Tag: Oh She Glows


Friday Favorites: Beagle & Wolf Author Festival

Well, it is Friday and I am quite pleased to announce that I AM feeling fabulous! That Italian Wedding Soup really did the trick: I’ve been slurping bowls of it all week and am finally starting to feel like myself again. It got a little dicey there for a while. I lost five pounds in four days–yikes! But don’t worry, I am doing my very best to eat my way back to normal. My appetite has revved up and really am feeling great. Get ready, Park Rapids! Local author coming at ya!

So, besides the return of my good health, here are a few other things that made the Friday Favorites list this week!

Beagle & Wolf Books and Bindery Author Festival!

Next stop on my Seven Stones Book Tour: Park Rapids, Minnesota! This event is quite different than the regular book signing or reading. This is an all-day literary extravaganza! Over 30 other Minnesota authors will be at the festival, doing readings, and signing books! Come at 1:30 to hear William Kent Krueger read from his newest book, and stick around to say hi to me at my table! I’ll be there from 1:30-3:30. So stop by to grab a few books, meet authors, and have a grand time!

Apricot-Ginger Tea Scones

earl grey

When I started feeling better, I knew what I wanted more than anything else: a cup of tea and a chewy, fluffy scone. I whipped together a batch of my Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Icing, but added dried apricots and ginger to give it a little kick. Man, am I glad I did! This new version adds a lot of depth to the scones and really brings them to the next level of delicious. I’m definitely making them again and again! And for those of you who may not love traditional dry scones, these have moisture and fluffiness while being dense and not too sweet. They have Shane’s stamp of approval (who is a self-proclaimed scone hater). I only had powdered ginger at the time, but I will use fresh ginger next time! To make my Apricot-Ginger Tea Scones, follow my Earl Grey Scone recipe and add:

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

2 tsp powdered ginger (1 tsp fresh grated ginger)

Book of the Week: Vegan Cookbooks!

I’ve been playing around with incorporating more plant-based recipes in our diet. We are really good at eating our fruits and veggies, but Shane and I (like most Wisconsinites) tend to go a bit heavy on the cheese and dairy. So, to mix things up and keep meals healthy, I’ve been checking out purely plant-based foods to mix into our weekly meals. The results have been some truly delicious, super healthy foods! Here are some of my favorite vegan cookbooks, along with the recipes we’ve been trying. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, looking to eat healthier, searching for something new to try, or scrounging for a Meatless Monday recipe, these are my favorite vegan cookbooks:

Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon

The Oh She Glows website has been one of my go-to cooking blogs for a while. When Angela released her cookbook, I knew it would be a winner! Oh She Glows is without doubt the most used cookbook in our house. Here’s a few of our favorite recipes you’ll find inside: Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy, Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, Pumpkin Custard Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream, Grilled Portobello Salad, Roasted Beet & Hazelnut Salad, Gym Rat Smoothie, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Avocado-Basil Pasta.

YumUniverse by Heather Crosby

You ever come across a recipe that totally changes your life? That is the YumUniverse recipe for Pad Thai. Game changer. Another completely delicious and new favorite in our home is her recipe for Buckwheat porridge. Sounds weird, but it amazing and simple.

Detoxinista by Megan Gilmore

Usually, when I hear the word “detox,” I cringe. I don’t believe in juice-fasting or any other type of fasting. Your body craves nutrition, and that is exactly what I give mine. Meghan’s approach to “detox” is not what you think. Her cookbook is all about incorporating whole foods into your diet in very easy and tasty recipes. I have been following her blog for years and just got her cookbook. Here are some of my favorites: Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie, Chinese Cabbage Salad, peanut butter cups (from her website), healthier–and tastier–Klondike bars (website).

And, of course, the Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck cookbook. There are just too many amazing recipes to list, but check out this post for that awesome soup recipe!

So, there you are: my top picks for cookbooks! They all have no-fuss, easy recipes that result in truly delicious food. What are you waiting for? Go check them out and have fun experimenting!

Word Count

2,248. HUZZAH!!!! Next week’s word count goal: 3,000 words!

Happy Friday!



Friday Favorites

Despite most of the winter being on the warm side of things, the polar vortex has decided to remind Minnesota who reigns supreme this time of year. With the thermometer dipping below -40, I’ve been appreciating all things warm, comforting, and cozy. It’s been a struggle to get out of my warm bed and write in the mornings, but I’ve been doing it. Curled in my overstuffed armchair with my fuzziest blanket, dragon slippers, and a hot beverage, I’ve been scratching out a decent amount of words. I am proud to say that I have succeeded in writing for at least five minutes every day. Though some days it feels like I’ve made only a little progress, but it is progress all the same. Between the long hours of homework, projects, and writing, I have managed to have a bit of fun as well. Here are some of my favorite things from the past week:

Hot Chocolate

Check out the Caretactics blog for more information on the health benefits of coconut oil!

Check out the Caretactics blog for more information on the health benefits of coconut oil!

There’s nothing that can warm me up and make the day better like a frothy mug of hot chocolate. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with different recipes for a homemade mug. I’ve tried everything from melting chocolate chips in milk to trying to make my own cocoa mix, and I must say that all variations are pretty darn delicious. The most recent combination I’ve been sipping is coconut milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, cinnamon, and stevia to taste. It is creamy, delicious, and, most importantly, full of chocolate goodness! The coconut oil adds healthy fats and is supposed to boost metabolism. On the taste side, it gives the hot chocolate a super creamy texture and a slight nutty taste. The stevia keeps it sugar-free, so it makes a perfect bedtime treat!

Comfort Food

It’s no secret that I love cheese, the more the better. When the temperature dips, I start craving baked Macaroni and Cheese, Pizza (when do I not crave pizza?), Lasagna Soup, and Manicotti. While these dishes are wonderful and staples in our household, it isn’t good to eat them as often as I want to. This week, I’ve been experimenting with vegan dishes in an attempt to incorporate more healthy, veggie-based dinners. The result of all the experiments was a delicious vegetarian feast full of protein and taste. My favorite dishes were a savory lentil-nut loaf with balsamic glaze and mashed cauliflower with mushroom gravy. The lentil-nut loaf is packed with green lentils, veggies, and had a satisfying texture with a tangy-sweet glaze. I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook–the Oh She Glows cookbook–but you can also find it here. If you try the recipe, I recommend doubling the glaze and mixing in half into the loaf because the glaze is just that freakin’ good (and so easy to make!).

Veggie-licious comfort food!

Veggie-licious comfort food!

The mashed cauliflower and mushroom gravy are out of this world. I prefer the taste of this mashed cauliflower to traditional mashed potatoes–and I grew up hating cauliflower. This meal not only made me feel good, it was comforting and satisfying. Whether you are a vegetarian, looking to eat healthier, or perhaps needing some meatless recipes for Lent, give them a try!

agatha-christie-s-poirot-series-13_acorn.tv__2703Hercule Poirot

I am obsessed with all things Poirot. Last week, I mentioned that I picked up the new Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders. I am happy to say that this book has well exceeded my expectations! I have been devouring the chapters, staying up waaay later than I should because I am hooked on the mystery. Sophie Hannah does a great job with the beloved character of Hercule Poirot, and her story is ingenious. I can’t wait to get to the end to see how it all comes together. If you love murder mysteries, pick this one up from your local library.

When I haven’t been sneaking in a few chapters late at night, I’ve been watching the thirteenth and final season of the Masterpiece Mystery Poirot series. I have seen every episode of this brilliant series, and am sad to think there won’t be any more Poirot after these last five mysteries. However, Shane and I are enjoying them while they last, using the excuse of the cold weather to snuggle under blankets with popcorn and a good mystery.

Think warm thoughts!


Friday Favorites

I will eat an entire pint of these this weekend. Guaranteed.

I will eat an entire pint of these this weekend. Guaranteed.

Another week, another Friday Favorites post! Fortunately, this week was considerably calmer and I had more time to focus on writing and being human. Though it’s been insanely cold up here, we’ve managed to stay cozy and warm inside the hobbit hole. Here are some of my favorite things that keep me going and help me stay focused and motivated. I hope you enjoy, and maybe find something new to love!


Side Crow

Side Crow





Dragonfly Pose

Dragonfly Pose

Yoga is one of my favorite activities. No matter how stressed out or uninspired I am, being on my mat always helps me feel calm and centered. Spending time on something that is just for me is essential during the craziness of these days. Doing something that is healthy is even better! I feel like us writers/readers who are most content in an armchair with a cup of tea need to incorporate some sort of activity into our daily routine, and yoga is a wonderful way to do it.

My favorite part of yoga: arm balances. I’m addicted to them. I love the challenge that each one presents. Working on a new arm balance, figuring out the right position and strengthening my muscles until I get it just right is rewarding and fun. The physical nature of a yoga workout helps my brain relax, and I often find that I can work/write much better afterward.

My favorite yoga teacher is Ali Kamenova. She posts free yoga videos on Youtube at all levels and for all types of flexibility. Her classes are a mix of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Vinyasa yoga. Here’s my favorite class. It will definitely make you sweat!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Phew! Now that you are done working out, why not treat yourself? And what better treat is there than chocolate and strawberries??? Shane and I have a tradition of making chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day every year. Usually, I make them with melted chocolate chips. This year, I’m going to try to make them from scratch. This recipe I found on Oh She Glows (my favorite cookbook, as it just so happens), has a decadent whole foods recipe for chocolate covered romance! Whether you have a special someone or you just want to show yourself a little care, these chocolate covered strawberries are sure to spread the love.

Valentine’s Day!2858595-cap_vdaycard_clr_final

I know. A lot of people hate on Valentine’s Day, and I respect that. I, however, have always loved it. It’s a nice break in the monotony of winter, and helps bridge the holiday desert between Christmas and Easter. Ever since I was a little kid, I just adored a holiday that was all about showing love and eating chocolate. I would make valentines for my family and friends, and eat way too many chocolate Dove hearts. It was glorious.

Since Shane and my first Valentine’s Day back in 2007, we’ve had a tradition that has me looking forward to the day even more.

Warning: if you have a strong gag reflex to overexposure to cuteness, avert your eyes now. It’s cute. You have been warned.

We don’t go out for Valentine’s or make any grand gestures with jewelry or expensive gifts. Instead, we make handmade valentines and get small presents for each other (which usually includes flowers, but the subzero temperature killed the bouquet I bought for Shane. No lie, it’s that cold here). That night, we make spaghetti and watch Lady and the Tramp. The first year we were dating, I had never seen it. Shane spent most of the time in the kitchen of my dorm while I watched the movie. I wasn’t sure what was going on until, right as the dogs were being served their spaghetti, Shane walked in with plates for us. Yup. He’s adorable. After dinner, we make chocolate covered strawberries and toast the night with sparkling grape juice. It is the perfect evening at home.

I hope whatever you have planned for this weekend is just as perfect. Sending ALL of you love! I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every one of you.

Happy Friday!