Favorite Things

We returned home from a long visit to Arizona. It’s an adjustment getting back in the swing of things, but we’re getting there. I’m inspired by the big haul of lemons we brought home so you may be seeing more lemon recipes soon. It’s my birthday week so help me decide which vegan birthday cake I should make!

Suguaros are in a field with blue skies and bright pink clouds behind them.
Picacho Peak State Park Sunset, Arizona 2017

Shawn is a nature photographer. This photo of a rose seemed perfect for Valentine’s week!

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Tennis Life Lessons

I am SO PROUD of myself! Shawn has been after me for so long to videotape me hitting certain strokes. I have been resistant to say the least!

“If I see myself, I will probably quit!” That’s what I would tell him.

Watching video of yourself is the best way to improve. It’s what all the online coaches say.

So I gave in and you know what? He was right! We were able to see areas where I could improve…and I didn’t feel like quitting afterward. Win win!

Video revealed the things I thought I was doing, but I wasn’t.

You know what that means? It’s important to get more information about what you do compared to what you think you do. That’s where real change happens!


  • I discovered Jones Road Miracle Balm this week, and I’m excited to try it. I’ll update you once I have it to let you know what I think.
  • Because we were out of town, we had access to a hot tub. When I needed some self-care, I found indulging in a dip in the hot tub hit the spot. I don’t have a hot tub at home, so I wonder if I might transform into a bath person! Who knows!
  • It’s my birthday this week! Which cake should I make? My lifetime favorite birthday cake is this Vegan Coconut Cake. But a recent favorite is this Vegan Red Velvet Cake? Or I also love this Vegan Black Forest Cake.


After a month away from home, I’m excited to think about some more home projects. Here are some ideas I’m inspired about:

  • I love the idea of installing a butcher block counter over the washer and dryer. It would be a great update to our laundry room, for sure!
  • Food as flowers on the front porch is my thing! This year I’m trying something different. I read about biquinho peppers and bought some seeds. That means it’s time to start those seeds so they’ll be ready for planting in May. I’m so excited!


I’ve read some great books and some ho-hum (to me). Here are some of the books I’ve read recently:

  • Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella. Fiction, Women finding ways to triumph over injustice. That’s always a winning topic for me! I enjoyed this book and the narrator was great, too.
  • A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem. Fiction. A woman finds herself plunged in a sort of Groundhog Day drama where she has to trace her steps in time to save her son. This was an intriguing mystery, and I really enjoyed reading it!
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Fiction. I really struggled to get into this book. Was it too much detail? Or maybe I just couldn’t find a way to get into the plot? I’m not sure, but at some point, I simply returned it to let someone else enjoy it.

I also have my own book coming out one of these days, The Girl Who Ate the World. Sign up to get more information, including how to pre-order. I’m very excited about it!


We made time for TV this month, and here are some favorites:

  • Modern Family. We started watching Modern Family recently and have really enjoyed it so far. What a hilarious bunch of characters! I’ve heard that the later seasons are not as funny, but we’ll see. So far, so good!
  • Break Point — We love playing and watching tennis, so getting some behind-the-scenes of what the pros go through is enlightening. There are plenty of glamorous moments, but a lot of tough ones, too.
  • Full Swing — We are not golfers, but Shawn’s dad is, so we watched a few episodes with him. I was surprised to see how hard they work on their fitness. I also realized how difficult golf is on the mind. Shawn and I compared golf to playing non-stop tie-breaks (in tennis) where every single point counts. It’ a lot of pressure!


There’s no end to the food I’m passionate about, but here are some recent favorites I want to share with you:

  • Baked Tofu — I make most of my own baked tofu and marinated tofu, but sometimes I’m in a hurry. Storebought baked tofu is a great way to have flavorful plant-based protein that is relatively low-calorie and low-carb. I serve it on salads or with some cauliflower rice.
  • Nearly Naked Popcorn — My mother-in-law, Diane, introduced me to this brand and I love it! Popcorn is a favorite treat because it’s so filling. For a real treat I serve it with some Coke Zero or carbonated water.
  • Ordering Out Vegan — We did a couple of fun things this week that I thought you might like to know about. 1) We ordered a vegetable pizza without cheese. Then we baked it with our own vegan pepperoni, Impossible Sausage, and vegan mozzarella. It was perfect! Then for Chinese food, we ordered fried tofu with vegetables and no sauce (their sauce had fish in it). Then we added some store-bought San-J sauce. Another win!

Reader Spotlight

Here’s a review of my Blueberry Sauce recipe.

Reader Reviews

I tried different recipes of blueberry sauce and this is the best! Not too sweet and the lemon juice gives a flavor just right.

A spoon homers over a mason jar full of blueberry sauce. There are several waffles in the background.

Recently On Namely Marly

Here are my recently published recipes.

Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

These vegan gluten-free cinnamon rolls are soft and tender and have lots of cinnamon filling. They are topped with a creamy vanilla frosting. You'll love them from the gooey middle all the way to the crispy outer layer coated with frosting!
Vegan Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
A closeup of vegan gluten-free cinnamon rolls on a plate.

Vegan Mug Cookies

Make this easy vegan cookie in a mug right in the microwave. You'll love this soft and tender cake that you can make in minutes!
Vegan Mug Cookies Recipe
A closeup of a mug cookie in a bowl.

Vegan Cheesy Potatoes

Our vegan cheesy potatoes are the perfect casserole for any occasion. Creamy, comforting, and packed with flavor, they're sure to be a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.
Vegan Cheesy Potatoes Recipe
A closeup of vegan funeral potatoes on a plate.

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Delicious vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy, and lots of tender chocolate chips throughout. These cookies are perfect for dipping in almond milk!
Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies Recipe
A stack of chocolate chip cookies beside a bowl of chocolate chips.

Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Miso Tofu — This is such a great recipe, and I love serving it over brown rice, salads, noodles, or even zucchini noodles.
  2. Vegan Cake Pops — It must be party time because people love celebrating with these tasty little cake balls. They’re festive and fun! You can decorate them with dark chocolate or colored vegan white chocolate.
  3. Peanut Butter Muffins — I feel like these taste like vegan peanut butter cookies in muffin form. They’re that good!
  4. Dairy-Free Creme Brulee — You will love this healthy, filling dessert. It’s WAY easier to make than traditional creme brulee, and just as satisfying to eat!
  5. Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rolls — You can have your favorite plant-based sushi with low-carb cauliflower rice. I’ve got a few tricks that make it easy and so delicious!

Meal Plan

Monday — This Vegan Spaghetti Pie is perfect for making on a Monday because you can enjoy leftovers for lunch throughout the week. Some vegan breadsticks are perfect on the side.

Tuesday — If you’re in a hurry for dinner (aren’t we all!), throw this Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili together and let it cook slowly. Serve it with your favorite toppings, like cashew cream, sliced jalapenos, and more!

Wednesday — We love this Vegan Chicken and Rice Casserole. It’s a nice change of pace and is so satisfying. Serve it with leftover breadsticks from above, or make some vegan garlic toast to serve on the side.

Thursday — I tend to go for veggie burgers on Thursday nights. This week, serving up the Ultimate Veggie Burger with melted vegan cheese and some vegan tempeh bacon is the way to go! I like to add some Vegan Big Mac Sauce, too.

Friday — Let’s keep things super simple with these Easy Vegan Pizzas. You can make your own vegan pizza dough, or use a storebought crust. Then add marinara, vegan mozzarella, and you’ve got a tasty dinner ready in minutes!

Saturday — We love serving these Vegan Reuben Brats with sauerkrat, chopped onions, and a special sauce. Serve them with Air-Fried Potato Wedges and garlicky Vegan Aioli on the side. That’s the best comfort food ever!

Sunday — On Sundays, it’s time for some sweets! We can start with these Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes and these Vegan Chocolate Croissants. Now, that’s a way to get the day started! I’ll add a batch of Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies and freeze half of the cookie dough balls to bake throughout the week. Perfect sweet snack meal planning! For dessert, I’m all about the Vegan Lemon Bars (thanks to all the lemons we brought back from Arizona!).

OK, let me turn the match to you. What are the dishes you’ll be making or dreaming of making this week?

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