Glühwein/Mulled Wine

Oh god… I’ve been such a horrible poster. I can’t even remember the last time I opened this blog!

Life has been quite a whirlwind and I haven’t cooked anything in ages. I’m quite ashamed, but I’m hoping the holiday season will inspire me (and the coldness will motivate me to stay inside and cook).

Today’s recipe isn’t anything healthy, but it definitely is festive. Growing up in Germany, I would spend many winter nights at Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) and they’d always serve some from of Glühwein. I’ve made it in the past and it’s always been a huge success, and since I’m hosting an ugly sweater party tonight, I decided to dig out my old recipe and make a batch of the good stuff!

You can vary the level of alcohol – traditionally you add spiced rum to it before serving, but it’s not a necessity. Nonetheless, Glühwein is basically made up of oranges, spices, and red wine, so don’t drink too much at once (even if it warms you so nicely!).

This is also the first time I’ll be making it in a crockpot; it’s so easy to accidentally let it boil when making it on the stovetop, so I’m hoping this method will make it taste even better!
Ingredients (serves 10-12):

  • 3 bottles of cheap red wine
  • 2-3 oranges
  • 3 cups orange juice (feel free to add more)
  • 9 cinnamon sticks
  • 15 whole star anise
  • 3 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 package of vanilla sugar
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • If desired, rum to top it off before serving

Wash the oranges and cut into slices. Add all the ingredients to a crockpot and cook on low (!! do not let it come to a boil!!!) for at least an hour. Before serving, drain the spices (the wine-soaked oranges also taste amazing!) and serve while hot.

Happy holidays and stay warm!


Pumpkin Smoothie

The downside of my tasty Sunday Pumpkin Pancakes is that I now have an opened can of pumpkin purée. It’s back to the workweek, so that means it’s time for smoothies again.

I looked around several cooking blogs for some smoothie inspiration, but couldn’t really find one recipe that I liked. So I decided to just go with my intuition and mix a bunch of tasty things together in the hopes that it would turn out. And it did! This smoothie may have just made its way to my top five!


  • 1 frozen banana (peel the banana before freezing!)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp unsalted creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup iced green tea

Put all ingredients in the blender (try to add the banana, liquids and purée before you add the protein powder and seeds since they tend to clump together). Blend all ingredients on high for about a minute and enjoy!

Relaxing Lavender Smoothie

Hello, hello!

The week is almost over with, and if yours has been anything like mine, then you will love this relaxing night-time smoothie.

I tend to go to evening yoga classes and usually am not very hungry afterwards, so a smoothie is usually my go-to dinner on yoga nights. Sometimes I’m in a chocolately mood (I’ll post an awesome mint-avocado-chocolate smoothie soon!), but tonight I just wanted to unwind. I just recently purchased some edible lavender oil and have been dying to try it out. I also LOVE adding bananas to my smoothies (if you haven’t noticed yet) and I know that they can help you sleep.

Since this is a post-workout smoothie, I – as per usual – added some protein powder, but in case you want to skip that, doubling up on the vanilla extract could do the trick (I haven’t tried this though, so I’m not sure how good that will work).

Anyways, here are my ingredients for my relaxing evening lavender smoothie! Add in a hot bath with candle light and there shouldn’t be anything in your way to a good night’s sleep.



  • 1/2 cup blueberries (I prefer fresh!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut-almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup green tea, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp lavender extract (use sparingly; I put too much in on my first try and it ruined the entire smoothie)

Hello – and welcome to my world of dairy free cooking!

Recently, I found myself sharing pictures and recipes of my smoothies, dinners, and desserts across social media, with friends, and even compiling recipe lists for those interested. I love finding recipes online to try out, and if you know me personally, you probably are aware of the fact that I have become obsessed with smoothies. I’ve been dairy-low (I cheat sometimes when eating out, but always cook dairy-free) for over a year now, and while there are a ton of vegan recipes online, it’s often hard to find good dairy-free ones (although not impossible).

So I thought… Why not make a collection of everything I have cooked and post it online, recipes and pictures included? My rules are simple – only post recipes I’ve tried, rate them honestly, and when possible include pictures. In the beginning this blog will most likely be very smoothie heavy and the picture may not be top-notch quality, but I’m learning, so please be kind with me.

I don’t even know if anybody is going to read this blog, and in a sense it will probably be more of a collection of recipes for me than anything else. So don’t expect a super fancy food blog or “correct” kitchen terms; I’m doing this for fun!

Happy cooking and baking!


– Alyssa

2016-01-31 12.21.22
(yes, this is me cheating… that is NOT dairy-free mousse)