and i'm back!

Added on by izzy nguyen.

and i'm back from spring break! hoora- NO. 

back from break means back to school.

which means a lot less time to do things...

like baking stuff...

like baking granola...

so of course, the night before returning back to the school morning routine, i whipped up a batch of chunky fig, hazelnut butter, & quinoa granola. super good i must say. super DUPER good.

like so good that you will just scoop handfuls of this granola into your mouth kind-of good.

**slightly sweet, salty, crunchy – the whole SHEBANG. 

it's pretty awesome.


**just a side note: when i say slightly sweet, i mean not really sweet at all. if you'd like it to be sweeter, just add more honey/agave/maple syrup.

***adapted loosely from this recipe

what you need:

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds (unroasted)

2 tbs homemade hazelnut butter (or other nut butter)

1/2 tbs olive oil (doesn't have to be exact)

1/2 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs agave/maple syrup/honey (any would work)

1 tsp+ salt 

5 large dried figs

1/3 cup flame raisins

what you do:

00. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F + line a baking sheet with parchment paper

01. rinse quinoa in a fine mesh-strainer until water runs clear 

02. in a large bowl, combine quinoa, oats, and chopped almonds

03. in a small saucepan, melt together coconut oil, olive oil, hazelnut butter, and agave

04. once melted together, pour over quinoa/oats/almonds, add salt, and fold together until combined

05. in one layer, spread out the un-toasted granola onto the baking sheet

06. bake for 20 minutes, flipping granola about half way

07. for the last 5 minutes, add figs and raisins, and lower oven heat to 275 degrees F

08. once done, let cool, and store in an airtight container


P.S. and maybe sometime next week i'll post the photographs i took in santa fe! have a great end of the week!

and i'm off!

Added on by izzy nguyen.

if you are reading this now, know that i am currently away in new mexico for spring break! aahhhhh, spring break! for 10 days!!

also know that i am most likely taking wonderful pictures to share with you all when i get back, so BE. EXCITED.



all new yorkers can say that last weekend was a good representation of spring in its youth. meaning that there was sunlight, WARM sunlight, (didn't really get that quite often), and there are people walking in the streets without jackets on. and if you go to union square, there are people walking in the streets with no clothes on. so as much as you should enjoy spring, BEWARE.

last weekend, my lovely family and i walked approximately 5-ish miles just strolling along the east-side of manhattan. lower manhattan that is. we made visit to our favorite shops in the lower east side/soho/noho/downtown area. 

let me explain that these photographs are not in chronological order, so i will explain each shop and/or moment with scattered numbers. 

#01. a lovely breakfast of fresh bread from eataly, a ripe avocado, and a balsamic rainbow cherry salad

#10. a walk to saturdays. the hipster surf shop that sells really good coffee (??)

#09. a very bold graffiti wall in noho

#03 + #04. shop flowers and water towers viewed while walking — water towers are very interesting to west-siders i must add

#02 + #05 + #07. one of my favorite shops with the most beautiful light: project no. 8 — find your gadgetry and trinkets here! and very photogenic plants!

#06. creatures of comfort. aka my inspiration behind my url: common comfort. it is the most elegant and amazing store and has the best clothing and bags and weird rain hats. aka my kind of store. (*izzy stop using AKA*)

#08. actually a picture of the brooklyn bridge from that week (NOT SUNNY.) when the new jersey forest fire smoke had settled over manhattan and brooklyn.


until next time, farewell! and have a fantastic (hopefully) stress-free week!

probably the best flourless zucchini brownies, ever

Added on by izzy nguyen.

yup, you heard me.

zucchini brownies.

like there are green vegetables in these brownies.


but can you taste it? no.

but does it make these brownies totally delicious, and moist, and amazing, and absolutely scrumptious??

you guessed it!

IT DOES. and LOOK at the drizzle of coconut whip cream on that brownie. 

it's almost like they were made for each other. i ship it.

i'm suspecting that the majority of you will just end up closing the tab to these brilliant brownies, because it contains green things.

but to the few of you who a reading on… i congratulate you. you will be able to make awesome zucchini brownies after this.

(i forgot to mention that these brownies are vegan, gluten-free, flourless, and awesome)

what you need:


1/2 cup nut butter (i used leftover homemade cashew butter and hazelnut butter)

1/4 agave

1/2 cup finely smashed banana (about 1 large)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa/cacao powder

1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini (from 1 medium-large zucchini)

3/4 cup oats (gf if desired)

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt


coconut whip cream...

1 can full fat coconut milk

1 tbs sugar (or other granulated sugar)




what you do:

for the coconut whip cream...

01. the night before you make the brownies, or eat the brownies, place a can in your fridge.

02. the next day, gently take out the can, *do not shake it*

03. carefully turn the can upside-down and take off the top of the can using a can-opener.

04. in your sink, drain out the liquid at the top.

05. empty the dense coconut cream at the bottom of the can into a bowl, and whip it with sugar in an electric mixer, or by hand — (which is what i do to get those muscles pumpin')


for the brownies...

00. preheat oven to 350 degrees F

01. grind oats until ground into a fine flour (i used a bullet smoothie maker)

02. in a large bowl with a whisk, mix together nut butter, agave, the smashed banana, and vanilla. vigorously mix, until smooth. (optionally, you can use a standard mixer)

03. add in cocoa, oat flour, zucchini, and baking soda, salt, and mix again until well combined. it's okay if the shredded zucchini breaks up!

04. pour brownie batter into 9" x 9" pan (or close) and bake for 25-30 minutes. mine were perfect at 25, but my oven is ancient.

05. let brownies cool & top with coconut whip cream


have a fantastic weekend! (and a lovely spring break to all of you public school-ers!)

link loves / 04.09.14

Added on by izzy nguyen.

hello lovely people!

my dad was on the british virgin islands this weekend, and he sent me these pictures that are stunning. i mean, look at that water! soooooo blue. i hope i get the chance to visit at least once. from the photos, it looks like a serene paradise. really.


it's not sunday, and it's not particularly friday… but it's time for some link loves to get you through the second worst day of the week.



that's all for now!

have a stress-free hump day everyone!


oat & nib "blondies"

Added on by izzy nguyen.

is it just me, or do all bakers eat their food while they photograph it? izy? does this ever happen to you? it happens every. single. time. (see first .gif for reference).

well i just created this whip-up-anytime recipe with some medjool dates i had bought from our family lunch date/shopping spree at eataly. medjools alone are soft and so incredibly sweet that you could enjoy them on their own, stuffed with almond butter, or even some homemade (1-hour ground in-frustration) hazelnut butter.

don't ask.

just know that my food processor broke, and my last resort was a magic bullet. yes. it was an hour or so.

but seriously, i've seen so many raw/non-raw bars using medjool dates, walnuts, cacao etc. so i knew i had to try to make something of my own.

oat & nib "blondies" + chocolate "frosting"

what you need:

// for the blondies:

1 cup packed + pitted medjool dates (soaked)

1 cup oats

1/4 walnuts or almonds

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup cacao nibs

handful of chopped figs (optional)

shredded coconut (optional)



// for the frosting:

a ripe banana

heaping tbs cacao/cocoa powder


what you do:

(00). bring a small pot of water to a bowl and pour over pitted medjool dates in a bowl. let sit for 3 minutes

01. in a food processor, blend oats, almonds, and salt until ground into a flour 

02. drain water from soaked dates, and add medjools. blend until a ball of dough is formed

03. add cacao nibs, figs, and other miscellaneous toppings that fancy you and pulse until just combined

04. in a small plastic container or tuppaware, place dough in center and firmly press down until it reaches the sides in an even layer

05. in the same processor (cleaned if necessary), blend banana and cacao powder until smooth

06. pour frosting over blondie and spread in yet another even layer

07. sprinkle with coconut and enjoy!

08. i recommend refrigerating it for at least 3 hours before eating, but you can eat it right then and there if you'd like!

have a fantastic and rain-free weekend everyone!