Category Archives: Sips

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!

 

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Honeyed Pear and Prosecco Cocktail

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

 

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Can you picture how the sky looks an hour or so before a big snow squall is about to hit?  In the way that the clouds turn hazy – as if a fog is rolling in – and the sun peeks through for one last hurrah; a mix of grey and pink and yellow?  It’s peaceful and pretty, and what I believe we commonly refer to as the “calm before the storm”.

That was happening outside as I took these photos and looking at them now, I think I may have been channeling some of that vibe when I was staging them.  The light was pouring in in a way that made my house feel both cold and warm at the same time.  I can’t explain it any better than to say that it looked like the best version of that illustrious “Golden Hour”, especially because it was taking place around 1:00 in the afternoon (not during the sunrise or sunset), and it had a very pronounced rosy glow to it.

I actually stopped what I was doing for a minute to admire it.  I had been using a sequined jacket in my setup and the light was giving said jacket a disco ball effect.  You might think this is corny, but to me, it was a simple, sparkly moment of pleasure to behold.

Lunetta (meaning “Little Moon” in Italian) is a brand that celebrates the small pleasures in life.  I am particularly excited to partner with them on this post as Prosecco is by far my favorite libation.  It’s the drink I order when I am out, and the one bottle I always have on hand at my parties.  I even add it to my food, recipe permitting, of course.

I am A-OK with a glass of Prosecco on its own, but I like to throw in special touches here and there as well.  This cocktail has that in the form of pear nectar with background notes of honey and vanilla.  Bear with me here, but it kind of reminds me of that light I was referring to above, in that the flavor profile is cold (chilled dry-ish bubbly, pear) and warm (vanilla-y honey) all at once.

I am planning on serving this drink to my family on Christmas Eve, however, I am looking forward to sipping on it well through winter of 2017 too!

 

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Leading with Your Gut, with Tropicana Probiotics

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

 

“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair.  We’d never have a friendship.  We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical.  Well, that’s nonsense.  You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” ~ Annie Dillard

Once upon a time, I was a girl who strongly disliked (“Hate” is probably a better word here, but I try not to use that in any capacity, because it just promotes bad vibes, all around, you know?) her job.  I’ve talked about this before and I probably will again.

When I graduated from college and moved to New York City immediately thereafter, I wanted to become a magazine editor.  I wasn’t entirely sure what that would entail, but I was certain that I loved to create and write, and that thinking about things like branding, packaging, colors, and layouts very much excited me; they still do.

To get my foot in the door so to speak, I began temping at magazines like GQ and Lucky.  I would work at each for 2-3 days at a time doing very glamorous things such as organizing fashion closets and stuffing PR mailers.  I really enjoyed those tasks though, in part because I always felt that in doing them I was getting one step closer to my dream of becoming an editor.  We all have to pay our dues.

Eventually, I landed a full-time position at another magazine…in sales.  I had never considered working in sales before, but I was young and naive and above all, reasoned with myself that I would do this particular job for a year or two at most, and ultimately cross over into editorial as planned.  Right.

You might guess by now where this is going.

Without me even realizing it, one year turned into almost ten.  Time is good like that; it flies.  I did a lot of things in that period of my life, of course.  I moved back to Boston and got my MBA.  I traveled as much and as often as I possibly could.  When I graduated from Boston College once again (I also did my undergrad program there.), I moved to Los Angeles.

In all that time, I continued to work in sales in spite of the fact that my heart was never in it.  What I know now is that I was never cut out for sales, and if I am being honest, I was never very good at it either.  Yet in every new position that I accepted, I continued to reason and make concessions with myself as to why I kept on keeping on.  I suppose I had decided that I would make a change “someday”.

Before I go any further, I want to say that in the handful of jobs that I had in that decade, I met some incredible people and made some of my very best friends.  While I was not once particularly thrilled about the work in front of me, I was learning; a whole bunch.  I will forever be grateful for those two things if nothing else.

The truth is, however, I knew deep down that for as long as I continued to work in sales, I would never be genuinely happy.

That realization practically smacked me in the face by the point at which I landed in L.A.  The company that I was with at the time had numerous internal problems.  Those problems definitely made me feel worse off, but – that aside – what the situation boiled down to is that I was utterly unfulfilled.  Not even a new job with the coolest company, or the kindest people, or the best perks, (insert superlative here) etc., etc., etc., would change that.

What I still wanted to do was to create.  I spent my free time taking photos of random objects and scenery.  Where I could, I planned adventures and road trips.   I invited my friends over for dinner parties.  On the weekends, I wandered from farmers’ market to farmers’ market obsessing over the pretty produce California had to offer and dreaming up new recipes.

I also found that age old thought running on repeat in my mind “There has to be more to life than this“.

 

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