HOT COCOA WITH COCONUT, CARDAMOM & SEA SALT

HOT COCOA WITH COCONUT, CARDAMOM & SEA SALT - The First Mess
So I guess drink posts are back! Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging feedback on my Golden Serene Latte post. I think those of us who work in the creative field may be able to agree with this: it’s surprisingly easy to let the critical voices of a small amount of people drown out the positivity of hundreds more. I really enjoy crafting these posts and recipes for you, so I’m going to try my best to keep ’em coming :)

Like I used to with Happy Hour posts previously, I’ll include a few links to stuff I’ve been enjoying on a week to week basis. I see this as an opportunity to be a little bit more personal too. When I’m writing about recipes, it’s really hard to transition from potentially heavy/meaningful conversation right on over to “This broccoli will take you straight to Flavortown!” Ridiculous example, but I think you know what I mean. It’s awkward! Anyway, we’re back and I’m coming at this with a greater sense of intention.

A couple weeks ago, I spent a few days with fellow blogger entrepreneur friends (Sasha, Sarah, Renee & Haley) on a retreat of sorts just outside of Portland, Oregon. Between hikes in mossy forests, hanging in the sauna (plus going for intermittent ice cold plunges eep!), and cooking all kinds of plant-based delights, we talked about our careers, how we’re moving forward, what moves we’re making for the upcoming phases of our work, and other big life stuff. The support and advice of these women in such an inspiring natural environment was exactly what I needed. In the interest of transparency, I’ve been creatively and motivationally stuck since my book came out (almost two years ago jeez).

I am grateful that my online endeavours provide a comfortable income through sponsorship, ads, and the odd bit of freelance work, don’t get me wrong. After long periods of time though, it’s easy to lose sight of your real purpose and to extract some sense of meaning from it all. Talking this dilemma out with that group of women really crystallized some of my intentions with this work and other projects in a new way. On the plane ride back home, I started to feel some of my creative juice come back, that enthusiasm and conviction that I’m on the right track no matter how meandering.

Most importantly, my gals confirmed that these weekly roundup posts are pretty great, so here we are. I love a hot cocoa spiked with cardamom and sea salt. I use spoonfuls of almond and coconut butters blended with hot water to get the “milk” aspect here, along with a soft date for extra creaminess and also some caramel-y sweet notes. Here’s a few links for you to peruse while you sip. Happy weekending :)

We had so much great food over the course of the retreat. Some highlights include these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sasha and a version of Sarah’s legendary Four Corners Lentil Soup.

I listened to a live recording of Suze Orman’s discussion at the Apollo (via Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations Podcast) a few weeks ago and enjoyed it so much. It’s my honest feeling that women do not talk about money and personal finances enough outside of basic home expenses. Suze preaches that your self worth is indisputably tied to your net worth, and that if you work hard to be strong, smart and secure in your finances, you can do anything and go anywhere you want to in this life. Her closing remarks honestly had me tearing up. You can check out part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE (and also on Apple podcasts, Spotify etc).

An urban farm within a residential development in New York. Can all new and old developments (and neighbourhoods!) be like this? My only comment is that this woman should clearly be paid more.

A piece about the founders of The Skimm, a newsletter that condenses daily news into a 5-10 minute digest with a small dose of humour essentially. It makes it easy (ie no excuses) for anyone to be informed. It’s important to note that these two are in the .05% of startups founded by women. The potential of this tool in this societal climate is powerful and I loved reading their perspective on it all.

Perfect pizza can be traced and formulated scientifically. Also major lols at “If you don’t have a brick pizza oven at home because your landlord has no vision…”

I am making my first ever vision board this weekend after watching this encouraging, instructive (and not too woo woo) video from Mimi Ikonn. Gonna grab some magazines, journal real hard, and bang this thing out. I really can’t wait. Have any of you made a vision board before? Would love to hear about your experiences and approach in the comments. I’m also looking at this between-seasons Dream Casting method from my bud Renee.

I finally found a planner that actually makes me more productive. Typically I look at the list of things I have to do and just knock off the easy items and then further procrastinate on the bigger/possibly harder/possibly more confrontational things. I was a time “time optimist” in other words. The Productivity Planner from Intelligent Change has a whole system of time checks and prioritizing strategies that are really working for me. Love their Five-Minute Journal too!

So inspired by this book from the people of Terrain for outdoor living and decor inspiration! Just in time for the holidays.

I’ve been watching some videos from this YouTube channel in my free time because we’re planning a trip to Disney World next year! Mark and I are basically big kids at heart and also Galaxy’s Edge will finally be open! If you have Disney World recommendations for resorts, vegan options at restaurants/snack stands, experiences, honestly anything, please hit me up in the comments. I’m like a Disney sponge right now and am being so extra with the planning lol.

And a little moment of cuteness/zen.

HOT COCOA WITH COCONUT, CARDAMOM & SEA SALT - The First Mess
HOT COCOA WITH COCONUT, CARDAMOM & SEA SALT
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 1
NOTES: You could use raw cacao powder if you have it around. Expect a slightly stronger and ever-so-slightly more bitter taste.
-I think 1 Medjool date is sweet enough, but feel free to increase this if you need to.
-If you don’t have/don’t like almond butter, cashew or hazelnut butter or even tahini would also work.

1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon almond butter
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (to taste)
pinch of sea salt
1 soft Medjool date, pitted
10 oz boiling water

In an upright, vented blender, combine the cocoa powder, coconut butter, almond butter, cardamom, sea salt, date, and boiling water. Slowly bring your blender up to high speed and let it run for 30 seconds, or until the date is totally liquified and the drink looks creamy. Pour the hot cocoa with coconut and cardamom out into a mug that you love, dust with some extra cocoa if you like, and enjoy!

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