Vegan Mac & Cheese

Hey guys! With holiday comfort food dishes every stinking where, I thought I’d share my favorite healthy comfort-food recipe. I shared a similar recipe last year, but I’ve since made adaptations to it and I figured it’s time to whip it out again! Who would-a thought that carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, almond milk and cashews could create such a gloriously creamy combination. When mixed with macaroni, they’re the DREAM TEAM honey. Macaroni without the actual cheese has got my taste buds dancing with joy. 

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Creamy Vegan Mac + Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 10 ounces macaroni shells (I used mini shells)
  2. 1 cup peeled/diced yellow potatoes
  3. 1/4 cup peeled carrots
  4. 1/3 onion
  5. 3/4 cup boiled veggie water
  6. 1/2 cup raw cashews
  7. 1/4 cup almond milk
  8. 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  9. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  10. 3/4 tsp salt or more to taste
  11. 2-3 cloves garlic
  12. 1 pinch cayenne
  13. 1 pinch paprika
  14. 1 pinch turmeric
  15. 1 pinch pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Fill a pot with boiling water + pinch of salt
  2. 2. Boil vegetables and remove skin from potatoes
  3. 3. Cook pasta according to box directions, al dente.
  4. 4. Add starchy vegetable water + rest of ingredients to your blender and let her go until you're left with a rich + creamy sauce.
  5. 5. Pour sauce over pasta and garnish with fresh basil or parsley. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  6. 6. Enjoy!
Homegrown Hostess http://www.homegrownhostess.com/

 

 

 

 

Holiday Party Inspiration

Happy Friday Holiday Hostesses! Megan Andrea from Palm Beach Glam  and I teamed up to create this holiday party post! I’m borderline obsessed with Megan and her Instagram, gah! She’s so sweet and so much fun! If you’re not already following her, you NEED to… @Megannjayneee. She put together this darling outfit & I did a little DIY for ya’ll!  Enjoy! 

Red & Gold

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 Isn’t she lovely!? Scroll down to shop her whole outfit! 

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 DIY Holiday Gift Basket

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Holiday parties are the most fun to put hostess gifts together for. This time of year lends itself to celebration with gifts and the basket variety has always been my favorite. I love this one in particular because, well,  it’s pretty much all of my favorite things in one little happy, Christmas-colored bundle. 

Supplies:

  • wide rectangular basket 
  • 1 bottle of your favorite champagne or holiday wine/beverage 
  • OPI Christmas collection nail polish 
  • red washi tape
  • wine glass charms
  • festive holiday stationary
  • festive ornament 
  • optional splurge item: Jo Malone perfume. What girl doesn’t love/need/swoon over it?? 
  • gardener’s twine
  • 1/2 yard extra burlap
  • homemade goodies, I made honey butter, bundled some fresh herbs and made pumpkin bread. Switch up whatever based on your taste! Check back tomorrow for my Pumpkin Spice Bread recipe! 

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Ps, you can get most of these supplies at your local craft store. 

Directions:

  1. I wrapped washi tape around the little OPI bottles and added a little wine glass charm to make them extra festive, necessary of course. (; 
  2.  In the spirit of accessorizing, ya’ll know that if I can, I will always add a bow. Using gardening twine and little brown paper gift tags, add labels & simple bows to homemade goodies.
  3. Next, lay extra burlap on the bottom of the basket for extra height and nestle all your goodies, biggest to smallest. Add a handwritten card from your favorite holiday stationary. I really like fuchsia during the holidays even though it’s not a traditional holiday color, but I ended up choosing the animal print “Noel” card. 

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And that’s it! No wrapping required! Hope your holiday festivities are filled with joy and loved ones. Don’t forget to head over to Megan’s blog for more! You’ll love her! 

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Hostess How To: Perfect Cheese Platter

With Christmas fast approaching, I figured I’d create a simple guide on one of my favorite topics; cheese! Why wasn’t cheese on my gratefulness list yesterday!? Good question. GOOD GRAVY. I love cheese, and I love options. Here are the 5 components to a stunning cheese platter! 

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 1. Limit yourself to 3-5 cheeses total. You want to keep it interesting, but not make the options overwhelming. Try to select something creamy, something sharp and something nutty. As far as plate aesthetics go, odd numbers are always the best. 

2. Select a platter that leaves you with roughly 50% extra space once your cheeses are nestled in. Don’t go too big! It’s customary to arrange the cheeses from mildest to strongest in a clockwise circle. It’s something I read in a Martha Stewart book once, but I’ve never heard anyone complaining about it. 

3. Play with color. I like black, silver or wood cheese plates best because they contrast with the whites in most cheeses really well. 

4. Garnish. Enhance your spread with something sweet and something savory. I chose some salty crackers and fresh grapes but you could do any fresh fruit (or honey or jam) and then anything savory like crackers, chutney, olives, nuts or cured meats. 

5. Serve! Set out your favorite cheese knives and dig in!

XO Hostesses! 

Gratefulness

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Happy Tuesday! I know we’ve already put our horse blinders on as far as Thanksgiving and are dead set on Christmas at this point, but, I didn’t want to let myself get too far gone before I did my yearly gratefulness list! I decided last year that I’d make this a tradition and I got so busy last week that I never got around to it, so here we are the second of December, and my gratefulness list is finally up! So lets get after it! Yes, I happy cried the whole way through this, good thing I have a waterproof keyboard protector. 

1. Jesus. I am redeemed! You set me free. Just when I think I can’t love you more, you grow my heart 2 sizes and I’m bursting with joy & awe at your great victory in my life. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of your power and gentleness all in one breath. Thank you for the times of trial, thank you for the times of joy, come what may, I’m yours! Give me more of you, God. 

2.Kyle. How did I even get you to go on a date with me? I respect Kyle for his heart. He takes such good care of me. He protects me, prays for me, stays up late giggling on the phone with me, does math for me, is the best gift giver I know, and is so patient, sweet, funny, and completely a servant leader. Not to mention, he’s adorable and funny and he loves Jesus. Yep. Rally the parade floats. He’s the real deal and I’m his (loudest) cheerleader. 

3. Dad, Mom & Grason. I’m so blessed with a huge network of extended family and friends who I consider to be family, but Kyle, Mom, Dad, & Grason are #1. I’m kind of at a loss for words on this one. Love you so much!

4. All of you! The family here is so special to me and I’m so grateful for this community of Martha Stewart, dress-up, foodie and family-style-loving friends. 

5. Kitchen Aid. Yes ma’am, everyday. Especially the bread hook. And the whisk. Okay, AND the paddle attachment. Gosh don’t make me narrow it down, I love you all!

6. Christmas (all inclusive) trees, decor, music, sweaters, weather, food…

7. All my blogging pals. I’ve met so many incredibly creative ‘makers’ & innovators this year in the blogging world. Ya’ll are just flat out rad and I’m so inspired by all of you.

8. Pandora Radio. For my ever changing music taste and for making my whole life a music video. Side note: I bought Taylor’s cd anyways and I have no regrets and no bitterness over the situation. 

9.  Good concealer. *A moment of silence. 

10. The smell of Sunday dinner being cooked. 

11. My ability to pay bills. 

12. My car didn’t break down at all this year! I did pick up a friend’s dog recently and it peed in my backseat, but as far as car incidents go, I’m not complaining!

13. Didn’t loose my phone or drop it into any bodies of water! But really…

14. Grocery Stores, Farmers Markets and my garden. 

15. Children. 

16. Our service men & women. My ability to vote, and the freedom I exercise daily and take for granted. 

17. Photographs. I take so much joy in capturing little moments of life. 

18. Toilet Paper. Haters gonna hate. But listen, what would life be like without it? Ok ok ok breathe and hug your toilet paper. Thank you TP. 

19. Pillows. Fluffy, thin, big, little, fuzzy, knit, sequined, monogrammed, I love them all. 

20. SALT. You make everything better. 

21. Rainy days. Good books, cozy blankets whipped cream … and a little hot chocolate. I love rain. The curiosity, vastness and majesty of clouds has always makes me loose my train of thought. I’m amazed by them. 

22. Birthdays. Any excuse to celebrate, give gifts, decorate and whip the sprinkles out. Such fun! 

23. Netflix. Blessing and a curse. 

24. Air conditioning. I’m a total hot weather wimp. I am so seriously grateful for air conditioning. 

25. Mismatched dinnerware. Tea cups, silverware etc. I’m a fan. 

26. Throwing things out. Gosh. I love to declutter. It gives me such freedom to be detached from “things”.  I’m so affected by my surroundings. An inspiring and streamlined space is crucial for my effectiveness. 

27. Living off the land. Growing my own food & collecting fresh eggs. Getting my hands dirty in my garden. 

28. The fact that hair grows back. Pushing past that awkward phase people! We’re all in this together.

29. I’m engaged! To the man of my dreams! AH! 

30. The Bible.  The only ‘self help’ book I really need.

Fall Photo Shoot!

This weekend I attended an amazing photography workshop (thanks to Lindsey!) I had such a blast learning from Courtney and snapping photos of the gorgeous, Seven Meadows Winery. I got to meet and learn from an amazing group of ladies and capture the darling, Shannon + Tyler. Check out their sweet wedding here! Sorry in advance for the number of pictures in this post! So much beauty, I couldn’t stop! Here’s everything through my amateur lens… 

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Thanks for reading picture books with me! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! XO