Brussels Sprouts w/ Preserved Lemon & Goat Cheese

I hope you all are recovering from fun and wild New Year’s Eve festivities. Are you excited for 2016? Scared? Relieved that 2015 is over?  I know I’m excited for the new year, but also nervous because my school load is increasing and new years tend to be a bit daunting. I’m always weary about making New Year’s Resolutions because, like most of us, I stick with them for a few weeks, then when I don’t keep them, I feel like an unaccomplished dingus. I don’t like feeling like an unaccomplished dingus.

So for this year? I “resolve” to have an open heart, say yes to new experiences, and love myself. All of those are vague as hell…and I guess that’s the point. All the resolutions are already parts of me, but I want to accentuate those qualities. The most important thing we can do is to love ourselves and not hold back. The world is a daunting place, but the only way we will truly experience anything is to try new things. I’m not the best at this because I get scared I won’t be good. But why in the world do we think we have to be good at everything?!
I think we should all strive to accept ourselves and send love to the people and things around us. Also, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. Or else, we may become huge bodies of rage that will explode at some unforeseen moment. Now I definitely don’t want that to happen!
I hope everyone reading this, and everyone who is not, strives to love themselves and live with an open heart in 2016 and all the following years!

On a different note, 15 is my favorite number and I’m somewhat distraught that I won’t be able to write a date with 15 in it ever again. OMG.

Happy New Year! Read more Brussels Sprouts w/ Preserved Lemon & Goat Cheese

Lemony Dill Summer Veggies

serves 4-5

For the past week and a half I’ve been pretty much off the grid and so I’ve had zero time to post.  I’ve been everywhere from high altitude tundra to low desert badlands area.  Since it’s (probably) one of the few summers I’ll have being unemployed, I took the time to do lots of things I’ve always wanted.  Road and backpacking trips with friends…check!

This summer has been wonderful and I’ve been able to explore new places that have bewildered me. I went canyoneering for my first time, rappelled, and my hair has basically developed in to one huge dreadlock.  Although I don’t want summer to end in a few days, I can’t remember the last time I was excited to go back to school.  Technically I’m not going “back” but I am going to school.  I’m pretty ecstatic to be involved in classes that I’m interested in.

However, I do have a week of summer left and I’m going to pack in as much blogging, cooking, and fun summer stuff as I can.
I don’t know how much time I’ll have to cook and blog once school starts (especially since I have no kitchen…AHH!) but I’ll try my best. I may start blogging about life in general, or maybe not blog at all. But thank you to anyone who does read my posts, it’s very appreciated.

I made these summer veggies for a goodbye feast I went to a week ago and people really seemed to like the fresh, lemony flavor they packed.  I usually think that roasted veggies are a fall or winter time side dish, but when produce is grilled it instantly becomes summer fare.  They are savory and just a tad bit tangy and I know that you’ll like ‘em.

Let’s soak up the last summer days! Read more Lemony Dill Summer Veggies

Spicy Curried Trail Mix

serves 3

Imagine this (or maybe you don’t have to because you know this): a piping hot bowl of potato, chicken, and pineapple curry is placed in front of you. You get your naan bread ready to sop it up, only to realize that there are plump golden raisins thrown into the mix. If you’re anything like me, when you first had this curry you swooned. The Bollywood chicken curry at this place is one of my favorite meals.

With summer approaching I know that I need some good recipes for trail mixes to keep me going on long bike rides and hikes. Of course the traditional peanuts, raisins, and chocolate is good, but the store bought kind gives me migraines. It must be some preservative they put in there. This is probably a good thing because now I have the freedom to make my own recipes!

When I’m on a long outing I tend to get bored of everything from energy gels to energy bars because they become cloyingly sweet. My mission for this recipe was to make a flavor filled mix that was more savory than sweet but still worked as a pick me up. The hint(?)…lime! The lime zest in this mix does not get dulled out when baked, which is really awesome because it gives the curried nuts a really amazing zing that is sure to keep you going.

I used cashews in my mix but you could really use any nut or mix of nuts that sounds good to you! I think this mix would be stellar with pistachios. Make this mix for your next adventure and let me know what y’all think!

Let’s munch!

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Sweet ‘n Spicy Fries

Sometimes life just decides to kick you in the ass and there’s not much that can be done about it.  I’m feeling like my ass has just been kicked real good and I don’t know how to deal with it.  Hopefully this writing will help, but really, how is it that some people can be so so positive through pretty shitty stuff?  Ugh, I’m really trying but it’s so insanely hard.

In my last post I talked about how I thought everything was coming together in life.  How I was so so excited for wonderful things to come.  I guess I spoke a bit too soon because now I don’t know what is going to happen.

I’ve lost so much motivation to think up recipes because I can’t get out of this stupid little rut I’ve put in my brain.  At times I feel like I just want to stay in this rut because it’s an excuse to be lazy, but, do I really? NO. Of course not!

Realationships are hard. The future is hard. School is hard. Life is just hard, I guess. I’m sorry to be so down but I need to get it out.  In the meantime I’ll be listening to thisthis, and episodes of this.

So may we all try to think how the Dalai Lama once stated: “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”

Let’s eat some fries.

Read more Sweet ‘n Spicy Fries

Crispy Balsamic Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I have such trouble not going to the pantry and eating cereal by the handfuls whenever I feel like a snack.  Honestly, carbs seem to be the only think to fill me up when I have the ravenous need for a snack.  I know this is real bad, and I try to eat veggies but they sound pretty gross to me on an empty stomach.  I’m trying to kick my cereal habit but I’ve been somewhat unsuccessful in finding yummy snacks that fill me up.

BUT.  I think I’ve found my new go-to muchie.  Baked garbanzo beans.  I tried making these about a year ago and almost set my house on fire because I baked them to a crisp.  Giving them another chance was such a great idea by me because they are RAD.

I put them on top of a mixed green and pear salad and they added the perfect crunch.  These beans are really awesome on their own as well.  PLUS, they’re packed with protein and have no additives.  Soooo…DA BEST snack, I’d say.

Let’s eat some beans.

Read more Crispy Balsamic Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Twice Baked Basil-y Sweet Potatoes

serves 3

Wow, I’m SO bad.  I meant to post this last night, I really did.  But, I went and saw Interstellar and, well, I couldn’t quite think straight afterwards.  If you have not seen the movie yet, get your mind blown and go see it.  It was quite literally the most absolutely terrifically insane movie I’ve EVER seen.

Now, onto Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day, all! If you haven’t planned your menu or are looking for another side to add onto your already-gigantic feast, make these ‘taters.  I could probably live off sweet potatoes and squash if it came down to it.  They are so filling and bright and sweet and tasty.  Mhmm gotta love dem squash.

I’m not quite in the mood to write today because I’ve gotta help make part of tonight’s feast.  So, make these lovely, creamy, twice baked sweet potatoes and love every minute!

What are you all doing on this lovely day?

Let’s get stuffed!

Read more Twice Baked Basil-y Sweet Potatoes

Golden Beet Focaccia

makes 1 15 1/2x 10 1/2 inch sheet loaf

GUYS!…Halloween is in ONE DAY.  I’m so excited/can’t wait/I just carved the absolute ugliest pumpkin EVER.  Also, I’ve been vegan for almost a month!  I feel really awesome and have a lot of energy.  I’ve definitely been eating less processed foods.  However, I don’t think I’ll be able to be completely vegan for the rest of my life.  It has taught me a lot about food and I will definitely be much more conscious of how I eat in the future! Phew…well lets get to food, I guess.

This focaccia is quite Halloween-y if I do say so.  To be completely honest, I thought I was cooking a sweet potato buuuut it turned out to be a golden beet.  Kind of embarrassing but it totally looked like a sweet potato on the outside. It was a great mistake.

Beets just remind me of eating a piece of Earth in the best way possible.  A lot of people think they taste like dirt, and I understand where they’re coming from.  But fer realz, they taste like good dirt.  If theres a savory bread that screams autumn, this is it. It’s chewy on the inside, earthy, crispy on the outside, slightly salty, and absolutely beautiful.  You absolutely cannot leave out the balsamic vinegar to baste on top of the bread because it makes it.  The acidity of the vinegar mixed with the earthiness with the beet is making my mouth water as I type.  I made this bread two days ago and it’s almost gone. Win?  YUS.

Alright, well I’ve gotta go work on my Halloween costume. What are you guys going to be?  If you make my recipe, post a picture on Instagram!  Make sure to check out my Facebook and Pinterest if you wanna see some crafty stuff.

Let’s get spooky!

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Raisin Bran Bread

make 1 standard sized loaf

When I was a little one, my second favorite cereal was raisin bran(my first has always been Honey Bunches of Oats).  I know, weird.  Usually kiddos like super sugary cereal like Trix, but my mom never bought that so I probably didn’t taste “sugar cereal” until I was, like, 8.  Depressing? I think not!  I learned to love raisins, and they have been like candy to me ever since.  Although I don’t eat as much cereal as I used to, it is still up there on my top favorite foods because of all the nostalgia.I’ve never made bread by myself before, and Sunday was the perfect day to do so.  I got the recipe in a cookbook my family has had for as long as I can remember.  The recipe was actually called Honey Bran Bread but, being myself, I just had to mix it up.Raisin bran it was!  This bread took a super long time to rise, but then again, I think I sort of, but not totally, killed the yeast.  However, it worked and oh is it tasty!  This bread is dense, hearty, and a bit sweet.
Let’s do this!

Active time: 30 minutes  Inactive time: 2 hour 30 minutes Total time: 3 hours

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup water, boiled

1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/4 cup molasses

1 1/4 tablespoon salt

1/2 package(2 1/2 teaspoons) fast-rising yeast

1/8 cup warm water (110˚F-120˚F)

1/2 cup wheat bran

2 cups all-purpose flour*

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup flour for kneading

Boil the water.  While it’s still hot, mix together the water, butter, molasses, and salt.  Let 1/8 cup of water cool to 110˚-120˚F…I only let it cool to 130˚F and it sort of killed the yeast.  Add the yeast, and let activate for around five minutes.

Once activated, add the yeast to the other mixture.  Add the bran and 1 cup of the flour.  Stir vigorously.  Add the rest of the flour and mix everything together.  Fold in the raisins.

Place the dough on a floured cutting board and let sit for 10 minutes.  Once settled, knead, using as much flour as you need.  This should take about 10 minutes.  When your bread looks like this:

you’re done.  Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until it is double in size(this should take about an hour).

Spray and flour a loaf pan and place the dough inside.  Let it rise a second time until double in bulk.  Preheat oven to 425˚F and bake for 10 minutes.  Turn the oven to 350˚F and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack.  Once cooled, flip the loaf out and enjoy!


*If you live in high elevation add 1-2 extra tablespoons of flour(I live 6500 ft above sea level so I added 2)

*Serve warm with butter and honey

*Add chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) if you want this bread to be more filling

Recipe adapted from: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook