Cheddar + Pretzel Sticks

Cheddar + Pretzel Sticks // shutterbean

Cheese + crackers = my ultimate comfort food.  Sometimes I like to imagine a cheese & cracker (or pretzel!) cleanse where all you eat is CHEESE AND CRACKERS. Can you imagine? SIGN ME UP. In an effort to make snack time fun for me and Cooper, I made up this little combination. A pretzel stick makes for a very nice edible toothpick, don’t you think?  For some reason poking something with a pretzel stick makes me eat less pretzels. I’d say that that’s a step in the right direction because #pretzelsaremygatewaydrug. Spear a little cube of cheddar with a pretzel stick. GO ON. DO IT.

Corn Tomato Shisito Pepper Pizza

Corn Tomato Shisito Pepper Pizza // shutterbean

Ever since I made the Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza a few weeks ago, I haven’t stopped thinking about all of the possible pizza combinations I’d like to attempt this summer. Confession: I have a separate google doc for that endeavor.  I wonder how well my grill will work during the winter….when I’m standing out in the rain with umbrella. I think the crunch and crisp of a grilled pizza is definitely WORTH IT. That reminds me…I need a good pair of rain boots.

Corn Tomato Shisito Pepper Pizza // shutterbean

I bought shisito peppers at the market with the sole intention of grilling them so they’re salty, supple and smokey. Have you had blistered shisito peppers? They’re exceptional!  But then I thought…wait can we make a whole meal out of them? I mean…if we eat enough, then YES. But why don’t we take them to the next level and PUT THEM ON A PIZZA.

Corn Tomato Shisito Pepper Pizza // shutterbean

So, I did just that. We exploit summer’s bounty and we add fresh corn, tomatoes and basil. There are several slices of garlic nestled into the cheese to pump of the flavor. And we finish with a squeeze of lime to brighten it up. Oh and I totally #putaneggonit !  Because #WHYNOT

Plum Ginger Coolers

Plum Ginger Coolers // shutterbean

The other day I was over at my mom’s house and she asked what she should do with the leftover ginger she had from another recipe and I immediately told her MAKE A GINGER SYRUP. That’s always what I do or I throw ginger into a fresh juice concoction. Plum Ginger Coolers // shutterbean

If you have a few rogue plums lying around you can make a Plum Ginger syrup with those!

Plum Ginger Coolers // shutterbean

And then you can make a refreshing drink with the beautiful tangy sweet magenta syrup. Sparkling water, lemon juice and gin (my favorite!) pair nicely with plum ginger syrup, you’re gonna want to make sure you always have leftover ginger in your house.

My Everyday Life: Week 28

Here’s what this past week looked like:

Thankful for this.

My Everyday Life: Week 28

I love lists, Friday!


  1. What kind of Coffee Addict are you? I’m a milk & sugars person.
  2. How San Francisco Neighborhoods Got Their Names.
  3. What it’s like to dump social media.
  4. Deb knows how to do ICE CREAM SANDWICHES right.
  5. You know they’re dead…  (can’t stop watching these)
  6. Take a quick trip down memory lane.
  7. Kinda freaking out over this TRIX CAKE. My brain wants it.
  8. I think Cooper would go nuts for this recipe.
  9. Katie Holmes has aged well!
  10. Number 17  always gives me the sads.
  11. Secrets behind Menu Design (SO GOOD)
  12. I want one of these. AHH THAT CARAMEL.
  13. These THEN & NOW Celeb posts always kinda freak me out.
  14. This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps.
  16. I believe this to be true.
  17. Congrats, JESSICA!! I can’t wait to see doughy baby pics on your Instagram.
  18. This cooler is really the COOLEST.
  19. What it means to be apart of the Facebook Generation (thought provoking!)


Did you listen to Episode #123 of the Joy the Baker Podcast??!  A POOL WITH A HOUSE.   We talk about the internet, what to serve at a bachelorette weekend in Napa, what to wear at a Beyonce confer and of course, you will see that my head is ALWAYS in the gutter…Sorry/not sorry.


Desire to Eat adapted my Raspberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles 

Life by Aileen made my No Knead Pizza on the STOVE!!

From Kayla made my Lemon Chicken

A Girl Named Allyn made my Corn Zucchini Lime Pizza

Walnut Stuffed Dried Figs

Walnut Stuffed Dried Figs // shutterbean

Out of all the things to stuff in a fig, I sometimes forget that a simple nut can suffice. I love these bites because they’re like portable trail-mix. Cut a little sliver into a dried fig and stuff a toasted walnut it.  They make for a nice bite-sized, totally portable and a vegan/healthy/gluten-free way snack. I may just sneak a chocolate chip in there or maybe some goat cheese…I dunno.

Nectarine Caprese Salad

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

I bought myself a flat of nectarines. I’m not sure what I was thinking because Cooper doesn’t want to even try one and my husband does not think to eat a piece of fruit when he’s hungry. So, this means I will be eating nectarines for the next week now.  I’ve already learned that I cannot eat one while driving home from work, unless I feel cool with stains all over my clothes and a sticky steering wheel. Ew and Noooo.

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

And then I saw this recipe in a recent Sunset Magazine issue…It had been sitting on my nightstand taunting me for the past week. The stars aligned and the nectarines arrived and so here we are. This is it.

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

I’ve made a salad like this before but with watermelon and some slightly different ingredients. But with the nectarines, the texture is a bit different. There’s a sweetness that catches up with you after you’re almost done with a bite. The salt and the white balsamic vinegar add such a beautiful tang. One minute you’re enjoying a tomato and the next a nectarine. It’s all good. If you haven’t added mint and nectarines to your Caprese, you MUST.  My husband, the non-fruit eater approved and that’s saying a lot!

Vegan Taco Salad


Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

If I was asked, “If you had to pick one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?” my answer would be most likely be Mexican. A lot of people think this decision would consist of nothing but tacos, cheesy quesadillas, nachos and burritos (wouldn’t that be the life??!).  But, wait. There’s so much more to that. You totally forgot about taco salads!

Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

When I was in high school, I developed an unhealthy obsession with Chevy’s and I cried the day I found out the nutritional content of my beloved Taco Salad. I mean…the fried flour tortilla shell holding the greasy ground beef covered in melted cheese with a healthy serving of Ranch dressing and extra sour cream should have fooled no one. There were some wilted lettuce shreds and some tomatoes thrown in to justify its salad label. I’d get the dressing on the side, but really… WHO WAS I KIDDING?

Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

In my attempt to lighten up my favorite Taco Salad, I created this little ditty.  It’s absolutely perfect for summer (hello fresh corn, red pepper, tomatoes, avocados & radishes!).  The salad dressing isn’t a Mexican Ranch that’s loaded with mayo. Nope! It’s a base of creamy avocado mixed with lime and cilantro and it comes together in a breeze with a quick blitz in my Vitamix blender. You’ll find the dressing is the perfect way to marry crisp lettuce, protein packed black beans, juicy tomatoes, green onions, avocado chunks, sweet corn and crunchy tortilla chips.  This taco salad is so packed with flavor that I feel 100% confident in my decision to choose Mexican over every other cuisine. It also proves that you can do a dairy-free Mexican salad and not skimp on taste. My summer will be FILLED with these Taco Salads, thank you very much.