Big ch-ch-changes are happening with my business! Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be going through a full rebranding with a new business plan, focus, and a wider array of products! I’ll still be dyeing small batch fibers on occasion, but am also expanding my product base with more attention to my organic skincare concoctions and artisan baked goods! More information to come as it rolls out.. So don’t be surprised when you see my new name & products appearing soon! Check here for more information about my Cottage Bakery and Etsy Shop!

Cheesy Buffalo Chickpea Dip

Twas the afternoon of 4/20

And all through the house

Every stomach was growling

Especially that of my spouse

The bowls were loaded

By my boyfriend with care

We smoked to oblivion

But the hunger was still there

I arose from the couch

To prepare a quick snack

I grabbed a can of chickpeas

And shredded some Colby Jack

A dollop of mayo

And a dash of Frank’s sauce

A sprinkle of spices

This dip is REALLY BOSS!



Ingredients (Organic, when possible):

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo**
  • 1/8 cup Frank’s hot sauce (original)**
  • 1 tsp garlic powder**
  • 1 tsp salt**
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper**
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup Colby Jack, shredded (or vegan substitute)

**These measurements are approximate as I did not actually measure. Please adjust according to your flavor preference.


Start by draining your chickpeas and pulsing with a food processor a few times. You are going for a chunky texture, so don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with hummus. (Which is still yummy but not what we are going for here.πŸ˜‰ ) Put the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and add the mayo, hot sauce, spices, and diced veg. Adjust the flavorings as needed. Add half of the cheese to the dip and stir to combine well. Pour into a small casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until cheese on top is browned and the dip is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.


This dip can be served with chips, veggie sticks, or toasted bread. (I served it with my homemade sourdough boule, but that’s another story…) This dip is also great cold, wrapped up in a tortilla, on a sandwich, or atop a salad! Any way you choose to eat it, this dip is sure satisfy those intense munchies. Enjoy!πŸ˜‰

❀ Samantha





Seaforth & Conquer (Lace Knitting)

The Seaforth is a lovely lace hat pattern on Ravelry written by designer Karie Westermann. The free pattern works up fast with squishy, worsted weight wool. (I knit mine in just 2 days!) The easy lace repeats, both written out & charted, would be perfect for novice lace knitters! The result is a stylish slouchy hat that would be awesome year round!


This hat might look complicated, but I assure you – it’s not. If you can yo, ssk, & k2tog – you can definitely knit this stunning hat!! I made the following simple modifications in knitting my Seaforth (in the smaller size). I prefer a longer brim on my slouchy hats, so I knit the K2P2 ribbing to 2.75 inches instead of the recommended 10 rows. I then followed the chart and knit the lace section 7 times. The hat measured approximately 7 inches when I began the decreases. Decrease as written for your chosen size and bind off as directed.


The yarn I used for this project is Madelinetosh Vintage in the discontinued colorway “Saffron.” I lucked out and won this gorgeous hank in a giveaway on Instagram by @iknit2purl2 with a variety of other lovely yarns (thanks again!!)! This yarn is super soft, squishy, and a joy to look at! Other yarns I would recommend for this project include Malabrigo Rios (as suggested by the designer and one of my favorites) and Knit Picks Swish Worsted (a great, budget-friendly option!).


I hope you enjoy knitting a Seaforth of your own! Seaforth and conquer lace knitting!

❀ Samantha


Chickpea Cakes w/ Vegan Tartar Sauce

I have been a vegetarian for almost 10 years now, yet I still get the same old “But don’t you miss ___?” interrogations from time to time. Truth is, I don’t really miss anything. I was never a huge fan of meat, despite the fact that I came from a hugely carnivorous family. I’ve never been hunting, even though my father took my sisters on more occasions than I can remember. I would stay home with my mom, watching Cleopatra and painting our toenails.

Fishing, hunting’s aquatic cousin, was also not a favorite hobby of mine. I remember long nights spent on the pier at Goose Island State Park where my oldest sister would fish for hours with my dad. While my middle sister would try to get boys to check her out, my mom and I would perform autopsies on recently caught bait like small fish & squid. A favorite memory was when she turned a fish into a puppet with clear fishing line and would make him talk to passers by.

Even back then, I was never a huge fan of seafood. The only kind I would eat was the bland, white fish that didn’t actually taste like fish (or anything really). You know, like fish sticks or the stuff at Luby’s. The only exceptions were crab cakes and my mom’s salmon patties, which I mostly liked for their crunchy exterior. These chickpea cakes are a nod to those breaded patties, in complete vegan form served with an easy, animal-free tartar sauce!

Chickpea Cakes with Vegan Tartar Sauce


Chickpea Cake Ingredients (organic, when possible):

  • 1 can chickpeas, pulsed w/ aquafaba reserved
  • 2 tbs aquafaba, save the rest for breading
  • 1 tbs vital wheat gluten
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for breading
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each dried dill & parsley
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

*You will also need approximately 1 cup each flour, aquafaba, and panko for breading and enough oil (I used olive) to cover at least 1/2 – 1 inch deep in your frying vessel.

Tartar Sauce Ingredients (organic, when possible):

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/3 cup diced dill pickles or relish
  • 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes

Simply mix all ingredients together and store in the fridge until ready to serve!


Separate the aquafaba from the chickpeas by straining over a bowl and set aside. Place chickpeas in a food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky consistency. You can alternatively use a fork or potato masher to get a similar texture. Pour into a larger bowl and add remaining ingredients. Use your hands to distribute evenly, then form into 4 equal-sized cakes or patties. Place cakes on a parchment lined plate and put in the freezer for 10 minutes or more. This will make the cakes hold their shape better when you bread & fry them.


Once the cakes are hardened slightly, you will begin the breading process. Pour enough oil to cover at least 1/2 deep in your frying vessel and preheat to medium high. Put the flour, aquafaba, and panko in separate, shallow bowls and season each with salt & pepper.


Dip your cake into the flour first, followed by a dip in aquafaba. I like to follow this by another dip in flour (this will ensure the cake is completely enclosed by your breading), then aquafaba again. Finally, you can dip into the panko and place into the hot oil. Repeat this for all 4 cakes. Fry on either side until golden brown and cooked through. Then place cakes on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. Serve with tartar sauce & fries!πŸ™‚


I hope you enjoy this fish-free alternative! Remember, fish are friends.. Not Food!πŸ˜‰






Butter Than Ever Cinnamon Rolls

I have a confession. Even though I write a food blog, I rarely ever read them. In fact, I usually skim over all the personal bloggy parts and go straight to the ingredients list. That’s what I’m there for. Show me your ingredients and send me on my way.

More often than not, that’s all I need. I usually don’t bother to read the instructions. Cooking is very instinctive for me. However, sometimes a recipe will throw me off because one ingredient is listed in the full amount that will later be divided for different parts of the recipe.

This, my dears, is how this recipe came to be. The original recipe lists a stick of butter. The stick of butter is supposed to be divided.. 3 tbs IN the dough, the rest on top. I, not bothering to read the instructions – as usual, melted the entire stick of butter with my nut milk (this actually happened twice with the same recipe, I never learn..). Not wanting to waste food, I went with it and was really impressed with the outcome. It might not be the healthiest recipe I’ve shared, but damn, is it delicious.πŸ˜€


Ingredients (aka what you’re here forπŸ˜‰ ) (Organic, when possible)


  • 1 stick butter, melted with
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I use coconut, cashew, or almond)
  • 3 cups AP flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast

Cinnamon Center:

  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-3 tbs cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Optional (but amazing!!): 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I used almonds)

Melt the butter with milk of choice. Allow to cool slightly (you don’t want it to be so hot it kills the yeast). Mix flour, salt, and brown sugar. Make a well in the center and add the yeast. Slowly add milk/butter to form a soft dough. (I use my KitchenAid with dough attachment. This could also be done in a food processor or by hand.) Knead briefly & allow to rest 1 hour.

cinrolAfter the dough has risen, you will roll it out onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle (approximately 12″ x 18″). Rub the butter on the rectangle, followed by the cinnamon & sugar. I like to use my hands and massage the butter/cinnamon/sugar mixture all over the dough, making sure it extends from end to end. Add nuts if desired. Now, starting with a longer side of the rectangle, tightly roll the dough into a long cylinder and softly pinch the ends. Slice the dough into 9 even portions. Place dough portions in a buttered baking dish with plenty of space surrounding each roll. (You can alternatively bake on a parchment lined baking sheet.) Allow to rise again for 15 minutes.


Bake cinnamon rolls at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned on top. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, you can make the glaze. I’ve created a simple, yummy glaze; However, next time I make these I’ll definitely plan ahead and do a cream cheese icing. They deserve it.πŸ™‚


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tbs milk of choice
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp almond extract

Mix all ingredients together, add more sugar or milk as needed for desired consistency. Pour 1/2 of the glaze over cinnamon rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. Save the rest of the glaze to dress the rolls just prior to serving.


I hope you enjoy these delectable cinnamon rolls! And don’t worry, it won’t hurt my feelings if you skipped over all my bloggy bits.πŸ˜‰

❀ Samantha

Perfect Neapolitan Pizza & Sundried Tomato Marinara

The past decade, I’ve been on a search for the perfect pizza crust recipe. I’ve always been partial to thin, crusty Neapolitan style pizzas, and have tried many techniques to achieve such a crust. For years, I tested different types of flour, short and long fermentation times, various pizza stones and pans, yet I never found the chewy, crunchy crust that I longed for.

A few years ago, I shared this recipe for pizza dough, which is a nice dough if you like a softer crust with a decent chew. It also works great when you fry it first, to achieve a ‘Totino’s’ style pizza. However, it is just not the Neapolitan crust of my pizza fantasies.


Enter 00 flour. While I’d seen it mentioned on Food Network a time or two, I never really gave much thought to trying it. How big of a difference could a finer ground flour make? The answer, ALL OF IT!

I purchased my first bag of 00 flour a few months ago and followed the recipe on the side of the package. I didn’t expect much, especially considering the short rising time they recommended. If I know anything about proper bread baking, it’s that a longer fermentation (aka rise) time, the better (crunchier.. chewier..) the outcome.


I went forth with my 00 experiment, and ended up being floored by the results. FINALLY I had achieved the Neapolitan style thin, crunchy crust that satisfied every pizza loving cell in my body! AND IT ONLY TOOK AN HOUR!!! Pizza gods rejoice!πŸ˜€


Ingredients (organic, when possible):

  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) 00 flour
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (I use coconut sugar)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups water (Cold water is fine)

Begin by mixing the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast. Slowly add water and mix to create a dough. I use my stand mixer with the dough attachment, but you could easily do this by hand if KNEAD be. (Sorry, I can’t not pun)πŸ˜‰


Allow to rise for 15 minutes. Separate the dough into 4 equal portions. I like to weigh them out so they are all even, but you can always eyeball it. At this point, I put two of the dough balls into Ziploc bags and stick them straight in the freezer. (This dough freezes & thaws beautifully, so I like to always have a few frozen ones ready to go.) Allow the remaining 2 dough balls to rise for another 30 minutes. Set oven to 500 degrees F (or as hot as you can).

While they are rising, you can make my favorite marinara! Now, I know that traditionally Neapolitan pizzas use crushed tomatoes as the ‘sauce,’ but I prefer to use a homemade marinara. There’s really two reasons for this; 1: my boyfriend doesn’t like tomatoes when they are chunky, and 2: this marinara is soooo delicious I’ll use any excuse to eat it!πŸ˜€


Ingredients (organic, if possible):

  • 1/4 large onion (any color), diced
  • 2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, diced
  • 12 pieces sundried tomatoes (in oil), diced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Begin by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil. Cook until translucent, then add the sundried tomatoes and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the entire can of tomato paste, along with 2 cups of water. Mix well. At this point, I use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients. You could alternatively use a stand up blender. After the marinara is pureed, add the seasonings and mix well. You can now remove from heat and pour into a jar for storage. Keep on the counter until sauce reaches room temperature prior to refrigeration. Marinara will keep in the fridge for a week or so, or you can freeze it for long term storage.


Now that your dough has risen, oven’s preheated, and marinara has been made, you are ready to assemble your delicious pizzas! Stretch the dough to form a disc and place disc on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or pizza stone. Top evenly with your yummy marinara and add whatever cheeses and toppings your little heart desires. Bake at 500 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until crust is browned and cheese is melted. Enjoy!


I’ve made this pizza many times now, and it is a no fail, quick, and easy recipe to use! It would really shine in a pizza oven, as I’m still unable to get the charred crust that can only come from a proper wood-fired pizza oven. Maybe one day….πŸ™‚

Ciao for now!

No Soak 4 Hour Crock Pot Pinto Beans & Fat Free Vegan ‘Refried’ Beans

If you’ve ever cooked dry beans from scratch, you’ve probably heard the urban cooking legend that you must always soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Supposedly, soaking helps the texture of the beans and magically helps prevent flatulence. I’m here to tell you, this is simply not true. It’s a waste of time and serves absolutely no purpose. There’s no evidence that soaking beans improves texture, and it certainly doesn’tΒ  decrease the gaseous properties (wishful thinking, perhaps?). In fact, soaking can actually reduce the flavor profile of the beans greatly. (Don’t buy it? Here is a more in depth article complete with foodie experiments.) So save your time and effort with this easy crock pot pinto bean recipe.


This recipe calls for pinto beans, however, you can really substitute any dry bean. Keep in mind though, other beans might have shorter cooking times (like garbanzo) or slightly longer (like Adzuki). The spices I recommend are traditional Tex-Mex spices, and work well whether you decide to keep the beans whole in their liquid or mash them to make ‘refried’ style beans. Feel free to switch up the spices to your liking!

No Soak 4 Hour Crock Pot Pinto Beans & Fat Free Vegan ‘Refried’ Beans

Ingredients, organic and local (when possible):

  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs concentrated veggie stock (I love the organic Better Than Bouillon stock)
  • 6 cups filtered water


Add all ingredients to a large crock pot and cook on high heat for 4 hours. Check beans for doneness, they should be nice and tender, not overly soft.




At this point, you can add your Tex-Mex style spices and flavorings. I used:

  • 1 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

Now, remove beans from heat and separate into two different containers. I decided to keep half of the beans whole with their liquid, to use later in the week for one of my favorite dishes: pinto beans & cheese dumplings. I’ll share that recipe soon.πŸ™‚


For the remaining half, I separated the beans from their liquid and smashed them with a potato masher. Add bean liquid as needed until you reach the desired texture. Wah-lah! Vegan fat free ‘refried’ beans!! Perfect for all your refried bean needs, including molletes, enchiladas, and of course, my ultimate comfort food: bean & cheese tacos! YUM!


Cooking dry beans in large batches like this can save you tons of money long-term. This recipe can also be cut in half or doubled per your cooking needs. Leftover beans can be kept refrigerated, frozen, or even canned for longer storage. I hope you enjoy this recipe and look forward to sharing more!πŸ˜€

❀ Samantha, FCF