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apple of my eye pie smoothie

vegan apple pie smoothie easy and healthy


I’m not sure what it is about apples, but they are a huge part of our lives and culture. From Adam and Eve to Snow White, apples are always around us.

* the apple of my eye * As American as apple pie * the Big Apple * an apple a day keeps the doctor away * one bad apple spoils the whole bunch * an apple for the teacher *

See what I mean? We eat a lot of apples in my house, and everyone has a personal favorite variety. Granny smith, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, and Pink Lady. While we eat most of them plain, I have been working them into more and more of our recipes. This one is a treat that I didn’t feel bad about giving to the kids. It’s cool, light, and tastes like an indulgent dessert!

Ingredients: makes 2- 1 cup servings

1 cup applesauce or 2 1/2 apples cored and diced       ( 3 ounces of applesauce equals one apple)
1 cup vegan vanilla yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk

crushed vegan graham crackers * optional
1 tablespoon agave * optional


combine all ingredients except graham crackers in blender and mix until smooth. top with graham crackers and additional cinnamon, serve immediately.


vegan apple pie smoothie recipe easy and healthy

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September 4, 2012 - 1:00 pm

Rachel's Cottage House - mmmm… i can’t wait to make this smoothie – it looks SO good!!!

Frozen Wine Cocktails

new arbor mist frozen cocktails not vegan or vegetarian


I have to admit that when I was contacted by She Speaks about the new Arbor Mist Frozen Cocktails, I was REALLY excited!
As usual, I contacted Arbor Mist to find out if their new product was vegan or vegetarian. They were very responsive and knowledgeable about their products, but unfortunately, It’s not vegan. Big bummer.

So I had my friends try for me and here are their taste impressions:

It’s a fresh clean taste, similar to a wine cooler but more sophisticated!
Blackberry Merlot is great, a unique flavor combination.
The White Pear Pinot Grigio is the perfect compliment to an afternoon by the pool, crisp and refreshing.


I can personally comment on the convenience, it would be a great option to serve different drinks to people at a party. Freeze, squeeze and enjoy is so easy, everyone can enjoy their flavor choice without the mess of a blender and lots of ingredients.
So if you are not a veg head, go ahead and give it a try.



logofrozen wine coolers

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creamy basil tomato soup

easy healthy vegan creamy tomato soup recipe with basil


Life has been bonkers again. It’s all good, but stressful. As we started back to school on Monday, I was thinking about school lunches, which led me to my favorite school lunch when I was little. One of the only days I could eat a school lunch because very few of them are vegetarian and none are vegan. You know the one, grilled cheese tomato soup day. Oh yes, I loved that lunch at school.

Now that I am older and maybe wiser, I was longing for the comfort that lunch used to provide. But without all of the fat and cholesterol the original lunch had. I also realized that the cheese wasn’t an important part of the lunch, it was the warm toasty bread which you dunked into the soup, that’s where the magic really was. So, I made the soup, added some grown up flavors like garlic, basil and red pepper and toasted bakery fresh sourdough bread for dunking.

Ahhhh, my stress is starting to fade and I have some soup to thank!



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 – 28 oz can of tomatoes in juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbs flour
dash baking soda
crushed red pepper 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon     *add after completion if serving to kids
1 tbs fresh basil plus additional for garnish
3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper
heat olive oil in large pan, add onion and cook over medium low heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. add next 6 ingredients and simmer 5 minutes. blend with stick blender until smooth ( or cool and transfer to blender). gradually add coconut milk while stirring until desired consistency, salt and pepper to taste.
serve with better than sour cream, additional coconut milk, basil, rice or pasta.

easy healthy creamy vegan tomato soup with basil

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August 23, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Jackie - This looks delicious! One question… does it taste like coconut? I love it but others in my house hate it!

August 23, 2012 - 4:54 pm

Amanda - Good question Jackie! my husband also doesn’t like coconut and didn’t know I even used it! it didn’t taste at all like coconut, but any vegan milk would work well.

August 23, 2012 - 8:13 pm

Richa - woah that color! thats ia gorgeous bowl of a fave soup!

August 23, 2012 - 11:08 pm

yumgoggle - I love tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwich. The color sure looks perfect! Wonderful clicks!
Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo submission gallery that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

August 25, 2012 - 3:20 pm

Ashley @ It's Fitting - Wow, now I’m craving soup. Thanks a lot :-) That looks amazing!

September 9, 2012 - 10:54 am

leslee - Awesome recipe!

sparkling green tea

sparkling green tea - healthy soda alternative for weight loss

It has been over a month since I have had even a tiny sip of soda. I wasn’t really trying to stop drinking it either, but once I realized that it had already been over a week since I had drank any, I figured that I was finally REALLY done with it. Done. Finito. Audios soda.

So what have I been drinking? Tea. Lots of tea. Green, white, black, mate. Tea.
But, it’s starting to get a tad blase. It’s time for bubbles again, to tickle my nose and my fancy.


Ingredients:  2 servings
1 cup brewed green tea- 2 tea bags
2 cups ice
1 cup sparkling water
1/2 teaspoon agave or stevia
brew green tea and allow to cool. in a tall glass, combine one cup ice, 1/2 cup tea and 1/2 cup sparkling water. sweeten to taste.
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August 13, 2012 - 10:45 pm

Chloe - Hey, just stopping by to say Hi. I am very interested in improving our diet. It’s been a big adjustment now with our kids grown and shopping and cooking just aren’t the same anymore. I’m always looking for ways to be inspired. I’ll be hopping back to see what’s cooking again.


our {mostly) DIY kitchen!


diy kitchen cabinets open shelving white gray and marble

You know how on MTV cribs, they say “this is where the magic happens” as they enter the bedroom? Well, THIS is where the magic happens in our house (sorry Robert) and I finally really LOVE my kitchen!!

We did almost all of the work ourselves, other then the gorgeous marble on the island, we did it. We demo-ed, painted, took down the upper cabinets, added new hardware, changed lighting fixtures, installed the faucet, installed the range hood and open shelving, and lastly, I refinished all of the cabinets. Whew. It has been a long process but ALL worth it.

I didn’t realize at the time that I kinda took all of the things people are afraid of, like open shelving, white cabinets and marble, and rolled them into my dream kitchen. It’s bright and open and completely user friendly. Having all of that room above the range and dishes right in front of you makes cooking so much more fun.

and now for a few more close ups followed by what we did and approximate costs…

diy kitchen gray white marble open shelving


chalkboard dishwasher appliance kitchen diy paint

kraus stainless apron front sink grohe faucet marble diy kitchen

marble white gray cabinet kitchen diy with orchid

diy open shelving kitchen viking coffee maker dualit toaster


So, now for a breakdown of costs:


paint                 $200     home depot low or no voc paints
shelves            $200 ikea
sink                   $400 Kraus farmhouse stainless
faucet               $400  Grohe
hardware        $150 ikea
rangehood     $350 on ebay
coffee maker $170
toaster             $100
counter           $2,000 Granite Gallery
 Total-              $3,970
Under 4 grand for a new kitchen, not bad! Let me know if you have any questions and I would love to hear what you think, what would you do differently?
Environmental note:
                                               the cabinets removed were re-used in our garage and turned into new storage and a workbench
                                               the microwave removed was sold on craigslist to someone who was matching their black GE appliances
                                               low or no voc paint were used whenever available
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August 7, 2012 - 7:40 pm

Sara T - So beautiful! Congrats on the new kitchen redo! Totally dig that sink!

August 12, 2012 - 5:49 pm

MedSchool - LOVE white so I unequivocally die for this kitchen and your DIY work. Fantastic. Maybe because I’m tall or it’s the angle the photo was taken in, but the shelves look a little low. With frying and oil splatters I’d be worried about staining the lower shelf.

August 13, 2012 - 10:45 pm

Chloe - I LOVE a white kitchen!! You did a great job.

August 14, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Betsy - Gorgeous! You are so brave taking on that task by yourselves, but I’m super impressed at what you accomplished on your budget! Hope this equates to much photo inspiration

August 23, 2012 - 4:53 pm

Anne (@notasupermom) - Love it! So bright and open. The granite island makes the tile counters a lot more palatable.

Was it hard to give up all the cabinet space?

August 23, 2012 - 4:57 pm

Amanda - Anne- not at all! I hated all of the dark cabinets before we moved in and was thrilled to be rid of them.
Everything on the shelves is what we already had in the cabinets, now it’s just easier to get it.

August 23, 2012 - 5:00 pm

Amanda - Thanks Chloe! It feels twice as big now, I love it.

May 2, 2013 - 6:51 am

Adriane - I was so excited to see this post because I am about to redo my kitchen! I have old wood cabinets and I’m contemplating staining or painting them. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to do it myself though, but it’ll cost a lot more to hire someone. Could you tell me about the steps you took to do the cabinets??

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