This was a belated but beautiful mini-staycation I took in April. I haven’t been to Monterey since I was a teenager, and it was there that I fell in love (but was slightly intimidated! By the winding roads!) with Carmel by the Sea. The central coast clearly has my heart. It’s so lush and carefree compared to the city. There are a good number of tourist but for the most part everyone seems to be going at a slower pace which is a good reminder for any of us.
Another perk to these cities are the fact that they are dog friendly! I took my own pup Mimi and she really enjoyed herself while we made our way through the downtown area of Carmel. Many of the shops and cafes even leave out dog bowls for the fur-babies.
I think I prefer making baked goods from scratch. As grateful as I am that premixed flours exist my personal choice is that, if I can somehow duplicate a baked good with minimal ingredients and a little practice then it seems worth it in the long run. Even though it’s September, it’s still summer but I’m still over here playing some old Taylor Swift jams and of course paying an homage (like please go away hot weather) to summer!!
These muffins are so fluffy and a really proper way to end out summer. I had these strawberries from Trader Joe’s I wanted to use, leftover lemon from a previous baking session, and some nighttime inspiration – side note if you haven’t read Jenny Han’s book series To All The Boys I Loved Before, or its Netflix film counterpart then you’re truly missing out. Lara Jean Covey is a literary icon who you’d find sipping strawberry milkshakes at a 50’s diner or baking, baking all the time. So basically take your pick: binge the book series and then watch the film or the other way around and have your heart restored with joy and hope.
Oatmeal has a nostalgic place in my heart. We often think of the paper-packaged overtly sweet packets that would be ready in a few minutes. The warmth of oats on a cold morning, the ease of its quick preparation would lead me to gravitate toward it as a child. Nowadays I go for the healthier route and they are one of those staples that are easy to assemble and devour. You can add as much as you’d like to create a filling bowl, from dried fruits to edible flowers, and coconut butter. It’s hearty and filling which is ideal for on the go or a cozy day-in breakfast.
Before Liora Bel’s recipe from her cookbook The Mix, I would have never thought to add tahini to my oats. However, it’s no different that adding a nut butter, except this falls under seed butter. So if avoiding any kind of nut is on your radar, look to tahini for that neutral creaminess and loads of nutrients.
Last year I created a mermaid bowl that looks almost too pretty to eat but it’s actually filled with protein and flowers because, like I said before, anytime I can add some flowers I will. Because it’s a few ingredients, it’s incredibly simple to make in the morning or even iced.
But this time we have another blue creation that derives the blue hue from a protein powder – in this case it’s Moon Juice Blue Beauty Protein Powder(Brown Rice Protein based and features Chia Seed Powder, Tocotrienols, Blue Spirulina Extract, Ashwagandha Root & Amla Berry Extract). Spirulina always makes a bright addition to any mood with the cerulean hues. I love the Moon Juice protein powders because they make the drink super creamy (thanks to the tocos) as well as containing 24 grams of protein / 4% of iron which is a nice addition.