Vegan Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread and pumpkin bread symbolize FALL like no other. Since I posted about my favorite pumpkin bread a couple years ago, I thought I should investigate zucchini breads. I fell upon this NYTimes Vegan recipe, and since my husband is not currently eating dairy, I thought it was a great one to try. And I love the outcome — so definitely recommend!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup organic light brown sugar
  • cup unsweetened oat milk
  • ½ cup vegetable  oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ¼teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from 2 medium zucchini), squeezed in a towel to remove excess moisture
  • 2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

 

Directions:

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar, oat milk, oil, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.

Grate!

Add the zucchini and stir to combine well.

Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda to the bowl and fold until just combined.  And of course, add the chocolate chips!

Pour the batter into the loaf pan (that has spray on it for no stick).

Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top.

Different view.

Bake until golden and puffed and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 65 minutes (at 350 degrees).

The perfect bite.

 

Delicious, VEGAN, and easy! Win win for everyone!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Athletic Greens

I have heard a lot of wonderful things about Athletic Greens through friends, podcasts, and articles, but I have never tried it until recently. It is my attempt to get more vitamins and nutrients in my body, and not just carbs carbs carbs which is what my body craves most. I have yet to figure out if it is doing anything magical and amazing to my body, but I must say that I enjoy the extra hydration and the feeling that I am TRYING to do something magical and good.

 

What is it? Athletic Greens is a powder with 75 vitamins, minerals, and whole-food sourced nutrients in one convenient daily serving. One Scoop, 8 ounces of water. It’s all you really need, really. You drink it with cold water, and voila, your body is all good.

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Good Eats

Through a friend, I was introduced to Good Eats, a program that feeds elementary school children, every weekend. Sadly, all over our country, there are children that eat all their meals at school through government subsidized programs. As a result, over the weekend when they are not in school, they do not eat. Good Eats comes in to schools where there is a need and gives students a package of food to put in their backpacks for the weekend. Often times these kids do not have can openers or fridges that work — so the food has to be nonperishable and have a shelf life. Yes, the goal is to change the world through KALE (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE KALE), but the reality, is that the food needs to be accessible and easy for the kids to eat. Basic hunger.

 

A distributor that is partnered with Good Eats, delivers the food to the school once a month. We were supposed to meet him at 830. He did not show up until past noon…..but grateful even more so.

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Shadow Box

From the age of six months old, Tusia wore amber necklaces around her neck at all times. As time went on, she never took them off and instead added more to her pile. FOR TEN YEARS, she wore 3 amber necklaces and only took them off once (for a ballet recital when she was in Kindergarten). They were a part of her body, her vibe, her look. And yet, this summer, she told me she no longer wanted to wear them. It broke my heart and I told her she had to…..(to which I was told that I was not “pro choice” if I controlled some one else’s body….) so I realized that it was in fact her choice, and I could no longer control her necklace situation. Because they were such a huge part of her life (and mine), I decided to put them in a shadow box, frame them like art, so that we could always have them to look at.

 

Tusia this summer with her necklaces.

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Grace Street – Shaved Ice

I LOVE SHAVED ICE — not the snow cone with sugar syrup, but the Asian Shaved Ice with condensed milk and so much flavor and taste. It is my favorite thing in the world — so much that when I was in Undergrad, I would drive with all my friends to a place in LA and get Taiwanese Shaved Ice in the middle of the night — I have so many fond memories of that place (wish I could remember the name!) and all the times I had shaved ice with tapioca balls, red beans, mango and shaved ice with condensed milk. So, fast forward to this summer, when I was in Seattle with my family, we went to an incredible Shaved Ice place, Snowy Village (go if you are in Seattle!) and I fell head over in heels. I tasted my college experience!

 

Seattle shaved ice — Snowy Village. SO good and tasty, loved every single bite.

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Date Better Snacks

I am constantly hungry and simultaneously, always on the lookout for the best snacks — yes, I can always grab fresh veggies and fruit, but sometimes I want something sweet — just a nibble. So when I came across Date Better Snacks, I knew it was the perfect snack for me. And sure enough — they are SO good, SO delicious, and just the amount of sweet.

 

Date Better Snacks are actually what they sound like — dates! Medjools dates are full of fiber, potassium, B-family vitamins, magnesium and calcium! And are the perfect texture.

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Mister Dips

If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.

 

We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!

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Homemade Granola

I am a granola snob and nothing makes me happier than eating delicious and great granola. I have yet to find a homemade granola recipe I love — until now. And now I am obsessed. This granola is not overly sweet, delicious and has the perfect mixture of nutty, sweet, and grains. The beauty of it is that you can add whatever you want to customize it to how you love granola!

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

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Currently Loving August 2022 Part 2

It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.

 

1. Good Quote

 

Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.

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Natori Summer Blues

Every summer, we go to our dear friends’ home in Sonoma to celebrate a weekend with many of our Stanford Business School friends. It has happened the past 8 summers and is always one of the best weekends of the year. We lounge, hike, eat, indulge, rollerskate, and laugh. OOOHHHH we laugh and it is so fun. It is also our second time we have picked a theme of an evening — in 2019 we did Sunset Hues.

 

Sunset Hues. That was our guideline — and everyone could dress how they wanted to.

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Any Bag

My absolute favorite section of the newspaper is the NYTimes Sunday Styles — truth be told, I think it is EVERYONE’S favorite section…A couple weeks ago, I read about Any bags — and loved every part of it. And the NYTimes is correct — this bag isn’t just ANY bag, it is fun, functional, original, and made from recycled material.

 

Any bag is a play on words — the ubiquity of plastic bags and an ode to the hometown of the creator.

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BeReal

I spent the past week with my teenage nephew and niece, and not only do I love the time together because I adore them, but I also love that they introduce me to what is hip / new / relevant in their life. Currently, what is hot in their social circle for social media is not instagram or tiktok, but rather BeReal (and Snapchat). I had never heard of BeReal so it was fascinating to learn more about it.

BeReal sends you a notification at different times each day and asks you to photograph in front and back of you in the 2 minute time limit. There is no way to track the number of friends you have and there are no “likes.”

 

BeReal is a French social media app that was released in 2020. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it eventually gained popularity rapidly in mid-2022. More specifically, BeReal is a photo-sharing app that allows users to post one photo per day in real time.

An example of my BeReal. I was sitting at the pool with the kids — and it took a shot of what is in front and what I looked like.

You can look at both as the main photograph.

 

Currently, I have two friends (one is the sister of my ex boyfriend who is married to Amy Schumer, and one is my niece — my nephew does not want to be friends with me on this app….). So it is obviously not yet popular with my age group….

 

Another example….And it is important to note that you can only see other people’s daily BeReals if you post one that day yourself, and previous ones disappear from the feed.

And another.

 

Who knows if it will take off as a huge mainstream social media app, but I appreciate the authenticity and realness, and how it is different and unique…..To read more about BeReal, go here and here and here.

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Killer Burger

The friend who told me about Dave’s Hot Chicken, also told me about Killer Burger. A very different type of cuisine than I normally eat, but a huge hit for everyone in the family (including myself). Currently, Killer Burger is a Pacific Northwest Chain, but hopefully in the near future, it will become more mainstream and located nationally. If you happen to be in the PNW, you must try Killer Burger — home of the PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON BURGER. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON. And I have to tell you — it is SO good. So good.

 

Killer Burger with the family.

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Ice Cream Cake

Apparently I am on a dessert kick because all my recent posts have been about dessert — apologies — but this one NEEDS to be shared (again). I posted this recipe seven years ago (yes, I have been doing this blog for a looooong time) and it is so good that I need to remind you about it. Ice Cream Cake made with Ice Cream Sandwiches! I learned this genius recipe hack from my sister-from-another-mister.

 

Finished product! Look how gorgeous — and they are even more delicious.

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Homemade Baklava

I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).

 

I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.

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Provence 2022 Highlights

After Spain, we traveled to Provence where we spent two HOT but glorious weeks. We just returned this past weekend to the States and I am already missing Europe so much. It was a wonderful trip and I am already planning next year’s summers’ adventures. We didn’t do much, but it was all simple and easy, and I loved it all. Here is a look at what we did.

 

The view from my window. We were located in the village and had access to everything right there. We could go to the gelato store in 1 minute and 30 seconds, and same with the bakery. Which of course, what we did twice a day….

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Currently Loving July 2022 Part 2

OH MY GOODNESS STOP SUMMER, STOP! It is going too fast and *GULP* it is almost the end of July! Here is what I am loving.

 

1. Never Have I Ever

 

So yes, the past month I have been with my 75+ parents and my 10 year old daughter, so it is not a shocker that I have been mainly watching teenager shows, but I am OBSESSED with ‘Never Have I Ever.” I love the characters, so charming, cute, loveable. Paxton — I love you.

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Three Favorite Tees

Simple tees are like jeans — so hard to find, great value, and essential for every and all wardrobes. Here are my three favorite tees!

 

1. Cotton Citizen Tokyo Crop

 

Yes, just basic white tee, but I saw this immediately on one of my most stylsih friends and I knew it was special. It looks SO good on. Relaxed, cropped, and the best cotton. A must. Hurry and buy because it is so popular that it sells out immediately when restocked.

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Spain 2022 Highlights

I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:

 

Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.

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Currently Loving July 2022

There is a lot to love in July — summer, sunshine, no school, and a shift in seasons; but here are some other things that I am loving this month.

 

1. Gazpacho

There is nothing I love more than gazpacho — it is my all time favorite soup — and I craved it when I was pregnant with Cruzzie the entire pregnancy. So now that I am in Spain, on the few times we have gone out, I have ordered gazpacho — and it has always tasted delicious. I love tasting the different restaurants and styles — all absolutely delicious, healthy, and refreshing.

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Chloe Straw Hat

One of my most stylish friends periodically sends me texts with clothes she thinks I would love (she is always right AND these are the best types of texts to get!). This Spring, she sent me the outfit with a sweatshirt she thought I needed(I did), but I was most interested in her straw bucket hat. Of course, she sent me the information and I immediately purchased it. It is expensive, but I always think cost per wear (if you wear it everyday, you divide the item cost per day), and it turns out to be a steal of a deal! The Chloe x Mifuko straw hat!

 

It is not a hat that looks stylish — but it protects every part of your face from the sun.

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Trader Joe’s Almond Butter Almonds

Who knew that there was such thing as Almond Butter Almonds or Cashew Butter Cashews, but they exist. And they are amazing — and you need to know about them. They are the perfect blend of sweet and filling, and count as a protein snack or a dessert. I love them both so much that before my European vacation, I had to go to Trader Joe’s to load up on them. They are perfect to have in a bag when you just need something to hate (which is always for me).

 

Sweet, salty, crunchy, and the best coated smooth cashew butter ever.

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