Daffodils. Snowdrops. Camellia blooms. They’re all unfurling, curling open to bask in sunshine and mild rain showers. And do you know what that means??? SPRING. A glorious, early spring for us here in Virginia! I can’t even remember the last time we had an early spring. Winter has stomped on us for the past decade, I think.
I’ve been plotting (haha) my garden over the past couple of days. I actually made a plan you guys. Like, I sketched it and everything! Are you interested in following my gardening journey? I am totally a beginner and I’m learning all of this as I go. With the help of my permaculture-expert father-in-law of course! So I’m getting loads of awesome, handy knowledge for making a garden smart, cheap and productive.
We spent all of today installing 8 raised-bed gardens, tilling the earth and mulching and spreading (dry) manure. My father- and mother-in-law and Logan did over half of the work (probably more) so major props to family muscle! We also took out all of our grape and kiwi plants that have never produced and were overgrown. And we cut down our pomegranate, which we found out today was diseased all the way into the root. There’s sooooo much space. I’m going to plant so many flowers it’s gonna look like persephone made-out with my yard.
My body is happy-tired, and now I’m ready to get full-on cozy with a big cup of tea a couple of these healthy breakfast oatmeal cookies from The First Mess Cookbook. This book is full of relaxed, plant-powered recipes that just make me go ahhhh YES this is what I want to eat!
Laura’s cookbook is a perfect expansion on her already brilliant blog The First Mess. It’s familiar territory for me, seeing that Laura and I have very similar culinary brains. I’ve always admired the way Laura effortlessly whips together simple, stylish, delicious meals (that just happen to be vegan) on her blog. So getting to hold this physical manifestation of her spirit in book form — and getting to cook from it — has been a highly anticipated experience!
When it arrived on my doorstep (with a super sweet note from Laura!) I might have cradled it like a newborn, cooing over it and awing.
I immediately ran into my kitchen to make her maple baked beans, quickly followed by her fudgy nut & seed butter brownies, fluffiest multigrain pancakes, spice-crusted cauliflower with walnut sauce, tofu noodle soup with coconut lemongrass broth… and her “cookies for breakfast.”
I’m not even kidding, I made all of that in the past week.
Let me make something clear: I am not a recipe book kind of gal.
I don’t like cooking from them. I always have to make substitutions or don’t have a weird ingredient on hand or the processes annoy me.
But I am legit having a ball with this book! I think mainly because Laura’s recipes make me excited about making casual magic in the kitchen every day. Is there anything better?!
It’s like the perfect thing to have on hand if you’re in a rut in the kitchen. I can always flip through it when I’m feeling uninspired and find something exciting that I can make right now (and generally without too much effort). Plus the recipes make my body feel great! And I have already impressed friends with them more than once (those brownies are the shit).
That’s my kind of cookbook!
Everything is DELICIOUS. Like the kind of delicious that makes you go motherf***er that’s good!
And yo these cookies are no exception!
Laura’s breakfast oatmeal cookies are vegan, refined sugar-free and gluten free (woo!). They’re made with awesome ingredients like rolled oats, flax, banana, almond butter and coconut oil. They’re crisp on the outside, moist on the inside (kind of like a muffin top).
My favorite thing about these oatmeal cookies is that there’s a whole cup of “add-ins” that you choose according to your taste. She suggests a mix of dried blueberries, pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts.
I went with hemp hearts, unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs and raisins as my add-ins of choice. I like the extra crunch and chocolatey flavor from the nibs, and the hit of protein and omegas from the hemp hearts. And, uh, I added 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom to the batter because I apparently have a cardamom compulsion. It was awesome, of course!
What would you add into your breakfast cookies? Let me know in the comments!