March 2018 Favorites

Happy April, my lovely friends!! How have you been? We’re officially counting down the days until Willow turns SIX!! Just under two weeks away…it’s crazy how fast time flies!

A couple of weeks ago, my Mom asked what was on Willow’s birthday list and I relayed this question to Willow. Her response was, “I’m not telling her because then she’ll get what’s on there!” I said, “isn’t that what you want?” Willow said, “No, i want to be surprised! So I’m not telling you either.” I said, “So you’re OK with us getting you anything we think of?” She said, “Yes! I want to be surprised so don’t tell me!” I had a proud Mom moment there 😉

She didn’t hesitate though to tell us how she wants to celebrate…with family, eating tacos and vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. I’d say that sounds perfect ❤️

Overall, March was a pretty great month! Winter is behind us (gosh, I really hope I didn’t just jinx it), no food poisoning incidents 😉 and lots of time outside…which makes me very happy.

Photo credit (below): Willow ❤

DSCN5328

*************************************************************************************************************************

March 2018 Favorites:

Ice Cream Sundae Brownie Cups >> Feasting on Fruit >>

I made these and brought them over to my parents house one Sunday to share…it was pretty quiet at the table because everyone was too focused on the deliciousness of these brownie cups!!! They were so rich and fudgy without the guilt. I love that they were sweetened with dates and insanely easy to make. A brownie recipe with only 7 ingredients??? And grain-free?? YES, PLEASE! I left a comment on Natalie’s blog telling her that I could have just eaten the batter and been satisfied because it was that good…but baking it made the perfect, chocolatey vessels…I topped mine with a scoop of  Nada Moo’s Lotta Mint Chip – SO AMAZING!!! Huge thumbs up from everyone in my family! We will definitely be making these again!

March 2018 Favorites

Vegan Thin Mints >> The Vegan 8 >>

Growing up, I LOVED THIN MINTS! I mean, who didn’t? The perfect crunchy cookie covered in chocolate…and it was almost a rule to store them in your fridge/freezer. Well, it had been maybe 20 years since I’ve had one and when I saw that my friend, Brandi, created a MUCH healthier version, I had to make them asap. My cousin was coming over for lunch one day and I decided to make them so we could share them with him. He’s not a big mint + chocolate fan, but he said Thin Mints are the exception. I should probably add in here that he’s not vegan or gluten-free…so, his opinion on anything we make means a lot. He loved them! I told myself that I would take a bite of one to see how they were and I ended up devouring the whole cookie! For a moment I forgot that oats and I weren’t friends. HOLY SMOKES. These are the real deal, you guys. Brandi seriously nailed this recipe!!! Perfectly minty, chocolately, and the crunch. I was in heaven and in my opinion, these are even better than the junky Girl Scout Thin Mints.

March 2018 Favorites

Chunky Vegan Tomato Bisque with Hidden Veggies >> Veggies Don’t Bite >>

We are forever looking for sneaky ways to add more veggies into Willow’s diet, so when I saw the email come through for this recipe, I had to make it. Since Willow likes her soups to be super smooth (pureed without any chunks), I blended a portion of this soup to her texture liking….she gave it a thumbs up! This recipe makes an insanely huge pot of soup and is SO delicious! I indulged in a small bowl since my tummy doesn’t like beans, but on the first night, Josh went back for seconds. He said he was excited that he didn’t have to fight me on the leftovers! Haha!!! I, on the other hand, was super sad that I couldn’t eat more! Unfortunately I paid the price for a couple of days after eating a small bowl, but it was worth it. I love how it is jam packed with veggies and protein (from white beans + cashews) and the flavor was amazing. It had a great cheesiness to it without using nutritional yeast.

March 2018 Favorites

EASY VEGAN GLUTEN FREE PIZZA CRUST >> MINIMALIST BAKER >>

BEST. PIZZA CRUST. EVER!!! I was beyond thrilled because it’s GRAIN-FREE!!! Yay!! So super easy to make and very reminiscent of Simple Mills boxed pizza crust…but better and cheaper! Unlike a lot of homemade pizza crust recipes, this one required no waiting for dough to rise or time consuming prep work. It was literally mix the ingredients together, flatten the dough, and bake! I had a feeling this was going to be amazing (because all of Minimalist Baker recipes are), so I doubled the recipe and I’m so glad I did! It has this perfect initial crispy bite with a tender center. Josh and I topped ours with tomato sauce, caramelized onions + garlic, kale, black olives, a little shredded cashew cheese, and tomatoes. Willow topped her with tomato sauce, black olives and shredded cashew cheese. Make this! You won’t be disappointed!

March 2018 Favorites

COBB’S Pecan Crunch Cup (cardamom & pistachio) >> Are you noticing the chocolate theme for this favorites post?? If I could ship you all one of these cups I’d do it because they’re that good. Chocolate + pecans + pistachios + cardamom….and zero refined sugar (they use maple syrup and coconut sugar)! Seriously my new favorite treat!!!! You’ve got the rich chocolate, the crunch factor – thanks to toasted buckwheat groats, and the buttery pecan butter – absolute heaven! They use organic ingredients and fair trade chocolate – YAY! We found this in one of the refrigerated areas in Natural Grocers. This specific chocolate cup was the only one that was vegan as the rest contain raw northwest honey. Willow liked this at first, but said she didn’t like the buckwheat groats in there…which meant more for me 😉

P.S. – these are what inspired me to create my recent Chocolate Cardamom Cups recipe!

March 2018 Favorites

March 2018 Favorites

Recharge: (Grape Rii™) >> SOMA Kombucha >> It’s been a while since I’ve revisited this brand and when I saw a Concord Grape option (that was vegan), I had to try it! This seriously tastes like grape soda! Definitely not one I would buy regularly because it’s a bit pricier and a touch too sweet, but I will absolutely come back to this one as a treat. The three of us shared this bottle and loved it! I think we got the last of this packaging and they now bottle it in these cute glass bottles with a little handle. You can check it out in the link above!

P.S. – yes, those are Christmas lights in the background! Willow asked that we keep them up and I gotta say, having twinkling lights up way beyond the holidays is kinda nice! I do wonder if this means we’re leaving them up all year?!

March 2018 Favorites

B O O K S :

You can find my full reviews and ratings on Goodreads!

Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education by Susan Wise Bauer

Digging In: A Novel by Loretta Nyhan

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1) by Jane Harper

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver

Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance by Nadine Artemis

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Tell No One by Harlan Coben

Plants You Can’t Kill: 101 Easy-to-Grow Species for Beginning Gardeners by Stacy Tornio

The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil by Maya Shetreat-Klein

************************************************************************************************************************

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Whether it’s a book you loved, a show you’re hooked on, or a recipe you tried and would recommend…let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!