Dessert, Featured, Food

Matcha Dark Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

February 28, 2020
Matcha Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Presenting Matcha Dark Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats. A combination of three of my favorite things: matcha tea, dark chocolate, and vegan treats. Made with just 5 simple ingredients, these striking green-hued morsels are as delicious as they are beautiful. This recipe is vegan & gluten free.

Ingredients:

Matcha Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
Matcha Dark Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, melt Earth Balance, on a medium heat.
  2. Gently, using a spatula, fold in mini marshmallows. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add in crispy rice cereal, plus matcha and mix until the cereal is completely coated with the marshmallow mix.
  4. Using a spatula, add mixture to an 8 x 10” or 9 x 11″ baking pan. Press firmly using the back of a spatula to set in pan.
  5. Cool completely. Coat with melted chocolate chips if desired.

Notes: Recipe adapted from candicekumai.com. Ceramics by Yokky Wong for Lawrence & Scott.

Dessert, Food

Chocolate Beetroot Cake [Vegan + GF Option]

February 8, 2020
CHOCOLATE BEETROOT CAKE [VEGAN + GF OPTION]

Superbly moist and creamy, this decadent chocolate cake gets its perfect texture from gorgeous, earthy beets. The taste is completely undetectable, only adding natural sweetness and desirable texture.

Ingredients:

Cake
  • 1 cup beet puree (see instructions below)
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or gluten free, all-purpose flour)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Beetroot Cake (Vegan + GF Option)

Instructions:

Beetroot Puree
  1. Peel and quarter 3-4 medium sized beets (about 1 pound of beets). Steam the  beets for 15 minutes or until knife effortlessly pierces them. Add the cooked beets to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Measure out 1 cup and set aside.
Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare an 8″ round cake pan with parchment paper and grease around the side.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water and let stand until thickened (5-10 minutes). Meanwhile in a large bowl, sift together flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the centre and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flax mixture, beetroot puree, olive oil, almond milk and vanilla. Add the beet mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 50-55 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cake form the pan, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Ganache
  1. Add the chocolate pieces to a medium sized heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan, gently heat the coconut milk until steaming (not boiling). Carefully pour the heated coconut milk over the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Allow the ganache to thicken at room temperature for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid chunks of unmelted chocolate. (See notes)
  2. Using a spatula, frost the cooled cake, decorate using freshly cut flowers, and serve.
Notes
  • If your coconut milk has separated during storage (it has a thick layer of fat and a watery layer), it’s important that you mix it back together before measuring; simply whip it up in a blender or food processor.
  • The ganache may seem runny at first, but it will thicken to a spreadable texture after the alloted thickening time has passed.
  • To state the obvious: Discard flowers before consuming.
Chocolate Beetroot Cake (Vegan + GF Option)

Enjoy!

Favorite Things, Lifestyle

Favorite Things: February 2, 2020

February 2, 2020
WEEK IN REVIEW: FEBRUARY 2, 2020

Books

I’ve been a long time reader of the blog The Simply Luxurious Life where the mission statement reads, “The simply luxurious life is something I believe every one of us can attain if indeed we are seeking quality over quantity, sensibility rather than frivolity, personal style instead of trendy fashions and a truly fulfilling life instead of being led around by the nose, thereby creating a life of true contentment.”

Blogger and author Shannon Ables eloquently talks about curating and elevating the everyday on her blog, podcast, and in her two books, Living the Simply Luxurious Life and Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life. If you like food, fashion, great book recommendations, and all things France, prepare to swoon.

I also recently received a copy of Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I’m only about 40 pages in, but I’m already loving this stunning piece of historical fiction.

Television/Film

Booksmart

Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high school peers. But on the eve of graduation, the best friends suddenly realize that they may have missed out on the special moments of their teenage years. Determined to make up for lost time, the girls decide to cram four years of not-to-be missed fun into one night — a chaotic adventure that no amount of book smarts could prepare them for.

Directed by Olivia Wilde and co-produced by Will Ferrell, this movie is certainly not lacking in laugh-out-loud moments.

Miss Americana

In this revealing documentary, Taylor Swift embraces her role as a songwriter and performer — and as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice.

Intimate and intriguing, even if you aren’t a fan of Swift’s music, you certainly can’t deny her impeccable work ethic and strategic business brain after watching the documentary.

Kitchen/Home 

Tea:

Matcha Love has a divine ceremonial-grade matcha powder from Japan that makes the most sensational tea lattes. This is something I have delivered monthly as it’s my go-to morning beverage.

For more information about matcha (the how, what, ect…), definitely visit chef Candice Kumai’s website. She’s the matcha queen.

Lawrence & Scott x Yokky Wong ceramics:

I discovered Hong Kong ceramic artist Yokky Wong’s work after watching an episode of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love. I was particularly moved by a series of ceramic dishes that use Yokky’s grandmother’s knit afghan pattern as an imprint, creating uniquely textured pieces. 

As many of you know, my husband and I co-own a luxury home interiors company, Lawrence & Scott, where we strive to curate, design, and provide the best home products to our diverse clientele. After seeing these pieces on TV, I knew I needed to bring them back to our Seattle showroom. There are still a few of these stunning knitwork pieces left – check them out while we still have them!

Music/Podcasts/Videos

Alexis Ffrench is a contemporary pianist and composer from the UK. He studied at The Purcell School for Young Musicians, the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His music recently caught my attention on Spotify this past week and has been on a constant loop ever since.

Articles

Favorite Things, Lifestyle

Favorite Things: January 26, 2020

January 26, 2020
Week In Review: January 26, 2020

On any given Sunday, you will likely find me curled up on the couch with a mug of frothy matcha and a stack of reading material (including but not limited to):  The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The EconomistReal SimpleScience Mag and whatever book I’m finishing. In these sacred early hours, I comb through pages of information, news, and inspiration, always on a never-ending quest to know and understand more and to be inspired and engaged in our ever-changing, vastly dynamic world.

It’s within these unstructured hours where I plan the upcoming week, which in turn, ensues a natural reflection of the prior. Rather than keeping my weekly discoveries and favorites to myself, I plan to briefly jot them down for you. Each week I hope to share something of value, or at the very least, something that will make your life a little brighter or simpler. 

I hope you enjoy this, and as always, please comment below and tell me about what you’re currently loving. 

Books:

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

If a blissful slumber seems like a far-fetched reality or simply not a priority, I highly recommend digging into this data-rich book on all things sleep. Fascinating!

The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Renowned trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score offers proven alternatives to drugs and talk therapy—and a way to reclaim lives.

I’m only halfway through this read, but from the amount of highlighting and corner turning I’ve inflicted on the pages, I can already tell you this is a worthwhile read.

The Blue Zones Kitchen by Dan Buettner

Building on decades of research, longevity expert Dan Buettner has gathered 100 recipes inspired by the Blue Zones, home to the healthiest and happiest communities in the world.

I have long been a fan of Dan Buettner’s work, so I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this highly-anticipated cookbook. For more information on the Blue Zones (a topic I’m deeply passionate about), visit my recent blog post.

Television/Film:

The Bodyguard

War veteran David Budd finds work as a police sergeant with London’s Metropolitan Police Service, in the Royalty and Specialist Protection branch. He is assigned to protect the home secretary, the Rt. Hon. Julia Montague MP, a controversial and ambitious politician who is described as “the sociopath” by one of her aides, and who has plans to introduce invasive new surveillance powers for security forces. Finding himself increasingly at odds with Montague’s policies and personality, and dealing with physical and psychological scars from his time serving in Afghanistan, volatile Budd is torn between his beliefs and his duty to protect.

My husband and I devoured this BBC production in only a few nights. It’s suspenseful, mysterious, and intertwines complex storylines with rich character development.

Modern Love

A co-production of Amazon Studios and the New York Times, this anthology series explores love in all of its complicated and beautiful forms, as well as its effects on the human connection. Each episode brings to life a different story that has been inspired by the newspaper’s popular Modern Love column.

This is feel-good television right here. I especially love the broad array of partnerships featured – everything from interracial relationships to navigating mental illness.

Articles:

Kitchen:

I have a new and an old find in the realm of food and beverage: Earl Greyer by The Republic of Tea is quite possibly the best bagged Earl Grey I’ve come across. (‘Greyer’ implies extra bergamot and it is divine.) I’ve been drinking this and the Ginger Peach variation from this brand for years. I only recently rediscovered this when perusing the aisles of Metropolitan Market. Speaking of, I picked up the Metropolitan Market Organic Whole Bean Sumatra Coffee which is a medium roast and has been pulling phenomenal shots on my espresso machine all week.