Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

It’s that time of year again!

For the past few years I’ve done a “Highlights of” post and I’m not so sure that I don’t simply do it for myself. I find it enjoyable to skim over the past year and remember all that’s happened. One of my favorite things about having a blog.

That being said, I figure it’s also a chance for new readers to catch up and get to know the history of The Purple Carrot a little bit better. So here we go!

Highlights of 2011

  • Pretty much exactly a year ago, we officially moved to Kansas City (we were about 40 minutes north before), and have loved it ever since!
  • After dabbling in vegetarianism for awhile, we started eating a vegan diet. It’s been fun changing up recipes and learning how to make delicious baked goods and entrees, all dairy & meat free.

mini cinnamon rolls 6-1 vegan stuffing 2 pumpkin ice cream enchillada 3 brownie pumpkin pie 7 mashed sweet potoatoes 2

  • A materialistic highlight, I know, but we got iPhones and ever since, Instagram’ing has been a big part of my blogging life, ha!
  • Erik and I celebrated our 4th year wedding anniversary (my, how time flies!)

photo weekend 7 f760cc08220a11e1abb01231381b65e3_7 image_thumb[55]

  • After finding my real blogging niche, I changed the name of my then more fitness related blog, Lesley Lifting Life, to what it is today, The Purple Carrot.

Capture 33

Farm-Aid-Food-17_thumb1_thumb_thumb Farm Aid Music 7_thumb[1] Farm-Aid-Food-12_thumb1_thumb

  • Erik discovered his perfect pizza crust recipe and we’ve been eating well ever since, ha! (And we’ve progressed to an actual pizza oven, housed in our garage)

pizza 1 pizza Pizza 2_thumb[2]

  • The Purple Carrot got voted 2nd best food blog in The Pitch’s 2011 Best of KC Readers Choice Awards!

IMG_4064 (2)_thumb[2] IMG_4070 (2)_thumb[2]

There’s already some neat things in the works for 2012, and I’m excited and hopeful to see what this new year will bring.

It was a great year, and I just want to say THANK YOU for reading, and supporting The Purple Carrot and helping make it what it is today!!

What’s the highlight of 2011 for you and what are you looking forward to in 2012??


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolate snowcap cookies

It’s cookie time!

Yes, I’m late to the holiday cookie party, but who doesn’t like a chocolate cookie all year round?


My favorite part about these very chocolaty cookies is how pretty they are. They certainly aren’t called snowcap cookies for no reason!

snowcap cookies

Chocolate Snowcap Cookies
- adapted from
Gigi's Gluten Free Chocolate Snowcap Cookies


  • 3 ounces chocolate, melted and cooled (if making these vegan, make sure it’s vegan chocolate)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (I simple put some organic cane sugar into my blender until it became powdery and white)
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 egg (I used 1 Energ-G egg replacer mixture)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sucanat (or firmly packed brown sugar)


  • Preheat oven at 350.
  • Melt your chocolate via stovetop or in the microwave, stir and set aside to cool.
  • In the meantime, put the powdered sugar in a bowl and also set aside to be used to roll the dough in before baking.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir together, then add coconut oil and stir until it forms a crumb-like texture.
  • Add your egg replacer, vanilla and sugar and combine.
  • Add the melted chocolate and stir until smooth.
  • Form cookies into balls (I used a heaping teaspoon size) and roll completely in the powdered sugar, place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until “cracked”.

Notes: As Gigi points out in her recipe, be sure to roll them completely and once done, put these in the oven right away. If they sit out, the powdered sugar will soak into the moisture and the “snowcap” effect won’t work as well. For a gluten free version, check out Gigi’s recipe, the recipe I adapted these from!

snowcap cookies 3snowcap cookies



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday recap

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! Hard to believe a new year is upon us, too!

I have some very tasty recipes to share with you, but thought I’d jump in and give a quick Christmas recap, food related. We had planned on going to see my family in NE for Christmas but had a bit of a last minute change of plans, so Christmas was spent at our house with Erik’s family.

But first … on Christmas Eve, Erik and I spent a nice time at home with comfort food and movies! I made my own version of Oh She Glow’s broccoli and cheeze soup and paired it with a roasted veggie and hummus Panini type sandwich.


For the sandwich, I roasted onions, zucchini squash and green bell peppers, slathered some hummus on bread with the roasted veggies and flattened it down on a sauté pan with a little olive oil.

It was perfect Christmas Eve comfort food!

soup 1

And since there was no Christmas snow outside, we had the next best thing … snowcap cookies!

Though I baked them a minute or two too long, they were fun cookies that tasted rich and chocolaty. I’m planning on posting the recipe later this week, because Christmas or not … who doesn’t like chocolate cookies??

snowcap cookies

And for Christmas day, what did we go with?

None other than pizza. Why not? Ha. Erik utilized his new pizza oven once again, and we’re loving it.

pizza 1

My absolute favorite pizza that I request Erik to make for me every single time he makes pizza? Caramelized veggies (mostly onions) with cashew cheese.

Caramelized onions seriously just might be my favorite flavor. This photo of deliciously caramelizing veggies makes me drool.

Need I say more?

pizza 2

I didn’t do the pizza justice with my pictures, as I didn’t even get a photo of this pizza which I just went on and on about, but here’s a red sauce version at work in the oven.


Yum!! For dessert we had delicious vegan brownies and raw raspberry cheesecake.

Some honorable mentions I got for Christmas are some new vintage dishes to add to my newly growing collection, and money to spend on Etsy. I’ve been accumulating a wish list of items and I’m excited to be able to get some of them!

Hopefully we’ll make it back to my family in NE soon. I’m dying to see my nephew!

What was the highlight of your holiday celebrations?


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas with Instagram

Well, it’s officially Christmas time!

As you can tell, I’ve kind of been taking a holiday break from blogging as often as normal, but plan to resume in full force after Christmas. Just wanted to stop in and say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and hope everyone has a great weekend full of family, good food, and fun! I’m sure I’ll be Instagram’ing my weekend, so feel free to follow along at my handle of purplecarrotkc.

Perfect segue into a post of recent Instagram photos, mostly Christmas inspired …


Some of you may have already seen this on Facebook or Instagram, but Erik recently found a really good deal on a pizza oven! He’s been wanting one for a long time now, so he couldn’t be more thrilled. In fact, we’re even having pizza on Christmas Day, ha.

He officially broke in the new garage pizza oven the other night, and the crust came out wonderfully!

397516_300361463336134_139373552768260_824197_1671114538_n photo7

Next up, we’ve been making some changes to our house by incorporating some of Erik’s dad’s old furniture into it. I’m really loving a mix of vintage and modern these days so we’re trying to mix it up a little bit.

Enter: old hutch now housing my newly started collection of vintage dishes and our fun new kitchen light.

c23443762d8a11e1abb01231381b65e3_7 photo4

Can you get much more Christmasy than a nativity mug and a Christmas tree shaped ravioli?

I didn’t think so.

photo8 photo3

And last but not least … from us to you:



Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm back

Hi everyone!

I apologize for my absence from The Purple Carrot this week, it’s been a bit of a crazy one. Long story short, Erik’s dad was in the hospital for about three days so as you can imagine, my blog went on the back burner a bit. He’s home now, and doing well so far!

And being how Christmas is in just ONE WEEK (crazy, I agree, but I’m excited!) aaaand seeing as I haven’t done much baking or cooking this week, it seemed like the perfect time for a Pinterest post. I seem to do these a lot lately, but I just cannot help myself. There are so many neat and inspiring ideas on Pinterest!


Merry Christmas




10 ways to make a garland
I love garlands, and these are so cute!

A Beautiful Mess



Painted clawfoot tub
If I ever have a clawfoot tub, I am totally going to paint it like this!

via & Gallery No. Eight

11399805276357803_i7Y9VaI3_c 24980972902655317_B0WG6yUG_c


Purple & turquoise mugs
I’ve been finding so many neat things on Etsy that I want lately … but I don’t dare pin too many of them or someone else will snatch them up before I get a chance, ha!

via Etsy



Take what you need
A cute idea! Would be neat to write Bible verses and/or quotes on the back of them too.

A Bursting Smile



But as for me …
Cute graphic, verse full of hope and faith

via Etsy



Monday, December 12, 2011

Vegan "crab" rangoon

It’s recipe time!

Before I began my healthy eating journey, something I absolutely loved was eating way too much Chinese buffet food that included numerous crab rangoon. I know, scary! While we rarely ever eat fried foods anymore, once in a great while I occasionally crave it.

And since we love experimenting, we went with it and decided to make a vegan, healthier “crab” rangoon with dinner. The wonton dough is homemade using organic bread and white whole wheat flours and it’s fried in unrefined coconut oil. While I definitely wouldn’t suggest eating fried foods on a regular basis, unrefined coconut oil is a great option because it is the only oil stable enough to resist heat-induced damage while also helping to promote heart health and maintaining cholesterol levels.

rangoon 2

Vegan Crab Rangoon
*makes about 24 – we made 12 and froze the rest of the dough for later use

Wonton dough


  • 1 1/2 cups organic white bread flour
  • 1/2 cup organic white whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg replacer (we used Ener-G)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup water


  • Mix 1/4 cup water with egg replacer mixture. Stir in salt.
  • Place flour in a bowl or on clean counter top. Make a hole in the middle of the flour, dump the water/egg replacer mixture into the hole and mix the liquid into the flour. Gradually add water until it reaches dough consistency. Knead for about five minutes. Let rest for 30 minutes covered.



  • 1 cup cashews
  • Nori (we used the equivalent of about 5 one-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup oat milk (other milks may work, but I would suggest unsweetened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • a punch of salt


  • Place ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth

Forming & Frying Rangoon


  • Place enough coconut oil (unrefined) into a small pan so that rangoon will be completely covered. Start by heating on low and gradually move the temperature of the oil up to medium (process takes about 30 minutes)
    • Do not put oil on high, and take caution when frying as it can be very dangerous.
  • Roll out dough until very thin (we used a pasta machine)
  • Cut into about 3 1/4 inch squares
  • Add spoonful of the filling mixture to middle of dough and fold edges upward into rangoon shape
  • Carefully place into hot oil making sure the tops are completely covered and let fry until golden brown and floating (about 3 minutes)


rangood rangoon 1rangoon 5

We were really happy with the results, and it definitely gave me a crab rangoon fix in a much healthier way. With our rangoon, we had some buckwheat soba noodles and veggies. Yum!

rangoon 3

What’s your favorite “junk food”??


nRelate - All Sections