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March 2020 Update – Finding an opportunity to reflect in difficult times

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This post will be a deviation from the normal content that I typically have here, but I hope you don't mind given the circumstances?

If you've followed any type of news recently, you know that we now find ourselves faced with a very serious global health crisis.

If you asked me a year ago, even a month ago, if this is how I would've imagined the year 2020 starting out, I would've looked at you like you had 8 heads and you were talking about a plot line from a new episode of The Walking Dead or a movie that I have yet to see.

No matter how you see this playing out or believe the media, our politicians, or any others are helping address (or not) the situation, it's clear that this is far from business as usual.

Raw-curious: Essential tools to start your raw food journey

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In part one of this series, I discuss the reasons why you might try a raw food diet. I'm not a dietician or medical professional, so please consult with your doctors before considerably changing your eating habits or starting any new diets. 

There is a lot to be said for having a really good set of knives. A good-quality 3-4" paring knife, a 8-10" chef's or Santoku knife, and a 10" serrated knife are three must-haves to get started no matter what you're cooking. When it comes to raw foods, though, there are a few other tools that can make meal prep an easier, more enjoyable process. You may even have a few of these gadgets in your home already.

Raw-curious: Why you should try a raw food diet

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Originally posted on fuchsia-revolver.org. I thought that this would be an excellent post to reflect on and update as we are approaching the start of yet another new year and new resolutions for healthier, cleaner eating. I'm not a dietician or medical professional, so please consult with your doctors before considerably changing your eating habits or starting any new diets. 

You may already know that, once upon a time, I had a marketing internship at a raw food company. In spite of some of the personalities that I encountered in my month-long journey, working there not only gave me some business experience at the time, a first-hand look at what it took to get a small business off the ground, but also opened my eyes to the world of raw, organic foods.

Raw food is not just uncooked food—it's a little more specific than that if you ask anyone that follows a raw food diet. Typically, any food kept under 104 degrees Fahrenheit is considered "raw". I have also heard that anything under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is considered "raw", too.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

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Vegetarian shepherds pie was a staple dinner for me all of those years that I was following a stricter ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Especially when I was in college, I could make this recipe on a weekend and have it several times as leftovers for dinner when I got home from school late during the week. It's easy to make, very satisfying and comforting to eat.

Quick Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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Have you ever had a craving for baked goods in the middle of the summer? Me too. The struggle is real, isn't it? And it always opens up this debate in my mind:

Option A. Give in and turn on the oven, making the whole house hot and uncomfortable in the process, even worse for Dave and I since we don't have central air.

Option B. Forget about it, and save the calories... or...

Option C. Forget the calories, and go get ice cream.

Recently, the idea came to my mind to use the toaster oven to make a quick batch of cookies. I wouldn't call it a brilliant idea since I should've thought of it much sooner.

Then again, I suppose my girlish figure is glad that I didn't. A successful batch of chocolate peanut butter cookies later, and I have now opened up a proverbial Pandora's box of small-batch cooking making that I probably should've left alone.

Since this was a small batch and I left the butter out overnight before cooking, I didn't bother with the mixer. I was super easy to make these cookies by hand in about 10 minutes or less. At the end of it, I had a plate of warm, fresh cookies, and only a few tools to clean up. Super win.

Menu Inspiration: Summer cocktail party

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Believe it or not, it's August. If you're gearing up for the long Labor Day weekend already or planning a casual end-of-summer party, here are some quick and easy entertaining ideas that will help you send the summer season off right.

Fresh, Mediterranean-inspired flavors highlight this menu, and for something sweet at the end that's still light: easy to make grilled peaches with honey-sweetened whipped cream. As a bonus, there's something for everyone: several recipes are vegetarian-friendly and could be made vegan with a few omissions or easy swaps.