shallot and thyme mashed potatoes.


healthy gourmet mashed potatoes - sunny vegan shallot and thyme

Because a side dish could (and should) steal the show, don’t serve boring mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving. Wow your guests with this full of flavor version with caramelized shallots and fresh thyme. Mashed potatoes have been my favorite part of the meal for as long as I can remember, and while the plain version is just fine, these are fantabulous!

I wrote this recipe to easily adjust to the number of serving you need. This currently serves 4, but double or triple for a larger crowd.

Ingredients: 4 servings

2 pounds yukon gold potatoes – quartered and peeled if desired
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots- peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons earth balance
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed
3/4- 1 cup coconut milk
place potatoes in a large pan and fill with enough water to cover them. place over medium heat and boil 25-20 minutes or until tender. heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. add shallots and reduce to low heat, stirring frequently until lightly brown and tender, approximately 15 minutes. when potatoes are tender drain well, add earth balance and 1/2 cup coconut milk and mix with a hand mixer or mash with potato masher. add additional coconut milk 2 tablespoons at a time until desired consistency is reached, season to taste. garnish with additional shallots and thyme as desired.
November 4, 2013 - 4:52 pm

GayAnn - Is the thyme added to the shallots or stirred in fresh with the potatoes?

November 5, 2013 - 4:50 pm

Amanda - Just stir them in with the potatoes. HTH and that you try this recipe, it’s so good!

November 13, 2013 - 3:13 pm

lori - Is it the original earth balance you’re using (to replace butter?) Also, with the coconut milk added, is this at all sweet tasting??

November 25, 2013 - 2:50 pm

heather - could i use almond milk instead?

Blurb ~ $50 giveaway



I’ve been a huge fan of Blurb for some time. It’s well known in the photography industry that the quality and value of their products it top notch. So the opportunity to make a book AND give a $50 gift card away was right up my alley.
If you love instagram like I do, then this book will blow you away. You quickly link your Blurb and instagram accounts and get going. It allows you to  automatically load your photos or chose individual photos. I did have a hard time deciding which book to make first. A food one, one of my boat photos or one of my girls. The girls decided that we should make one of them first and helped me to design it. Gotta tell you, we LOVE it! It’s our life in awesome book form and we will definitely make another one next year.
Now about the quality. Remember, all of these photos were taken with my iPhone and edited in instagram.  I wasn’t sure how well everything would look when it printed but it’s amazing. The color and clarity of each photo blew me away. The cover and title on the biding look great and the paper is thick and smooth. I have tried books from other companies, but they didn’t look half as nice as this one.
Now that I’ve got you ready to make your own book, enter below for a chance to win a $50 Blurb gift card.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blurb is a creative publishing platform that allows anyone to create, share and sell a professional quality book. Make a portfolio of your client work, an archive of your blog, a cook book of your favorite recipes, a photo book of your family pictures or a quick book of your instagram photos – the possibilities are limitless. It’s easy and quick to do – with a variety of software options you could complete your dream book in next to no time.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blurb. The opinions and text are all mine.

Holiday jump start ~ giveaway

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? If you are already feeling behind on your Holiday Shopping like I am, here’s a giveaway to get you going!
I love amazon because they have everything from toys, to furniture to kitchen gadgets. Whether you are shopping for your mother-in-law or getting yourself a well deserved stress relief gift, you are sure to find it there.

So let’s get this Holiday Season started… just enter below to win one of 2 $40.00 amazon gift cards!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

vegan and green living.

Let’s face it, being vegan is about much more than what we eat.

While some people may be following a vegan diet for health reasons, most vegan and vegetarians chose their lifestyle based on moral reasons. A life that follows  “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”. So you can see that this has SO much to do with our lives besides just what we eat. It extends to practically every aspect of our lives and choices we make every day.  It’s about what I wear, my makeup, where I shop, how I clean and companies I chose to support.
I am the first to admit that this can be overwhelming! How can I possibly know everything about EVERYTHING I use?
I can’t. Plain and simple, I do my absolute best to avoid anything containing or exploiting animals.

The one thing I have found to make my life much easier is to find companies that align with my vegan values and stick with them.

Seventh Generation is one of those companies. Since they were founded in 1988 they have never EVER tested on animals. In fact, that is one of their core commitments. They also do not use any animal ingredients in any of their products! So when I go to the store and see a Seventh Generation product, I know it fits in perfectly with my lifestyle.

Now that you know they are vegan approved and animal friendly, watch this video to see  how they can make your home and family safer too…


warm cranberry punch


warm cranberry holiday drink with orange and clove - thanksgiving and christmas

Do you sense a warming theme? Yes, it’s like 50 degrees here in San Diego, brrrrrr, so I need to keep warm with drinks like this cranberry orange punch. I have a thing for cranberries. The way they pop when you bite into them, the mostly sour yet sweet taste and that gorgeous red color! I do a little dance when I find that fresh cranberries are on the produce shelves every fall.
Not everyone likes cranberries as much as I do, I get that. But you will love this warm punch for the Holidays and as a great alternative to warm apple cider.  The whole house currently smells of wonderful fall comforts and this is one pretty drink that’s easy to make ahead and serve at you next fall or winter party.


Ingredients:       makes 3 servings, double for 6 servings

2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 thick slices orange studded with whole cloves


place all ingredients in large pan and simmer over low heat for one hour. strain if desired.
*alternate method: place all ingredients into crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.


and a look at it in the pan, so pretty and made the house smell great!

warm cranberry punch with orange and cloves

November 16, 2012 - 2:25 pm

amy - this looks amazing! I must try this, we are always looking for warm drinks during the holidays. Thanks for linking up with us over at together in the kitchen!

amy from evy’s tree

November 17, 2012 - 9:42 am

Ashley - Yum! It looks so good AND beautiful. I’m glad I found your blog through the link up. Thanks for joining us 🙂

November 17, 2012 - 5:22 pm

The Domestic Fringe - Yum. This sounds delicious. I love warm drinks this time of the year.

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