Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Pressed Botanical Art

I have been collecting pieces of the local flora from some of my recent trips... I had ferns from the Oregon coast, autumn leaves from Asheville, and some autumn leaves from Alabama as well. I wanted to find a way to display them, this was perfect and so easy too!

flower seed paper (I got mine from this shop)
picture frames of your choice (mine were about $1 each from Walmart)
pressed leaves/flowers/ferns (press them for about a week under heavy books between wax paper)

Cut the seed paper to fit inside the photo frames. Arrange botanicals how you want them on seed paper and lay picture frame glass on top. Carefully load glass and paper into frame, and that's it! (almost) instant art!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Alabama Trip

About a week and a half ago, my mom, little A and I took a little road trip to my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama to see family and friends. It was a nice little getaway, and we got to see some more fall colors too :)  I loved the ginkgo trees! Here are a few of my favorite pics... (anytime I see a cool vintage sign, I absolutely have to stop and photograph it!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Vacation

So I've been missing from the blog for awhile because we took a family vacation, and then as soon as we got back everyone got sick with a cold... We drove to Asheville, North Carolina to see the autumn colors along the Blue Ridge Parkway, something I had been wanting to do for years. And the leaves did not disappoint! It was gorgeous. We hiked in the mountains every day and it was so nice to get away. We went to Mount Mitchell State Park, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Craggy Gardens, Skinny Dip Falls, Upper Whitewater Falls, and more. We did some apple picking at Justus Orchards. Little one did pretty good in the car too, as long as she had her snacks, books, and magna-doodle :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crème Fraîche

These are too good. Admittedly not the healthiest, but oh so yummy. They can be a side dish or even a dessert. This recipe is for a single serving, but can easily be doubled, etc.

1 large sweet potato
1 tablespoon earth balance buttery spread
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Bake sweet potato at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until soft. Let cool enough so that you can remove the peel without burning yourself. Mash with potato masher or fork (or if you're making a larger batch and wanted it to be fluffy, break out the electric mixer!) Add earth balance, stir to melt. Mix in remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Fab Etsy Finds

hand knitted ear warmer from Plexida

this "bee in flight" photograph from kellydbrown

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Best Vegan Cookies Ever

So this is not the best photograph of cookies, but trust me, these are sooo unbelievably good. I have made them three times in the last week! They are moist, the perfect amount of sweetness, and buttery tasting. I've tried some other vegan cookie recipes in the past and they just didn't cut it, but this one is impossible to tell that it is vegan. Also no refined sugars, which is a definite plus for me. The original recipe I found is here, but I tweaked it a bit to my liking.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dry oats
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon black strap molasses (don't leave this out!! very important for the taste)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate or carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium or large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, shredded coconut, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a glass measuring cup (or a small bowl if you don't have one) combine the maple syrup, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine until just mixed. Stir in pecans and chips. Spoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Makes 8-10 large cookies. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fresh Fig Smoothie

I was thrilled to see organic fresh figs at our local co-op today! Absolutely love them. I have never tried them in a smoothie until today, but it was seriously amazing, one of the best smoothies of all time I do believe :)

5 fresh figs, stems removed
1 small banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1 scoop (about 2 tablespoons) almond butter
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 cup dairy-free milk of your choice (I used unsweetened vanilla cashew milk)

Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high til smooth. Enjoy!