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.

 

anyways...

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:

brownies...

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.

anyways...

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.
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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!

moodboard : rainy weekend

Added on by izzy nguyen.

what a murky weekend it's been here in new york city. besides the wind chills and constant drizzle, it's been a pretty good one. my mom and i celebrated this ominous weather by baking espresso chocolate cake and fig & walnut biscotti. yes. that's right. TWO baked desserts. 

we're still making our way through the (best-ever) chocolate cake before it goes bad. which will be easy.

 

since this blog is still in it's inception, this post is the first of its kind. moodboards.

colors, inspiration, lovely things, and basically anything that catches my eye when i scroll through my pinterest and/or tumblr feed. 

this moodboard is inspired by this northeast sprinkle storm. dark + natural tones, indoor baking, and fresh spring flowers, and of course, sweaters. and the somewhat mellow weather.

 

sweater / sea / brittle / coat / petals / mountains / fish tails


besides this moodboard, i'd like to introduce you to someone who i've been following for a while. 

 

valentina, also known as tuna (boon), has become an instagram sensation.

other than being the only thing that my LA friends talk about, man, can she sing. 

this girl has so much talent, it's un-explainable.

even though i do not know her personally, she seems like such a flawless character, and it would be pretty amazing if i met her the next time i visited los angeles.

which will be soon, i hope.

 

please listen to one of her soundcloud posts, it's very lovely.