Maple Bacon & Blueberry Sweet Potato Hash

Maple Bacon & Blueberry Sweet Potato Hash

Maple-Bacon-hash-5

I don’t know what possessed me to put blueberries in this hash, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s like the combo of the crunchy sweet potato and then the pop of the juice blueberries, hello.

I know blueberries are almost out of style for the season, but grab those last few boxes and get kickin’.

It’s like fresh summer meets fall and creates the perfect moment of bliss and perfection in a breakfast hash. It’s like you stumble into the kitchen with your glasses on and messy top bun, and you somehow end up being a genius morning chef who makes cool breakfast combos. And the maple bacon?

Maple Bacon

Drool worthy.

Baking the bacon with the maple syrup makes the bacon almost caramelize/candy the maple syrup into it, and there’s this crunch and chew that can’t be topped. I think the maple bacon makes the segway from sweet potato to blueberry.

It’s like a sweet potato, blueberry, maple bacon concoction. And I luv it. [Read more…]

Easy Slow Cooker Apple & Cinnamon Oats

Oats-5

Oats-4

Get in muh belly, oats.

These apple and cinnamon oats are a staple in my house. We have them for almost every Thanksgiving/Christmas morning, fresh from the slow cooker and so tasty. I don’t even know how it’s possible for oats to taste this good.

I feel like a total cheat when a recipe tastes this good but is this easy, but hey, love me for it. I don’t even know how to describe the oats. They’re creamy but still have a little chewiness to them, so flavorful while being the perfect morning porridge. They are just the quintessential comfort breakfast cold weather food.

Oats-Diptych

Um, hello. Have you been outside today?

It’s literally heaven on my doorstop. I had one of those mornings where I was wearing my stretchy yoga pants and the biggest sweatshirt I could find, and walked outside to the nicest breeze of my life, and literally my entire mood changed. Not that I was in a bad mood before, it was just like the weather made me feel like I was floating. Does that even make sense?

I’m stuck in this amazing weather haze. Nothing can compete with the first morning of fall weather. Nothing.

It wins.

Oats-1

I’ve also completely planned my future someday wedding in a matter of two days. This weather does that to me, okay? I instantly get into my nurturer homemaker miss my whole life is planned because of how happy I am persona. Go with it.

Don’t even get me started on what happens to me when the Christmas lights go up. I’m counting down the seconds.

And while I enjoy all things autumn, I am going to chow down on my favorite oatmeal eva. I love that oatmeal is so diverse. It can be a more savory kinda meal, or a super sweet meal (it’s fall, okay? It’s my nesting period). Not to brag, but I topped my oatmeal with the absolute perfect amount of almond milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit. ohemgee.

Oats-5

Cinnamon and brown sugar make the best combo for oatmeal toppings.

Or honey if you swing that way.

I love nothing more than a packed house of my cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, parents, sister, and twenty of our closest friends, all snuggled around the fire watching one of my dad’s favorite movies on an early morning when no one has anything to do because it’s the winter break, and we are all digging into this oatmeal.

Mmmmm.

Oats-6

Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 apples
  • 2 cups Irish steel cut oats
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
for toppings:
  • almond milk
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • nuts (pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.)
  • dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Peel the apples and remove the seeds. Chop into cubes.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker and put on low for 8 hours.
  3. Top with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Notes
I used gala apples, but feel free to use whatever you want or is local to you.

 

Lunchbox Monday: The Italian Box

Italian-Box-1

Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and you-can’t-top-this-eiffel-tower delectable!

Italian-Box-1

It’s another beautiful Monday! And guess what I just saw in my planner? TOMORROW IS THE OFFICIAL START OF AUTUMN. Is this for reals? Pinch me, I must be dreaming. But seriously, I’m so excited.

I just got home from a week in Dallas and I am loving.this.weather. I had a great birthday and am ready to carry on with some awesome recipes this week! I also went to some of the best restaurants and can’t wait to share all about them. You’re in for a treat.

Let’s talk about this lunchbox for a minute. I ate this thing for dinner it was so good. Like gobbled it right on up. I made my favorite turkey quinoa meatballs for the sandwiches, and used my favorite Mario Batalli tomato sauce, and zoodles can’t be beat, and melon wrapped prosciutto?

Can I please go back to Italy now?

The countryside is calling my name. [Read more…]

Buffalo Chicken Football Pockets

Football-2

Football-3

Is it really football season? Is it really autumn, or fall, or whatever you call it? Is it really almost time to bring out my boots and sweaters?

I feel like a giddy little girl on christmas morning. Oh my goodness. Is it getting close to christmas morning?

yess. 

Basically these pockets of joy symbolize my complete excitement over what is coming. Although in full disclosure, I am not a football fan. Boo me. I know, unfollow me now. Do whatever you’ve got to do. I’m just not going to lead you onto a trail of disappointment. An unhonest relationship of you believing that I am a football fanatic when indeed I am not anywhere close. BUT…..

Football-8

Football snacks? That I’m a fan of. I literally go to Super Bowl parties with no idea who is playing or what team I am rooting for, but man am I excited to beeline it to the snack table while I make friends with other non-football watchers like me. That’s where the party’s at.

As soon as I took my first bite into these buffalo chicken football pockets I knew this would be my Super Bowl staple snack. It will bring on legions of non-football watcher fans and I’ll be hailed as the best football snack maker ever.

And those yells from the football tv area won’t be about the actual game, they will be for me and my football pockets as the grungy football watchers take a giant bite out of this hot and mildly spicy pocket of goodness. Hashtag my dream.

Football-6

So what team am I rooting for this year, you ask? The buffalo chicken football pocket with a side of vegan blue cheese sauce team, baby.

Pockets all around!

Football-1

5.0 from 1 reviews
Buffalo Chicken Football Pockets
Author: 
Serves: 20-25
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 8-ounce package of vegan cream cheese (I used Go Veggie!)
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • vegan blue cheese sauce (I used this ranch recipe and added tofu crumbles)
For the crust:
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Earth Balance butter, cut into pieces
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water
Instructions
The crust:
  1. In a food processor*, place the flour, salt, and pepper and pulse until combined. Add in the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add in the ice water, a little at a time while pulsing, until the dough is formed. Place the dough into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
The filling:
  1. In a large pot, pour enough water to completely submerge the chicken and bring to a boil. Place the chicken in the pot and boil for 30-45 minutes, or until completely cooked through and there is no pink left.
  2. Drain the chicken and let cool. Then, using a fork, shred the chicken.
  3. Place the shredded chicken into a medium bowl and pour in the buffalo sauce, vegan cream cheese, and salt. Mix until well combined.
To assemble:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough as thin as you can get it, and using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut out football shapes about the size of your palm. Place a spoonful of filling on one piece of dough, and then place another piece of dough on top and press a fork around the edges to seal. Using a butter knife, slice a line down the middle of the dough on top, and then four small slices across to make it look like a football. Place on a baking sheet. Continue until all the pockets are made.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Notes
*I do not have a food processor, so I tried this the first time in a Vitamix and then in a stand mixer with a hook attachment, and both times the motors overheated. I definitely think that you can hand mix the dough if you do not have a food processor, and that would be my suggestion.

{savory pie crust recipe adapted from Martha Stuart}

 

Funfetti Cookies & Cream Donuts

Funfetti-Donuts-4

Funfetti-Donuts-7

Let’s throw a party! I’m talking full-blown hello my online invisible little ghost friends party complete with yummy punch and only allergy friendly chocolate desserts, and for sure these donuts.

I’m talking mounds of donuts. These amazing circles of deliciousness took me ten tries. Literally 10 batches of mixing and whisking and pouring and painstakingly baking as I watched them fall, and fall, and become hallow each time.

Imagine my face just contorting into pure horror at the 15 minute mark as I turned the dreaded oven light on to see my beautiful batch of hard work and love go down the drain.

But two. Oh the holy two. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Mediterranean Box

Med-Box-1

Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free*, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free* and oh-my-goodness-my-pants-are-on-fire tasty! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so thrilled to experience what it contains that they just can’t stop cheering. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Med-Box-4

Heyo! Happy Monday!

I have a special treat for you. Close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting by the pool overlooking the mediterranean ocean on the outskirts of a small city in Greece with your family. Now take a bite out of this lunchbox. Good stuff right there.

This is just as perfect of a lunch for mom or dad as it is for the kiddos. Killing two birds with one stone? Bingo.

Who even came up with that saying?

Med-Box-2

This lunchbox is loaded with delicious and nutritious foods like cucumber sandwiches filled with turkey, cherry tomato slices, and mayo (vegannaise?), homemade cous cous salad with olives, bell peppers, green onions, lemon and olive oil, hummus, and heart shaped carrots.

Oh my yumness. Can’t handle all the flavors. [Read more…]

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Peach Honey Mustard

Pretzel-7

Pretzel-7

I think I’m in love with this little stick food. Any type of food that tastes great, looks adorable, and is able to be eaten in a painless fashion is a winner in my book. And peach honey mustard? Goodbye summer on a high note. Because I am kickin’ it with my chicken on a stick. I picture myself taking these to lazy sunday barbecues with friends, or to a little child’s birthday party, or over to my neighbor’s house while we sip on mimosas in the backyard. When did I become a 30-year-old housewife?

I love it. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Tropical Box

Tropical-1

Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian and hold-the-phone delicious! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so excited to eat it that they just can’t stop singing. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Tropical-1

Happy September! Whoa that went fast.

I hope you enjoyed last week’s first lunchbox post, I sure enjoyed eating it. As the summer is winding down I thought a tropical box would be the perfect way to end it, with the beach, and the sun, and the sand. Are we really sure we’re ready for winter yet, summer? Maybe just stick around a little bit longer.

Please?

This box is filled with gluten-free fish sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches complete with eyes and a smile, fruity tangy pineapple, relaxed sand dollars, homemade seaweed dip, and a Jello and gluten-free graham cracker beach scene with a Fruit Rollup lounge chair and Swedish fish. Can you say best-lunch-box-ever-because-I-sure-can! [Read more…]

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

WCC-4

WCC-4

These cookies are my happy place right now.

I’ve spent the last week baking batches after batches after batches (9 to be exact) of gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free funfetti cookies and cream donuts. Sounds amazing, right? I am not a gluten-free baker. To be specific, I am not really a baker at all. That’s why it’s so surprisingly awesome that these cookies have turned out ahhmazing.

Needless to say, there has now been a total meltdown that I happened to be a part of, and it did not end well. So these cookies are officially my life raft of happiness.

I found vegan white chocolate chips from King David on Amazon and when you order them they come with three bags filled with delicious, melty, crave-worthy white chocolate chips. The heavens are smiling on these little guys right now. I thought about making the white chocolate myself but then said, “eh, better not.” and ordered these little delights. They do not disappoint. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Breakfast Box

Breakfast-Box-4

Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and can’t-keep-your-pants-on-so-let’s-party flavorful! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so excited to eat it that they just can’t stop dancing. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Breakfast-Box-1

Happy Monday! We are starting off fresh here on Vivian & Me with a new post series called Lunchbox Monday! I’m so excited to share with you some great and extra delicious lunchbox ideas each Monday to add to your weekly school lunchbox repertoire. I encourage you to try these lunchbox ideas even if you don’t have an allergy, because trust me, they pack a punch!

I’ve decided to start off strong with one of my favorites: the breakfast box. Because who doesn’t love breakfast for lunch?

Not me! Not me! Not me! [Read more…]