Happy Eid

posted on: July 28, 2014

Ramadan Lantern-1

Happy Eid to everyone out there! I’m spending the next few days with family, and my uncle is visiting (yay!).  I’m so thankful that Ramadan is over. It’s physically and mentally exhausting, but it gives you a different perspective. By the end of the month, you learn to appreciate every little speck of happiness in your life. Right now, I’m thankful for my wonderful family, whom I get to celebrate with. Until Wednesday’s new recipe, friends!

Summer Essentials

posted on: July 22, 2014

Summer Essentials

 

  1. Romper: I’ve spent ages shopping for a good summer romper. Luckily, Shopbop has an incredible sale going on right now that allowed my to get my hands on this gorgeous Jason Wu romper. When else would I get to wear Jason Wu?
  2. Sunglasses: The last pair of sunglasses I had have been broken for well over two years now. They met their untimely demise in an accident involving a tote bag and my butt. Since then I haven’t bothered to by a new pair for fear that I accidentally sit on them, too.
  3. Graphic tee: Zoe Karssen makes the most gorgeous graphic tees. This one is my favorite right now, because, hello! Flying horse!
  4. Banded sandals: These babies first caught my eye when I saw another blogger wearing them. After hunting them down, my jaw dropped so far it unhinged at the price tag. I waited until my final grades were in before deciding I deserved present for successfully finishing my first year in college. So, I pooled together some leftover graduation money and gift certificates and bought these sandals. Best decision ever, btdubs.
  5. Weekender bag: Bags like these are the key to my survival/sanity. They’re great when packing for a weekend home from college, a few days on the beach, or a weekend in the city. The bottom zippered compartment is an absolute necessity for shoes, make up, accessories, and dirty laundry.
  6. iPad mini case: Because my current case looks like it was used to wipe the floor. Of a high school gym. After a dance. And because it has infinite wisdom on the cover. Let’s eat cake for breakfast, indeed.
  7. Delicate bracelet: I have a thing for delicate bracelets, and I already own several. This Lulu Frost is rather unique compared to other evil eye bracelets, although I might have to pass since I have several already.
  8. Bright nail polish: Red is one of my favorite colors for nail polish. I have several shades from several brands. So far my favorite brands are Essie and Flormar, which is apparently a Turkish brand sold only in the Middle East. Essie’s Clambake is close, if not better, than my favorite bright red Flormar.
  9. Nude nail polish: As far as natural nails go, Essie’s Sandy Beaches is my go to. Most of the other shades I try have too much pink tones for my olive skin. Essie’s Sandy Beaches is the first one I’ve found that has just enough pink so it’s not quite beige, but still complements my skin.
  10. SPF 30 sunscreen: You can’t go to the beach without sunscreen. Scratch that, shouldn’t go anywhere with out sunscreen. I read a recommendation by a dermatologist that SPF 30 was the best, but be sure to apply it every two to three hours.
  11. Lip balm: Burt’s Bees is number one. End of discussion.
  12. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls: David Sedaris is incredible as always. I bought this book last year and meant to read it over the summer, but I didn’t get around until this summer. This is my kind of beach read.
  13. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir): Another book I’m hoarding away for my upcoming trip to the beach. I already may have caused some internal damage from laughing to hard after reading the first two pages.

Carrot Cake Muffins

posted on: July 17, 2014

Carrot Cake Muffins-3

Do you remember when I was trying out life as a health crazed vegetarian? I filled my house with all the vegetables I could get my rabbit paws on and every seed known to man kind. I was also a part time vegan, but only on Mondays and Wednesdays. My family thought I was the weird one, which I’m far from, thankyouverymuch. This was also the year I started feeling confident enough to experiment with a few of my own recipes… Or maybe all the chia seeds did something to my brain.

Somewhere along the line, I decided to try out vegan baking.

Things I learned about vegan baking:

  • What the hell a flax egg was. (It’s 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds + 1 tablespoon water.)
  • It can be almost as good as regular baking.
  • Butter still rules supreme.

It took some test batches to get these muffins right. The squirrels and birds became my best friends. I was Snow White with muffins instead of songs, and dare I say, the furry critters were much more appreciative of my (failed) muffins than her singing.

These muffins are wonderfully dense and soft. The best part? They’re incredibly healthy, and they were one of my favorite grab-and-go breakfasts/lunches/snacks for college life. If you’re a mom, these muffins are a great way to feed you kids their vegetables.

Carrot Cake Muffins-1 Carrot Cake Muffins-2

 Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins:

yields 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used truvia)
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping cup grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2-4 tbsp raisins
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk flax eggs, sugar (or truvia), vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup until light in color. Gently add the (liquid) coconut oil and whisk again. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

Fold in carrots, zucchini, raisins, and walnuts.

Bake for 8 minutes at 400 F, then lower the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 10-12 minutes.

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