One of my boyfriend’s best friends requested this Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cake for his birthday. After being away from my kitchen on vacation, as well as having eaten fairly healthy lately, I was excited to make something a little more indulgent. I don’t bake nearly as much as I used too, and have definitely made a switch towards whole food cooking, but sometimes it is really nice to get back to my initial food love–baking.
Martin and I went on a major post vacation shopping trip, as our refrigerator was seriously barren. Lake Atitlan totally spoiled our taste buds and now all I want to eat is fresh fruit, juice, smoothies, and amazing four course vegan dinners. Sadly, this just isn’t going to happen. However, I was super happy to find some Zespri Golden Kiwi’s at Costco and used them to make this Kiwi and Mango Smoothie. I have been looking out for these bad boys after learning about them on Instagram, as well as the Zespri contest, with a grand prize trip to New Zealand! I don’t really think I will win, but I always find these contests fun and they help me come up with new and yummy recipe ideas.
Being back from vacation is not easy. I am happy to be home and, of course, excited to see my favorite little fur child, but I can’t lie, I certainly do miss eating breakfast and looking out at the amazingly gorgeous Lake Atitlan. Most days I had an amazing fruit platter for breakfast filled with melon, papaya (picked straight from the hotel’s papaya tree!), pineapple, and banana, served with freshly blended juice and some delicious Guatemalan coffee (also picked and sun-dried from coffee plants at our hotel). It was pretty amazing, but all good things must come to an end. Arriving home to an empty fridge certainly doesn’t help matters, but luckily I had a bunch of frozen fruit, dried berries, and nut butters to create this delicious tropical smoothie bowl and ease my taste buds back to reality. Non-vacation life is hard.
Pink, lace, burlap. When I heard this was the overall theme for my dear friend’s baby shower, I was so excited to come up with an amazing cake for the event. When my friend told me she wanted a vanilla and strawberry cake, I was even more excited! I decided to do two layers, the bottom being the Vegan Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting that I am posting today. My friend is not vegan, nor to my knowledge was anyone else attending vegan, so it was important to me to make something that was delicious and got rid of some the vegan stereotypes that float around aka tastes like cardboard. Seriously where do people come up with this stuff?! This vegan Vanilla Cake with Strawberry frosting was both delicious and cruelty free, but definitely full all the fat, sugar, and calories of your traditional cake. While it wasn’t the healthiest of cakes, it was absolutely perfect for celebrating a soon to be born little princess and got rave reviews from other party goers.
On Tuesday I leave for Guatemala. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this vacation! I will be staying at the fabulous Laguna Lodge and Nature Reserve on Lake Atitlan. This place sounds amazing. With only 6 guest rooms (all with gorgeous views and balconies overlooking the lake), Laguna Lodge also features a 100% vegetarian (and vegan friendly) restaurant and contains a 100 acre nature reserve. Talk about absolute perfection. Today is a day for packing and tying up a few loose ends before my trip. To keep it simple (and use up some extra fruit before I go!), I made a basic Acai Bowl for breakfast.
I love roasted corn. It reminds me of summer days, bonfires, and I just can’t get enough of the crunch when you eat it off the cob. Living in the southwest for 15+ years, I have developed a love for chili, avocado, and lime. Putting these on corn is no exception! This corn recipes is perfect for the grill, but can also be made in the oven for those without a grill. The highlight of this dish is the Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce.
Ok, I will be truthful. I was a late bloomer on the PB&J train. When I was little my favorite sandwich was butter and mayonnaise on white bread. So gross, I know. Thankfully my more primitive taste buds evolved and I grew to not only love the classic peanut butter and jelly, but expand it from it’s sandwich form. Hence the birth of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie.