I know that some of you *cough* East Coast *cough* are buried in snow, at the moment, but in Southern California Spring is here! You know what that means? Plenty of berries, beautiful produce, and more daylight. For me, this also means incorporating colors aside from gray, black, off-white, and dark green, into my wardrobe and everyday life. It’s easily done with these adorable plates from Lenox, which this delicious Gluten-free Blackberry Banana Cake sits upon!
You may remember similar plates and bowls from the first post that I did with this reputable dish company. But, I couldn’t resist obtaining the Around the Table Floral designs; I’m super in love with the size of the dessert plates and bowls. They’re perfect for serving up cute brunch appetizers, tasty tea sandwiches, or of course, slices of gluten-free blackberry banana cake.
Aside from looking pretty, Lenox’s stoneware is dishwasher and microwave safe, which makes cleanup even better. If you’re anything like me and break a piece (says the lady who has broken Pyrex in a sink before), you can replace it through Lenox for 50% off (a lifetime guarantee!). Lenox was also voted to be “America’s Most Recommended Fine Dining and Giftware” by Women’s Choice Award, who surveys women across the US to see what products they love best.
While their website is great to comb through for quality dishes, many of which are on sale, you can easily find Lenox at Bed, Bath & Beyond (don’t forget those coupons!) and Macy’s. They also sell beautiful barware and holiday dishes, which you can see in my posts for Sparkling Fall Sangria and Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.
Now, back to this gluten-free blackberry banana cake! I don’t play around with gluten-free baking very much, and while it’s gotten easier as I go, there are still failures and missteps. Like, when I first went to make the cake, got the batter mixed and realized that I had left out the apple cider vinegar. UH, WHOOPS. I rapidly tried to mix the ACV in, to catalyze the baking soda and threw it into the oven.
You might be surprised that the center turned into the most bizarre souffle-type thing ever? Halfway through the baking time I figured out that this clearly wasn’t going to work out. So, I immediately started on a second batch, thanking my past self for buying more blackberries than was necessary. The end product was this beautiful gluten-free blackberry banana cake that is in between a sheet cake and a light bread.
Either way, it’s super delicious for breakfast or dessert! And even better with this incredibly easy and light vegan whip, made from aquafaba. If you’re into a heavier whip, try this coconut milk version out, that I used for banana crepes – #throwback – and that I use just as frequently as aquafaba fluff.
Today, is a fabulous day! Not only is it Taco Tuesday, but it is also the release date for Laura Wright’s, The First Mess Cookbook! This is super exciting because Laura runs the blog The First Mess, and has been sharing gorgeous recipes and photos since 2011. We started blogging around the same time and I have followed her posts for quite a while. I love reading about her adventures in gardening and gazing at the vibrant dishes she creates. Speaking of vibrant dishes, I’m sharing her recipe for Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Rustic Salsa with you, and hosting a giveaway!
Yes, I know that I mentioned Taco Tuesday, but a burrito is kind of like a taco’s cousin, twice-removed, so it seems appropriate enough to share this recipe. Plus, how can you resist a dish with the name Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes? You can’t! Baked sweet potatoes, stuffed with seasoned black beans and rice, homemade Rustic Salsa, a simple guacamole and crunchy cabbage are what make up this tasty meal.
Along with this recipe, are many others, as can be expected from a cookbook with nearly 300 pages! Laura opens the book with a chapter on what you need as staples for a healthy, vegan pantry; and what tools will be immensely helpful. The rest of the book is broken up into your somewhat standard dish categories, like “Mornings and Breakfasts”, “Hearty Mains and Big Plates” (where the Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes reside), “Energizing Drinks and Small Bites”, and more.
As I said before, the photographs in The First Mess Cookbook are stunning in the typical style of Laura; high-contrast with a good mixture of color and a feeling of comfort. It’s honestly super hard to look through this book in one go without drooling. If the mix of beautiful food and delectable eats doesn’t get you motivated to hop in the kitchen and get to cooking, I’m not sure that I can help you.
Aside from the Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, some other dishes that immediately caught my eye were the Peaches, Peas and Beans Summer Salad, Vanilla Corn Cake with Roasted Strawberries, Gingered Brussels Sprout and Shiitake Pot Stickers and Whipped Lentil Chipotle Dip. Really, I could probably type out the entire table of contents, but those caught my eyes and appetite!
And now, the recipe! Find how to enter the giveaway after the filling and flavorful Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!
Exciting news! I’m done shooting the Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, which will be out in December. And while I do enjoy the perks of eating my work, I am happy to be in the kitchen creating my own recipes, again. Especially since I get to share them with all of you! To ease myself back into thinking up dishes, I went for a simple, delicious meal of Sweet Breakfast Tostadas.
Think, glorified avocado toast, but better! Tostadas are crunchy tortillas, typically topped with savory items like beans, cheese, marinated meats, and salsa. Living in Southern California my whole life, I’ve been surrounded by them and have enjoyed many! One thing I love about them is that you can easily customize them however you like, and they are so simple-to-make.
I went the sweet route with this recipe, to switch things up a bit; and love the combination of crunchy, creamy and the flavors of fresh fruits. These Sweet Breakfast Tostadas would be great served with brunch, or as a tasty snack. If you make these during the summer, adding fresh mango or pineapple would also be pretty amazing!
In other news, I’m going to start implementing more camping-style recipes into the blog! I was wondering if you had any questions or issues that you’ve run into while prepping food or trying to come up with outdoor eats. If so, comment and I’d love to help come up with solutions!