Winter Spiced Moscow Mule

Winter Spiced Moscow Mule

Hello from Holiday Vacation-land… aka, my parents house where Jack and I have been spending the week. We flew in just in time to have a white Christmas before the snow melted. Other than spending time with family, we’ve been spending time in the house because we’re really not winter people. I binge-watched Shirley temple movies, Jack fixed my parents computer. We’ve been eating my mom’s christmas cookies and I’ve been working on a few new recipes – spending time in front of the stove is the best way to stay warm around here! All in all, it’s been a much needed relaxing week.

We’re heading home tomorrow to spend New Years Eve with friends and I’m excited to make this cocktail.

We often mix kombucha into our cocktails, but it didn’t occur to me until now to use it in a Moscow Mule in place of the ginger beer! This cocktail couldn’t be easier to put together – it’s just a splash of vodka, kombucha, and a squeeze of orange. For garnish I added cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

Christmas Morning Recipes

Cacao Nib Strawberry Vegan Waffles

And the countdown begins! As a kid, Christmas morning was always the absolute BEST part of the year. For the special morning my family celebrated with one of 2 breakfast rituals – a can of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls or a box of Entenmann’s chocolate doughnuts. We loved it all – although my sister and I could honestly care less about the food because the morning was all about waking up and waiting sooooo patiently for my parents to get their coffee before we could start opening presents.

The recipe suggestions here are a little more homemade, but hey no judgement if you have a soft spot for soft canned cinnamon rolls :). Click directly on the photos to go to each recipe.

Pictured above: Cacao Nib Strawberry Vegan Waffles – these can be made ahead, frozen and popped into the toaster or toaster oven. Feel free to switch the cacao nibs for chocolate chips, blueberries or whatever filling your family likes.

Homemade Vanilla Hazelnut Milk

If you’re a parent, you’ll need your coffee but you’re gonna want to make it quick. Make this Homemade Vanilla Hazelnut Milk the day before – chill it overnight and then pour yourself the most decadent holiday morning latte.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

For something slightly sweet and nicely spiced, try these Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

Or on a savory note, this Spring Onion Frittata:

Spring Onion Frittata

… or there’s always one of the most popular recipes on this site, Vegan French Toast (or here’s a non-vegan version or a nutella stuffed version if you’re feeling extra indulgent):

Vegan French Toast

One of my new favorites, this Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal is great for brunch.

Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

On a super cold holiday morning try this superfood Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate:

Maca Cacao Hot Chocolate

Holiday or not, I love a toasted slice of this super seedy Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Seed Loaf. It keeps for a few days in the fridge and it also freezes well.

Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Seed Loaf

Since it’s the holidays let’s celebrate! These Apple Mimosas are simple twist on the classic and they’re always a hit at brunch:

Apple Mimosas

Cheers friends! Christmas Morning Recipes

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

It’s Christmas week! Yay!

So… we still haven’t put up that tree, but I’ve been doing a whole bunch of baking to make up for it (for Christmas and also for other upcoming holidays).

These cookies are so good that I’ve made them quite a few times this month. We (ahem, Jack) kept eating them before actually getting around to taking photos of them. Since no one needs a January gingerbread cookie, we made them again this past weekend. Better late than never! Here we go – these spicy little guys are ready to share:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

The cookies are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and molasses which makes them sweet but not too sweet. They’re spiced with ginger, cinnamon and (a surprise spice) cardamom, which gives a nice warm flavor. I mixed in a little almond butter, which makes these so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating little pieces of the dough while I was mixing it together.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

You could definitely decorate these if you like – I took a more minimal approach because these are really tasty on their own, and also my decorating skills aren’t really so hot. (Remember these?)

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Make these cookies into your favorite cut-out shapes, OR take the easy (but still very delicious) way out and roll them into balls to make soft, chewy ginger cookies like these:

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

Like I say year after year – I think cookbooks make the best gifts! Here’s my official 2016 list. Some titles you may recognize because I’ve featured them here throughout the year, and some you’ll likely hear more about very soon. You might also want to check out my 2014 and 2015 lists because there are some favorites on those lists as well. As always, be sure to list your recommendations in the comments – I always love hearing about new books!

Click the books in the photo above or in the links below to check them out!

The Love & Lemons Cookbook by yours truly
Another shameless plug to put our cookbook on your wishlist and/or to remind you that it would make a great gift 🙂  It features over 100 vegetarian (many vegan) recipes that you won’t find here on the website. It’s organized by fruits & vegetable from A-Z (Apples to Zucchini) – a perfect gift for the veggie lover in your life!

Ingredienti by Marcella and Victor Hazan
This one isn’t actually a cookbook, but I’m in love with this charming book anyway. Based on the handwritten notebooks left behind from the late Marcella Hazan (author of legendary books on Italian cooking such as Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking), it’s a book about ingredients and how Marcella recommends that you select and simply prepare them. “Don’t think so much about what else you can put into a recipe. What you keep out is just as important as what you put in.” The book is based on sixty years of her daily visits to the  market and the notes are lovingly transcribed by her husband Victor. A must-have if you love vegetables and Italian grandmothers.

Naturally Delicious by Danny Seo
This book is at the top of my stack right now. If you are like me and you love healthy plant-forward recipes, this book is for you. Although it’s not vegetarian there are some really creative vegetable recipes, many are gluten free and grain free. I have my eye on the Red Hibiscus Gazpacho, Saffron Cauliflower “Rice” Paella, and the Flourless Double-Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies. I know “cauliflower brownies” sounds kind of scary but I’m SO fascinated to try!

The Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson
I LOVED Erin’s first book, but I want to tell you that I really really love this followup. It’s packed with even more glorious graphics and gorgeous watercolor recipe illustrations. This is a great holiday hostess gift or a great one to pick up before the holidays for a little entertaining inspiration. Also, check out The Forest Feast for Kids – an adorable cookbook for the little ones!

Small Victories by Julia Turshen
I wrote about Julia Turshen’s lovely book in this post along with a recipe for her delicious Afternoon Cake recipe. What I love about this book is that each recipe gives at least 3 variations of how to tweak the recipe to make it completely new. It’s full of creative ideas and tips (small victories) – a great book for beginner cooks and avid home cooks alike.

Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh
The hilarious book from my blog pal Molly is not only filled with funfetti and mac & cheese flow charts, but check out these Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos that we made that we absolutely loved.

Sweeter off the Vine by Yossy Arefi
I follow Yossy of the blog Apt. 2 Baking Co. on Instagram and regularly drool over her gorgeous pies, cakes, and gorgeous galettes. If you want to bake like she does, I recommend picking up her book. It’s organized seasonally by fruit – a great resource for baking with the seasons. I’m excited to try her Cranberry Bread Pudding for the holidays.

How to Celebrate Everything by Jenny Rosenstrach
“How to Celebrate Everything” includes recipes for Christmas, New Year, but most importantly, every holiday in between (birthday mornings, a bus-stop social, pasta night with friends). I wrote more about Jenny’s wonderful book in this post. It’s an encouraging book to create family rituals and to find meaning in the connectedness of day-to-day family life.

Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin
If you’re gluten free and you love to bake, you need this book. Heck, even if you’re not gluten free, you’ll love her amazing uses of unconventional flours to enhance the flavors (and nutritional value) of the recipes. Think Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies, Mesquite Gingersnaps buckwheat chocolate cookies, and this Pumpkin Cranberry Nut & Seed Loaf that’s become a regular in this house. I especially love how she gives options to make her pie and tart crusts vegan by using coconut oil.

Chickpea Flour Does It All by Lindsay Love
I’m sure many of you read the popular blog Dolly and Oatmeal – I just adore Lindsay’ls recipes. As the title suggests, every recipe in this book uses chickpea flour – from savory recipes (we loved her Chickpea Flour Pizza with Asparagus) to sweet, this is a great resource if you’re looking for allergy-friendly cooking and baking.

Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon
I’ve been a fan of Angela’s blog long before I started mine. I loved her first book and her second book is an absolute must-have! Soups, smoothies, salads, hearty vegan entrees and more. This would be a great book to pick up before Christmas because she has an entire chapter devoted to vegan cookies! We made these Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Bean Macaroons and they were delicious. I also made her Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Tart and could not believe it was vegan!

Modern Potluck by Kristen Donnelley
Entertaining can be SO much work which is why I love Kristen’s book. Instead of taking on all the hostess responsibilities yourself, why not throw a pot luck? This book is full of creative, foolproof, crowd pleasing recipes. I especially love how each recipe comes with make-ahead preparation and storage tips. Check out the delicious No-Bake Sweet Pea Enchiladas that we made.

What books are on your list?

2016 Cookbook Gift Guide

Winter Wines (& Food Pairings)

winter wines & food pairings / @loveandlemons

Happy almost new year! I hope you all have some really fun plans tonight. Jack and I are going to have a pretty quiet night at home (because, omg, it’s freezing out!), but the wine will be flowing, nonetheless. Here are some bottles we’ve been enjoying recently. All are under $16(!), and are available at wine-carrying Whole Foods Stores.