Melissa

scenes from summer 2020

How is your summer going? It’s definitely been a different sort of year, but we are doing our best to enjoy everything we normally do and have fun. There have been lots of picnics in all sorts of different parks, nature hikes in the woods, long bike rides on the Cannon Valley Trail and Pioneer…

chocolate peanut butter cup cream pie {vegan}

Here’s an easy, no-bake, decadent, rich, chocolaty, peanut buttery, creamy pie that goes together in minutes and is super delicious! The first time I made it I could hardly believe how good it was. I make it often (maybe too often?) because of how good and easy it is. We enjoyed big slices of this…

pineapple cocktails

Here are a few refreshing, beachy pineapple cocktails to celebrate summer! Garnish with flamingo swizzle sticks, mini paper umbrellas, cute straws with puffy pineapples on them, maraschino cherries, pineapple chunks, lime wedges, orange slices… you get the idea! Have fun with it. My daughter made the drinks pictured above and they are literally just pineapple…

pitaya bowl

What is a pitaya bowl, you may ask? It’s just a fruit salad with dragon fruit in it. Pitaya is another name for dragon fruit. Pitaya is nutrient dense, low in calories, packed full of fiber, and rich in antioxidant properties. And, isn’t it pretty? It grows on a cactus plant. Dragon fruit are very…

best dill pickle potato salad

I have recently discovered that oven roasting potatoes yields the best potato salad. I’ve been playing with potato salad recipes and realized that if you cover them while roasting, it’s even better because your potatoes don’t dry out and the salad is even more wonderful the next day. Oven roasting your potatoes adds amazing depth…

best vegan “chicken”

Creating vegan “meat” recipes is fun and frustrating at the same time. I’ve had a couple recipes that have failed miserably, and others that worked beautifully. The more I learn about cooking seitan (sometimes called “wheat meat”) the more I love it. You might be surprised that, even though it’s made from vital wheat gluten,…

tex mex rice salad

Cold rice salads are perfect summer fare. They’re awesome for family picnics, backyard BBQs, and potluck dinners because they hold up so well and everyone loves them. This Tex Mex Rice Salad is particularly good with fajitas, tacos, and enchiladas. It’s slightly spicy, crunchy, and bursting with fresh flavors like lime, cilantro, and bell pepper.…

best bbq sauce

Looking for a BBQ sauce that is smoky, sweet (but not too sweet), slightly vinegary, and perfect for all that stuff you make that calls for BBQ? THIS is the stuff. It’s my own creation. I tend to like mine not quite as sweet so I only add 1/2 cup of the coconut sugar. Coconut…

vegan flower child hippie bowl

There is something about this grain bowl that reminds me of a combination of walking around the co-op with my parents when I was little and going to an early morning farmer’s market. It’s loaded with fresh, healthy flavors and sparkling with gorgeous rainbow colors. Maybe it is because of those early co-op memories that…

easy vegan banana cake

Here’s something to make when you have 6 or 7 overripe bananas to use up and you already have a freezer bag full for smoothies. I love having extra bananas and coming up with new, delicious recipes for them. I know this is a universal “problem” and there really never are too many great banana…