May’s the month that spring starts in earnest. Jacarandas here in LA are bloom, their purple flowers littering the sidewalks. The avocados are coming. Sunshine is lasting later into the evening; peas are spotted at the farmers market, and we’re thinking about berries and stone fruit season. In honor of the season of plenty, our calendar this month throws it to a recipe we made for Chocolate Avocado Donuts.

(PS – here is a tablet version.)

We made these back in 2015, but they’re worth resurfacing – a healthy way to get some nuts in without all the preservatives of granola bars! Enjoy!


Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

These bars are game changers. We were looking for snacks that were simple, that were delicious, and that were easy. We love a granola bar, but they’re usually full of crazy lists of ingredients that we cannot pronounce, and they always have tons of salt and tons of preservatives. These, on the other hand, are quick, easy, and have just three ingredients!

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

We first saw them over on the Kitchn (they just have the best ideas!) and we adapted them for what we like. We love a cashew so much, and we usually have them on hand, so it makes these even easier! A quick five minutes with a food processor and an overnight chill and you have snacks for the week.

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

The dates is what keeps these together, an although we used already chopped dates we recommend using whole dates roughly chopped – they’re wetter and they’ll keep your bars together better. You can use whatever nuts and fruit you want – which is really the best part. Raisins and almonds. Cherries and peanuts. Apricots and hazelnuts. Go crazy.

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul
1 cup cashews
1 cup dried apples
1 cup (12-15 whole) pitted dried dates


1. Slightly chop the cashews, dates, and apples.
2. Food process all ingredients until a ball forms, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove and form into a square, then wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour at least.
4. After your refrigerate, divide into squares and have as a snack whenever you get hungry (or snacky.)

Homemade Energy Bars | Garlic, My Soul

Hey chickadees, hello and happy Easter! Easter to me means eating lasagna and sitting in my house/backyard with a bunch of friends celebrating springtime. This year is no different, although I am making baked ziti instead of lasagna.

Anyways, the point is, we’ve reached a new milestone – spring has sprung and we’re solidly into longer nights and warmer days. And I feel like I’m also emerging from a long, dark winter where (in case you haven’t noticed) I haven’t been around. And I’m here to tell you why: because I am four months pregnant!

Guys, I never knew a lot about pregnancy before getting pregnant. Sure, I’d read here and there and was familiar with morning sickness (hint: not in the morning) and being tired (but what does that really even mean? Aren’t we all tired?) and food aversions (I bet those people are just picky, right?) BUT, OH GOD what a shock and kick in the ass when I found myself EXHAUSTED (have you had mono? It’s like that) and NAUSEATED ALL THE TIME (food? No, thanks) and grossed out by ALL FOOD.

What’s a food blogger to do when they can’t eat anything but breaded chicken tenders and french fries from Trader Joe’s? And goes to bed at 8 pm every night after eating said dinner quietly and very slowly, so as to a) not move too much and b) not throw up? Boy was I not ready for the first trimester.

I will say, in case any of you are pregnant or looking to get pregnant, something that saved me was REALLY COLD fruit smoothies. Here are some ideas for you:

Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie – Cucumbers were one of the only veggies I ate for the 8 weeks I was really down and out. They were in the “safe” list along with edamame and sugar snap peas. Things that were absolutely disgusting? Anything leafy – keep lettuce, arugula, spinach, etc. away from me – no thanks!

Secret leafy greens were mostly OK, like in this Avocado Tangelo Smoothie. I was really into SWEET smoothies which is the opposite of what I usually crave, so this carrot and citrus smoothie worked it for me.

Other than smoothies and chicken and fries, I was really only eating cucumbers and sometimes pirate booty and maybe a sandwich with chicken and a lot of mayo. It was a food blogger’s worse nightmare (but my 12 year old self’s dream, I suspect.) Also there was definitely pregnancy chocolate ice cream because the colder, the better.

But, lucky for you and me, here we are, solidly on the other side and sliding into the second trimester. I can say I am back to eating almost everything (I even had Indian food the other night, one of the very first foods to skeeve me out) and I am relearning how to carry my largest cast iron with one arm (guys who knew I had built up those muscles because of cookware?)

I’ve been reposting some winners from year’s past, and I’ll likely do that again while I get a good backlog of recipes up for you. Please be patient with me! In the meantime, I will leave you with tried and true dishes I know you’ll love.

GUYS, we’re moving on up and SPRING is on it’s way. Here’s to berries to come (starting with the strawberry, love seeing the Cali grown ones around!) and the start of some great veg. Here’s our list:

Green Beans
Onions, Green

And, as always, here are some of the best recipes to try:

Guys, this is my fave way to make broccoli. Roasted with Lemon. Get at it.

Need sides? Try this Southwestern Side Salad with green beans. It’s great with anything grilled, and I recommend chilling it for a bit before serving. It’s also great as a dip, just add a little salsa to it!

Strawberry Avocado Salad. This is an easy go-to salad for work or weekend. It’s vegetarian but go ahead and add some chicken if you want. Or serve with burrata. This is great for people like me who prefer their strawberries in things instead of out-of-hand.

Steak Fajitas | Garlic, My Soul

An of course, a solid fave is steak fajitas – serve with lots and lots of avocado instead of adding sour cream. Or add both, live a little.

I hope your April is going well and that you’re cookin’ up a storm! XO

I made this back in 2015, but I also needed it this weekend because it was sunny and bright and I needed to gulp down a ton of liquid but water sometimes is a little overrated. I hope you enjoy! 


Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

Mondays can be hard. Coming off a weekend of sunshine and great weather and hanging with friends, sitting in your office (or wherever you work!) might not seem as…well, free. This weekend I worked on some wedding stuff for my friends A and E, and I also spent some time in my kitchen whipping some new items up for you.

Now that Monday has rolled around, I wish I was back outside in the sunshine, spray painting things gold…but a glass of strawberry lemonade someone makes the world seems a little brighter, like I am still sitting outside making my Pinterest dreams come true.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

I don’t often drink sweet drinks, but something about strawberries makes me want to sip ice cold glasses of lemonade and dream of long summer evenings.

This recipe is pretty similar to my Rosemary Blueberry Lemonade, but you know, with strawberries and basil. The point is this: get an herb you like, and a berry you like, and you’re on your way to a drink that’ll make Mondays seem like the new Thursday (even I can’t make Monday a Friday.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup lemon juice (about 8 lemons, see below)
8-10 leaves basil
1 cup strawberries
water, to taste


1. Mix the sugar with one cup of water over medium heat. Once all the sugar is dissolved, add your basil leaves and turn off heat.
2. While your basil simple syrup is melding, prepare a pitcher with a handful or two of berries, and lots of ice.
3. Freshly squeeze lemons to get about one cup of lemon juice. I used about eight lemons, but honestly this can vary depending on the size and juiciness of your lemons. The good news is you can never have too many lemons, so just grab a bag and you’ll be OK.
4. Put your lemon juice in the pitcher. Remove the basil leaves and add your simple syrup to your pitcher. Now, add water to taste – keep in mind that the ice will dilute the drink, too!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade | Garlic, My Soul

Happy Monday, y’all. Let us know what you do on Mondays to make them a little shinier – we’re all in this together, after all.