May
04

A few months back, I got in contact with Go Max Go Foods after randomly receiving one of their candy bars as a gift from a patron at a restaurant I was dining at. This girl at the restaurant had ordered an entire box of Twilight candy bars and was handing them out at the restaurant. She must have felt really nice that day.

When I contacted Go Max Go Foods to tell them how awesome their candy bars are (and to recommend a few potential retailers to them), they offered to send me one of each candy bar to share with my blog readers! …more generosity…

All of the candy bars are 100% vegan, made without the use of GMO’s, and 6 out of 7 are gluten-free! Plus, these candy bars don’t lack flavor – they are just as good if not better than any candy bar out there. See if you can guess which “regular” candy bars each of these mocks.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

SNAP!™ Candy Bar

— crisped rice in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Buccaneer™ Candy Bar

— a chocolatey nougat in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Cleo’s™ Peanut Butter Cups

— creamy peanut butter in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Twilight™ Candy Bar

— caramel and chocolatey nougat in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

gomaxcandybar-4

Mahalo™ Candy Bar

— coconut & almonds in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Thumbs Up™ Candy Bar

— a crunchy, peanut buttery center in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

Go Max Go Foods Candy Bar

Jokerz™ Candy Bar

— peanuts, caramel, and nougat in a rice-milk chocolatey coating.

vegan blizzard

 I found a recipe for a milkshake / blizzard on Go Max Go’s blog and I’ve recreated the recipe twice using two different candy bars (Jokerz & Buccaneer). This is definitely the best way to enjoy these candy bars in my opinion. 

a vegan Ice Cream Blizzard
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups non-dairy ice cream
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 Go Max Go candy bar of choice, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the ice cream and milk in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the chopped candy bar and pulse until is evenly distributed throughout the blizzard and the pieces are chopped to your liking.

vegan blizzard

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There are 3 ways you can win these candy bars: 

1. Follow peace. love. quinoa on Facebook and post your favorite recipe from the PLQ FOOD archives. Be sure to tag and hashtag @peace. love. quinoa #peacelovequinoa in your post. 

2. Share this vegan Ice Cream Blizzard recipe on Facebook, tell your friends which Go Max Go Foods candy bar you would use in the blizzard. Be sure to tag and hashtag @peace. love. quinoa #peacelovequinoa in your post. 

3. Share a recipe or a post from the peace. love. quinoa Facebook page and ask your friends to follow peace. love. quinoa.

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 To be sure I see your post, I recommend you leave a link in the comments of this post.

The winner of this giveaway will be chosen and notified on May 18.

If you are interested in purchasing these candy bars, Go Max Go’s website lists out all of the locations where their candy bars are sold. Luckily, there is a vegan market (NOOCH) within walking distance of my home that sells these candy bars, so I’ve got easy access. 

Love

Crista


Mar
18

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Deer Creek Canyon

Early last week, I took a hike through the Deer Creek Canyons which is just about 25 miles southwest of my apartment. I LOVE living in Colorado, especially with all of the access I have to the amazing outdoors. 

The weather has been amazing here in Denver, today is was in the 70’s…..
I will never regret moving here. 

Love

Crista


Mar
16

Crista's First Beer

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 goes down in history – it is the day that I ordered and drank my very first beer. OK, I didn’t drink the WHOLE thing but I made an attempt at it. Look, it was big and I am small – I can’t fit ALL that liquid in to my body.

When I was in Denver over NYE, I remember meeting a girl who was completely disgusted by the fact that I (a non-beer drinker) was moving to Denver. Apparently beer drinking is a big deal here in Colorado and you don’t dare live here without drinking it. I made a commitment to this girl that I would give it a shot. 

After sipping off of other peoples beers several times, I finally ordered one on my own – it was a 90 Schilling (whatever that means)… I’m still not convinced I like beer, but maybe I just haven’t “acquired” the taste yet…. I’m still open to giving it a whirl. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of people giving me recommendations on which beers to try – “the ones that even non-beer drinkers like” …

CHEERS.

Love

Crista


Mar
01

brrr.
it’s freezing cold outside AGAIN. and it’s snowing.
i’ve spent the day in front of the fireplace, curled up under the blankets.

i’ve been obsessed with cornbread for the last few weeks. sounds funny i know but it’s so filling & comforting. i’ve literally made 3-4 boxes of it and eaten it all. i can’t stop.

i know i’ve mentioned before that Trader Joe’s makes my all-time favorite cornbread. i’ve tried several different mixes and i’ve even tried making it homemade but Trader Joe’s still wins. Trader Joe’s JUST opened their first stores in Denver on Feb. 14 and i’ve already been there several times, purchasing cornbread mix every time……

maybe this post is a celebration of Trader Joe’s opening up in Colorado, maybe this post is a celebration of yummy cornbread & comfort food. maybe… it’s a little bit of both.

sweet jalapeño cornbread

my favorite way to make this cornbread:
Sweet Jalapeño Cornbread

red quinoa sweet potato chili

i recently made this chili that i’ve been eating with my cornbread: 
Red Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

vegan black eyed peas

i think Black Eyed Peas would pair well with my cornbread as well….

Love

Crista


Jan
11

Rocky Mountains

I am absolutely obsessed with the Rocky Mountains. I couldn’t be more happy to finally be moving so close to them….

Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains

During my recent visit to Denver, I stayed in the mountains a few nights, Breckenridge and Vail. Part of me would love to just move to the mountains, but the food selection isn’t as abundant up there. This foodie really really likes to have plenty of restaurants to choose from and Whole Foods. smile.

Rocky Mountains

However brisk, the air up there in the mountains is fresh and pure. It was hard to breathe in the mountains though, I will definitely have to do some adjusting to the higher altitude. 

Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains

I could have taken a million photos of these mountains… and the trees… and the snow… and the sun… and the blue, blue sky.. and the life… 

Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains

While parked in town, Vail, a black crow landed on my car and was walking around. It was bizarre, I’ve never seen a bird perched atop a vehicle. 

Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains Rocky Mountains

“Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves, and half in love with oblivion.” 
 {Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination}

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


Nov
10

Leaf Vegetarian

When I was in Boulder, CO, I had lunch twice. Don’t judge me. I was on a solo vacation, I could do whatever I wanted to do. My early lunch was at modmarket, it was OK.. maybe nothing to brag about. Not saying I wouldn’t go back there again…. 

I had a late lunch at Leaf Vegetarian. I couldn’t help it. I was dying to check out the place. I walked in around 2:30 or 3:00 PM just in time for Happy Hour. I had the restaurant all to myself. 

Leaf VegetarianLeaf Vegetarian

The Happy Hour menu was small and sufficient. It took only seconds for me to decide what I’d order: Pimento Cheese Poppers (mostly for the apple-peace chutney) and the Celeriac Gnocchi. The Celeriac Gnocchi dish is made with a rich sweet potato cream made by cooking the sweet potatoes in cream and then blending the sweet potato and cream together. DE-CA-DENT. I didn’t ask if it was vegan cream, I’m going to have to assume not. Regardless, it made me happy. I’m going to give that sweet potato cream a whirl at home. But what would I put it on… should I re-create this same dish at home?? 

Leaf Vegetarian

yum.

Leaf Vegetarian

I didn’t have dessert, I didn’t need it. But now I’m kind of regretting it… ha!

Leaf Vegetarian

Leaf Vegetarian, 2010 16th Street Boulder, CO 80302

Love

Crista