Say Yes to Summer Temps and Rosé Shaved Ice

With temps in the 80s this week, make your rosé frozé and wear clothes that don't cling. 

This post originally ran July 8, 2016. Too good not to share all over again.

You can pretty much guarantee my day winds down with a cocktail or a glass of wine; it's a nod to my late grandfather but also a call to a time where cocktails were curated and had in good company. Lately due to the heat, I've been adding ice to my drinks (don't toss me to the wolves just yet) to keep me cool. Inspired by the refreshing chill, I wanted to take it a step further by turning it into a shaved ice dessert.

While any wine would work, I love the summery touch rosé brings to the mix, and who doesn't love this pale pink color? I swear it's as simple as toss, blend, and freeze. Would you expect anything else when it comes to The Great Vibes Guide? I hope you enjoy (and make it every night to satisfy your cool cravings and cocktail affairs). Cheers! Xx. 

Rosé Shaved Ice

Ingredients:

+ Your favorite Rosé, I chose Espiral from Trader Joes*
+ Ice, 2-4 cups*
+ Mint leaves (optional)

Recipe:

1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on high*. 
2. Pour contents into a baking pan (or loaf pan like I did) and freeze 12 hours or overnight.
3. Pull from the freezer, and taking a fork, drag across the top to shave the ice.
4. Spoon into bowls or stemless wine glasses.
5. Serve, eat, & enjoy!

Note:

* I used about 1-2 cups of wine and then filled my blender to the top with ice. Play around with the measurements until it works for you. It has a very fruity, light on the alcohol, icy taste and is not at all overwhelmingly wine tasting. Please note that everyone's preferences are different when it comes to alcohol. If you find this is too weak or strong, adjust accordingly. If you feel like you messed up completely, pop it back into a blender, add more ice or wine, and then try it again. Don't cry over spilled cocktail is all I'm saying ;).

+ What's your favorite way to drink Rosé?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make All Day Rosé Shaved Ice. Share this with people who could use some rosé in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.

Cheers to Great Vibes cocktail twists! Xx.


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Fourth of July Berry Dessert

What is 4th of July without a red, white, and blue treat?

This was originally posted last July 4th; we figure it's worth a repost. This weekend, we hope you celebrate America's birthday to the fullest. Go all out on parades, red, white, and blue, and yummy treats. Attending a party this weekend? Make this cheerful dessert. It definitely won't disappoint. 

This summer, especially for The Fourth, I wanted to create a tasty treat that satisfied my sweet tooth but didn't sit too heavy on my stomach. With that in mind, I snagged some fresh berries from the market, whipped up some coconut whipped cream, and layered them all together for a festive dessert. It's simple, I pulled it together in under 30 minutes, and it's absolutely delicious.

Pro tip: layer it in a clear glass to see the vibrant colors and top with a sprig of mint and some lemon zest.

Fourth of July Berry Dessert

Ingredients ::

+ blueberries
+ strawberries
+ 1 can of coconut milk (full fat)
+ 1 tsp cinnamon
+ 1 tsp vanilla extract
+ 1/4 lemon, juice
+ 1/4 - 1/2 cups coconut sugar (amount to taste)

Recipe ::

1. Place your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and let sit 12 hours to overnight. This step separates the liquid and coconut meat. 

2. Remove your can from the fridge, flip it over, open it up, and scrape out the coconut meat into your mixing bowl. Set aside the liquid to be used in another recipe. 

3. Add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and coconut sugar to the coconut in your mixing bowl. 

4. Whip until soft peaks are created. Place bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to solidify more. 

5. When you're ready to plate, add a little bit of whipped cream to the bottom of your glass, top with a layer of blueberries, more whipped cream, a layer of strawberries, repeating until you get to the top.
 
6. Serve and enjoy! Makes at least four. 


+ What's your favorite festive dessert?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make this berry dessert. Share this with people who could use some sweets in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.


Rainbow Rice Krispies (V, GF)

An elevated classic. 

When it comes to sprinkles, I have a bit of an obsession. I'll happily put them on ice cream and smoothies, with fruit and coconut milk as a dessert cereal, I think you get the idea. I love all things funfetti, and if there is a way I can share the colorful joy, I'm all about it.

Going away this past weekend, I wanted to bring a sweet treat for the five hour road trip. I had leftover sprinkles and marshmallows from a party I recently threw, so I decided to try my hand at Rice Krispies - I've never made them myself before - and bought a box of gluten-free rice cereal. Side note: these are totally gluten free and vegan but scored big points from everyone. Like I wanted, they made the perfect car food and evening snack, were fun and pretty, and inexpensive enough that I'll be bringing them to any party or dinner throughout the summer. Helloooo colorful treats. 

Scroll down to get the recipe...

Rainbow Rice Krispies (vegan + gluten free)

Ingredients:

+ 6 Cups Rice Cereal (gluten free if needed)
+ 1 10 oz. Bag Marshmallows (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
+ 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
+ Rainbow Sprinkles (optional and as desired)
+ Dash of Vanilla Extract

Recipe:

1. Oil and line a 9x9 or 9x12 baking pan with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper. 
2. Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil to a large baking pan or pot over medium heat. 
3. Once the oil is melted, add the marshmallows, stirring them around, and then letting them sit for about one minute, browning slightly, and stirring halfway through. 
4. Using a large fork or potato masher, break down the marshmallows (I found that the vegan ones needed this). 
5. Stir until the marshmallows and oil have combined.
6. Add in the rice cereal and your desired amount of sprinkles, stirring quickly to combine, as this will begin to set up.
7. Turn the mixture out onto the baking pan and parchment paper. 
8. Spray your hands with cooking spray, and press the mixture compactly into the pan.
9. Refrigerate until cool, about 1-2 hours. 
10. Remove from the pan and then peel off the parchment paper. 
11. Cut into 12-16 squares, place on a plate, take a bite. Enjoy!  

+ What's your favorite way to use sprinkles?

Tag @thegreatvibesguide on Instagram when you make this summer dessert. Share this with people who could use some sprinkles in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.

Cheers to Great Vibes & classics with a twist! Xx.


Healthy Snacks for the Office

Granola popsicles are something you need in your life. 

Editor's Note: This post originally ran August 24th, 2016. The Team thought it best to bring back to the forefront of our minds, as resolutions may have fallen to the wayside and mindless snacking on the rise. Office snacks are great to have on hand for any time you're so hungry you want to bite someone and too tired to do anything more than go to the vending machine. Keep nearby to stave off disaster. Xx. 

Normally my day goes something like this: I snag a filling breakfast, scarf down a quick lunch, and then it's 4 p.m., and I am so hungry, I can't decide whether to wait until dinner and know I'll be an emotional mess or eat everything in sight until I'm bloated and uncomfortable. Sound familiar?

What do I snack on at the office or on really busy days? is a question I get from almost every client of mine. The issue usually to be solved lies in being restricted to the snacks present in the office rather than what is sustaining and nutritious. It is because of this problem that settling for a candy bar or stale chips only to be hungry 20 minutes later is more common than not. Since I am going to be working with some amazing interns soon, and having snacks at creative meetings is a must for me, I wanted to group together delicious alternatives that kick boring snacks like granola bars to the curb. 

I love these snacks because of their low sugar content, mix of healthy fats and protein, and minimally, if at all, processed ingredients. Enjoy!  

The perfect savory balance between creamy and crunchy. It's a colorful treat for your eyes and a flavorful party for your tastebuds. Using carrots, celery, peppers, or whatever vegetables you have on hand is a great way to up your vegetable intake and ensure nothing you buy goes to waste. Great Vibes Tip: Buy plain hummus and stir in extras for a change of pace (i.e. olives and oregano, parsley and lemon, pine nuts and basil, hot sauce, etc.).

Rice Cakes.jpg

Whether you call them rice crackers or cakes, they usually are accompanied by horrified faces from childhood memories of plain, stale snacks. But, they've gotten quite the remix. What I love about these is the crunch factor you can't get from a simple slice of bread. I've shown you two ways here: one with avocado, cayenne, salt, and pepper; and the other with almond butter and banana. Great Vibes Tip: Try peanut butter with a drizzle of honey or hummus with a slice of tomato. Endless options. Delish!

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Probably my favorite of this entire bunch and one you can only really do if your office has a freezer. That being said, it is incredibly simple. Blend up one banana, a dash of cinnamon, and three (+/-) cups of coconut milk. Divide the mixture among your popsicle molds. I used an actually popsicle mold, but paper cups, old yogurt containers, or an ice cube tray works flawlessly. Place in the freezer for ten minutes. After the ten minutes are up, cover the exposed part with granola, press down gently, and then push your popsicle stick into place. Cover and freeze until solid. Great Vibes Tip: Make your own granola! Bake 3 cups oats, 1/2 cup buckwheat, and two tablespoons chia seeds on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. While baking, stir together two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons maple syrup or honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of turmeric. After the dry ingredients have become slightly fragrant, remove from the oven, mix with the wet ingredients, and place back into the oven. Turn the oven off, and let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keeps well in a glass container in the refrigerator. 

I could chat the benefits of kombucha for an incredibly long time, and you've seen me make cocktails with it here and here. I love this snack, because it is easy for on-the-go travel. It provides healthy bacteria and that sweet and savory element that satisfies almost all cravings. To make the roasted chickpeas, strain the liquid from one can, pat to dry with a paper towel, and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and black pepper, salt, and cayenne to taste. Bake on a baking sheet at 395 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 or so, until crispy and crunchy. Great Vibes Tip: Don't like chickpeas? Roast cashews or almonds for a delicious alternative. 

Sometimes, nothing is going to satisfy that sweet craving except chocolate. Rather than dive into a bag of M&Ms (though that has a time and place) choose rich, dark chocolate, preferably 65% cacao or higher. The above chocolate is found at Trader Joe's with an impressive cacao content of 82 percent. Have a couple squares and savor each piece. If you still want more 10 minutes later, have another square. Repeat until satisfied. 

+What is your favorite snack here? Which one are you most likely to make?


Best Holiday Spritzer

The easiest, festive drink around town. 

Holiday Cocktail .png

It is no surprise I love champagne (exhibits A, B, and C). But what I love even more? Easy peasy cocktails that include champagne and take less than a minute to make. Because Thursdays are traditionally reserved for quick tips and weekly niceties, I wanted to up your hostess game and share my favorite holiday cocktail. 

This spritzer is light, slightly tart, and absolutely festive. It's easy to stock up on the essentials, cranberries and rosemary, without fearing they will go bad in the next hour. With these ingredients, you can create a gorgeous cocktail for drop-ins and soiree guests alike. 

Holiday Spritzer

Ingredients:

+ champagne or prosecco (any kind will do)
+ 5-7 cranberries
+ 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
+ optional: a pinch or 1 teaspoon sweetener*

Recipe:

1. Optional: add 3 cranberries and sweetener of choice to your champagne glass and muddle.
2. Fill your glass with champagne.
3. Top with remaining cranberries and rosemary.
5. Serve, sip, & enjoy!

Note:

*I like to use organic, vegan sugar or brown rice syrup if I have it on hand. If this is too sweet, add more of your sweetener of choice.

If you would like this to be non-alcoholic, consider using sparkling water.

+ What's your favorite way to drink champagne?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram when you make this champagne cocktail. Share this with people who could use some champagne in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx.

Cheers to Great Vibes & cocktails with a twist! Xx.