back roads and mason jars

live country. eat plants. be happy.


coconut milk

But first…coffee.

It’s 6:30 a.m.

Your alarm is going off and you’ve probably already hit snooze once (Who am I kidding? At least 3 times!).

The dog is snuggled up so close to you that you can’t move without waking him – which you wouldn’t dare do.

The husband is still asleep with his own alarms buzzing as he quickly hits snooze himself.

In your head, you run through all the things you want to accomplish for the day and then it stops.

Immediately you realize, you need coffee.

“I can’t stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words putting into the sentence doing.”

-Lorelai, Gilmore Girls

Admittedly, I am not a huge coffee drinker.  In fact, most of my habits are on a yearly rotation.  I like coffee for a few months, but then I’ve moved on to smoothies and before I know it, I’m starting my day with tea.  The rotation is a cycle that repeats itself year after year.  In the summer, I love to have an iced coffee most mornings.  That’s another thing – I don’t drink my coffee hot ever, but I will drink my tea iced or hot.  This is a lot to remember if you are married to me – thankfully my husband can keep up!  I haven’t used or purchased dairy milk for any purpose in probably 2 years now.  However, my husband still uses a dairy coffee creamer for his daily coffee.  Since he is a coffee addict, we thought we’d explore some vegan options that are newer to the market.

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk Creamer – Hazelnut Flavor

In early 2017, Coffee-Mate announced that it would be releasing a few vegan coffee creamer alternatives.  According to their website, they make 3 almond milk based versions and 1 coconut based versions.  The flavors are Sweet Creme, Caramel, Hazelnut and Vanilla.  The Hazelnut flavor is a Target exclusive item so we picked one up on our last trip.  Hazelnut is also my husband’s favorite flavor.  I personally feel like I would have to use too much of this to get the flavor I like in my coffee.  I prefer my usual iced coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a little bit of sugar sprinkled in.  We did taste a hazelnut flavor though.  I would like to find the Sweet Creme Coconut based version to try sometime in the future though!  My husband still prefers his non-vegan version that’s a bit stronger so we’ll be on the lookout for more options.

Wannabe Vegan: 5/10 ~ Omnivore: 6/10


Califia Farms – Salted Caramel Cold Brew Coffee

Confession time: I have purchased this product several times so I already knew what my rating would be, but I’ve never told you!  I love anything and everything salted caramel flavor.  I love the creaminess and sweetness that this coffee brings to my mornings.  My husband, on the other hand, hates it.  He humored me for this review and did try it though. He did ask where the coffee was in the drink, because he said the salted caramel flavor overpowered the coffee which I don’t mind one bit.  Since this item is a little pricey for an everyday purchase, I do buy it every now and then.   Keep in mind – for companies to keep producing these items, we have to let them know that we want them and like them.  The easiest way to do this is through your purchases.  To learn more, check out their website.

Wannabe Vegan: 10/10 ~ Omnivore: 8/10


Ripple – Chocolate Milk

I know there are tons of people out there that don’t enjoy coffee or maybe have kids that need a morning pick-me-up.  We decided to also check out a new line of dairy free milk that’s been released to the marketplace called Ripple.  It’s a pea protein based milk product and all of the varieties offered are vegan!  This product boasts 8 grams of protein, less sugar than traditional milk, and nut free which can be a challenge for vegans with nut allergies.  We weren’t too crazy about this product.  The mouth feel and weight is similar to that of traditional chocolate milk (from what I remember), but it has a protein shake aftertaste that we just couldn’t love.  This is our first experience with pea protein with the exception of the Vega smoothie powder I add in my shakes from time to time.

Wannabe Vegan: 5/10 ~ Omnivore: 6/10

Bye y’all!


thirsty thursday: holiday edition

watermark-review-coverThis time of year, I look forward to all the indulgent seasonal drinks from eggnog to mulled cider and many more.  I was so excited to find so many vegan eggnog options this year since it is one of my favorite holiday choices.  Whether you like your eggnog topped with some whipped coconut milk or spiked with a shot of Jack, these are sure to make your holidays bright!

Silk Nog Original (Soymilk)

This was very reminiscent of how I remember eggnog tasting last season.  It was a little bit thinner than the traditional eggnog, but most non-dairy milks are thinner and I have been using non-dairy milk exclusively for so long that I don’t really remember what cow milk tastes like anymore (and why should I?!).  The seasoning level is perfect, but you could shave a little extra nutmeg or cinnamon on top when served for an extra kick (or a shot of Jack Daniels for an even bigger kick!).  This version has 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein per 1/2 cup.watermark-eggnog

Rating: 9/10

So Delicious Holiday Nog (Coconut Milk)

This was the perfect replica of the traditional eggnog in my opinion.  What was lacking in the soymilk version in terms of a thicker texture was met here in the coconut version.  I didn’t make any changes to this one at all!  It’s sure to satisfy your holiday cravings!  Like most coconut milk versions, the calories are a little higher at 90 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar and 0 grams of protein per 1/2 cup.


Rating: 10/10

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Peppermint Almond Beverage

This is the holiday version of the fall pumpkin spice beverage which I wasn’t crazy about, but I am always willing to try products at Trader Joe’s!  Let me preface this review by letting you know that I am not a huge chocolate fan.  I tried this product cold and it had the same watery flavor and texture as the fall counterpart.  I much prefer the texture that is present in the eggnog options.  I do think it would be better heated up and topped with some Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows or coconut whipped topping (as shown).  Then it would be the perfect accompaniment for sitting by a fire watching the snow fall.  For the calories, this is the best options with 110 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 17 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein per 1 cup.


Rating: 5/10

Bye y’all!


Santa wants vegan treats this year!

It’s that time of year – baking season is here in full swing!  Many of my favorite memories as a child were held in the kitchen of my Grammy’s home.  The smells, the fun and the occasional mess were all a part of the creative process.  This year I took on the challenge of “veganizing” some of my family’s favorite holiday treats and not surprisingly – they came out fantastic!  Hope you enjoy these vegan versions!



2 cups of all purpose flouruntitled6-watermark

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of ginger powder

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of molasses

1/3 cup of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

3/4 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of baking soda

2 tsp of baking powder

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, ginger powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the vegan butter on the stove top.  Once melted, add the molasses, vanilla extract and water and mix thoroughly.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until the dough becomes a ball.  If it seems too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough and roll into even balls with your hands.  Roll them in white sugar and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cookies will be soft the day of and will become crisper as they cool.

Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge


2/3 cup of coconut milk

2 tbsp of coconut oil

12 oz. semi sweet vegan chocolate chips

1 tsp of vanilla extract

  1. Line your storage vessel with parchment paper.  I used a glass baking dish.
  2. In a medium sized pot, melt the coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes.  Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning.
  3. After the coconut milk is melted, add the coconut oil and stir until melted.
  4. Add the vegan chocolate and stir until completed melted and well combined.  *I used Wegman’s brand semi sweet chocolate chips.  They are actually vegan, labeled as such and very affordable.
  5. Pour the mixture into your parchment lined dish.  Top with sea salt and let cool.  I found that it really needs 24 hours in order to cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Fudge


3/4 cup vegan butter

1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter

3 2/3 cup powdered sugar

  1. Lightly grease an 8 X 8 baking dish.
  2. In a medium sized pot, melt the vegan butter.  Once the butter is fully melted, add the peanut butter until it is well combined.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar about 1/3 at a time until fully combined.
  4. Place in the baking dish and let cool for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares.

Bye y’all!

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