Best of…May! (and an award)

Uh, yeah, so how crazy is it that it’s already June? Where has this year gone? I can’t believe that last month at this time, I was stressing about finals and projects. Now I’m stressing (sorta) about my internship and packing. More on those later though!

Best New Find: Justin’s vanilla almond butter and So Delicious almond milk ice cream

Probably the best dollar I’ve ever spent!

Last month I discovered sooooooo many new-to-me products, it was a little crazy. Not that I’m complaining, though–one of my favorite things to do is buy new products and try them out. Sure, sometimes they disappoint but in other cases (like with the nut butter and ice cream), they were beyond amazing.

Best Discussion: Eating Comes at a Cost

I know I’ve said this before, but you guys are the best! Seriously, I’ve been loving all the responses I’ve gotten so far. I am very passionate about issues like this but these kinds of posts are always hard for me to publish because I worry about the backlash. You guys are always really respectful and thoughtful in your comments, though, which is great!

Best Recipe: Peanut Flour Pancakes

How delicious do these look?

Not gonna lie, this was muy dificil to decide on! Considering I had a record number of recipes in May (12 of them!) I had a really hard time narrowing it down to just one. But these protein-packed, peanutty pancakes are something I’ve been coming back to over and over. They’re simple to make but taste almost gourmet.

Best Non-Food Post: Work It Out

Hiking in snow…in the summer?!

Even though my blog is usually about food, I definitely have other interests, like fashion and fitness! I really liked sharing my favorite ways to workout and even though none of them involve the gym, I’ve come to realize that no one way to exercise is better than another.

Best Photo

I don’t know why, but this is just a gorgeous photo!

A lot of you commented on this photo and said you liked it. Well, I do too! Instagram is my favorite app, hands down, and this photo just speaks to me somehow.

And now for the award ceremony 😉 Hahaha, just kidding, but both Aja and Kat nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award. Thanks, ladies!

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs 
(I was too slow.) you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

1. What is your favorite color?

Pink, for sure! I love hot pink, light pink, whatever shade. I also love orange, especially paired with pink.

2. What is your favorite animal?

This is really hard, but I’m gonna go with rabbits. I think bunnies are the cutest thing ever, especially the lop-eared kind. I really want to get a bunny for a pet someday.

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Iced coffee, no milk and sweetened with flavored stevia. I just discovered that Panera has this as a drink option by the soda machines…score!

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter! I love reading really short updates (I have a short attention span) and funny tweets (like by Condescending Wonka).

5. What is your favorite pattern?

Is lace a pattern? If it is, that’s what I choose. I have a few lacy pieces that I really love–they’re girly and cute but still elegant.

6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents? 

Not gonna lie, getting presents is better. I do love giving presents, but getting them is just so exciting!

7. What is your favorite number?

7 or 11. I like 7 because I was born on July 27th, and I like 11 because it rhymes with 7 😀

8. What is your favorite day of the week? 

I probably would have said Saturday a month ago, but now that I intern on that day, I’ll go with Friday. It’s not quite as special during the summer, but it’s still great.

9. What is your favorite flower? 

I like those huge, brightly-colored daisies!

10. What is your passion?

Clothes and grocery shopping, being outside and yoga.

Now it’s time for some nominations!

Alexandra She just started a new blog all about lifting and life in general. I loved her old blog and I have a feeling I’m gonna love this one even more!

Tessa I can always relate to her ED posts and she always has the best insights! I love her honesty and she really takes the time to respond to her reader’s comments, which I think is awesome.

Chloe I am super jealous of her cooking skills! Her food photography always makes me drool, too.

Amy Lauren I wish I could be an amazing runner like she is! She’s also a really great writer, and her race recaps are fun to read.

Lena I love that she’s from Colorado too, and I’m jealous that she gets to go to all these cool Denver-area restaurants! She’s also an awesome runner.

What was the best workout you did in May? What’s your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

WIAW: Early to the Party

Hi all, what is up? I’m glad you appreciated my random ramblings in my last post–finals just really make you lazy and scrambling for any blog content no matter how lame. At this point, I have 2 finals left (one today and one on Thursday) and then I’m headed home on Thursday afternoon for a month of glorious freedom! I can almost taste it 😛

My weekend was super-fun in a low-key way and definitely a preview of winter break, because I went home for an extended weekend–from Friday afternoon til Monday afternoon. Despite having to work on a stats take-home exam, I had a good time with my family and it only made me even more excited to come back home for a much longer time. I haven’t been home for more than a week since this summer so it should be amazing! A few random highlights from my weekend include hearing my church’s choir sing Christmas songs at a special service, signing my lease for an apartment next year ( 😀 ) and actually getting to cook. But you’ll get to see that part in the rest of the post!

Peas and Crayons

I decided to post my WIAW a little early this week because I’m super excited to show you all some things I made this weekend. Not recipes, per se, because they’re almost all so simple a 10 year old could make them, but I’m proud that I created and enjoyed them.

Maybe my favorite voluminous overnight oats combo to date--trail mix oats!

First up, my favorite part of the day…breakfast! You know me, can’t go a day without oats so I started my Sunday morning (and Saturday night…) off with a new oats combo–trail mix. Basically, I made my usual 1/4 cup of voluminous oats (so it really makes a fluffy 1/2 cup) and in the morning I heated it up and topped it with a pinch of chopped pecans (maybe my new fave nut?), a little bit of Whole Foods kettle corn, a couple of vegan chocolate chips and a bunch of raisins. The chocolate melted a little which made the combo even yummier. This is a definite keeper–simple, yet really tasty! And you can customize the trail mix topper any way you like, I personally love the chocolate/nut/dried fruit combo and the sweet-saltiness of the kettle corn added a little something extra.

I'm really in the Christmas mood, obviously.

This is obviously not food, but a picture I took of our big kitchen window that I wrote on. We just got a new dryer and it filled the house with steam, so the windows fogged up. I am definitely a 5 year old, so I couldn’t resist writing on the window. My mom came and wiped it off of course, but I had to snap a pic first!

Fancy pumpkin pecan pie s'mores.

My creativity really got away from me making s’mores this weekend. I can’t wait to find vegan marshmallows to really take this over the top, as the marshmallows I had were too hard and I ended up scraping them off the graham and eating the s’mores sans marshmallow. But basically, I took the pumpkin s’more recipe and added chopped pecans to it. It turned out amazing and really amped up the basic s’more to a whole new level. Try it, you won’t regret it. And I will be coming up with even more crazy s’mores ideas, so stay tuned!

Staying home alone makes me resort to lame photo shoots with myself. No shame.

I stayed home alone on Monday, since my sister had school and my parents had work so what did I do? Besides whip up a batch of homemade nut butter (hold on, it’s coming right up!), I also had an impromptu iPod touch photo shoot with my lovely self. I love my iPod because it has the dual camera, so I can see what I look like before I snap the picture. Basically, I am obsessed with weird random selfies that I sometimes edit with Instagram. I obviously have no life 😉

Coffee maple pecan volume oats...try saying that three times fast!

The new oats combos continued with this baby, which wasn’t quite as good as the trail mix kind, but it’s a work in progress. I need to find some way to keep the drizzled maple syrup from getting mixed in with the oats before I mix it in. But it’s a delicious combo anyways.

The coffee maple pecan trend continues with...homemade coffee maple pecan butter!

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for…the homemade nut butter recipe! I’ve always wanted to make a nut butter at home, but I never got the opportunity until now! I used up the chopped pecans to create this deliciousness, which is nice and sweet with a touch of bitterness from the coffee. But trust me, it’s good…I almost can’t wait until Thursday night to enjoy it again!

Coffee Maple Pecan Butter (vegan, makes 1/3 cup)

3/4 cup chopped pecans, raw or toasted

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp instant coffee powder (I used Starbucks VIA mocha)

Pulse pecans in a food processor for 5-1o minutes, until smooth and buttery. Add in maple and pulse til combined. Add in coffee powder until all ingredients are mixed. Serve on fruit (apples or bananas would go well) or right off the spoon 😀

Each tablespoon of the pecan butter has about 115 calories, which is pretty comparable to most flavored nut butters. Best of all, it’s really yummy, unique and super simple to make!

What kind of nut butter combo would you make? What kind of flavor combo would make a perfect s’more?