Long Time…

Yeah, it has been!

I’ve got like a million excuses to share with you but the truth is that I have pink eye and haven’t been to work in the past 5 days!  Although pink eye is no joke (and no fun), it forced me to take a mini staycation.  Let me tell you…I woke up Wednesday morning with a swollen eye lid.  I’ll spare you the picture but let’s just say it was Quasimodo like : )  Thankfully, I got into the eye doctor quickly who confirmed my suspicion…pink eye, but he was undecided on viral vs bacterial (due to my recent cold).

‘What do you do?’ the eye doctor asks me after examining my eyes.

‘I’m a pediatric physical therapist’ I respond.

‘That’s a problem’ he says.  You’re telling me!

‘Oh and I teach yoga’ I add.

To which he asks me ‘Don’t you just do it all?’

‘Sometimes I feel like I can’ I say and he laughs!

So pink eye is highly contagious and it is frowned upon to pass along your contagious diseases to kids, so he tells me no work until Monday.  Ugh…he says he’ll write me a note.  Well, at that point, there’s not much you can do.  I get on my phone and begin canceling work, private yoga sessions, workshops, kids yoga classes, and a trip to the burbs to visit my niece.  Which basically gave me a 5 day staycation. 

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The good news is that I do own a pair of public-appropriate glasses and pink eye can only spread if I touch people.  So after throwing all our towels, pillow cases, and blankets into a hot washing machine, 24 hours later I headed into the world for a workout. I met my SIL at barre.  Afterwards, we grabbed coffee to enjoy during our pedicures.  Then we shared a huge tub of popcorn at Beauty &  The Beast before making a stop at the brand new and beautiful Whole Foods that just opened this week.

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So many (cheese) possibilities…

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Since my hubby was working a ton, I even had time to squeeze in a bubble bath!

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I mean, if you have to take vacation time, you might as well enjoy it!!!  Friday and Saturday were a mix of catching up on my DVR, working out, March madness, yoga planning and coffee drinking!

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So I really have no excuse for not blogging…But here I am now! 

Other Updates…

-I am teaching 1-2 adult yoga classes a week and loving it. I’m not smooth with my wording but am working hard to create fun and unique classes that challenge my students.  Since my family is about 1/2 of the class, afterwards, they typically come over for midweek dinner, drinks, and laughter!

-I am also teaching kids yoga and have a few different age groups including the most adorable group of 2 year olds who every time they say Namaste, my heart smiles!

-Cooper is still Cooper, into everything, waking us up each day begging for breakfast, and napping in my arms. I actually think it is quite possible that he is involved in the pink eye situation as I fell asleep on his belly (even drooling on him) the night before I woke up with a swollen eye.

-I joined a volleyball team and play almost every Thursday night.  I’m also doing a lot of yoga and barre and actually went for an outdoor run last week which was fabulous!

-Last weekend, we went down to the St. Louis area for a visit with friends which was a BLAST!

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-The BOY is getting sick…and you all know how men are when they are sick…Just keeping my fingers crossed he doesn’t get pink eye!!

-We are still meal planning!  Check out this week…

Meal Planning 3/16/17

Sunday Funday: Ramen

Monday: Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Meatloaf

Wednesday: Mediterranean (most likely delivery)

Thursday: TBD

 

Long time…what’s new with you???

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Lately I’ve Been xxxii…

Taking sick days for a nasty cold

Reconnecting with (aka binging on) Scandal

Teaching Yoga!!!

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Hosting dinners

Problem solving how to type when the x key is broken on my computer

Appreciating the sunshine

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Baking Breads

Taking yoga and barre classes

Meeting my niece

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Drinking a ton of espresso

Reading Books

Spending Saturday nights in

Watching Indiana basketball

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Sitting by our fireplace

Cuddling with Cooper

Celebrating my parent’s Birthdays

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What have you been doing lately?

Like Coming Home…

This past weekend, I was back in the suburbs and back on my mat at my favorite yoga studio.  It’s crazy because I really love living in the city and the BOY and I are extremely happy, but I miss my yoga studio a ton.  I have been going to the same yoga studio for 5+ years with varying frequencies and had the amazing opportunity to live in the studio this past summer during teacher training (when I really did live back in my childhood home).

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On Saturday, I returned to the burbs to begin teaching the 5 part anatomy series for the new class of yoga teachers.  Afterwards, I had the most amazing facial and spent the night with my mom and our friend drinking wine, talking women’s marches, and appreciating the comforts of home.

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On Sunday, I was back on my mat for a 10am hot yoga class.  As I reclined onto my back in the hot and packed studio, I felt an overwhelming sense of comfort. It’s like coming back home…and yes, I had spent the night in my parents house where I also lived for 2 months this summer, and my mom made me eggs and tea for breakfast because she rocks, but the sounds and smells of the studio where I found myself on my mat lying next to my mom and our friend (two powerful women) filled my heart with joy.  The class was tough and sweaty and I loved every minute!!!

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Despite loving everything about city life, I haven’t found a yoga class that invigorates me like this one.  I even went so far to tell the owner on Sunday that when she’s ready to expand to the city I’d love to run her studio : )

After class, I toweled off and prepared to teach the 11:30 class. I have not gotten as much teaching experience as I’d like and was feeling super nervous. I felt like I talked too fast and didn’t link my class purpose but found my groove about half way through.  The feedback I got after class stunned me as students (that I didn’t know…not my mom and her friends) stated how much they enjoyed my class and complemented me on being a natural teacher.

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Wow!  Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful that felt! After class I had a short time to change and transition back to teaching anatomy.  It wrapped up a fantastic weekend. When I drove back to the city, I found my husband hanging at my brother’s house, so I joined them and my sister in law for some bubbles and dinner.

I decided to skip the grocery store and wing it this week.  Although our meals have been a little less than healthy (and I don’t have any new recipes to share), I have made it to yoga both yesterday and today so I am feeling pretty incredible.  Everyone needs a weekend home every now and again…right?!

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Ps I didn’t take a ton of pics this weekend so please excuse all the recycled pics!  Luckily after years of yoga I had many sweaty ones to choose from : )

 

What feels ‘like coming home’ to you?

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese {and Life Updates}

You have to know that I made this recipe super simple and totally skimped on the cheese (I went generic), and it still turned out extremely flavorful and fulfilling!

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I feel like that is definitely saying something!!!

Last week, I got back to the cookbooks and back into the kitchen and it was glorious!

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Let me tell you that life has been packed full and fun, but the BOY and I have also enjoyed our down time sitting in front of the fire.  Friday night, we watched an episode of Sherlock without doing anything else…no computers, no wine or popcorn, just lights off snuggled up with Cooper enjoying the quirky show’s start of the season.

Speaking of starts, how are you adjusting to the start of the new year???

We had the most incredible New Years Eve weekend in Wisconsin with a couple of couples, two dogs, and a baby.  We cooked meals, played games, went for walks, and rang in 2017 with tons of enthusiasm and joy. 

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I can’t say that I could ask for a better way to start the year.  I have a bunch of goals/plans/ideas for 2017 but I feel like I am still wrapping my head around the quick finish to 2016 and all of the changes that came our way.

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For the most part, we are settled.  We love our new place (that we are renting) and our neighborhood.  Like I said, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a wine bar, yoga studio, and coffee shop directly across the street. I am working two newish jobs and both are going well along with treating some private clients and teaching private yoga sessions.  All in all, work is time consuming and fulfilling.

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Since the weather got COLD COLD COLD, I have been taking the workouts indoors.  The BOY and I were doing some personal training at the end of last year, but taking a (hopefully quick) break from it right now.  I am exploring and growing on my yoga mat and meeting friends at the barre for a totally different workout.  With an evolving schedule, finding time for workouts and self care has been tough, but I think I found my stride.

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I am teaching a bunch of kids yoga and working HARD to find some consistent adult classes in the city.  We are meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends.  For the most part, Cooper is settling in to his new home. I think he misses the stairs (we’ve caught him trying to sneak out our door for the stairs a few times), but loves finding new places to hide (ie his new Amazon box) and continues to try to eat everything.

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The BOY won the commute lottery and living this close to work has been great for him. He also loves that any kind of food he wants can be delivered to our front door by Eat24, Amazon, or anyone else delivering Thai, Mediterranean, or Chicago style pizza.  A day doesn’t go by where he hasn’t found a new restaurant in the neighborhood that we HAVE to try.

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Which brings us back to the food.  In attempt to be fiscally and waist line responsible, we have been cooking in a bunch this month and eating out less.  In an attempt to make this process less painful, I decided to make a feast last week.  This Mac N Cheese recipe seemed like the perfect hearty food for a cold Friday night and for protein, we whipped up a batch of Clean Meatballs.

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This mac n cheese recipe was easy and low fuss but the flavor was fantastic!  And I promise it wasn’t too spicy!  The meatballs were random but pretty amazing!  Even the BOY was talking about how much he liked them. 

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Friday night, I ate mine with a side of Mac N Cheese, but Saturday leftovers were all about the spaghetti squash.

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This week, we made Clean Sloppy Joe’s and Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork!  Our meal plan is looking even better with a bottle of Cooper’s Hawk wine : )

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What are your 2017 goals???  Any life updates???

Spicy Mac and Cheese

From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (I used crusty bread in the food processor)
  • Vegetable oil or Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add onion, garlic, cumin, and coriander.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, or until onion is soft.  Mix in the flour, and cook mixture over moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Using a wire whisk, slowly incorporate the milk into the onion mixture until the flour and milk are blended.  Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and stir in the jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and tomatoes with their juice.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mozzarella, cheddar, and Swiss cheese, blending until well mixed.  Combine the sauce and cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Place the sauced pasta in a 9 inch greased baking dish.  In a small bowl, mix the parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs.  Sprinkle the cheese and bread crumb topping over the pasta. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

 

Turkey Meatballs
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, place egg and breadcrumbs or oat bran.  Add spices and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Using an ice cream scoop make meatballs and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

I Don’t Know the Last Time…

I spent time in my kitchen cooking, baking, and then cooking some more.

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Bet you thought I was going to say blogging…

I guess you were right too!

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So, where have I been? Well…it’s a pretty long list!

 

Champaign for Christmas

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Yoga Six

Working

Mariano’s

Wisconsin for New Years

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Attempting Barre

Reading

Drinking Bubbles

Doing yoga on the Sky Deck

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Meeting Friends at Begyle Brewery

Baking Banana Bread

Teaching Kids Yoga

Taking Pics with the World Series Trophy

Rockclimbing

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Cuddling with Cooper

Meal Planning

Traveling to DC

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Told you it was a long list : )  Did I mention that it was also a fun one!

So here I am back at the blogging with Cooper on my lap and I’ve got some recipes for you. 

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Last Friday, after a busy morning, I decided to spend a bit of time in my kitchen.  Isn’t the whole point of having this awesome kitchen actually using it?

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The more challenging problem has been coming up with some down time to sit, type, and share all the amazing recipes with you.  With some help from impromptu house guests (my mom and dad), I made meatballs, jalapeno mac n cheese, Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip, and the most incredible Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars.

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I was a bit worried about the looks of these bars, but looks can be deceiving!

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These bars are absolutely delicious!

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And were met with rave reviews from everyone who tried them!

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Of course, I went dessert first, but I should also share with you the recipe I found in the Whole Foods Market Cookbook for Jalapeno Mac N Cheese.  And I will…just not tonight because I have to run.  We’ve got Saturday night dinner plans with friends (and I am bringing these oldie but goodie salad…Mmm!)

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What are you cooking and baking this winter???

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

From Mom Endeavors

Ingredients

  • ½ C butter
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • ⅓ C peanut butter
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C oatmeal
  • ¼ tsp salt

Frosting

  • 1 C chocolate chips
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • ½ C peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix sugars, egg, and butters.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and oatmeal.
  4. Spread mixture into a 9×13 pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. While that bakes, prepare the frosting (mix together the powdered sugar, milk, and peanut butter).
  6. Remove pan from oven and while hot, sprinkle with chocolate chips. When melted, swirl with the frosting.
  7. Enjoy!

I’ve Got a Good One For You…

But don’t’ be mad at me!

Although I am sharing a recipe, it is neither hearty nor healthy but instead a sinfully delicious dessert!  I probably should have stared with a confession…I LOVE cake batter and could binge on it all day long!  Okay, maybe not super surprising based on the amount of cake mix recipes this blog has on it, but still not easy to say type out loud.

Life for the BOY, Cooper, and I continues to be super busy and super amazing!!!

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Cooper love all the city has to offer, especially the food.

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Here he is attempting to hone in on our biscuits from Bang Bang!

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The BOY is also adjusting well to city life.  Last weekend, we celebrating his birthday with dinner at Bavette’s followed by cocktails at Band of Bohemia.

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This past week, the weather was incredible and I took full advantage by biking to work on Thursday.

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It takes a lot of planning, but is totally worth it!  I am thankful to have a job where you can show up and work in your ‘active ware’ straight off your bike.  This Thursday, we did a work potluck.  Although I signed up for an ap, I was craving something sweet and happy.

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Wednesday night, I walked over to Mariano’s and came back with the ingredients to make one of the many Cake Batter Dips on my Pinterest board.

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First I threw a batch of 2 Ingredient Muffins (with chocolate cake mix) into the oven and then pulled out my handheld mixer for work on the dip.

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If I told you this dip was good, you probably wouldn’t be surprised but downright bingeable, you might accuse me of exaggerations…

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But trust me, the BOY, and my coworkers when I tell you that this recipe is nothing shy of divine!

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I served it with graham sticks which were the perfect vehicle and compliment to this sweet dip!

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This dip is great to make the night before and travels well (even in a backpack on a bike).

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After work on Thursday, I met up with the BOY and my SIL for date night at Big Star.  We had the BEST night eating dinner outside appreciating the 70 degree evening (and the pitcher of margaritas)!

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Overall, it was a day of delcioiusness!

Enjoy!

Cake Batter Dip

From Fresh April Flours

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • Half of a box of Funfetti Cake Mix (approximately 1 ½ cups dry)
  • 6 Tablespoons milk (any milk is fine…I happened to have whole in the house)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup sprinkles plus more for decorating

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and no lumps remain.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the Funfetti mix. Add half of the milk and and mix until combined. Add remaining Funfetti mix and milk and increase mixer to medium speed to blend.
  3. Again, reduce mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer to medium speed and blend until completely combined.
  4. Stir in sprinkles with a spatula. Serve with pretzels, graham crackers, cookies, or your favorite crunchy treat. Cake batter dip will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

A Chocolate Problem…

What’s worse than a sunshine problem…clearly a chocolate problem!  Ha ha!

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I mean…it’s much better than focusing on any real life problems.  Right?!

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I am a huge fan of mouse and have made a few different recipes.  You may remember that I tried once to do it with coconut milk and it was a major fail.  I put that behind me and decided to try again last weekend when we hosted friends for Sunday night dinner.

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This recipe was simple enough but I bought some amazing store-made fudge as a back up.

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The fudge was appreciated and enjoyed but certainly not necessary sine this mousse/pudding turned out delicious!

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The BOY and our guests enjoyed it, even with the missing dairy.

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And I LOVED every chocolately bite!

 

Other Life Updates…

-To combat my chocolate problem and in appreciation of the sunshine problem, I have exploring new routes in my running shoes lately, which feels amazing!

-We celebrated the BOY’s birthday this past weekend starting Friday night with dinner at home and the Indiana game.  I made Chrissy Teigen’s meatloaf and I highly recommend it!

-Last night we went to Bavette’s for dinner, and I highly recommend that as well!

-I have been trying a bunch of yoga studios and classes trying to find the right fit…I’ll keep you posted!

-My crockpot has been super busy as always.  This week I went to the archives to make Crockpot Chicken Caccitore.

-We are super excited to host Thanksgiving again this year…can’t believe it’s less than 2 weeks away!

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding

From Stupid Easy Paleo

Ingredients

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 100 g of 85% to 90% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used Godiva)
  • 1 tbsp high-quality gelatin
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut milk on medium-low in a heavy-bottomed pot. You want to warm it enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boil. Add the chocolate and whisk constantly until it melts.
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, whisk in the gelatin by slowly pouring as you whisk. If you just dump the whole tablespoon in, it’ll get clumpy.
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour into your desired glasses or cups and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.