Vegan Almond-Pulp Chocolate Cookies

This is the first time I have made anything with almond pulp, so this cookie recipe was really a true experiment for me.  I have just recently started making my own almond milk and have been discarding the almond pulp, and have truly been feeling quite guilty for doing that.

So, this morning when I made almond milk, I put aside the pulp with the willingness and excitement to develop a cookie recipe.  I wanted to use the least amount of ingredients as possible to create a cookie that is both moist and has a nice, delicate, chocolate flavor.  I believe I have done that with these little gems.

These cookies bake for a short time, 7-9 minutes, so keep a close watch on them.  Over-baking will produce a crunchy cookie instead of a moist one.  But, maybe you prefer that; if you do, I would bake for 10-12 minutes.


1 cup organic almond pulp
1 cup organic quick oats
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/4 cup organic raw cacao
2 tablespoons organic tahini
1 teaspoon organic pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla salt
1/4 cup organic almonds, finely crushed


Line 2 cookie sheets with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except the crushed almonds.  Mix thoroughly until a soft mixture forms.  Form cookies into balls and lay onto the lined cookie sheet.  Using the palm of your hand, gently press down on each cookie.

Bake 7-9 minutes.  Remove the warm cookies, place on a plate and sprinkle with crushed almonds.

Store in a tightly covered container.


Vegan Green Banana Smoothie

I am off to help paint the interior of my brother's house this morning.  A green smoothie is exactly what I need to give me a boost and carry me through the morning.


2 cups filtered water
2 cups organic kale
2 ripe organic bananas
6 ounces organic strawberries, frozen
3 ounces organic pineapple, frozen


Place ingredients into your high-powered blender in the order listed, blend until smooth.

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

I have been addicted to eating granola lately, but it's not the easiest treat to eat when you are on the go.  So, I put on my apron pulled out my granola recipe and started to adapt it into a granola bar version.  I didn't stray to far from my  original granola recipe. I knew I had to add a binding ingredient so the granola could be shaped and cut into bars.  Adding peanut butter did the job, perfectly.

I am very happy on how this recipe
turned out.  Try the granola bars for yourself and let me know how you like them.


2 cups organic oatmeal
1 cup organic shredded coconut
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan mini-chocolate chips
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup organic agave
1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped organic peanuts 
1  1/2 teaspoons organic pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 ounces of chocolate, melted


Line a 9x13 baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl add all dry ingredients, mix well.  Add to that all the wet ingredients, mix well.

Pour granola mixture into the parchment lined baking sheet and disperse evenly while gently pressing mixture down.

Bake 20-25 minutes.  

Melt chocolate and pour over the cooled granola.  Let chocolate set before cutting granola into bars.



Vegan Scrumptious Tartlets with Fruit Filling

Are you planning a tea party? How about a picnic? Or, better yet, maybe it's your furry family member's birthday!  No matter the occasion these tartlets are sure to please both dogs and humans!

Pastry dough for 24 mini-tarts


3 ounces non-dairy cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened 
1 1/2 teaspoons pure organic almond extract
1cup organic unbleached flour
1 jar organic sugar-free fruit jam or jelly


Using a mixer, blend cream cheese, butter, and almond extract until smooth.  Add flour and beat until dough forms.

Remove mixture from bowl and place on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Securely wrap the dough and form into a disc.  Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Using a mini-muffin pan, press 1/2 tablespoon of pastry dough into each well, making a shallow shell.

Bake until they are a light golden brown.

Let tartlets cool in pan a few minutes.  Remove and fill each shell with jam or jelly.

*Remember to give treats to your furry family member in moderation.


Vegan Herb Spelt Braided Rolls

Today is a rainy day, which makes it the perfect day to make bread.  I wanted something different than the usual loaf of bread.  You could also make one large braided loaf of bread instead of indvidual rolls.

Since the rain will be sticking around all day, I will be making a nice large pot of corn chowder to go along with my braided rolls.  A nice, cozy meal is a must on a rainy day.


3 cups organic spelt
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 tablespoon organic garlic powder
1 tablespoon organic onion powder
1 tablespoon organic dried parsley
2 tablespoon organic dried dill
1/2 teaspoon chive salt
3 teaspoons yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon non-dairy butter, melted 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, pure cane sugar, chive salt, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, dill, and yeast.  Add the warm water and mix until a dough forms.

Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.


Lightly flour a cutting board with spelt flour.  

You will need 3 balls of dough for 1 roll. Approx. a tablespoon of dough for each ball.
Roll each ball of dough into the flour on your cutting board.

Roll each ball into a long strip.

Crisscross the three strips, then braid.

Place the braided rolls on a non-bleached parchment lined baking sheet, cover with clean kitchen towel, let rise 30 minutes.

After the second rise brush each roll with the melted non-dairy butter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.


Vegan Tomato Soup

Here is the perfect soup for your summer tomato harvest.  I like to add brown rice to my soup. Weird? Maybe, but I like it.  Add a loaf of crusty bread and you are set for a scrumptious dinner.


6 organic tomatoes, quartered
32 ounces of organic tomato juice
1 cup organic non-dairy milk
1/2 cup non-dairy butter
1/4 cup organic basil, chopped
1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Organic chives, for garnish


In a large stock pot add quartered tomatoes, tomato juice, and basil. Heat over medium flame until tomatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until you reach the consistency you desire.

Add non-dairy butter, non-dairy milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Continue heating over medium flame for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve warm; garnish with fresh chives and brown rice, if you like.


Vegan Spelt Pizza

My family and I rarely go out for pizza, and when we do it's always from Whole Foods.  There are not many vegan pizza restaurants around where we live.  We love pizza, and we enjoy having it every week.  I usually make my pizza dough from white flour, but since I recently discovered spelt flour, I decided to test the waters with a spelt pizza last night for dinner.  My husband and I enjoyed it, my daughter would still rather have the white flour pizza dough.  The spelt crust was able to carry the load of peppers, olives, and beef crumbles. Try this pizza recipe for yourself and let me know what you think.


2 cups organic spelt flour
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon organic garlic powder
1 tablespoon organic onion powder
1 teaspoon chive salt
1 cup organic tomato sauce
2 cups non-dairy cheese
1 cup Beyond Meat beef crumbles (optional)
1/2 cup organic peppers (optional)
1/4 olives (optional)

Place yeast and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer; let yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes.  Add flour, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.  Mix for 5 minutes, cover bowl with a clean towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

If using a pizza stone, dust the stone with organic yellow corn meal; if using a pizza pan, lightly grease with olive oil.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the stone or in a pan.  Spread tomato sauce evenly over the dough, add cheese and toppings.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Vegan Coffee Truffles

Chocolate truffles..  To me, just saying those words, I think decadent, creamy, and luxurious.  I love truffles, but for some reason I don't make them as much as I should.  Making truffles is very easy; you only need a few ingredients.  Truffles have a mystique about them.  Just looking at them, you think "fancy", not an everyday chocolate indulgent.  Bring them to a party and guests will think you are a chocolatier.

Truffles are definitely in a class by themselves, and I like to keep them that way.  People may think chocolate is chocolate, but it's not.  There's the everyday chocolate bar that you gobble down when you need a quick chocolate fix, and then there's the type that you want to relax and savor while eating.


6 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons organic raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure organic coffee extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla salt
1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted


In a medium sized bowl, add the cacao powder, agave nectar, coffee extract, salt, and melted coconut oil.  Mix thoroughly.  Place in fridge for 30 minutes.

Scoop out the firm chocolate and roll into small balls with your hands.  You can now roll the truffles into more cacao powder, chopped nuts, coconut, or melted chocolate.

Vegan Spelt Bread

There is just one word that describes this bread: FANTASTIC!  To tell you the truth, I had my doubts about this bread.  This is my first time baking with spelt flour, and I am just speechless on how well this flour performs in bread.

I must also applaud another great product from One Degree Organic Foods.  If you haven't tried any of their products, I suggest you do.  All of their products are veganic, meaning no animal fertilizers are used by the organic growers they purchase from.

This bread recipe is straightforward and fool-proof.  The bread has a light texture but it is hearty at the same time.

Spelt bread will quickly become your favorite I assure you!


3 cups organic spelt flour
1/4 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 tablespoon non-dairy butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoons yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Lightly oil loaf pan with the olive oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, pure cane sugar, sea salt, and yeast.  Add the warm water and mix until a dough forms.

Place dough into the greased loaf pan, cover with a towel, and let rise for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, make a slit with a sharp knife down the entire length of the dough, and
brush the entire surface with the melted non-dairy butter.

Bake 45 minutes.  Let cool in pan before removing.


Lavender Carpet Freshener

How would you like your home to smell like a lavender field?  You can do this without toxic cleaners and artificial scents.  Remove pet odors and everyday odors in minutes. Do you drive the soccer team around all week? Try this in your car if you have cloth seats.

All you need is a bowl, baking soda, lavender water, mixing spoon, and a container or shaker. In the bowl place 1 cup of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of lavender water; mix thoroughly, there should be no lumps.

I use a spice container with a shaker insert to keep my cleaner in; it's very easy to sprinkle the powder around the room this way.  Let the powder sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming.


Lavender Hand Scrub

Soft, silky, hands with a subtle scent of lavender, who doesn't want that?!  This lavender hand scrub is definitely a spa treatment that you can make and enjoy in your home, anytime you need a little pampering.


1 1/2 cups coarse salt
1 cup organic almond oil
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1 tablespoon lavender water

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a clean glass container that has a secure lid.  Shake gently before using.


Lavender Extract

Lavender extract is extraordinary when used in making chocolate desserts and it absolutely sings when used in fruit pies or is sparingly poured over fresh peaches.  Lavender extract should be used in small amounts because of its intense flavor.

If you don't grow lavender in your garden, check your farmer markets. Though, I do suggest using organic lavender.


1 sterile glass jar with a secure lid
2 cups organic vegan vodka
1/2 cup lavender flowers


Place flowers into the glass jar, pour in the vodka, and place cap on securely.  Place jar in a cool dark place for 1 month.  Swirl the mixture around every few days.

After 1 month, strain the extract through a sieve. Using a wooden spoon, gently press on the flowers to extract the trapped liquid.

Put the discarded flowers down your garbage disposal and run for a few seconds.  This will clean your disposal, and your sink will smell lovely.


Lavender Water

If I were able to plant only one flower in my garden, it would be lavender.  I love the smell of lavender; it's so relaxing.  My lavender is in full bloom. The aroma of lavender fills the air in my front garden.  This is were most of my lavender grows, a south facing garden that has the perfect soil for lavender to thrive.  My original plants are 14 years old and they have naturally reseeded in many places in my front garden.  It's a delight to see new seedlings growing in the spring where just last year there were none.  I transplanted some small plants today in a rock garden, fingers crossed they thrive.  I do hate to transplant my lavender; I hate to risk losing such a lovely plant.

I have had surprising success in growing lavender from seed.  One of my biggest lavender plants I have today was grown from seeds.  I remember receiving the lavender seeds from a friend. As she handed them to me, I was thinking to myself, these will never grow.  But, to my surprise, they grew to be a very large plant in a pot and when I transplanted the lavender into the ground it tripled in size. Every year it grows a bounty full of purple jewels for me to enjoy.

Lavender has many benefits, including being an antispectic, a anti-inflammatory,  and it also helps to relieve stress. I make many things with lavender, so I have decided that I will dedicate this week to the many uses of lavender.  Each day I will give you a new recipe using lavender.

This week we start with lavender water!  It's simple to make and much less expensive than buying it in a boutique.  Lavender water also makes a lovely gift, a little luxury in a bottle.

You will need the following:

Roughly 30 lavender stems
A clean glass jar with a secure lid
16 ounces of distilled water
1/2 teaspoon of organic vodka

Pour the water and vodka into the glass jar, add the flower heads, seal tightly.  Place in a cool dark location for 1 month.  You may swirl the mixture around gently every few days. After one month, strain the water through a sieve to remove the flower heads. Decant into a spray bottle.  You may use the lavender water to mist your pillows before bed, helping you relax and sleep better.  Or, use it as your ironing water to take out wrinkles, leaving a fresh clean lavender scent on your clothes. Decant the lavender water into a bottle that has a long neck; fill the bottle with lavender water and attatch a pour spout into the neck of the bottle.  This makes using the water a lot easier when ironing.  Better yet, add a couple tablespoons to your rinse water when washing clothes.  Even use as a room freshener, and give a few sprays to your furry family member's bed; they deserve the benefits of lavender too.

I hope you enjoyed my first recipe. Check back tomorrow for another!


Vegan Chocolate Donuts

Happy National Donut Day!

Bake a couple dozen of these scrumptious donuts today!  Your family and friends will hug you for it.

*Donut recipe adapted from One Green Planet

Ingredients for dough:

1 1/2 cup organic unbleached flour 
2 teaspoons non-aluminum, non-GMO baking powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla salt

3/4 cup organic almond milk
1/2 cup organic pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil

Method for making dough:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil donut pan, set aside.

In a small pot, combine the wet ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet to the dry, mix until a dough forms.

Fill each donut well to the top.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Ingredients for chocolate glaze:

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted 
1/2 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract


Melt chocolate, add coconut oil and chocolate extract; mix.

Dip cooled donuts in glaze.

Watch Jewelry

Round, square, with hands or without, working or broken I want them!  Go to any flea market or antique fair and you will find these small treasures hidden in old boxes, their "watch faces" peeking out from under jewelry trying to be noticed.  I have not found an ugly vintage watch face yet.   Gorgeous faces these watches have, some have jewels, others have intricate engraving with the most delicate of hands.

The possibilities are endless in using these precious keepers of time; make a ring, necklace, or a pin. As you can see from the picture any size or shape will work, you can use women's or men's watch faces.

The back of the faces are just as beautiful; here you see the inner workings of these time pieces.  Showcase the back of watch when making a ring, or the actual working watch face.  Now you will have jewelry that also is a watch.  How cool is that?  The next time someone asks you for the time, just look at your ring, because you will have time on your hands!

To make the ring, all you need is a ring blank, glue and a watch face.  You can also use crystals to jazz up a simple watch face.  A few of my watch faces have jeweled wind up knobs, bonus!

For a necklace, get a bail, glue, and a watch face.

The pin will need a pin closure, glue, and watch face.  You will need a flat surface to glue the pin closure onto the watch face.


Garden Decor

As I was sitting in my garden this weekend enjoying the cool morning temperatures before the afternoon heat sets in, I noticed I had a few items in my garden that might be of interest to others.

My first item is my water feature.  I made this using an old oil/gas vessel I bought at a flea market.  I purchased a basic water pond pump, attached a water spicket to a piece of pump, then attached the pipe to the pump.  You can adjust the water pressure by the spicket, just like a faucet on a sink.

This is a vintage tub that we hooked up to a spicket that is attatched to our garden hose.  I clean my veggies from the garden in the tub before I bring them in the house.  Or, it's perfect for washing your dirty hands after working outside.  Once for a party we filled it with ice and filled the tubs with drinks.

This idea is truly one of my favorites.  I bought this old mailbox at an antique fair.  You would think finding an old mailbox would be easy, but it took me months to find this one. Worth the wait though!

Lastly, my chandelier that I purchased from a garage sale.  It originally was a shiny gold before I spray painted it white. I put faux candles in the bulb sockets.  This chandelier is very pretty at night hanging in my garden, a very unexpected lighting fixture that can hang from your trees or garden hooks.


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