Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Detoxifying Juices and Smoothies

<span class=

Detox <span class=

New year. New you. Change your life. Starting now. That's the title of the 21-day detox plan in my Whole Living magazine this month (by Martha Stewart). I was intrigued by most of the recipes on the plan but the juices and smoothies definitely caught my eye first. Grapefruit + carrot and ginger juice, anyone? How about beet + apple + carrots and mint? And aren't we all wondering about those green machine smoothies that are all over the Internet? I like this magazine, but I like one of the recipe contributors for this article even better. Her name is Sarah Britton and she writes an incredibly healthy blog called My New Roots and I trust her recipes and health knowledge. I know you want to get healthy, fit and lose a couple pounds that inevitably came along with the holidays. I know I do. Whether it's your New years resolution or not, eating better, cleaner and healthier is always important and I have just the trick to help get you started on the right foot while you are still good and motivated. Incorporate these powerhouse drinks into a cleanse, detox, diet, and/or healthy eating regimen of your choice and get ready for healing, energy, better sleep, clearer skin, healthy hair and nails, and a couple pounds lost. Sound good?

green machine

Even if you are in no hurry to do a full out detox, just ditch the alcohol for a few weeks and break out your Vita-mix, blender or juicer and take the first step. Better decisions will follow. Who knows? You might make a few vegetarian meals throughout the week instead of your usual pizza or steak (I have a long list of choices under my recipes section). You might say no to ice cream and yes to sliced strawberries instead. Heck, maybe you'll get crazy with it and walk the neighborhood block in the evenings. Changing your life starts somewhere, and if for you, all that means is incorporating more fruits, vegetables and antioxidant rich foods into your diet, that's a fantastic start...and these elixirs will do more than your body good.

Detox <span class=

So, I made all three of the drinks on the 21-day detox plan (there are also more than 50 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, that will supercharge your health by clearing your body of impurities on the website) and will tell you exactly what I thought of them below. Two of these drinks are supposed to be made in a juicer, but alas, I gave mine away *boo*. I do have a Vita-Mix though, and so I set out to make them like a smoothie instead. I knew it would be thicker, but I also like the idea of getting the whole of the vegetables and fruit in my glass along with all the roughage and fiber, and I'll tell you how they turned out below as well.

Bottom line? Except for the green machine, definitely use a juicer as your first choice!

Detox <span class=

Grapefruit, Carrot, and Ginger Juice
1 serving

2 chopped grapefruits (peel and pith removed)
5 chopped carrots (I used smaller organic carrots)
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Press all ingredients through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately. You can also blend on high in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender until smooth, just make sure to add 1 cup of water and 6 ice cubes to the mix. (see my note below). Add more fresh water if needed to thin.
PER SERVING: 321 calories, 1 g fat, (1 g sat fat); 7 g protein; 16 g fiber

The magazine says: Liquids in the morning are easier on your digestive system than solid foods. The carrots in this zesty tonic deliver a blast of immunity boosting vitamin C and enough fiber to sustain you until your first snack.

Taste test result: This was a little thick made in my Vita-Mix, though I didn't really mind. I'd make it again in my blender and not think much about it, but if you have a juice extractor, use that as a first choice. The drink is bright and vibrant, and reminds me of a true juice, making it a perfect choice either alongside, or for breakfast. The coral color isn't bad either.

Beet, carrot, apple, mint

Beet, Apple and Mint Juice
serves 1

1 chopped, small raw beet (peeled)
5 chopped carrots
1 cored and chopped organic apple (I used Honeycrisp)
1/4 cup fresh mint sprigs, lightly packed

Press everything through a juice extractor. Stir and serve immediately. You can blend this in a Vita-Mix as well- but make sure to add 1 1/2 cups of water and 6 ice cubes to the mix, and blend on high until smooth. This particular drink is tastier done in the juice extractor rather than blending (see my note below).
PER SERVING: 249 cals; 1 g fat )0 g sat fat); 5 g protein; 15 g fiber

The magazine says: Antioxidant superstars, red beets contain betalains, compounds that fight inflammation and support your detox by neutralizing toxins and making them water soluble and easily flushed from the body. In one study, beet fiber increased the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.

Taste test result: I made this one two days in a row and it varied in taste depending on how big my beets were. This is really mild and sweet going in, and then at the finish you can detect the mint and your mouth feels incredibly clean afterwards. Raw beets are not as potent as cooked so it definitely passes as a drink friendly food in my book. Taste wise, this was actually my favorite drink and I will surely be making it again. However, I really recommend you make this one in a juice extractor. The solids want to separate something awful and unless you chug this down quickly straight from the blender, you'll end up chewing through some of it, which is not completely pleasant. Your call.

Green Machine

Green Machine Smoothie
serves 2

6 chopped organic romaine leaves
4 chopped organic kale leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups water
6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender such as the Vita-Mix and blend until smooth. PER SERVING: 145 cals; 2 g fat; (0 g sat fat);7 g protein; 6 g fiber

The magazine says: Starting the day with this nutrient-dense elixir is a delicious way to charge your system with nutrients. Dark leafy greens are extremely alkalizing, meaning they foster a more neutral body environment for better functioning enzymes, compared with acid-forming foods like meats and dairy.

Taste test result: I only had pineapple on hand so I did a whole cup of that instead of 1/2 cup mango and 1/2 cup pineapple. This is a powerhouse green smoothie and it's not like you can't taste the can, but I don't know that you'll mind that much. The greens are balanced by the sweet fruits and both the spiciness of the fresh ginger and pop of parsley. It's really quite nice. I was originally going to suggest that this smoothie was for adult palates rather than kids, but this was actually my 9 year old daughter's favorite of the three drinks! Although, my 5 year old son hated it. :) If you like the idea of a green smoothie but are not wild about the flavor, check out this spinach-berry smoothie. You can't taste the greens at all. The taste of this one will depend on how much ginger you put in. The first time I made this, my inch of ginger was on the skinnier side and the drink was sweeter but earthier. The second time my ginger was fat, so much more went in, which covered the earthiness, but was not very sweet.

None of these drinks are incredibly delicious (maybe the beet, mint, apple - juiced, not blended) but considering how nutritionally good for you they are, it's a wonder they taste this good. I was really pleasantly surprised. The fact that I made them two days in a row says something. And I don't know about you, but when I know I'm putting wonderfully healthy foods into my body, each sip tastes better and better. Really.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate mix

This year my family is packaging up this hot chocolate mix in big Mason jars and giving them to my little cousins for Christmas. Throw in a bag of marshmallows or make your own and I'd say you've got a great little gift.

Hot Chocolate Mix

We taste tested this cocoa to make sure it was as good as it sounded (chocolate pudding is in the mix!) and it got the thumbs up all around. This recipe makes one batch, which is a lot of mix but you sort of need a lot to make a cup so it all worked out.

Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas! Our Christmas Card this year: If you thought I'd be savvy enough to upload a good picture from Shutterfly where I purchased this card, you'd be very wrong.

Christmas Card
Christmas Card
Christmas Card

Hot Cocoa Mix

adapted from ""

4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. If a finer consistency is desired, you can pour the mix into a blender or food processor and run it through that. Store in an airtight container. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on your cocoa preference) of the mix to an 8 ounce mug of boiling water.

“‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.’” (Luke, chapter 2 and Linus)

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Peace and goodwill to you this holiday season, my friends.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Healthy Gingered Muffins (in a snap)


Super healthy, flavorful muffins for breakfast anyone? These are a snap to make and smell like Christmas morning with all the fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves wafting up from the batter. Grab a cup of coffee and you are all set to snuggle up and read the Sunday paper. For this recipe you will blend the wet ingredients in a vita-mix or regular blender, and pour that into the dry ingredients before mixing and scooping into small muffin tins and baking. The original recipe says to bake this is an 8x8 pyrex dish and cutting them into bars. You can do that too, but it would be "gingered bread" instead of muffins. Either way, they are delicious.

My friend Danielle made these for me one morning last week. The smell hit me smack dab when I walked in the door. It smelled like it was going to be a very good morning. When she told me what was in them, I couldn't believe how good they are for you, although, she cheated a bit and admittedly added chocolate chips and walnuts to hers. This is a great base recipe because like Danielle you can go crazy with any add in's you desire. Dried cranberries and orange zest would be lovely too.

If you have a mini muffin tin, use that and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of a muffin. If you want to make regular muffins, double the recipe to make 12 and keep an eye on them for cooking time. Directions below are for an 8x8 pyrex dish to make bars.


Healthy Gingered Muffins
adapted from the Vita-mix cookbook

makes one 8x8 pan

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1/4 cup molasses or honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 apple, quartered
1/2-inch thick slice of fresh ginger, roughly chopped, unpeeled

add in's- walnuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Stir together first six ingredients in a large -sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place water, egg whites, molasses, sugar, apple and ginger into vitamix or blender and secure lid. Blend on high (or puree) until everything is smooth (or almost smooth, if using a regular blender).

Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently. Add any add in's and fold in. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vanilla Bean and Cacao Nib Bourbon (X-Mas gift idea) and Seattle


Bottles of infused bourbon make the perfect gift for the distinguished gentlemen in your life (or for Southern men, or anyone who enjoy's spirits for that matter). The best part is it only takes a couple ingredients and two weeks to sit, and my goodness, doesn't vanilla bean and cacao nib bourbon sound downright delicious? The process is super simple. Just combine your favorite bourbon with two slit open vanilla beans and the cacao nibs and let it sit for two weeks before straining and pouring it back into its original container. You lose a little bourbon in the process, I think because the cacao nibs seem to soak it up, but nobody is going to complain.


You can drink this straight up as an after dinner cocktail with a cigar or mix it with Coke or even the eggnog I posted yesterday. Another sweet suggestion is to write down any number of different cocktails that one can make with bourbon to go with your gift. One thing to note is cacao nib is really pure so it's not chocolatey but more smokey. This might catch you off guard if you don't expect that, but the vanilla bean is lovely with it. This is a subtle infusion and only hints at the notes put into it which I would assume most men would like - after all, they probably want to taste the bourbon - but you could always try adding in more vanilla beans if you wanted.



Here is the recipe. Scroll down and keep reading if you want to hear about the second part of our trip to Seattle and visit with my sister!

Cacao-Nib and Vanilla Bean-Infused Bourbon

adapted from Traditional Home Magazine, October 2011

In a clean, 2-quart glass jar, place 1/2 cup cocoa nibs and 2 vanilla beans sliced open but not scraped. Add one 750-ml bottle good-quality bourbon; seal jar. Store in a cool, dark place 2 weeks. To serve, strain bourbon through cheesecloth into a clean bottle. Store tightly sealed.


When I left you last, I was a wee bit tipsy on the plane ride to Seattle. By the time my trip was over and I had left and was in the middle of my third "scary" flight back home I had learned the following:

A) I still didn't enjoy flying

B) United airlines serves Absolute Vodka while Frontier prefers Skyy brand. I prefer Absolute and Frontier, so basically you could say I am screwed either way.

C) I would need to learn how to remove red, Mr. and Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix from a white Kenneth Cole pea coat. The gentleman in the seat next to me reminds me that Club Soda should do the job. Riiiiight.

D) I need to eat at Canlis again before I die.

More about Canlis later, but for now let me show you where we stayed. This is Pike Market and it's considered "The Soul Of Seattle". We stayed at The Inn At The Market and I would suggest it highly.


The first Starbucks store! This was totally exciting for me. I didn't even know Starbucks originated in Seattle when my sister pointed it out, but you bet your bottom dollar I made my way back over there (it was maybe one block from our hotel) in the morning for a cup of coffee when the line wasn't so long. A skinny peppermint mocha to be exact. It tasted just like any other Starbucks would make.


There's this place called Post Alley that runs through the market area and it's home to the famous "gum wall". It is absolutely disgusting! There must have been millions of pieces of chewed gum stuck all over this brick wall. Of course, we had to contribute.



Here is the view of the Seattle skyline from Kerry Park. We got lost on our way to find it and ended up at the public library downtown. Eventually Kaylee, my sister, found it.


One morning for breakfast we at at this cute little place named "Tilth". The chef who opened the restaurant was on Iron Chef and won against Morimoto! That's serious stuff. Morimoto doesn't mess around. Then, the next day we ate at a Thai restaurant for lunch and had a great green papaya salad but then, seriously...the absolute nastiest Pad Thai imaginable. It made for great memories as I tried to divide up the noodles and hide them under everyone else's so it looked like I ate it. I'm not kidding. Everyone tried it, and everyone said it was utterly disgusting. Actually my husband said exactly what it tasted like, but I decline to write it here. It came with these little thai bananas for garnish and when you took even the tiniest bite, all the saliva in your mouth dried up. It was so strange. Everything about the experience was strange and funny and gross and memorable.

Pat, my sisters boyfriend and Kaylee and me in front of Tilth-


After the horrible Thai fail, we decided we would go see a movie. But when we got to the theatre we had an hour to kill. Luckily the theatre was part of a mall and we walked around until we happened upon a wine bar/store. It was there we had a spontaneous fun filled hour of wine flights and cheese.


After that we decided we were having way too much fun to go to the movies so instead we ran, literally ran, although I'm not sure why, to another wine bar named "Purple". Seemed like a good idea at the time. We tasted a wine here that tasted and smelled like a florist shop. Straight up. It was very intriguing.

Me, Pat and Kaylee at Purple. This was the best day ever.


Kaylee and me stopping for a picture between running the streets of Seattle


Another day, my sister and I went red lipstick shopping with my patient husband who told us what looked nice. We ended up making the lipstick purchase at Chanel, of course ;)


I told you before I left that I was going to have to stop by Delancey. It's the food blogger, Molly Weizenberg's and her husbands restaurant. It didn't disappoint. If you are looking for a great wood fired pizza and wine with homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert, hit up Delancey.



Then there was Canlis. If you don't know already, Canlis is a very, very nice restaurant and their valets are famous. Seriously, they know your name when you pull up and when you are done and walking out the door your car is already being pulled up front for you-no ticket. It's super cool.

Canlis front entry


I should mention Patrick, my sisters beau since high school, is executive sous chef at Canlis (which means he is second only to "chef" and second in charge of the whole kitchen, which in a restaurant like that is a huge accomplishment) so we got the VIP treatment which was a lot of fun. Although we happened to be with Pat, it was pretty clear that everyone who walked into Canlis' doors got the same treatment.

The tables and view. Our spot was pretty much identical to this. The Sleepless in Seattle house is on that lake (Lake Union)


To start, we sat in the gorgeous lounge with the genius 19 year old piano player who played classical renditions of Coldplay’s covers to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. I ordered the Canlis cocktail, which was created for a party for "The Black Swan" movie. It was called The Nonesuch of Von Rothbart and was made with apple-infused Bols Genever (gin), arrack punch, Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne, and a quail egg preserved in a white truffle vinaigrette. Oddest $24 dollar cocktail in the world, yet addictive as I’ll get out. The creator of the cocktail was "looking to explore the powerful duality brought to Nina by the sorcerer Von Rothbart in a dream. Even as top dancer in the ballet, dark ambition pushes her past her earthly limits; it's magical, dank, and poetic all in one." That's pretty much what it tasted like too. My sister stuck to classic glass of champagne, while my husband ordered red wine and Pat (being the most seasoned one in the pack) left it to the incredible bar tender “Pepe” to create for him the perfect concoction. Pat is manly, tall, handsome and funny. His cocktail was pink…served with a lemon twist…in a martini glass…I had to snicker, but as he told us, it was delicious. Fair enough.

My Canlis Cocktail:


At the table after we asked, Pat told us that Bill Gates was a regular. My sister and I gave the obligatory “ooh’s and aww’s” as we imagined him and his wife, Melinda, at the table next to us. However upon hearing the Nordstroms (as in the department store) were in “all the time…in fact they were just here Friday and Saturday night” my sister and I straight up squealed like school girls. They probably get a lot of famous people dining with them, but that's all we got. I don't think Pat's a name dropper or thinks much of it, which I like.

We also got to tour the kitchen. Seriously? The cleanest room I have ever seen. It’s a live production happening in there every night and they are all the masters. Everything was white and labeled, bright and sanitized. I knew then that this dinner we were about to have was no joke. Canlis was nominated for best restaurant in the US last year and lost only to Thomas Kellers NY restaurant, Per Se. It is apparent why.

The food at Canlis all looks like this. I'm not the hugest fan of plates that are too fancy shmancey because they look sterile to me, like they lack flavor and are sort of boring. I stand corrected. The chef's here are genius'. Everything was complex and developed and seasoned to perfection.


We all ordered the chefs tasting menu for dinner which consisted of a dizzing array of seven courses with wine pairings for good measure. My sister was annoyed by the amount of white wines on her pairing list but she also ordered all vegetarian fare, so you could say it was her own fault. I, on the other hand, opted for the traditional tasting menu that consisted of a fruity shrimp bite with a shooter of delicious soup to start, then the most memorable course for me personally, which was lemon and truffle scented tapicoa with sous vide egg and fresh truffle topping. There was an interesting and complex beet salad with goat cheese sherbet (as in frozen and delicious!)and also a salmon course in which Pat told us the roe garnish was right out of Lake Union which was the very lake we were looking at from our view. Awesome. Then we had a delectable chicken which was especially memorable, then New York beef, and finally a passion fruit palate cleanser and an onslaught of desserts. Decunstructed pumpkin pie, banana, peanut butter and chocolate touille, then there was a chocolate on chocolate dessert accompanied by a salted caramel ice cream and finally a grand marnier souffle. There was another dessert on the table as well, but alas, I have forgotten what it was and in doing so epically failed you-but I trust you will forgive me.

We finished with a decaf coffee for me and super delicious vanilla bean scented red tea for Jeremy which smelled fantastically of my great-grandfathers pipe. You could say it was pretty much perfect.

After Jeremy and I left the restaurant, Kaylee and Pat stayed for the Canlis Christmas party. I think they had a very good time and were out pretty late as evidenced by these pictures taken at the photo booth at the party.


She was trying to be a "reindeer"...(obviously) We don't know what look Pat was going for!


And as evidenced by this photo showing what my sister wore when she came to pick us up to take us to the airport the next morning: :)


By the way, in creating this post I realized that my sister makes that kissy face quite a lot. See what I mean?





So busted! She doesn't make that face all the time though. Sometimes she prefers to dress up like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer for Christmas parties.


One more before I bid you adieu, because how often do you see a sign to British Columbia while driving to the airport?


Okay, I'm done. Next post will focus solely on food. Promise. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Vegan Egg Nog (and our trip!)

Vegan Egg <span class=

Hi everyone! I'm back from my birthday trip and ready to be blogging again! In case you missed the previous posts, I've been on a trip with my husband to San Francisco and then Seattle to visit my sister for my 30th birthday. That's three flights in one week. Let me say that again so it can really sink in. That's three flights in one week. This girl hates, hates, hates to fly so this is really saying something.

While we were in San Francisco we ate at a vegan restaurant named Millennium twice. Don't roll your eyes. This place was so, so good. Everything they made was incredibly gourmet and I would have never known anything was vegan if we hadn't asked. One of the dishes we ordered were the crispy oven fries with herb aioli that tasted like it was from the heavens. We asked the bartender about them and she let us know they used silken tofu as the aioli base and everything on the menu was completely vegan. We were both shocked. It was the best aioli I've ever eaten. The restaurant only advertises itself as "vegetarian" so they don't scare people off since their food is so delicious no matter what your diet usually consists of. We were so impressed by everything we ate that we ended up buying the restaurants cookbook and I cracked that baby open right after we got home and whipped up their egg nog.

Vegan Egg <span class=

Again, I was really impressed. I don't love traditional egg nog to begin with but I have always wanted to. I 'm not too crazy about the richness or that funky noggy taste. The elements I love are many: the cinnamon, the creaminess, the nutmeg and froth, (the bourbon *wink*) and then inevitably, you remember the main thing in egg nog...the calories! This version is much lighter than the regular, yet still thick with all the great flavor and froth with a fraction of the guilt. A whole cup is only 159 calories with 6 grams of protein to boot. Get ready for a tall, creamy glass. You know your going to make it. :) But first...

Let me show you around San Francisco! Seattle needs it's own post entirely, so we'll just start here with the first leg of our trip.

Our hotel, the Westin St. Francis in Union Square
<span class=

<span class=

View from our room
<span class=

Me downtown
<span class=

In front of the tree in Union Square
<span class=

True story: We ate fresh dungeness crab for 2 1/2 hours straight one day at Fisherman's Wharf. Here's Jeremy with one of our plates. He's laughing because a sea gull had just crapped on the forehead of the guy behind us who was on the phone and seemed to not really care. I don't think he knew how bad it was.
<span class=

Around The Wharf
<span class=

<span class=

Alcatraz is in the background behind the boat
<span class=

We went to this cute place named Cafe De La Presse three out of the four mornings while in SF. They had the best chocolate croissants I have ever had. Delicious!
<span class=

<span class=

<span class=

We drove up to Napa one day to eat at Thomas Keller's Bouchon and Ad Hoc. We were hoping someone would cancel their reservation at The French Laundry that night because we were first on the wait list for a reservation, but as our Hertz rent-a-car guy told us "no one cancels at The French Laundry. If people's flights get canceled they rent cars and drive to their reservations". Probably kind of true. We didn't get in. But we did get a picture in front of it!
<span class=

In Napa
<span class=

Ad Hoc- It was just good. Not great.
<span class=

I know this is along post for one day, but stick with me just a wee bit more. I wrote the following on the plane ride from San Francisco to Seattle:

Two-scary ass plane flights later and totally worth it. I am flying right now, actually. I'm blogging in an effort to take my mind off of free falling out of the sky. Up till now, every time the jets would slow and become more quiet; every time my stomach would sense the slightest sea-sicky movement, I was fully alert and conscious and sure we were going down. However, thanks to my blessed friend Mary, (first name: bloody) it is easier to get through. My first flight from Denver to San Francisco I was a nervous wreck. I refused to drink as it was a morning-ish flight and I was afraid I'd be too tired for all the "partying" I was sure was ahead of me that night. Turns out we went to a vegan restaurant, I had one glass of wine, watched a half an episode of "Last Man Standing" and was in bed by 8:15pm. Sadly, I'm not kidding.

Crap. The jets just slowed, my stomach dropped and I am certain death is imminent. I am such a pansy. Anyway, this flight I am taking a much better approach to coping with my fear. I am armed with Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" as my guide for truth, and hard alcohol for my nerves.

I am excited that when we land in twenty minutes my sister will be there, smiling with that beautiful face of hers, and when the first words out of my mouth are "Kaylee, I'm drunk" there will be no judgement.

We are gearing up for landing now and I just opened up my window (no thanks to my pilot who forgot to mention we were flying by it) and saw this!

Mt. <span class=

Mount Ranier in all it's glory! WOW! I read somewhere that this volcano would explode someday and kill everyone in Seattle. Of course I read that. Majestic non-the-less huh? Well, this is it. This leg of my journey had come to an end. Here's to alcohol and conquered fear!

Speaking of alcohol, this egg nog would be fantastic spiked. Just sayin'.

Vegan Egg Nog
adapted from The Artful Vegan by Eric Tucker with Bruce Enloe
Makes 4 cups

12 ounces silken tofu
1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1 cup almond milk, or soy milk, or rice milk (for nut-free)
1 cup rice milk
1 1/2 cups soy milk

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and frothy. Ladle into cups and sprinkle nutmeg over each serving. Store refrigerated for up to 2 days.

I used half unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half soy milk for this recipe because I didn't have rice milk around. I'm sure the different milks give a more complex flavor. I don't recommend using just one. If you used all soy milk for example, it would taste pretty soy forward- which is not bad, but not optimal.

Stay tuned for part two of my trip. Seattle!