Summer Comfort Food Recipes + Whirlwind Travel.

How fitting that I post a few summer-perfect, comfort food recipes like my Sweet Potato Rice and Balsamic Peach Avo-Arugula Salad amidst a work+play whirlwind trip - I'm coated in jetlag and busy day fatigue, as I type.

..Right now, all I really want to do is close my computer - and exit the trenches of manuscript editing - pull on some PJs, grab a bowl of comfort food and sink into a book on my iPad or even an evening of mindless TV - husband and kitty cat by my side. Then slowly let a cool window breeze waft over my face as I surrender to the woozy intoxication of dreamland. Sigh. But I'm glad to procrastinate a little and write this post. Get my recipes and my red eye travel reflection ahead..


My Secret-Ingredient Matcha Shake .. Obsession.

I'm kind of addicted to this tall, frosty, pastel green matcha shake. It has become my morning ritual, my afternoon craving and my "makes everything all better" blend.

I drink it for energy, focus, hydration and calm. It fills me up and sends me clear into whatever project for the day I have in mind. I think it is my official "smoothie book writing" blend - I can thank it for fueling me through my long hours of editing photos, typing ingredients and tallying nutritional content.

And yes, it has a secret ingredient that makes it better, more delightful (and more addictive) than any other matcha smoothie I have tasted! ps - the shake is even delicious WITHOUT adding matcha...


Matcha Morning Muffins. Gluten-Free.

I've been wanting to experiment with baking matcha muffins / loaf for a while now and finally gave it a whirl this morning. Fridays are my favorite time for baking so that I can post a recipe in time for YOUR weekend mornings. Last week I did peanut butter pancakes.

Today's fluffy, moist, freshly baked treat: gluten-free Matcha Morning Muffins - accented with ginger spice, banana, green California pistachios, vanilla and orange citrus juice - or non-dairy milk - whichever you'd prefer. I tried these muffins both fat free and with a splash of safflower oil - both ways were taste-test approved by my husband (who ironically hates all things tea - but loves all things muffins).

Plus get my Matcha 101 facts and info - a quickie smoothie recipe (or try my Secret Ingredient Matcha Shake recipe) - and how I ended up with three bottles of matcha...


Happy Summer! Recipe Round-Up.

It is 6AM Los Angeles time - first day of summer - I am watching a citrus orange sun creep over the dusty blue horizon, creating patches of pink and gold across a hazy sky. Fresh green leaves sit on the trees and pastel pink and periwinkle spring blooms still accent the garden in velvet patches. Summer is here and I couldn't be more excited.

SummerThyme Hummus, Summer Sorbets, Cool Cucumber Tartines - Watermelon Frosties - I'm ready! Here are a few of my favorite vegan summertime recipes and an update on my smoothie book writing process!..


Summer Entertaining: Citrus Peach & Balsamic Tomato Bruschettas.

It is easy to make appetizers an afterthought when hosting a summer party where the main course gets all your attention. Instead of pouring chips in a bowl and calling it a day, put some thought into your appetizers—your guests will thank you! I can’t tell you how many main courses I've forgotten from parties I've attended, but a platter filled with exciting and thoughtful appetizers always sticks in my memory. Bruschetta + Frosty party recipes ahead!..


Peanut Butter Banana Oat Pancakes. Vegan.

I have been experimenting with peanut butter pancakes lately and I've found that I sorta, kinda, love them. My go-to, crave-it recipe is for these vegan Peanut Butter Banana Oat Pancakes. Creamy peanut butter, sweet circles of banana, cozy rolled oats, a pinch of flax seeds, a hint of vanilla, plenty of cinnamon and a waterfall of dark amber maple or raw agave syrup over top.

Scene -> Lazy-breakfast Sunday. You are feeling splurge-y.

..What do YOU crave?


Coconut Bundt Cake. Moist. Glazed. Vegan.

This is my first Bundt cake recipe post. Probably because until a few weeks ago I never owned a Bundt pan. And if there is one thing you do in fact need to make a proper Bundt cake - it is a Bundt cake pan.

My first Bundt cake: Vegan Coconut Bundt Cake with a glossy Coconut Glaze drizzled over top. Moist in texture with a spongy quality. Serve it warm and moist, the glaze shiny and wet - as shown in my photos. Or serve chilled and allow the cake to firm up, gaining rich body - the icing turning to sweet, opaque, snow-colored velvet - buttery in texture.

Now this whole Bundt cake thing feels a little 1950's-ish to me. Which is exactly why I kind of love it. And there is good reason for the retro mood a Bundt cake inspires...


Summer "Seeded" Watermelon Frosty

Here is a super cute, super simple twist one of my favorite summer beverages - the Watermelon Frosty. Meet the "Seeded" Watermelon Frosty! The tip + watermelon frosty recipe variations..


Cobb Salad. Caesar Salad. In a Jar. +Results!

Salad in a jar. Cobb. Caesar. I'm loving it. In my last post which introduced you to the idea - (thanks again to The Daily Muse for inspiring me!) - I described how I was a tad skeptical as to how these salads would hold up throughout the week - in terms of freshness, color and flavor. This past week I documented the salad-in-a-jar results. So ahead I'll show you how each salad delivered once I served it and a few things I discovered.

More Salads in a Jar! My imagination is running wild with ideas, but here are two of them.. Get my salad-in-a-jar recipes and results ahead!!..


Citrus Daiquiri. Fiesta Sip.

This frosty cool Citrus Daiquiri is lime-accented, salt-rimmed, pure frozen bliss.. or is it a Margarita? I guess it depends what shot of alcohol you use, right? I'm not a bartender. But I know this sip will inspire a fiesta for sure. Fresh orange juice makes it divinely juicy in flavor..


Lavender-Lemonade Honeydew Frosty

This Lavender-Lemonade Honeydew Frosty is smooth and arctic with vibrant lime and lemon citrus flavors swirling with mellow lavender, creamy frozen honeydew melon and a hint of banana.

Lovely Lavender. I picked up a bunch of organic lavender at the farmer's market last weekend, not really knowing how I was going to use it - of course the idea of lifting those purple buds to my nose and taking a strong whiff whenever I need some instant relaxation-inducing aromatherapy was reason enough for me to buy it.

Then yesterday I spotted this amazing hot pink-colored, summer-perfect lavender lemonade on Tastespotting and clicked over to check out the recipe. Perfect! But I didn't stop there. I have been making myself melon frosties in the morning lately with either honeydew, cantaloupe or watermelon - and infusing some of my soothing lavender lemonade into my latest recipe seemed like a simply fantastic idea. Get the recipe!..


Vegan Salad in a Jar. Make-Ahead Bliss.

Salad. In a jar. I totally get this one.

A while back (and maybe still) there was a spirited "foods in a jar" trend hovering around the food blogs. Mostly, cupcakes in a jar. And while I love dabbling in cupcake-making, they aren't really my passion. I'll leave cupcakes to a few vegan experts like Erin and Chloe.

..But salad in a jar? Inspired! Thanks to The Daily Muse for inspiring this post...


Win a Vitamix! PunchTab Powered Giveaway.

Summer is coming. (yay) Summer means smoothies. Smoothies mean blenders. My blender of choice: a Vitamix. Want one?.. Giveaway time! Enter to win a Vitamix TurboBlend VS!...