Peach Affogato & some link love

Peach Affogato

Remember way back in the day when blogs were new and everyone did “Follow Friday?” I’m thinking of bringing that back because sometimes I’m just so excited about what other talented folks are doing. Yes, I do realize that today Saturday… but regardless, here’s a list of things I’ve loved and drooled over this week. And P.S, if you need one darn simple way to enjoy peaches, scroll down for this pictured Peach Affogato.

This luscious Pecan Roasted Beet Dip with Sage makes me so excited for fall… mmm, sage.

These colorful tortillas! So creative!

Ten Lunch Ideas that Spark Joy.

Craving cozy Black Beans & Rice ever since I saw this post go up.

Speaking of simple things that I really want to eat, I love these non-recipe posts that Jessie of Faring Well has been writing lately.

Cotter Crunch is a new-ish-to-me (gluten free) blog that I’ve been loving lately and these Dirty Chai Dark Chocolate Brownies are calling my name!

I follow exactly 1 YouTube channel and it’s called Hot For Food – you have to check out this video of Lauren’s clever Vegan Back to School Bento Boxes. I love how she uses the leftovers from one recipe to make the next.

I’m a guest judge for this Boos Cutting Board Photo Contest. They make the best cutting boards!

I’m getting totally excited for hot soup season, but I’m still enamored by this idea of Cold Summer Ramen.

For a good dose of wanderlust, scroll through Laura’s gorgeous photos in her Kyoto Travel Guide. Makes me want to jump on a plane to Japan!

And in non-food news, these corgis on a waterslide made my week 🙂

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Six years of blogging and there is not ONE zucchini bread recipe on this site! I’m not sure how that happened, but we’re changing that today :). I flipping love zucchini bread. I made about 6 loaves while testing this recipe and I’m still just as much in love with zucchini bread as I was when I started 🙂

I hope you have gardens full of zucchini (or at least 2 medium zucchini), and enjoy this recipe as much as Jack and I do!

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes 2 loaves (you can freeze one!) and uses 2 cups of grated zucchini. Which means that you can enjoy this as a snack or for breakfast, or both and know that you’re (sort of) getting in a serving of green vegetables.

For the batter, I use a mix of regular flour and almond flour (a bit of protein!). To make this dairy-free, I sub in olive oil for butter and I use my go-to Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

The recipe pictured here uses eggs. I prefer this version because the loaf rises better and it just makes for a light, cake-y texture. Don’t worry, there’s a vegan option below as well – the only difference is that the sans-egg recipe does not rise as much, making its texture more moist. I love both versions for different reasons and all of the loaves got polished off just the same here in my family household.

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I almost forgot… perhaps the best part – chocolate chips! If you’re a zucchini purist, you can leave them off, but in my opinion zucchini and chocolate work together like peanut butter and jelly.

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Bake until the tops of the loaves are golden brown. Share or freeze the extra loaf!

Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Almond Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread But before you run off to start baking – would you mind filling out this super quick survey? (Click Here) As a thank you, we’re giving away a $100 Visa gift card to 1 lucky winner! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below after you fill out the survey. Thank you!!

The giveaway is now closed – thank you for entering!

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

We sold our house yesterday. In case you haven’t heard, Jack and I are moving(!?), and lately I’ve been feeling a really mixed bag of emotions about it. We left Austin a few weeks ago and are spending the summer temporarily in Chicago (living with my parents – so glamorous!) until we find a new place to call home. We’re excited for a new adventure, but of course, it’s always sad leaving homes and friends (and kitchens! aahh, what am I doing!) behind. Don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere – I have tons of new recipes and other special projects in the works. I’ve been cooking up a storm here in my mom’s kitchen, which is especially helpful because she washes all the dishes in my wake :). Hi, my name is Jeanine and I’m 38 going on 12.

So… umm… it’s cake time! I’m not sure it’s celebration cake or sadness cake, but either way – it’s cake! I’m not always big on desserts, but sometimes I just need some “it’s-all-going-to-be-ok” chocolate cake.

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

This recipe comes from the new book Simple Fare: Spring/Summer by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers, whom I’ve been a fan of for years. Karen describes this cake as “a balance of sweet and savory.” I have to say – this one is for all of you dark chocolate lovers out there. It’s not overly sweet, but it’s deeply chocolate-y. The olive oil gives it a rich flavor but the cake itself is surprisingly light. She tops it with cardamom whipped cream (the recipe is below), but I used some whipped coconut cream that I had on hand instead.

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

The book is a gorgeous oversized cookbook that feels like an art book. The book is apyly titled “Spring/Summer” as the recipes are highly seasonal (a Fall/Winter volume is coming later). At first glance, the recipes seem very simple (hence the name of the book!) but dig in and you’ll see that each recipe includes 2 or 3 clever “market variations” where Karen suggests altering just a few ingredients to change the recipe’s flavor profile. The book isn’t vegetarian, but there are a lot of vegetable-based recipes (not so many vegan ones), and overall tons of inspiration. I love the way Karen describes her collection of recipes: “food as it should be: nuanced, bright and gorgeous.”

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

I can hardly wait to have a coffee table again so I can display this beauty 🙂

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes

There’s a vegan restaurant that we love in Chicago called The Chicago Diner. Jack and I make it a point to stop there nearly every time we’re in town. The food is really good, but the thing to get there are the milkshakes – the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough milkshake to be exact. And yes, it’s as decadent as it sounds. A few weeks ago, we ate lunch there and I tried to not order one. Then Jack’s shake came to the table and I said, “I’ll just have one little sip… ok, well maybe just one more…” and before I had stolen nearly his entire shake, I decided I should re-create them for the blog.

Instead of making regular cookie dough to blend into my milkshake, I made a new version of these No-Bake Almond Oatmeal Cookie balls to use instead. So this recipe has 2 parts:

1. No-bake Peanut Butter Oat Cookie Bites, which are a delicious healthy snack on their own.

2. The milkshakes, which are made by blending a few of the cookie balls with almond milk and ice cream.

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes

Although my original cookie dough ball recipe was a delicious one, I’ve improved it here – these new cookie balls not only have a shorter ingredient list but they’re naturally sweetened with dates and they contain no added oil. They’re also much quicker to make.

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes

To help me re-create this recipe, I used my new kitchen helper, Google Home. I wanted to keep the same overall ratio of dry-to-liquid ingredients, so it was helpful (when my hands were messy with peanut butter dough) to call out questions like “hey Google, how many tablespoons are in 1/3 cup,” or “hey Google, what’s 1 cup, plus 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, minus 1/4 cup.”

Google Home is also very useful for setting multiple kitchen timers and adding items to your grocery shopping list. Fun tip – you can also call out “play cooking music,” or “play baking beats,” which are some fun playlists to listen to in the kitchen. 🙂

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes IMG_2017_05_25_10214

So here you have it – my “healthy-ish” yet still pretty darn decadent version of the Chicago Diner milkshake. If you want to make these a little less indulgent, you can use a frozen banana in place of the ice cream and make smoothies.

Pop the extra cookie ball bites in the fridge or freezer for later.

Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshakes

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!