Healthier Holiday Party Recipes

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini Avocado Pomegranate Crostini Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Is it just me or has every day this week felt like Friday? Since holiday party season is in full swing I thought I’d round up a few fun & festive recipes that are healthy-ish, and (mostly), finger food friendly.

Click on the images to go to each recipe (or see links below)…

Healthier Holiday Party Recipes / @loveandlemons

Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese Homemade Soft Pretzels Butternut Squash Croquettes Vegan Stuffed Shells Cookies! Almond Butter Cups  

Minty Pomegranate Spritzers / Butternut Squash & Sage Crostini / Avocado Pomegranate Crostini / Quinoa Stuffed Peppers / Parmesan & Fig Grilled Cheese / Vegan Soft Pretzels / Butternut Squash Croquettes  /  Vegan Stuffed ShellsCookies!  /  White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

White Chocolate (& Matcha) Almond Butter Cups / @loveandlemons

We have a new favorite food and it’s not what you think. Well, ok, it is what you think, given that the title and photo in this post have given it away. Lately, I haven’t been able to make it through the Whole Foods checkout line without sneaking a package of those Justin’s white chocolate almond butter cups – have you had them? (This is not a sponsored post, btw). 

So I thought – how hard would it be to make them at home? First we tried to make a vegan version w/ cacao butter – total fail. (points for trying though?). We ended up going the (much easier) route using organic white chocolate.

I got the idea to stir matcha – my green foodie food coloring of choice – into half of the melted white chocolate. I can’t put into words how amazing the combo of matcha + almond butter is. Just know that these had to be taken away from me.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons

Hey all, Jack here – now that it’s the end of the year, it’s holiday party time! And what does it normally mean to eat at a party in the winter? To a lot of Americans, that means spinach artichoke dip. I mean, what makes you feel like partying more than eating an entire loaf of bread dipped in cream cheese and mayonnaise?

Well, Jeanine and I don’t really think that’s much of a party any more. Our idea of a party is one where the next day you (or your guests) don’t feel awful. So we took a bit of inspiration from the classic party dip and made a spread that is still irresistible but infinitely more healthy. It uses two of our favorites for creamy vegan indulgence – sunflower seed puree and chickpeas. And the spinach is subbed out for kale, because why not?

I won’t lie though – I still ate way too much of this.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip / @loveandlemons

Matcha White Hot Chocolate

Matcha White Hot Chocolate / @loveandlemons

Hot chocolate always has to come with warm fuzzy memories, doesn’t it? I vividly remember being about 9 – otherwise known as the age when snow was fun. My sister and I would spend hours and hours building forts and making snow angels. We’d come in the house with red noses and leave our snowpants in a puddle at the door (you know, for mom to clean up). We’d sit down to mugs of swiss miss hot chocolate, no marshmallows for me.

I might not have wintery white Christmases anymore but here’s my fancy adult white hot chocolate that’s made oh so much more delicious by adding one of my favorite ingredients - matcha.

Matcha White Hot Chocolate / @loveandlemons

If you’re new to matcha, check out this matcha coconut latte post where I describe it a little more… or view all of our matcha recipes in our (now working again, sorry for yesterday’s glitch) recipe index.

Behind the Scenes: Making & Mattering

Behind the scenes: Making & Mattering @loveandlemons

I get a lot of questions about my background – mostly about how I got started blogging and if I have tips or suggestions for someone just starting out. I’ve always had a hard time coming up with “the answers” because I truly feel like everyone’s path is different. What I can tell you is that one key to my creative little journey has been surrounding myself with insanely talented people to be inspired by. So when La Crema Wines asked me to be a part of their Interview Magazine Statement Makers campaign, I immediately knew I wanted to interview one of the most inspiring and creative people I know - Trina Bentley of Make & Matter.

Everything I know about design, developing an aesthetic, and having a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, I learned from her. While Jack is the person that finishes my sandwiches, Trina is (creatively speaking) the person who finishes my sentences. She’s been my go-to person for everything from logo brainstorms to my wedding dress choice. She’s the person who I trust to tell me that the sky is blue and that Pantone 485 is, in fact, the best red.

Behind the scenes: Making & Mattering @loveandlemons

A bit about our background: Trina and I first met while working at a local graphic design firm. Eventually, we took a leap and started our own studio where we learned the ropes of creative entrepreneurship. Fast forward a bunch of years and our paths have diverged a bit – I started this here blog, and Trina went on to make a statement by starting Make & Matter, an award winning design studio where she creates gorgeous branding and packaging for natural food brands (like those beautiful Epic bars).

Last weekend, we got together for a glass of wine and a little brainstorm for an upcoming collaboration (more on that soon!). Jack put together a couple of cheese plates (and also snapped these photos)… Trina enjoyed La Crema’s Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir while I popped open the Chardonnay (which is in fact one of my favorite whites because it’s light, buttery, and also pairs well with most foods).

I realize this isn’t a dinner recipe, or a how-to-blog post, but I’m hoping this little Q & A will at least inspire all of you creative-types out there with some tips to make a statement in your own career. (Keep reading for the interview after the jump).