Mardi Gras Smoothie Bowl

Mardi Gras Smoothie Bowl

I once knew a girl from New Orleans. She was spunky and smart and worked at the zoo, but what I remember most about her is that really knew how to have fun.  Once, she had a little Mardi-Gras get together, but instead of calling it Marti Gras, she called it Stephanie Gras. It was funny because she was the teeniest person, and in no way gras. She’s probably forgotten about it, but it still makes me chuckle. I like to use it as a somewhat annoying term of endearment — Jason Gras. teehee

Mardi Gras may still be a few weeks away, but I am totally ready for spring party colors right now. Tout de suite.  That, and I have a few deliciously gras-ening recipes coming up, so I thought I’d preempt them with this nice, clean, fruit bowl.  Bright blueberries, tart little raspberries all topped with sweet sliced mangoes, carambola, and kiwi. Doesn’t that make you want to throw confetti up in the air? Okay, well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But it is refreshing and energizing, which is kinda the same thing.

Speaking of throwing confetti up in the air, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve done a round-up of interweb goodies that have made me cheer. Thus, I present Vol IV of Cookies and Coffee with Friends:

Mardi Gras Smoothie Bowl

Shelly’s unicorn bars!  Sprinkles and sugar cookies are the absolute magic cure for the winter blues

Sally’s Salted Maple Roasted Almond Butter This is how I feel about it: 😮! 😍 😛!

Speaking of almond butters, I admired Erin’s Dreamy Almond Butter Chia Pudding. Chia pudding is back with a vengeance, and if you need further proof, just take a look at this citrusy dream from Jeanie & Co: Sunshine Citrus Chia Bowls. After seeing Erin’s pudding, I ended up making chia pudding for breakfast for the next three days. Using her approximate proportions, I made something wonderful. I mixed 3/4 cup of almond milk with 3 tbsp chia seeds, and added a little almond extract and brown sugar. Then I defrosted 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1/2 cup of raspberries, and mixed 1 tbsp into each of those. Layered it into a jar and popped it in the fridge. Yum. But……I didn’t really like the way the picture came out. ⬆️

Which leads me to Kristen’s 366 Imperfect Photography Project. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but this post gave me a little sense of solidarity. I only just got my camera at Christmas, so I’m still learning how to use DSLR . Before, I used my phone or Jason’s old point-and-shoot. This means my photos are going to be imperfect. I will strive to improve them. One day, I will be pleased with them. It’s okay if today is not that day.

I have got to try Karen’s 5-ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Quick, practical, and thrifty.

Carla’s cheery Lemon Drop Cream Soda is just plain wonderful. This is what I want to be sippin’ on this weekend, and the weekend after that too.

Y’all know I can’t say no to roasted cruciferous veggies. I will stink up my kitchen all day for Beth’s Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Garlic Tahini.

What goodies did y’all like this week? Share something that you made that you’re proud of (or share someone else’s treats, if you’re so inclined)

Power Up!

Mardi Gras Smoothie Bowl

Mardi Gras Smoothie Bowl


  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen banana
  • little bit of almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1 starfruit


  1. Slice up the kiwi, mango, and starfruit
  2. Blend up the blueberries and banana with just enough almond milk to make the blades move
  3. Blend up the rasberries with just enough almond milk to make the blades move
  4. Pour the blueberry mix into a bowl, and swirl the raspberries over top.
  5. Arrange the kiwi, mango and starfruit over the bowl.
  6. Enjoy!


tip: to keep the bright color of the raspberries, defrost them first so that you need less almond milk.


Pizza Ganoush (eggplant pizza dip)

plus volume III of Cookies and Coffee with Friends

Oh what a week. Stuff happened, and then other stuff happened. I don’t very much want to talk about the stuff, but I am always up for talkin’ about foodstuffs.

Duh, we already knew that, Annie.

But reallyWhen you don’t want to talk about life, food is always a better topic than weather.


White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes! Y’all know me and my love for cheese. And if you didn’t, now you do.

Chocolate hazelnut shortbread cookies.  I wish I could say more, but they speak for themselves. Hey Santa! Look what I got for youuuu.

Salted Caramel Macaroons. Want want want!

Chocolate Coated Cookie Shots. What is life?

Ricotta Polenta Bake? With caramelized veggies?  Where’s my spoon?

Why does everyone make cooler cocktails that I do? Check out these Cranberry Orange Cosmos and this Cinnamon White Russian and this Whiskey Hazelnut Rosemary Punch Bowl.

Gimme donut. Sufganyiot Jelly Donuts.

Non-food related: I just started Netflixing How To Get Away with Murder. I wouldn’t mind sitting next to Dean Thomas in potions class. Er…torts. Um, I hope Jason isn’t reading this. I love you, babe.😘 I only half know what’s going on because I don’t actually watch it, it’s just on in the background while I do other things. Non-Dean related — someone buy me this coat.  Actually, don’t, cause I’m not bold enough to wear it, but isn’t it radiant?

Is it time for baba yet? yes, ’tis. 


This baba ganoush was loosely based off of Kenji’s baba recipe. Y’all know Kenji, right? Jason makes fun of me because I’ll snap in the kitchen and say stuff like, “Kenji says that it works better if you slice it this way. Don’t put it on the heat yet, Kenji says not to. Oh? you liked the eggs, did you? That’s Kenji’s recipe. ”

But I’m actually a bad fan because I haven’t even bought The Food Lab yet. Don’t judge!

This is one of the most amazing dips I’ve ever made, but I have a confession to make. I truly intended it to taste like pizza, but it kinda doesn’t. It has a lot of pizza elements in it, and it’s so savory and good and addicting that I didn’t change the name. Because pizza is savory and good and addicting. If anyone in the western world told me they’d never been in a post-pizza carb coma, I’d probably call them a liar. That’s not always a bad thing, pizza comas can be hangover cures, but if you’re mad busy, you don’t want to be in a starchy haze. And this is a darn good solution.

What are your favorite dips?

Pizza Ganoush


  • 2 medium-large eggplants
  • 1/4 cup fresh, tightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tightly packed fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed julienned sun dried tomatos
  • 1 medium garlic clove, very finely grated
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the two eggplants under the broiler (about 6 inches away from heat source) and cook for 45 min-1 hour, turning every now and then. Remove from heat and either tent with foil or tent under a pan for about 15 minutes.
  2. The eggplants should practically peel themselves.
  3. Place over a pasta strainer and press out the excess water.
  4. Blend the eggplant until smooth. Add the garlic. Remove to a plate.
  5. Blend the tomatoes to a paste, using water or olive oil to help the blender move. If you have a high-powered blender, you might not need either one.
  6. Mince the heck out of the the basil and oregano.
  7. Swirl all the tomatoes and herbs into the bowl with the eggplant.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle liberally coarse flake salt and freshly ground pepper.


Keep a really close eye on the eggplant. They can be prone to bursting when cooked this way. A few light punctures help keep them from doing this.




Persimmon-Potato Salad

plus Volume II of Cookies and Coffee with Friends (aka this week’s recipe roundup)

I wasn’t going to post today, on account of finals and everything. But I just needed a freakin’ study break, and it was either this or re-read I am Charlotte Simmons for the millionth time.  I’d already gone for my run, but I don’t think that counts as a study break because running helps me study. So this is actually my first study break (haha). Okay. My first productive study break.

(reader silently judges Annie for procrastinating) This post will be short, because, like I said, it’s just a study break. I also wanted to talk about a few things I loved around the web this week.

Carla made this craveable onion dip. I’m so fond(ue) of dips, and this one is such a star. Like, if you’d brought this to a holiday party, everybody would be stalkin’ you all night for the recipe.

Peabody made this cute little fudge. Since I live in the Midwest now, I guess I’m obliged to call it pop fudge, but it’s actually coke float fudge. Cool!

Cheese. Jalapenos. Need I say more? Click on over to see what Holly cooked up.

I already have a buckeye recipe that I love, but I’m sure that nobody around here (ahem, Jason) would object if I tried this one out.  4 Ingredient Protein Buckeyes.

I know this is weird, but sometimes my favorite part of soup is the broth. I’m not sure why that is. Anyways, when I saw this soup and it’s shining broth, my mouth literally watered. Secret Ingredient Superfood Veggie Soup.

Hannah’s Brown Betty. This post rang so true with my own life, but I also loved it because she talked about making something out of nothing. That reminded me of the Boxcar children books I used to read as I kid.

Okay, time’s a wastin’ and I have to get back to Quizlet. Onto the recipe!


I made the potatoes using the same method as the quick-roasted Brussels sprouts. A quick zap in the microwave, followed by a toast under the broiler. I adore salads with contrasting flavors and textures, and this is pretty much that. You’ve got nutty roasted potatoes, sweet-tart persimmons (though you can use pears or apples if you don’t like persimmons), a bright lemony yogurt sauce, and crisp lettuce middles. I sounds complicated, but it all comes together rather quickly.

I’m not ever going to post an official recipe card for it, it’s that easy.

You’ll need:

  • 1 huge lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini, well stirred
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • several huge crunchy romaine leaves
  • 1 hard persimmon (riper ones don’t work as well for this recipe….if you can’t find a hard one, use an apple or pear)
  • 1 medium white potato, scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (you can also use your fave vegan yogurt if you don’t do dairy)
  • coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Turn on the broiler. While it’s heating, prepare your yogurt sauce. Zest the lemon, and then combine 1 scant tsp zest with the yogurt, along with 2 tsp lemon juice and plenty of pepper and salt.  You’ll still have lemon juice left over, so don’t chuck your lemon.

Microwave the potato wedges for 4 minutes. While they’re cooking, make your tahnini coating: combine the tahini with 1 tsp lemon juice and the cider vinegar. When the potato is out of the microwave, spread the tahini paste on the cut sides of the potato wedges. Sprinkle some salt on and broil for 2.5 – 3 minutes. Start checking for done-ness at the 2 minute mark.

Slice the persimmon.  Toss the romaine, persimmon, yogurt sauce, and potatoes together. Dress with an additional sprinkle of lemon juice. Enjoy.