Handling Vanilla Extract Explosions

Hey friends! I hope everyone had a warm and bright Valentine’s weekend. Before I dive into some meal prep for the week… I wanted to mention that sometimes life does not go according to plan, and it’s hard to deal with, but also important to deal with. As the title says, vanilla extract exploded all up in my berry muffins for the week. Also, I went to bed planning for and expecting a great beauty sleep, but in the middle of the night work called to ask if I could come in, because the overnight staff hadn’t shown up yet. (As I got into my car to go there, they ended up showing up, thank the universe.) But that brings me to… we can plan, micromanage, and organize our life as much as we want, but sometimes what plays out does not live up your expectations or assumptions. And sometimes things end up working out even better than we hoped for or expected, or sometimes you end up with a vanilla extract covered kitchen. Be flexible, try not to get too attached to outcomes, leave room for changes, and take things less seriously. A little laughter goes a long way in times of unexpected turmoil. ANYWAY…

 

Almond-Cherry Glazed Berry Muffins

I miss summer, and cherries for snacks and smoothies and sunshine and being outside. But the cherries is what is pertinent for this recipe. I wanted to make a cherry-themed spin on the oatmeal breakfasts I’ve been frequenting this winter.

What you need:

Muffins

2.5 cups oats

1 tsp baking soda

(supposed to be) 2 tsp vanilla extract (ended up being like half a bottle oops!)

2.5 cups of mixed berries (I used frozen mix of blueberries, strawberries, cherries and blackberries)

1.5 cups almond milk

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup honey

3 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp flaxseed

Glaze

½ cup cherry juice

1 tsp almond extract (a little of this goes a long way!!)

2 tbsp brown sugar

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What you do:

Preheat oven to 375°. Melt the coconut oil. Mix all of the ingredients for the muffins together. Throw batter into coconut oil sprayed muffin tins, and bake for 35ish minutes (until golden brown.) While they bake, mix the ingredients for the glaze together. Once the muffins are out, pour the glaze on top.

Makes 12 muffins

 

Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

So simple, so nutrient filled, so warming. I am more than ready for spring, but winter can stay a little longer, I guess, as long as I have soups like this around for lunch.

What you need:

2.5 cups baby carrots

2 sweet potatoes

4 cups vegetable broth

Juice from 2 lemons

Enough garlic powder, oregano and ginger to taste

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What you do:

Preheat oven to 400°. Wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil and bake for 50 minutes. At the same time, boil the carrots in pot on top of the stove until soft. Let the carrots and sweet potatoes cool, and then put both in the food processor. Process until smooth and silky. Mix this in to a pot with vegetable broth, and mix together. Add in the lemon juice and spices, and let boil and simmer for several minutes.

Makes 4 servings

 

Brussel Sprouts Mac + Cheese

Mac+cheese is the food I could not live with out. It’s perfect. It can be so versatile. You can have it plain and simple, Annie’s bunny shaped all day; you can add in protein, veggies, multiple cheeses. You can always make it your own! I will never, ever, ever be vegan because of the beautiful invention of cheese. This is what I’ll be having for dinners this week.

What you need:

1 package rice noodles (I choose these because of the taste and soft texture)

1.5 cups brussel sprouts

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Spoonful minced garlic

½ cup shredded cheddar

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What you do:

Boil water for the rice noodles and pour in noodles once boiling. Put the brussel sprouts in a pan with the oil, vinegar and garlic. Stirfry until browning. When the noodles are soft, drain extra water and then mix brussels, noodles and cheese together.

Makes 2 servings

 

Blueberry Strawberry Shortcake Pie

My favorite dessert of all time is strawberry shortcake. So light, fluffy, and dreamy. It’s also my dad’s favorite dessert, and he’s the best guy, so I think of the food as fondly as I think of my dad. This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do a little spin on strawberry shortcake, by turning it into a pie and adding some blueberries.

What you need:

1 pie crust

1 carton strawberries

1 carton blueberries

1.5 vanilla wafers

2 cups milk chocolate chips, melted

1 tsp almond extract

Can of whipped cream ( ❤ )

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What you do:

Bake pie crust following directions on label. (Each is different.) In the mealtime, crush up the vanilla wafers into bite sized crumbs. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with the almond extract until creamy liquid. Wash the fruit and cut up the strawberries. Now to layer the pie! Bottom layer: half of the vanilla wafers. Next: half of the fluffy chocolate. Then: half of the strawberries and blueberries. Finally: lots and lots of whipped cream.

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And again!: Remainder of the vanilla wafers. Then the chocolate. Then the berries. Then more and more whipped cream! Place any remaining berries on top for a nice aesthetic quality.

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Makes 8 pie slices

 

And that’s the week in terms of food! Let me know what you guys are eating. XOXO

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