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This book has forever changed my life…

by Corinne on October 31, 2012

When I started collecting photos for this post, I remembered why I love blogging so much. It forces me to pause, to look back at small moments and recognize each one for its greatness. Lately, I find a lot of these precious moments in the kitchen.

Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Cooking meals for my family has become a touchstone. A safe haven. A time for recharging and letting go of stress and worry. It’s a way to take care of myself by giving my brain a rest, while also taking care of my family by preparing nourishing meals for them. Working on Crazy Sexy Kitchen gave me the confidence, skills and ridiculously delicious recipes I needed to finally LOVE cooking. It’s a gift. It’s something that will enrich the rest of my life. And I hope it does the same for everyone who buys a copy.

Date Night

While preparing for Hurricane Sandy, Crazy Sexy Kitchen came in quite handy. The cooking marathon began Friday and didn’t stop until the storm hit. I had planned on saving all of the meals for the storm, but we couldn’t resist and ended up having an unexpected dinner date by candlelight on Friday. Why not? I’d cooked up enough food for a family of ten already! We found some candle sticks and a couple beer bottles and voila! Homemade candelabras. The kiddo was asleep upstairs. Simon & Garfunkel played. It was a good night.

Spice grinder

Tagine in the making

That evening, we savored the Chickpea & Root Veggie Tagine from Crazy Sexy Kitchen–one of my favorite recipes in the book. I had never tasted these flavors together before, but somehow they work–like magic. It’s so refreshing to discover dishes that are exciting and innovative while also accessible. I love the fresh herbs and whole spices used in this recipe (it’s so much fun grinding them in our coffee grinder, although I need to buy a new one just for spices!). I know I’ll be making this for my family for years to come.

Save the Tuna Wrap

I had some chickpeas left over from the Tagine, so I decided to make one of Steve’s favorites on Saturday–Save the Tuna Salad. This is a must-make for anyone transitioning to a plant-based diet…or anyone who wants a phenomenal sandwich. Audrey loves it too! And it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. I like wrapping it up with avocado, tomato and greens.

Split Pea in the makingSplit Pea + Toast

And finally, what would a chilly fall weekend be without a big pot of Split Pea Soup & Kale Soup from Crazy Sexy Kitchen? This is the BEST split pea soup I’ve ever tasted and my husband agrees. The pepper makes it a little too spicy for my kiddo, so I’d probably set aside a portion of un-peppered soup for her in the future.

What has working on this cookbook over the past year taught me? You don’t have to count calories, plan obsessively, deprive yourself or break the bank to experience outstanding food and vibrant health. The blueprint for happiness in the kitchen is simple. Enrich your life with nourishing, delicious food. Create more joy and memories at your dinner table. And make your kitchen a retreat. Crazy Sexy Kitchen has helped me do all of those things and so much more. I think it’ll do the same to you, if you’re ready to welcome its recipes and education into your life.

❤,
Corinne

P.S. Don’t miss the fantastic prizes we’ve put together for Crazy Sexy Kitchen readers! Also, if you haven’t seen it already, sit back and enjoy the mini-documentary book trailer. Hilarious and mouth-watering.

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Fall Decorations | Wreath

2012 marks the first year I’ve embraced holiday decorations. Whether I’m picking up a dish towel with a pumpkin on it, ordering a foliage-filled wreath or snagging a few gourds at the grocery store, I’m in the Fall spirit. I don’t care if the neon orange towel doesn’t match the paint color–the house feels cozier, happier and welcoming. Is Halloween too early for unearthing our fake Christmas tree?

Crazy Sexy Kitchen's French Toast

I kicked off Saturday morning with Crazy Sexy Kitchen’s French Toast (get the recipe instantly here). This is my favorite French Toast recipe…ever (my husband and daughter love it too!).

Dinner Ingredients

Pre-mamahood, I didn’t think much of grocery shopping. But now, going to the grocery store alone is like going to the spa. The kiddo stayed home with her Dad and I spent a leisurely hour wandering around the produce section and strolling up and down the aisles at Whole Foods. When I arrived back home, I was ready to start cooking up a meal for our dinner guests.

Tiny Sous Chef

Luckily, I had a tiny sous chef by my side.

Crazy Sexy Ktichen's Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Crazy Sexy Kitchen‘s Roasted Brussel Sprouts couldn’t be quicker to prepare and more delicious. (Sorry folks, this recipe isn’t in the sneak peek–you’ll have to wait for the book!) My dinner guests devoured them.

Chloe Coscarelli's Penne a la Vodka

For Saturday’s feast, I also cooked Chloe Coscarelli‘s Penne a la Vodka. Even though everyone raved about the penne, it was the garlic bread that stole their hearts (to-die-for). These are both perfect for wowing omnivores and vegans alike. Lastly, I baked a double batch of Chocolate Covered Katie’s Secret Peanut Butter Cookies. Best. Cookies. Ever.

Madeira Peppercorn Tempeh with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Sunday was another kitchen-filled day and I savored every second. Audrey and Steve watched football while I made Crazy Sexy Kitchen‘s Madeira Peppercorn Tempeh with gravy, plus (more) Roasted Brussel Sprouts! Even though we felt quite fancy eating dinner that night, it wasn’t a difficult meal to put together and I’m sure it’ll be even easier the next time I make it (and the time after that).

Weber's Cidermill Pumpkin PatchWe also made it to Weber’s Cidermill on Sunday afternoon and left with the perfect pumpkin and a jug of Honey Crisp cider. Even though the summer is over, this season brings so much joy to the table (and delicious food!). It’s also an excuse to indulge–in delightful novels, holiday music, comforting recipes–and to show the people you love even more generosity and kindness.

It’s time to slow down. To savor. To enjoy.

❤,
Corinne

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Weekend Getaway: Letchworth State Park

by Corinne on September 4, 2012

Food prep

The night before heading to Letchworth State Park for Labor Day weekend, I cooked a bunch of vegan meals for me and my kiddo. I always prepare way too much food for these trips, but better to have leftovers that to have stress! I made lentil soup, un-tuna salad, chickpea-broccoli salad, plus I packed some fresh fruit, soy milk, field roast, oatmeal, veggie burgers and some fruit/veggie packs. Needless to say, we were prepared and well fed.

VegNews Magazine

During the six hour car ride, I dug into the latest issue of VegNews Magazine and the novel, Before I Fall (love it!). Reading a great book enriches my entire life. Even with a young child and a career, there’s always time for a book. When I make reading novels a priority, I’m an all-around happier person.

Kiddos on the swingsOne of the best parts of the weekend was seeing Audrey interact with her cousins. She adores them. To-dos, stress, and negativity falls away when you have three smiling babes swinging and laughing in front of you. Kids force you to be present. They’re like little Buddhas.

Cousins

 They teach me about love too…

ExplorationAnd wonder…

Audrey and SteveAnd family…

Me and AudreyAnd how the more I give, the more I get.

 I hope you had a lovely weekend too!

❤,
Corinne

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Adventures in Cooking, Baking + Pickling

by Corinne on August 2, 2012

Shredding veggies for kraut

I’ve embarked upon a pickling adventure. I had a little bit of a rocky start, since I didn’t have enough veggies to fill a 2-quart jar, but my husband came to the rescue and made a quick trip to the store (I was up to my elbows in shredded cabbage). I’ll have more to report once the kraut is ready (it only takes about 4 days!). As a kid, I loved doing science experiments in the kitchen (baking soda volcano anyone? Thanks, Dad!). Now that I’m an adult, my experiments offer the added benefits of tastiness and probiotics for my belly.

Perfect Pickler Kraut

The Perfect Pickler is pretty awesome (and so is their Facebook page–they answered my questions right away!). I’ve ordered some additional tools, but in total, pickling is very affordable and I think it’s pretty fun. There’s something comforting and meditative about prepping the veggies, making the brine, and packing them in their new home. More to come on my pickling progress next week.

Pesto

My lovely neighbor dropped off some organic basil from her garden this week, so I had to make pesto of course! Some Instagrammers asked about the recipe, so I thought I’d post it here as well. It’s a variation of the Vegan YumYum pesto. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I feel comfortable adjusting recipes based on what’s in my fridge. Makes life easier and in my opinion, more delicious, since you can adjust recipes to meet your taste.

Basil-Cashew-Tomato Pesto

1. Blend 1/2 cup soaked cashews, two ripe tomatoes, a big handful basil + 1/4 cup water.

2. Sauté 3-4 cloves minced garlic in a skillet, add the blended tomato mix, and add a big spoonful of tomato paste. Add salt to taste and a splash of white wine (if you’d like!). Sauté for about five minutes.

3. I served it with Tinkyada spaghetti rice pasta. The kiddo and husband loved it!

Mocha cookies

I had a sweet tooth yesterday, so I went to my go-to dessert recipe resource: Chocolate-Covered Katie‘s website. I omitted some of the ingredients and used agave rather than sugar, and peanut better instead of oil (and I skipped the chocolate chips).

Dry:
❤  2 tbsp cocoa powder or cacao powder
❤  3/4 cup quick oats
❤  1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp oat flour (or make your own by blending oats in a food processor until they become powder. Measure after blending.)
❤  1/4 tsp sea salt
❤  1/4 tsp baking soda

Wet:
❤  1/4 cup agave
❤  1/4 cup nut butter (I used peanut)
❤  2 tbsp water
❤  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Mix dry ingredients.

2. Blend wet ingredients.

3. Mix dry and wet. Form batter into cookies and chill for no-bake version, or bake at 350 for 8 minutes. You can check out Katie’s original No-bake Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe here.

New swing set

We’re on a travel hiatus right now. I’m grateful to be slowing down and enjoying days filled with writing, cooking, and spending time with my little family. Audrey tried out the new playground down the street for the first time last night. I think she likes it…a lot. Steve and I took turns going down the slide with her. For some reason, I was feeling blah that afternoon, but it only took a few pushes of Audrey’s swing and some infectious baby giggles to turn my mood around. Even if you don’t have a kiddo, hop on a swing this weekend. I bet you’ll smile.

Audrey + Steve on slide

❤ ,
Corinne

PS: I’m on Facebook. Come visit!

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Skip the dishes + take a walk.

by Corinne on July 25, 2012

After dinner tonight, Steve asked me what I had planned for the evening. I heaved a great sigh. Laundry folding, dishes, writing, and more writing (the sigh was meant mostly for the chores). Steve wanted to take a walk with me and our kiddo.

“I can’t,” I said. “I have too much to do.”

Then, as he was getting ready to leave, he offered a deal.

“How about I fold the laundry later and you come with us?”

So, I did. And even if you don’t have an awesome laundry-folding husband, skip the chores and take a walk with someone you love (even if that person is just wonderful you) today. I’ve heard countless times that the dishes can wait, but tonight I realized how true it is.

❤ ,
Corinne

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Travels of a Vegan Kiddo + Rediscovering Home

by Corinne on July 24, 2012

Now that Audrey is eating three main meals plus snacks throughout the day, traveling is a bit more of a challenge, especially when you have two 8-hour car rides over the course of a long weekend. I decided to hit the kitchen the night before departure for a marathon cooking session. I came out on the other side with zucchini muffins, mac n’ cheese cups (recipe here), tri-color slaw, and lentil soup. The soup was the biggest hit, with the zucchini muffins and mac n’ cheese as a close second.

What was the biggest benefit of prepping her food? I didn’t have to cook while staying at my in-laws and I could focus more on relaxing and soaking up time with friends and family (plus, building a new love for my home town!).

Steve & Audrey at Boulder Coffee at Rochester Public Market

Me & Audrey at Rochester Public Market

High Falls overlooking Genesee Brewing Company

High Falls (Rochester, NY)

We spent Saturday morning exploring Rochester’s Public Market and visiting High Falls. We were amazed at the food, produce, flea market and irresistible coffee, flower, and bakery shops that the market had to offer. I started to realize that I might have underestimated Flower City. I could picture our family visiting the public market every weekend. On our way back to the in-laws, we made a pit stop at High Falls. Tucked amidst old brick buildings (originally flour mills and factories that were powered by the waterfalls) is a bridge that stretches across the Genesee River. We stood in awe of the falls and watched as a baby deer ran towards the river bed below.

I also discovered breathe studio‘s juice bar in Pittsford, NY. Delicious organic green juice for a great price. Heaven.

The whole reason for our trip was to celebrate our niece’s 1st birthday. As you can see, Audrey enjoyed her cousin’s swing set quite a bit (and so did Steve). She’s giddy around her grandparents, auntie, uncle, cousins and close family friends. Yet another reason to love my home town and hope to live there again someday.

On our journey home, we discovered The Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA. I’ve driven through Williamsport hundreds of times, oblivious to this gem of a restaurant. Thankfully, Google gave us a hand. Holy vegan-friendly menu! Audrey and I shared a veggie tofu pizza that was delish.

Crazy Sexy Juices & Succulent Smoothies 25% off + bonuses

Now that we’re home, I’m happy to be cooking again in my kitchen and juicing with my juicer. Today, I made a cuke-pear-celery-romaine-ginger-lemon-parsley juice. So good.

In case you’re interested in learning the A to Z of juicing and smoothie making (plus tons of recipes), Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies is on sale until July 29. 25% off! Kris is also giving away 5 juicers and a Vitamix blender. I use my juicer and blender everyday and they help to make mealtime (and juice/smoothie time) a breeze.

❤ ,
Corinne

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