Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peep-like Banana Easter Bunnies

As I said in my last post, the kiddos are I have been making fun foods in our kitchen laboratory. Yesterday, we shared our Decorated Apple Faux-nuts, and today, we're showing you how to make these adorable Peep-like Banana Easter Bunnies. Using some of our kitchen staples, we crafted these fruity cuties.

The bunnies are constructed out of sliced bananas. We used two banana slices for the body and another halved slice for the ears.

Since there were three of us in the kitchen, we assembled three banana bunnies on a plate, as shown. This is a fun way to serve bananas to your kids, but you can take it a step further and move on to the chocolate.

We place the plate of banana bunnies in the freezer to chill, while we melted some dairy-free chocolate chips in a double-boiler.

When the chocolate was melted, we removed the plate of banana bunnies from the freezer. We dipped the back of each banana piece in the chocolate, one-by-one, placing them back on the plate with the chocolate side on top.

We made sure to place the chocolate-dipped banana pieces back into their banana bunny shapes and added a little more chocolate to help hold them together.

The chocolate-dipped banana bunnies went back into the freezer for a couple minutes to set the chocolate. Then, we removed them from the freezer and flipped them onto their backs.

They actually look ready to eat at this point. You also could dip the entire bunny shape in chocolate, as chocolate-covered banana bunnies taste great, too (especially if you freeze them). If you want them to be more colorful, though, move on to the next step.

We dipped the front of the bunnies in fruit sugar, which is what I used to top my Berry Bliss Philosopops. The pink/red one is finely ground freeze-dried strawberries mixed with coconut sugar, and either almond flour or coconut flour. To make the yellow fruit sugar, substitute freeze-dried pineapple for the strawberry, and if you want to turn the yellow fruit sugar to green, add some Philosophie Green Dream Vegan Protein and Superfood Powder.

Don't forget to give your bunnies eyes and a nose like the Peep bunnies. We used more melted chocolate to make ours. So cute!

These bunnies remind me of one of my favorite cruelty-free beauty brands. For today only (March 31, 2015), 100 Percent Pure is offering 25% off some selected best sellers on promotion. I have many of these select products, so may I suggest the Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette, the Luminous Primer, and the Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. Let me know if you take advantage of this promo or make these yummy bunnies. You can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Decorated Apple Faux-nuts

Today is the first official day of Spring Break in our house. It's going to be nice to have the kids home ... when they finally roll out of bed. Ha ha. For now, I'll take advantage of the fact they are not up yet by doing this blog post.

Although I don't post my kids much anymore or do YouTube videos, we still enjoy making fun foods in our kitchen laboratory. For example, Hayden and I made an oldie, but a goodie yesterday for snack. I can't believe I've never posted this one on my blog, so it's about time I did.

Decorated Apple Faux-nuts are a fruiti-licious (I just made up that word) spin on the classic doughnut, using an apple ring as the base and whatever scrumptious combination of frosting, drizzles and sprinkles on top.

Here's how easy it is to make them:

First cut your apples (we used Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples) in half, as shown, so the core appears as a little star in the center.

Next, use an apple-corer or knife (I used a knife) to remove the cores, making the apple halves resemble doughnuts.

Once your Apple Faux-nuts are formed, it's time to decorate with whatever you like and/or have in your kitchen at the time. Here's what we picked this time:

We made a Chocolate Trail Mix Apple Faux-nut by decorating a Granny Smith apple with Jem Hazelnut Raw Cacao Sprouted Hazelnut Butter, a drizzle of Jem Cinnamon Red Maca Sprouted Almond Butter (my fave) and a sprinkling of Simply Balanced Organic Dark Chocolate Trail Mix (this trail mix has cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, raisins and dark chocolate). This combo reminds me of a Nestle Chunky Bar.

Hayden is all about pink, anything Berry Bliss and freeze-dried fruit. Therefore, we topped a Pink Lady Apple Faux-nut with Philosophie Berry Bliss Coconut Butter and a dusting of crushed freeze-dried strawberries and pineapples.

I thought a Green Apple Cinnamon Faux-nut was a no-brainer, so I decorated a Granny Smith Apple Faux-nut with Philosophie Green Bliss Coconut Butter, a drizzle of Jem Cinnamon Red Maca Sprouted Almond Butter and a sprinkling of hemp seeds.

Lastly, we went with a more traditional apple topping. Our Chocolate Chunk AB&Honey Apple Faux-nut is dripping in almond butter, a drizzle of Philosophie Cacao Bee Honey and finished off with some chocolate chunks. Yum!

Since I've had this blog for so long, sometimes it's nice to provide links to more oldie, but goodies. Here are some more unbaked doughnut recipes you may remember:


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Eye Love You Good Buys

When it comes to blogging, I'm not much of a planner; I tend to just blog whatever comes to mind at the time. For example, today's blog post is a spontaneous one about Josie Maran's Good Buys and a brief mention about her Eye Love You palette.

As a Josie Maran customer, I get e-mail notifications of all the special offers, today's being a Buy One, Get One Free offer on all the Good Buys (discounted items that are most likely seasonal or discontinued). This offer is good until 4/4/15, while supplies last.

I just had to tell everyone about this offer, because I just love a Good Buy (seriously, you can score some deals), especially when you get another one free. I'm actually surprised that the Set of 5 Mini Argan Liner Pencils in still available. I got mine forever ago, and it was more than worth the $9 I spent (the original price was $30).

The set comes in 5 different colors: Black Raven, Treasure (a Greenish, Golden Brown), Chocolate (Brown), Tropical (Teal) and Violet. Here are some quick swatches I did of the colors. They are long-lasting and can be applied either as a crisp line or a smoky smudge.

These eyeliners glide on smoothly and don't tug at my aging eyes. I'll be 39-years-old next month, so it's amazing that I was willing to post this closeup of me wearing the black raven eyeliner, along with the Josie Maran Argan Triple Volume GOGO mascara.

A mini version of the mascara is also in the Good Buy section at the time that I'm writing this post (it's marked down to $8). When it comes to mascaras, I think mini versions are the way to go, if you can find them. There is enough product to last until it's either dried up or time to toss it (it's best to dispose of mascara after 3 months of use). I don't know about you, but my full-size mascaras still have a lot in them after 3 months, which makes it tempting to keep them much longer.

Since I'm on the topic of good deals on the Josie Maran site, may I also recommend the Argan Eye Love You Eye Shadow Palette for $42. It's a good price when you consider the fact that her eye shadow quads are $36. It comes in a cute mirror compact that's great for travel. The colors are flattering, too, although I wish it included a brown or bronze color. I have a tendency to incorporate a bronzer on my eyes when I use these shadows.

Okay, now I won't hold you up any longer. I wouldn't want you to miss out on these Good Buys.

*So you know, Josie Maran did not provide any of these products. I'm just a fan of the brand.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Springtime No-Bake Macaroons

My kids will be on Spring break all next week, so I wanted to post these macaroons asap. They are a sweet treat for Spring and fun to bring to an Easter gathering.

Since this blog started as a raw food blog, I feel the need to post these types of recipes from time-to-time, although I don't always eat that way. This may explain why I don't post them as often. However, when I want something sweet, I sometimes go to my kitchen to "unbake."

As the temps have started to warm and the sun is shining longer each day, I was inspired to make these no-bake macaroons in a trio of flavors, using Philosophie products. Honestly, I've been posting so many recipes with these products, because I like them (if I'm using them all the time at home, of course they'll be mentioned a lot on the blog). The Philosophie Vegan Protein & Superfood Powders, honey (my 5-year-old daughter says, "it's the goodest honey she's ever tasted") and coconut butter are some of my favorite ingredients.

As you can see, I made Cacao Magic Macaroons, Berry Bliss Macaroons and Green Dream Macaroons, forming them into a colorful sandwich style. Here's how you make the Cacao Magic Macaroons:

Start by adding 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/4 cup almond flour, 3 Tbsp. Philosophie Cacao Magic Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder, 2 Tbsp. Cacao Magic Coconut Butter, 2 Tbsp. Cacao Bee Honey (the finished macaroons are intensely sweet, so feel free to replace 1 Tbsp. of the honey with almond or cashew butter), 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt to a mini food processor, and process it into a sticky crumb.

Remove the macaroon "dough" from the food processor and place it on some parchment or a ceramic plate. Using the heat of your hands, form the dough into four equal sections, and shape them to look like traditional macaroons. Slice each of your macaroons in half, like a sandwich and place them in the refrigerator, while you prep the filling (and the other two flavors, if you decide to make them).

For the filling, simply soften more of the Cacao Magic Coconut Butter by stirring it and/or warming it slightly. If you are in a colder climate, you can add some coconut oil to make the coconut butter more spreadable. Once you are happy with the consistency, fill your macaroons. If you opt to make all three macaroon flavors, you'll have a perfect dozen.

To make the Berry Bliss flavor, simply swap the Cacao Magic Coconut Butter and Cacao Bee Honey for Berry Bliss Coconut Butter and Berry Bee Honey. You'll also need to replace the Cacao Magic powder with 2 Tbsp. of Berry Bliss powder and 1 Tbsp. of finely ground freeze-dried strawberries.

To make the Green Dream Macaroons, swap the coconut butter and honey with the Green Dream versions, and replace the Cacao Magic powder with 2 Tbsp. Green Dream powder and 1 Tbsp. finely ground freeze-dried pineapple.

If you don't have these particular coconut butters and honey, this recipe should work with whatever coconut butter and honey you have in your kitchen. Let me know on Twitter if you make them (I'm @Rawdorable) and if you made any substitutions.   

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Beet Lip & Cheek Stain

Happy Thursday! I recently saw this recipe for Homemade Beet Root Powder for Beet Juice, Smoothies, Natural Makeup & More on One Green Planet. The fact that it listed makeup as one of its uses, reminded me of the Beet Juice Lip & Cheek Stain I posted on my blog back in January of 2012.

If you click back to the original post, you can catch the video of my daughter and I formulating our Beet Juice Lip & Cheek Stain in our kitchen lab. It's basically fresh beet juice, with a touch of lemon juice to preserve the color and melted coconut oil to provide some moisture. We poured it into a sterilized roller ball lip gloss container for easy application, and stored it in the fridge in between uses.

If makeup DIY really isn't your thing, I also really like 100 Percent Pure's Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain in Cherry. It's brighter than the homemade version and has more staying power. Above, you can see how it looks on my lips, and below is a swatch to get the idea of how it looks without my natural lip color underneath (the darker swatch is a heavier lip application, while the faint pink mark is a lighter cheek application).

Have you ever made your own lip & cheek stain? Do you have a favorite brand that makes one? I realize that my comments section is no longer available, but you can find me on Twitter at @Rawdorable.

*100 Percent Pure did not provide this product for review. I'm just a fan of the brand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Do you alternate your shampoos?

For as long as I can remember, I've alternated the shampoo and conditioner with which I wash my hair throughout the week. Maybe it's because I once heard it preserves their effectiveness (your hair never gets too used to a product, causing it not to work as well), although I doubt it's true. Perhaps it's because I like to mix it up a bit, especially when I have a fondness for more than one shampoo and conditioner.

For the past 2 or 3 years, I've been washing my hair regularly with Acure Organics Argan Oil + Argan Stem Cell Shampoo and Conditioner (it's amazing on my scalp, moisturizes my hair without weighing it down and is now available at Target), and swapping it out for something different every so often (sometimes once a week, and other times as often as every other day). I'd experiment with whatever new samples came my way, and eventually settled into an alternating routine with 100 Percent Pure's line of hair care.

My favorite 100 Percent Pure shampoo and conditioner combo is the Honey & Virgin Coconut Restorative Shampoo and Conditioner. It leaves my hair soft, moisturized and smelling sweet like a baked good (must be the honey and the coconut). It keeps my scalp in balance (I work out a lot, so I feel the need to wash my hair daily; those skipping shampoo experiments were never right for me).

The Acure Organics and 100 Percent Pure products work even better when I switch back and forth between the two. I prefer the 100 Percent Pure on colder days, when my hair seems a bit parched, and opt for the Acure when I want something lighter and more clarifying. For example, during the Winter, I washed my hair more often with the 100 Percent Pure, but now that Spring has arrived, I'm reaching more for the Acure.

Do you alternate your hair care products? Which line do you use?

*I bought these products myself. I'm just a fan of the brands.

Monday, March 23, 2015

White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival is on its way to full bloom, as it kicked off this past weekend in Washington, DC. The festival runs from March 20 to April 12, 2015. In honor of this celebration, I decided to make these yummy White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms.

Basically, these lovelies are just a twist on the traditional chocolate-covered cherry. It's really just the presentation that makes them look a little like cherry blossoms.

To start, I sliced some frozen cherries in half (fresh cherries would work, as well) and cut them into "blossoms." I recommend doing only four "petals" per "blossom" to prevent them from falling apart. Place the cherry "blossoms" in the freezer, while you prepare your chocolate.  

To prepare the chocolate, I added some chopped cocoa butter to a double boiler, although you could use your favorite white chocolate.

I stirred the cocoa butter as it slowly melted (make sure your heat isn't too high; you'll need some patience with this one), and added a couple spoonfuls of honey to sweeten it (I used Philosophie Berry Bee Honey, which has Berry Bliss Vegan Protein & Superfood Powder blended into it). You can skip this step, if you opted to use sweetened chocolate.

I made sure to whisk the cocoa butter and honey mixture, so that all the chunks of cocoa butter melted and the honey was equally distributed.

When your white chocolate is ready, remove your frozen cherry "blossoms" from the freezer. Carefully, dip them one-by-one into the chocolate and place them on a chilled plate. Sprinkle the centers with finely ground freeze-dried strawberries for a finishing touch. It almost looks like pink pollen.

Allow your White Chocolate-Covered Cherry Blossoms to set in the fridge. You'll love biting into their chocolate shells to release all that juicy cherry goodness.

Since we're on the topic of Cherry Blossoms, check out this blast-from-the-past post with my recipe for an unbaked Cherry Blossom Cupcake and a craft you can do with your kids (using real flower petals to create cherry blossom art).

Is anyone planning a trip to DC to see the cherry blossoms?