Highlights of the Week, New Layout


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Hi Bloggies, how has your weekend been?  Mine has involved spending way more time at my computer than I would have wished, but the results are worth it.  For those of you who still haven’t clicked off your Reader, I changed my blog layout!  I was really getting tired of the brown leaves and darker motif that I previously had, and I also felt like it was causing pages to load a bit slowly, and for the most part, I am really pleased with the new layout! Thanks to everyone who told me you dig the new layout!  I wanted something clean, crisp, and purple is the color of both royalty and the 7th and highest chakra is represented with purple, and my link rollover color is green for veggies, of course, so it ties in both the Yoga aspect and the Veggies Aspect.  Can you tell my brain works in mysterious ways?  haha!

I would like to have the purple cauli picture as a header graphic rather than on the side, but when I was trying to make it as a header, the side columns and purple fade were getting funky, and rather than continuing to try to “make it better” and in the process possibly making it wayyyy worse, I decided to quit while I was ahead.  You know what I mean when you think, Oh, I am just going to make this “one little change” which then causes a cascade of other glitches and drama and you spend 2 hours trying to fix that “one little change”.  That happened to me.  Twice. 

Also, my Intense Debate commenting system is being very unstable and keeps trying to revert to the Blogger Commenting system, which has happened to the French Press and Tazo Tea Give Away Post EntriesI have entries on two systems, but am going to merge them all so if you’ve entered and don’t see your entry visible, not to worry, I’ve got them all.  Not exactly ideal , and I am waiting for a tech lady look at it, so in the meantime, if you see random “Test Posts” you know what I’m up to.

Sorry to bore you with all that but it’s been what I’ve been doing this weekend.  Imagine how much “fun” I’ve been having…ha!

Moving On…
As I mentioned we’d be doing, on Saturday we had a Great Time with Big & Small Bunnies, and I’ll Get a Full Photo Spread of our Easter Egg Hunt and Bunny Fun up for tomorrow’s post.

Young girl standing next to Easter Bunny

To Skylar, this was The Easter Bunny.  The one and only.

White rabbit on grass

It was so windy & bright.  But fun!  More pics and some interesting thoughts on this all tomorrow!

Woman squatting with young girl sitting on her knee smiling

Time to Recap the Week’s Highlights in Food & Life. 

If you Missed Last Week’s Highlight Reel, and the attention it sparked after I posted about the Hazards of Bulk Bins

Rows of bulk food bins
Close up of Bulk food bins
Care for any dust and debris with your pinto beans?  A side of moth wings along with your granola?   Click Here To Read All About It.  Quite an Eye Opener

This Week on Monday I Had another Recipe Published!  Previously, I’ve had this recipe for my Vegan Gluten-Free Pancakes published and discussed it In This Post
Vegan Gluten-Free Pancakes with syrup, butter and blueberries
The Recipe is Here.

Thanks so much you guys, too, for the congratulations and well-wishes you extended to me on my latest feat!  It was my No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars and they’re on the Tropical Traditions Site
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

Side view of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

My No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars are Super Fast and Easy and many of you have written to me telling me you’ve made them, or a similar version, and I am glad to hear you’re getting your homemade bar groove on!  

No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar cut

And for those of you who aren’t big on Coconut Oil or don’t have it, you can make these bars without coconut oil:  No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars 

Square No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Overhead of No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bar
Click Here for The Recipe

The addition of the coconut oil makes them solidify and hold together just a little better which is great but if you don’t have a coconut oil, don’t let that stop you from making these!

Monday I gave you a New Recipe for Baked Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu 

Stacked Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu
Close up of Sesame Ginger Maple Tofu on foil lined pan
Tofu Diced & Mixed With Green Food
Tofu mixed with green salad and vegetables

And Thanks for all your great comments, tips, and suggestions for how you make your tofu.  I liked reading those suggestions & comments

And it was fun to hear who has Easter Memories, or Passover Memories, and what they were As I mentioned in the post, Easter was not about religion for me as a kid, it was about The Bunny and the Chocolate Eggs!  

Tuesday’s Post About Dairy & Dairy FAQ’s was Massive!  
I covered everything from Dairy Allergy/Intolerance to Calcium Info & Plant-Based Sources to Dairy Myths to Tons Of Dairy-Free Recipes (all my recipes are vegan so they are inherently dairy-free)I even gave you recipe alternatives for yogurt and cheese!

And Other Dairy-Free (Vegan) Recipes Such As 
Raw Vegan Cheesecake

Close up of Raw Vegan Cheesecake

One Pot Gluten Free Vegan Mac-N-Cheese


 Raw Cheddar Dipping Sauce for Veggies or as a Salad Dressing

Raw Cheddar Dipping Sauce in blender
Overhead of Raw Vegan Caramels

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies on dehydrator tray


Close up of Raw Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Close up of Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

The Dairy FAQ Post Was Chock Full of Info and pretty labor intensive for me, so I hope you all check it out if you haven’t already!  I appreciate everyone who chimed in letting me know it was helpful and that you learned a few things like Dairy is like Morphine, it really is addictive and you need to break the cycle, but once you do, you’re home free! 

Wednesday I had a Blogger Meetup

Young girl and woman sitting smilingWoman and young girl outside smiling

You told me about your drink-guzzling waysI’m glad to hear I’m not the only person who can down an ice-coffee in 27 seconds flat!  Sounds like you all are some turbo drinkers and ice coffee lovers, too!  

Empty plastic coffee cup

There was a Nut Butter Stash in the mail

Three jars of nut butters
 Jar of Butter Toffee Peanut  Butter

And Chocolate Goodies

Various chocolate goodies packaged on countertop

A Chocolate Inspirations Vegan Carmel

Packaged Vegan Caramel

It Reminds me of cross between my high Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups stacked on paper liner
Stacked Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups showing filling
….Because their caramel cup is coated in chocolate

….And also a cross between My Raw Vegan Caramels
Because of the chewy texture of my caramels

Overhead of Raw Vegan Caramels
Close up of Raw Vegan Caramels in white dish
Nut Butter Filled Caramel Bites

Green Food

Salad drizzled with yellow mustard
Dressed With Copious Amounts of Yellow Mustard 


Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing

Thursday I Announced Who Won the Lunchbox Set Give Away

Two lunch boxes and food containersClose up of containers
Click Here if You Missed the Winner Announcement….Maybe You Won!

I went grocery shopping and scored some Brussles after all the stores here being out of stock for almost 2 weeks!  The horrors, I tell you.

Bag of Brussel Sprouts

And found New Coffee

Kona Blend and Fudge Brownie coffees

 and On Friday Gave you The Verdict on the Fudge Brownie Coffee!

Fudge Brownie Coffee with grounds in filter

Maybe it’s comparable to my Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies?
Overhead of Vegan Chocolate Brownies in clear container
Or maybe more like more like my Vegan Fudge-10 Minute No-Bake Recipe?

Slice of Vegan Fudge

And on Friday I reminded you about the Smores Coffee that I’ve mentioned before

  S'mores Coffee with grounds in filter

Thursday I Ate Almond Butter Treats:
Both Store-bought Betty Lou’s Almond Butter Balls

Betty Lou's Almond Butter Balls

And my Raw Vegan Homemade Almond Butter Cookie Balls

Three Raw Vegan Homemade Almond Butter Cookie Balls in white dish

Reviewed a Blueberry Clif bar

Blueberry Clif bar

That Reminds me of a Cross Between My…
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars…  No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

…And My Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Homemade Granola, which I underbake so that it’s nice & chewy.   

 Close up of Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Homemade Granola
Stacked Vegan Gluten & Soy-Free Homemade Granola in container

I Ate Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Diced up Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in bowl
Close up of Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in dish
My Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate Is Super Fast to Make and in About 5 Minutes, you Can Munch on Chocolate til your Heart’s Content! 

And a few Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter Balls

Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter Balls

You can make These Balls with any kind of nutbutter: Sunflower, PB, Almond, Whatever Works.  

Close up of Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter Balls

Thursday there was a Big Announcement: I shared that I may be interested doing a figure competition!!!!

Yes, I’m talking those competitions where you spend insane amounts of time and energy sculpting your body and then prance around in a swimsuit being judged. Yes, those!   I know, pretty crazy but I have always wanted to do them.  I also alluded to it in This Post.  
The majority of you were cheering me on and supportive about this possible goal, and you also shared some of your goals with me.  Also, wanted to thank my friend Kimasia, a vegan competitor and mother, she’s been a rock of support and information and I cannot thank you enough, Kimasia!

I think Bikini Competitions are my speed.  But this would be a major commitment in terms of time and energy, and I need to really ponder what my intentions are, or even if I want to really get serious about this. 

I need to take this bikini body of mine

Woman on lounger on beach drinking a drink

And My Yoga Body
Woman doing yoga pose
To This kind of Bikini Body
Arnold Amateur Bikini Winners
Arnold Amateur Bikini Winners 2010.  I would definitely have to invest in a spray-tan membership package somewhere if I get serious….haha!  

In the meantime, it’s something to ponder and think about and thanks to everyone for the supportive feedback.  The comments section was full of encouraging words, and I took some extra time to reply to my comments in so if you missed those, Click HereAlso, I appreciate all the feedback from friends, even those who are not a fan of these competitions, and have taken it all in and am letting all your info “soak in” a bit. And if this is not your thing, you think it’s weird, or could never imagine doing it and wonder why anyone would embark on this, that’s fine, too.  Different strokes for different folks.

Friday I got a new Coobook

The Organic Season Cookbook

 Put it on the shelf next to some of my other cookbooks

Shelf full of cookbooks
Now if only I had as much time as I have books, I’d be all set!
Sideview of shelves full of books
For Other Cook Book Reviews, Click Here

Also got some New Yoga Clothes

Set of pink yoga pants and tank top
 Here’s our Bathroom Mirror At-Home Fashion Show
Woman and child in mirror wearing new yoga gear

And I asked you about Crediting and Linking Back Recipes for Hot Topic Friday!

Remember last Friday’s too-hot-to-handle post about Real Housewife of NY, Kelly, Posing in Playboy?   
  Playboy cover of magazine

This week I asked you What do you think is the proper way to give someone credit for a recipe?  Should someone even be credited for a recipe you use?  Or is any recipe on the internet “Fair Game” to use as your own with no need to link it or cite the original author?

What do you think about reprinting a recipe you find on the internet in entirety on your blog rather than simply linking back to the author’s blog?  Is that cyber-plagerism?  Should you just link back to the author’s site?  

Two Other Bloggers’ Posts that are Similar:
1. Matt the Health Blog Helper just did a very informative post on the matter, Click Here to check out his post on Cyber-Piracy

2. And Elena of Elena’s Pantry also, ironically, posted on Friday about feeling ripped off with her recipes.  Click Here for her thoughts on Who’s Recipes are They?

I also mentioned that I’ve noticed that blog readers sometimes “expect” a recipe to always be posted, too.  That readers are not just satisfied with a blog author saying, oh I made this or that chocolate dessert.  They expect a recipe to be provided.  What do you think?  I revealed my practical reasons why this isn’t always possible.

The overwhelming majority of you shared my sentiments about linking, crediting, and just being courteous and giving credit where credit is dueClick Here to read what everyone thought.

Today I wanted to show you these cool Snack Taxis

Snack Taxis
A Reusable alternative to plastic baggies?  Love That.  


You know I love my reusable water bottles
 Three reusable water bottles

 So these are another eco-friendly option for us

Close up of Snack Taxis

Here’s their pretty cloth napkin.  I’ve been doing cloth napkins for about 4 years but my napkins are not that pretty.  There were a bulk buy at Bed Bath and Beyond $6 bucks for a dozen and I have two dozen.  Imagine on that $12 bucks how much money and trees I’ve saved not using paper napkins and try really hard to not use many paper towels, either I also did cloth nappies with Skylar for about half her diaper-wearing time.

Flowered Cloth Napkin

All the Snack Taxis have a velcro strip and a waterproof type fabric

Inside red Snack TaxiInside Green Snack Taxi
Machine Washable and Eco-Friendly.  They don’t have as tight of a seal as a ziplock baggie does, so not for really juicy fruit but it will be awesome for most of our snacks!

Skylar told me to put the Newman’s Own Cookies that I reviewed in This Post…

Bag of Newmans Own CookiesBottom of cookie bag Double Chocolate Mint Chip

….In a Snack Taxi for her. 

Two cookies in handHand holding one cookie
Nice try, sweetie!  
Young girl giving the biggest smile

Both she and Scott report that these cookies are “excellent”.  Scott said that because of the mint and chocolate, there’s a little bit of a Girl Scout Thin Mint vibe going on I wouldn’t know because the gluten in these is a no-way for me!  

Close up of hand holding cookie

Good Thing I have my own Chocolate: My Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Diced up Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate in white dish

Yoga Today is also a new issue of Yoga Journal I’ve been a subscriber since 2000.  This magazine has been my rock through the ebbs and flows of life, both on an off the mat.

Cover og Yoga Journal

Yoga Cures that can Transform American Medicine?  Yes please, since the American Medical System clearly needs all the help it can get!

Article in Yoga Journal that says Yoga Cures

One of My Favorite Columns is the Master Class Section because it moves beyond Triangles and Warriors and into Asanas that challenge me a bit more.

Page in journal that says master classPage in journal with man doing yoga pose

Tip of the Day: My French Press and Tazo Tea Gift Set Give Away!!!!!

Tazo Products on countertop
Close up of three Taco Teas
Have You Entered Yet? 
Yes, I know I have Two Commenting Systems Going so if you’ve entered, I’ve got it and am keeping track of all the entries.
French Press 
You can Press Tea, also.  Not just coffee!
Thanks, Tazo
Two boxes of Tazo Teas
Click Here to Get Your Entries In!!!!!!

And Here’s a giveaway for a Homemade Quilt

1. Is the Weather Getting Warm where you’re at?  Have You Been Outside Enjoying It?It’s warming up here, but honestly, it’s not as hot here in Phoenix as I thought it would be this time of year.  And oh my gosh, it’s so windy and I have seasonal allergies like I’ve never had before in my life so that’s been snotty interesting.
This morning Scott and I went for a one-hour power walk with Skylar in her stroller and I have to say, it was awesome to just be out in the fresh air with my family!

Young girl in stroller smiling

What’s the best thing you’ve done so far this weekend or ate so far this weekend?

2. Feedback on my Layout is Welcome.  I hope you guys like it!  It’s not perfect and there are some glitches, but I am working on it, in all my spare time…haha!  I also have no tech background and have done 99% of my blog myself and for free.  It’s been lots of research, trial and error, plenty of sweaty palms and even more F-bombs dealing with the tech-stuff, but the side benefit to blogging has been learning more about computers and tech stuff.  Not that I want to know this stuff, but it’s “practical knowledge” in this day and age.   
Do you consider yourself tech-savvy?  Does your blog stuff freak you out?  Are you Clueless?  I am also amazed at so many of you who’s husband’s or boyfriends help you with your blog stuff.  If I asked Scott to even write a guest post, he’d look at me like I was nuts, let alone drop in some HTML code.  Heck, after 11 years he’s just learning where we keep the forks. 
Tell me about your tech smarts or some of the most helpful sites you’ve found for dealing with blog stuff or any great resources/tips you have!

Stay Tuned For Fun Weekend Pictures and Eats…

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.