Filled Pancake Puffs (via abeautifulmess.com) Puff pancakes Today I am extra, extra excited because we have two pretty awesome things to share with you. First, a recipe for filled puff pancakes. Yes, little pillowy pancakes that get stuffed with all sorts of delicious things. You might recognize these, as they are sometimes called aebleskivers or appleskives, but I don't think my recipe is in any way an authentic Danish recipe since I am not Danish. So I feel like puff pancakes sums it up well. :) 

Stonewall Kitchen jams and saucesBut what's the second thing? Good, you're paying attention and not completely distracted by the PHOTOS OF TINY PANCAKES. :) The second thing is we got to work with Stonewall Kitchen on this post, and they are currently in the midst of celebrating their 25th anniversary. As a fellow business owner (although our business is much smaller, I must admit), I can't imagine how great it must feel to get to 25 years – what a cool milestone! And they are celebrating by giving away lots of fun stuff. I'll tell you more at the end of the post, promise. But first, let's make some puff pancakes with Stonewall Kitchen. 

Pancake puff recipeStuffed Pancake Puffs, makes around 20 to 22 (easily enough for 3-5 people)
Loosely adapted from the recipe found on the back of my Stonewall Kitchen pancake puff pan

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
fillings – more on this below

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer, or with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until very foamy, soft peaks form. 

Add the dry mixture to the buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined; a few small lumps are OK. Then use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the batter. You want to fold in just until they are combined; don't over mix. 

Jams and saucesHeat your pancake puff pan over low/medium heat. Once warmed gently, spray with nonstick cooking spray (I hold my pan over the sink as I do this so any excess can roll off), and fill each hole with one tablespoon of batter. Then add a teaspoon of filling and cover with just a bit more batter (about 1/2 tablespoon or a little less). Allow to cook for a couple minutes, then use a small wooden chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon to gently flip each pancake puff. If you've never made these before, this is honestly just as easy as flipping a pancake – might take you a time or two to get the hang of it, but it's an imprecise and easy thing to do once you try. :) Do use a wooden chopstick or other small wooden stick to turn these so you don't scrape the coating of the pan in the process. Once flipped, allow each puff to cook for another couple of minutes. After your first batch, check one to make sure they are cooking through all the way and adjust your heat if needed before starting the next batch. 

My pan and fillings are from Stonewall Kitchen. I used raspberry peach champagne jam, blueberry rhubarb, mango peach, strawberry vanilla, lemon curd, dark chocolate toffee sauce, and their creamy peanut butter. They were pretty much all AMAZING; I couldn't even pick a favorite if I tried. :) But you can use any kind of jam, jelly, sauce, or nut butter that you prefer. 

Puff pancakes Easy filled pancake recipeYou can brush these with a little melted butter or dust them with powdered sugar if you're really feeling fancy. 

Two quick notes about this recipe. First, you can swap out 1/4 cup of the flour for cocoa if you want to make chocolate pancake puffs. I did this and especially liked it paired with the peanut butter. Second, yes you really should divide the eggs and whip the egg whites. Don't skip that step. I tried a batch where I did this and just whisked in the eggs all together without dividing and whipping the whites, and although it worked, they were not nearly as puffy as my other batch. The overall texture just wasn't as good. It's worth the extra step, trust me. 

So about that Stonewall Kitchen anniversary giveaway – I promised details, and here they are. Over the next two weeks, they are giving away an adorable picnic tote with all sorts of picnic essentials, created by Maine-based Sea Bags and valued at $350! There will be two winners a week! Check it out here. All you have to do to enter is visit the website and enter your name and email. Good luck! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.

3 products I loveHi there! I'm back with my weekly edition of 3 Natural Products I Am Loving! I am really enjoying the process of replacing toxic products in my home and beauty drawer one at a time. It honestly hasn't been hard to come up with more to share. I am constantly trying sample sizes or new things to find favorites, so if you know of something good, please let me know in the comments. 

This week I'm sharing two really practical things I use over and over and one really fun, indulgent product! 

3 products I love  Fresh Vibes Spray (It's DIY and very simple to make!) 

I made this just a few months ago, and it's already almost completely empty. It's my favorite scent, and I spray it on our sheets every night as we are getting ready for bed! I guess it's time to make more! 

3 products I love   3 products I love   Ecobrow Defining Wax

I have very patchy eyebrows and lining them daily is the number one thing that helps me look more "normal". I really loved the product I was using for my brows in the past few years. It worked great, but it is rated a 10 on the Think Dirty app (products are rated 1-10 and 10 is the worst). So I knew it was time for a change. A friend of mine suggested Ecobrow and you can actually find it at Sephora, which is nice. The only downside is you have to purchase a brush as well. No biggie though! It works great and the color I wear is called Penelope... aawwwe! 

3 products I love     Herbivore Calm Dead Sea Soaking Salts 

These salts smell very floral and traditional... honestly they smell really different than I expected. But I like them a lot. They last a long time and are a bath-time treat! Great gift idea too. 

3 products I love       3 products I love Thanks so much for reading! You guys are the best!!! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson 

Cooling Body Mist  Cooling Body Mist    Georgia has given us a pretty hot summer so far... also, very humid! I’m naturally drawn to the comfort of air conditioning, but with my little family of four, we’ve been getting out of the house a lot more and enjoying the sunshine. Mostly to help my two year old burn off some of his extra energy! Is there a way to bottle that stuff?? I’m convinced he could power a small village. ;)
 
I was inspired to create a cooling and soothing body mist that would be the perfect companion for a day outside, at the gym, by the pool, at the beach or on a family adventure. This natural mist is both perfect for cooling off your skin in the heat and soothing your skin if you get a little too much sun. While I have it pictured in a larger bottle here, it would also be super handy to make smaller portions to make it on-the-go friendly. You can just half this recipe if you would rather use a 4oz bottle.
 
Bonus, this stuff smells amazing and gives you such an energizing feeling! 

Cooling Body Mist
Supplies:
-distilled water
-peppermint and lavender essential oil
 
Fill your glass bottle with 3/4 cup of distilled water. Using a funnel, add 2 tablespoons of aloe oil, 2 teaspoons of witch hazel and 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil. Make sure you are using fractionated coconut oil, since this type of oil stays in its liquid form instead of becoming a solid like other coconut oils. Top off your mist with 25 drops of pure peppermint essential oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Voila! 

Cooling Body Mist   Cooling Body Mist
Give your cooling spritz a good shake before spraying on your skin. I find it best to apply to the back of your neck, back, crease of your arms and on the backs of your legs. I recommend NOT spraying it on your face, peppermint near or in your eyes is not comfortable! 
 
I love that the aloe, witch hazel and lavender are super soothing and calming on the skin, especially great if you have a sunburn. The peppermint will leave your skin feeling nice and cool too. This will be your best friend during the hot months for sure! Put a bottle in your gym bag, pool bag and purse... you won’t be sorry. ;) Lots of love, Sav.

Credits//Author and Photography: Savannah Wallace. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
 

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com) Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com)    Yep, I'm still on a homemade sushi roll kick. In case you missed my last installment of sushi-hating-girl-makes-sushi, check it out here (still LOVE this flavor combo). 

I'm exaggerating a little there though, as I couldn't actually say that I "hate" or "hated" sushi. But it wasn't really my favorite food. So this has been a real lesson in never say never because I truly never would have thought that I'd be getting into homemade sushi rolls. And yet, here I am. I guess I'm eating a slice of humble pie along with my sushi. :)

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com)  This roll is all about pickled beets, crunchy spouts, and then a toasted coconut sesame topping that puts it over the top! Don't skip the crunchy topping; it adds so much flavor and texture to these. I love a little crunch in my sushi to balance out the soft, chewy rice. But this is a great alternative if you don't want to tempura deep fry anything. 

These rolls are mostly made of items I usually have on hand anyway, expect sprouts. That's not something I buy every week, but I do love them in this, on sandwiches, or just on top of dishes to add a little more nutrition and some crunch. These are also shockingly easy to make! Before I got into this, I thought homemade sushi would be too difficult and time consuming to make. But these rolls took me about 30 minutes to put together, and I'm not even very good at rolling. I guess what I'm saying is – this is easy, delicious, a little bit unexpected, and a fun way to eat a plant-based meal. 

Plus, I love beets. But that could be a whole other paragraph, so I'll spare you. For now. :)

Sushi ingredientsCrunchy Beet and Sprouts Sushi, makes 4-5 rolls (each 6-8 pieces). Could easily feed 2-3 people, maybe 4 with a side dish. 

1 cup uncooked sushi rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3-4 small pickled beets
1/2 cucumber
1/2 cup sprouts
soy wrappers or Nori

For the topping:
1 tablespoon Panko
1 tablespoon coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
soy sauce, Tamari, or coconut aminos for serving

First get your rice going. Following the directions on the package. This will probably mean rinsing the rice, then combining in a small pot with 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 18-20 minutes until most of the water has absorbed. Remove the rice from the pot to a medium size mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar so that all the rice gets coated. Allow to cool enough to handle before use (this won't take but 5-10 minutes). 

Cutting sushiWhile the rice is cooking, prep your vegetables: thinly slice the cucumber, beets, and have the sprouts ready. You can also prep the topping at this time. In a dry pan combine the Panko, coconut, and sesame seeds. Cook over medium/high heat until the coconut begins to look very toasted. Stir every now and again with a wooden spoon so that nothing burns. Once the mixture looks toasted and smells fragrant, remove to a plate and allow to cool until you need it. 

Once the rice is ready, get your sushi rolling mat out, or you can use plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place a sheet of the soy paper or Nori on the wrap, cover in rice (it's quite sticky, so this may take some getting used to), then place the filling vegetables on one edge. Roll up and gently press as you do so everything sticks together. Remove from the plastic wrap and slice into pieces. I will sometimes lightly coat my (clean) fingers or my knife in a little oil so it doesn't stick as much to the rice, but don't over do it or things can get too oily. 

Top the rolls with the crunchy coconut topping. 

Crunchy beet and sprout sushi (via abeautifulmess.com) If you have wasabi paste or pickled ginger to serve with this, then you'll really make it feel like a fancy night at home! I recently picked up this sushi serving board that has built in chopsticks (they are stored underneath) and a little spot for soy sauce – I thought it was too cute! I got mine at T.J.Maxx, but I also like this one. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

My favorite essential oils to diffuse at home    Hey, guys! I have been diffusing essential oils at bedtime for about two years now, and I just realized I've never shared my favorites here with you! 

I first started diffusing lavender oil a few years ago when I was having issues with insomnia. I don't necessarily believe that the oils healed my sleeping issues (cutting way back on alcohol and cutting out using my computer in bed is what did it for me!), but I absolutely loved the routine of it. So I continued. I am a big believer in routines and triggers. Certain songs and scents have the ability to transport me to a happy place, provide nostalgia or reinforce daily routines. So, for me, diffusing oils every night is a thing that helps me get in the mood for sleep. 

Here are my favorites, and I'll share what I think they are good for as well! 

Fresh & Happy. Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange. I love these scents for daytime, not so much for sleeping. Although I do think citrus is nice mixed with lavender for sleeping... very summery! Lemon is one of my all-time favorite scents because it reminds me of my grandma. Out of these three, I've definitely used grapefruit the most. 

Warm & Rustic. Clove, White Fir, Cassia. For that fall-winter mood (which for me kind of lasts all year long as far as which scents I naturally gravitate toward). For some reason I cannot use clove and cassia at night, but I love them during the day in place of a candle. Clove smells exactly like the spice and mixes well with any other warm, rustic scent. Cassia smells like cinnamon. White fir is my favorite oil ever. It smells the most like a good candle to me. It's what I use for my laundry as well. It blends well with the neutral and clean scents. 

Neutral & Clean. Purify, Bergamot, Eucalyptus. I would also include lavender and peppermint here – I just didn't have them for a photo. Purify is not my favorite scent for sleeping, but it's very clean and puts me in more of a spring cleaning mood. Bergamot and eucalyptus are my top two that I currently use at bedtime every night (mixed together). Lavender is the most well-known oil for sleep, it's just not my personal preference. Peppermint is so refreshing and nice! I use a lot of skincare products that have peppermint oil in them, and I just love it. 

My advice is to start small – collect a few oils and add to them over time. You definitely do not have to use the brand I am using. I chose it because they are food grade and even though I don't use them for food, they are sometimes ingredients in things like toothpaste and oil pulling cubes that I have been experimenting with. Also, I just like the packaging. 

You will also need a diffuser. Mine is pretty boring and ugly (the little plastic white box from DoTerra brand also), but it does the job! If I get another one (which I plan to for our living spaces or maybe my office), I think I would either get a woodgrain one or one with a pink light maybe? I actually turn my light all the way off at night, but you can use it as a nightlight if you want. Some are even clocks. 

Alright! I hope this has been helpful! I know many of you have far more experience with this topic than I do, so please chime in and share your favorite oils to diffuse as well. We'd love to hear! xx- Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. 

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