Nominated for the Liebster Award


Happy December!  A few months ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Lyssa from  Thank you Lyssa for the nomination and the super nice review of my blog.  Lyssa sketches and illustrates and her blog is about her illustrations–so very cool.  My favorite post was an ABC drawing project for every letter in the alphabet.  She designs t-shirts, and you can tell she enjoys being creative.

With this nomination, I get to share some random facts about me.

  • I wake up at 6 to help five of my kids practice their instruments before sending them off to school.
  • I have an obsession about canning.  A neighbor gave me some of their old canning jars.  🙂  I found a u-pick farm with beans and picked 1 1/2 bushels of green beans to can this fall, just so I wouldn’t leave the jars empty.
  • I used to travel internationally with a college folk dancer/musician group playing guitar and banjo.
  • I love apple pie!
  • I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • I love being a mom and wife.
  • My running career peaked at 6th grade when I got a presidential time on the mile run.
  • My favorite book series is the Laura Ingalls Wilder series (Little House on the …)
  • I’m reading the book “Half-Magic” to my little kids in the evening.
  • As a kid, I loved watching the TV show, “Bewitched” on Nick at Night.


Here is a link to the rules.

Here are the questions my nominator asked me.

  1. What is one skill you wish you had?  I wish I was a super organizer, instead, I’m running along, just trying to keep up with life.
  2. Why did you start your blog?  I wanted to share some of the cooking ideas I have learned from my years of converting recipes into dairy-free recipes.  The best thing about starting this blog is that I have connected with other dairy-free bloggers and gotten tons of new, great ideas for cooking without dairy.
  3. How do you deal with writer’s blog/lack of inspiration? I try to blog about what we are actually eating at my house.  However, I often have the “what’s for dinner? blues”–when I have no idea what to cook.  When this happens, I usually call my sister and ask what she is having for dinner.  Talking to her often sparks some ideas for what we can eat at our house.
  4. Have you ever played Baldur’s Gate, if not, why not, what’s your favourite colour?  Since I had to google Baldur’s Gate to learn what it was, I will share my favorite color–yellow.
  5. What is your favourite swear word and why? I avoid swearing to not offend others.  A common phrase of mine is “Oh dear!”
  6. Apple, Windows or other? Windows
  7. What does this formula do in Excel “=CONCATENATE(“Baldur’s Gate “,SUM(1+1),”:SoA was released in “,SUM(20*100))”? #Name?
  8. If you could bring one fantasy creature into existence what would it be and why?  I suppose you are thinking along a different vein of fantasy creatures, but I would pick a magical house-cleaning creature would be AMAZING! Why? I hate cleaning.
  9. What musical artist are you secretly a fan of? My kids take Suzuki violin and piano so we are usually rockin’ to recordings of the Suzuki curriculum.  🙂  Back in the day, I used to love listening to the Cranberries.
  10. What season do you think The Simpsons lost the spark? I’ve only seen a few episodes of The Simpsons, so I have no idea.
  11. Listen to Sufjan Steven’s Impossible Soul in its entirety – what do you think? I think 25 minutes is extremely long to sit still and listen with little kids around me.  It isn’t really my style, and my attention span is about the length of a two-year-old.


My nominees for the Liebster Award:

Nailed ‘N Failed

This blog is all about the successes and failures of Pintrest.  Okay, so to be honest, this blog is done by my sister.  I didn’t know she was blogging until my mom told me a few months ago.  I guess that makes me a bad sister.  😦  Reading her blog was lots of fun.  She is so crafty and creative (something barely in my vocabulary, and very much missing in my house decorating).  I loved her post on DIY Copper.  If you are looking on saving a little money without skimping on style, check out her site.



Happy Starts at Home

Because sugar has so many negative effects on your body, I have been trying to cut back on sugar at my house.  This blog is full of low-sugar (and some non-dairy) recipes, and I am always on the lookout for recipes using less sugar.  Apple pie is the favorite dessert at my house.  These Guilt-free Apple Hand Pies look amazing and are perfect for a treat on the go. IMG_1574.JPG


Here are my questions for my nominees.

  1.  What would be your ideal vacation?
  2. What is your favorite country you have visited?
  3. Would you rather go for a walk or a bike ride?
  4. Favorite type of music?
  5. Would you rather watch a T.V. show or read a book?
  6. When do you find time to blog?
  7. Why did you start your blog?
  8. What is your favorite post and why?
  9. If you could be a superhero, what would you be and why?
  10. What is your favorite food?
  11. What is your favorite dessert?


Here is a link to the rules for the Liebster Award.

Toasted Coconut Almond Bars


Dark chocolate spread over a crumb crust of toasted coconut, almond, and graham crackers.

Almond Coconut Bars1

At the end of the day, when your sweetheart asks about your day, how do you answer? For me, I could respond by telling him about the heaps of laundry I washed, the new recipe I tried, time spent volunteering in the kid’s classrooms, or cleaning.  All things considered, I like to tease and tell him that I spent the day reading a book and eating chocolate.

These toasted coconut almond bars are the chocolates you want to eat while you are reading the book.  On second thought, maybe you should eat them at the kitchen table and then wash your hands before reading the book. (Yes, I am a mom 🙂 ).

These Toasted Coconut Almond Bars are rich, but not very sweet.  Toasting the almonds and coconut warms up the almond oils and speeds along the grinding process. Besides toasted coconut is so tasty!

Toasted Coconut Almond Bars

2 rectangular graham crackers, (31 g)

1 cup almonds, (140 g)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, (46 g)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1/8 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 325°F.

In your food processor, crush the graham crackers.  Place crumbs in a bowl and set aside.

Place 1 cup almonds on a baking sheet and put in preheated oven for 12 minutes.  Add coconut and brown for 2 minutes or until coconut turns golden brown. Put almonds, coconut, coconut oil and salt in food processor and process until smooth and on its way to turning into almond butter.  When the almonds are moist enough that they can form a clump, mix in graham cracker crumbs.

coconut almond crumb.jpg
Coconut Almond Mixture

Line a 9×9 casserole dish with parchment paper or Saran wrap.  Place coconut almond mixture into casserole dish.  Press to compact as much as possible and place in freezer to harden for an hour (or overnight).

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time, so not to burn the chocolate.  Stir well between each heating.  Add extra cocoa powder for super dark chocolate.

Holding onto the parchment paper or Saran wrap, lift frozen almond crust out of casserole and onto cutting board.  Spread chocolate on top of the frozen crust.  Allow chocolate to set.  (If needed place back into freezer for a few minutes.)

Using a sharp knife, slice into bars and serve.



Simple Chicken Salad

chicken salad in cream puff shell
Chicken Salad in Cream Puff Shell

Quick and simple to make, this chicken salad is perfect for celebrating a warm spring day.

Today was a crazy day.  I entered an appointment into my calendar with the wrong time, and showed up to the appointment only to find out I had missed it.  Then, being late seemed to be the theme for the rest of the day.   I don’t know about you, but when I have a crazy day like this, I figure it must be time to simplify.  Continue reading

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes with Pepper and Parsley

February is Potato Lover’s Month.  I am a potato lover.  It quite possibly might be because I am a potato farmer’s daughter, and growing up, no meal was complete without potatoes.  Maybe years of DNA coding has left meat and potatoes running in my veins.  Or maybe it is the never-ending different possibilities of potato dishes.   Continue reading

Roasted Yellow Summer Squash

I love the end of summer and all the fresh produce and vegetables.  This is a great way to eat yellow summer squash.  yellow squash sticks

Wash and cut the squash into sticks.  Place on parchment-lined baking pan.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400º F  for 30 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy.

Roasted Squash Sticks