A sweet and refreshing fall drink, this pear bourbon smash has mint, pear, and just a hint of maple syrup!
It’ falltime and the livin’ is easy! Ok so it really still feels like summer (hi, still 90 here) and I am a little fearful that we are skipping right over fall here in the Midwest and headed straight for the wintertime blues. Yes, summer is GREAT and (more…)
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! The site switchover to the new name finally happened and I couldn’t be happier! It’s been a long road, with a lot of deciding what should stay/go/ and everything else in between. I’m so thankful to the guys over at Envy Creative for making this a smooth and easy process. When I first went to them with not only a site design project, but also a huge redirect process with the whole domain change, Nick was totally on board and quick to jump in and ease my fears about links being broken or redirects not happening. (BTW, if you find any links that aren’t going anywhere or are broken, please let me know!). He also took the jumble of blogs that I showed him for inspiration and turned it into a beautiful new site. I’m so excited for the new design, so let’s take a look around! (more…)
This year has brought so many surprises, opportunities, and quite frankly, has gone by in the blink of an eye. It seems like summer was just here (it never got that warm!) and we are still waiting on winter to arrive (cold, but no snow) officially. While I am not one for resolutions or changing habits as of January 1st (um, that goes out the window 2 weeks later, right?), I know I do want to continue to grow and expand this little corner of the internet. I’m not sure what next year will bring just yet, but I do know that I want to continue to work harder and better at bringing you the best vegan/plant based dessert recipes I can. I’ve had flops and successes, things that worked perfectly and things I had to make 3 times over, but really, in the end, I just plan loving sharing the ones that do work out with you here in this space. If I hadn’t started blogging, I’m not sure what I would be doing with me free time, but I know now that I’m into this blogging game, I wouldn’t want it any other way. So, without further adieu, here are some of the favorite recipes of the past year!
Homemade Twinkies with Coconut Whipped Cream Filling– These were actually a last minute decision on my part. I made them on a Sunday, just thinking I would experiment with how they turned out. Lo and behold, they ended up being perfect and they were the most popular recipe of the year! Props to my fiance for gifting me the pan to make these last Christmas.
Chocolate Espresso Pots de Creme– These have been longstanding on my ‘to make’ list. One of the things I aim to do here is re-create fancy-ish desserts in a vegan way. I know it’s easy to make a batch of vegan brownies, but I’m a lady who likes nice desserts too! Luckily, these don’t take a whole lot of extra time and effort to go from simple to fancy.
Chocolate Espresso Torte– I can’t really take credit for this genius and delicious recipe, because it came from Angela’s cookbook, which was released this year. My friends still talk about how amazing this torte was and were baffled that the creamy filling came from cashews, rather than heavy cream.
Toasted Coconut and Banana Smoothie– If I had to pick a ‘Most Popular On Pinterest’ recipe, this one would be it. Again, this was a recipe that I just threw together, thinking nothing of it, but it became one of my most popular recipes throughout the year. Even now in the winter, I make this smoothie every few weeks as an afternoon snack.
Vegan Baking Basics: Baking with Dates– I hope to add to and continue this series into next year! This was the first in my Vegan Baking Basics series and there will be more to come. Even though not everyone who visits my blog is vegan, navigating vegan baking for either yourself or a friend can be a challenge. I hope to provide resources about general rules of thumb while baking vegan and make life just a bit easier for you!
That’s it! Those are the top five recipes from this year and I hope to bring you even more recipes next year. If there are recipes or series you would like to see here, let me know! I love to hear what you would like to see more of in the coming months. Happy New Year! xoxo
Whenever I go into someone’s house to visit or for dinner, my favorite thing to be nosy about is their cookbook collection. Just like food, oftentimes cookbooks connect us with others through another level, bringing together an exclamation of ‘I made that recipe too!’ or ‘I’ve never cooked from that book yet, have you?’. I feel like sharing recipes and favorite entries in cookbooks is a way of saying ‘Hey I like you, I like this recipe, let’s be friends!’, it’s a way of sharing our favorite dishes with someone else, spreading the joy a dish has brought into our own lives. Especially now, as a blogger, I tend to not make recipes multiple times, searching for another recipe to test or trying to exhaust my list of ‘to make’ recipes from other blogs. These cookbooks are the ones I find myself cooking from time and time again, making multiple recipes multiple times until they become staples in my kitchen. If you notice, most of them are on the savory/dinner side, which, I have to admit, is because I’m better at developing recipes for baked goods, rather than meal staples!
1.) Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden
– Todd and Diane are two of the most inspiring food stylists and photographers out there. I would love to spend a day with them to see how they work and how lovely they photograph food. This book is not only gorgeous, but the recipes are foolproof and simple as well. Even if a recipe looks like it may be too simple to be delicious, I always come back to this book for more. A recent favorite has been the Crispy Rosemary Roasted Potato Pizza and the Roasted Strawberry Scones. Although not all recipes are vegan, some are or can be modified to become vegan. This is at the top of my ‘must have’ list!
2.) Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan– Every recipe I’ve made from Fran up to this point has been flawless, satisfying every craving chocolate craving I’ve had and ensuring that I can make some of the more decadent desserts I’ve been missing. Up to a point, I hadn’t come across a ton of vegan dessert recipes I was really satisfied with, but Fran’s recipes changed all of that. From Espresso Truffles to a vegan Buche De Noel, Fran knows how to make high end desserts into a vegan treat. I also love that Fran takes the time at the beginning of the book to explain in more detail the reasoning behind vegan baking substitutes and the science of how most of the recipes work. If I could recommend one book for vegan chocolate recipes, this would be it!
3.) Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson– I only just recently purchased this cookbook (as in a week ago), but I am already in love with the simple, yet lovely recipes and Heidi’s ability to make you feel like you are sitting down to a healthy and delicious meal with her. From breakfast to dinner and snacks, Heidi covers it all in this book, without feeling like any of the recipes are intimidating or too hard. I’ve found with Heidi’s recipes, I sometimes wonder ‘Will this really go together?’ and it inevitably does, in the most delicious of ways. So far I’ve made a Dijon Popcorn recipe and the Paprika Roasted Chickpeas, but I have earmarked several others to be made in the near future.
4.) Baked Doughnuts for Everyone by Ashley McLaughlin- As if you didn’t know already, I love a good doughnut. Ashley’s cookbook came out last year and I have to tell you, my copy of her book has already entered the ‘well loved’ stage. There are smears of melted chocolate and sprinklings of flour in the cracks of the book, which only indicates that I’ve made a few doughnuts since I’ve gotten her book, and they have been DANG good. I don’t follow a gluten free diet, but Ashley makes baking doughnuts for everyone in your life just about as simple as can be. I remember sending a text to my friend when I received this book, attaching a picture of the Baklava Doughnuts and exclaiming ‘Do you see this?!! Baklava. Doughnuts.’. From sweet to savory, vegan to gluten free (and even a doughnut cake!), this book covers any and everything you need to know about doughnuts for all occasions.
5.) The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Lidden – If you’ve been around the vegan blogging world for a while, you’ve probably heard of Angela’s blog, Oh She Glows. This is all with good reason, because Angela’s recipes always seem to fulfill two big requirements of recipes for me; the ingredients are probably ones you already have on hand (or are readily accessible) and always turn out perfectly, each and every time. Angela is a master at putting together recipes that seem to transform a few normal ingredients into a perfectly delectable meal that will satisfy both meat and non-meat eaters alike. I have cooked my way through this book, for the most part, and can’t say I have a favorite, because I’ve loved each and every recipe.
6.) Essentials of Baking by Williams Sonoma As referenced a few blog posts ago, I received this book as a gift from my parents several years ago, when I first started delving into the world of baking and pastry. This book inspired me to look past cookies and pies and experiment with the ever fickle souffle or the world of bread making. Again, this book satisfies a key requirement in books for me, reliable recipes that tend to be foolproof each and every time. This book isn’t vegan, but has inspired many of my vegan baking recipes or can be changed with a few modifications. From a simple Whole Wheat Bread to Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, this baking book covers it all!
This is the story of a girl (me) who always thinks there is more time in the morning than there really is. Do you have all these grand plans when you get up in the morning, hoping to cook a delicious breakfast/baking biscuits while also casually doing some housework so you won’t have to do it after work? Yeah, me too. I always seem to think that even thought I do get up fairly early in the morning, I can fit in gym, cooked breakfast at my leisure, getting ready and doing a load of laundry. It seems that this quality in myself is where my creeping lateness comes from. Mostly, when I’m late to somewhere/something, it’s because I thought that folding the laundry would ‘only take 5 minutes, when really we know it takes at least 15 minutes, or something of the sort. I’ve been working on this time mis-management lately, planning out my days and weeks more accordingly, rather than rushing around or, on the other hand, feeling like I’ve done everything for the day already. One of the best things that helps me with this time management issue is creating a note on my phone every Sunday that is labeled ‘Brain Dump’. This note usually involves everything that I feel like I need to do/want to do for the week. Every thought or to-do that is buzzing around in my brain, feeling like it needs to get done OMG RIGHT NOW, when usually it doesn’t. Doing this dump makes me feel like I can get these thoughts off of my brain and I can plan my time during the week accordingly.
What does this have to do with biscuits? Well, last week in my ‘brain dump’ note for the week I had ‘Make apple pie biscuits for potluck’. I’m fortunate enough to have a lovely group of bloggers in the area who meet for dinner every month or so and this go-around we were planning a potluck. I knew I needed to make the biscuits early enough for me to be able to shoot for a blog post, but not too early, so they would still stay fresh. My solution to this time management problem? Making the biscuits at 6am on a day I was already running late, of course! I know, it’s really not the best of ideas, but at the time, on that morning, my head was telling me (more…)
I usually measure the popularity of a cookbook in my collection by how dirty it gets. How many pages are sticking together with melted chocolate? How many times can I open the pages and flour comes trickling out onto my clean floor (real life!)? If the book is pretty crinkled and has lots of ingredients leftover in the crevices, it’s deemed a favorite and a success. One of my favorite cookbooks is the Williams Sonoma Baking cookbook. I got this thick cookbook a few years ago (back in college maybe), when I just started (more…)