The best of Shopping Local in the Mitten (grocery edition)

Little known fact: I LOVE to grocery shop. I find it relaxing and love looking for nutritious food and new items for my family. I was so excited to be invited to the grand opening of Busch’s Fresh Food Market in Canton, Michigan (go here to enter to win free groceries by signing up for MyWay benefits!). It’s a neighborhood market that’s natural, urban and one of my new favorite places. You can find me at the honey bar (where you can buy local honey in bulk, as much or as little as you like), juice bar (I will take a Traverse City Cherry, please), Gelato bar (any flavor, please) or flower stand.Read More

Buckwheat Double Chocolate Cookies (Gluten Free!)

I was skeptical of this recipe. Verrrrrrry skeptical, but these cookies are simply delicious. They are also gluten free and full of protein and iron from the buckwheat flour, and flavonoids from the dark chocolate. So I consider them health food, but they are cookies people. Ridiculously good cookies with benefits.Read More

Heart Shaped Marshmallow Pops

Making marshmallows is just about the coolest science experiment that is both kid friendly and ridiculously tasty. I’ve given the recipe a Valentine’s spin by making heart shaped marshmallow pops in a pretty pink, and taking it one step further by dipping them in chocolate. Feel free to adapt them to any holiday by changing the shape, color and flavor (think shamrocks + mint for St. Patrick’s Day or bunnies + almond for Easter!). If you are thinking to yourself “I don’t really love marshmallows” you need to try homemade marshmallows.Read More

Start your Day with Post® Great Grains® cereal

Well hello 2017! Weren’t we just ringing in 2016? It’s a new year and time to create some new healthy habits. I like to start my new year by committing to eating a healthy breakfast, full of fiber and whole grains to help keep me full until lunch. I’ve listed two easy recipes to start your day with Post® Great Grains® cereal with raisins, dates and pecans. The first recipe is bran muffins and the second is an acai bowl topped with crunchy cereal yumminess. Make sure to grab your coupon for Post here and follow the recipes below!

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie


I recently heard there is such a thing called “salt tooth” which is the same thing as “sweet tooth,” only it’s a label for those who crave salt instead of sweet. I have both (lucky me!), and if you suffer from this as well, salted caramel apple pie is everything we want in a dessert.Read More

Energy Bites


Ever wake up, and find it is suddenly noon when you’ve only had a cup of coffee? Happens a lot around here (God, I miss brunch), but after finding a recipe for no bake energy bites, I’m happy to report I have found an easy breakfast that requires no morning prep and minimal work (simply find 5 minutes in the evening to whip these up). Read More

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream


On a recent stretch of 90-something degree days I found myself craving ice cream around the clock. If I could have brought myself to eat ice cream for breakfast, I probably would have (but I have a teeny tiny bit of will power). Since I didn’t want to eat real deal ice cream several times a day, I thought I would research vegan options and use a little coconut milk because its a little healthier, right? Right?! At least it made me feel better about indulging more often than normal in ice cream bliss.


Visions of 50 different ice cream flavors danced in my head, but this option stood out. It had me at cookie dough and sealed the deal with peanut butter. Of course making ice cream takes a little a lot prep work, so you aren’t going to be able to eat it immediately. You may need to freeze your ice cream bowl, if that is the type of maker you have or purchase. You will need to soak the cashews for at least 6 hours or overnight and chill the cream base. Once you make the ice cream, it needs to harden a little in the freezer. It’s a process, but once you have the cone you’ve been dreaming about, it’s all worth it. Just keep that in mind and anticipate a hot summer night with the wind in the trees and a waffle cone in your hand with the ice cream you churned (at the press of a button or move of a lever).

*True story – I was given an ice cream bowl attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer at one of my showers 6 YEARS AGO and never broke it out of the box. It seemed like one of those really fun things to scan for my bridal registry, but since we lived in a smallish apartment, the ice cream maker was stored at my parent’s until we moved into a house. Fast forward to now when I realized I had it hidden away in a cabinet and should probably give it a go. If you are looking for ice cream maker options, here are my top picks. My Kitchen Aid attachment is not on there. It refused to work after two batches and I still haven’t figured out why. An all in one machine seems like a much better option and they aren’t too pricey, but I’ve listed a splurge maker as well.

ice cream maker 1 // ice cream maker 2 // ice cream maker 3 // old fashioned ice cream maker

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

for the ice cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours), then drained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk (reserve 2 tablespoons for cookie dough)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
for the cookie dough:
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter (such as earth’s balance soy sticks)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life chips)
  • About 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
How To:
Very important! The night before follow these two steps:
1. Place your ice cream churning bowl in the freezer to properly chill (according to manufacturer’s instructions) and soak your cashews (cover with about an inch of water). Drain before proceeding with recipe.
2. Add all ice cream ingredients to blender and blend until creamy and smooth using the puree setting. I used my ninja and it worked great. Process through a fine mesh strainer into a glass bowl to get rid of any cashew bits or grains. This helps to make the ice cream super smooth. Chill the mixture a few hours or overnight.
Add the chilled mixture to your churning bowl and and process (again, according to manufacturer’s instructions) anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes. While it is churning, make the cookie dough (keeping an eye on your mixture – once it looks like soft-serve it is ready!)
For cookie dough, use an electric mixer to combine vegan butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the flour a few tablespoons at a time until the dough becomes thick and a little crumbly. Add coconut milk to add a little moisture and to help it stick together. Add chocolate chips and stir until dispersed. Freeze (chill) for a bit if you want the cookie dough to remain in chunks in your ice cream, otherwise you can keep it on the counter until ready to add.
Once the ice cream is thick like soft serve, add in 1/2 to 3/4 cup cookie dough, crumbling into chunks as you add. Smooth ice cream into a loaf pan lined with parchment. Cover well and freeze for a few hours until firm. When ready to serve, set out for about 15 minutes to soften. I prefer to serve my cookie dough ice cream on waffle cones with a sprinkle of more cookie dough. Best when fresh but will keep in your freezer for 7-10 days.

Not Your Farmer’s Overalls


I will admit, I had doubts about rocking blue denim overalls present-day. Overalls tend to look baggy, loose and unflattering. I adored them in the 90’s when I had my super cool Osh Kosh pair I wore quite often, but I was in my teens. I love my black denim pair, which are skinny and modernized since they are a shade other than blue denim. I wasn’t completely sold I could find a pair that could work. I was wrong.Read More

A Latte At Home


About a year ago I went over to a good girlfriends house, who was so nice, she offered me a latte. SHE MADE ME A LATTE, and it was Starbucks quality delicious. I searched her kitchen for a full blown espresso maker and milk frother, but saw nothing of the kind. Completely befuddled, I asked her to tell me step by step how she made my cup of joy. She obliged.Read More