This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

This cold season has been rough.  Actually, that’s an understatement– it’s been ridiculous, and staying healthy has become priority number one.  Normally, throughout cold and flu season, I load up on those little vitamin C ‘immune-booster’ powder packets, and drink one every day.  Do I really think they work?  Not necessarily, but it made me feel like my immune system was protected with a lovely little layer of immune-boosting vitamins.  Plus, they’re tasty.  Recently, however, I looked up the ingredients list for my normal vitamin packets,* and was a little alarmed to see ‘fructose,’  ‘dried cane syrup,’ AND ‘corn syrup solids’ on the list.  I checked out a few other brands, and was just as startled.  With ingredients like that, how could those possibly help me to stay healthy?

Determined to boost my vitamin intake, I decided, radically, to get my vitamins from food.  (Are you shocked at my extremism?)  An orange might not technically have as much vitamin C as the immune-booster packets, and a banana has less vitamin B than you’d get from a supplement, but the vitamins are more potent and better absorbed when they come from real food.  This vitamin B and C packed Banana Orange Smoothie is a delicious, fast, and easy way to add a few extra vitamins to your diet.

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This vegan-friendly Mint Tea Hot Toddy hot cocktail is the perfect "get well" drink for for cold winter days.

Mint Tea Hot Toddy

This vegan-friendly Mint Tea Hot Toddy hot cocktail is the perfect "get well" drink for for cold winter days.

Mint Tea Hot Toddy

This vegan-friendly Mint Tea Hot Toddy hot cocktail is the perfect “get well” drink for for cold winter days.  This post is sponsored by Drizly.

Has the winter weather taken its toll on you this year?  Have you made it through cold and flu season unscathed?  We haven’t.  In fact, this winter has been a little bit rough.  Between the two of us, the husband and I have managed to catch what seems like every cold virus coming and going.  We’re on the mend now (again), but I know some of you are still trying to get better.  When you aren’t buying tissues, making soup, and watching movies– there’s something else you should do.  You should make this Mint Tea Hot Toddy.

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This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie

This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie

This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Dear Chocoholics,

This Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie will make you giggle, sigh with happiness, and is meant for sharing– so you’ll make new friends.  You’re welcome.

Sincerely, Cordially, With Love–

Sarah  …. (Did I sell that well enough?  Do you not believe me?  Keep reading…)

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This vegan friendly Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs is ready in 5 minutes, and is a healthy and delicious way to start your day!

Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs

This vegan friendly Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs is ready in 5 minutes, and is a healthy and delicious way to start your day!

Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs

This vegan-friendly Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs is ready in 5 minutes, and is a healthy and delicious way to start your day!

I’ve always been a breakfast cereal fan.  I love starting my day with a big bowl of Cheerios mixed with corn Chex– and yet I almost never do.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  You know why.  It’s because– approximately 30 minutes (or less, sometimes less) after devouring a massive, multi-serving bowl of cereal deliciousness– I. Am. SO. HUNGRY!  Then, inevitably, I do something regrettable… like eating my entire packed lunch at 9am.

What’s a cereal-loving girl to do?  The answer, as you’ve probably already guessed– is muesli.  Muesli– a healthy, tasty mixture of rolled oats and other goodies– keeps me full.  It’s easy to prepare, it’s easy to customize, and is loaded with healthful, protein-laden ingredients.  You can eat muesli hot or cold, or even sprinkle it over yogurt!  This vegan-friendly Coconut Almond Muesli with Cacao Nibs* is ready in five minutes (or fifteen minutes– if you want to toast the oats), and is a filling and healthful breakfast cereal substitute!

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This vegan Spicy Chipotle Hummus is ready in 5 minutes, and is perfect for snacks and parties!

Spicy Chipotle Hummus

This vegan Spicy Chipotle Hummus is ready in 5 minutes, and is perfect for snacks and parties!

Spicy Chipotle Hummus

This vegan Spicy Chipotle Hummus is ready in 5 minutes, and is perfect for snacks and parties!

What’s your favorite snack food?  What do you reach for when the mid-afternoon munchies hit?  Fruit?  A candy bar?  Personally, I tend go for one of two salty options– chips and salsa, or pretzels and hummus.  I tend to rotate back and forth between the two easy options, but lately I’ve had to stop and reconsider the store-bought hummus I’ve been buying.

Guys– there have been a lot of pre-made hummus recalls recently.  A lot.  So many recalls, that I’ve started to feel as if I’m playing Russian Roulette when I pick up a container of pre-made hummus.  I won’t lie– I did pick up some pre-made chipotle hummus recently, but it made me nervous.  Plus, homemade hummus is SO MUCH BETTER!  And it’s easy– incredibly, ridiculously easy.  This homemade Spicy Chipotle Hummus is ready in 5 minutes, start to finish, and you can feel good about your snack food as you devour bite after bite.

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This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

Vanilla French Press Coffee

This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

Vanilla French Press Coffee

This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

There are precious few moments in life when taking the lazy option leads to perfection– but French press coffee is laziness at its finest.  There are no filters to buy or change, no buttons to push, and no cords to plug in, and yet the coffee is, almost without fail, flavorful, rich, and delicious.

If you’ve gazed curiously at these inexpenive contraptions, but didn’t buy one because you weren’t sure how to use them– this post is for you.  If you DID buy a French press, but it’s been sitting, unused and lonely, in the back of a cabinet– this post is for you.  If you use your French press regularly, and want to shake things up with some flavored coffee concoctions– keep reading, because this recipe for Vanilla French Press Coffee will give you a lightly flavored, rich coffee that’s ready in minutes!

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20 Soups from Scratch!

20 Soups from Scratch

20 Soups from Scratch! champagne-tastes.com

20 Soups from Scratch!

Stay warm this winter with these 20 Soups from Scratch!  These soups will keep your taste buds satisfied and your dinner fantastic all winter long.

The signs are all here– the air is frosty, my cat is covered in a layer of winter fat, and I’ve been piling on layer after layer after layer before walking out the door each morning.  That’s right– it’s soup weather!  It’s time to stock up on broth, sauté celery and carrots, and toss whatever other wonderfulness you have within arm’s reach into your giant soup pot.  Gather up loaves of crusty bread, make a stack of your biggest and best soup bowls, and start cooking!  If you, like me, are ready to eat soup all day long– check out these 20 vegan and vegetarian Soups from Scratch!

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These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne.

Chile Mocha Truffles

These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne.

Chile Mocha Truffles

These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne pepper.  

Attention all chocolate lovers!  If you, like me, like a little ‘oomph’ in your chocolate, listen up!  Recently, while gleefully sipping a Chile Mocha coffee drink, it occurred to me that this spiced, earthy cocoa would be fabulous as a truffle (the chocolate, not the mushroom).  Suddenly, my chocolate obsessed brain was on a mission– a truffle mission.  If you, like me, prefer your cocoa rich, dark, and a little bit spicy– this chocolate is for you!  It’s delicious, it melts in your mouth, and is perfect for parties, date nights, or even groggy midnight snacks.  I present to you– the Chile Mocha Truffle.  These truffles are made from a spicy and decadent chocolate ganache, rolled into perfect little balls of happiness, and lightly dusted with spiced sugar, sweetened cocoa powder,  or sesame seeds.

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Starbucks Copycat! This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa. champagne-tastes.com

Chile Mocha

Starbucks Copycat! This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa. champagne-tastes.com

Chile Mocha

This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa.  This post is sponsored by De’Longhi.

Hello, friends!  Are the skies a little grey where you are right now?  They are here.  The cooler weather has rolled into Central Appalachia, and we’ve entered the awkward ‘in-between’ season.  Let’s call it ‘fwinter.’  The bright, multi-color leaves have fallen, and the trees are (gasp!) unclothed.  Will we have gorgeous, snowy blankets on the ground soon?  Most likely.  For now, to help transition through the grey, chilly mornings– we need coffee.  More specifically, we need espresso.  And chocolate.  While we’re at it– let’s add some spice!  This spicy Chile Mocha is a vegan-friendly, decadent, caffeinated, fantabulous way to jump-start your day.

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Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese- Easy, Gourmet Mac + Cheese, Ready in 20 Minutes Start to Finish! - champagne-tastes.com

Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy, gourmet mac and cheese that's ready in twenty minutes start to finish!

Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy, gourmet mac and cheese that’s ready in twenty minutes start to finish! 

Guys, I have a confession.  Some days, I just don’t care how easy a 15 minute meal is– my brain hurts, and I don’t want to cook.  Does this happen to you too?  On those nights, my first instinct is to have the husband cook dinner.  (The cat, of course, still refuses to help either of us cook.)  If that doesn’t work– there’s Indian take-out.  If take-out falls through– I reach back into the deep, dark recesses of my kitchen pantry– and pull out a box of mac and cheese.  Not just any mac and cheese, mind you– I like the fancy stuff.  The organic, ‘let’s pretend this powdered cheese came from a cow’ stuff.

However, even the fanciest boxed mac and cheese always leaves me full of doubt.  I’m left wondering, ‘What exactly did I just eat?’ and ‘Would homemade mac and cheese really have been harder to make??’  The answer, of course, is NO– homemade mac and cheese is NOT difficult to make, and doesn’t take much longer to prepare than the boxed kind.  Plus, with homemade mac and cheese– there’s no suspicious powdered cheese packet!  This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese takes about 20 minutes, start to finish, and is bursting with cheesy goodness.

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