• Appetizers,  Bread,  Dairy Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Sourdough Pumpkin Pretzel Parker House Rolls

    Today is officially the one week countdown to Turkey day for all of my wonderful readers from the States.

    That makes up over half of you and as a food blogger that means you’re all searching out the perfect new recipes to bring to the table, definitely something I can’t forget about. I’m switching to full on Christmas gear this weekend you guys. If you follow me on Pinterest (not that I’m ordering you around, but you should because it’s the only social media platform that I actually feel like I can use properly) then you’ve probably noticed that I’m getting really excited by all of my Christmas pinnnage!

    And speaking of Christmas, I had a way crazy realization earlier this week….. this is my last holiday season as a teenager! That feels so weird to admit. Time, please stop for just a second, I’m not ready to grow up! Can twenty years olds still be fun, or will I turn completely into the boring older sister that Sophie always makes me feel like when I don’t have time to play with her?

    I refuse to let that happen! Proof that I am still young; I’ve been pestering my dad into letting us get a real tree this year for a whole week, just like when I was shorter than the kitchen counter and negotiating a second chocolate chip cookie with Mom. The problem is that there aren’t bajillions of pines here to just chop down without them being missed. In Idaho our backyard was basically its own Christmas tree farm so this was never an issue. We also don’t have a tree stand and I don’t think you can even get them here so we have to figure that out, but I’m still holding out hope for that amazing pine smell in the house!

    I’ve been making lots of plans for the month of December and I can’t wait to execute and share them! Some really fun stuff. I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

    Okay, but these rolls you guys, they’re amazing. Josh, my brother-in-law, said they were the best bread he’s ever eaten, and um, I think he’s probably had a few rolls in his life. They have a little bit of lots of different things, which completely epitomizes my personality when it comes to food. I’m so indecisive that I made three completely separate things for dinner last weekend when we had some friends over. Get this, I made creamy chicken and rice, beef stroganoff (which I really need to share at some point), and chicken enchiladas, all for the same meal. I clearly have decision-making issues, but the point is that these were one instance that a little of everything worked out great.

    I’ve had pretzel parker house rolls on my list for a while but I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do them. I was inspired by seeing them last year on the beloved blog Smitten Kitchen and I’ve wanted to do them ever since. When I decided to make them though, I remembered that I also wanted to make a recipe with sourdough in honor of its first birthday. That’s right, my little baby sourdough starter has reached a year of age and I couldn’t be prouder as a sourdough mother. Although, I really am shocked that I’ve managed to keep it alive for a whole year. If you don’t have sourdough starter you should definitely consider trying it! You might even know someone who has a starter they could share with you.

    But that’s how my sourdough joined the party, and then I remembered the extra little bit of pumpkin puree that was on the verge of getting moldy in my fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste so into the dough it went. I think what is so genius about these is that the end result is like a cheddar cheese pretzel bite and yet not one speck of cheese is involved here. It’s the color of the pumpkin tricking your eyes while the bite of the sourdough fools your taste buds into thinking your eating cheese. Brilliant right? This probably seems extra amazing to me because we went a while without being able to buy cheddar and I grew to really appreciate it. Always wanting what you can’t have more because you can’t have it, so human nature right?

    So, like I already said at the beginning of the post, there is one week until turkey day. I’d say that should be plenty of time for you all to find this recipe, realize how much you need it to be a part of your holiday, and make these to take to add to your bountiful feast come next Thursday. Unless, of course, you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. In that case there is nothing stopping you from trying these right now. Ready, set, GO!!!

    Sourdough Pumpkin Pretzel Parker House Rolls

    Whip up the perfect holiday side dish/ appetizer to share with friends and family this season. These rolls are a crowd pleaser every time.

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Rising Time 1 hour
    Total Time 55 minutes
    Servings 16 rolls



    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 cup sourdough starter
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
    • 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

    Pretzel Wash:

    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda


    1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir until yeast is dissolved. Let sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in salt, sourdough starter, and pumpkin puree until smooth, then mix in melted coconut oil. Add 3 1/2 cups of flour and mix into dough then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding a bit more flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky. Grease a bowl and place dough in it. Cover with plastic and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    2. After it's doubled, turn it out onto floured surface again and divide it into 15 - 16 pieces and roll into balls. Grease an 8x8 inch pan (or 9x11 inch) with oil and place balls 4 by 4 inside (3x5 if using an 9x11 inch pan). Cover with plastic and place in warm place to rise for 1 hour.

    3. After 45 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Mix boiling water and soda in a small bowl and set aside.
    4. When oven is hot, brush rolls with pretzel wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 25 - 35 minutes until golden pretzel brown on top.
  • Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Salad,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Grape Caprese Avocado Salad + Balsamic Reduction (Vegan+GF)

    Guess what, the sun is popping out and I think It might stay and hang out for a while today, yay! I was beginning to forget what it looked like.

    So what do think of when you hear the word salad, because it seems to be a very broad term with many different interpretations. In some places if you order a salad at a restaurant you are going to be disappointed  with a large bowl of lettuce and a few dots of something to garnish. I thinks it’s just that some consider salads only a side dish type of thing.

    To others when salad comes to mind it might be a steakhouse-style salad that’s basically a pile heavy toppings and croutons smothered in ranch. Would you like some lettuce with your dressing?

    My view of a perfect salad is somewhere in between the two. I think every salad needs to have plenty of flavors and some kind of awesome dressing to finish it off, either creamy or sweet. It also should be light enough to be a side dish on it’s own, or loaded enough that you could add some protein and make it a meal. Of course, that applies only to lettuce based salads, I’m not talking about pasta, bean, or fruit salad. Those are all completely different categories.

    One of my favorite flavors of summer is fresh basil and I happened to get a bunch of it the other day. Since it pairs so well with tomatoes and avocado it seemed only fitting to make a caprese salad and my favorite way to top that is with a balsamic reduction that is super easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

    Grape Caprese Avocado Salad + Balsamic Reduction (Vegan+GF)

    Sometimes the simplest things are the best and that's exactly the case with this minimal ingredient salad.

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Marinating Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes
    Servings 4 servings


    Balsamic Reduction:

    • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sugar


    • 3 cups loosely packed red leaf lettuce
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
    • 1 cup red grapes sliced in half
    • 1 medium avocado sliced
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 block firm tofu drained and dried of excess liquid
    • 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • sea salt and black pepper to taste


    1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and throw into a bowl and add apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Toss to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes
    2. For the reduction, combine sugar and balsamic in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat and cool.
    3. Combine ingredients for salad in a large bowl and toss together gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
    4. Top salad immediately before serving or serve per individual.


  • Appetizers,  Bread,  Dairy Free,  Recipe,  Sides,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Mozzarella Stuffed Pesto Pizza Monkey Bread (Vegan)

    I’m not really sure why they call this type of bread a monkey bread.

    I suggested that maybe it’s because when everyone is picking at the delicious pieces it resembles the way primates groom each other and eat their findings. I was dumb enough to mention this while my brothers were around so, of course, they gave me their opinions and since my idea was already borderline gross they had to outdo it. One of them said that it’s because it looks like a giant monkey brain like on Indiana Jones and I won’t mention what the other one said. Thank you boys, that’s just the mental picture that will make everyone want to eat this. How appetizing. Sorry, TMI.

    Yes, well, whatever the case may be I don’t think that any of those are the reason for the name but who really cares? Monkey bread is the bomb-dot-com-diggity-do-dah, and this one is stuffed with creamy mozzarella cheese and slathered in pesto!

    Have I ever mentioned that I am obsessed with pesto? Well, I am, and did you know that you can make all kinds of different pestos? I’ve tried a few kinds, like one with cilantro, one with chestnuts, and they’re all delicious but I’ve yet to find one that can beat the classic basil. I do sometimes substitute the pine nuts though, because I can be cheap. As you may know, pine nuts are pretty pricey so I prefer to use walnuts instead most of the time.

    I usually try to keep pesto ready in the fridge for when I need it, but it never lasts very long because I always find something that it would go perfect in and then use it all. Take this pull-apart bread for example, it would have been great on it’s own but the pesto takes it to the next level of amazing and makes it irresistible!

    Usually you’d do this in a bundt pan but the only one I have has all kinds of odd grooves and the one and only time I’ve ever attempted monkey bread in it was a crumbly disaster slash pan scrubbing nightmare. I used a springform pan this time instead but I still didn’t take it seriously enough and I had some stickage as you can see. I would usually redo it and get a picture-perfect one but I just couldn’t wait to share this with you guys, so please forgive my unperfect bread. Hopefully it will help you all by making you grease your own pans better than I did.

    Oh, and I just thought of another possible reason for the name of this thing! Ha ha, maybe it’s because everyone runs around like crazy monkeys when they realize it’s gone! I think you should make two if you plan to avoid gorilla fights.

    Vegan Mozzarella Stuffed Pesto Pizza Monkey Bread

    Basic table bread will never seem the same after you've tried this over the top monkey bread that's simply packed with flavor!

    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Rising Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour


    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon oil, plus more for greasing pan
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 3/4 cups flour
    • 8 ounces mozzarella style cheese (such as Daiya or Miyoko's)
    • 2/3 cup prepared pesto or recipe follows
    • 1 cup your favorite marinara sauce for dipping


    • 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 2 cups fresh basil leaves tightly packed
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


    Bread dough:

    1. Stir water, sugar, salt, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in oil until combined. Add flour and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a 2 to 3 minutes until dough is smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and place in warm place to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

    2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a bundt pan (or see note) very well with oil. Press dough down and divide into tablespoon sized balls. Stuff each ball with 1 square of "mozzarella" cheese and roll dough around it.

    3. Dip each ball into pesto and place in prepared pan. Continue dipping and stacking balls until all are in pan then bake for 40 to 55 minutes until top is a deep golden brown.

    4. Serve hot with warm marinara.


    1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until nearly smooth. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 4 months.

    Recipe Notes

    If (like me) you don't have a bundt pan you can use a 10-inch springform pan and an inverted 6-ounce ramekin in the center. This is great because it gives you a pre-warmed bowl for the dip. Just be sure to grease the outside of the ramekin as well as the pan, very well.

  • Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Sides,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Easy Oven Fries with North Idaho Fry Sauce (Vegan+GF)

    So those of you who have been following for any amount of time know that I live in Idaho.

    It’s still my absolute favorite place that I’ve been to in the States. I mean, I haven’t been to all of them, but I think I’ve had a pretty good taste of most of them. At least enough to be familiar with each area. For example, I know that I could never survive living in certain areas of the mid-west very long without going crazy over the flat boring landscapes. We drove through a lot of that when we moved and I have to say that the isolated feeling in some of the places kind of gave me the creeps.

    Don’t get me wrong though, there are so many places that I love as well. I spent a lot of summers in Florida growing up and I’ve also been to the East and West Coasts, but there was just something about the Panhandle (that’s what they call the narrow part of the state) up here in the North that I fell in love with. I loved the wildlife and all of the pine forestry. We see moose and deer all the time and the winter snow was incredible.

    I may have been born in the South East but when it comes to geographic locations I think my heart will always be stuck in the North West now. Sorry, I didn’t really plan to make this post some kind of tribute to North Idaho or anything but I guess I kind of did.

    Anyway, if you’ve ever been in the North West then you may have discovered the phenomenon known as fry sauce at every food joint you visit. The thing that I find hilarious about it is that most of the recipes have about 3 ingredients with very little variation between them and yet everyone thought that one certain place or another had the best fry sauce and had their loyal favorite. It’s pretty funny.


    Fry sauce is seriously the easiest thing ever and hardly counts as a recipe. It does however compliment, you guessed it, french fries perfectly. I made it to go with these oven fries that I made that are almost equally simple to the sauce and so good you’ll forget they’re not technically fried.

    Easy Oven Fries with North Idaho Fry Sauce

    Sometimes the simplest combinations are the best and that's definitely true here with these homemade fries and the super easy sauce to go with them.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes
    Servings 4 servings



    • 3-4 large russet or Idaho potatoes scrubbed
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano and/or rosemary optional

    Fry sauce:

    • 1/3 cup tomato ketchup
    • 1/2 cup veganaise
    • 2 teaspoons worchestershire *see note
    • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • cayenne pepper to taste


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C) and line a baking tray with foil.
    2. Chop potatoes into matchsticks and toss with olive oil and seasoning in a large bowl and spread out in an even layer on tray and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and toss a little bit then return to oven and bake for 15 to 25 more minutes until crispy. I like to start checking them at about 10 minutes to make sure there are none getting burned. Remove from oven and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

    Fry sauce:

    1. Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl and serve with hot fries.

    Recipe Notes

    *Be sure to use a brand of worchestershire sauce that you've checked the ingredients because most worchestershires contain anchovy. Annie's makes a good one.

    Oh, and before I go….

    With all of this talk about Idaho I just have to share something my relatives sent me from their house. They still live in Idaho and apparently are now getting all of the luck. I lived there for 2 years and never saw a bear once, not one time, and now they have a family of them moving in! It’s so unfair!


  • vegan egg roll recipe
    Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Recipe,  Sides,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Vegan Southwest Egg Rolls + Avocado Ranch Dip

    Have you ever wanted to make homemade vegan southwest egg rolls? Now you can! This recipe is easy and perfect for parties and events. Throw these together for the Superbowl or your next Christmas party!

    Are there any fans of Southwestern style food in the house? Anyone? Bueller…..Bueller…….

    southwest egg roll recipe

    This post is all about Vegan Southwest Egg Rolls

    How about avocados? Well, around here avocados are eaten almost religiously and this avocado ranch is such an awesome way to showcase them. It is so good with these egg rolls (that don’t actually contain eggs, by the way). Actually, does anyone know why they’re called “egg” rolls in the first place? I’m thinking maybe I should have called these “Fried Spring Rolls” instead but it just doesn’t come with the same recognition, you know?

    Regardless of the name I can at least say that these really are delicious. I made them for our Christmas party one year and called them “Feliz Navidad Rolls” or “Santa Fe-egg Rolls”.

    vegan egg roll wrappers

    Yeah, I know, I’m much cornier than these rolls are. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I made the wrappers from scratch. I’d never seen egg roll or wonton wrappers in the stores until more recently so I didn’t have much choice but even if you can buy them I recommend trying them at home at least once. You know, just to say you did. Plus it really impresses people. Although, after that you have my full permission to short-cut every other time by just buying the wrappers. I mean, ’cause who’s got the time, right?  Anyway, I hope you try them and love them as much as my gang did!

    FAQs for How To Make Vegan Southwest Egg Rolls

    Can I use store-bought vegan egg roll wrappers for this recipe?

    Yes, you can definitely buy egg roll wrappers to keep these simple. If you’re looking for them at the grocery store they are usually with the refrigerated things like kimchi and vegan products. At some stores they may be with refrigerated Asian ingredients in the produce section.

    How long does it take to make southwest egg rolls at home?

    This recipe for southwest vegan egg rolls takes about 1 hour from start to finish. A few factors might change that time. For example, how long it takes to fry them and how quickly you can gather and chop the ingredients.

    What are vegan egg roll wrappers made of?

    Most store-bought vegan egg roll wrappers are made of flour, water, salt, and oil. Not all brands advertise being vegan but if you check the ingredients most are.

    Are egg roll wraps healthy?

    Well healthy is a relative term but most egg roll wrappers are very low in fat and can be baked so the wrappers themselves are not necessarily unhealthy. Egg roll wrappers are not typically gluten free so if you follow a no gluten diet they may not be a healthy choice. Also, they are typically deep fried which increases unhealthy fat. All foods can be considered part of a balanced diet so ultimately it’s up to you to decide what is healthy for you.

    vegan egg roll recipe

    Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

    Quick and Easy Vegan Egg Rolls

    Crispy Baked Almond Crusted Tofu Sticks (Vegan+GF)

    Fresh Veggie Tempeh Rice Paper Rolls


    This post was all about Vegan Southwest Egg Rolls

    Southwest Egg Rolls and Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce (Vegan)

    Take snack time to the next level with these simple, yet amazing, copycat versions of Chili's popular menu item. Oh, and don't forget about the super creamy avo ranch!

    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 16 egg rolls (about)


    • 1/2 cup cheddar style daiya cheese shreds or any brand
    • 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans rinsed
    • 1 1/2 cups sweet whole kernal corn drain if using canned
    • 1 red bell pepper diced
    • 1 small tomato diced
    • 1/2 medium onion diced (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/4 fresh cilantro chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 16 egg roll wrappers store-bought or (recipe follows)
    • oil for frying

    Egg Roll Wrappers:

    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 cups flour
    • arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch

    Avocado Ranch:

    • 2 avocados
    • 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt such as cashew or coconut
    • 2 jalepenos seeded and chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dill
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder



    1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for filling and stir until well mixed.

    Wrappers (If Making)

    1. Sift together flour and salt in a bowl.
    2. Slowly stir in warm water - dough will be very stiff. Knead dough on floured surface till smooth, about 15 minutes. Cover with towel and let stand for 20 minutes.
    3. Divide into 2 sections and roll out one at a time into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick or as thin as possible. Cut into 9 equal squares by cutting 2 lines horizontally and 2 vertically. This part can be challenging to get them very thin so don't worry if they're a little on the thick side.


    1. Dip fingers in a small bowl of water and wet all of the edges of wrapper. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling onto 1 corner of wrapper then start rolling towards center. Fold in sides and wrap tightly. Add a little more water to seal the tip if necessary.


    1. Heat a few inches of oil to 350 degrees and fry in batches for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.

    Avocado Ranch:

    1. Combine all ingredients for ranch in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve with hot egg rolls.