Chocolate Banana Nut Fudge Pops

Y’all. Is it getting hot where you are? It’s starting to feel like summer in California, and the warm breezes and hot sun have me bursting out the door in the morning ready to take on the day…it’s got me feelin’ Good As Hell.

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I’ve geared up for summer with my new side hustle as a spin instructor (with this song on repeat), with chilled gazpacho on the patio, with a new striped maxi dress, and with these creamy, dreamy, frosty pops.

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These popsicles fall in to the guilt-free dessert zone for me. No added …keep reading

Sweet Potato and Roasted Broccoli Toasts

La mujer bebe vino. ¡Tú comes mi pato! …how rude! Aprendo español: I’m learning Spanish…from an owl in a smoking jacket with a monocle. (Haven’t learned how to say that latter part yet.) And I’m only three more gems away from the champagne tracksuit outfit. Yes, I heard it.

Broccoli toasts

He’s just so darned cute. I started by testing out of all of the beginning French, feeling like a boss, and then I decided my time would be better spent learning Spanish. French is so beautiful and I will always love it, but there’s just something about Spanish – it’s fun. You get to roll the Rs and sound outraged in a comedic fashion. ¡FLIPO EN COLORES!

If you’re interested in joining me on this adventure, it’s and app called Duolingo. I’m fully aware that the owl in formal attire cannot be rivaled, but does anyone have any other good ones I should check out? And if you’re up for even more fun today, you should head on over to Fiesta Friday for some great recipes by other wildly entertaining (silly? outrageous?) food bloggers.

Sweet potato and roasted broccoli toasts

My long-time French and foodie buddy, Elizabeth, and I had fun Keep reading…

Kick-Ass Vegetarian Chili

Three Bean Chili

In continuing with our January theme of crazy healthy and silly easy, I have a kick-ass vegetarian chili for you today. This recipe also felt perfect for my week of high-highs and low-lows – feelin so on top of the world with my new pastry gig twice a week and then so kicked down by my various never-ending quarter life crisis problems. Tumultuous twenties – has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

At least there are pastries to be made and consumed, amazing friends and family, beautiful hikes to adventure on, oh, and PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: there are whole bags of only the Lucky Charm marshmallows. The world is truly a better place now that I know that. You’re welcome.

Virginia Hikiing

This chili is so easy that there’s no way you can fail and it packs a punch of such awesome flavor that you feel unbeatable. The roasted corn and tomatoes and smoked paprika give it a great depth of flavor while the beer sneaks up on you as that flavor that has always been missing from your chili. Genius. It’s also obviously gonna be a show-stopper at your Super Bowl party, duh.

Roasted Corn

Don’t stop! The recipe awaits…

Vegan Cream of Broccoli and Kale Soup

Soup soup soup soup soup soup.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

I have somethin’ on the mind. Polar Vortex or not, soup is always a good idea. It’s the original one-dish-wonder; it’s comforting; it’s healthy; I could eat it for days. And anyone who’s seen my bouillabaisse pot knows that I’m not lying….that thing can hold 30 cups. Yeah, I mean business when I make soup.

Oh, and not that anyone has made a New Years Resolution around this subject, but this soup would be great to balance out the tin of cookies and quart of spiked eggnog we consumed a couple weeks ago. And by “we,” clearly I mean “I,” and I totally don’t regret it. I am, however, making a lot of soup this month.

The best part about this soup is that Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Cherry Cocoa Truffles

Cocoa Date Truffles

Let’s impress your friends and family this Christmas season! I think it’s really nice this time of year to bring homemade treats to a friend and have them sittin’ pretty in a bowl in your office or at home. I magically just happen to have a fantastic recipe for just such an occasion ;)

Vegan truffles

This time of year is tricky to please everyone you know – especially now that it seems every other person you know is gluten-free or vegan, and of course there’s the “watching-my-holiday-waistline” ones who shy away from my decadent desserts…come on! Why not?! It’s CHRISTMAS! (Don’ worry, those recipes are still to come, like these perfect Christmas cookies :) But… …Don’t stop now! Keep reading.

Roasted Artichoke Arugula Salad

If you’ve met me even once, you know that I’m, well, enthusiastic. Now, this carries into almost all aspects of my life…including my new blog look! What do you think?! It’s like a new hair cut for me: it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it looks fresh and fabulous ;)

Roasted Artichoke Arugula Salad

This Roasted Artichoke Arugula Salad is also one of those things I get excited about. It’s bonkers good. I was pretty excited to make it for my fam when I was home in California last week, and it did not disappoint. For a week of next to nothing actually planned, I could not have been more enthusiastic. Cooking with my mumsy, lounging by the pool, going for a few runs along the beautiful cliffs of Southern California, hangin out at the beach, did I mention cooking?…and eating.

Really…

Your enthusiasm is scaring everyone

Cliff run with my bro!

Cliff run with my bro!

Don’t stop now. There’s more…

Stuffed Artichokes

Slow food.

Slow food means a lot of different things. It’s a movement away from fast food. It’s eating food that is good for you, good for the people who produce the food, and good for the planet. It’s eating locally, sustainably, and seasonally. It’s also taking the time to sit down and enjoy a meal with each other. Food is one of the cornerstones of a culture – what do we want that to be? I’m really hoping the answer isn’t a fast food burger on the run but rather a meal prepared with care that is enjoyed at the table together. Granted we all occasionally need time to veg and decompress, but sitting down to a meal with someone at least a couple of times a week does wonders for the soul :)

Stuffed Artichokes

I was lucky enough to have this important routine engrained in me at a young age and throughout my upbringing. (Thanks parents :)  We always sat down to dinner together, and that made that time special – away from all the busy, distracting, stressful things in life. It’s a time to relax, talk, laugh, and enjoy food (and hopefully a nice little wine) together. Last week I had two things on my Friday schedule: picnic at Jazz in the National Sculpture Garden with friends and cook the artichokes we had in the apartment. It just had to happen, so we made the time to sit down to dinner on a Friday night. Make dinner with your roommate, your family, your significant other! Have a mini picnic with a coworker during the work day or a blow-out picnic on the weekend with all the fixin’s! Simply enjoy eating together.


Check out the organization, Slow Food, if you’re not familiar with it. I am also truly inspired by Alice Waters and the work she’s done – not to mention her cookbook The Art of Simple Food.

Steaming artichokes

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life is like a spin class & cucumber salad

I’m about to drop a bomb of a metaphor on you. Life is a spin class. (If you have never been to a spin class, you need to go right now and then continue reading this post.)

Cucumber Salad

When you go for the first time, you’re not really sure what the heck you’re doing. You adjust the settings, and then you get on and just go. It’s always better with some serious jams to encourage you to move along and step it up. You start to really get into it. There are going to be parts where you’re kickin ass and takin names, and then there will be a lull at some point or a slow and steady climb.

It’s always better with a friend.

Farmer's market cucs

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Quick and Easy Chilled Pea Soup

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Begrudgingly, I dragged myself out if bed this morning, to go for a good long, pavement-pounding run, and the best thing happened. It poured down rain. Buckets. I was absolutely drenched, and I loved it. That’s one of my favorite things in the world :)

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I’m just going to leave you with a quote I came across recently that I love and a very healthy, very easy summer soup recipe :)

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” ― Audrey Hepburn

Amen sistah.

Quick Chilled Pea Soup

Empty into a large mixing bowl:

-thawed peas (one large package – about 20 oz.) reserve 1/2 c.
-2 c. chopped fresh spinach
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-the juice of one lemon
-1 c. vegetable broth or water (add more later to reach the desired consistency)

Set aside.
In a small bowl (preferably a 2-cup glass liquid measuring cup) add:

-1 c. raw cashews
-enough water to cover the nuts

Microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or transferring to a food processor), blend the cashews into a very fine, silly cream.

Add the cashew cream to the pea mixture and blend it all together. Add the reserved peas and more salt, pepper, and broth to your liking. Serve chilled on a hot day or warm it up if you prefer. (*note, you can also add cream or milk if you don’t have cashews.)

Garnish with a spinach leaf if you’re feelin fancy, and enjoy!

*French phrase for fun:

J’adore courir quand il pleut des cordes.
I love running when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Creamy Vegan Corn & Leek Soup

From the farmer’s market, I bring you this wonderfully creamy, vegan soup entirely inspired from the ingredients that called out to me at the White House market.

I love shopping at farmer’s markets – the love affair truly began in Lyon, France with the market, Marché Saint Antoine-Célestins that runs along the Saône River just a few blocks from the center of the city.  On a weekday morning, you’d stroll leisurely under the sycamore trees with a beautiful view of the cathedral just across the river as the vendors greet you and tell you about their freshest produce. However, the weekend market was an entirely different event, fun, but you may get your toes run over by little old French ladies toting their wheelie shoppers through the tight crowds. It’s all part of the charm :) The DC markets have a similar allure, but I can’t say I have the same rapport with these farmers – I got spoiled with the daily market just a couple blocks from my apartment in Lyon.

Now, if you live in California, you’re probably still in luck, but I actually made this soup in October, and sadly most of the DC farmer’s markets have now closed for the winter. A big bowl of this comforting soup would be wonderful right now, but it is truly the perfect summer-meets-fall meal. I used the last offerings of the summer corn and combined it with new winter crop of leeks. I didn’t really have a plan when I started, but lemme tell ya, this soup is out of this world. It’s smooth and creamy, bursting with flavor, and it’s also a healthy, vegan soup! So go ahead, have another ladle-full ;)

Don’t stop now! Keep reading…