Author Archives: jjbegonia

Sweetened Whipped Ricotta with Pistachio Coconut Crumble and Apricot Preserves

Thank You so much to Bonne Maman for sponsoring this post!  As always, all opinions are my own.


I tend to shy away from sharing breakfast dishes here, in part because my first meal of the day usually consists of some semblance of fruit, chia pudding, oatmeal or green juice; clean, simple, healthful, fare.  In general, I want things that I can throw together in a matter of minutes, and like to keep my refrigerator and my pantry stocked with items that fall into those categories [clean, simple, healthful], as well.

When I am not able to make something from scratch, I shop for brands that emulate the things that I value (that still taste like they are homemade, too).  Bonne Maman is one of those brands.  Their jellies, spreads, and preserves are crafted from natural, quality, ingredients.  In addition, Bonne Maman is Non-GMO project verified.

Here I used their Apricot Preserves to make a sweet breakfast in bed treat that would be perfect for Mother’s Day.  This recipe fits all of my personal requirements (See above!), but is special enough to make for my Mom on her special day, too!

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Bonne Maman is hosting a contest in which they will dole out over 1,000 (!) prizes, including a grand prize package with a cookware set from Le Creuset.  You can enter-to-win here, or follow the designated link below.  Good Luck!



Ukrainian Borscht with Potatoes

Thank You so much to Potatoes USA for sponsoring this post!  As always, all opinions are my own.


As kids, my sister and I spent many weekends staying with my Polish/Ukrainian Grandparents.  At one point in time, we lived right down the street from them, but to us visiting their house still somehow felt like venturing into another world.

My Grandma being big on tradition and my Grandpa being very much a creature of habit meant that on both counts, our visits rarely deviated from a routine.  On Friday night, we ate dinner at the Polish Home.  There we shared fried fish and large platters of potato and cheese pierogi.  If I was lucky, I got to have a 7-Up too (It was the only time I was allowed to drink soda!).

Saturdays were spent lounging around, reading “The Funnies” (comics) in the paper, and watching my Grandma cook, before heading to church later in the evening.  The dishes that she made were the typical Ukrainian fare, which she grew up with, including golumpki (stuffed cabbage) and borscht (beet soup).  This is her recipe for borscht.

If you have ever searched for a borscht recipe before, then you might know that there are hundreds of variations.  My Grandma thought it necessary to use a sparerib for the flavor that the fat imparts.  If you prefer, you can omit the meat altogether and make a Vegetarian version of this soup as I often do.  You must include the potatoes, however, as they not only thicken the broth, but soak up all of that gorgeous red beet color too!




Vegan White Hot Chocolate with Chestnut + a Giveaway

It’s taken me a while to put this post together (hence some of the Christmas-y themes present); to get into the swing of 2017, actually.  Anyone else?

Not helping matters is the fact that I spent the first week of the year in Grand Cayman.  The trip was truly a dream, and if I can find a way to wrap my head around writing about some of the wonderfully weird things that happened – with some of my favorite people in the world – then, I’ll do that.  You can definitely expect photos and a recipe to come soon though!

The last couple of weeks then have been spent catching up, tackling a slew of new photography projects, cleaning and organizing (always more cleaning and organizing), and generally chilling and snuggling with Sneaks.  I finally read two of the books that have been resting on my nightstand: Sweetbitter (liked) and The Girls (liked a lot).

My kitchen experiments have been minimal.  I’ve been mostly relying upon cold-weather standbys like big bowls of veggie soup, hearty mixed greens, and cups of steamy beverages to get me through my days.  As the snow continues to fall outside, I am focused as much on keeping warm as I am on staying fueled.  This version of vegan white hot chocolate is one of my go-to recipes for both.

I like this drink because you can more or less take the base – a hot vanilla-infused nut milk – anywhere you like.  The chestnut spread is not necessary (and I realize, is a bit obscure), but it does add some extra sweetness and seasonal flare, if you want to try it.  You can up the adaptogen quotient as much as you wish, but I definitely recommend the maca here. Maca is a natural immune booster, hormone balancer, and universal feel good promoter; all qualities that seem especially important this time of year.

To keep those feel good vibes going, my friends at Dreamfarm would like to give two winners a prize pack that includes 3 of their very best kitchen gadgets, valued at $45.  If you’ve been reading here for a bit then you might know that I love their tools – and I say that as someone who is admittedly not a fan of excess tools, in general.  I like to keep my prep and my cleanup simple!  I am particularly fond of the Levoons for their compact nature, and their handy leveling scrapers.

Each prize pack has: a set of Levoons, and Levups, as well as a Chopula.  You can enter to win via the Rafflecopter widget below.  I’ll select and contact the winners via email one week from today (February 2nd).  Good luck – and if you are in a chilly area of the world right now, please stay warm and cozy!