2017 Year in Review: Top 25 Recipes and more.

The sun is setting on another year in blogging for me. 2017 was an adventurous year filled with a whole bunch of video content, yummy new recipes galore and some awesome brand collaborations. I did a bit of exploring and experimenting, a few hits, a few misses (failure is good, right?!) and it was just a jam-packed year of content.

So today I am happy to share this 2017 Year in Review as my final post of the year. Here are my top 25 recipe posts, honorable mentions, hits and misses, goal in 2018 and a few other end of year highlights.

Thank you for showing up for me in 2017, I am excited for the year ahead....


Chocolate Chip Pecan Orange Spice Cookies

These vegan Chocolate Chip Pecan Orange Spice Cookies are the perfect winter spin on the classic chocolate chip cookie. With buttery pecans paired with orange and cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, these cookies will make your whole house smell amazing. Get the recipe and join me in the kitchen for a cooking video for this recipe..


Vegan "Pub Cheese"

Gathering with friends or family this holiday season? Spruce up any appetizer party platter with this Vegan "Pub Cheese" Dip. It has a smoky, sharp cheddar flavor, but is light and lovely enough to dip generously. Spread on crackers, pretzels, bagel chips, carrot sticks, apple slices or celery. I am totally in love with the warming smoky flavor that has undertones of sweetness from the cashew base and a touch of maple syrup.

Party hosts: whip this up for your snack platter. Party guests: Bring this along with some dippables to help your gracious host out a bit. (And either way you get to dive into creamy Pub Cheese, soo, win win..)


Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Sometimes, you need Cinnamon Rolls. AmiRight?

Sometimes you need decadent and cozy.
Sometimes you need velvety cream cheese frosting.
And caramelized cinnamon-sugar filling.
And fluffy spirals. And vanilla bean aromas.
While still in your pink PJs, warm mug in hand.
Sometimes you need Cinnamon Rolls.

And Christmastime is kinda the b e s t time for all that.

So today I am sharing my easy, vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, which is based on one of my vintage recipes, Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. I have always loved that recipe, but this version is updated to be simpler.

I also share 1) a video for this recipe 2) things that make me feel sentimental 3) ten happy things for the holidays.

Hope you can wake up one morning this month to the aroma of these cinnamon-magic beauties...


10 Reasons to Love Off-Season Dubrovnik

Fresh from Barcelona, we took a plane ride to Croatia!..

A large chunk of our recent European vacation was devoted to the magical, mystical city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Though it has always been a popular travel destination, in recent years, Dubrovnik has become even more popular due to the fact that it is a major filming location for HBO's Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik is basically King's Landing + The Red Keep..

A bit About Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is also popular due to its placement on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Dubrovnik's walled "Old Town" has long been heralded as one of the most well preserved medieval cities.

I love this description from a travel site: "Jutting out into the Adriatic Sea with a backdrop of rugged limestone mountains, Dubrovnik Old Town is known as one of the world's finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities in the world."

GOT fandom has brought tourist numbers to al all-time high. The Telegraph wrote, "Crowds and Cruise Ships Have Ruined Dubrovnik." And if you google videos for "Dubrovnik Crowds" you will find videos like this that show the city streets and the famous walls of the city simply packed with tourists.

So... my husband and I knew we wanted to visit Dubrovnik, but we also knew we wanted to visit it during the off-season. And I am so happy we did. I absolutely loved our time there and have loads of travel tid-bits and photos to share with you guys today..

Here are 10 Reasons to Visit Dubrovnik Croatia During the Off-Season...


Beach Break: Swim in the Adriatic

My dip in the Adriatic Sea was one of my favorite parts of our Dubrovnik, Croatia adventure this past November, over Thanksgiving. So I decided to give it its own little "beach day" photo-rich blogpost..


Strawberry Satsuma Smoothie

This Strawberry Satsuma Smoothie is my go-to morning sip right now. It is creamy, brightly flavored and energizing. Delicious orange-banana flavor is accented by sweet strawberry.

Morning Sip. This pink smoothie is perfect paired with a sunrise or early morning sunshine glow.

Vitamin (C)itrus. And the best part is that this smoothie provides a healthy boost of vitamin C, which is something we can all appreciate during the colder months.

And if you are devouring Christmas cookies in swift fashion, this is a nice little break from that. Hope you enjoy this smoothie just as much as I do..


Vegan Pfeffernüsse Cookies

This might be one of my very favorite Christmas cookies to make in December. Pfeffernüsse cookies, gone vegan! These traditional German holiday cookies have a snowy white exterior and a spiced, tender interior. I love the peppery flavors of nutmeg, clove, allspice and cinnamon combined with molasses and a hint of citrus zest.

Since S N O W is the number one thing I miss about holidays in California compared to back east, these cookies give a little snoystorm-y atmosphere to my holiday treats platter...


Vegan Travel: Barcelona!

I wrote this last week, our first few days home from our trip. I am excited to share the trip with you guys in a few posts. This is the first, then next up, Croatia and Rome!..

I was up at 4:30am today. Blame it on jetlag. I am still recovering from an amazing trip that my husband and I took over the Thanksgiving holiday. We visited three spots: Barcelona, Croatia (Dubrovnik) and Rome. First stop: Barcelona!

This was my first time visiting Barcelona. Several friends of mine have been and always rave about it. I had also heard positive things in regards to the vegan options, so I was optimistic that I wouldn't starve or end up eating bread and veggie sides our entire visit.

Well they were right. I absolutely loved Barcelona and hope to spend more time there in the future. Here is a glimpse of our four-day stay and all the vegan restaurants and shops we found -- with a few sightseeing at Barcelona hotspots, like the churches and architecture, along the way!..


Matcha-misu (Matcha Tiramisu)

I came back from Rome craving my homemade matcha latte and also a vegan version of Tiramisu.

I love the idea of Tiramisu, but I personally prefer matcha to espresso (even though I agree espresso versions rock too) and I obviously wanted all that fluff on top to be vegan, dairy-free. Well I didn't realize how EASY a vegan + matcha version could be until I whipped this recipe up on a whim. I let it set in the fridge for a few hours and I did a taste test. I could not stop eating this stuff! Which was probably a bad idea at 4pm, with these silky layers heavily dusted in matcha green tea powder... But ah well! So so yummy.

Matcha-misu is my new fave matcha dessert.

So if you love the idea of matcha-soaked "lady fingers" (with an easy vegan hack for that part), fluffy whipped-cream-y style filling and topping and a snowy layer of matcha powder on top, dive into this recipe!...