10-Minute Creamy Tomato SoupOk, so this could be made in 10 minutes, but maybe it will take you 15? I don’t know. No one cut themselves while chopping just to make that 10-minute mark. It’s a super quick soup, that’s all, not necessarily a challenge I’m throwing out there. Ha! Just wanted to be super clear on that, folks. But who doesn’t love a delicious soup that comes together fast? I know I do. Because although I’ve been doing better with meal planning for the week, it never hurts to have a back pocket soup you can throw together for lunch or dinner if you need it.

10-Minute Creamy Tomato SoupThis one gets major bonus points because it’s also totally plant-based, meaning it manages to be creamy but it’s still dairy free. One of my favorite “tricks” I’ve picked up from the vegan crowd is blending up cashews in sauces to make things creamy. Elsie shared on our IG stories a few weeks ago a dairy-free alfredo sauce that uses this same “trick” and it’s pretty awesome. Lots of different possibilities!

10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup, serves 2

2-3 tablespoons chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can of whole tomatoes + juice (14.5 oz)
1/2 cup vegetable stock (or water)
1/3 cup raw cashews
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onions and garlic. This can be a pretty rough chop as we’re going to blend them later, so it doesn’t have to be super precise here.

10-Minute Creamy Tomato SoupCook the onions and garlic in a medium pot over medium/high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, stock, cashews, and cayenne if using. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Then combine everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

10-Minute Creamy Tomato SoupNormally, I recommend either blending your soup in a good blender OR using an immersion blender. But for this particular recipe I find that a good blender works best, as it does a better job at making sure the cashews really get ground up in the mix. That being said, if all you have is an immersion blender, I would still make this soup because it’s still SO yummy. But I just wanted to note that a blender may be best here.

10-Minute Creamy Tomato SoupServe this alongside some toast or add some cooked whole-grain noodles if you like. I personally love dipping toast into soup, so that’s usually what I go with. And if I’m really indulging, then I make make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with this too. 🙂 Happy soup making! xo. Emma

10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup4.86 from 7 votes Print

10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

Servings 2

Ingredients

2-3
tablespoons
chopped onion
3
cloves
of garlic
chopped
1
tablespoon
olive oil
1
can of whole tomatoes + juice
14.5 oz
1/2
cup
vegetable stock
or water
1/3
cup
raw cashews
1/8
teaspoon
cayenne
or more
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Chop the onions and garlic. This can be a pretty rough chop as we’re going to blend them later, so it doesn’t have to be super precise here.

Cook the onions and garlic in a medium pot over medium/high heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, stock, cashews, and cayenne if using. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Then combine everything in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Normally, I recommend either blending your soup in a good blender OR using an immersion blender. But for this particular recipe, I find that a good blender works best as it does a better job at making sure the cashews really get ground up in the mix. That being said, if all you have is an immersion blender, I would still make this soup because it’s still SO yummy. But I just wanted to note that a blender may be best here.

10-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

Try This: Floral Shadow Box Art

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtChanging up the art in my home is partially a bad habit, but mostly a great way to celebrate the changes in seasons. I was ready to freshen up my kitchen walls for spring, and this floral wall art idea was a fun and easy solution. The best part is, you won’t need much time or money to make these beautiful shadow boxes. Check out the simple instructions below!

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtSupplies:
–shadow box
-cardstock or poster board in the color of your choice
–artificial flowers
-spray adhesive (Super 77 is my favorite.)
–hot glue gun
-cutting materials (I like to use a cutting mat, steel ruler, and X-Acto blade.)
–wire cutters (not shown—use these for trimming flowers)

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtStep One: Remove the sturdy back of your shadow box and spray mount your cardstock or poster board to it. This will make a stable backing to glue your flowers to.

I sprayed the smaller cardboard piece, not the larger piece of cardstock, since I would be laying my ruler on the cardstock and didn’t want to get adhesive on it. After pressing the sprayed cardboard onto the cardstock, I trimmed the cardstock to size.

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtStep Two: Arrange your flowers using your mat as a framing guide, if you’re using a mat. Then use a hot glue gun to secure it in place. Try to hide the glued areas behind flowers or leaves so the glue won’t be visible.

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtAssemble all the pieces into your frame, and your wall art is ready to be hung! If you leave off the glass from your frames, your pieces will eventually collect dust. But doing so allows you to layer pieces of your floral arrangements in front of the mat, which is a really nice look. If you do use the frame’s glass, you may still be able to tuck those overlapping pieces between the mat and glass, as long as they are flat pieces, like leaves.

Try This: Floral Shadow Box ArtThere they are, brightening up my home just an hour after beginning the project. Quick, easy and beautiful! That’s a winning project in my book. –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsIf I could make a housewarming gift for everyone I knew, this would be it. Seriously, you should probably just go ahead and move this month in case I run out of this fabric. I came up with this pineapple oven mitt design after realizing how perfect the shape would be for such an item, and I just knew a few of you might be feeling brave enough to dust off those sewing machines to make your own.

As far as sewing projects go, this one is pretty simple and straightforward, so you can finish your first one in about an hour and then whip up your second in about thirty minutes. Cut out all of your fabric at once to make even quicker work of things. They’re roomy enough to grab onto things and the pineapple leaves help protect your wrists from hot trays from the oven. As darling as they are, though, you may just want to keep them on display all summer!

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsSew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsSupplies Per Oven Mitt:
-pineapple oven mitt template – Download Pineapple A 1 of 2Download Pineapple A 2 of 2Download Pineapple B
-1/4 yard fabric for pineapple side
-1/4 yard fabric for shorter side
-1/2 yard of natural cotton batting
-1/2 yard of Insul-Bright
-10″ of double fold bias tape
-straight pins
-scissors
-iron and ironing board
-chalk (optional)
-sewing machine
-access to printer

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsDownload and print out the templates for the oven mitt shape. The pineapple shape will print onto two sheets of paper, so line them up where the dotted lines are and tape them together before cutting it out. Cut along the outside lines and use these as your template when you cut your fabric, cotton batting, and Insul-bright out in the next step.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsFor each piece of the template, fold your fabric in half with right sides facing each other. Then place your cotton batting down next, then add your layer of Insul-bright on top of that so that you have four layers on top of each other. Place your template on top of your layers and pin it down with straight pins before cutting through all four pieces. Remove your template and repin all four pieces together. Repeat with the smaller mitt side. Go ahead and plug in your iron so it’s ready when you need it.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsHere’s a close up of the layers peeled back so that you can ensure the right sides of your fabric are facing each other.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsPlace your pineapple shape under your sewing machine and stitch along the perimeter so that you’re stitching through all four layers. Leave about  1/4″ of room from the edge of the top layer. You’ll want to start your stitching near the bottom of the pineapple shape and near one edge, and then stop stitching on the other side about 4″ from where you started. This will leave a gap big enough for you to turn the whole thing right side out.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsTrim your edges and make a very precise cut into each pineapple corner so that you are separating the fabric enough that it can turn right side out and have some stretching room, but not quite to the stitch line or else it’ll show a hole on the other side. You can also snip off the top corner of your pineapple points so they don’t bunch up when you turn them right side out. Again, be sure not to cut past the stitch line.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsPlace your fingers inside your pineapple shape so that they are in between the two layers of fabric, and then turn it right side out. Use the eraser end of a pencil or the cap of a sharpie to help poke your corners out. Once you have everything smoothed out, iron your shape to give it a little more reinforcement.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsFree-hand stitch lines across your pineapple base for a quilted and textural look. Add lines for the leaves as well. Back stitch on the leaf lines where you start and stop and then trim your thread. I like to use a contrasting thread that will show up against the fabric, but the quilted texture will show up regardless. This also helps secure all four layers together. You now have half of your oven mitt done!

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsSew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsRepeat the same process with the smaller mitt side. I didn’t add quilting to this side, but you can if you’d like. Notice I stitched my opening at the bottom of this piece as well so that I could turn it right side out. For extra interest, I pinned a length of double-sided bias tape over the top edge and stitched it on. This just adds another layer of color and gives it a more finished look.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsPlace your mitt and pineapple sides together so that the bottoms match up and pin along the perimeter. Starting at the top corner where the two pieces meet, back stitch, and then continue stitching them together until you get to the opposite corner on the other side.

If you would like to add a little loop of bias tape or ribbon to make a little hanger for your oven mitt to be on display, you can add that to one of the corners before you stitch things down. Just be sure to fold it in half and tuck the ends in between the two oven mitt sides so that the top loop is facing inside the pineapple mitt. When it’s turned right side out again, it’ll face outside the oven mitt.

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsTurn your oven mitts right side out and iron them flat again. These are one of the most fun sewing projects for your kitchen you’ll ever make!

Sew Your Own Pineapple Oven MittsTie up a stack of mitts with a ribbon and finish it off with a few of your favorite recipe cards, or tuck a trio of bamboo spatulas into the mitt and gift them to your favorite cook. You’ll surely be invited over for brownies very soon! –Rachel

Credits//Author: Rachel Denbow. Photography: Janae Hardy and Rachel Denbow. 

Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)

Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)OK, OK, I know a lot of you are wondering why this tiger nut recipe is labeled “nut-free,” but surprise—tiger nuts are not actually nuts, despite the name! They are starchy and fibrous root vegetables that taste like a cross between a nut and a sweet potato (at least that was my thought when I first tried them). They are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium and are a great alternative for flour and milk if you are doing a gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free diet. When I was learning more about them initially, I read that tiger nut milk is the base for a Spanish-style horchata (as opposed to the rice milk version that I’m familiar with) and since I love horchata, I knew I had to try making it and it did not disappoint. I’ll show you how I made my version:Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)Tiger Nut Horchata, serves one

For the tiger nut milk (makes about 3 cups of milk):

1 cup tiger nuts (I use this peeled version)
3 cups water (filtered water is best)

For the horchata:

1 cup tiger nut milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)First, you’ll need to make your tiger nut milk. Ideally, you would take your cup of tiger nuts and soak them in enough water to cover them overnight (or up to 24 hours), but I’ve made it a lot where I put them in hot water (freshly boiled) and let them sit 2-3 hours before blending. That’s a quick way to do it if you didn’t remember the night before.

Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)Once your tiger nuts are soaked, rinse the soaking water and add them to a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend on high for several minutes until creamy looking. Spread a thin cotton tea towel or a nut milk bag over a bowl and pour in your mixture to strain out the milk. Keep squeezing until all the liquid has passed through and you have a relatively dry pulp left over.

Side note: You can make tiger nut flour with the leftover pulp by simply spreading it out on a baking sheet and putting it in your oven on the lowest setting for a few hours (or letting it dry on your counter even), stirring it every so often. Once dry, add it to a food processor or blender and blend until it’s a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and now you can use it for baked goods as a flour replacement!

Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)Once your milk is strained, add 1 cup of your milk to a glass and mix in your maple syrup or simple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Feel free to add a little more or less of whichever you’d like! Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)Stir together and pour into a glass with a cinnamon stick as a garnish. I wouldn’t keep this in the fridge too long, so make the horchata the same day you want to drink it. But I find the regular tiger nut milk lasts 4 days or so in the fridge (although you’ll want to make sure to shake it occasionally and before drinking, as it tends to settle a bit to the bottom). Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!) Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!) It’s so good! If you don’t feel like a cold drink, you can also heat this up for a delicious vanilla steamer and it’s a lovely way to wake up or wind down on a cold winter day as well. The milk is super creamy and has a distinct subtle sweetness unlike any other milk I’ve tried, so it’s definitely a treat to try if you haven’t already! xo. Laura

Print

Tiger Nut Horchata

Servings 1 person

Ingredients

For the tiger nut milk (makes about 3 cups of milk):

1
cup
tiger nuts
I use this peeled version
3
cups
water
filtered water is best

For the horchata:

1
cup
tiger nut milk
1
teaspoon
maple syrup or simple syrup to taste
1/4
teaspoon
vanilla extract
1/4
teaspoon
cinnamon

Instructions

First, you’ll need to make your tiger nut milk. Ideally, you would take your cup of tiger nuts and soak them in enough water to cover them overnight (or up to 24 hours), but I’ve made it a lot where I put them in hot water (freshly boiled) and let them sit 2-3 hours before blending. That’s a quick way to do it if you didn’t remember the night before.

Once your tiger nuts are soaked, rinse the soaking water and add them to a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend on high for several minutes until creamy looking. Spread a thin cotton tea towel or a nut milk bag over a bowl and pour in your mixture to strain out the milk. Keep squeezing until all the liquid has passed through and you have a relatively dry pulp left over.

Side note: You can make tiger nut flour with the leftover pulp by simply spreading it out on a baking sheet and putting it in your oven on the lowest setting for a few hours (or letting it dry on your counter even), stirring it every so often. Once dry, add it to a food processor or blender and blend until it’s a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and now you can use it for baked goods as a flour replacement!

Once your milk is strained, add 1 cup of your milk to a glass and mix in your maple syrup or simple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Feel free to add a little more or less of whichever you’d like!

Stir together and pour into a glass with a cinnamon stick as a garnish. I wouldn’t keep this in the fridge too long, so make the horchata the same day you want to drink it. But I find the regular tiger nut milk lasts 4 days or so in the fridge (although you’ll want to make sure to shake it occasionally and before drinking as it tends to settle a bit to the bottom).

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Currently, we’re in the mood for a warm meal. We want to curl up in our giant sweaters, while our fireplace is burning with a glass of red wine, but we can’t put our finger on what could possibly satisfy this craving. Whenever we want to replace a dish with a healthy alternative, we call upon Jacqueline Alwill and Brittany Darling. They know exactly what could curb our hankering. As our resident nutrition experts, they always know how to satisfy our cravings for food that is usually difficult to replicate in a nutritious version. This week, they gave us a delectable, mouth-watering recipe for gluten-free, dairy free, vegan miso carrot corn and sweet potato soup. Keep reading below to see if you can make the immune-boosting meal for yourselves!

Jacqueline Alwill is an accredited nutritionist, author and mum, and Brittany Darling, is an accredited nutritionist/herbalist. You can find Jacqueline online at thebrownpaperbag.com.au.

Immune Boosting Miso Carrot Corn And Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4

Gluten free, dairy Free, vegan

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1 Brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
3 Tablespoons miso paste
630g Carrots, roughly chopped
320g (Approx. 1 medium) Sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
250g Corn Kernels (Approx. 3 corns)
500ml Vegetable broth or stock
250ml water
Sea salt and black pepper
Sesame seeds
Coriander
Walnuts

Instructions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion, ginger and garlic and sautĂŠ 3-4 minutes.

Add miso paste, carrots, sweet potato, corn, broth or stock, water and season with sea salt and black pepper, cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

Once veggies are tender, blend until smooth.

Serve with crushed walnuts, sesame seeds and coriander (if desired).

While you’re here, check out Jacqueline and Brittany’s recipe for delicious, plant based nut-free, raw lamingtons. 

Getting ourselves into social distancing requires a great deal of adjusting. For the unforeseen future, we’re going to be doing everything (including working out) at home. Because of gym closures happening all over the world, getting our exercise in at home is more important than ever. We need to keep up with our wellness and mental health. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you tons of workouts you can do at home, including this booty-building one from BootyMe.

Keeping up with exercise is essential to staying healthy during these times. A regular workout routine more than just body benefits. Keep reading for our favorite booty-building workout!

A Quick, At Home Glute Workout That Burns The Booty

1) Dumbbell Step-Up Squat (15 reps per side)

Stand straight up with dumbbells at either side.
Step up with a left foot and firmly plant a foot on to the bench.
Squat down to a 90-degree angle.
Alternate legs.
Complete the desired amount of reps on each leg.

A Quick, At-Home Workout That Tones And Builds The Glutes

Image: BootyMe

2) Banded Lateral Steps (20 reps)

Place band above knees.
Stand straight up with feet hip-width apart.
Squat down and step out to the left one foot at a time.
Now step back to the right while staying in the right position.
Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

A Quick, At-Home Workout That Tones And Builds The Glutes

Image: BootyMe

3) Swiss Ball Leg Curl (15 reps)

Lay down on a mat and place both feet on top of the stability ball.
Plant both hands on the ground and lift hips off the ground.
With the heels of your feet roll the ball in and out.
Keep hips lifted and feet on the ball.
Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

A Quick, At-Home Workout That Tones And Builds The Glutes

Image: BootyMe

4) Alternating Kettlebell Lateral Lunge (20 reps)

Hold kettlebell down between your legs with your arm straight.
Feet shoulder-width apart.
Engage the core, keep back upright.
Lunge out to the left, shift body weight onto the left, leg squatting to a 90 degree.
Perform required reps.
Repeat on the other side.

A Quick, At-Home Workout That Tones And Builds The Glutes

Image: BootyMe

5) Bosu Crunch (1o reps)

Sit down with lower back on the Bosu ball.
Bend left leg and plant left foot firmly into the ground.
Straighten out the right leg and maintain that position throughout the exercise.
Place right arm behind your head, crunch while raising a right leg and reach for the right leg with the left hand.
Repeat for the desired amount of reps and repeat them on the alternate side.

A Quick, At-Home Workout That Tones And Builds The Glutes

Image: BootyMe

While you’re here, check out Lee Holme’s 4 steps to your healthiest gut ever. 

 

 

 

Despite our love for the outdoors and obsession with the beach, vitamin D is a common deficiency.

As a result, people often turn to supplementation in order to meet their daily requirements, but as new research from Australian Eggs finds, an average serve of eggs (2 x 60g) provides a substantial proportion of the recommended dietary vitamin D intake—proving that eggs are on one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D.

“In Australia, it’s actually very hard to get more than about 5 or 10 per cent of our D requirement from most food, because we don’t fortify by adding vitamin D to many things,” explains Sydney-based GP, Dr Ginni Mansberg.

Eggs Provide 82% Of Your Daily Vitamin D Needs, New Research Finds

Image: iStock

“Along with the recommendations to avoid too much sunlight exposure, these factors together contribute to the high incidence of vitamin D deficiency in this country. Knowing an average serving of eggs provides 82% of the RDI for vitamin D could be a massive game-changer for those living with a vitamin D deficiency.”

Vitamin D is essential for the body as it helps absorb calcium effectively, important for bone health and muscle function. Sever deficiencies could have major health ramifications—linked to serious conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

“Eggs might be able to help keep vitamin D levels high to lower the risk of disease, maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr Mansberg. “Eggs are highly nutritious food and should be included daily as part of a healthy and balanced diet.”

Eggs Provide 82% Of Your Daily Vitamin D Needs, New Research Finds

Image: iStock

Especially important as we head into the cooler months, The Australian Health Survey reveals that deficiency rates almost triple in winter and with the high cost of supplements and speculation around supplements and their health benefits, experts advise sticking to natural food sources where possible.

Other food sources of vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and cod, beef liver, mushrooms and some fortified dairy products.

For creative recipe ideas containing eggs, check out these Mediterranean-inspired, keto-friendly egg zoodles, 5-ingredient egg muffins, and omelette with chilli, lime & coriander.

A Color Story: New Effects from Kate La Vie are Magical!!Happy Friday!! We have a huge creator crush on Kate Spiers of the blog Kate La Vie, and we were SO excited to work with her on this new effects +pack, Prism! Inspired by sunny days and rainbow prisms, these effects mimic that magical feeling we get when light dances in a way only light can. 😍 You know that feeling!! And I think we could all use a little extra light right now. ❤️

A Color Story: New Effects from Kate La Vie are Magical!!We love Kate’s style, and we’re so excited about these effects! The above photo was edited with Wave Length. This effect is really cool because it not only adds a rainbow prism, but it gives the whole photo a film vibe as well. This definitely feels like something you’d see come out of a roll of expired film and we are here for it!

A Color Story: New Effects from Kate La Vie are Magical!!Ahhh, a day at the pool. Edited with Lapis, this one’s making me daydream!! Love how the effect in this one mimics light hitting water. One cool thing to remember about our effects is that you can drag them to different parts of your image and even turn down their opacity for a more intense or subtle effect, depending on what you’re going for. I really like how the effect is mostly focused on the water in this image.

A Color Story: New Effects from Kate La Vie are Magical!!OK, cute!! I love the intensity on this one, edited with Spectrum. You can imagine how different this effect could look depending on how you adjust it to focus on your subject.

Thanks for letting me share about this effects +pack! Wishing you all a little magic and light always, and especially now. ❤️

xo, Team ACS

Crumb Top Thumbprint Cookies

Crumb Top Thumbprint CookiesThese crumb top thumbprint cookies could not be more simple. I recently saw the musical Waitress and now I can’t stop singing, “Sugar, Butter … Flour” and that’s the majority of the ingredients for these cookies. They are soft and buttery with a delicate crumb top (optional, but do it!) and you can use any jam you love or have on hand.

Crumb Top Thumbprint CookiesThese are by no means fussy but there is something about these little thumbprint cookies that make me want to eat them alongside a cup of tea … they just feel a little tea party to me. No?

Crumb Top Thumbprint CookiesThe dough is like a very soft, cookie dough version of pie crust. And the crumb top is exactly like a muffin. Are you sold yet?

Crumb Top Thumbprint CookiesForming the cookies is really fun and almost a mini craft project as you aim for maximum jam to crumb top area. 🙂 I also recommend you dab the tip of your finger in water and line the edge of the cookies before dipping in the crumb topping. This helps the crumb top stick until it gets baked into place.

Crumb Top Thumbprint CookiesThese thumbprint cookies really are super delicious. Happy baking! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.Crumb Top Thumbprint Cookies5 from 1 vote Print

Crumb Top Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

1
cup
softened butter
2/3
cup
granulated sugar
1
egg
1
teaspoon
vanilla extract
2
cups
all purpose flour
pinch
of salt
1/4
cup
or more jam/jelly

Crumb top:

3
tablespoons
cold butter
3
tablespoons
granulated sugar
3-4
tablespoons
all purpose flour

Instructions

In a medium size bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. Then stir in the flour and salt. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, use a pastry blender to combine the crumb top ingredients. The mixture should resemble small pebbles.

Divide the dough into 20-22 pieces (dough balls should fit in the palm of your hand). Form a ball, then gently press onto a clean surface so the bottom has a flat edge. Use the underside of a teaspoon or your thumb to create the center well. Dab your finger in water and line the edge or rim of the well center. Gently press the wet edge into the crumb topping. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat and then fill the center with jam or jelly. Repeat for all the cookies.

Bake at 325°F for 12-15 minutes. I like these a little underbaked myself, so I tend to stick to around the 12-minute mark.

Recipe Notes

You can skip the crumb topping and these are still delicious. But I like the texture and look it creates.

Every night while we sleep our subconscious takes us on a wild ride through dreamland. As it turns out, how the brain interprets stimuli before dozing off and mid-snooze can actually affect not only sleep quality but the content of dreams themselves.  

From specific foods to sleeping positions, studies show a number of seemingly random things can influence your shut-eye. Grab that dream journal—we’re sharing five surprising things that can affect your dreams.

5 Surprising Things That Can Have An Influence On Your Dreams

Image via Unsplash from Raw Pixel

Vitamin B-6 Supplements

Heightened dreaming is often listed as a potential side effect of increased B-6 intake, with studies reporting more vivid, more bizarre and more colorful dreams than control nights without the vitamin. While a dose of vitamin B-6 before bed could enhance your ability to recall dreams in better detail after waking, too much B-6 may increase the intensity of dreams so much that sleep and comfortable dreaming become out of reach. (If you choose to take any supplement,  be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you!).

5 Surprising Things That Can Have An Influence On Your Dreams

Image via Unsplash from Raw Pixel

Eating cheese

A study conducted by the British Cheese Board found that there was a link between wild dreams and consuming cheese right before bed! Interestingly, the study found that different cheeses appeared to give participants different types of dreams. Those who ate cheddar cheese tended towards dreams about celebrities, while those who reached for blue cheese reported more bizarre dreams. Still dreaming of your ex? Could be the Red Leicester.

Going to sleep hungry

Hunger pains and blood sugar drops can keep the brain mentally alert, leading to unnecessary wake-ups throughout the night. What’s more, sleep studies conducted by Dr. J. Catesby Ware, Ph.D. at Eastern Virginia Medical School showed that hungry patients almost always dreamed about food! Find yourself regularly dreaming of a juicy steak or matcha chocolate chip cookies? Try having a light snack before bed to counter this effect, but be sure to skip fatty and spicy foods which can lead to indigestion and keep you up for other reasons.

External sounds and smells

Sudden sounds and smells that are strong enough for the brain to register, yet too soft to rouse you from sleep can have a profound effect on dreams. Instead of waking up to the sound of your roommate coming home or cooking bacon in the morning, you just might incorporate those stimuli into your dream.

5 Surprising Things That Can Have An Influence On Your Dreams

Image via Unsplash from Kinga Cichewicz

Sleeping positions

Researchers suspect that sleep position—whether you snooze on your back, belly, or side—can affect what you dream about. In a study, left-side sleepers had significantly more nightmares than right-side sleepers who reported more peaceful dreams, while stomach sleeping was associated with some of the sexiest dreams.