High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! It’s a foggy, gloomy day here so far, but hopefully the sun will come out soon! Anything fun planned for your weekend? I’d love to hear about it!

Here are my top 5 for this week:

1. Olive got her first BarkBox on Saturday! She was not thrilled about us making her pose for a picture, but it was worth it! She’s loved everything in her box so far. And it was Halloween themed! So fun!
Olive's first BarkBox

2. We went for a long walk after church on Sunday at a local trail. It was a gorgeous, fall day and Olive had such a great time!
Sunday afternoon hike

3. Speaking of Olive having a great time, she completely passed out in the car on the way home. TOO CUTE.
Passed out.

4. I took Olive to get her nails trimmed on Monday morning and took her to the park as a reward for being such a good girl! I couldn’t believe how gorgeous this tree was. The color is amazing!
Fall scenery

5. After BSF this week, I was finally able to connect with a friend for lunch and catch up. It was good to laugh and share what’s been going on in our lives. We see each other every week, but sometimes it’s just in passing, so it was fun to take the extra time. Bonus: lunch at Chipotle! YUM.

Have a great weekend!

*Linking up with Lauren
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Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut bread (vegan & soy free)

Fall puts me in a baking mood. I would be in the kitchen baking up a storm everyday if my waistline wouldn’t object and I had an extra source of income to feed my addiction! (and someone to wash all of my dishes, of course!) Today was another one of those perfect, fall days. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and Olive spent all day lying on the deck. We had a few overripe bananas on the counter, and so banana bread it was!

For my birthday this year my sister gave me the Sticky Fingers’ Sweets cookbook. I was elated! So I grabbed the book today and checked the index for bananas. In it was a recipe for banana bread! Sold. I made a few changes, of course, as I always like to make it my own in some way. I also appreciate that the recipe uses ounces for ingredients. I feel like that leads to a much more consistent product.

This was a great way to use bananas! The bread has a great crust on the outside, and soft, moist inside. Just the way I like it! This is perfectly respectable all on it’s own, but it’s great with a slather of your favorite vegan butter! YUM.

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread (Vegan)

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread
2 ounces coconut oil, in solid form
4 ounces evaporated cane juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 ounces ripe banana (this was about 2 1/2 bananas for me)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
10.25 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts*
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, evaporated cane juice and vanilla until creamy. Add bananas and mix until the bananas are completely mashed. Slowly add almond milk and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until they just come together. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.

(*to keep walnuts and chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the batter, toss with about 1 tsp all-purpose flour before adding to the batter)

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread (Vegan)

Slice & enjoy!

Pumpkin Risotto (vegan & gluten free)

Nick and I have loved every recipe we’ve made from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen so far. I’ve already made MANY a non-vegan a believer of the Orange-Zested Chocolate Chip Scones. I love when that happens!

It’s been feeling a lot more like fall around here and so Nick and I have been craving a lot of warm, comforting dishes. This risotto fits the bill! It’s creamy, full of flavor and helps feed my crazy pumpkin cravings!

It takes a little bit of love (read: time) to make risotto, but as far as risottos go, this one is pretty low maintenance. If I can do it, so can you!

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto
(recipe adapted from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen)
5 cups vegetable broth
3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1 T chopped fresh sage

In a medium saucepan, heat broth to a simmer and let simmer while preparing the risotto. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and sauté onion until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice and 1 cup of the warm broth. Reduce to the heat so the mixture simmers. Stir often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat with another cup of broth and continuing stirring, adding additional broth 1 cup at a time, until the rice is tender. (about 20 minutes; you may not use all of the broth)

Pumpkin Risotto - 1

Once the rice is tender, stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the mixture is heated through, stir in chopped sage and serve.

Pumpkin Risotto - 2


High Five for Friday

It’s that time again. THE WEEKEND! What fun things you have planned?

Here are my top 5 for this week:

1. Nick and I took Olive to the park on both Saturday and Sunday for a long walk. The weather on Saturday was beautiful! The weather on Sunday was less than stellar, but it was great to get some exercise and some fresh air.

2. Olive graduated from Puppy Education on Tuesday night from PetSmart! She wasn’t sold on wearing her graduation cap, but she passed with flying colors! We start intermediate classes next month.
Puppy Education Graduate!


4. I baked some dog treat this week and Olive game them two paws up. Super easy, too! I took 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup buckwheat flour and about 8 oz of pumpkin puree and mixed it all together. Baked them until set and bam! All done. Vegan & gluten free! ;)

5. Last night Nick and I had a bunch of errands to run and stopped at our favorite falafel place for dinner. Oh, Oasis. SO GOOD!

Have a fantastic weekend!

*Linking up with Lauren
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