Browsing Tag

vacation

In Search of Sun

March 2, 2014

It feels a bit inappropriate to be sharing these island photos with you while it’s currently pouring freezing rain outside my window but these photos are keeping me sane. They are keeping me sane in the dozenth winter storm we’ve had this year and I hope that they can maybe also give you a little bit of hope with all their sunshine and greenery.

A few weeks back we headed down to Marco Island to visit family and explore the sun. Here are a few photos from our adventures:

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We actually spent the week with my entire family on my mother’s side even though all these pictures are only of Wyatt and I. Perhaps this is because I forgot to lug my camera around during most of our adventures and the few pictures I did take were during our long walks around sunset.

Honey Roasted Citrus & Thyme Popsicles

February 23, 2014

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As mentioned in my previous post, we’ve been in Florida for the last week as an attempt to relieve ourselves from the negative temperatures that the Midwest can’t seem to shake. The week has been filled with lazy mornings at the beach, afternoons by the pool, and early evenings were spent exploring the Everglades.

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More on our adventures later this week after I finish editing all the photos I managed to snap. As for now, I tried to spend the whole week relaxing but couldn’t resist the urge to document these popsicles to share with all of you. I received both an ice cream maker and popsicle molds for Christmas and although I’ve played around with a few recipes, the Midwest ground has been covered in snow since December and our home has maybe seen the sun half a dozen times since the new year. Thus, ice cream cravings have been at a standstill (well, at least until last week when we headed to the coast).

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A Look Back & New Goals /// 2013 Round-Up

December 29, 2013

Winter-Reflection

 

The small gap between Christmas and New Years has always been a time of reflection. A time to sit back in awe and amazement that another year has gone by. A time to shuffle through all the things you’ve clung onto for the past year. And a time to let go of all the items on your list that weren’t checked off. It’s even easier for us bloggers to do this since we’ve got a whole website dedicated to documenting our year – whether its through the food we ate or the clothes we wore or the products we lusted over..these actions tell a story that make up a chapter of our lives.

I’m very pleased to report that my reflections this year have been SO much more positive than last years. 2012 had been a year of huge change and a complete year of doubt. I had graduated from college halfway through and had spent my whole life in confidence before that point. After graduation, I was left feeling lost and vulnerable – left with complete doubt in everything I did (everything from where I was living to what food I was putting into my body to coming to terms with getting older). But – let’s stop there and not reminiscent down that rabbit hole.

It feels so good to read that old post and know that I’ve grown into my ‘adult’ skin so much in this past year. Yes, I still have a lot of growing to do and I still have a long list of irrational fears (who doesn’t?) but it’s been such an improvement since then. I’ve come to really love the small Midwest town I call home – not because there is that punk house that used to serve us drinks underage during shows or those spider-ridden rocks where we could day drink on the lake all day without being bothered. No, I’ve learned to look at this city with fresh eyes and appreciate being able to walk a few blocks to our local co-op grocery store to buy ‘hard to find’ flour blends and local produce. I’ve learned to love the lake for it’s beautiful trails that you can spend a whole Saturday afternoon getting lost in (sober!) and making your dog’s day by taking him for long walks through the centuries old neighborhoods.

I don’t think I’ve changed too much in 2013 but my outlook certainly has. I’m so very excited to evolve more come 2014. Here were my 2013 goals:

1. More adventures close to home

2. Less doubt, More Risk

3. Less processed foods

4. Work on photography

5. Keep moving forward & always improving

6. Continue to surround myself with positive people

 

I think it’s safe to say I can check all of those off my list. Although, everything on that list are all things that are still a ‘work in progress’ and I do want to continue with these goals in 2014. Here are a few more light-hearted goals to add to the 2014 mix:

7. Get our asses to Montreal. It’s time – this IS our next big trip.

8. Spend as many lazy Saturdays as possible on the vintage turquoise boat I inherited

9. Rent a summer home on Lake Michigan and spend a weekend on the beach

10. Make my own print magazine / zine (whether it be a collaboration or just all VV – it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and needs to happen)

10 feels good. 6 BIG ongoing goals from last year and 4 new fun ones. Yeah, I feel good about this. I’m ready for you 2014!

 

And finally, as I continue with my reflection of 2013, I thought I’d share some of my favorite VV memories with you..

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Chocolate & Spiced Chai Biscotti

December 24, 2013

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MERRY CHRISTMAS [EVE] (or, to all of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, HAPPY TUESDAY!). I love Christmas eve just as much as I love Christmas day. This is because, growing up, my parent’s were divorced so we always had Christmas with my Father ‘s family on the 24th and then had ANOTHER Christmas with my mother’s family on the 25th. I never could relate to those kids who were so excited to get to open ONE present on Christmas Eve to hold them over – I always received DOZENS of gifts on Christmas eve followed up lots more gifts on Christmas day. As I’ve aged, I’ve toned down a little (just a little!) on my excitement for a double dose of gifts but have learned to find joy in so many other wonderful aspects of having two Christmases in a row. Double the santa cookies. Double the Christmas movies. Double the Yule log playing in the background on your tv (speaking of that, I’ll be playing Lil Bub’s yule log video this year – if my family doesn’t think thats too weird).

But, to be completely honest, this biscotti has nothing to do with Christmas and I really just chatted about Christmas Eve because I’m just so darn excited its finally here. This biscotti is actually about having 11 days off of work in a row – which is the longest vacation time I’ve had in 2013. It’s about finally having lazy mornings after lazy mornings of sipping coffee in bed and enjoying a favorite magazine while munching some biscotti. It’s all about mastering the technique of getting the biscotti soggy enough in your coffee that it doesn’t crumble all over your sheets but firm enough that it’s still crunchy when take that first bite. But don’t worry, it’s okay if it takes you a few days to master this technique – we’ve still got loads more days off ahead of us!

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The Blue Bush

July 12, 2013

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I had so much fun reading Baker Bettie’s post on their new home that it inspired me to give you guys a little peak into our lives.

It’s been one year since I started the ‘post college’ stage of my life that I’m currently knee deep in. It’s been a year since I moved into The Blue Bush with Wyatt and our peanut butter loving dog, Tuko. The Blue Bush (as we like to call it since…well…the outside of the house is bright blue) is a cozy little Midwest home that was built in 1910. Yup, that’s what the records say…1910. So, as you can imagine, the place isn’t exactly in tip top shape. We’ve worked hard to transform it into a home that reflects us and it’s been fun to watch the process unfold. I’ve collected quite a few pictures of the last year so I was thinking this could be a good time to show you around.

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This also means it’s been one year since we owned a microwave or a dishwasher. Can you guess which one we miss the most? What my nails wouldn’t do to have a rest from being drenched in soapy dish water for just ONE night.

As for the microwave… I always just forget they even exist these days. I still remember the look on Wyatt’s face when I first purposed not having a microwave in our new home…the look of bewilderment followed by complete disbelief. But he agreed and it’s been wonderful. I’ve learned SO many new things since having to go back to cooking ingredients the way they are supposed to be cooked (i.e. using a double boiler, boiling water over the stove top, etc). My favorite part about not having a microwave is that you always have to work for your food around here. Sure, if you REALLY want to just eat a frozen dinner of (veggie) nuggets then that’s fine…but you’ll have to bake them for 20 minutes in the oven which means you could just whip up some polenta / sautéed veggies in that same amount of time. It really has helped me to not take short cuts and prepare real food in the kitchen.

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We’ve filled the house with lots of vintage furniture…

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…And vinyl records..

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..And have filled our sunroom with house plants (which is a perfect little hideout full of green in the middle of winter)

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This is the studio room…

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<— Wyatt’s desk and (can you tell who is the clean one in this relationship? ahem, definitely not me…) and my desk —>

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We spent a lot of our time in the backyard. I’ve managed to build two gardens…one with herbs and one with vegetables. The cucumbers and zucchini have been going crazy and it’s finally time for the tomatoes to start ripening (!!!).

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Well, I just wanted to take the opportunity to show you around a little. It’s crazy it’s taken a whole year to get around to telling you about my obsession with house plants, my love for vinyl records, and show you a peak of our little cozy home. Thanks for reading!

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Searchable Saturdays

June 8, 2013

       

1. CRAVING /// Have you seen this Roasted Apricot Buttermilk Ice Cream with Almond Streussel from Reclaiming Provincial?! Yup – dayummm! Summer fever has hit me hard and I have began a ridiculously large collection of ice cream and popsicle recipes..

2. CREATING /// The Vanilla Bean posted some wonderful pictures of making lilac sugar. I love using flowers in baking (makes your baked goods so so fancy!) or perfect way to add some extra fragrance in your afternoon tea.

3. INSPIRING /// I don’t usually save ‘inspirational’ quotes but this picture has stuck with me for some time. I often times get worked up over work and have problems letting it go – this picture reminds me that I often times get sucked into a situation and ‘go a little mad’; getting creative with doing something out of the normal helps reminds me I can remove myself from this funk. My way of removing myself is by hiking, baking, cooking, camping, and being out in nature.

4. DREAMING /// My dream is to eventually own my own bakery. Until I have the money and find a wonderful town lacking fresh breads and treats, I can only dream and prep. I’ve contemplating taking some bread baking and pastry classes to help expand my cooking knowledge.

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m off to do some thrifting and pick up some fresh produce at the farmer’s market.

 

PS Have you checked out my new logo in the top corner? It’s totally different from all those ‘minimalist’ logos that are out in the food world right now and I love it. I asked Wyatt’s brother to draw me a picture of two vegetables having fun canoeing together and this is what he came up with. It’s a weird mix between a children’s book cover and DIY zine style – I love it!

Searchable Saturdays

February 9, 2013

Hellooooooo, Weekend! What to do with you? I’m planning to turn our heat and humidifier way up to pretend like I’m in Florida. Or maybe I’ll embrace the cold and build a fort / drink gallons of hot cocoa? Hmmm, choices choices!

Anyhow, here are some inspirations from the week…

 

      

 

1. Vacationing has been on the mind. I’ve already started planning all of our summer camping trips. I’m thinking 3 day weekend to the Smoky Mountains and a 9 Day trip out West (Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Colorado Monument, Santa Fe, etc). And then, as always, our yearly weekend trip to Turkey Run.

2. Another trip I’ve been planning is Florida…and, by planning, I mostly just mean clothes / accessory shopping. I want a high-waisted swim suit SO bad but am worried about weird tan lines? Oh no…functionality or fashionable? Sounds like I’ve got some real life problems here.

3. Salted Honey Almond Butter. Do I need to say more? A lovely commenter suggested making your own almond butter for my No Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Bites and I could not agree more!

4. You have no idea how much I really really really want new glasses and I really really really want these! Yes, please.

 

Okay, a whole lot of lusting over places, items, and wants this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I’m off to try to calm this consumerism craving with some homemade cleaning supply making.

 

My Mikal Cronin crush is becoming a problem:

Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread

December 11, 2012

We put our tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving but my Christmas spirit didn’t really kick in until I whipped up these cookies. There is something so calming about waking up on a sunny, snowy day and hiding from the cold in your warm kitchen with the lingering smell of butter cookies. We haven’t had any snow yet here but the weather was certainly chilly enough for me to stay inside and bake this past weekend.

We had a few friends over on Sunday night to watch ‘Christmas Vacation’ and I made these cookies to go with it. Nothing like a Christmas comedy and overloading on sugar to get you ready for the holidays! The movie put me in the spirit and I am now ready to Christmas shop, wrap gifts, and drink peppermint lattes. Hmmm… if only my family would tell me what they want already….

 

 

Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), divided & at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box of peppermint candy canes, unwrapped and crushed
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate

Start by browning half (one stick) of the butter. Place butter in a small saucepan over low heat and let cook until small brown flakes form. Stir often so the bubbles don’t bubble over the pan or so that it doesn’t burn. Once the butter has browned, immediately pour it into a glass cup and let cool completely.

Beat together the butter (browned and regular) and the brown sugar. Next, add in the flour and salt and continue to beat until a thick ball of dough forms. Wrap dough (with parchment, wax paper, etc) and let chill for at least 30 minutes (this will help keep the dough together).

Once chilled, transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the top of a round glass to cut out circular shapes. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the cookies in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes while the oven preheats (this will help the cookies keep their shape). Cook cookies for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown around edged. Let cool completely.

Crush the peppermint candy canes anyway you see fit. I put mine in a ziploc bag and went to town using a meat tenderizer (also known as the kitchen hammer!) until they were in tiny pieces.

Melt the white chocolate in either your microwave or over a double boiler. I don’t have a microwave so I used the double boiler method which consisted using one saucepan inside the other and letting water simmer under the first pot while I constantly stirred the white chocolate over it until melted (this was a terrible explanation. If it is your first time using a double boiler, use this as a reference). Once melted, dip half the cookie into the chocolate and then roll in the peppermint chunks. Place on wax paper (this prevents sticking) and repeat with the rest of the cookies. Let cookies chill in fridge for 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

Enjoy with a peppermint latte or some eggnog and baileys!

Brie, Arugula, Apple and Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

October 30, 2012

Heyyya! So I’ve been a bit MIA the past few days because we took a snappy trip to Denver over the weekend. It was both exciting and exhausting. This means that I’m feeling a bit out of it still and will most likely be taking the week to get my baring back in order (people say that – don’t they?).

On that note, I have not had a chance to cook anything fancy or extensive this week (see: Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons or Muesli Bread) but that doesn’t mean that a girl just doesn’t eat at all! So here is a recipe for one of my favorite types of grilled cheese that is so simple yet a “treat yo ‘self” delight (Parks and Recreation, anyone?).

Also! Did you guys check out the giveaway that I’m hosting? It’s lasting through the week and I’d love for you to enter for a chance to win!
Lastly, I’m going to very vague about the measurements for this recipe since it should be total personal preference. I like mine on the sweeter side so I add a bit more fig jam but do whatever your taste buds are feeling!

Brie, Apple, and Fig Jam Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices of thick, rustic bread
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • arugula
  • fig jam
  • butter
  • brie, sliced

Spread butter on one side of the bread and fig jam on the other. Place the apple slices, arugula, and brie on top of the jam and sandwich them between the bread.

Place on a skillet over medium heat and cover with a lid. Let cook for about 5 minutes on each side (also, this will depend on how fast yours brown and how crispy you like your bread).

***Note: If you have some extra time, feel free to soften the apples up first by sauteing them in the pan before-hand for a minute or two

Roasted Tomato Focaccia

September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day! It’s Monday morning and I am still at home instead of out camping. This tropical storm Issac has caused rain, rain, and more rain for the whole weekend here in the Midwest. We had everything packed and ready to go for camping and then woke up Saturday morning to a storm…followed by all day of rain….and the same thing again on Sunday. Perhaps it was not meant to be because the thought of having to spend the weekend cooped up in a tiny tent with a muddy dog is probably not ideal. Plus, it gave us time to be lazy around the house and spruce things up around here a bit (in the form of soooooo much plant shopping! Yay!) and finally framing all those posters we have hung around the house.

Anyhow, It’s been too long since I blogged about focaccia (since last fall, to be exact). It’s one of those breads that we eat within the first two hours of it being baked because it’s just that good. And eating a whole loaf of bad is just not that good for you. So I try to resist as much as possible only make it on special occasions. The special occasion this time was that I hadn’t made it in a while and had beautiful mini heirloom tomatoes…that’s good enough, right?

This bread is delicious by itself, used with sandwiches, dipped in oils, or served with soup.

Roasted Tomato Focaccia

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the topping:

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced into long strips
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

In a large mixing bowl, combine the water and yeast. Let sit for five minutes or until it becomes foamy. Next, add in the sugar, salt, olive oil, and flour (add 1/2 cup of flour at a time). Use your hands (or a mixer with a dough attachment) to knead the dough for five minutes or until the dough has come together (add more flour if it’s sticky and add more olive if it’s too dry).

Grease a bowl, place the dough inside, and cover with a clean dish range. Let sit for an hour in a warm place or until it’s doubled in size.

Grease a sheet pan with olive oil (I used a 9×12 pan so that our bread is thick enough for sandwiches but use whatever works best for you) and roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Fit the dough into the pan and let rise for another 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While it is rising the second time, prepare the toppings. Heat a tablespoon of olive in a skillet over medium heat-low. Add in the onions and sauté until just starting to caramelize (about 10-15 minutes).

Make dimples in the dough with your fingers and top the bread with olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread has browned at the top and the cherries have roasted.

Serve warm with every meal!

Moody Monday: Puppy Party

August 13, 2012

 

Good Morning! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. It finally cooled off around here this weekend which meant that my tomatoes are finally almost done ripening! Yay! In other news- this is going to be a very very busy week for VV. Hope you are all ready for it!

This weekend was a busy one! Wyatt’s parents came to visit and they brought Tuko’s 10 week old little brother (SOOOO ADORABLE) and their other boxer dog. This meant that it was a puppy part allllll weekend long.

Pictured above: Tuko’s little brother & me, Slaw veggie dog, the [empty] dam at the dog park, and Tuko & his little brother (looooook at how big tuko is compared to him!).

 

Moody Monday: Staycation

July 30, 2012

So I went into this weekend basically having no plans (outside of Friday night) and was almost kind of nervous about it. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a long list of things to do on the weekend. I mean…don’t get me wrong- there are dozens of awesome things to do in Bloomington in the summer (farmer’s market, quarries, drive in, canoeing, wine tasting, brewery tours, etc) but I just was not feeling any of the usual spots that I like to spend my free time. So, instead, I approached Bloomington as if I was an outsiders looking to visit it (a well-known practice for anyone who has been ‘taking’ those trendy Staycations this summer).

What I found through my research was that there are DOZENS of trails, lakes, and nature preserves all within 30 minutes from Bloomington that I have never heard of. WOAH! How awesome is that? I picked out the closest one with waterfalls (I have the biggest weakness for waterfall picnics) and planned my whole Saturday around it.

 

And it was the perfect day adventure! The trail was only a little over a mile but we crossed paths with waterfalls, evergreens, caves, and swamps. So beautiful and only ten minutes from my house! It blows my mind that I’ve lived here for 5 years and I am still discovering new beautiful spots all the time.

In other weekend news, my Ma stopped by on her way back from a business trip. It was nice to finally show her the house that we had put so much work/time into. I am hoping they can come down for a longer visit in the coming weeks. Oh! And Wyatt played his first show with his new band which went perfectly!

Two of the pictures above are from our little day adventure on Saturday (bottom left and top right). The top left one is from some cacti shopping I did at my favorite nursery a couple of days ago and the bottom of is Tuko and I sleeping in on Sunday (much-needed!).

Well, these “moody” posts are seeming less and less moody and more just little, nice peaks into my life. Perhaps I am not as cranky as I always had told myself I was! And perhaps I need to consider renaming this column…hmm…

 

 

Lake Dinner Picnic

July 18, 2012

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As I mentioned in a post a few days ago, we went on a lovely dinner picnic last Thursday. It was nice because we have been so busy with moving and getting our house organized that we haven’t been taking that much time to just chill out and enjoy summer. Plus, this heat wave has been making it awfully hard to want to hike to the lake when just standing in it makes you sweat and uncomfortable. That’s okay though because it’s made us get creative with our usual summer activities (like go at sunset instead of at midday). Anyhow, it was wonderful to just sit on the rocks and watch Tuko/Taco play in the water as the sun went down.

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This was an impulse picnic so we just packed up a few things that we had around the kitchen. I whipped up some deviled eggs (so simple yet such a perfect summer staple), backed an array of sliced strawberries, brie, and sliced baguette, and then had Wyatt whip up some Nutella and Strawberry sandwiches. I was a little stressed that I didn’t have more time to plan our a menu but it ended up being perfect finger food for an impromptu adventure!

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I am not even sure what we did for entertainment before we had Tuko. I really enjoy watching him love on the lake and get excited about being free to run and explore.

Hope everyone is making the most out of their summer and taking a little time to enjoy their food outside and stick their feet in the water!

Moody Monday: Extra Extra Long Weekend

July 9, 2012

Well, I hope everyone had a fantastic previous week and a great 4th of July. After five wonderful days of sleeping in, lying around the house, and getting to know my new kitchen…it is back to work. Ah, oh well.

I may still be posting a little less this week because we are still lacking in internet at our new house and I don’t always feeling like trekking my laptop down to the local coffee shop (although my bike has a little basket that fits my laptop perfectly so I really should not be complaining). This is such a shame because I made soooo many yummy things over my long vacation and I cannot wait to share them with you!

 

Here are a few snapshots from the long weekend: We watched the 4th of July fireworks in a big ‘ol, wide open, corn field (ooooh, Indiana). Also, Tuko and I indulged in many afternoon naps on our new couch so that we could enjoy the outsides late at night when it was cooler. Oh, and lastly that is my tomato plan with its first few signs of color! Yay!!

Well, I hope everyone has a great week ahead and I will hopefully be posting some delicious recipes in no time!

Vegan Blueberry and Peach Cobbler Cake

July 6, 2012

I am feeling a bit off because I am writing you from my favorite coffee shop, Soma, instead of my usual spot; this is because we are officially moved into our new home and are currently without internet. But really, it is okay because Soma littered with inspiration: from its Iced Chaikovsky (Chai + Coffee), maps paper mached all over the walls, and TV fish tanks- it is nothing short of a creative mecca.

Speaking of our new home being without thing…this is officially day 6 of my new life without a microwave. It has been going very well so far. Wyatt and I have decided to try to “untrain” ourselves from nuking thing in the microwave (see why here) and instead turn to the oven/on the stove top to warm things up. Wyatt was not happy about his coffee going cold the other morning (ohhh, the drawbacks of using a french press) but if that ends up being our biggest problem then I think we shall survive.

Oh, Yes! And back to the recipe! I decided to try this cobbler cake instead of a regular cobbler because we were having people over for a grill out and my thought was that it would be way easier for guests to just grab a square instead of messing with scooping a cobbler into bowls and getting spoons and what not. It was a huge success! The stuff was REALLY REALLY delicious. If possible, I think it may have been even better the next day because the humidity is so high in the Midwest right now that it made the cake moist enough to melt in your mouth. Ah, heaven!

And totally feel free to mix in whatever fruit you’d like or have on hand. I adapted this from ButterMeUpBrooklyn and she didn’t even specify a fruit to use.

Blueberry and Peach Cobbler Cake

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons earth balance, cut into chunks
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1 cup blueberries (I used fresh but I am sure you can use frozen as well)
  • 1 peach, pitted and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice. Set aside and let it curdle (you are making vegan buttermilk right now!) for about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinmamon, and nutmeg together. Toss in the Earth Balance and use your fingers to work into the dry ingredients. Next, fold in the fruit. And finally, fold in the buttermilk just until everything is combined (you don’t want to over mix!).

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for about 3o minutes or until you can stick a tooth pick in the center and it comes out clean. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar.

Let cool and then slice into squares.

Serve to all your friends and watch at how excited they are about your new twist on cobbler!

June Wrap Up

July 2, 2012

Well Mondays are when I usually post about being moody …but let’s be real: I have a TWO day week since my company is giving us Wednesday through Friday off for the 4th of July… so do I really have that much to complain about? I think not.

Instead, since July snuck up on us over the weekend let’s have a June Wrap up instead!

My favorite posts from this past month:

1. I am a picnic fanatic and had soooo much fun enjoying these Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo while soaking up some fresh air on a lovely dinner picnic with my puppy and boyfriend

2.I am not sure where you live but this 100 degree weather refuses to let up over here in Bloomington, Indiana. Popsicles like these Berry Mango Yogurt Pops are the only things keeping me cool when I attempt to adventure outdoors.

3. Oh! My adventure with this Summer Potato Salad was pure bliss! Potato salad just screams summer and this was a great way to kick off our first grill out of the season!

4. Pizza Pizza Pizza. I cannot escape it no matter how bad I tell myself it is! I’ve come to accept this and have at least turned to making my own pizza so that I know exactly what goes into it. This Savory Breakfast Pizza was part of a two segment post that also included yummy Blueberry Lime Pizza.

In other news, June was ridiculously busy with us moving into our new house (which we are still not completely settled into) and being out of town for almost every weekend.

Also, I managed to learn a lot from my Blogging 2.0 class (which ends this week!) and can’t wait to start applying what I learned to VV.

And onto July! What to expect? Well I am hoping to spend July settling into our new place; this means starting to make lots of new memories at our new home in the form of cocktail parties, movie nights, and creative time in our new studio. I am very excited for things to calm down around here so we can enjoy the simple pleasures of summer (now if only this 100 degree weather would calm down a bit…).

 

Moody Monday: Move In Time

June 25, 2012

Why hellooooooooooooo, Monday….not gonna lie, I was not prepared for you! We spent all weekend moving (drove 10 hours between Friday and Saturday to pick up furniture in Chicago) and I feel like I have been going non-stop since we got the new place two weeks ago!

Anyways, no need to complain! I love it and I really do enjoy redecorating and making the place our own. Although a big portion of the weekend was spent putting together ikea furniture, we did managed to find some time to have a little fun!

 

Top Left: We have “happy hours” at work on most Fridays. It’s always a great way to start off the weekend and last Friday they brought in ice cream and root beer for a “Root Beer Float Happy Hour”. It was a great change of pace from the beers they usually supply.

Top Right: Movin’ Movin’ Movin’. We managed to fit our entire living and bedroom in Wyatt’s car to bring down from Chicago on Saturday.

Bottom Left: We took Sunday afternoon off and went out to the lake. Wyatt played chess with his brother and I swam in the lake with Tuko. It was a much needed break from the constant traveling we have been doing lately.

Bottom Right: And lastly, I took a quite walk to our local bookstore (Boxcar Books) and picked up some of these gems. Can’t wait to whip up a few of these recipes for my blog ASAP!

Moody Monday: Pool Party Weekend

June 11, 2012

Monday, I cannot believe you are here again already! I feel as though I am starting off the week on an off note because we did not get back from our weekend trip until late last night and I am not prepared for the week. However, this is okay because we had a great time at my parent’s house and going into Chicago for my brother’s graduation.

This week is going to be crazy busy with my etsy shop finally getting rolling, packing, Tuko getting neutered, and more packing. We are (!!!) finally moving into our new house on Friday which means several things for VV:

1. there should be some VERY interesting recipes within the next few days while I attempt to use up what we have in our pantry so we will have less to move into our new place

2. Things may be slow around here (hopefully not) recipe wise as I transition into my new kitchen. However, that may mean posts will be substituted with fun glimpses into our moving/decorating process…which could also be exciting!

Anyhow, hopefully memories of an awesome weekend by the pool (with blueberry cocktails and my amazing family) and having our new home to look forward to will get me through this week!

 

Oh and here is an adorable music video to get you through your morning!

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Weekend Adventure // What’s In My Bag?

June 8, 2012

Hey everyone! Hope that you are having a fantastic friday and getting geared up for the weekend. We are going on ANOTHER weekend trip to Chicago which means pool day tomorrow, sunsets at Lake Michigan, and adventuring in the city on Sunday!

The only drawback to this is that we have to drive 4 hours North first. Luckily, I have my travel bag packed full of supplies! Although this includes cards, CD mixes, and magazines..I will only show you a glimpse of the snacks I am bringing (hey…this is a FOOD blog, after all).

1. Primal Strips. These things are my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE snack food. They are so freaking delicious! It’s like having teriyaki flavored beef jerky without all those gross thoughts about ‘what really is beef jerky?‘. They come in a variety of flavors (and other brands but none that I have found with as much flavor and appealing texture). This hits my savory craving every time.

2. Hummus! It’s the perfect snack for summer because it’s relatively healthy and very fillings without making you feel bloated. And the variety of flavors are endless!

3. Although I prefer my hummus with warmed pita, unless you are willing to stick the pita on your dashboard to heat up, these pita chips are a pretty darn good substitute. They are super crispy and contrast the smooooooth hummus perfectly.

5. Can’t have all this savory without a bit of sweet! We packed some Pocky for our sweet treat but that is sometimes substituted with homemade muffins or cookies (depending on how much time we have before-hand).

And we’re off! Hope everyone has a wonderfully delicious weekend and we’ll see you Monday!

May Wrap Up

May 31, 2012

Woah, can you believe it is the last day of May already? This month FLEW by!! Luckily it was because I was having so much fun over here.

Here is a wrap up of my favorite recipes from this month:

 

1. Veggie Sloppy Joes. These brought a whole new meaning to what I thought a sloppy joe could be. They were flavorful, stocked full of nutritious ingredients, and oh so easy to whip up! This is becoming one of my new ‘go to’ recipes for sure

2. Cherry Beergaritas: It’s a bit embarrassing how many times we’ve whipped these up since discovering this cocktail. It’s ridiculously refreshing on a hot summer day and the simplest drink to mix up when you have a crowd!

3. Tofu Thai Lettuce Wraps: These wraps are as fun to eat as they are delicious. We ate them on the porch so that we didn’t make a mess but assembling them is half the fun!

4. Summer Pasta Dish: there is nothing better than fresh produce being the reason a dish stands out so much. This pasta dish is light, colorful, and packed full of flavor.

 

As for favorite adventure this month? Well, I would say it would HAVE to be our trip out West (or..well, maybe Graduating- that is kind of a big deal as well!)

My biggest lust this month? I am crazy about these Chasing Delicious posters that tell you when fruit//veggies//herbs are in season. Would those not be adorable//useful hanging in the kitchen??

Well, enough looking back! How about what we have in store for June?! I am very very excited for this month; Wyatt and I move into our new home (expect lots of pictures updates of the remodeling process!), my brother is graduating from Grad School (which means road trip to Chicago), and I am just too excited for all the new things I will be learning from the Blogging Your Way E-course which starts tomorrow!

No Moody Monday

May 28, 2012

Good Morning! No Mood here! We spent the last two days up north visiting Wyatt’s parents. It was a very relaxing break from the usual routine. We went to their local farmer’s market, visited a very cool music store (that we, at work, distribute to!), took naps in the hammock, drank margaritas, grilled out, and had a bonfire. A perfect first half to Memorial weekend!

Indiana

Well, I am off to make a quinoa salad for a grill out at the lake today. Be back tomorrow with the usual (and delicious) recipe posts! Have a great Monday!

Moody Monday: Summer Sun

May 21, 2012

Good Morning, Monday! This weekend came and went much too fast. Although, I have to admit that this is the first time in 6 months that I did not have homework looming over my shoulder all weekend (Yay for having two full days to do whatever I want – minus some laundry doing)!

Anyways, I spent those glorious two days in the sun and at the lake with friends. We grilled out for dinner BOTH Saturday and Sunday. And I made some amazing [mango and pineapple] sangria to go with our Saturday funsies which went over fabulously.

Altogether a successful weekend! If this wasn’t enough to get me through the week, I also have a 3 day weekend coming up! What to do with all that free time? Host a cook out? Take a mini trip to Nashville, TN? Organize a group camping trip to Turkey Run? Oh, the possibilities!


Veggie Hoagies

May 16, 2012

So vacation was awesome but I am feeling a little sluggish from all the gas station munchies and PB&J road sandwiches. I’ve decided to dedicate this whole week to “cleansing” my body and trying to pack it with as much veggies as possible. So far this week, every morning has started off with a Green Monster [smoothie] and a big veggie sandwich for lunch. I am hoping to post about my Green Monster creations soon- as soon as I can get an appetizing picture of green slushiness (maybe this won’t be anytime soon..)

Anyways, as an attempt to keep my boyfriend from breaking up with me from a veggie overload, I’ve tried to expand and get as creative as possible with our sandwiches this week. The other day I whipped up these oven toasted hoagies and they will for sure become a new staple in my lunch routine. So perfect because you can use whatever veggies you have on hand and then load them with the melted cheese and tangy dressing.

As usual when I post a sandwich suggestion, feel free to substitute whatever veggies and cheeses you think sound good.

 

 

Veggie Hoagies

  • 2 ciabbata buns
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 5 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer- omit if vegan)
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • salt/pepper
  • tin foil

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the sliced ciabbata rolls on a ungreased cooking sheet and stick them in the preheating oven for 5 minutes (or until they start to become toasted).

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes. Then add the peppers, mushrooms , basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and saute for another 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.

Divide the cheese and dressing between the two rolls. Top with the veggie mixture and the tomatoes. Spray tin foil with cooking spray and wrap the sandwiches in two pieces.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.

Serve warm with chips or coleslaw or whatever sounds yummy!

 

Moody Monday: Back From the Wild Wild West

May 14, 2012

And I’m back! After a much needed week-long adventure to Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, I am back at work and back into the routine.

The trip was absolutely amazing and we experienced soooo many amazing things including camping on the beach, hanging out in mountain logging towns, and exploring New Mexico thrift shops.I am hoping to have a full post of pictures later this week so stayed tuned!

As for Moody Monday, it’s not so moody around here with all the exciting happenings (still on cloud nine from my trip and officially starting my full-time job at Secretly Canadian Distribution today).

Hope to be back into action with recipe posts tomorrow! Happy Monday!


Southwest Road Trip

May 6, 2012

Hey Everyone! Just letting you know I will be MIA for the week because we are taking our annual cross country road trip.

Be back in a week or so! I will be documenting a lot of my trip through instragram so feel free to follow me (username: shellywest) if you’d like to follow along!