffins by @UpsideDownPear

I’ve been eating these for breakfast, but I hope you don’t judge too much that I originally made them for dessert. There’s just something about having dessert for breakfast that feels so bad and so good at the same time.

Chocolate Chip Cherry #Muffins by @UpsideDownPear

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Has the time been flying by or what! I didn’t even realize that the 1st year anniversary for Upside Down Pear happened. Time has really gotten away from me. As a treat to myself/break from the kitchen, I wanted to share both my three favorite dishes from over the past year and the top three dishes you guys enjoyed. Some of these are from the very beginning of the year, so don’t be dissuaded by the bad pictures!

My top 3:

Whipped Cream by @UpsideDownPear

Whipped Cream is one that I still dream about, it’s just that good. This recipe is crazy light and fluffy and everything you’d want out of a whipped cream. Plus you can put it on just about everything!

Huevos Rancheros by @UpsideDownPear

Huevos Rancheros has been probably the one breakfast/dinner that I’ve made the most often. It’s really that addicting. There’s something about the eggs and the beans topped with salsa and sour cream to curb any Mexican craving.

Shepherd's Pie by @UpsideDownPear

Shepherd’s Pie might not be the quickest, but it’s definitely got that comfort food goodness going on. You’ve got amazing mashed potatoes loaded on top of veggies, meat, and gravy. It’s drool worthy.

Your top 3 favorites:

Three Nut Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

Three Nut Energy Bites are also one of my favorite snacks. They come together quickly and easily, plus it feels like you’re cheating but everything is super good for you. I’ve definitely used these for both breakfast and an afternoon snack.

Upside Down Pear Cake by @UpsideDownPear

Upside Down Pear Cake is the very first recipe on this site and it's a favorite for a reason. It’s a buttermilk cake topped with sweet caramelized pear slices. If you haven't tried it yet, you should! It’ll easily become a family favorite in your house as well.

Pineapple Mimosa by @UpsideDownPear

Pineapple Mimosas are a great twist on the classic and fun way to celebrate. We rang in the new year with these, but there’s no reason to stop there!

Going through this list has really brought back some memories for me, and it’s amazing how much we’ve been able to accomplish over the course of one year. Thank you so much for your support, and I hope that you’ve found some new classics as well. I look forward to bringing you many more tasty treats over the next year!

Thank you!!

Sunshine Smoothie by @UpsideDownPear

Have you ever made a smoothie with an orange for the base? And I mean the actual orange, not just the juice. If you have, then you know how amazing they are. I was skeptical when I first hear about this figuring the smoothie would be too thick and pulpy. I know that there’s juice in an orange, but to actually use the whole thing…eh…there were definite doubts.

Sunshine Smoothie by @UpsideDownPear

However, after making a few of these, I now see the light and will be buying way more oranges to stock up on some vitamin C. Not only do the smoothies have a bright and tropical feel to them, but you could also add some greens to this and not change the flavor at all. This way you get both your fruits and veggies in at the same time! After all this time cooking, I still find it difficult to find time for veggies. It’s usually here’s the main dish and that’s it. What sides??

Sunshine Smoothie by @UpsideDownPear

Now I don’t feel so bad. I think I might begin to whip some of this up the night before and have it for breakfast the next day. What a great quick meal idea! Let me know what you like to add to smoothies and if you’ve ever thrown in a whole orange (minus the peel).

Sunshine Smoothie by @UpsideDownPear

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Traditional Hummus by @UpsideDownPear

This past weekend I ran my first mile! Well my first mile of the summer that is. I think I ran a whole one last summer, but to be honest I don’t really remember.   When I talk about running, it’s usually for 5 minutes at a time. However, my mom has signed me up for a 5k in June, so now I really need to get my training butt in gear! I’ve never done a 5k before, so any advice that you have is greatly welcomed!!

Traditional Hummus by @UpsideDownPear

What did I want to snack on when I got home? Water (since I went out when it was 75 degrees and super hot…why didn’t I wait??) and then this hummus. This is a great snack, and perfect for after a session. I know there’s debate back and forth whether or not hummus is really a “diet friend or foe” but it’s got great ingredients so I’m not that worried about it. A little olive oil, a little lemon juice, and a lot of chickpeas make for an awesome dish!

Traditional Hummus by @UpsideDownPear

I even got Bren addicted to this one, and he’s not usually a big fan (which he keeps reminding me of). We also cut the pita chips into strips instead of wedges, but we baked them the same way as we did here. Now that I’ve fueled up on pita chips and hummus, I just need to get out there again and run another mile!

Traditional Hummus by @UpsideDownPear

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Spinach Salad by @UpsideDownPear

I had a spinach salad at a restaurant the other day, and I mention this for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t normally buy a salad before my meal, and two, it was so delicious that I had to recreate it. The waitress totally convinced me to try it when she mentioned that there were dried cherries and goat cheese on it. I mean, I’m a sucker for goat cheese.

Spinach Salad by @UpsideDownPear

I’m not usually a fan of raw baby spinach, though I have been eating it more often lately and this salad is definitely a great way to get your greens. It’s also a perfectly light and fresh flavor for these warming months. This salad has walnuts for crunch, dried cherries for a bit of sweetness, and goat cheese for that hint of tang. The goat cheese is similar to feta, but creamier. It’s usually in the specialty cheese section, near the feta sometimes.

Spinach Salad by @UpsideDownPear

At the restaurant, they used a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but I decided to use a raspberry vinaigrette at home. Either works well with the flavors, and you could even use a cream based dressing if you desire. I just felt that the cream based ones were a bit heavy for this, and wanted to keep it lighter. This salad takes almost no time to put together and is super satisfying. I’ll definitely be having this for quite a few lunches.

Spinach Salad by @UpsideDownPear

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MeHi! My name’s Alexis and I finally took the leap into blogging after reading so many fun posts by other food bloggers.  I’ve always had a passion for eating, but have never really felt comfortable in the kitchen.  There are so many drool-worthy recipes out there, that I wanted to document my musings in the kitchen both following others’ recipes and becoming brave enough to create my own.  Please take a look around! I really want to hear from you! If you make something, like something, don’t like something, please comment or use the contact form!  Reading your comments really makes my day!  If you’re looking for an easier way to get my recipes, you can sign up for my email and get them directly to your inbox.  I hope to hear from soon.

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