Almond Coconut Snowballs

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For me, cookies are such a big part of the holidays. Every year, my family makes everything from peanut blossoms to spritz cookies, and no Christmas would be complete without decorating cut-out sugar cookies! My favorite cookie of the holiday season, however, may be our special “secret recipe” no-bake cookies we make to give out as gifts each Christmas.

With this recipe in mind, I set out to create a no-bake treat for the Patience Brewster 2014 online cookie exchange. Patience Brewster is an artist and designer of unique handmade Christmas ornaments. I love her glass starburst ornaments and I can’t wait to add the adorable french bulldog ornament to my tree! You can check out her entire line here.

These Almond Coconut Snowballs  would be perfect for any holiday cookie swap, virtual or not. They share the deliciousness and ease of our family favorites, but these cookies are full of healthy fats, vitamins, and are naturally sweetened with dates. The flavors of coconut and almond are reminiscent of marzipan, and drizzle of white chocolate adds a special sweet touch. Bite into one of these snowballs for a surprise burst of fruity flavor. Bring these cookies to your next holiday gathering and I promise no one will guess they are so nutritious!

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Almond Coconut Snowballs

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ c rolled oats
  • ½ c raw almonds
  • ¼ c coconut oil
  • ¼ c unsweetened shredded coconut + more for rolling
  • 16 dates, pitted
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 2 tbsp jam
  • ***optional- ¼ c white chocolate chips + 1 tsp coconut oil for drizzle***

Instructions

  1. Combine the rolled oats, raw almonds, coconut oil, shredded coconut, dates, nutmeg, and almond extract in a food processor. Process until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Roll "dough" into ½ tbsp balls. Place ½ tsp of jam on 6 of the balls. Re-roll each ball with one of the remaining halves, and roll in shredded coconut.
  3. For the optional drizzle, microwave the white chocolate chips and coconut oil at 30 second intervals until melted. Drizzle over the cookies and freeze for at least one hour. Store in the freezer.

Notes

I used fig jam but raspberry or any other fruit flavor would also be delicious.

If your dough is not coming together into balls, add water 2 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

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What are your favorite holiday recipes? Link your favorites in the comments below!

xoxo

Claire

 

Foodie Friday: A Healthier Thanksgiving Menu

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Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing a round-up of healthy recipes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. All of these dishes are nutritious and simple to make, and some of them are even vegan and gluten-free!

Start off with a Simple Fall Slaw. This dish is vegan and gluten-free, can be made in advance, and is sure to wow your guests with its rainbow of veggies.

The star of this meal is the Ultimate Lentil Vegetable Loaf. It’s a little unconventional, but this loaf is hearty and sure to please any vegan or vegetarian at your table.

The best part of Thanksgiving is definitely the side dishes. Bread Stuffing Muffin Cups are a gluten-free, dairy-free twist on the classic, carb-heavy dish. And what could be cuter than individual muffin-cup portions? Brussels sprouts are reinvented in these Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Maple Orange Glaze. Just leave out the bacon to make this dish vegetarian-friendly. Mashed potatoes are always a classic, but this Cauliflower Potato Mash with Savory Mushroom and Herb Gravy is a vegan and gluten-free (and just as delicious!) alternative.

No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without dessert, and my personal favorite is pumpkin pie! Instead of the typical sugar and fat filled pumpkin pie, try these Vegan Pumpkin Pie Squares with Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust. These squares are made a day in advance and are perfectly portioned for easy serving.

I’d love to hear, what are you planning on serving for Thanksgiving? Link your favorite recipes in the comments!

xoxo
Claire

Thanksgiving Day Outfit Inspiration

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My favorite holiday is a week from tomorrow! It’s impossible to concentrate on anything except Thanksgiving…what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to cook, how I’m going to decorate…the mental to-do list goes on and on! I’ve been rounding up some of my favorite recipes and getting inspired by some of my favorite bloggers’ fall tables (I’m thinking rustic meets glam with a linen runner and metallic pumpkins).

I do enjoy dressing up for Thanksgiving even when staying in. I love the idea of a cute, but not too formal, dress, fun tights, and a pair of black pumps. Nordstrom always has such a great selection for any occasion!

Are you preparing for Thanksgiving already? What are you planning on wearing?

xoxo

Claire

Cold Weather Essentials

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Fall has finally hit Texas. As the temperatures drop, I find myself longing to spend my days curled up on the couch with warm clothes and a hot drink. There are a few things I consider essential for keeping warm and content on a chilly fall day. Just give me a mug of my favorite tea, a soft sweater, and a new book and I’m all set!

A Good Book

I have always loved to read, but I enjoy it even more while sitting inside on a cold day. I’ve heard great things about Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead, and as a dancer myself, I can’t wait to read her take on the ballet world.

A Seasonal Candle

Candles just scream fall, especially candles with yummy holiday scents. This pumpkin soufflé candle from Anthropologie smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and already has my mouth watering in anticipation for Thanksgiving!

A Cozy Sweater

Vince has some of the softest sweaters I’ve ever felt!  This seamed turtleneck in winter white would be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Shearling Slippers

I love a good pair of slippers to keep my feet warm during fall. I scooped up this pair on sale at J.Crew, and they are perfect for wearing around the house. Pair them with camp socks for the ultimate warm and fuzzy experience.

Hot Herbal Tea

Tea is my beverage of choice during the fall and winter months. Cinnamon Apple Spice from Celestial Seasonings is my tried-and-true favorite.

A Cute Travel Mug

When you are forced to venture out into the cold, a travel mug is your best friend. Starbucks always has great options for bringing hot drinks on the go. I love this mug with gold polka dots!

xoxo

Claire

I’d love to hear, what are some of your cold weather essentials?

Blueberry Balsamic Farro Salad

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Happy Friday!

All I want right now is for Texas to finally look at the calendar and realize it’s fall. Is a cold front too much to ask for? I just want to be able to wear my fall clothes, eat hot oatmeal and soup, and get cosy with a mug of apple cinnamon tea every night. Everyday I check the ten-day weather forecast, hoping that there will be a sudden drop in temperatures in my future, but so far, I’ve had no luck.

For now, while the temperature is still 89 degrees, I have to settle for cold lunches. It’s either that or risk heat stroke trying to whip up something fall-ish. But luckily for me, this salad doesn’t taste like “settling”. A base of farro and chickpeas provides protein and fiber to keep you satisfied all afternoon. Mixed greens bump up the health factor even more, and the last of the summer’s blueberries add a bright sweetness. When the goat cheese mixes with the balsamic vinegar, it creates a delicious, creamy sauce. I love this salad so much I’ve had it for lunch three times this week already.

To those of you still longing for fall, I completely understand your pain. Eat this salad, and you’ll feel better, at least for a few hours. Even those of you lucky enough to be wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fire right now can enjoy this lunch. And send a little fall breeze down to Texas, will you?

xoxo

Claire

Blueberry Balsamic Farro Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 Serving

This delicious salad is nutritious and a snap to prepare. Farro and chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber, and blueberries and mixed greens add antioxidants for a satisfying meal. Goat cheese and balsamic vinegar create another dimension of flavor. Who said lunch can't be healthy and taste great?

Ingredients

  • ½ c cooked farro
  • ½ c chickpeas
  • 1 handful mixed greens, sliced into ribbons
  • ¼ c blueberries
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the farro, chickpeas, sliced mixed greens, and blueberries in a bowl.
  2. Crumble the goat cheese over the top.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and season with a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Enjoy immediately!
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Pinspiration

Do you ever have those weeks when you just feel kind of meh? When I’m stuck in a slump, I like to take a little pause to recharge and prepare myself to tackle the rest of my week. One of my favorite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. There is nothing like finding a quote that speaks to you and whatever troubles you may be facing.

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image via Pinterest

I really love this quote I found the other day. The idea that you can control your destiny is so powerful. I think this quote is especially relevant to women today. We don’t need to wait for a hero to swoop in and save us, we can become our own hero and take care of ourselves!

What has been leaving you feeling inspired lately? Have you ever had an experience when you became your own hero?

xoxo

Claire