1 can black beans (drained and rinsed) 1 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup vegan choc chips 2 tbs cocoa 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp cinnamon pinch sea salt (love to put a little dash of cayenne in there as well to spice it up!)
* preheat oven to 350F – put black beans in food processor and blend until smooth (I like to do this first to make sure all beans are blended) – add in peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla – blend again – put in dry ingredients – cocoa, cinnamon, sea salt (cayenne if you’d like) and blend – add choc chips and give the processor a little swirl to blend them in (make sure not to over blend the chips) – put batter in a lightly oiled up brownie pan (I use coconut oil) – cook for 20-25 mins * just as a warning – the batter usually does not make it to the oven and I end up eating it raw *whoops 😉
1.Hello Mandy, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country artist?
Hello! Yes I am Mandy McMillan, originally from just west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have always been a lover of music and have pursued my passion to play music since I was a little girl. Before I moved to Nashville to pursue music full-time, I worked a few jobs during the week such as waitress, nanny and hair stylist! I even owned a hair salon for a little while before I made the big jump to Music City!
2.What made you want a career in country music?
It’s crazy because before Nashville, music was a deep passion that I didn’t realize could be a full-time career. Once I engrained myself into the Nashville scene, I was blessed to find out that this passion of mine could be my career.
I have always loved music and all things creative, so being able to do that now is so amazing and I don’t take it for granted at all. Of course, there are a lot of ups and downs and you have to learn to ebb and flow, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My music has a sprinkle of the country genre to go along with pop and classic rock influences!
3.What is the background story behind your latest single “Dream Catcher?”
I had a big “aha” moment that came as a download to write “Dream Catcher”. I have made dream catchers for years and about two years ago, I was hanging them up as merch at a festival I was playing at. In that moment, I knew that I had to write a song about my journey going out and catching my dreams. Before I moved to Nashville, I worked a few jobs as a waitress to save up money for my big move. The first line of the song “her heart is full of wishes, cleaning up the dishes at some part time job ’til she’s at the top” captures my hustle of waiting tables during the week while being out on the road with my band on the weekends. I wanted to use the opportunity to inspire those around me to work hard, believe in themselves and to go out and catch their dreams as well. I wrote it with one of my best friends Andrew Beason and recorded it with my producer Simon Gugala, with whom I got to co-produce the track as well.
4.What is your favorite part of creating a new music video for “Dream Catcher?”
My favorite part was the fact that I got to travel to Tucson, Arizona with three of my best friends and create the most incredible memories in one of my favorite places. I have been pulled to the Arizona desert all my life and have been able to travel there a few times for a vacation, a photoshoot and now the video shoot! It was a dream to film out there and what you see in my smile is the genuine bliss of me catching my dream in that moment! 🙂
5.How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Uplifting. Groovy. Genuine
6.What has been some of your favorite venues or events to play at?
In 2014, I was chosen to be part of the stage show with Kenny Chesney on the CMA Awards and that was a top venue/ event for sure! It was such a magical moment to be on the same stage as an artist whose music has influenced me from the beginning and he was so kind. It was an unreal feeling when the curtain lifted and I could see all of my idols sitting out front watching the show and knowing that millions of people were watching on television around the world in that moment.
7.What is something that most people do not know about you?
I am plant-based/vegan. Although I’m not too sure if people are surprised by that haha! I like to think of myself as being a super kind and compassionate person and also into all things spiritual, so when most people find out about the veganism part, they’re like “you would be!”
8.What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there” Theodore Roosevelt – I have the word “Believe” tattooed on my ribs right by my heart and I fully know that you have to believe it to achieve it
I also stand by “Don’t be a lady, be a legend” Stevie Nicks
9.Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to have me on your blog! I so appreciate all the support and look forward to seeing you catch your dreams 🙂
Mandy McMillan was born in Edmonton, Alberta and grew up in Stony Plain. McMillan has never remembered a time when she was not performing or playing music. With a varied musical background that naturally combines a country sound with a little bit of pop too. McMillan’s truthfulness and love for people showcase in her lyrics and live performances, which also allows her to easily form long-term connections with her fans on stage or off.
McMillan was only 5 years old when she started her journey into music and played at Christmas concerts with her younger siblings. Her love for singing found its inspiration when she was asked to sing the Canadian national anthem at a local rodeo in her hometown. While attending high school, she started her own rock band, which help her chops as a musician, and guided to singing competitions across Canada.
The galaxy united for McMillan when she moved toward country music as a solo singer. In 2008, she won a Country Music Television Canada singing competition by performing “When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Krauss. This accomplishment encouraged her to chase her number one dream by moving to Nashville. In Music City, her singing career as a musician has driven her into many new adventures that have included a self-titled album in 2014, a chance to open up for Trisha Yearwood and appeared alongside Kenny Chesney during his performance at the 2014 CMA Awards.
In 2018, McMillan played showcases at the Calgary Stampede and Canadian Country Music Week and she also co-wrote “Chasin’ The Ace” with Lynn Tessari, which made the Top 10 in the “Play for Publisher” event in Nashville. She also released the fast-pacing track as a single in the fall of that year.
On June 23, 2020, McMillan’s official music video for her newest single “Dream Catcher came out. After about 10 years of dreaming, chasing, loving and growing as a musician, “Dream Catch” explains her sound and her life. The song was co-written by McMillan in Nashville and Andrew Beason was also a co-writer and Simon Gugala produced the song. The song is about McMillan’s of dream catchers that started when she first made them at a festival. This is both a true expression of her own ideas in the development and display of goals and a gripping image of her musical journey towards success as a singer. Her music video was directed by Jenny Marvin.
She a carefree, vegan, lovely spirit with a gift for sharing life ‘s most honest moments through her music. Her new digital summer single and Canadian radio debut, “Dream Catcher,” will be out and also serve as her first track of the first full-length album and it will come this fall.