Aug
05

YumUniverse

Content. That’s how I feel when I get to sit down and read a book – no laptop, no tv, no radio, no nothing except for me and a good book. I do get a lot of “Crista-time” but I typically spend it in the kitchen, working on my blog, gardening, or going to yoga. Rarely do I take the time to sit down with my laptop closed and just read a book. Years ago, I had time in my life to read, I even had an entire book collection (I was saving up to some day have my own library full of books)….. I think it was before I owned a MacBook.

(But look, I’m not complaining.)

I just finished a book (affiliate link! check it out at your own risk, the book contains some talk of animal slaughter and shit like that) that I started over a year ago, it’s a shame it took so long because the book is HILARIOUS.

I’m on airplanes quite often and have every intention of reading in-flight, but I tend to fall asleep before take off and wake up just before landing. Yeah, I’m that girl… sitting beside you in aisle 12, window seat, with her mouth hanging wide open. Did you take a photo of me drooling from one side of my mouth? Tag me on Facebook, would ya? Anyway, point is – my book-reading-time is frequently postponed for “other” activities (zzzzzzzz).

YumUniverse

Camping. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the summertime (especially here in Colorado) because it requires almost zero activity once the AM hike is completed and the PM meal has been prepped. I get to sit my ass down, drink a beer, and enjoy the peaceful mountain air. The best thing about it, everyone around me is doing the exact same thing.

((Speaking of camp, check out some plant-based meal ideas and enter to win some TruRoots product HERE))

YumUniverse

Now, on to what I’m currently reading: a bunch of old Martha Stewart magazines, some gardening blogs, and YumUniverse!  

If I told you I’ve met Heather Crosby in person, would you think I’m so cool? Would I gain some cool points? Street Cred? There are a few of you out there who know who Heather Crosby is and if you have read her book/blog, you’d know how kick ass she is and you’d probably love to meet her. All the others, listen up – I’m about to introduce you to Heather (she’s the one on the book cover).

YumUniverse

I have idolized Heather ever since I learned about her YumUniverse.com launch. She threw this sweet party at a big warehouse in Pilsen (Chicago) and had photographers, food, drinks, cool people – it was incredible. I fell in love with her blog shortly after I attended her launch and am now a proud owner of her book.

YumUniverse

First off, Heather created her book ALL BY HERSELF (a detail I learned on the One Part Podcast) which makes her way more awesome of a person than I could have ever imagined. 

Second, the YumUniverse book contains not only awesome recipes (Sliceable Cashew Cheese, Rainbow Ribbon Veggie Alfredo, Quinoa “Cinnamon Toast” Cereal with Toasted Pecans) but it gives you the “why” behind eating plant-based foods and teaches you how to do it. After reading, you’ll have this book  bookmarked or dog-eared and will refer to it often while working in your kitchen. In the book, Heather talks about fats, and fibers, and proteins, and meal prep, and shopping. She shares what type of tools you should have in your kitchen and even tells you how to get rid of pesky fruit flies.

Out of my entire collection of books, the YumUniverse is my absolute favorite right now – it’s like my food bible. After I’ve finished reading it through, I think I’ll read it again. Then again one more time. It’s THAT book that I take with me every where I go right now…. 

If you’re interested in reading as well, you can purchase the YumUniverse book HERE.

Love

Crista


Jul
17

Crista's Garden

My garden. My outdoor sanctuary. I’ve blogged about it a time or two

Crista's Garden

This gardening season has been slow and daunting thus far. Too much rain,not enough rain. Too hot, not hot enough. Unfamiliar spaces, unfamiliar plants, trial & error, all things that I’ve dealt with this year.

Crista's Garden

FINALLY, just recently, I’m making progress & I’ve got some beautiful photos to prove it. A bragging moment: my yard is the most eye-catching on the block and I’m totally flaunting it.

Crista's Garden

My new friend Pam, The Brooklyn Farm Girl interviewed me and featured my beautiful sanctuary on her blog today, I’m excited to share it with you all. Click through to read the full interview and to see more photos of my garden space!!

BFG

Love

Crista


Jun
23

When we were in Hawaii, everyone was all “DO NOT LEAVE THIS ISLAND WITHOUT EATING AN ACAI BOWL, OR ELSE!!” And we were all, “damn…. ok…. or else, what??” At that time, I’d heard of the acai bowl, probably via pinterest, they were just making their debut on the main land, but I didn’t know much about them. Our fear of being struck down by the Hawaiian Acai Gods led us to order a bowl while at the Green World Coffee Farm. Although it was a chilly, rainy morning, the type of morning that keeps you craving warmth and fuzziness, the Acai Bowl served us well – not only as a special treat, but as a filling and nourishing breakfast. I’m not going to lie, I’m glad we got to experience the Acai Bowl in Hawaii before it became mainstream on the mainland. I feel all “authentic” even though I’m pretty sure the acai berry isn’t at all authentic in Hawaii.

Acai-Bowl

After camping all weekend, we craved showers, air conditioning, all of the modern luxuries that we’d temporarily abandoned. To our dismay, we came home to a hot, 90 degree home. You see, I have a swamp cooler in my new house that I know nothing about, it was pushing our re-circulated, 90 degree air. We laid around for hours trying to stay cool. Craving cool relief, we decided to make Acai bowls for dinner. I briefly read the directions (“briefly” being the key word), I didn’t pull up any recipes (I was too hot to look at my laptop haha), and it was my first time (need excuses) – the point is, I forgot to add fruit while blending which gave us liquid-y acai bowls. We were too hot to care or do anything about it, but I did learn a valuable lesson. Since then, I’ve read several recipes (some that I’ve had bookmarked for quite a while) and in my mind I’ve perfected my acai-bowl-making skills. I’m in a hotel for the week, but I’ll test my skills when I’m back on the homefront.

For fun, and to add to the reader experience of this blog post, I’ve included some of my favorite blog posts/recipes from some cool blogger chicks that helped me up my acai bowl game, and could do the same for you!  

Acai Bowl

Kathy from Healthy Happy Life shared a post in 2013 (she was totally ahead of the game!) that basically tells you everything you need to know about making an Acai Bow, including some awesome tips like adding frozen fruit to the bottom of your acai bowl. She’s tested several different brands of acai and shares her favorites. This is the post I’d recommend any first-time Acai Bowl maker visit. The post: “How-to Make Acai Bowls for Summer

Acai-Bowl

Sophia from Veggies Don’t Bite created an Acai Bowl based on a World Cup Competition she was entering at the time (you never know what you’ll find on the internet). I love the addition of peaches and pecans to the bowl – two ingredients I wouldn’t have originally thought to add. The Post: “The World Cup Blueberry Peach Pecan Acai Smoothie Bowl

Acai-Bowl

I have fallen in love with Ella from We Need To Live More, I could scroll through her blog and IG for hours. Ella created a post using photos only, demonstrating how to make an Acai Bowl. It’s lovely. The post: “The Famous Acai Bowl

Acai-Bowl

Hummusapien is a blog that I’ve recently stumbled upon (thankfully!). The blog author, Alexis’s bio states “with a little avocado and a lot of dark chocolate, we can make healthy happen!” so it’s no surprise that she uses both of those ingredients in her Acai Bowl recipe. I use avocados in smoothies ALL THE TIME, so why not use it in an Acai Bowl as well?! Genius. The post: “Banana Cacao Avocado Acai Bowl

Acai-Bowl

I admire Amber from Fettle Vegan because she eats so much damn good food and has a bearded boyfriend. Every single day, I see photos of food she eats on IG and FB, she makes me jealous – I’d love to hang out with her for a day. Naturally, I was drawn to her page when checking out Acai Bowls and OF COURSE she has an awesome Acai Bowl recipe on her blog – she eats everything that is awesome. Amber talks a lot about a restaurant called Nekter, it’s a place that I put on my list to visit – I JUST FOUND OUT THEY HAVE LOCATIONS IN DENVER!!! Anyway, her PB&J-tasting recipe is a copycat from Nekter, and I’m not mad about it at all. The post: “Peanut Butter + Berry Acai Bowl

 

Love

Crista


Dec
04

Refinery29

 

I’m pretty excited that peace. love. quinoa was featured in a blog post on Refinery29 today! The post is a part of Tinseltown, Refinery29’s holiday series.

Last year, I made Citrus Sea Salt for gifting (I kept a jar for myself too) and when I was presented the opportunity to share a DIY gift on Refinery29, I immediately knew that I wanted to share the Citrus Sea Salt. This Citrus Sea Salt is a gift that I enjoy giving because I know that it will keep giving all year round, as it can be used in a variety of different recipes. 

Head on over to Refinery29 to check out the post where you’ll find some great ideas for DIY gifts.
For the original post and recipe for the Citrus Sea Salt, click HERE.

Love

Crista


Oct
03
I am sooo excited to do my first recipe swap with another blogger. I approached Linda, The Urban Mrs. (who is no longer blogging, BOO!!!) about swapping because she has been extremely supportive of my blog via social media. The Urban Mrs blog featured tons of awesome recipes, many plant-based and veg-friendly. Some of my favorites were: Spicy Tempeh Chips, Quinoa Garden Salad, Mix Berry Jam with Merlot, and Banana Brownies with Choco Sea Salt. Is your mouth watering yet? I’d do anything to get my hands on some of her recipes again.
 
Brussels Sprouts Gratin

The Urban Mrs: Oh, hello! First of all, thanks to Crista for hosting me here! We both met through blogging and social media. Fun, right? I hope we can meet in-person one of these days. I always drool every time I visit her blog and read her fresh and delicious recipes, so when Crista thought of doing exchange recipes, I replied yes right away.
 
I love brussels sprouts and can’t stop eating them weekly. The recipe I’m about to share is a perfect recipe for Thanksgiving or any gatherings, but also works for any weekdays supper.
 
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
 
4.0 from 1 reviews
Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Author: 
 
Ingredients
For the topping:
  • 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbs minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the gratin:
  • 1 tbs butter OR Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 2 lb (1 kg) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ½ oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ¾ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. To make the topping, in a bowl, stir together all the ingredients and set aside.
  3. To make the gratin, grease a 12-inch ovenproof nonstick fry pan with butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. To make caramelized onion, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook the onions until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes, then add 1 tsp sugar. Cook for another 10 minutes, until they're browned and soft.
  5. In a bowl, stir together the flour, Gruyere, Parminigano-Reggiano, lemon, zest, and 2 tsp salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the cream, then the brussels sprouts and caramelized onions.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the prepared fry pan and smooth the top.
  8. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly on top.
  9. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  10. Let the gratin rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
This recipe can be made with some vegan substitutes like plain soy milk and/or vegan heavy cream instead of dairy heavy cream and Earth Balance vegan butter in place of dairy butter. That cheese however, I personally wouldn't substitute it - it looks too good.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

 This recipe has become the #1 pinned recipe on my site, which means that people are LOVING it. I’ve gotten several e-mails of praise from people who have made this dish for their Holiday feasts and I plan to make this dish for my Thanksgiving feast this year.

THANK YOU Linda for hooking us up with your kitchen genius.

Love

Crista