Mexican Turkey Polenta Pizza

Mexican Turkey Polenta Pizza // Vivian & Me

Gluten-Free + Dairy-Free Mexican Turkey Polenta Pizza // Vivian & Me

Well hello again. Long time no talk, huh?

Life caught me, and it caught me hard. Classes have started again, jobs are moving along, exciting events are happening (check back next Monday!), and a nasty head cold took me down earlier this week. So I’ll apologize for my absence, and then give you a delicious recipe to make up for it! Sound good? Will you forgive me? ;) Pretty please?

I introduce to you layers upon layers of tasty mexicano flavorful mildly spicy (or not, there’s options) turkey polenta pizza. [Read more…]

Peppermint S’mores Chocolate Bark

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark from Vivian & Me

Campfire S'mores Chocolate Bark from Vivian & Me

In all of my holiday themed posts so far this year, how could I have possibly managed to overlook one of my favorite quintessential holiday-themed food items: peppermint!

I love peppermint because it usually involves sweets, specifically chocolate. And after making this bark, it might officially be my new favorite holiday snack.

The peppermint is totally optional (if you leave it out, you’re crazy) but I love the zing of it throughout each piece. I melted down semi-sweet chocolate as the bark layer which turned out to be the perfect combination of rich and sweet. Mixed in with peppermint marshmallows and crunchy graham crackers and it’s like a campfire in a piece of chocolate.

Mission accomplished.

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark

One of my favorite things to do during the winter time is to have a campfire on the beach roasting s’mores. I actually love the process of roasting s’mores much more than I actually enjoy eating s’mores.

For some reason the gooey mallow, hot chocolate lava, crunchy cracker experience fills me up in about two bites. But add some peanut butter in there and I might be able to eat an entire one, or three.

You know, now that I think about it, you can tell a lot by how someone cooks their marshmallow.

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark from Vivian & Me

I’m currently powering through my last two weeks of this school semester, feeling the pain as I trudge through my finals and hope that there’s a light at the end of the deep dark tunnel.

And then I have a whole entire month to kick back and relax. And guess what I want to do most? Nerdy old me can’t wait to pick up a new book and waste the day away in a world other than my own.

I started reading Anna Karenina about six months ago and absolutely loved it, but had to put it on the back burner once school started up. My goal is to finish it over winter break.

I can’t wait!

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark from Vivian & Me

My family is heading back out to winter wonderland this year… Telluride. Two weeks of snow filled bliss. I can’t wait to get my snowboard back on and have some fun racing my sister down the mountain.

I know I’ll be making this bark for friends out in Telluride as it’s the best food gift. It’s quick and easy to make, and you just messily break it up, throw it in a parchment paper lined tin, and call it a day. It’s great as a snack in the mountains too because the cold weather will keep the chocolate from melting.

Mmm, I think the mountains are calling my name. And this chocolate bark.

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark from Vivian & Me

Campfire Peppermint S'mores Chocolate Bark
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 12-ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 4 mini candy canes, lightly crushed
  • ¼ cup peppermint marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat (or do what I do, which is to bring a small pot of shallow water to a boil, then place a glass bowl on top, and say hello to a cheap double boiler).
  2. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, pour the melted chocolate and spread it into a square shape.
  3. Add the toppings.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. When the chocolate has hardened, remove from the fridge and slice the bark into messy pieces.
  6. Keep in the refrigerator or at a cool room temperature so the chocolate doesn't melt.

I need to get my campfire song repertoire together ASAP.

Campfire Skillet Brownies For Two

Campfire Skillet Brownies -- the best dessert for a cozy night by the fire with your love!

Easy Campfire Skillet Brownies For Two -- What better dessert for a cozy night by the fire with your love?

Hey Mom and Dad, I’m talking to you. You deserve a little break every once in a while. Especially during this time of year, when life is filled with family and happy chaos.

Tonight is one of those times after putting the kids to bed, where you both can sit by the fireplace, curled up on the sofa, with the Christmas tree lit up, romantic holiday music playing, and enjoy a big slice of these easy campfire (yes, I can put some marshmallows on top and call it a day) skillet brownies.

I say easy because they are a box mix. Yep, Duncan Hines is my jam. They seriously deliver on amazing box mixes for us dairy-free people, and I love love love their brownies.

I literally make them for any occasion, or just when I’m feeling some brownies, which is like all.the.time.

Easy Campfire Skillet Brownies For Two -- perfect for a cozy night in with your love!

These upcoming few weeks known as the holiday season can be total bliss. The unforgettable time to talk about old memories and spend time together making new ones. Where you can catch up on movies and sing carols with friends, and all your family gets to be together for a short while.

It’s like this short moment in time that’s carved out every year where true life doesn’t exist and this alternate universe is your life instead. Happiness, joy, and love is all around. And time together is precious and enjoyed.

It’s in this magical space that make these brownies perfect. They make your laughs lighter, your tummies fuller, and your time together sweeter. They melt in your mouth with a decadent chocolate flavor that is rich and gooey all at once. And the roasted marshmallows on top ooze into each little crumb of the brownies so that when you bite into them you get a perfect crunch and chew all at the same time. It’s almost too good to be true.

Happy holidays, to you.

Campfire Skillet Brownies -- the best dessert for a cozy night by the fire with your love!

Easy Campfire Skillet Brownies For Two
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the brownie mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a small greased cast-iron skillet. Place in the oven and bake for 25 - 28 minutes. Remove from oven, place handful of marshmallows on top, and place back in the oven for about 5 more minutes, or until the marshmallows are melted and golden brown.
  4. Serve with coffee and enjoy on a cold winter's night.

 

Balsamic Cranberry Pork Tenderloin + Vivian Takes London!

Cranberry Pork Tenderloin and Creamy [Dairy-Free] Mashed Potatoes

The Best Cranberry Pork Tenderloin that puts all those leftover Thanksgiving cranberries to good use!

I bet you’re looking in your refrigerator at all those leftover cranberries that you didn’t use last week, wondering what you could do with them, really not wanting to throw them away.

Oh boy do I have a surprise for you ;)

This balsamic cranberry pork tenderloin is another winner from Hunter Davis over at the Dish and the Spoon. Make sure to schedule your spring break meals with him now because he will fill up! Popular guy right there.

He’s a vegetarian that knows how to cook some great meat. Example A, this pork tenderloin. It’s juicy and tender and the flavor between the pork and tangy balsamic cranberry sauce is unparalleled. It just melts in your mouth.

I really really love cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, so I always have cranberries leftover and this will be my new staple for the week after Thanksgiving. Make some more of those creamy mashed potatoes and you’ll be ready to go with a delicious dinner for the family.

I’m sure the men in your house won’t mind one bit, more big meals for them. Yippee Yay!

Cranberry Pork Tenderloin -- Thanksgiving Leftover's Meal!

Little jet setter Vivian is off adventuring through London for the next 7 weeks!

I’m so excited for her and her family as they get to have an unforgettable experience!

But I sure am missing them already!

Here’s a picture of the girls when they first arrived:

Vivian Takes London!

Also, Vivian’s older sis Anne Margaret is doing vlogs while they are away! Make sure to check out their vlog channel called With Love From London. They’ll be keeping all of us updated and informed of all the cool stuff they’re doing and seeing! Vivian has already found a great vegan ice cream and truffles store called Booja Booja!

Who knows, we might even get a blog post or two out of Viv from some of her favorite allergy-friendly restaurants in London! (hint, hint, Viv!)

Cranberry Pork Tenderloin and Creamy [Dairy-Free] Mashed Potatoes

So while Vivian is having the time of her life, I’m going to cosy up with some yummy cranberry pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes and watch her new vlog!

Cranberry Pork Tenderloin + Vivian Takes London!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pork tenderloins
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole berry jellied cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vingar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the fresh cranberries, cranberry sauce, and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, mix together, and then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce to a simmer to cook down for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, mash the fresh cranberries. Set aside.
  3. Heat up a greased skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the pork in the skillet, top with salt and pepper and sear both sides until brown.
  4. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Add the pork and then top with the cranberry mixture. Place in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through.
  5. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes.

 

The Best Ever Skillet Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread-Dressing-1

The Best Ever Skillet Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Do the happy dance. Oh yeah. I’m sooo excited! The official wintery holiday times are kicking off TOMORROW, TOMORROW, I LOVE YA TOMORROW (someone please name that movie in the comments…) and then I can finally start singing Christmas carols, drink hot apple cider, sit by the fire place in my pajamas, and string lights all throughout my room for my next favorite month of the whole year.

But in the meantime, I am totally going to cook this incredible cornbread dressing for my Thanksgiving meal. Seriously guys, this dressing is the bomb. The recipe is from Vivian’s great grandmother (it’s a classic) and it was made by her awesome sis Anne Margaret and her mom, Mrs. Mara, so that we can share the top secret amazing recipe with youuuu.

So huddle in, and find out all you need to know about this goodness of a dressing.

Speaking of dressing, AM told me that you call it dressing if you make it on it’s own, and stuffing if it was cooked inside the turkey. Never knew that.

Fun fact on the daily.

The best ever skillet cornbread dressing -- perfect for Thanksgiving!

[Read more…]

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes from Vivian & Me

Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes -- the perfect Thanksgiving side for all those picky eaters in your life!

I know you love it when I use words like creamy on an allergy food blog because it usually means I’m posting something really good that is hard to find in our world of eating.

And with that lovely intro, I present to you these tasty vegan creamy easy-to-make mashed potatoes. Woot woot.

If you’re looking for that last minute side dish that won’t take up much space on your stovetop and also won’t deter from your focus on that coconut milk caramel you’ve been making all morning, then this is the recipe for you. It could be a game changer to your level of Thanksgiving enjoyment.

Or, if you’re anything like Lindsey from Pinch of Yum and you’re still in the young people’s club where you don’t have to bring anything complicated, then say hello to the mashed potatoes that your gluten-free cousin and nut-free, soy-free aunt and anything green-free grandfather will enjoy.

These potatoes might be small, but they pack a punch. [Read more…]

Quick and Easy Cranberry Orange Crisp

Cranberry Orange Crisp from Vivian & Me

Cranberry Orange Crisp from Vivian & Me

The holidays are a comin’! We are in the final stretch! We have almost made it to the blissfully sweet few weeks known as the happy holidays. Yesss. By now most of the cooking wizards of the world (United States?) have their Thanksgiving meal all planned out and ready to go. Maybe they’ve already been to the grocery and everything.

But, if you’re anything like me and you’re just now planning your Thanksgiving meal at the very last minute (hi, friend) then this recipe is for you.

Deliciously popped ruby red fresh cranberries baked to perfection, lots of orange zest for a bit of a punch, and a crunchy granola-type crumb topping.

Drooling. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Festive BLT Box

Lunchbox Monday: The Festive BLT Box

Lunchbox Monday: The Festive BLT Box

I have survived many experiences this week.

Remember that conference I was talking about in my last post? Well it was a success! Vivian did an amazing job talking about her dairy allergy and the blog. She was so nervous!

We also showed our popsicle video we made for Vita Coco this summer and everyone loved it! We got to talk with all different kinds of educators from all over the world about blogging and dairy allergies and education. We learned so much and had a blast!

Vivian & Hunter Speaking at the Ohana Institute Global Education Conference 2014

The other experience I survived from was a WATER SPOUT THAT TOOK OUT MY HOUSE! Not literally, but I live on the third floor of my house and my door started shaking like crazy.

My sweet dog, Emma, just stared at me like, “this is it” and my mom and sister started screaming.

One of our neighbors came running over and when she opened the door all the other doors sucked open and banged against the house.

Our furniture is in the pool, tree branches are in my sister’s room along with some kid’s toy from down the street, our grill is flipped upside down, and all our outdoor pillows are in the garden in the backyard.

What a storm. [Read more…]

Easy Holiday Nog French Toast

Holiday Nog French Toast

Holiday Nog French Toast

Hello easiest breakfast to make ever. I’m glad we’re friends.

Let’s talk about this french toast. Cause’ it makes me super happy.

Not only is it mixed with Silk’s dairy-free holiday nog, and some eggs, and nutmeg, and cinnamon, and a little salt, but it’s also topped with powdered sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows, and anything else that your heart desires.

The actual toast of the french toast combo is day old challah bread, and the way it soaks up all the yumminess of the french mixture is delicious.

Then you just fry it on the skillet and voila. French toast for days. [Read more…]

Apple Cinnamon Crumble Muffins

Apple-Muffins-5

Apple-Muffins-5

When your loving aunt and uncle bring you fresh, sweet, juicy, apples all the way from North Carolina’s apple orchards, you have an obligation to find something to do with them that’s equally as sweet and juicy.

These apple cinnamon crumble muffins are perfection. Moist inside with the apple all softened like in a good apple pie, with a crunchy cinnamon sugar crumble top. It’s like the perfect breakfast and dessert all wrapped in to one.

Dip it in your coffee, or my personal favorite, hot chocolate. The crumbs will soak up all the liquid and will then turn into mushy little tops that you can practically drink off the muffins.

Apple-Muffins-1 [Read more…]