Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I know the thing you've always wanted in your life is Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding.

This used to be one of my very favourite things ever a few years ago; it's out of Food & Drink magazine, which is, as I've mentioned before, the best food magazine ever. It's a little involved since you have to make banana bread first, but totally worth it. Also, this is probably the most delicious banana bread I've ever had / made, so it's something to make even if you don't want to go whole hog with the pudding.

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding

Banana Bread
1/3 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ground flax
1/3 c Earth Balance, room temp
1/2 c sugar
1 c mashed banana (about 2 large)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c roasted chopped pecans (optional; I don't like nuts in banana bread so I just add another 1/4 c chocolate chips instead.)

Bread Pudding
1 carton Silk French Vanilla (I'm sure plain would be fine)
1 can full fat coconut milk
2/3 c sugar
1 tbsp ground flax
6 oz chocolate chips or chopped semi sweet chocolate
1/2 c mashed banana (1 large)

For Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking dish.

Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar and flax. Beat the earth balance and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the milk mixture, banana and vanilla and beat together. It will look a bit curdled and gross, so don't expect it to come together. I promise it will be delicious. Sift in the flour, powder, soda and salt; stir until just combined. Add the chocolate chips (and nuts) and stir until well dispersed.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly; bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until it tests clean. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool the rest of the way. When it's fully cool you can commence the pudding part.

For Pudding

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and then line with parchment so that it comes over the sides a bit too (makes for easy, pretty presentation when you can pull it out in one piece).

Put the coconut milk and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Let come up to a boil, stirring often, and cook for 15 or so minutes, until reduced to 1 c of liquid. (At this point, put your chocolate into a medium bowl). Turn the heat down to low and add the creamer and flax and let it come up to a simmer. Turn it off and then strain it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Stir in the mashed banana. Let the chocolate cool; cut up the banana loaf into roughly 1" pieces and put into a bowl. Pour the chocolate over top and press the pieces of bread in, then let it sit to soak for about 15 minutes. Pour it into your prepared dish. Place the dish into a larger dish and pour about 1" of hot water into the larger dish. Place in the oven and bake for 55 - 60 min. Take out of the oven, remove from bath, and allow to cool fully before refrigerating.

To serve: you can eat it right from the fridge, at room temp, or warm. It's not finicky. A dollop of some sort of whip might be tasty, or maybe even a splash of creamer. We ate ours warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave, without any cream because I didn't think to buy any.

If you don't eat this for next Christmas breakfast, you're going on the naughty list.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eggsnog Cupcakes

A friend's last day at work calls for delicious cupcake treats. Her request? Eggnog cupcakes. 'Tis the season, after all.

This recipe is more or less the vanilla cupcakes recipe from VCTOTW. Add a couple of spices, rum extract, and make it with eggnog instead of milk and voila! Eggsnog Cupcakes.

Many cakes

Eggsnog Cupcakes
1 c Vegan Eggnog (I used Almond Fresh Noel Nog)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c GF flour (I used Bob's Red Mill, and added 1/4 tsp xanthan gum)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp rum extract

Preheat the oven to 350; line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

Mix the nog and vinegar and set aside.

Sift together all the dry ingredients and give 'em a stir. Make a well in the centre and add the nog mixture and the other wet ingredients. Stir really, really well. No lumps!

Pop in the oven for for 20 - 22 minutes; remove and let cool for 5 minutes before setting on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Noel Nog. Good in cupcakes, good with rum.

Eggnog Frosting

1/2 c Earth Balance buttery spread (room temp)
1/4 c Earth Balance shortening (room temp)
3 c icing sugar
2 tbsp  eggnog
1 tsp vanilla

Nutmeg for sprinkling

Ian took these pictures and decided ramekins make cool pedestals.

Beat the shortening and butter until fluffy. Add 1 c of sugar; beat until well incorporated. Beat in a second cup; add 1 tbsp of nog. Add the last cup, last tbsp of nog, and vanilla, and beat on high till smooth and creamy. Pipe onto cupcakes; dust with a little bit of nutmeg.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

National Cupcake Day

Want to save all the puppies and kitties? I do! I can't take any more into my home but in a move clearly designed for me and me alone, the SPCA and Humane Societies of Canada are having a fundraiser called National Cupcake Day. The idea is to bake cupcakes and sell them to raise money. They have lots of good ideas on their site for doing it through work if you have a place of work that would participate in this kind of thing.

Apparently there will be individual fund raising pages for everyone who registers, so keep an eye out for that, and then order lots of cupcakes from me, because you want to save the animals too!

Goober came from the humane society! Help save more Goobers!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Salty Oaty Cookies

Last night I had been intending to make a batch of Christmas cookies, but then got distracted by pinterest and these cookies. The cookies have no eggs or dairy in them, and a simple sub of Earth Balance for the butter made them vegan, which is lovely. Sometimes I just want to think about what to sub. The filling calls for 2 tbsp milk, for which I subbed almond milk, as always, and again Earth Balance for the butter.

You could eat them without filling, too.

The ganache was a bit too soft for my liking and I think next time I would probably go with a different recipe, though I have to admit that I did really like the flavour having used cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate like most ganaches call for.

The saltiness is delicious. I used Murray River flakes; I would definitely recommend going the flake route vs the chunky sea salt route. Chunky sea salt might over do it even if you only sprinkle on a couple of grains.

You probably could actually make these as Christmas cookies; I imagine the filling would freeze and thaw just fine. I might actually toss one in a freezer bag and see what happens.

Or I might just eat them all with coffee or tea over the course of this week.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back! Meal planning.

Well I crapped out at the end of MoFo which was kind of inevitable. Anyway, I had a baby on November 12th so I think I'm justified for the last couple of weeks' absence.

Now that it's been 2 weeks, I'd like to get back into the swing of things. Thankfully, Aphra is super laid back and this shouldn't be a problem. Most of these are from the PPK. I just wanted things that are quick and easy to throw together, and tasty of course.

Chickpea Rice Soup
Taco Tuesday - Lentil Tacos
"Beef" stew and green salad
Broccoli curry stir fry
Sweet chili tofu with kale and coconut quinoa

Thursday, November 8, 2012

London Fog Cupcakes - Gluten Free!

I wanted to make London Fog (earl grey + vanilla) cupcakes, I wanted to use up my vegan white chocolate, and I wanted this to be gluten free. So I bought some Bob's Red Mill GF flour, because buying a bunch of various flours and mixing them myself gave me 'okay' but not necessarily 'great' cupcakes last time I ventured into the world of GF, some xanthan gum because Bob told me to, and got to baking.

I worked off my old standby, Isa's VCTOTW Golden Vanilla Cupcake recipe, just modifying a couple of things to make them London Foggy.

Then I made white chocolate orange blossom ganache frosting that was kind of a fail, but still tastes good. I want to try the ganache again sometime, and soon, because I think it could work. I'm not going to post the recipe for it because it was sub par this time, consistency wise.

So, I mail ordered this in the summer and it melted in the mailbox. Probably the reason it failed.     

London Fog Cupakes

1 1/4c milk (as always, I use almond)
8 tsp Earl Grey tea (I used David's Tea Cream of Earl Grey loose leaf)
1 tsp almond milk
1.3 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange blossom extract
1 1/4 c flour (I used Bob's Red Mill GF)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (only if you're using the GF flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cornstarch (not sure if this is necessary with the xanthan, but I used it anyway. Next time I might try
3/4 c sugar

The orange blossom flavour. Smells pretty good, actually, and reminds me of Lush.

In a small sauce pan, bring the milk to a boil. turn off immediately and drop in the tea. I use those paper tea bag things you use with loose leaf tea; if you have a tea ball or the like, you might want to put it in a measuring cup and pour the milk over so that it's fully submerged and you get the maximum steepage.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 cups with cupcake liners.

When the milk/tea has cooled down, squeeze as much out of the bags as possible (after the tea leaes have absorbed the milk, you should end up with 1 c liquid. Discard anything more than 1 c) and then mix the milk with the apple cider vinegar. Set aside to curdle.

Sift together all the dry ingredients. Whisk them up and create a well in the centre. Pour in all the wet ingredients. If you're using the GF mix, whisk them together super well until no lump remain; if you just use regular flour, do the normal 'small lumps are okay' kind of mixing. Divide into the cups and pop into the oven for 20 - 22 minutes. Remove, let cool in the pan for a few minutes, and then put on a rack to cool fully before frosting.

Outta the oven, sporting a lovely tan due to the tea!

If you want to make a normal buttercream and flavour it with vanilla and orange blossom extract, I bet it would be super yummy.

You can see the weirdness of the consistency. Still tasted good.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Apple Cider Donuts

I have been wanting to make apple cider donuts for ages and bought the cider a couple of weeks ago for this purpose. I didn't have a recipe in mind so when I finally decided to get down to it this morning, it took me a couple minutes to decide whether I wanted to veganize a recipe I found or just find a vegan recipe. Fortunately, Vegetarian Times has a recipe they published back in 2009, no extra work required.

I used a flax egg instead of that egg replacer stuff, because I don't do the egg replacer stuff, and once again, like the last several times I've made donuts, the recipe makes WAY MORE than it says. It's really weird. I feel like the mini donut pans these people use must be about twice the size of the mini donut pan I use, because I got 48 mini donuts and the recipe said it makes 18. I don't get it.

Numbers aside, these are pretty yummy. I added 1/4 tsp more cinnamon because the person I was bringing these two likes cinnamon things, and coated them in cinnamon sugar rather than superfine sugar. I let Dash have one pretty much right out of the pan (they're tiny, they cool quickly) and not letting him have another inspired a lovely 10 minute tantrum which ended with hm putting himself to bed, so yeah, they're good.

Apple Cider Donuts

* remember, if you don't have Ener-G, use a flax egg instead of the 'egg replacer + water' combo suggested
* cinnamon sugar = 1/2 c sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Dip donuts in melted earth balance first, then coat in

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gin and lime curd tart

Potluck staff meeting! New Christmas products to take inspiration from! What a magical time in the life of me.

One of the products that came out this year was Mr Punch soap, which is a lime, gin, juniper berry and black currant soap. I couldn't incorporate the black currants - out of season and for some reason the extract doesn't exist here! - or the juniper berry on account of not being able to find any. However, what we lack in currants and berries we make up for with gin, lime oil, and blackberries.

I wanted to make the crust gluten free, since we have a gluten intolerant member of staff who deserves delicious tart just as much as everyone else, so I made an almond meal crust. Super basic - just almond meal, sugar, earth balance, and a bit of salt. Pressed into a tart pan - the most annoying part of the whole process - and then baked.

The curd I made with the usual VegNews Lemon Curd recipe, with some crucial changes - lime instead of lemon peel, no turmeric, lime oil instead of vanilla, and most importantly, gin instead of lemon juice. It's only enough for a thin layer on the bottom of the tart, but it's a pretty boozy, tart curd so I think it's all that's necessary. You could always double the curd recipe or perhaps make a vegan whip to pile on top, depending on your current wants and needs.

Almond Crust

2 c ground almonds
4 -5 tbsp melted earth balance
4 tbsp sugar
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix all the things together until fully incorporated. Press into a 9" tart pan; bake, covered for 20 minutes and then uncover and bake for 10 mire until nicely golden. Remove and let cool completely before adding filling.

This was supposed to be a shot of the unfilled crust, but I forgot to take that. Oops.

Lime curd

3/4 c full fat coconut milk
1/2 c gin
1/2 c sugar
lime zest from 3 limes
3 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp pure lime oil

Mix everything in a small pot over med-low heat. Keep stirring until mixture bubbles and thickens, about 6 minutes. Remove from stove top and push through a sieve if you want it to be super smooth and amazing, which I did and you probably do too. Let it cool (the pushing through a sieve will help with this) but don't let it form a skin. Pour it into the crust and smooth it out. Top with various treats.

I was going to use currants, but they don't exist right now, so I chose blackberries.

Blackberry'd up!

My husband came home with many various berries, so then I decided that it would be fun to add the raspberries too. These aren't strictly Mr Punch related, but whatever, I do what I want.

Blackberries AND raspberries? Crazy talk.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bad week for MoFoing! Oops.

So... cupcakes. That makes everything better. Obviously.

Last year I did some Lush inspired cupcakes and this last week I thought I'd repeat the experiment with a new shower gel that came out, Ponche. There used to be a Lush soap called Red Rooster which was absolutely terrible, but sounded fantastic - cinnamon and orange. Super Christmasy and yummy, right? Oh, so wrong. The actual execution of it ended up being a scent akin to... well, let's not go there. Yucky, is all I'll say.

Ponche, however, has some buchu, which is almost black curranty, and the cinnamon and orange, plus, bonus!, tequila!

Ponche Cupcakes

2/3 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 orange, zested & juiced
2 tbsp creme de cassis (or if you have blackcurrant extract, you could use 2 tsp)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 12 - 14 cups with cupcake liners. I know, another stupid number like 14. I'm the worst.

Mix the milk, vinegar, and orange juice in a cup and set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle and pour in the wet ingredients and the orange zest. Stir until relatively well combined, but some lumps are a-okay. Divvy up amongst the cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, until they pass the toothpick test. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.


1 c earth balance, softened
3 1/2 c icing sugar
2 tbsp creme de cassis
1 tbsp tequila
purple food colouring if you so desire

Beat the earth balance until creamy. Add in 1 c of the icing sugar, followed by 1 tbsp of liquid. Repeat until
all the things are mixed together, add your purple food colouring, and then ice those mofos. This icing is pretty soft, so you can add more sugar if you want it to be stiffer, or use some shortening instead of just the buttery spread, up to you!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Mac N Cheeze

I wanted something to do with the half can of pumpkin left over from making the baked pumpkin oatmeal. Fortunately, I had pinned a (non vegan) pumpkin mac n cheese. This need to finish the pumpkin has also coincided with some awful teething from Dash, who can't eat anything less soft than macaroni. Perfect marriage of circumstances.

I worked mainly by feel here; mostly I was influenced by OhSheGlow's mac n cheeze, which I didn't realize till after I had already made this. It was the most recent mac n cheeze I've made though, so that makes sense.

Pumpkin Mac N Cheeze

1 box penne, cooked (or whatever pasta you like)

1/2 c cashews, soaked for as long as you've got. Mine were soaked for 4 hours.
2 cloves garlic (I will probably add more next time, but we like a lot of garlic)
1/2 can pumpkin - I would guess around 1 1/3 c.
here's where it gets sketchy because I stopped measuring
dijon mustard (a couple of tsp)
3 half handfuls nutritional yeast
some olive oil (probably 2 tbsp)
some almond milk (1/4 - 1/2 c)
some salt (1 or 2 tsp?)
some veg broth (around 1/4 or 1/2 c as well)
juice of half a lemon


2 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tbsp horseradish
1 c panko crumbs

Preheat to 350.

Throw everything but the penne into a food processor and process until totally smooth, scraping down the sides every once in a while. Pour over the cooked penne, mix well, and dump into a large baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil or otherwise destickified.

Melt the earth balance, stir in the horseradish, then drizzle over the bread crumbs. Spread evenly over the macaroni and then toss it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Dash's plate. He ate this and then another helping. Yum!


ps this was 100% approved of by our (admittedly not at all picky) toddler. "How's your food Dash?" "Mmm! Delicious, mommy!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

'tis the season of all things pumpkin. You know this because there was a riot in the streets when Starbucks brought the pumpkin spice latte out a few weeks ago.

Okay, so maybe there was no riot. But if the fact that it's out doesn't mean anything to you, a quick browse around Pinterest Food & Drink sections will certainly clue you in. Pumpkin goes in / with everything. Donuts. Mac n cheese (I will be doing this later this week hopefully...). Baked oatmeal. Not just for pie anymore!

I pinned a non-vegan pumpkin baked oatmeal with the intention of veganizing it, so here we are. I just googled 'freezing baked oatmeal' and looks like that should work, so I might make another batch, cut it into squares and freeze it as part of the freezer meals for when Lip comes.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

1 1/4 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c coconut yogurt (vanilla flavour)
2 tbsp ground flax
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c almond milk (I actually had to top up the almond milk with a bit of Silk Creamer, maybe 1/4 c, because I was too lazy to open a new container when I ran out at 1 1/4 c)
2 1/2 c oats

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with cooking spray of some variety.

Mix everything but the oats together until smooth; then stir in the oats, toss it all into your pan, and bake for 30 minutes covered in foil. The original says to bake for 15 more uncovered, but I ended up doing a whole 'nother half hour uncovered to get it actually baked. Remove.

Before baking.

I let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing into it, putting it into my bowl and drizzling it with maple syrup and vanilla Silk creamer.

Out of the oven

It was super delicious. I would probably add more spices next time; I think more cinnamon and ginger would have been great. I don't actually know what 'pumpkin pie spice' is so I was just making things up as I went along anyway. You can do whatever you like!

Ready to be eaten!

Monday, October 8, 2012

'Niller Cupcakes

Sometimes, you gotta work out the basics. Nothing is more basic than a vanilla cupcake with almond icing. Well, maybe one with vanilla icing, but you either add 2 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond, so really, same level of basicness as far as I'm concerned.

I wanted to try a new and fancy recipe. I love VCTOTW but they're the only vegan cupcakes I've ever made; I thought it might be time to branch out into the wonderful world of something else. So I used glorious old pinterest to find 'the BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES EVER!!!eleventy!!!' and veganized the hell out of them. Unfortunately, other than discovering I am masterful at veganization of cupcake recipes, these aren't all that different from VCTOTW and they were more work and required more ingredients. I mean, they're tasty and all. But I wouldn't go out of my way to buy coconut milk yogurt just to make them again. I did skip the whole scraping the vanilla pod and mashing it with the sugar step from the original, because I'm lazy like that, so maybe that would make a big difference. I could also be the wrong person to ask, since I'm a chocolate cupcake gal myself. So keep that in mind and definitely try these out vs your regular recipe and draw your own conclusions.

I asked Ian to take a picture. And I got a cupcake floating in space. What?

Vanilla Cupcakes

2/3 c milk (I use almond)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 c earth balance
1/3 c canola oil
1 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c vanilla coconut yogurt
1 3/4 c flour minus 3 tbsp (this is the stupid shit that happens when the original calls for cake & pastry flour)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350. Line 16 cups with muffin papers. 16? I KNOW, RIGHT? I hate that kind of thing. So annoying.

Mix together the milk and vinegar. Set aside to curdle. Meanwhile, pull out the ol' kitchenaid or handheld beaters and beat the sugar, oil and earth balance together. It will have a kind of gross consistency. Add the vanilla and milk mixture and beat until well combined.

Sift in the dry ingredients and either beat on slow slow speed or else just use a spoon or spatula to mix it all together. Small lumps are okay, they will bake out. Scoop the batter into the cups and toss in the oven for 15 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if they are ready; if not, leave them in for another minute or two and check again. Let cool in pans for a few minutes before removing them to a rack to cool the rest of the way.

Almond Icing

1 c Earth Balance, softenend
3 c icing sugar
2 - 3 tbsp soy creamer (I used Silk French Vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Cream the earth balance till it's all nice and, you know, creamy. Beat in a cup of the sugar, followed by a tbsp of creamer. Then, more sugar. Then, more creamer. Then, the last of the sugar. Add the extracts. If it's not quite spreading consistency, add a bit more creamer until it is.

Natural: about to nommed, which as we all know, is the natural state of cupcakes anyway.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gooey Carrot Cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing

These are made of win. I know that phrase is outdated and stuff, but it's true. I saw the original cake recipe on pinterest and knew I had to veganize it. And possibly make it into cupcakes, because who eats cake these days? Cupcakes are easier to share.

The recipe calls for a sauce thing to be poured over the cake while still hot; I decided to pour on some of the remains of the vegan sweetened condensed milk I made last week for Dash's cupcake icing instead, because I already had that made and am lazy.

Carrot Cupcakes

2 c shredded carrot
3/4 c shredded, sweetened, toasted coconut
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 c crushed pineapple in juice
1 c milk (as always I used almond)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c sugar
3/4 c oil
2 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350. This recipe made 24 cupcakes, so either halve it and make 12 or line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners.

Shredded carrot and coconut

Mix the milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.  Meanwhile sift together the flour through salt in a smaller bowl. Then, to the milk, add the vanilla, oil and sugar and whisk well until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; fold in the remaining ingredients. Scoop into the muffin tin; they will be pretty darn full - 3/4 or so. Bake for 20 -22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

You can probably just let them cool on a rack and then frost and eat, but if you want to go the 'gooey' route, poke them several times each, while still warm, with something about chopstick size. I used a chopstick. Then pour sweetened condensed milk over the cupcakes, into the holes, by the teaspoonful. Allow to cool the rest of the way on racks.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 c cream cheese, softened (I used tofutti, which I like better than most other brands I've tried)
1/2 c Earth Balance, softened
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 c icing sugar

Cream together the Earth Balance and cream cheese. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, then add the icing sugar by the cupful and mixing to incorporate each cup entirely before adding the next. Spread onto cupcakes. Mine was too soft to pipe nicely and hold a shape, but you can try or maybe add more icing sugar to see if that makes it more solid. It's freaking delicious this way though so I'd say just stick with it.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

PB Cookies

This is supposed to be a post about something I veganized or something new I made from one of my cookbooks. Instead, it's a post about cookies.

I'm willing to bet most people are familiar with the Kraft Peanut Butter Cookies recipe on the back of the extra creamy jar: peanut butter, an egg, some sugar, stir and bake. I haven't made those in forever and certainly not since I stopped baking with eggs.

I was craving peanut butter cookies and searched; one of the first recipes to appear was this one.

First time around, I added vanilla but totally forgot the baking powder. I used a flax egg in place of the real egg. They came out pretty good, very dense though (much like the original Kraft recipe which doesn't call for any baking powder). I decided to try again *with* powder this time.

Sorry for the lighting. It was night time by the time I could get a shot.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
1 c peanut butter
2/3 c sugar (plus more for rolling)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the water and flax.

Preheat the oven to 350. I like to bake things on parchment paper, so I lined my cookie sheet with parchment. You can probably not do that if you prefer not to.

Ready for baking!

Mix together the flax/water mixture with everything else. A spatula should do the trick. Divide into 12, roll into balls and roll in some sugar before putting them on the cookie sheet. Make your fun little marks with a fork, then pop into the oven for 8 -10 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet on top of a rack; they are pretty soft at first and won't transfer to the rack well, and by the time they can be moved they're pretty much 100% cooled.

Fresh out of the oven! These are the ones *with* baking powder.

Without the baking powder. A little flat. Not as awesome.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carrot Soup

Part of my plans for this MoFo include making some freezer foods for when I have Lip and won't want to do / be able to do anything other than sit around in my underwear because, let's face it, the first few weeks of newborn having are kind of less than glamorous.

I had a Carnival squash sitting around not doing much of anything. I get really excited when it's squash season and buy them with no plans at all for them.

Then I decided I wanted carrot soup. Squash goes with carrots, right? So I threw that squash in the oven in the afternoon (cut in half & scooped, inch of water in the pan, 400 degrees, 45 minutes or so). Then the entire adventure of my day was braving the grocery store on student discount day, which is the worst, because many of them have never learned the amazing life skill of grocery shopping and have zero shopping etiquette, plus there's a million of them.

So I didn't follow any particular recipe; I'm sure that there's all kinds of various recipes floating around in my head because I've made lots of carrot and / or squash soups in my life.


1 carnival squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or however you like to prep ginger
2 tsp masala
2 tsp hot curry paste
1.5  - 2 lb carrots, chopped
4 c veg broth
1 can coconut milk (I used lite)

Cook your squash however you like to cook squash. I suppose that if you want to peel it raw and chop it into chunks and toss it in the soup and cook it a bit longer you could do that too. Put your soup pot over medium heat and put in the oil. Saute the onions with a sprinkling of salt until softened and translucent; toss in the garlic and ginger, cooking until fragrant. Add the two curries and cook for a minute or two. Add the squash, carrots and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until carrot is tender, stirring occasionally. When everything is cooked, turn off the heat and add the coconut milk.

If you want to pull out your blender, you can blend and nom; just make sure to let the steam escape. I used my immersible hand blender because it's awesome and convenient.

The only problem with this soup is that we ate the majority of it for dinner instead of freezing any, so I'm going to have to make some again soon to toss in the freezer.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cupcakes, sweetened condensed milk, and ganache... oh my?!

First Baking Post of Vegan Mofo! Make these right meow. You will not regret it.

I was still fooling around with chocolate cupcake recipes. You know, so that when I have a bakery, I can call my cupcakes 'World's Best Chocolate Cupcakes.' Or so that when I give them to people, they tell me, with absolute certainty, that this indeed is the World's Best Chocolate Cupcake. What an ego boost, I tell ya.

Okay, I'm not really that full of myself. But this here recipe that I devised by taking some of one recipe and some of another recipe and then baking for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven is really, really frigging good. My search, all that fooling around, might be done. These are frigging fantastic.

Frigging Fantastic Chocolate Cupcakes

1/2 c almond milk (your fave non dairy should work)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 c strong brewed coffee (I used 4 scoops in that half cup of water.)
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat to good ol' 350. Line your tin with paper liners.

Mix together the almond milk, coffee, and vinegar. Set aside for a couple of minutes while you...

... sift together the dry ingredients. Stir or whisk to combine. Make a well, pour in the milk mixture along with the oil and vanilla, and stir together until pretty well mixed, but the occasional lump is totally okay. Divide among the liners and pop into the oven for 20 - 22 minutes. Remove and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before letting them sit on a rack until they're room temp.


Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 cans coconut milk
1/2 c sugar

Bring these two things to a boil and reduce to medium heat, and let simmer until reduced to about half. Stir occasionally or whatever. This *should* take like 15 minutes but it took mine over half an hour. I probably didn't have the heat up high enough but my stove top is evil so I like to err on the side of caution.

Yummy Ganache Frosting
I can say with absolute certainty I will never, *ever* make another chocolate frosting. This is what I look for in chocolate frosting. Seriously.

1/2 c of your newly made sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c + 2 tbsp heavy cream - I used Silk French Vanilla
1/2 c sugar
5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbs Earth Balance (I don't know for certain, but the coconut spread might work? Depends on stability at room temp I guess.)

Heat the milk, cream & sugar till simmering, then remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Let cool a bit, then pop in the fridge for a couple of hours. Remove, let it come back down to room temp, and then pop into your mixer with the paddle or get out the ol' hand mixer and beat for a minute or so until it's fluffy. Pipe onto cupcakes. Or eat with a spoon. Or pipe some onto the cupcakes and whatever is left over, pipe into your mouth. This melts easily and when soft it won't hold its shape as well, so try to work quickly and don't let your hands over heat it when you're piping or it will get blobby.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegan Mofo 2012!

So this is my third attempt at participating actively in Vegan Mofo. I actually have a bit of a plan of action this year.

1 baking post
1 freezer meals post (I am 34 weeks pregnant after all! Time to get the freezer meals started!)
1 'veganize it' post
1 brand new recipe that I have never tried from my cookbook collection post
1 pinterest post - I have so many things pinned that I need to try! 

Good luck to all the other Mofo'ers out there, have a great blogging October!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pumpkin (mini) Donuts

You know, I think I've just come to the conclusion that using flax as an egg replacer in donut recipes is bad. They rise a ton and end up being duffins instead of nice round cakey little nummy treats. I'm incensed, I tells ya! These would have been really good as muffins, maybe with some pecans tossed in and still topped with the cinnamon sugar.

* so I made another batch and filled the cups less yet again. I ended up with 48 donuts. This is supposed to make 24. Sheesh. But at least they were donuts and not duffins.*

But anyway, here's the recipe that I veganized from Blue Eyed Bakers.

Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts

1 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c brown sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax whisked with 3 tbsp water)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c milk (I used almond)


1/2 c melted Earth Balance
2/3 c sugar
1 - 2 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the oil through milk. Add the dry to the wet and stir just until combined; over working things with pumpkin in them tends to result in gumminess, so be careful!

Spoon or pipe into your donut pan. I piped half and spooned half, and the spooned half were way lumpier than the piped ones. I also used a wet finger to pat the dough down and smooth it out and I think that was semi-effective. However, it doesn't change the fact that these puffed way too much.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cool in the pan for a few, then turn onto racks to cool completely.

For the coating

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl separate from the melted butter. Dunk donuts into the butter and then into the sugar / cinnamon and toss to coat. I also plonked half of them into icing sugar (not coated with butter first, mind!).

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Came across this recipe on- where else? - pinterest a few days ago. Apparently Lip has decided that cinnamon is the thing to want. Yes, the craving is in no way my fault. All that of the fetus.

I veganized it, and these things are delicious. You must make them.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

1/2 c flour
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c oats
1/4 c chopped pecans
1/4 c canola oil

Mix up the dry things, then drizzle in the oil while stirring. Should make a bit of a mix between a sandy / clumpy texture; if it's too sandy, add a bit more oil a teaspoon at a time. Set aside.

3 tbsp softened earth balance
1/ 2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Mash them all together good and proper. Set aside for later use.

1 3/4 c flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 c oats
1 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c oil

Preheat oven to 350; line a muffin pan with wrappers.

Mix the vinegar and milk together and set aside.

Sift together everything from the flour to the baking powder; stir in the oats. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk, oil and vanilla. Stir until no dry patches remain, but don't over do it because no one likes tough muffins.

Using up half of the muffin mixture, fill the muffin cups 1/3 of the way. Divide the filling evenly amongst the muffins; should be about 2 tsp each. Fill the muffins up with the remaining batter; press streusel topping on to (youwill probably not need all of the topping; I used about 2/3 of it). Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to cool the rest of the way on a rack.

This angle hides the disasterouness of the topping.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vegan Mofo!

It's almost October, and that means it's almost MoFo! I'm super excited. I've got a little bit of a plan, but I'm not the most on top of it person when it comes to blogging (obviously), so we'll see how it goes. But so far the planning stages are awesome.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Cottage Meal Plan

We're going up to a family friend's cottage for a week tomorrow. That means making and lugging lots of food! I kind of look forward to this kind of planning and organizing though. We didn't have a lot of time for the cooking and organizing, as we just got back from another friend's cottage for the weekend (I know, my life is rough.), so whatever I can get done in one day is going to have to work! Here's the meals (and snacks) we have on the plan

Blueberry pancakes & tempeh bacon- made the dry mix ahead and packed it in a mason jar. I bought a ton 
                                                          of blueberries, they're from Canada and on sale at the store right now!
Tofu scramble and roasted potatoes - a favorite from Vegan Brunch
Sausage, gravy and biscuits - best sausages ever, mushroom gravy, biscuits from Vegan Diner
Overnight Blueberry French Toast - going to halve the recipe, and maybe use fresh Ontario peaches in there!
Quiche - spinach, roasted red peppers, feta cheese

Black Bean Soup (will do 2 days) - from Refresh
Cheesy Vegetable Chowder (also for 2 days) - this will be the third time I've made this in the last 5 weeks!
English Muffin Pizzas - easy, quick, can use the grill or the toaster oven. <3

Portobello Philly Cheesesteaks
A vegan variation of Green Chili
Lentil Sloppy Joes, broccoli, mashed potato - another favourite and 100% kid approved - but messy!
BBQ night - sweet potatoes, corn, salad, zucchini
Penne with tomato sauce, basil, and bocconcini - more or less a take on this recipe, but with penne

Pumpkin muffins - from Vegan Brunch
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Banana breakfast cookies

And that, my friends, is a week of eating at a cottage, Service style. I am nom nomming at the thought. Green chili is already made; I'm off to make the black bean soup now! Have an awesome week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meal Planning Tuesday (again)

I made a meal plan on Monday and went grocery shopping. By the time I was actually contemplating making dinner Monday night, nothing seemed appetizing. But that's how it goes, I guess. I forced myself to get through making the udon Monday night and it was delicious, so there's that.

Udon noodles, sauteed cauliflower, peas, red peppers and carrots with peanut sauce
Spicy Black Bean Soup and green salad
Roasted beet salad, smashed potatoes, broccoli, and  buffalo wing style tempeh
Spaghetti squash and tomato bake, and moar salad

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Meal Planning Tuesday

Yesterday was the civic holiday and I spent it volunteering at a horse show (where, by the way, I got many compliments on my ability to run the ring and how nice it was to have someone smiling and having a good time in there...) and Ian and the kid had dinner at the In Law's which was followed by Dash's swimming lesson.

So here's what we're having this week:

grilled portobellos, sweet potato packet, corn, and greek salad

Roasted Tomato Soup, chickpea salad sandwiches, green salad

Mango BBQ Baked Beans (an old fave from AfR), rice, broccoli

Tempeh with sweet peppers and bourbon spiked bbq sauce (from Vegan Planet, a treasure trove of recipes I have yet to try!), roasted beets, smashed potatoes, wax beans

I am also going to try to make that chickpea-quinoa thing that was on the plan a few weeks ago but which I never got around to. For lunch, anyway. We'll see.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

A thing that happens when you buy a lot of bananas for your toddler is that he suddenly decides he doesn't like bananas, and then they all get old and brown and way too gross to eat. So then you make banana bread!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Recipe Adapted from Isa's.

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c Earth Balance at room temperature
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1/4 c almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat to 350. Place a piece of parchment at the bottom of a loaf pan, and spray all around with cooking spray.

Cream the Earth Balance and the sugar together. Mix together the milk & vinegar and let curdle; add the bananas, milk mixture, and vanilla to the sugar/butter combo and mix well.

Sift in the dry ingredients and stir well, adding the chocolate chips right before you think it is mixed enough. Then dump it into the loaf pan and bake for an hour - an hour and ten minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool in pan for a few minutes and then turn onto a rack and allow to cool the rest of the way. Enjoy!

Note: it's pretty tender and may not cut superbly at first. Make sure you let it cool all the way down; I am also planning on trying to see if I can make it hold together by using more flour; the original recipe calls for 2c, some of which I replaced with cocoa powder.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Meal Planning on a Wednesday

Yup. Halfway crapping out. Whatever. Don't judge me. I've had a sick kid to deal with. A sick kid who ate nothing but home made mini donuts for two days. At least his taste buds weren't broken; that's pretty much the only thing that wasn't.

Garlic roasted chickpeas with lemon dill dressing, quinoa & spinach - yeah it was on last week's list, but fortunately nothing in it is perishable because we didn't get to it. So it's here again. (I forgot to buy the spinach last week, so you know it wasn't meant to be anyway.)

Zucchini boats, grilled portobellos, Italian rice & beans

Broccoli cheddar soup, garlic bread, caesar salad

(We had tacos Monday and Jerk Tofu, mashed ginger coconut sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower Tuesday, BTW)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some Stuff

I got new bowls! New to me, that is. We were wandering around an antique market and a few of the vendors were selling old pyrex and corningware.

I scored these two bowls. I like the birds. And I have used the larger one a bunch of times already! Well worth the 15ish bucks I made Ian spend.

I decided last week that I wanted to make vegan mini donuts. Why, you ask? I just like baked goods is all. They were a teeny bit of a fail in the donut-ness, such that they didn't actually have proper holes that went all the way through, and the ones I hand formed looked like cookies, but they were tasty, and I have hopefully remedied the problem by purchasing another mini donut pan instead of relying on the one to get me through a recipe.

I got the recipe from Oh She Glows.

Mini Donuts

Here's what they looked like out of the oven

Duffins. Not quite a donut, not quite a muffin.

However, you almost can't tell that they're a little different once they got glazed. Or that may just be my wishful thinking.

I now have 200 donut flavour ideas floating around in my head. Okay, 200 is a lot. But I do have a bunch. As well as a plan to veganize friands in the near future. We'll see how that goes. I am cautiously optimistic.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meal Planning Monday - Week 6

Back on the wagon!

Delicious looking Garlic Roasted Chickpeas, quinoa, garlic sauteed spinach
Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Penne, caesar salad
Jerk tofu, ginger mashed sweet potatoes, bbq'd zucchini, beet salad
Lentil sloppy joes, mashed potatoes, carrots, green salad
Black bean chipotle soup, bruschetta, kale salad

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Delicious Unconventional Thai

I don't think Thai food usually incorporates broccoli or carrots; thankfully red curry paste and coconut milk make everything delicious.

Mish Mash Thai Red Curry

olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or sliced or however you prefer to prepare it
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 large handful of baby carrots, sliced in half
2 - 3 tbsp red curry paste
1 can coconut milk (I used full fat; I'm sure it would be fine with lite)
1 c veg broth
1 heaping tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp tamari
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp agave

Heat a tbsp or 2 of olive oil over medium. Throw in the onion and red pepper, sauteeing until soft and maybe brown in a few spots. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minuteish. Add the broccoli and carrots, salt well, and a splash of water (maybe up to a 1/4 c, depending on whether you need to deglaze the pan) and cover and cook for 7ish minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Clear a spot in the middle of the pan and melt 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk and add the curry paste. Once the curry paste is mixed with the milk, add the rest of the coconut milk and the tamari, and stir into the veggies. Mix the cornstarch with the broth until dissolved, then add to the pan, stirring to incorporate. Let it come to a simmer and cook until thickened nicely. Add the lime juice and agave, stir well, taste for seasoning, and turn off the heat. Done! Serve with rice.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meal Planning

It's not Monday and I've missed a week, but anyhow...

Vegnews Macaroni and Cheese (best mac n cheese EVER) and green salad
Marinated grilled mushrooms, greek salad (with vegetarian ricotta salata), lemon bbq'd potatos, tzatziki, pitas
Beet and basil salad, broccoli, mashed sweet potato, jerk tofu
Something thai. I bought some red curry paste and some ginger and some kaffir lime leaves. With jasmine rice.

Extra treat: I want to make vegan current friands. Not sure how that's going to work.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meal Planning... Thursday

Okay. I didn't get a post done Monday but I *did* plan meals, so it's okay, right?

One night we didn't eat dinner because we ate lunch so late.
Another night we ended up eating KD because neither of us felt like 'cooking.'
Wednesday: Broccoli Curry Udon (unfortunately I had no fresh ginger so I used a very generous amount of powdered; I also added orange pepper and sliced creminis and used the fat, fresh udon. Still good.)
Thursday: Burgers and asparagus on the BBQ and potato salad with horseradish dressing
Friday: Veggie patties with pineapple salsa, grilled zucchini and sweet potato pack on the BBQ

Saturday we are off to a friend's place for a bbq, and Sunday is the Queen's Plate so we'll probably eat something at the track.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chili, Salad, Corn Muffins

I've talked about this chili, right? Throw everything in the slow cooker, let it cook for 8 hours, come home to yum.

What chili isn't made more awesome and complete without the addition of corn muffins? I love corn muffins. I didn't get a picture of them not in the tin because we just wanted to eat dinner, but this is good enough, right?

Corn Muffins

1 1/3 c almond milk
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 c corn meal
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
1 c frozen corn
some chopped pickled jalapenos, optional

Preheat oven to 375. Oil a muffin tin.

Mix the milk and cider and let it sit while you whisk together the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Add the oil and milk, whisk until barely mixed. Toss in the corn and jalapenos, mix them in with a few go rounds of the whisk, then divide into the tin, using only 10 wells. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove, let 'em sit for a couple of minutes, then slather with Earth Balance and enjoy with your chili.

Enjoy with a yummy salad, and perhaps your lens cap if you are so inclined.