designlovefest.com · Dec 8, 2016


my first real tree! i decided to go for it this year when it came to holiday decorating and it’s putting me in such good spirits. i had a little movie night at my house with a few friends and we watched home alone on the couch under tons of blankets and just the lights from the tree. we made a few easy recipes in the vitamix that we are sharing with you too! healthy hot chocolate and festive beet hummus. real crowd pleasers!

in my mind, it cannot be the holidays without hot chocolate. growing up, my mom would make it for us after we’d go sledding and we’d come inside with freezing cold hands and frozen toes wanting to warm ourselves quickly and the hot chocolate was always a highlight. this year i wanted to focus on a more healthy version of a classic hot chocolate recipe using homemade almond milk and raw cacao powder. i’m going to be a real hippie for a minute and urge you to make your own almond milk. there is no comparison between homemade and store bought and it really brings the beverage up a notch. to make the almond milk, soak 4 cups almonds overnight, rinse them and then blend them with 4 cups filtered water in your Vitamix. strain using a nut milk bag (i own this one!) and then store the milk in your refrigerator. – joanie

what you’ll need:
• 3 cups almond milk
• 3 tablespoons raw cacao (we use this brand).
• 3 tablespoons maple syrup
• 6 pitted dates
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

– the bonus of making this in your vitamix is that it heats it for you. to make – add the almond milk to your vitamix, throw in the rest of the ingredients and then turn to your hot/soup setting. blend until you start to see steam rising out of the blender. if you don’t have a vitamix, blend all of your ingredients and then pour into a sauce pan and heat until you hit your desired temperature.

• we topped ours with coconut cream which we made by chilling a can of full fat coconut milk, opening it and taking out and using just the thick layer at the top, and then blending it with a table spoon of maple syrup. yum!

and now for the beet hummus. i almost never buy hummus from the store because it’s so easy (and inexpensive) to whip up at home and there are so many variations that you can experiment with. we wanted to use beets because they are both healthy and have the most beautiful color. if you’re not a big fan of the flavor of beets but love the color you can cut down on the quantity. we experimented with using two and three roasted beets and both versions were great.

here is what you’ll need:
• 3 roasted beets (oven at 400 for 35-45 minutes, until tender with a fork).
• 3 gloves of garlic (you can either roast this or leave it raw, use less if you’re planning on kissing someone later)
• the juice of 1 lemon
• 1/4 cup olive oil (this is my favorite brand)
• 1 can rinsed chickpeas
• 1 teaspoon salt

• add all of your ingredients to the vitamix and blend on level 2, slowly moving to level 6 until the consistency is creamy. transfer to a bowl and serve with veggies and crackers!

no holiday party is complete with out a cheese plate! i go to my in-laws for christmas and the entire holiday meal is based around appetizers which is one of my favorite ways to eat. everyone brings something to share and the table is filled with all sorts of snacks, our contribution being a cheese plate. i like to do a mix of meats, cheeses, fresh and dried fruits, veggies, nuts, dips and then 2-3 different types of breads or crackers. i like the plate to look abundant so i always lay everything out and then fill in the cracks so that you can barely see the plate.

do you have traditional recipes that you make every year or a food item that you can’t go without during the holidays? we’d love to know!

and let’s talk about that garland!! that thing made me happy for days straight. jenn sanchez made this beauty and stuck in real flowers for the event. even after the flowers bit the dust, the greenery is gorgeous in my living room.

the splatter tumblers are by chris earl, aren’t they cool!?

and i decided to keep it minimal this year and just decorate my tree with white lights. it matches the room and still feels sparkly and pretty. after everything was prepared, we sat and waited for everyone to arrive and the sun to go down…

what are your favorite holiday movies that you watch every year?? here’s ours!

what a fun night!!

photos by: ivan solis
sponsored by: viatmix


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