Tonight is the last day of 2019. A new decade approaches. I’ve made my list of what to leave behind and what to welcome into the new year. I’ve prepped some appetizers for tonight’s gathering with friends and neighbors. The champagne is chilling in the fridge but I”m also planning to sip my favorite martini to ring in the new year. This Crystal Clear (vegan) Chocolate Martini has no heavy cream nor milky liquids and it tastes like LIQUID CHOCOLATE.
If you want to give a special gift this holiday these Gift Worthy Spiced Pecans are the best gift to make. There is something special about giving and receiving a gift you crafted with love. It’s more personal than a click and ship package you buy on Amazon —and it’s far more original.
There are a few dishes that I can’t live without on Thanksgiving. I love a good stuffing (this year I made a quinoa mushroom stuffing), mashed potatoes (which are rarely made vegan so I don’t often get to eat them), cranberry sauce, a salad and I crave a perfectly spiced vegan pumpkin bread. In the past, my breads end up at the back of the food buffet. But this years spicy pumpkin bread got a prime spot right next to the mashy’s. A slice of this warmly spiced bread pulled together all the flavors on my dinner plate and several guests paid high compliments and asked for the recipe.
Ever Wonder How Vegans Get Enough Protein?
If so, you are not alone. As a vegan, I’m frequently asked:
“But How do You Get Protein?”
Or someone might dismiss the idea saying:
“Oh – I Could Never be Vegan, I Need my Protein”
So I’ve written this post for anyone who is unsure about how vegans get protein.
I’m intrigued with Ayurveda, the”holistic” healing system developed in India over 5,000 years ago. This wellness approach depends on the delicate balance between mind, body, and spirit. One of the main dishes in Ayurvedic cooking is Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) – an easy to digest stew used to cleanse, detox and re-balance the body. This mixture of split mung beans, Basmati rice, veges and warming spices is a humble dish, but don’t let that fool you!!! It’s also packed with flavor so bring on the cleanse!!!!
I love Kabocha squash but cutting it is a bear!!! I have to brace myself mentally for the challenge and work hard not to remove a finger in the process. So, I started buying these adorable Delicata squashes from the market and Trader Joes. These adorable “mini squashes” are delightfully easy to manage and equally as delicious. They take no time to slice, mix in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Voilà – now you have cute roasted Delicata squash to enjoy as a side dish or to toss on a salad.
I wanted to be in the desert for my birthday. The profound silence, the shimmering sand dunes, the mid-night sky, the colors that change throughout the day. It intrigued me!! Even though going to the Sahara is completely impractical, I was willing to bear the 10 hour drive (each way) across Morocco to get there. The Agafay desert (rocks not sand) lies a mere hour outside of Marrakech, but I envisioned riding camels high along the tangerine dunes while watching the sun slowly set. Unfortunately, my desert dream — was more like a desert disaster — so here are things I wished I’d known before I booked this extravagant excursion.
I’ve always been interested in Moroccan decor! The bold use of color, exotic tiles, and bohemian textiles. On a recent trip, I saw all of this inspiration in person. I studied how they used color and natural materials to make a space feel cozy and inviting. Every courtyard and Riad had it’s own unique style, and I was excited to SEE it ALL!!!
Morocco looks magical in photos, the African light, intricate tile work, desert colors and exotic architecture. Travel articles (here) praise the food and popular bloggers (here) post enviable pictures. Personal friends have raved about it and I even had a friend who lived there after college. So why was I disappointed?? Were my expectations too high or has it changed over the years? I’ve never felt like “prey” like I did in the Medina of Marrakech. So I wanted to pass along a few tips.
I admit that I’m a little OCD at times (OK — mostly) and I feel best when my house is neat and clutter-free. Not only does clutter have it’s own energy (that weighs you down) but excess “stuff” makes house cleaning more burdensome. This is especially true in the kitchen. I like my counter tops free of gadgets (no bulky coffee machines or mixers). If I can’t find storage for it under the counter, then I’d rather live without it. My refrigerator is also neat and clutter-free. I avoid buying in bulk by shopping more frequently. Not only for fresher vegetables, but for a less crowded fridge that’s neatly organized.