Monday, August 31, 2015

Revisiting Palm Springs with a Banana-Walnut Date Shake/Smoothie

Palm Springs Memories: Banana-Walnut Date Shake/Smoothie featuring Almond Breeze 

Almondmilk Coconutmilk Vanilla Unsweetened

VanillaAlmondCoconutAlmondBreezeCarton.jpg (1000×1000)
I am re-posting this post that I featured awhile ago for two reasons. One, I was craving dates the other day and wanted to make this shake/smoothie again and two, as part of the Blue Diamond's Tastemakers group, I was given a carton of their  Almondmilk Coconutmilk Vanilla Unsweetened to use in a recipe. Luckily, I had already used this very milk in this recipe and it works fantastically! 

Here is the original post.....makes me want to go back to Palm Springs too!! 

Okay, it's been awhile again! I have just been enjoying the time being a mom to my little one. We have been taking Stroller Strides exercise classes and attending our local library for story time.  Besides that, I've finally started cooking interesting meals again, as well as attempting to bake......   moving to a place with high altitude has been a challenge!

Since life with a newborn definitely changes your schedule and time, creations in my current kitchen need to be quick and easy!

So thankfully, the Vitamix came out of hiding and we've been making this smoothie/shake a lot! It is made with simple healthy ingredients but tastes a lot like ice cream. Plus, it is made with dates (one of my favorite foods!) which makes me miss living in California and reminds me of my fun trip to Palm Springs last year.

My Mom, Grandma (90 years old!), and I headed on a girls weekend to Palm Springs to see The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies before it ended it's run that began in 1992.

There was a huge event going on in town, and it was hard finding a reasonable priced hotel. Luckily, I came across a wonderful charming gem called La Maison. La Maison is a small Mediterranean boutique hotel with charming rooms, a nice relaxing pool, and a great location. The innkeepers were very friendly, and Richard will even make you made to order lattes in the morning! I highly recommend this cute hotel that is away from some of the louder touristy areas. Plus, it's in walking distance to Native Foods, a great locals Italian place, and a cupcake shop (for the drive home, of course)!

Oh and there is a resident Inn dog too!

Try the eggplant parm pizza at Giuseppe's!

Cupcakes for the drive home!

View from our room

L'occitane bath products

Palm trees in Palm Springs

Lavender satchels to take home :)

If you didn't know, the Coachella Valley is the "Date Capital of the World." Palm groves have thrived there since the 1800's. Dates are something I just love (I ate a ton of them while pregnant and use them in my Biscoff Dough Balls). If you go to Palm Springs, you can't leave without getting a famous Date Shake! There are places selling them all over but we stopped in at Great Shakes and their Date Walnut shake was delicious!!! They serve all of their shakes with an adorable mini-donut on the straw too. This retro themed shake shop is a must!

Since it is currently a blizzard outside in Denver, I made this shake today to remind me of the nice warm weather (we went in April) in Palm Springs! It's quite a bit healthier too :)

Makes 2 servings

2 cups Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Vanilla Unsweetened
2 frozen bananas
1 cup ice
1/2 cup walnuts
8-10 dates (the more you add the sweeter it will be)
2 TBSP flax seed meal
1 tsp Almond extract

Place all the ingredients into a blender in the order above. Blend until smooth!

Recipe inspired by: Meaningful Eats



~This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. All opinions are my own.~ 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Super Easy Sweet & Savory Trail Mix

Holy moly, where does the time go?? I cannot believe I almost have a one year old! The past year, I haven't blogged much because I've been spending so much of that precious time with my little one. I'm happy to be a part of the Blue Diamond Tastemakers because they give me deadlines for my posts, which is something that is very helpful for me right now!

This month they sent me two flavors of their flavored almonds to try: Salted Caramel and Blueberry. I really enjoyed the Salted Caramel flavor and my review of the Blueberry ones are later in this post. The great thing about their flavored almonds are that they make great snacks or you can get creative and use them in a recipe.

I usually get hungry for an afternoon snack, and trail mix is something we like to have on hand at our house. However, have you ever noticed how expensive it is at the store? It's super simple to make your own at home and you can use so many ingredients you probably have in your pantry. I was craving a sweet and salty mix so here is what I put together:

Sweet & Savory Trail Mix:

-Dried Cranberries
-Pumpkin Seeds
-White Chocolate Chips
-Dark Chocolate Chips
-Unsalted Cashews
-Dark Chocolate Toffee Bits (I used Chocolove)
-Blue Diamond Salted Caramel Almonds
-Popcorn (I used Vermont Maple & Sea Salt by Quinn Popcorn, for extra yum!)

Instructions: Mix as little or much as you want in a large bowl, shake & stir and you have yourself a great snack experience in your future!

I absolutely LOVE blueberries, they seriously are one of my favorite foods. So I was interested to try the Blue Diamond Blueberry flavored almonds. To be honest, I was a bit bummed, when I looked at the ingredient list. It says there are no artificial colors or flavors, which is good. However, the last ingredient is Rebiana, which is a Stevia extract. I really really don't like like the taste of Stevia, and I consider it a more natural artificial flavor (I'm a real sugar girl, just in moderation.) So, I probably wouldn't buy the blueberry almonds often. The good news is that the Stevia flavor isn't really noticeable when you are eating them but I can taste it my mouth afterwards. I'm just sensitive to the flavor and if it doesn't bother you then give these a try and let me know what you think!

~This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. All opinions are my own. ~

Stay tuned, I have some over due giveaways and posts I'm working on! Until next to play with my little one!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Caramelized Onion Cheese Dip

I Love: caramelized onions, cheese, and dips....... 
This dip has some of my favorites and is reminiscent of fondue! It also pairs great with Blue Diamond Artisan Nut-Thins. I tried the Flax Seed and Multi-Seed versions but they also come in Sesame, Chia, and Asiago. These crackers are made from brown rice, almonds, and seeds and make this not-so-healthy dip seem a little better for you :) .

This dip is best served warm but you can easily heat it up later, either over the stove or even in the microwave. I ate a veggie burger for lunch today and replaced the mayo on my bread with this dip, very yummy indeed. 

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lg onion, finely diced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup smoked gouda, shredded
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the diced onions to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes until caramelized.
  2. To the pan of onions, add the spinach and green onions. Saute until the spinach has just started to wilt. Then add the cream cheese, white cheddar, smoked gouda, and garlic powder. Stir until everything is well combined and remove from heat.
  3. Serve the dip warm.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Nut Thins. All opinions are my own.


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