Banana-Nut Smoothie (AKA Monkey Smoothie)


Let’s mark the only recent memory I have of 60-degree weather in February (in Michigan!) with a smoothie. We often go the green smoothie route, but this one packs a protein punch and tastes kind of like banana ice cream.

I’m almost 23 weeks along, which means I’m eating all. the. time. Sadly, I’m not taking many pictures of said food before I inhale it. I’ll try to be better about that for your sake. In the meantime, I highly recommend making this nutritious treat!

Banana-Nut Smoothie
3 frozen bananas, chopped into pieces for easier blending
6 tablespoons natural almond or peanut butter
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
2 cups almond milk

Wishing you sunshine, wherever you are.

Not-Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Red Onions


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We’re off and running into the last week of October, unbelievably. I made this delightful snack last night, while the blazing sun dipped towards the horizon before the 7 o’clock hour. It’s been a brilliant autumn, and I’m thankful for weekends spent in community, around fires, sharing stories and laughter. I love butternut squash soup on the stove, chocolate-cinnamon torte in the oven and applesauce simmering in the crockpot, while one child runs around with a friend and the other peels off dirt-covered socks from another soccer game.

This isn’t a recipe as much as it’s a suggestion. Better than chips, for sure, and better for you.

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Easy Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Rose, Penelope - Darling - Autumn Recipe roundup - 4 apples in bowl.jpg

It’s in my crockpot right now, and in a few minutes your house could smell amazing, too. This is the easiest way to make applesauce, with just a few ingredients and some peeling and chopping while you sip on tea. I love cooking year-round, but particularly when rain taps at the house, skies are moody and candles are lit throughout the house.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make amazing applesauce with a slow-cooker. You can delegate this entirely to a fairly responsible kid, if you’d like.

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Chocolate-Pistachio Energy Balls

TKB - chocolate-pistachio energy balls

They’re vegan, gluten-free and addictive. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stop eating stuff that falls in the sweet, salty and delicious category…consider this your warning.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of cacao balls – I’ve previously posted these coconut-heavy energy bites, and this crunchy version with brown rice crisps, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs. And while I love both of those recipes, I have to admit – these are my new favorite. If you make anything this week, let it be this! I pretty much always have some sort of quick bite similar to this in the fridge or freezer. This type of thing saves us when it comes to returning from school and work and feeling ravenous. If we need to head out for a soccer game, or spontaneously decide to ride to the beach, we never regret bringing a little food with us. They feel like a treat, but pack a good nutrient punch.

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The Best Guacamole


TKB - Guacamole zoom

It’s the season where windows start to open, walks and bike rides own the after work/school schedule and basketball is on our television more frequently than any other time of year.

Guacamole is a year-round kind of snack, but it’s particularly ideal for getting together with a group of friends for basketball and chatting. (Or book club/girls’ night/any gathering involving people + food.) If I’m being transparent, I’ve never followed a recipe for guacamole before. It’s one of those things I make with such frequency, I just taste as I go. (Perks of the “job.”) My sisters always request this snack, and are known to have avocados, lime and garlic waiting on the counter when I show up at their place, to remind me what they’re hoping for. Since all four of my sisters live in a different state than me, I thought it would be a nice spring gift to give them, and you, the best recipe.

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