purple

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chocolate peanut butter coconut no-bake bars

It’s always a good time for no-bake cookies and bars, but summer is the season when I appreciate them the most.

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I mostly followed this quick and simple recipe, with a minor substitution of replacing the 1/2 cup honey with 1/4 cup agave. I made these bars in a 9″ by 9″ pan. I really enjoyed the little bit of crunch that came from the shredded coconut. One consideration if you’re serving these bars on a hot day: because of the significant coconut oil content, when these bars get warm, they can get goopy and melty.

the great stupa

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya is a Buddhist monument to human kindness, located at the Shambhala Mountain Center in the northern Colorado Rockies. The journey there, and the Stupa itself, make for a beautiful day trip.

lemon ice cream

This lemon ice cream was so easy to make and delicious!

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  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • lemon oil to taste

Blenderize the above ingredients, transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker, and serve with sprinkles if you’re feeling fancy!

my favorite smoothie

A chocolate peanut butter smoothie is one of those things that is so delicious, but so hard to look appetizing in a photo.

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I had gum graft surgery in November, so for two weeks I was on a mushy-food-only diet while my mouth healed. This smoothie was great for liquid nutrition for those two weeks, but I like it so much that I still have it for breakfast a few times a week. It’s super simple: a banana broken into a few pieces, enough nut milk to cover the banana in the blender, a big glob of peanut butter, and a spoonful of cacao powder. Bonus: if you use a frozen banana, this smoothie tastes like a chocolate peanut butter milkshake!

charlotte, north carolina

I visited friends in Charlotte, NC in late March. The weather was beautiful, so we went for a morning hike around Lake Wylie in McDowell Nature Center and Preserve.

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In the afternoon, my friend gave me a brief walking tour of uptown Charlotte. We relaxed in a quiet literary-themed pocket park called The Green. I enjoyed the book sculptures and colorful mosaic stools.

 

Speaking of mosaics, the Firebird sculpture in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a sparkling mosaic wonder, reflecting bits and pieces of everything around it.

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broken crayon craft

The little one has broken a lot of crayons over the last couple of years, and I’ve been collecting the crayon fragments because I figured we could eventually do something cool with them. This melted crayon craft project was just our speed, and our funky multi-colored crayons made great gifts for the kiddo’s friends.

After peeling the paper off of the broken crayons, we put the crayon pieces in a mini muffin pan and baked them at 170°F until they were completely melted (24 minutes). Then we removed the muffin pan from the oven, and decided to quickly stir one of the new melty crayons (a mixture of purple, blue, and pink) to make a special new shade of purple. We left the other crayons alone for a marbled look. Then we put the muffin pan in the freezer for 20 minutes. Next I inverted the pan and the new crayons all came out easily.

Our special purple swirled crayon broke when it came out of the pan, so it’s possible that our stirring before freezing affected that crayon’s structural integrity, but it turned out really pretty. A few of the other crayons broke later on, but that’s not so bad because these crayons are actually easier to draw with when they are broken in half. Overall, this was a fun recycling project to do with a three-year-old!

bunny pancakes

Last year my sister gave me this idea for a cute Easter breakfast and I made it about as simple as possible. I think these bunny pancakes will be an Easter tradition for our family, since they are so easy to make.

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I made banana pancakes using the recipe from my Babycakes Covers the Classics cookbook, and added a little tail made of shredded coconut. Of course, these pancakes are best served with a side of chocolate bunny. Hoppy Easter!

purple cauliflower soup

It’s another purple cauliflower recipe, inspired by my desire to get my purple-loving three-year-old to eat lots of veggies! Good stuff!

denver zoo

We went to the Denver Zoo in early March, and were delighted to find out that an adorable two-day-old giraffe was making its zoo debut that day. We also enjoyed seeing several animals playing with the toys in their habitats, such as the elephant and hippopotamus below.

We watched some amazing big horn sheep and mountain goats climbing on Sheep Mountain, and Bear Mountain had two beautiful grizzly bears.

This is a great zoo with all kinds of animals, but the thing we were probably most surprised to see was a Lego lion sculpture, apparently by the same artist as the Lego sculptures we saw at the McKee Botanical Garden in Florida. These awesome Lego sculptures get around!

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