Kathryne’s Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I often get asked “How did you start your blog?” and “Do you have any tips for me if I’m just getting started?” I’m not very good at answering these questions, particularly the second one because what worked for me in 2011 when I started my blog is probably outdated today.

But I do have one tip that will stand the test of time: Make good blog friends.

I’ll never forget the week I started my blog (waaaay back in 2011). Jack and I had worked really hard to choose recipes, learn to take flattering pictures of food (harder than you think!), and design/program a good looking website. We made the website live and I wondered if my mom would be our only reader.

One day, while Jack was trying to explain to me how Twitter works, there was a sudden “BLEEP” from my computer… someone had tagged me in a tweet that said “Love and Lemons is love at first sight,” and it was from an account called Cookie and Kate. 30 seconds later, “bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep”… re-tweets and messages started flashing in and I squealed with both Tweety confusion and excitement that this blog thing was going to work. Of course, there would be years and mountains of (mostly free) work ahead of me before I could call this labor of love a job… but it had to start somewhere, little by little. In my case, this start was initiated by one kind soul who was the first to share a slice of her readership with me.

Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Fast forward to now… Cookie and Kate has become one of my favorite vegetarian blogs to read and Kathryne has become one of my very best blog friends. If you aren’t following her blog, you should – she makes delicious, attainable vegetarian food and her first cookbook, Love Real Food, is a real stunner. I’ve read it cover to cover and I have one tip for you: don’t read it while you’re hungry! I drooled over recipes like Roasted Eggplant Lasagna, Chickpea Tikka Masala, and Fresh Greek Nachos before stopping at her gorgeous peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

These cookies are so delicious and SO quick to make. It’s a one bowl recipe that results in decadent, soft pillowy cookies that are lightly crisp on the outside. These little guys contain no flour (so they’re naturally gluten and grain free) and they’re sweetened with coconut sugar. I made my cookies with eggs as the recipe states, but Kathryne also gives a vegan option in the footer of the recipe which I’ll include here as well.

Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I’ll be making these Greek Nachos with Herbed Tahini this week – yum!

Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Her book is not only gorgeous, but there are also the cutest pictures of her dog Cookie 🙂

Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies Kathryne's Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Love Real Food comes out tomorrow – go get yourself a copy!

Coconut Mango Muffins

Coconut Mango Muffins

Muffins have such a special place in my heart. Growing up, my family ate muffins for breakfast nearly every day and it was awesome. My sister and I would *think* we wanted the colorful cereals that the other kids had. We’d beg my mom to buy them and when she would, they’d end up going stale on the top shelf in the pantry. Nothing beat a warm muffin and a big glass of milk first thing in the morning. Of course, I’ve since nixed the milk part, but my love for muffins continues.

These muffins, made with Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk, are my new favorite morning treat.

Coconut Mango Muffins

Now, these are not your giant bakery muffins – huge and over the top – these are the lightly sweet, small, everyday sort of muffins. They’re studded with chopped mango and topped with toasted coconut flakes. The lime juice helps them rise and a mixture of flax binds them together – although these can also be made with an egg if you do not have flax, see the recipe below.

Almond Breeze Almondmilk is my go-to nondairy milk for baking, but the Almond Coconut Blend works especially well here to enhance the light coconut flavor.

Coconut Mango Muffins

These are best right out of the oven but they also freeze well! Store them in an airtight bag in the freezer for up to a month. Pop them in the microwave for 20 or so seconds for a warm muffin-y breakfast or snack.

Coconut Mango Muffins

Jessica’s Pistachio Oat Squares

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares

I’m excited to share this recipe today – these Pistachio Oat Squares are SO delicious!

It’s spring which means that the best cookbooks are coming out now. You know the ones – they’re brimming with fresh healthy, veggie-ful recipes. This recipe is from Jessica Murnane’s book One Part Plant. If you’re not familiar with my blog pal Jessica, you should go listen to her podcast – she’s hosted all of your favorite food bloggers (including yours truly!) and other inspiring folks who are part of the plant-forward food community.

Her mission is simple – to inspire people to eat one plant-based meal a day. No judgement, no strings. Simple as that. The cookbook reflects her vision with accessible, easy to prepare, yet delicious recipes like these oat squares.

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares

These are in the “snack” section of her book – Jessica noted that they’re a little too sweet for breakfast but not quite sweet enough for dessert. Well, um… I ate these for dessert and then again the next morning for breakfast – they’re addictive!

While these look so pretty with pistachios, I feel like this recipe would easily lend itself to the use of other nuts if you don’t happen to have pistachios on hand. These were so easy to make – go run to your kitchen now if you’re craving a lightly sweet, nutty, oaty snack!

Jessica's Pistachio Oat Squares One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane

This lasagna recipe is next on my to-make list – yum!

One Part Plant by Jessica Murnane

Oh, and go get her book!

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia “Cheesecake”

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Happy early Valentine’s day… or Galentines Day… or whatever holiday you like to celebrate with heart shaped treats and little paper cards. As I’ve written about many times before, Jack and I have this Chocolate Molten Cake Valentine’s tradition. This year I switched things up a bit and made this decadent yet mostly raw raspberry “cheesecake” slice. How cute are those layers!?

A few notes about this recipe – it takes a little time for each layer to freeze before you add the next, so be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before you’re going to eat it. Other than the time it takes to freeze, this is a piece of cake to make.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake" Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

I have two versions below – one version uses raw cashews for the white “cheesecake” layer and the other version uses vegan cream cheese. I wanted to offer these two options because one requires a fancy high powered blender to really cream the nuts out of those cashews and the second option will work with any blender.

Both versions also taste different – if you’re used to eating “raw” desserts you will love the cashew version. It has a fresh taste that I really like. Jack preferred option 2 which tastes a little more authentically like cheesecake. The topping was inspired by the raspberry chia jam that I make all the time – but instead of jamming it, I blended it the raspberries with chia seeds to create that bright pink layer.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

When life hands you lemons – make lemon thyme cookies! When we first planted our lemon tree I had this romantic idea that I’d be able to pick fresh lemons all year round. Obviously, I’m not good with plants or I would have known that the famous saying is literally true. You get lemons once a year and you get a lot of them. Needless to say, life has been lemony lately in many ways, but today it’s all about lovely lemony cookies.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

I must say, I made a ton of these. I tried a number of variations that were vegan, gluten free, different oils, all sorts of things. I was kind of stressing out. Some were dry, some were burned, and some flattened out like pancakes (although not good pancakes). I’m just lucky that Jack, being the kind food tester he is, made sure not a crumb went to waste.

So what did I end up with? A straightforward, delightful, lemon butter cookie. Sometimes complicated times demand simple solutions.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

This flavor combination was inspired by our new partnership with method. I’m excited to be working with them because I’ve been buying their products for years. Also, as a graphic designer, I’ve always adored their package design. They have a new line of kitchen hand wash that is scented with a variety of essential oils and it’s as functional as it is beautiful. It’s made from plant-derived ingredients and is great for some sticky kitchen situations like getting that pasty flour/water mess off of your hands. This one –  thyme – gave me the idea to try adding fresh thyme leaves to my lemon cookies.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

The recipe is pretty simple and straight forward. Mix the dough, chill the dough, and roll it out. Cut out hearts, bake them, and share with someone you love!

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies