Jan
10

Apple Pie Quinoa

 When I was in Denver, during the snow storm, I wrote a post listing off a few items I would stock in the house if there were ever a chance I might get snowed in – quinoa & fresh fruit were on that list. Well I had those items on hand in the apartment during the snow storm, and I was so happy to finally find the exact perfect morning to finally make this warm & fragrant Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – I’ve been eyeing this recipe for months.

Apple Pie Quinoa

Apple Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked in water
  • 1 large apple, diced (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, warm the almond milk over medium heat.
  2. When the milk is almost at a boil, stir in the cooked quinoa, apple, and cinnamon.
  3. Stir occasionally until the almond milk is absorbed and the mixture has a consistency similar to oatmeal. (about 10-15 minutes dependent on desired thickness)
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the agave nectar.
  5. Top with additional cinnamon to taste.
  6. Serve warm.

Apple Pie Quinoa

Love

Crista


Jan
09

Vintage Decor Apartment

I have mentioned my infatuation and success with airbnb.com in the past (HERE & HERE) and so it continues. While in Denver this past week, I stayed at a cute little vintage apartment in the City Park / Cheesman Park neighborhood. (I’m still learning the neighborhoods) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: in my opinion, renting an apartment is sooo much better than staying in a hotel (in most situations) while traveling.

Vintage Decor Apartment

Vintage Decor Apartment

At the mention of renting someones apartment for a few days, people ask funny questions. Does someone live there? YES, typically. Are they there while you are there? NO, I always choose to rent an entire apartment that I will have to myself. Isn’t the owner nervous you are going to take their stuff? I DON’T KNOW…. probably not. Haha! I know it’s a foreign concept to shack up in someones place for a night or two, but it works. You just have to try it to believe it.

Vintage Decor Apartment

Vintage Decor Apartment

Vintage Decor Apartment

Vintage Decor Apartment

It was nice to be in an apartment with a kitchen during the big snow storm so I didn’t have to go out for food. I loved having a cozy place to stay in on those cold days, it almost felt like home….

Vintage Decor Apartment

Love

Crista


Jan
07

It’s been a long time coming but now it’s official,

movingtoD

Feb. 1st, Superbowl weekend. Just a few short weeks from now…. 

2014 will be a year of change and new beginnings for this girl – it already has been.
I’m happy. I’m sad. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m excited.
I think I’m ready.

WHY am I moving to Denver, you might ask. I am moving just…. because. Through all of the changes happening in my life (I haven’t mentioned much here on the blog), I am in need of a more simple, relaxed lifestyle and I am at a point in my life where I need to move on.  I’ve considered living in Colorado for many years, and after spending several weeks here, I know it is where I belong. I LOVE Chicago, but I think I am ready to say good-bye.

West Washington Park Denver, CO

 I am moving to the Washington Park neighborhood and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It was a lot of work to find my new apartment, but I think I found a place that I really like.
(the photo above was taken in my new neighborhood – so cute! even when covered in snow)

I’ve been here in Denver for over a week now, I’m flying home today. I’ll be busy the next few weeks packing up and preparing for this move. Wish me luck.

“Not all those who wander are lost”
{J.R.R. Tolkien}

Love

Crista


Jan
06

MARIJUANA.
It’s a hot topic these days. Especially in Denver.
(although my mom tells me it’s on the news all over the country – I don’t watch TV so I wouldn’t know)
I don’t smoke marijuana, I don’t smoke anything. I don’t enjoy it. Even if I did enjoy smoking, I’m still not sure that I’d do it.
Even though marijuana does not play a part in my life, it is somewhat exhilarating to be in Denver during this epic moment in history.
Jan. 1, 2014 marks the day that it is LEGAL to purchase marijuana. That is crazy. 
I’m all for it. Legalize Marijuana, Ban Cigarettes. 
Cigs kill, Maryjane doesn’t.
It’s peaceful, in a way.
Everyone in Colorado smokes. I mean, EVERYONE. Everyone in Colorado is super laid back, peaceful, and HEALTHY.

Just a few days ago, I paid a visit to one of the many dispensaries here in Denver. I didn’t make a purchase, I went simply for the experience. Finding a medical dispensary in Denver is very easy, there is one on every street corner (practically) but finding a store that dispenses marijuana for recreational use is a little tricky. I was directed to an iPhone app called Weedmaps that lists every dispensary in your surrounding area. But you see, most of the stores only dispense if you have a “red card”. If you are purchasing for recreational use, you would not have a red card. I called 3-4 different places before I found a place that supplies maryjane for recreational use. When I showed up to the facility, I was asked for my ID and told to wait about 30 minutes (there were several people ahead of me). During your wait, there are things to look at and shop:  garb, t-shirts, bongs, candies, etc.

After only 15 minutes, my name was called by a little guy, similar to how a nurse would call your name in the waiting room when it is your turn to see the doctor. This place started out as a MEDICAL dispensary so I guess they want to keep that medical vibe going on. I was led to a counter where a cute little girl offered me my options. There were 3 different types of marijuana that I could smell (FREE SMELLS!) and choose from. She was ready to bag up whichever one I chose, I think they bag it up in a little brown bag or something similar. And that’s it. You pay and walk out. The little girl wasn’t mad that I wasn’t purchasing anything, I’m for sure I wasn’t the first person to walk in and not make a purchase. She encouraged me to come back when they start selling baked goods and wished me a Happy New Year. Maybe I will go re-visit to check out the pot brownies, or cookies, or chocolate, or whatever it is they’ll have. Again, all for the experience. Because I can. Ha!

Out of curiosity, I googled recipes using this flavorful herb and I actually found 7-10 vegan-ish recipes! If you’re curious, but only if you live in Denver where it’s legal, check out these vegan marijuana-laced recipes: 

Ganja Guacamole
Marijuana Chai Tea
Marijuana Bruschetta
Bloody Mary Jane
Headband Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Drops 

Marijuana Infused Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Cannabis Infused Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Decent recipes, right? 
…who knew….

So what do you think, friends?
Any feedback? I’d love to hear what you’ve got to say on this topic!
peace.

Love

Crista


Jan
05

Happy new Years my friends! 
Is it too late to say that? Have you already moved on?

I spent my NYE in Breckenridge with strangers. It was gorgeous being up there, but a little strange to party with people I didn’t know. Fun, nonetheless. I made fresh baked {vegan} chocolate chip cookies for everyone with cookie dough I had purchased earlier that day. Everyone else was drinking (beer) non-stop, I only had two glasses of my Vanilla Vodka Chai Teas. mmmmm

breckenridge

Because Marijuana went legal on the 1st in Denver, I paid a visit to a recreational marijuana dispensary. Don’t judge me, if you were in Denver this week. you’d have gone there too – just for the experience. I don’t smoke, I didn’t even buy anything. But now I can say I’ve been there, and done that.

Cheesman Park

I went out this morning for yoga but I think I’ll stay in from the cold the majority of the day. Like many of you out there (especially in the Midwest) we are getting pounded with snow here in Denver. 

Snow Day

It’s so funny to experience peoples reaction to the snow. The weather all of a sudden become top news, REPORTING: 6 INCHES OF SNOW!! Funny, one of my friends from Vail was laughing because they get just about that much snow on a DAILY basis. 

When I went out this morning, I saw two people skiing through Cheesman Park, fully embracing the weather. I loved it. I wish I could snowboard, I bet today would be the PERFECT powdery day to be on the mountain… 

Snow Days

Everyone is talking about the snowy weather on Facebook, almost as if they’ve never seen snow before. One of my friends shared this video where a comedian is poking fun at the fact that people run out and grab their milk and bread in case they get snowed in. I never understood that. Why bread & milk? Sandwiches & cereal? That doesn’t sound warm at all.

If I were snowed in, I’d want to be sure I had these items in stock: quinoa, a variety of fruit & vegetables, cereal, almond milk, beans, popcorn, and a box of cornbread mix.

I made an apple pie quinoa dish for breakfast this morning (recipe coming soon) and I’m ready for more comfort food. In this chilly weather, I’m craving something warm. 

garlicky kale + white bean stew

Here are a few foods I like to make on a chilly, snowy, day-in-the-house like today: Breakfast Quinoa with Fruit & Almonds, Apple Carrot Quinoa Chili, Garlicky Kale + White Bean Stew, Roasted Acorn & Butternut Squash SoupSweet Jalapeño Cornbread, and Indian Tea.

Stay warm, friends! 
xox

Love

Crista


Dec
27

Milwaukee Public Market

A few weeks ago, I was in Milwaukee for an overnight work trip. Based on a recommendation, I paid a visit to the Milwaukee Public Market. I was pleased to find a juice bar, The Green Kitchen upon entering. They serve awesome & unique juice concoctions like the “Red Rooster” which contains apple, beet, lime, and strawberry and the “Maui Wowie” which is a combination of orange, pineapple, coconut, and banana. I ordered the “Chai Pear” and liked it so much, I made it at home the next day. 

Apple Pie Juice

The “Chai Pear” juice consists of juiced apple, pear, and ginger served in a glass lined with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. 

Inspired by the Chai Pear, I made up an “Apple Pie” juice as well. I juiced apples and ginger then added the juice to a glass lined with honey and cinnamon. I used Honeycrisp Apples, my favorite.

Chai Pear Juice

I can’t offer you a recipe for these juices because I don’t have one. I kind of made the juice cocktails up as I went along, and you could do that as well if you were interested in making these – which you should because they are suuuuper easy and tasty.

Love

Crista


Dec
23
 For some holiday laughs, listen to this guy, David Sedaris.
I listen to this at least once every holiday season, if not twice or three times. 
As I sit here and listen this evening, I couldn’t help but to share.
There are many lessons to be learned from this comedic story, if you are in the right state of mind for them.
If you happen to listen (DO IT), let me know what you think.
 
 
On another note, I’d like to share a holiday lesson I learned from a  loud-mouth, bossy, UPS store worker one year while I was in the store to ship off some holiday packages just days before Christmas. As this woman was screaming and yelling at the customers who were yelling and screaming at her, she said something profound that has stuck with me since that day. She said something to the extent of: “just because something is a priority of yours, does not make it a priority of others.” You see, a man had walked in to the store just behind me, hoping to beat the “rush of people” just like me. He was flabbergasted and pissed off upon sight of the long line of people ahead of him. He started yelling at the UPS lady who was directing him to get in line with everyone else. He may have yelled something like “I don’t have time for this!” or “This is bullshit!” to the lady…. and the lady simply reminded him that it was not her problem that he showed up last minute to mail off his packages. Her priorities were not aligned with his that day. Huffing and puffing, the guy got in like just like everyone else.  
 
I learned a huge lesson that day from that rough, loud-mouth UPS lady. She had a good point. I have my priorities and you have yours. I can not expect you to honor my priorities before you honor your own. I think about this often, especially if I’ve asked someone for a favor…..
 
I hope that this post will help you to re-arrange some of your thoughts and priorities this holiday season. 
xox

Love

Crista


Dec
22

Indian Tea

Just recently, I blogged about my visit to the Vegetarian Fast Food restaurant, where a little Indian guy and his wife serve up some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. I mentioned the Indian Tea that I was served while waiting on my food to be prepared. The little Indian guy could tell I really, really liked the tea so he hooked me up with (almost) everything I need to make it at home.  

Making this Indian Tea is easy and only requires a few ingredients. The hard part might be finding the ingredients… maybe not though. Assam Tea is the type of tea the little guy recommended I use. I bought a box of 100 loose-leaf bags from him for $2.50. He gave me a little cup of the spice he uses in the tea, from what I understand it includes a mixture of ground ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorn. When I got home, I found a container full of ground spices labeled “Masala Tea” and I realized that it’s the same mix of spices that the guy had given me! (score!) I must have purchased the ground spice mix at an Indian Store at one time, but never really knew what to do with it. 

There is no fixed recipe for the preparation of this tea, and I can imagine there are several different ways of going about it. On Wikipedia, I found this common Maharashtran practice for preparation:

First combine one half cup of water with one half cup of milk in a pot over heat. Sugar may be added at this point or after. Ginger is then grated into the mixture followed by adding a “tea masala”. The mixture is brought to a boil and 1 teaspoon of loose black tea (Assam) is added. The chai is immediately taken off the heat, covered, and allowed to sit for approximately 10 minutes to allow the black tea to infuse into the chai. The chai is then strained and served.

I have made this tea several times now, it doesn’t quite taste like it did when the Indian guy made it, but it is still so good, I’m obsessed.

Indian Tea

Love

Crista


Dec
20

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

Holiday gatherings and potlucks are so much fun, aren’t they? I always love to see what dishes people will show up with. When I contribute to a potluck, I like to bring a dish that will command some attention, be a topic of conversation – a dish that will be uniquely different from the rest. Doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the classics though, I just let the others bring those. You too can be the hit of your Holiday Potluck with one of these {vegan} mouthwatering recipes.

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

Colorful Kale Salad with Jalapeños {peace.love.quinoa}
Warm Lemony Olive Potato Salad {Keepin’ It Kind}
Fennel, Apple, Quinoa, and Avocado Salad {Cookin And Shootin}
Chickpea & Tomato Salad {peace.love.quinoa}
Shaved Brussels Sprouts w/ Crispy quinoa & Candied Pecans {Kiran Tarun}

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

Apple Parsnip Mash {peace.love.quinoa}
Cauliflower Rice {Delighted Momma}
Roasted Garlic & Dill White Bean Dip {how sweet it is}
Beet, Fennel, & Lime Pate {bold VEGAN}
Roasted Carrots & Beets with Thyme {Culinary Colleen}

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

 Caramelized Onion & Apple Chutney {peace.love.quinoa}
Creamed Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms {Leslie Durso}
Cabbage Chips {V.K. Rees Photography}
Green Beans with Lemon-Almond Pesto {Oh My Veggies}
Butternut Squash & Mushroom Tart {the Tomato Tart}

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

Homemade Candy Cane Joe Joe’s {peace.love.quinoa}
Almond coconut Date Globes {Nutrition Stripped}
Cranberry Ginger Pull Apart Bread {Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes}
Oven Roasted Apple Cinnamon Chips {Pinch & Swirl} 
Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {peace.love.quinoa}

Holiday Recipes {vegan}

Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea {peace.love.quinoa}
Peppermint Drinking Chocolate {Minimalist Baker}
Pomegranate Apple Satsuma Spiced Cooler {Vegan Richa}
Apple Cider Sangria {Eat Drink Shop Love}
Mulled Wine {Peaceful Dumpling}

Love

Crista