Travel Tights

Wolford Tights

Packing for cold weather trips has proved to be a challenge for me.  Continue reading

Usually, (and at the last minute) I will stuff more and more bulky, heavy items into my suitcase with a solid fear of still not having enough warm items for the trip.

Not only do these items bulk my suitcase, but they tend not to be too figure friendly either.

Enter my new favorite packing essential: Wolford’s 100% Merino Tights.
Connecticut

Paired with a slouchy cashmere tunic from Everlane, the silky soft Wolford tights felt weightless on my legs after hours of wear, and kept me warm while navigating the ever changing weather in Paris.Grey Cashmere

Back in Connecticut, on a particularly chilly day, I wore a dusty pink coat to add extra warmth and a pop of color to break up an otherwise monochromatic look.

Wolford Tights

For truly frigid weather, add a scarf, hat, thick gloves, and boots – and stare the next polar vortex straight in the face. 

Thank you, Wolford for providing the tights, and an extra special thanks my new favorite photographer, Walter, for taking these gorgeous photos and video. 

Llama Hike at Rowanwood Farm

llama hikeWith the smattering of ice rain and snow we’re experiencing lately, venturing outside may be last on your to-do list.

However, studies have shown the quickest way to alleviate SAD is to spend some time outdoors. Continue reading

What better way to commune with nature than cozying up with a few silly and sweet miniature llamas from Rowanwood Farm?

Llama mama A.J. Collier is just as good natured as her gentle giants, referring to them as her spoiled pets. 

llama faceWhen you book a hike with A.J. (Wednesdays through Sundays all year long, weather pending), it’s just $40 per person, and she can accommodate up to 7 people at a time.

You will begin the hike at the family owned McLaughlin Vineyards in Sandy Hook, CT, just a few miles away from the home of the llamas.

Rowanwood Farm llamas

A.J. will arrive with her llama bus and retrieve the “ladies” one by one on leash. ¿Como se llama?

llama head

After a brief introduction to all of animals, you and your chosen mini will begin to walk.

It’s surprising how well the llamas take to new people (there were nuzzles within seconds of me meeting them).

The hike lasts about 2 hours (with a few bathroom breaks for the girls) and circles around a beautiful lake hidden deep within the woods.

AJ llamas

Following the hike, you’ll have to say goodbye to your new furry friends, so I recommend drowning your sorrows at the tasting room at the vineyard.

McLaughlin has several local varieties to sample, and beautiful, well maintained grounds for picnics, and live music in the summertime.

To book your hike, visit rowanwoodfarm.com and to learn more about the vineyard, check out mclaughlinvineyards.com.

And, to see more pictures from the hike, check below!

McLaughlin Wines CT

Cute and curious sums up these two!

llama hike

Llamas love dust baths!

Rowanwood farm llamas

 

Winter Guide: Montreal

things to do in montreal

We’ve reached the point of the season where most of us are dreaming about venturing to warmer climates.

While I certainly can’t count myself out of the popular opinion, there is a place with subzero temperatures that has become one of my favorite winter destinations.

From the outdoor festivals that rival even the liveliest of summer bashes, to some of the most satisfying comfort food, Montréal is the perfect place for a cold weather escape.

Below is my list of recommended activities, sights, and eats should you find yourself in North America’s Paris.

montreal art

Pictured above is a formerly abandoned church that has been converted into Bourgie Hall, a music performance hall featuring orchestra, piano, and vocal concerts.
Continue reading

The church was purchased by the adjacent Museum of Fine Arts. All 18 of the Tiffany stained glass windows were preserved, and the building is now eco-certified.  

Just next door to Bourgie Hall is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux-Arts). The museum offers classic works from reveared Canadian artists as well as more contemporary pieces from international creators such as Andy Warhol and designer, Jean Paul Gaultier.

Another fantastic art museum is the Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montréal (MAM). As the name indicates, more modern art is on display here including films, installations and performance art. 

It’s arguably my favorite museum in Montreal and it is situated in the bustling city center, Place des Arts (where you’ll find my favorite installation, 21 Balançoires).

Igloo FestI haven’t had the chance to experience Igloofest yet, but the now world famous winter music event is at the top of my wish list.

The event is held over four weekends in late January and early February, and tickets are just $20! (A far cry from the hundreds you normally pay for electronic music festivals).

You’re encouraged to don your warmest wear, and with the flowing drinks along with hours of dancing don’t be surprised if you start removing layers.

bio dome montreal

I did mention that Montreal gets cold, but until you experience -14 degree weather, outdoor activities seem almost impossible.

A good option for a freezing cold day is the Biodome.

Not only will you get to experience several different animal habitats, but the largest, and first exhibit upon entry is a trip to a tropical rainforest (complete with humid air). 

Aside from the tropics, my favorite animals at the dome have to be the puffins.

These cute little birds look so adorable swimming in their pond, flapping their wings and shimmying through the water. 

Another exhibit worth seeing is the butterfly garden, where you’re surrounded by hundreds of free flying butters. 

Once you’ve had your fill of animals, stop at the cafe for organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.

IMG_6481

A refreshing and fairly easy way to see the city is to hike the mountain where the city got its name: Mont-Royal.

If you are traveling alone, do not fret. The hike is a series of staircases leading up to one path.

I’d hate to say it’s impossible to get lost, but you will find it more difficult to do so than staying on course.

Several delightful treasures await you at the top of the mountain

The most obvious is the spectacular view of the city skyline

More surprisingly, you’ll find several chubby squirrels, statues, and several small bodes of water.

montreal

And, if all that isn’t enough to convince to hike, possibly the skating pond (seen below) will. skating montreal

When you reach the top of the stairs, on your left (in season, of course) is a speed skating rink open to the public.

Even if you skip climbing the mountain, there are many other public rinks scattered around the city.

The best way to check their fees, hours, hot cocoa availability and seasonal status is to visit Patiner Montreal.

Poutine Montreal

It would not be a proper trip to Montreal without trying the signature Québécois comfort food, poutine.

Several bars, restaurants, and late night food spots have these gravy-laden french fries on the menu, but you’ll find locals flocking to La Banquise.

This 24 hour diner-style restaurant has been serving over 30 different styles of poutine since 1968.

You won’t find a single restaurant in Montreal with this much variety – or this tasty.

fairmount bagels montreal

Being a New Yorker, I have – let’s just say – a strong opinion of what a good bagel tastes like.

So, it feels almost treasonous to say that hands down, Montreal bagels are superior. 

What makes them different? Aside from their smaller size and extra chewiness, there is also a hint of malty sweetness that’s lacking in NY style bagels.

They are served hot (another bonus), and although I’m used to piling up copious amounts of cream cheese, these bagels need no accoutrements.

There is a serious battle between two bagel giants, St-Viateur and Fairmount, and you’ll have to try both (like I did). 

The clear winner for me though is the OG bagel shop, Fairmount.

Epicerie Fleur Fuchsia

There is no shortage of great coffee shops here. To keep your energy up, visit a few of my picks:

Cafe Myriade is Montreal’s first third wave coffee shop, and still one of the best. 

The owners hold national barista champion titles and have literally written the book on how to brew good coffee: The Professional Barista’s Handbook.

Café Humble Lion (the cowardly lion) has more creative selections that they serve to nearby McGill students including – what else – a hot maple syrup latte and the usually frowned upon iced lattes. 

In Mile End, you’ll find smooth, syphon brewed coffees, delicious Japanese cuisine, and beautiful decor at Café Falco.

drinkmontreal

Another sippable libation that is prevalent in Montreal is beer. 

Many restaurants double as brewpubs, or at the very least, have an extensive beer selection.

The best brewpub in the city is Benelux. 

Fortunately for us, our hotel room was just a few blocks away from the bar, so there were many visits there during our last stay.

They have a great, varied selection of beer, all made in house, and light bites including paninis and something called a Eurodog (not exactly sure what that is?).

My drink of choice is duplicity: either I’m in the mood for the light Lux blonde, or the heavier (but not heavy) black IPA.

If you do visit Montreal in the warmer months, they have a quite large patio area mostly populated by smokers and grad students, but I recommend visiting during the NHL playoffs (like we did). 

dragon's beard chinatown

When you’ve had your fill of drinks and savories, switch to something sweet at Dragon Beard Candy in Chinatown.

This unique candy is made by pulling hardened honey blocks into delicate, hair-like strands.

It’s then wrapped into a little packet, and nuts are sealed inside (a warning to those with nut allergies!).

I love that it’s sweet without being overly so, and light as well as crunchy.

montreal Pouding Chomeur

Pouding chômeur has an interesting past. Translated, it means “unemployment pudding”.

It gets its strange name from the time it was created: The Great Depression, and because in tough times, stale bread was used in lieu of cake batter (for the unemployed)

Today, bakeries and restaurants use cake batter instead of bread, and hot maple syrup is generously poured on top before baking, giving it a pudding-like texture

Since there is an influx of syrup at the bottom of the pan, it caramelizes as it bakes, and gives the dessert a crispy, buttery underlayer.

Like most of the food items I listed, pouding chômeur can be found at several different places in the city, but interestingly, the locals vote St. Hubert’s (a city-wide rotisserie chicken joint – that also serves poutine) pudding one of the best.

So, there is my wintertime guide to French Canada’s largest city.

Have you been to Montreal in the winter? If so, what did I miss on my list? Leave a comment below! 

Try the #50ShadesofGrey Stuff It’s Delicious.. and Vegan!

beauty and the beast the grey stuff

Although I’ve spent some time recently at Disneyland, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been to my former employer, Walt Disney World.

There have been several changes to Fantasyland since my time being a CP (College Program for those not in the know), and although I don’t have plans to visit anytime soon, I’m excited to see the new additions when I get the chance. Continue reading

I think the most exciting part of the transformation is the inclusion of two new princess castles: Belle, and my all time favorite, Ariel.

Inside Belle’s castle is a new restaurant appropriately named Be Our Guest.

Just like the film, “Grey Stuff” is listed on the dessert menu.

I was curious to see what the Grey Stuff is made from, and it appears to be a mousse/buttercream frosting hybrid, sometimes served on top of a cupcake.

However, upon investigation, the grey stuff clearly isn’t a sweet treat.

According the picture below, it appears to be an authentic French pâté served on top of a buttery cracker.

greystuffSince I don’t care for traditional pâté and I’ve adopted a plant based lifestyle, I decided to make a vegan mushroom pâté instead.

The Chef de cuisine at Adam’s (also known as The Beast) castle chose to serve the grey stuff in a tea sandwich (shown above) as well, so I used sourdough since it’s vegan and garnished with a garlic filled green olive.

try the grey stuff it's deliciousMy favorite grey stuff – Zooey, my cat (picture above) was very interested in the (somewhat) strange appetizer, but the people (Walter and I) enjoyed the very flavorful tiny bites with a nice glass of full bodied red wine.

Try it, it’s delicious – and easy to make, despite the long recipe.

Bon appétit!

The Grey Stuff

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 lb. baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp. light (mellow) miso
  • 1/4 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vegan crackers of your choice (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)

Instructions:

  1. Put the pecans in a bowl, cover with cold water, and let stand for one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small heatproof bowl, cover the porcini with the boiling water and let stand until softened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Rub the porcini to remove grit and transfer into a small bowl, making sure to reserve the soaking liquid.
  4. Thoroughly wash and slice the portobellos into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the tamari, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, rosemary and miso.
    Add the sliced portobellos and toss to coat evenly. Let stand for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.lumiere cogsworth
  6. In a small saucepan, combine the soaked porcini and sun-dried tomatoes.
  7. Slowly pour in the porcini soaking liquid, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the tomatoes are tender, about 4 minutes.
  8. Drain the pecans and transfer to a blender.
  9. With a slotted spoon, transfer all of the other ingredients into the blender and puree into a coarse paste, adding about 1/4 cup of the porcini cooking liquid.
  10. Add a little more of the porcini liquid if the mixture is too thick.
  11. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve immediately or slightly chilled on crackers, preferably by candelight.
beauty and the beast the grey stuff
 

Disney’s Frozen Glog Recipe

We are five days into spring! While I’d like to say the weather resembles this scene from Frozen,frozen movie disney

The reality is, it’s still more like this:

frozen movie

Thanks, Elsa… Continue reading

disney frozen elsa

I was a little late to join the Frozen bandwagon, but when I finally saw the movie last month, I LOVED it!

It’s a musically stellar, and all around refreshing Disney film.

I appreciated the complicated yet still believable sisterly distance, and the sweet, but not saccharine storyline and message.

The film is set in the fictional village Arendelle, but it’s clear – from the mentions of fjords, trolls, and the traditional attire – there’s a definite Scandinavian influence.

SPOILER ALERT

After Elsa unintentionally freezes the kingdom, Anna sets off to find her sister and coax her to bring back summer.

During Anna’s quest we’re introduced to the lovably goofy male lead,  Kristoff, and not one but two anthropomorphic snow creatures: Olaf and Marshmallow.

Back in Arendelle, Hans, Anna’s love interest (at the time), watches over the town, and offers its chilly residents shelter at the palace and warm mugs of glog.

You’ll have to watch the rest of the film to find out what happens with Anna, Arendelle, and Elsa, but today I will show you how to make a drink worth of melting a frozen heart.

Glog is simply a Nordic mulled wine served during Christmastime and throughout the winter months.

Most Scandinavian families have their own recipes and versions of glog, but the standard ingredients are usually red wine, sugar, and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and orange peel are popular).

Stronger spirits such as vodka, port wine, and brandy are also sometimes added, and it is normally served with raisins, blanched almonds, and ginger snaps.

Given the unpredictable weather here in the northeast, I think I will be enjoying this drink for at least few weeks to come… and so should you.

If you’d like to make this recipe for kids, just omit the wine and spirits and replace them with the fruit juice (or juices) of your choice.

frozen movie, disney frozen

Frozen Nordic Glog:

  • 1 bottle dry red wine (such as Cabernet)
  • 1/2 bottle port wine
  • 1 cup dried figs, sliced
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 oranges, peel and juice
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 7 whole peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • 7 cardamom pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
Heat all ingredients in a large pot on low heat, being careful not to boil.
 
Let it go… and simmer for about 45 minutes.
 
Strain through a cloth or sieve to remove the whole spices.
 

Serve the glog immediately (or reheat later) in your favorite mug or glass, garnish with sliced almonds, and you’ll be warm in no time!

Winter Sun: Grapefruit Brûlée

photo (52)It’s a privilege that during the darkest and coldest days of the year, we get a bit of sunshine in the form of citrus fruit. Refreshing, colorful and full of vitamin C, I’ve recently made it a habit to start my day with a grapefruit. While grapefruit for breakfast may not be revolutionary, broiled grapefruit certainly is.

Warm like a bright summer day and as cool as a dip in the ocean. It’s quick to make, uses simple ingredients and, you have the added bonus of the broiler warming up your house in the a.m.

The cinnamon, while optional, not only adds flavor, but has anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for curing morning puffiness and, ahem, mucus issues.

Grapefruit Brûlée

1 ripe grapefruit
1 tsp. stevia (or other sweetener)
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Set your own to broil. Slice the grapefruit in half, along the equator, not through the poles where the stem connects and separate the halves. Using a sharp paring knife, make a series of cuts from the center of the grapefruit out, tracing along the membranes. This will loosen the fruit from the membranes. Turn the grapefruit as you cut, making sure not to miss any membranes. Place grapefruit halves on a baking sheet and sprinkle with stevia and cinnamon (if desired). Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until. Serve warm and say goodbye to scurvy.

Winter (Skin) Woes

If you have dry skin like me, wintertime can wreak havoc on your complexion. Drinking plenty of water and using a humidifier (or placing a water filled pot on your radiator daily) in your home is especially important during the winter months because the cold, arid air can zap your skin of its natural moisture completely. Adding extra moisture to the air can also keep you healthy – it speeds up recovery time should you get sick and can ward off sinus infections and colds.

Just as your wardrobe changes throughout the seasons, your skin care routine should as well. Layering hydrating skin products, just as you layer on clothes before you go outside, can help keep your skin looking fresh and dewy all season long.

The four major areas of focus (this goes for oily skin as well) for proper winter skin care are the following:

Cleansing

  • Properly moisturizing your skin begins here. If you use a cleanser that irritates or dries out your skin, it will be a lot harder to put moisture back in.
  • During this time of year, I like using a milk cleanser instead of a face wash.  If your usual cleanser doesn’t bother your skin, by all means continue to use it, but make sure to avoid bar soap!

Continue reading

Exfoliation

  • Since your skin repairs itself while you sleep, the best time to exfoliate is in the morning. Using an exfoliating scrub is the quickest way to brighten your skin (for a DIY body scrub, check out my post here). However, make sure you don’t over-exfoliate!
  • Using a dime size amount, scrub your face in a circular motion for no more than 30 seconds and rinse, with lukewarm, not hot water.
  • Exfoliating a few times a week should be enough to remove any dead skin cell build-up. If you have really sensitive skin or rosacea, you may want to skip a scrub altogether and just use a washcloth instead.

Moisturizing

  • After exfoliation, it’s time to treat your skin. In the morning, I like to start off with a few sprays of Evian Mineral Water, followed by Mario Basdecu’s Vitamin C serum and then finish with a day cream.
  • For makeup, I skip foundation and use a BB Cream that I bought in China. Since it’s water based (more than 60%), it also helps to promote and retain hydration throughout the day.
  • At night, after removing any makeup with extra virgin olive oil, I use the After-Party Repair cream from Kaia House.

Protecting

  • Last, and maybe most important, finish with sunscreen. If your moisturizer or foundation is equipped with SPF 15 you’re all set, if not, make sure you use a sunscreen daily.
  • Just as you have to reapply your sunscreen several times during the day in the summer, if you plan on doing any outdoor activities – skiing, snowboarding, tubing or even sledding, make sure you bring along your sunscreen and reapply every few hours
  • It’s important to note, for those who don’t think using sunscreen is important in the winter, that if you’ve ever experienced a”windburn” it’s not caused by the wind at all – it’s actually a sunburn.

By following this regimen, you skin should look and feel younger and brighter. Let it snow!

Seek Fun and Sun in Puerto Rico!

See Puerto RicoThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is a bone chilling 4 degrees in Connecticut today, and it looks like there are more freezing temperatures in store for the next few days.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy getaway to a tropical destination (who isn’t?), that is less than 4 hours away with no passport or money exchange required, pack your bikini and head to sunny Puerto Rico!

There are activities to be found for all personality types in Puerto Rico. From the 270 miles of glistening coastline (including Flamenco Beach in Culebra, cited by the Travel Channel as one of the best beaches in the world!), to the breathtaking bioluminescent bays, hiking up to the clouds at the only rainforest under US national park service, El Yunque, and spectacular cave walks, nature lovers will have their fill of stunning sights.

The culturally inclined will find charm in downtown old San Juan, sunset shoreline horseback riding excursions, innovative cuisine at hundreds of excellent restaurants, and of course, plenty of delicious Puerto Rican rums available almost everywhere during the bustling nighttime events.

Puerto Rico Tourism recently partnered with the popular travel review site Trip Advisor to transform real traveler reviews from the website into gorgeous short films featuring the locations mentioned in the reviews, and narrated by local Puerto Rican stars.

These videos are sure to inspire you to visit this special island, and here is my favorite video of the series:

So, start dreaming today and Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico., To keep up with the happenings in PR, Follow @PRTourismCo on TwitterLike SeePuertoRico.com on Facebook, and leave me a comment below with your must-see spots!

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Blank Space Broken Heart Pies

Blank Space CakeWhether you’re single or taken, celebrate Valetine’s (or GALentine’s) Day with these sweet and tasty pies inspired by the cake/knife scene in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space video.

Aside from the simple ingredients, you’ll need a pie press to create the heart space (I purchased this one for $6 at Target).

Blank Space CakeIf you don’t like, or you’re allergic to strawberries, you can use raspberries or cherries instead (fresh or frozen) to achieve the same blood red color.

I also opted for store bough pie crust to save time, but you can always make your own instead.

Serve the pies with some extra filling drizzled on top, a rose, and a large chef’s knife ;)Blank Space Taylor SwiftStrawberry Broken Heart Pies

  • 4 c. strawberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

Filling:

  • Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly and slightly crush the berries with a spoon.
  • After 2 minutes, remove from heat, pour into bowl and cool.

Assembly: 

  • Roll out pie dough and cut two pieces using the bottom of the press as a pattern.
  • Using your fingers, press dough into the mold and top with 2 tablespoons of filling (within 1/2 in. of edges).
  • Brush dough edges with egg wash and lay second piece of dough on top.
  • Close press to crimp edges and seal pie, and trim excess dough if necessary. 
  • Brush top of pie with egg wash and pierce with a fork.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes at 400° or until golden.

Beyoncé + Jay-Z Vegan Challenge Day 11. Mine: Sleepy Tahini Bowl

mineOn my mind up past my bedtime, no rest at the kingdom.

In this song, Beyonce talks about not being able to get enough sleep because she’s away from Jay. 

Even with her hubs away from their palace, she may have gotten some more quality zzz’s with eating more tahini closer to bedtime. Continue reading

Tahini, the key ingredient in hummus, is simply ground sesame seeds. Sesame seeds contain tryptophan, the amino acid linked with promoting sleep.

To ensure a good night’s rest, choose to eat this steamed sesame veggie bowl, and you’ll sleep like a queen – Queen Bey.

jay-z and beyonce vegan challenge

Sleepy Tahini Bowl

Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Chickpeas:
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Roasted Veggies:
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
Place the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
Cook the chickpeas: Heat a large, non-stick saucepan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
 
Add the chickpeas, water, paprika, and cumin. Stir well, cover, and cook on low, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes. (Most of the liquid will evaporate, but if they get too dry, add water by the tablespoon.) Check seasoning and add salt to taste.
 
While the chickpeas are cooking, steam or roast broccoli and cauliflower until tender.
Assemble the bowl and drizzle tahini on top.

Beyonce Mine

Activity: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Beyoncé + Jay-Z Vegan Challenge Day 15. Heaven: Vegan Chicken Tenders

beyonce friendsThe first several times I watched the complete visual album, I skipped Heaven every time.

When I eventually did watch all the way through, I sobbed.

Beyonce wrote this song about a miscarriage she experienced before having daughter, Blue Ivy, but the video depicts two best friends enjoying life until one of them passes away.

Beyonce’s pain is evident in the video, and its content struck a deep cord with me. Since I lost my best friend the previous October, it comes as no surprise why I found this video so incredibly difficult to watch (and still cry when I hear/see it). Continue reading

beyonce heaven

Now that I’ve had some time to cope with my loss, I’m finally ready to share the recipe I created with all of you.

To celebrate Jena, Heaven‘s pairing is a vegan version of her favorite food, chicken tenders.

This is definitely not one of the healthier recipes I’ve featured, but sometimes we all need some comfort food – especially during the colder months and when going through strife. 

These tenders have the right amount of crunch and chewiness to replicate the real thing, and when paired with the dipping sauces, I challenge you to convert your favorite carnivore. 

Note: if you’d prefer to bake them, do so on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower to 350 and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

IMG_3458

Vegan Chicken Tenders

  •  1 tsp salt or seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • dash cayenne (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb seitan or other chicken substitute, cut into 1-2″ square pieces
  • oil for frying
In a medium to large bowl, mix together the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, flour, black pepper, cayenne and nutritional yeast.In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mustard and water.
Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the mustard mixture and combine well.Add baking powder to the flour mixture and combine well.
Coat pieces of seitan or mock chicken with the mustard batter, then coat each piece with the dry flour mixture.
Fry chunks of “chicken” in the oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes, turning once until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel, serve with ketchup or barbeque sauce and enjoy!
Tip: If your chunks are turning brown or black rather than a crispy golden brown, your oil is probably too hot! Reduce the heat a small amount and try again.

Beyonce veganHeaven couldn’t wait for you…

Activity: Hug your loved ones, and spend time with people who you truly care for. I miss you, J.

Food.Fashion.Travel.Fun

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