skillet pasta sauce.

One thing that seems to do well in my garden is tomatoes. And this year, like year’s past, I got alot of them.  In the past,  I’ve roasted them, made sauce in the crockpot,  and even added them to salsa.  This time I made a skillet pasta sauce and it turned out really delicious!

1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dried pasta noodles
1 tspn olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tablespoons nutrtional yeast
2-3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
3-4 handfuls spinach
3/4 cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

1. Place cashews and almond milk in vitamix and mix until smooth. If you dont have a vitamix, you will probalby need to cover your cashews with water and soak for a few hours; drain them and then put in blender with almond milk. set aside.

2. Prepare your pasta. While that is happening heat a wok with 1 tspn oil.

3. Add onion and garlic to wok, saute about 5-10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or so. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

4. Stir in the cashew cream, nutritional yeast, basil tomato paste, salt and pepper and cook for about 5-10 more minutes.

5. Add drained, cooked pasta to the wok and stir to combine the pasta with the sauce. Cook for a few more minutes, or until heated through. Season with more salt and pepper and add more basil if desired.

my first quilt: finished.

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The quilt is finished! Im quite happy with it, although its far from perfect! This was a great learning experience and I actually enjoyed it.  The finished size is probably just a little short from a full size bed; I just kind of eyeballed it, making something big enough that Milo can use and grow into a little bit.

Once i finished piecing together the top I thought I was close to being done.  Unfortunatley I had about 5 more hours of work cut out ahead of me. And since I brought everything downstairs to work where I had a bigger space, I wanted to power through this. This probably explains the far from perfect part because I was getting pretty tired. I used an old sheet for the back of the quilt.

Edging: I had some difficulty here – First with understanding it, then with executing it. I made my original edging 2.5 inches, but I think i will work with at least three inches next time to give it a little more wiggle room to work with.  Also I chose to machine show it on when i sewed it on one side, it goes through it on the other side so i have to figure out the trick to making it neater.

Some tips/tools that definitely helped me through this

  1. a walking foot.  I got mixed reactions from friends saying I didnt need one – but since my machine is new, i didnt want to break it, so i opted to get one – I did break four needles however though towards the end, and the walking foot fell apart, but I dont think I could have gotten through this quilt without doing serious damage to my machine.
  2. transparent thread. what?!! didnt know this even existed.  I read somewhere to get nylon, but i couldnt find any, so i used polyester and im a little nervous its too weak, but time will tell. I was kind of racking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to pick ONE color of thread that worked well for the entire quilt, since it was so multi-colored.
  3. youtube. when in doubt, youtube it.

So I kind of power-through-ed this one, trying to get the hang of it. The purpose was to make something using scraps, and I definitely succeeded and love how it turned out – so much I already started another one….

strawberry rhubarb scones.


I bought a rhubarb plant at the end of last season for a few dollars and now I currently have way more rhubarb that I know what to do with. I gave alot of it away, but have about 8 more stalks left or so. I took a stab at making these scones, which used only about half a stalk of rhubarb, so Ill probably make some more scones and freeze the rest.

But these scones. Whoah. These scones are delicious. Finally the texture is right on, without having to have a million tablespoons of earth balance.  These only use a 1/4 cup of coconut oil – I do want to play around with them a bit, trying to use a healthier flour, or possibly oat flour – but all I had on hand was white flour, and that seemed to do the trick.

Recipe is adapted from here. 

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
3/4 cup finely diced strawberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced rhubarb, finely chopped
1/2 cup almond milk

2 tsp almond milk
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Grease a large pan with oil or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour in the liquified coconut oil and use a pastry cutter to work the oil into the flour. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and toss to combine. Create a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the almond milk. Scoop the dry ingredients from the bottom of the bowl and fold over the wet ingredients. Repeat this just until the mixture is combined. Do not over mix the dough. Firmly pat the crumbly dough into a large circle on the prepared surface, making it about 2″ thick. Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Cut the dough into eight triangular segments and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375˚F for 18-20 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

granola bars.


I started packing milo’s lunch for school – so I’ve been trying to find healthy snacks (and main courses) for him to bring. I had everything on hand to make these granola bars. They are pretty healthy – not having any added processed sugars and are pretty easy to make your own combinations of flavors. I stuck with dried berries and chocolate chips, but I think next time I will add almonds as well! They can be nut-free if you aren’t able to bring nuts to school – just substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.

1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup oat flour
3/4 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup  chopped dried fruit
3/4 cup choc chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquefied
1/4 cup maple syrup

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8 inch square pan with two sheets of parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, oat flour, coconut, quinoa, salt, dried fruit and chocolate. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together sunflower seed butter, oil and sweetener of choice until smooth. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir until combined. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading until flat, then use an addition square of parchment paper to protect your hand as you press, press, press the ingredients tightly into all corners of the pan. Press hard to make sure they are in there good!

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and the edges are light brown. Let cool completely before cutting; they’ll be even easier to cut without crumbling if you chill them in the fridge first, so feel free to cool them there. Once cool, use the parchment “sling” to lift bars from pan and transfer to cutting board. Use a sharp, serrated knife in a very gentle sawing motion to cut bars into desired sizes (I usually go for 16 2×2-inch squares).

granny square update 5.

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So I thought I was in the home stretch as I approach what I THOUGHT would be the last row of the blanket. The more I look at it, and the more I think about it, I’m going to just go for it and make it bigger.  I’m planning one more row across down, and three more across.  Which means I have about 50 more squares to make and a few more skeins of yarn to buy, since Im ran out of quite a few colors.  I figure, if I’m going to do this, might as well DO this, am I right?! So I definitely have my work cut out for me, but this is such a fun project, I’m ok with it.  Hopefully a few more weeks of work cut out for me, but photo sessions are starting to pick up, and we have some travel in our future, so we shall see….

baked chocolate donut holes.


Chocolate donuts covered in sprinkles? sign me up!

Ok, so maybe these arent traditional donuts, and maybe they arent the most sweetest things on the planet – however, they are taste like little bites of cake – and they are covered in sprinkles, so you cant go wrong in my book! I always want donuts, but rarely have them, and i ALWAYS want cake, but dont make it often, because i will eat ALOT of it. This seems to be an easy way to satisfy that cake craving – it makes 24, and they are small little bites.

I found the recipe here, and veganized it.

For the donuts:
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 4 tablespoons earth balance, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons almond milk
  • sprinkles, for garnish
  1. To make the donuts – preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until there are no lumps. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk, sugar, flax egg, melted earth balance, coffee and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry and mix until combined. Fill each mini muffin tin about ¾ of the way full (about a heaping tablespoon in each). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the donut holes to cool for 3 to 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack. Let the donuts cool for another 10 minutes, then proceed with the glaze.
  3. To make the glaze – Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt to a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  4. Lay a piece of wax or parchment paper underneath your wire rack (so the glaze doesn’t drip on your counter). Add the sprinkles to a shallow bowl. Working one at a time, roll each donut hole in the glaze. Shake off the excess then roll in the sprinkles. Shake off the excess once again and then place on the wire rack to set.

geometric valentine poster.


Milo and I didn’t make his valentines this year because he found some star wars ones he HAD to have for his classmates – but we worked on this valentine poster for the house, since he LOVES having decorations. (we are seriously slacking on the valentines decor this year as well…i blame the cold weather).

This was a fun little project that we originally found here.

We used some rogue paint chips I had laying around, and that seemed to work perfectly, and was a great way to upcycle!
Milo had fun figuring out the pattern – it was almost like a big heart puzzle.


You will need:
Cardstock, colored paper, or paint chips
exacto knife or rotary cutter
cutting mat
Large sheet of white paper


Measure the colored paper and cut into squares. Ours were 5 inch squares, because we were working with the paint chips but you can do any size really!

Cut the squares in half, into two triangles.

Layout the heart design on the large sheet of white paper. Using a glue stick, glue each triangle onto the white paper.

Previous valentines here, here and here!

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granny square update.

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A few weeks into the year and I’ve been making some progress on the granny square blanket. Here’s to keeping the momentum going!

spinach and artichoke dip.


I made this dip for new years eve and it was so so delicious. I think I ate half the dip myself! Its creamy and garlicky – this is definitely going to be my go-to party food! We served it warm with crusty bread, and with some pita chips. If you have a vitamix, it comes together very quickly too!

I found the recipe here, but modified it a bit to my liking.

For the spinach artichoke dip:
    • 1 can artichoke hearts, thoroughly drained and roughly chopped
    • 2 c. fresh spinach, loosely packed and measured first and then thinly sliced
    • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Freshly ground black pepper and (optional) chili flakes
For the cashew mozzarella:
  • 1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked (see notes)
  • 1 c. plain, unsweetened nondairy milk ( I added about a half cup more towards the end)
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tb. + 1/2 tsp. corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tspn garlic powder
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritonal yeast
  • 1 cup daiya mozzerella
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika


Prep the vegetables:
    1. Toss together the artichoke hearts, spinach, white onion, garlic, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using), and put into an 8×8 pan.
Make the cashew cheese:
    1. Combine all ingredients in a vitamix or food processor (if not using a vitamix, make sure to soak your cashews!) until smooth.
    2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Stir every few seconds, making sure to scrape around the bottom of the saucepan to keep from sticking. Stir until this thickens, Once it thickens, I added about a half cup more of soymilk, and a cup or so of shredded daiya. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    3. Pour this cheese over your dip that is in the pan and mix together.
Bake the spinach artichoke dip:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through and the top is slightly crusty and browned.

double chocolate peppermint cookies.


I’m going to go ahead and say it. These just might be my most favorite cookies ever. Chocolate and mint is definitely a winning combination – so when you put this in cookie form – OH MY!

My husband participated in a cookie swap at work and asked me to make something. I had made something like this before….But I couldn’t find the recipe.  Well look no further because THESE are the cookies you want to bring to your holiday parties, cookie swaps, etc.

Original recipe found here and then veganized (and doubled b/c choclate and mint!!!) below. This recipe makes about 24 cookies.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks earth balance)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs ( i used the powdered kind)
  • 1/2 tsp natural peppermint extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 candy canes, finely crushed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the earth balance and sugar together for about 1-2 minutes. Add egg replacer, peppermint extract and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides.
  3. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and powder to a sifter and sift gradually over the wet ingredients mixing as you go. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and stir in with a mixing spoon.
  5. Form the dough into small balls (heaping 1 Tbsp) and place 1.5 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Press the tops down and then top with a few more chocolate chips if your prefer.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes – the edges should start to dry but the tops will still be slightly soft looking. Let set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes more but sprinkle crushed candy cane on immediately.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack to rest until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh for up to a few days or freeze for several weeks.

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