Fab Five Friday 8/12/16

Happy Friday!

Can you believe it’s already the weekend? I can’t! I also can’t believe it’s already August and that I’m leaving for my first year of college in a few short weeks (!!!). Where has the summer gone?

This week, I went home for a few days after being “up north” for the entire summer. Now I’m back up north though. I guess I couldn’t stay away. 😉 While I was home, I finished a great TV series, went out to breakfast, and did a yoga class for possibly the first time all summer (oops). What were the highlights of your week?

1. VEGAN GRILLED CHEESE

IMG_3220If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you missed my mini freak-out yesterday over having a vegan grilled cheese for the first time EVER. It was also the first grilled cheese I’ve had in like 5 years. It was super creamy and good. 

I put a few handfuls of  vegan mozzarella cheese shreds between two slices of fresh sourdough bread (from a local bakery) and cooked it on a panini maker for a few minutes. Then I added in some greens and a sliced tomato I picked (from the hydroponic tomato greenhouse where I work). Finally, I snapped a picture or five for Instagram and devoured my sandwich of cheesy goodness. 

2. The Vegan Calculator 

This site calculates how many animal lives you’ve saved by being vegan. It determines everything based on the number of months/ years you’ve been vegan. I’m not sure how accurate this calculator is, but it does show that one person makes a difference in conserving the word.

Here are my statistics:

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3. Going out to breakfast, specifically at Bartertown Diner

I went out to breakfast this morning to a local diner with vegan friends (Hi Savy and Emily!!). I ordered the ultimate hash- it came with a mixture of potatoes, veggies, and Nutcase Vegan Meat chorizo covered by a sunny sauce and a side of toast and homemade jam. NOM.

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Do you ever go out to breakfast? Do you have a favorite breakfast food? I love waffles. And french toast. And smoothies. Really, I’m not picky as long as the food is vegan (which is a bit of an oxymoron).

4. Gilmore Girls

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image via Collider.com 

I finally finished all seven seasons of the hit TV series “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. I started the series last August and finished it a few days ago. I really like it. The plot was a bit unrealistic at times, but that’s okay because it’s funny, lighthearted, and the relationships in it between the different characters are realistic. The series f0llows single mom Lorelai Gilmore and her teenage daughter Rory as Rory grows up in the fictional town of Stars Hollow. I recommend “Gilmore Girls” if you need a new series to watch- just beware of the time commitment! There are 7 seasons, each with 22 forty-five minute long episodes. Now is the time to watch it though as the four episode series wrap-up is coming out November 25 on Netflix.

I need a NEW series to watch now that I’m done with this one!! Any suggestions? 

5. The Summer Olympics

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image via Wikipedia.org

How could this once-every-four-years competition NOT make my list!? I love watching the Olympics, especially the gymnastics and the beach volleyball. It’s amazing to watch how strong some people are!!

So that’s it, folks! Have a fun weekend and make sure to watch the Olympics since another one won’t come around for two more years. I’ll talk to you all soon. 🙂

xx Ellie

 

Super Six Sunday 5/29/16

Super Six Sunday… since it’s not Friday so I can’t really do a “Fab Five Friday.” This way you get a BONUS thing! 

What’s up people!?!??! It’s been a bit. But guess what!? I JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL ON THURSDAY (3 days ago)! Wahooooo! My last day was Tuesday, then Wednesday was the senior breakfast, then Thursday night was the graduation ceremony. I’ve been pretty silent because I’ve been finishing up school. I’ve also been busy with high school varsity tennis since we’re getting ready to play in the state tournament this coming weekend!

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I’m back now with lots of time on my hands to work on the bloggy! Here are my plans for the blog for this summer:

  • to move my blog from http://www.peanutbutterandle.wordpress.com to a self-hosted site, hopefully http://www.peanutbutterandellie.com! A self-hosted site would make it easier for people to find my blog. It’d make it so anyone could comment on my blog, without needing a WordPress account first like they do now. Lastly, a self-hosted site would allow me to monetize my blog through ads.
  • to post an original recipe AT LEAST once a week.
  • to post once or twice a week at least. I’ll hopefully post one recipe on Monday or Tuesday, then a “Fab Five Friday” or a list of some sort on Friday.
  • to continue to improve my photography skills
  • to become better at the techy aspects of blogging, such as coding and using photo-editing software.

So those are my goals! Get ready for Peanut Butter & Ellie 2.0! 

Below are other things that I’m excited about or that I’ve been loving this past month. Enjoyyyy and let me know what your favorite things are this month!

  1. Graduating high school

You knew this was going to be my #1 as soon as I said I graduated. I can’t believe that I’m a high school graduate. I knew I would be one someday… I just can’t believe that “someday” is NOW! Time flew. I must have been having fun. 😉

The actual graduation ceremony was nice- below are some pictures from it. I actually spoke a little bit at graduation which was pretty cool! After graduation, the seniors were shipped off to a “secret location,” which turned out to be a summer camp, for a full night of good clean partying. We ate good food such as fruit and snow cones, we went rock climbing, we sang karaoke, we ran around, and we watched a hypnotist (which was way cooler and funnier than I expected). The party went from 9 pm until 5:30 AM, after a sunrise breakfast (with nothing I could eat 😦 ). It was a fun party, and a good way to end the school year. I was pooped when it was over, though.

I’m so thankful for my GOOD high school experience. I got lucky. Sure, there are things I wish I’d done differently, but all in all it was a memorable and rewarding four years. I’m especially thankful for the high school tennis team and the veggie club I started my junior year. I’ve connected with a lot of cool people in “real” life as well as online through my blog, and I wish I’d connected with even MORE people! I guess that’s what college is for! By the way, I am lucky enough to be able to attend university this coming fall! I will be attending Michigan State University… and I am INCREDIBLY PUMPED! I have a sweet roommate, we know where we’re living, I have dorm room bedding… it’s going to be great!

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2. This cute “vegan” baseball tee from BEET X BEET

All I can say is that it is so cute and that I love the message it spreads! I am going to get one.

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3. These Donuts

…which are coming to the blog on Thursday for the monthly “Peanut Butter Bash!” I haven’t done this virtual peanut butter party in a while, but I was able to bake something for it this month since I now have some time on my hands! The theme is peanut butter and yogurt. Get ready for my sweet creation!

4. Graduation Parties… and grad party food.

My weekends have been filled with my fellow classmates’ graduation parties. It’s fun to see people outside of school to catch up, and the parties typically have great food! Yesterday I went to Erin and Savy’s party, two of my friends from school who are VEGAN! Erin went vegan about a week ago and I’m so proud of her! Their party was full of FABULOUS vegan food catered by my favorite restaurant EVER, Marie Catrib’s. I feasted on lentils and rice, a chili-lime quinoa + black bean salad, special seasoned potatoes, vegan jalepeño mac n’ cheese, and fruit. Best grad party food I’ve had so far. I also went to another friend’s party last night that had vegan chocolate cake! YAY for more people becoming vegan in my town and therefore more vegan options!

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5. The Great British Bake Off (British show on Netflix)

I just started watching this a few days ago, and even though I’m only a couple episodes in… I love it! Twelve home bakers compete to be the next “great” British baker. They have three baking challenges to complete each week, and each week someone is eliminated. It’s sort of like Cupcake Wars except you get to know each competitor better since they are on week after week instead of on just one episode, and the judges are more helpful and personable on “Bakeoff.” Each episode is an hour long, so get your popcorn ready!

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6.  Peanut butter oat banana cookies from my friend at Life Diet Health

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Laurena’s were more like little muffins, but I made them into cookies so they were more portable. 😉 There are only three ingredients in them so they’re super easy to make! And they’re yummy! And healthy. Basically, there’s no excuse not to make them! They have three of my favorite foods in them: oats, banana, and peanut butter. 😍 I also topped them with a chocolate drizzle because why not? The drizzle was a 1/4 cup of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips and a splash of almond milk microwaved for 30 seconds and then stirred together.

Recipe (since the original is in grams and idk the equivalent to those in cups even after looking them up online!):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (or another nut butter)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oats

Mix the banana. Add in the peanut butter (or another nut butter) and mix. Add in the oats and mix. Shape them into little balls and flatten them out a little bit. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Makes 9 little balls of yum.

**If you want a more chocolatey version of these, look at my three ingredient chewy chocolate cookie recipe from last year HERE. It’s very similar to this recipe.

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So now that you know what’s up with me, I want to know what’s up with YOU! Leave me a comment and let me know how the month of May has been for you.

Talk soon!

xx Ellie

Fab 5 Friday – VegFest Edition

Happy Friday! It’s time for a Fab 5 Friday!

This week’s post is allllllllllll about food. I tried a lot of yummy food at Grand Rapids VegFest a couple of weekends ago. I liked a lot of it, so I’m sharing it with you on my blog!

1. GRAND RAPIDS VEGFEST

I liked VegFest because I found out about so many new vegan foods and I got so many free samples! Read THIS POST by my Grand Rapids blogger friend Katherine if you want to know more about GR VegFest. Don’t worry if you missed it because there will be another one next year that will probably be even bigger and better!

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Food samples, stickers, magazines, and soap were some of the free goodies I picked up at VegFest!

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the Shimmy Shack food truck at VegFest. I waited in line for 45 minutes for a $6 milkshake that was WAY too liquid-y. I wasn’t much of a fan of it, but at least it cured my chocolate craving!

2. ECOTREK PROTEIN BARS = Love at first bite!

photo from mediumroast.net

I discovered EcoTrek protein bars at VegFest, and I tried the dark chocolate coconut flavor for the first time yesterday. It didn’t taste much like coconut… but I could definitely taste the chocolate in it since the bar has cocoa powder in it and it’s coated in a chocolate shell. The chocolate melts in your mouth when you take a bite (YES), but each bite takes a while to chew because it has that chalky “protein bar texture.” I’m okay with the chalkiness of the bar because it tastes good AND it has 6 servings of fruits and veggies and 10 GRAMS OF PROTEIN per bar. You read that right. 10 grams for 195 CALORIES! It’s a decent-sized bar, too – about the same size as a KIND bar.

The bars are vegan, gluten-free, and they contain antioxidants and superfoods in them like beet juice, spirulina, açai, aloe vera, and hemp powder THAT YOU CAN’T EVEN TASTE. So don’t worry about the bar tasting like aloe — it only tastes like chocolate! It’s as satisfying as chocolate bar but much healthier with less sugar, less calories, and more protein.*

*Based on this mini review, I feel like I could advertise for EcoTrek. Keep that in mind if you’re reading this, EcoTrek company! Haha.

3. Apple Pie Larabars

I’m definitely into granola bars right now. I just started play practice for the fall play at my school, so granola bars make a great pre-practice snack! By the way, the play is “The Diary of Anne Frank.” SUCH a good show. I’m Margot Frank.

Back to the bar: it tastes like apple pie. Sweet, doughy, and caramel-y… but the only ingredients are apples, nuts, raisins, dates, and cinnamon! I love Lärabars, and I’m so happy that we got a lot of free samples of them at VegFest. They might be my favorite type of granola bars taste-wise! EcoTrek are my favorite nutrition-wise though because they have 6-7 grams more protein per serving than Lärabars.

Somewhat related question: Are you an actor / actress? If so, what’s your favorite show you’ve been in?

4. SUNBUTTER

My best friend‘s mom introduced me to Sunbutter. I LOVE IT. I’m almost done with a jar of it — and I only opened it last week! Keep in mind I’m the only one that’s been eating it. It’s great on apples, bananas, on carrots, and by the spoonful!

Don’t worry peanut butter – I’ll always love you, I just wanted a little change!

5. THE REDHEADS HUMMUS

Redheads** has a store right by my cottage, so my family buys their products a lot. They had a booth at VegFest where we got to try their delicious hummus! I like their pesto hummus and their garlic hummus.

**I also love their baked goods. In fact, I made my own version of their peanut butter carrot muffins! Check out my recipe HERE!

image from redheadsinc.com

I am so glad my town finally got a VegFest! 
Do you have a VegFest where you live? 

Have a wonderful weekend!

xx Ellie

Fab 5 Friday 6/5/15

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adorable picture from the internet

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “Fab Five Friday,” so I figured it was high time to do one!

This week was the last week of school! This means that now I’m “top of the food chain” because the seniors graduated, and I will be a senior in 3 months. I’ll be applying for universities in 3 months! Ahhh!

Also, my high school tennis season is over. States were this past weekend (which is why I’ve been M.I.A.!), and we did okay. I had fun though, and at the end of the day that’s more important than winning! We’ll do better next year, hopefully! Speaking of exercise…

1. I loved this very truthful article by one of my favorite fitness gurus, Rebecca-Louise.

She writes about how being healthy is better than being skinny! I agree! It’s better and healthier to have muscle and be strong than to be stick thin. This article is a good reminder of that, and it doesn’t take long to read.

2. I also love Rebecca-Louise’s website!

She has TONS of great workout videos. She even has a calendar showing what videos to do each day to tone your entire body! I just love her workout videos, especially her ab workout videos! Check out her site if you love working out like I do!

Here’s one of her “beginner abs” videos — try it out if you’d like!

3. Throne of Glass, a novel by Sarah J. Mass

I love to read fiction novels in my free time! Do you? If you do, I just read a book that I think you’d like. I couldn’t put it down! Throne of Glass is a fantasy novel about an assassin named Celaena Sardothien, who lives in the land of Adarlan. She was caught for assassination and was working as a slave in a salt mine when the Crown Prince of the kingdom gives her a chance to compete in a contest with 21 other assassins, burglars, and soldiers. If she wins, she becomes the King of Adarlan’s “champion” — she’d be paid to do the king’s “dirty work”, and she’d be freed after four years have passed. The book details her time at the competition, and the evil inside the castle. The book is a bit like The Hunger Games because it details an action-packed competition, but it has elements of fantasy and romance in it as well. It’s my kind of book = action and adventure with a little bit of romance! I can’t wait to read the sequel!

4. AquafabA “Marshmallow Fluff”

It’s MAGIC. Drain chickpeas but keep the liquid from them. Put ½ cup of the chickpea liquid in a mixer and add ½ cup sugar and some vanilla. Whip it for 11-12 minutes, until it whips up and looks like marshmallow fluff!!! More in-depth descriptions of how to make aquafaba marshmallow fluff can be found HERE and HERE. There’s also an aquafaba Facebook page with ideas of how to use aquafaba! Aquafaba is taking the vegan world by storm.

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a picture of aquafaba marshmallow fluff from my Instagram @peanutbutterandle

5. How To: Live A Waste Free Lifestyle 

Click the link above, watch the video, and you will be amazed! Lauren Singer reduces, reuses, and recycles EVERYTHING. All of her trash from the past 3 years fits into 1 mason jar (!!!). This summer I am going to try living a more sustainable lifestyle. Being vegan definitely helps the Earth, but going waste-free helps it even more! Please, watch her video because it covers an important topic that we ALL need to address. We ALL need to make less waste, and Lauren gives some great ideas of how to!

Happy SUMMER! I’m super pumped!!! (if you can’t tell by all the capital letters and exclamation marks). To celebrate the end of the school year, tonight I’m having everyone from the Veggie Club at our school over for an outdoor potluck! I can’t wait!

Do you have any fun “beginning of the summer” plans? Is it summer for you yet? If it’s not, I’m sending you some sunshine!

xx Ellie

Fab 5 Friday 3/13/14

Happy Friday and happy almost-spring! The snow is finally starting to melt this week and the birds are starting to sing. The days are longer and it gets dark later (thanks to that annoying-when-it-happens-but-nice-now daylight savings!). The start of spring makes me happy, since it means flowers blooming, leaves budding, warmer weather, and spring sports! Tennis tryouts started this week, so I haven’t posted because I have been busy with them. I don’t like tryouts because they’re super nerve-wracking and stressful, but they’re almost over. This means that I get to start practicing with my lovely varsity teammates soon!

Today as a team, we went to the local tennis courts and shoveled the snow off the steps near them and off the edges of the courts. We couldn’t shovel the actual courts (it would damage them), so we did what we could to make the snow melt faster so we can play tennis outside on Monday! Afterwards, a few of us went to the local ice cream parlor, where they now carry 2 flavors of VEGAN ICE CREAM! Yay!

1. This vegan ice cream was yummy, so it for sure goes on the Fab 5 Friday list!

I got chocolate (of course), but they also had strawberry. I’m so excited that veganism has become more “mainstream” in the past few years! It means that more stores are carrying vegan products, like the ice cream parlor near my house carrying vegan ice cream!

Give me ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!!

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picture from my Instagram. Check it out if you want to see more yummy pictures of chocolate!

2. …And ALL THE DONUTS!

drool-worthy picture from food52.com

Another great dessert related thing I stumbled across on the inter web is this article all about donuts! Curious about their history and how they got their name? Want to know the various types of donuts and what they’re called? Look no further! The article also tells you how to make basic donuts. So fun!

3.  This PUNNY FOOD MAP of the USA

I’m on a food kick. Check out the above link for funny punny pictures of states made from foods that sound like the state! Super cool!

4. EXTRA crispy tofu

Put tofu in a waffle maker… and voila! Crispy, crunchy, bite-sized tofu! GENIUS!

5. What Different Tips Look Like When You Frost Cupcakes

This is helpful information to a cupcake lover like me! Now I know what cupcakes will look like when frosted with a certain type of frosting tip.

I hope you enjoyed this FOODIE Fab 5 Friday! Have a fun weekend! Does anyone have any exciting plans? Is anyone else a tennis player?

xx Ellie

EXCITING Fab 5 Friday

Hey everyone! I can’t believe that it is already March and that it’s already Friday! Hooray for the weekend!

This week has been great, even though I had to take the ACT on Tuesday and some other tests at school. Why so great, you may ask? Becaaaauuuuse….

1. VEGGIE CLUB

I started a club at my high school this week: VEGGIE CLUB! We’re going to meet every Thursday after school in one of the teacher’s rooms. In veggie club, members will learn that plant-based eating can be fun and delicious. The club is for anyone who likes food, especially plants! We’ll share food and recipes, we’ll have potlucks, we’ll go on restaurant outings, and we’ll learn more about healthy and plant-based eating. It’s going to be so much fun and I’m so excited!

The first meeting was yesterday and over 30 people showed up!!! It’s so exciting to see that so many people are interested in healthy eating. I made signs and posted on both Facebook and Instagram to let people know about the club. I also made chocolate cupcakes for the first meeting. They were devoured! I’m just so excited (can you tell?) that I get to help spread healthy eating with this club!
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Here is one of the posters I made and hung up around the school! 

2. Chloe Coscarelli (and her fabulous cupcakes)

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On Wednesday evening, I posted the above picture of the cupcakes I made for veggie club on Instagram and tagged @chefchloe (Chloe Coscarelli = a.k.a. my role model and one of my favorite vegans ever) and guess what!? She FOLLOWED me on Instagram and reposted the picture!!! I’m not kidding when I tell you that I screamed when I found out.

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Nature’s Path Organic also shared one of my Instagram photos which was super awesome! I love Nature’s Path granola!

3. This list of 16 ways to elevate your pb&j from Buzzfeed is great!

I shared it in my peanut butter and jelly french toast post, but it’s so awesome that I wanted to share it with you again. Number 16 makes me laugh. Hopefully the list gives you some fun ideas, or at least makes you smile!

4. These vegan chocolate peanut butter breakfast bars are full of protein and two of my favorite things (chocolate and peanut butter).

They look scrumptious and are definitely going onto my ever-increasing “to make” list!

5. YOUTUBE workout videos

I’m really into doing Youtube workout videos right now. It’s nice to have a personal trainer of sorts (virtually) by your side. They are good encouragement. I am especially loving this workout video (below) from The Balanced Blonde (Jordan Younger). It’s a great 10 minute workout that makes me sweat! It’s nice to have on days when I don’t have time to work out for very long. Another great Youtube workout video is this Blogilates video called — wait for it — “The Bold & the Bootiful.” It is difficult, but it definitely sculpts your booty (lol). My favorite workout channel on Youtube right now is X HIT Daily. They have great ab workout videos. I’m thinking about starting my own fitness section for the blog and making Youtube videos for it. Thoughts?

Question for you: What clubs are/ were you in when you are/ were in high school? Have you ever started a club? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a fun weekend!

xx Ellie

Fab 5 Friday 2/13/15

Happy Friday and happy Valentine’s day! I can’t believe that it’s already February 13!

I love holidays. I love how spirited people get. I love the different fun traditions that go along with each holiday! I always loved Valentine’s Day in elementary school because it meant shortened class so that we could have a classroom party! It also meant decorating a box for valentines, making valentines for friends and classmates, spreading love, and eating lots of candy! I wish we still did this in High School! It was a great way to get to know other kids better. It also meant candy, which almost every kid loves. Just because I don’t have a Valentine’s Day party or pass out valentines anymore doesn’t mean I can’t spread the love in other ways, though! So, my plea to you is to make every day more like Valentine’s Day! Spread the love and spirit of Valentine’s Day every day!

1. Valentine’s Day 

…because it’s nice to devote a day to love!

2. Ideas for Valentines

We don’t have boxes to deposit valentines into like we did in elementary school. But this doesn’t mean we can’t pass out valentines! Check out these cute valentine ideas from Fork and Beans! Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 8.47.29 AMLOOK AT THESE adorable valentines from ForkandBeans.com! Pretzels with their tops dipped in chocolate to create a match! So sweet! This picture is from Cara’s Instagram account! @forkandbeans

3. These vegetable flower bouquets 

Skip-buying-roses-and-give-these-veggie-bouquets-to-your-sweetie.--683x1024Just look at them! Such a fun and spring-y idea! I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for spring and these pots are a great reminder that spring is coming soon! The recipe for these cute flowers is also from Cara at forkandbeans.com

4. Visiting Cornell University next week! 

Next week, I don’t have school on Thursday or Friday (hooray for winter break!). I’ll be spending that time in Ithaca, New York to see Cornell! I am so excited. I can’t wait to check out Cornell, it’s #1 food science program, and the vegan scene in Ithaca! I’m going with my dad, and we’re going to check out the Moosewood restaurant (it has a lot of  award-winning vegetarian cookbooks)! I can’t wait! Let me know if you live nearby! I’d love to meet up with a blogger friend or find another great veg-friendly restaurant to try 🙂

5. These Chocolate-Covered Katie Recipes

I can’t wait to try out this Italian hot chocolate recipe and these chocolate chip cream cheese cookies! Your recipes are SPOT-ON this week, Katie! The cookies would taste yummy dipped in the hot chocolate too, I’m sure! I WANT THIS WARMING HOT CHOCOLATE ASAP!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Remember to spread the love!

xoxo Ellie