Feb
22

Popcorn Puppy Chow

We are completely snowed in today, for the second day in a row. Well, yesterday we braved the snow and went to a coral reef convention. Coming home from the convention should have taken us less than 30 minutes last night, but because of the snow, it took us 2.5 hours. After last nights debacle, we decided to drive nowhere today. We’ve enjoyed ourselves, for sure, and we’ve taken advantage of the time to get “things” done.. like, sync our calendars, book travel, google campsites, and all the stuff we’ve been meaning to but haven’t made time to do. I’m feeling accomplished.

During last nights car ride (that 2.5 hour car ride), I must have promised Patrick that I would make him some popcorn puppy chow. Just for fun. Who knows where I came up with the idea? Maybe on Pinterest? That’s what I was doing while we were in the car going nowhere, I was pinning on Pinterest. Anyway, I was nauseous yesterday, and barfing. I shouldn’t talk about barfing on the blog here, but I am because being nauseous is what prompted me to buy 2 bags of popcorn. Popcorn was the only thing I could eat yesterday, although I certainly didn’t eat 2 bags full. So I had all this popcorn leftover today and after hours of sitting on the couch, staring at my laptop, I decided to get up and fulfill my promise – that Popcorn Puppy Chow. 

I made up the recipe as I went along so I don’t even have a formal recipe… Everyone is asking for it, and everyone is asking for it NOW. Ha. So anyway, this post. 

Cokie Butter, Dark Chocolate, Popcorn Puppy Chow

The informal RECIPE goes a little something like this: 

1. Buy a bag of Earth Balance Buttery Popcorn
2. In a double boiler, melt 2 bars of dark chocolate, a few scoops of peanut butter, and a scoop or two of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s). If you don’t have a double boiler, learn how to fake one.
3. In a large bowl, pour the melted chocolate mixture over the popcorn and stir gently until all of the popcorn is evenly saturated. You may have to do this in small batches. 
4. Put the chocolatey popcorn and some powdered sugar, AND some cinnamon (if you’d like) in a large, sealable baggie and shake it until the popcorn is coated evenly.
5. Allow the popcorn to cool for a few minutes before serving – or dig in right away, you get to choose.

INGREDIENT LIST:

1 bag of Earth Balance Popcorn
2 bars dark chocolate 
about 3-4 cups powdered sugar
a few large scoops of peanut butter
a few scoops of Cookie Butter (from Trader Joe’s) (if you don’t have cookie butter, I pity you, you can just use peanut butter or any type of nut butter – you choose)
a few teaspoons of cinnamon (not completely necessary, but I recommend!)

I apologize for the imperfect recipe, I had to get it out there with a quickness! I’ve got people clawing at my throat for this recipe after seeing photos on social media. Maybe one day I’ll formalize this recipe, but maybe not. This is one that you throw together on a rainy day with ingredients that you’ve already got on hand. If you’ve got questions about the recipe, holler at me and hopefully I can help! xo

Love

Crista


Feb
27

dark chocolate avocado truffles

I feel like I got cheated out of the ultimate Valentines Day experience this year (may have something to do with being newly single??) although I DID get to dress up in pink and go out to dinner with two good friends while in Seattle the day after V-Day… but that almost doesn’t count because it was the DAY AFTER.

A few weeks ago, I checked out a few recipes for vegan truffles and committed to making them for Valentines Day BUT I never did. Life/work/travel all got in the way. 

So anyway, I finally made my truffles today. And I’m pretty satisfied with them. They were way easier to make than I predicted. AND. Ridiculously decadent. 

Healthy? I’d say so. AVOCADO is good for you. SO is coconut. 
But don’t worry, these truffles don’t taste anything like avocado. Avocado is practically flavorless, it simply adds a creaminess to the truffle without having to use dairy.

I adapted this recipe from The Detoxinista who adapted this recipe from Apple of My Eye – they both rolled their truffles in cocoa powder which I did as well but to spice things up I added some cayenne pepper to the cocoa powder before rolling. I also rolled a few truffles in shredded coconut and ground almond meal. Variety pack!!!

I made extra truffles so I can give some as gifts, you think I’ll score some cool points? I’m in need….
I’ll def make these again for holidays, gatherings, friend parties, etc…. 

dark chocolate avocado truffles  

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 small ripe avocado, pitted & mashed with no lumps
  • the seeds of 1 vanilla pod OR ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, almond meal, or shredded coconut flakes (all optional)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the chocolate, vanilla, and sea salt over a double boiler and melt until completely smooth. (In place of a double boiler, you can use an oven safe bowl over a small saucepan)
  2. Stir the avocado in to the melted chocolate mixture until smooth and thick.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture for 20-30 minutes until the mixture cools and partially sets.
  4. Using a melon baller or a tablespoon to scoop out the truffles and form balls with your hands.
  5. Combine the cocoa powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl and then roll a few of the truffles in the mixture.
  6. Roll the remaining truffles in either almond meal or coconut flakes.

dark chocolate truffles

Love

Crista


Jan
13

Quince & Quinoa Pudding

While a buddy of mine was putting together his holiday meal plan he called to ask where he could find a QUINCE. We discussed several grocery stores that carry rare/exotic fruits but I had no idea where to direct him. He eventually found the fruit and made a badass holiday meal that included the quince. After hearing about his meal, I knew that I wanted to try the fruit as well. He suggested I make a dish that included quince and quinoa simply because it would be fun to say.

Mission accomplished. I happened to be at a grocery store I rarely visit anymore, and I stumbled upon quince. I never thought I’d find it without actually looking. Then I found this recipe which I adapted from Little Upside Down Cake and Cannelle et Vanille.

quince

This dish could definitely be eaten for breakfast or dessert, it’s pretty sweet. 

Quince & Quinoa Pudding
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups original or vanilla almond milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup + ¼ cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 quince, peeled & chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine the milk, salt, vanilla bean, and ¼ cup sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the quinoa, and stir.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot slightly, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. While the quinoa mixture is simmering, put the quince, cinnamon, and ¼ cup sugar in a different medium saucepan and add just enough water to cover the quince.
  5. Simmer on medium heat until the quince is tender.
  6. When the quinoa pudding & quince and both done cooking, ladle the quince on top of the quinoa pudding and serve warm.

quince & quinoa pudding

Have you ever used quince in a recipe? If so, how?
I definitely look forward to trying more recipes using it.

Love

Crista


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


Dec
20

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Are you drooling at the sight of this Bread Pudding?
I thought so. It’s gooooood. 
Eggnog Cream Sauce drizzled over this Bread Pudding makes this dish perfect for the holiday season.
The big question is: Would you eat this for breakfast or dessert or both?
I say both.

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

{vegan} Bread Pudding with Eggnog Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole wheat/grain bread (vegan and/or gluten-free), cubed
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  3. In another bowl, pour the wet mixture over the cubed bread and toss.
  4. Line a baking dish with vegan butter or non-stick spray then evenly layer the bread mixture in to the dish.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.
  6. Drizzle with Eggnog Cream Sauce (recipe follows) and serve.
Notes
Add a handful of walnuts or almonds to the bread pudding prior to baking.
Eggnog Cream Sauce {a vegan recipe}
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup (12 fluid ounces) eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan.
  2. Over medium to high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Boil for one minute until sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
  6. Store excess in the fridge.

I made this dish vegan by using a vegan bread and vegan Eggnog however you can choose whatever type of bread you’d like to use (gluten-free is a possibility) and you can use dairy Eggnog if that’s your jam. If you like nuts and/or raisins in your bread pudding, then add them. If you don’t, then don’t add them.

When you make that Eggnog Cream Sauce, make extra. It’s delicious over Pancakes, Waffles, French Toast…

Bread Pudding with Eggnog Cream Sauce {vegan}

Love

Crista


Dec
07

vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

One of my favorite friends is celebrating a birthday today, to honor his birthday, I made his favorite cupcakes: Chocolate with Peanut Butter Frosting. It’s sad that I won’t see my buddy today, and he won’t have the opportunity to eat these cupcakes. Poor guy. Maybe this post will inspire him to bake his own batch of these homemade, vegan, yummy birthday treats.

I found this recipe on Bakeaholic, it was quite simple to follow. I like it.

Homemade {vegan} Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
 
Ingredients
Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup flour
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • ½ cup coconut or almond milk
  • ⅓ cup water + 1 tsp ground golden flax seeds (allow mixture sit for 10-15 minutes before using)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup mashed banana
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup vegan butter, chilled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp non-dairy milk (coconut or almond)
Instructions
Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and baking powder. Stir to mix.
  3. In a separate bowl blend together mashed banana, vanilla, melted butter, flax seeds + water mixture, apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk. Blend with mixer until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and blend together.
  5. Line cupcake tins with wrappers – add ¼ cup batter to each.
  6. Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until tops begin to toast up.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. Blend all ingredients together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy and smooth.
  2. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes.

vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcake

During the making of these cupcakes, my sister-in-law showed me how to use wax paper and/or a plastic ziplock bag to pipe the frosting on to these cupcakes. I would share how to do it, but I’m not that good yet. I did find a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it with wax paper HERE, if you’re curious….

Random thought: Chocolate cupcakes are so much easier to make vegan than vanilla cupcakes. What’s that all about?

Join me in wishing my buddy a Happy Happy Birthday. 
xoxo

Love

Crista


Nov
29

Coconut Whipped Cream

A vegetarian/vegan all these years and I’m just now making Coconut Whipped Cream for the VERY FIRST TIME?!??! What in the heck was I waiting for?? It’s EASY and AMAZZZZZING!

Coconut Whipped Cream

At Trader Joes, I bought two cans of this coconut cream – I actually purchased them a while ago, not knowing what I would do with them. Before whipping, I tasted the cream, and was amazed by how creamy and sweet it is. (PERFECT!!)

Coconut Whipped Cream

Making the “Whipped Cream” was ridiculously easy and only required 2 ingredients: Coconut Cream & Powdered Sugar. I refrigerated the cream overnight so the cream turned in to a solid – there was some liquid coconut water at the bottom of the can which I saved for a smoothie.

I whipped the cream in a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, although a hand mixer would have gotten the job done as well. Adding a few tablespoons of powdered sugar at a time, I did taste tests until the flavor was to my liking. OR maybe I added little bits at a time so I would have more opportunities for taste tests…. Regardless, I only used 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar at most. It didn’t take much – the cream itself is already very sweet.

Coconut Whipped Cream 

I got this recipe from the Minimalist Baker and I am forever grateful to her for the inspiration. I used this cream atop my Mini Pumpkin Pies for Thanksgiving, it was perfectly light, fluffy, and rich, and is holding up well in the refrigerator.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Love

Crista


Nov
23

I’m always on the lookout for Bananas Foster – why is it SO hard to find a restaurant that serves it? Don’t say that’s it’s hard to find, because IT IS. It’s just not a dessert that is commonly found on the menu. 

I have made Bananas Foster at home several times now, and I have made two (failed) attempts at making it vegan. There is only one ingredient that needs to be substituted from a traditional recipe to veganize this dish and that is butter. Now, I’ve tried using Earth Balance instead of butter TWICE and it just doesn’t blend with the brown sugar and carmelize like real butter does. In fact, the Earth Balance just gets oily. I don;t know about you, but I don’t want my Bananas Foster to be “oily”.

I have seen several bloggers recipes for “vegan” Bananas Foster but I have a feeling that their BF didn’t turn out any better than mine…. so I have to assume they ignored this little detail and went ahead and posted the recipe. Although, I could be wrong?

I wasn’t actually going to write this post because the whole concept of “vegan” Bananas Foster didn’t work out the way I wanted it to HOWEVER the “Bananas Foster Oatmeal” concept ROCKS MY WORLD!!! 

bananasfosteroatmeal

I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I want to enjoy Bananas Foster Oatmeal, it’s not going to be vegan and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’m not going to give up on it, it’s just too yummy to say no to.

I share this recipe because I’m not selfish and I shouldn’t be the only one enjoying it, you should be enjoying it as well….. But I need you to help me decide. Is it a dessert or a breakfast dish? I’ve made it as both…. NOTHING warms the soul quite like it…..*smiles*

Bananas Foster Oatmeal
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup banana liqueur
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 4-5 bananas, sliced
Instructions
For the Oatmeal
  1. In a medium-sized pot, bring the water and almond milk to a boil.
  2. Add the oats, and bring those to a boil.
  3. Simmer, uncovered on low heat for about 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
For the Bananas Foster
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar and spices. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the bananas and banana liqueur.
  4. When the bananas begin to soften, slowly and carefully add the rum.
  5. In single servings, top the oatmeal with the bananas foster and serve immediately.

bananas foster oatmeal

Love

Crista


Nov
19

honeycrisp apple juice

One of my favorite fruits to eat are Honeycrisp Apples, there is something about the firm texture of the apple that makes it desirable to bite in to and each bite is bursting with a sweet, tart flavor. Every time I bite in to a Honeycrisp, it feels like a special occasion. Satisfaction.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I purchased a bottle of fresh-squeezed Honeycrisp apple juice and it was to die for! I had never thought to juice Honeycrisp apples ONLY to make a juice! It was super sweet, and indulgent. I had to have more so I decided to make some at home. I juiced 3-4 Honeycrisps, which made enough juice for one large serving that I kept all for myself. It’s not a “cheap” juice to make, but it’s WORTH IT!! 

FUN FACT: Honeycrisp Apples were developed and released in Minnesota in 1991, and I first started eating Honeycrisp apples when I lived in Minnesota 7-8 years ago! I never paid much attention to the fact that I was first introduced to them in the region that produces them. They have recently become very popular and are easy to find throughout the entire country.

honeycrisp apple juice

Love

Crista


Nov
05

Beet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box DenverBeet Box Denver

 I am having the best morning ever. I got to sleep in, wake up without an alarm, and I have no where to be until my yoga class at noon. I woke up to a vegan cinnamon roll with a side of frosting and a vegan apple cinnamon donut from Beet Box. I was so happy to find them this morning, I almost forgot that I’d gone out and gotten them last night. For the record, that cinnamon roll was one of the best I’ve ever had….

I might go take a nap before I hit the town today….. Good day, friends.

Love

Crista