Tag Archives: baked goods

Holiday Gifts Galore

Hey folks.  I been busy.  Busy making these lovely little jars of happy.  And baking.  Right now my house smells like a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  I wish my house WAS a gigantic carrot bundt cake.  Breakfast in bed?  No.  Breakfast IS bed.  Perfect.

So I think this is a really great Christmas/Hanukkah/YaKnow/TheOneWithThePole gift!  Go out and get yourself some mason jars and fill them up with dry goods for your favorite cookie recipe.  Include the recipe with the gift so your gift receivers know what the heck to do with the stuff.  Put some pretty do-dads all over the jar.  SMILE!  Give it to someone!  This is so much fun!  We all really like each other!  Look at all that smiling!

Now ain’t that just a thing of beauty?

Happy Holidays!!!

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Lemme See Yr Muffin Top

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Oh you didn’t want me to put on my really tight pants?  Because I can do that too … oh.  Ok.

I made these Blueberry Oat Muffins last week for breakfast and LOST IT because they’re the best I’ve ever had.  I really wanted some muffin tops, which is a feat rarely achieved in vegan baking … why I do not know.  It seems like the baking powder and baking soda should aid in the leavening, but vegan muffins are (usually) reluctant to rise.  The magic secret (omg) is to overfill the cups.  Did I just blow your mind?  Whoa.

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Check out the Recipe:

(Makes 12 normal sized muffins and 8 jumbo muffins with tops)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 C Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Flax Eggs (2 T ground Flax seed + 6 T water)
  • 1 Cup Soy Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 C Chopped Walnuts

Directions

  • Preheat your oven for 400 degrees and grease your muffin tin with vegetable oil or vegan margarine.
  • In a small bowl, create your flax eggs by whisking together the ground flax seed and water.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, including your flax eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and top with the blueberries and walnuts.  Stir only until everything is just incorporated – be sure not to over-mix!
  • Scoop your batter evenly into the muffin tins, filling them all the way to the top.  Don’t be afraid!  These muffins don’t rise very much!
  • Place the muffin tin on a middle rack in your oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges just start to look caramel brown.
  • Cool on a rack and enjoy!

All this talk of muffin tops and racks, I can only imagine what the search engines turn out this week.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones For Your Mom

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Ok, so they’re for my mom.  Your mom can have some too if she’s pleasant.  Moms deserve a little treat every now and then – they’re such sweet ladies.  The mom I have is a health-nut with a dark chocolate addiction (is it ok that I air these things out in public?)  There is a “museum” of dark chocolate in one of the drawers in my parents’ kitchen.  It’s really a stunning display.  AND my mom has this classic Chocolate Chip Scone recipe from an old Mary Englebright magazine that has been a favorite for years.  However, that recipe calls for dreadful items like white flour, eggs, milk, and butter.  Luckily, I managed to save my mom from the blight of unhealthy scones and created a safe haven for those normally-healthy-folk who have a predisposition to chocoholism.  Look at those monster chocolate chips!  They’re taking over the world!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 C White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 C Oat Bran
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 2 T cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 C soy milk

Directions

  • Preheat the oven for 400 degrees
  • Measure the soy milk in a measuring cup and add the apple cider vinegar, set aside to let curdle.
  • Sift the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the margarine in small slivers and cut into the dry ingredients using two knives (This is to incorporate the margarine while allowing it to stay in small chunks. You just don’t want it to melt at all – creates little buttery pockets in the scones)
  • Add the agave nectar and soy milk mixture – combine until there are no more dry parts. Be sure not to overmix.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  • Press the dough into a circle about 3/4 in tall, cut into triangle shapes (can make 4 big scones, or 8 small)
  • Arrange scones on greased baking sheet.
  • Brush tops of scones with soy milk and sprinkle with rock salt.
  • Put scones in your preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a deep golden brown on the edges.

Pretty easy, huh?  You could probably double this recipe pretty easily for a crowd, but I didn’t want too many of these sitting around because there were only three of us to feed.  This is a great (relatively healthy) scone recipe to keep around for tea time or breakfast or a snack or putting on your pants time or stay in bed all morning time or going to a roller derby time or calling up your Aunt Ida or changing the water filters or pre- or post-bike-ride or…

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P.S. Look India!  I updated!

Summer Summer Summertime

“Yeah I got on sneaks but I need a new pair
Cause basketball courts in the summer got girls there
The temperatures about 88
Hop in the water plug just for old times sake
Break to ya crib change your clothes once more
Cause youre invited to a barbeque thats starting at 4”

Our barbeque started at 2, but who’s to argue with the Fresh Prince?  We headed to the Hollywood Farmer’s market early Sunday morning to get the supplies necessary to create this dish:

Haricots Verts with Figs and Walnuts

This is a really simple recipe that is inspired by a dish that the boy and I shared at a Silverlake restaurant.  All you do is blanche about a pound of green beans, quarter 10 or so figs, throw in two handfuls of walnuts, and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt to taste.  It’s such a light, refreshing salad but the figs and walnuts make it feel, as one diner put it, “decadent.”    Oooooh.

The other dish I contributed to the barbecue was a menacing counter balance to the healthy glow we all felt after the salad.  Introducing:

Emma’s Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies

courtesy of the lovely and talented Kittee!

These cookies are out of control.  They were so amazing – I couldn’t stop scooping out the batter and eating it before I could even get them in the oven.  The recipe still yeilded 4 dozen cookies, plus 2 gigantor cookies I have saved in the fridge for my parents when they come into town this weekend.  The texture is perfect – chewy and a little crispy on the edges.  None of that fluff or cakiness I find so abundantly present in a lot of cookie recipes.  At one point during the barbecue, there was a chorus of toddlers chanting “COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE.”  It was a beautiful sight.  Oh, and that four dozen? GONE.  I took home an empty tupperware container at the end of the day.

Nothing like playing with a four year old in a pool for a few hours to work up an appetite.  The lovely Princess Addie, seen here about to chomp down on my foot, is the product of another blogger, Amy Lou and papa Finn.  They were visiting from out of town, and we had an excellent time playing and splashing and Abba-ing.  On one last note, this is why the summer is so great:

Early Morning Simian Craving

Friday morning I woke up with a need for something involving chocolate and bananas – and I had 2 hours to get to a meeting on time. It was one of those weeks. Yeah. So, my mission was clear: The World’s Fastest Banana Bread. I ‘used’ the Lower Fat Banana Bread recipe from Veganomicon, but it would be a shame to credit this loaf to Isa and Terry because I didn’t have any time for measurements. Only time for eatin’. So this bread didn’t turn out quite how I’d hoped – a little uncooked in the middle and brown on the bottom. I think I had a manic attack of the stirring-arm so the bread was also a bit gummy due to overmixing. Too much apple sauce too. But you know what? Whatever. Whatever! Chocolate chip banana bread is what I wanted and it’s what I gots. It’s actually pretty great after hanging out in the freezer and getting toasty in the toasty toaster oven. Besides, I got to prove to myself yet again that my measurement-eyeballing skills are not quite honed. And that, my friends, is a good lesson to learn.

A Pie By Any Other Name Tastes Just As Sweet

Aw, nuts.

So here’s the deal. In Kentucky, my official homestate, there’s a Derby. A horse race. A gathering of people in large hats holding mint juleps. This all goes down at Churchill Downs in Louisville. There are several recipes originating from Kentucky, including the Kentucky Hot Brown, Burgoo, and Kentucky Bourbon Balls. None of these recipes hold a candle (at least in my mind) to the gooey, rich, sticky mess that is Derby Pie.

BUT WAIT!

I am not allowed to call this recipe Derby Pie. No one is. No one except for the sweet people at Kern’s Kitchen in Louisville. These clever folks managed to PATENT the recipe originating at the Melrose Inn of Prospect, Kentucky. They have a pie, yes a PIE, registered with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It’s really kind of incredible. So thanks to the creators of this pie, I bring you a veganized version of:

Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie

Nom nom nom

Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 batch of Pate Brisee or your favorite pie crust

2 C chopped pecans

1 1/2 C vegan chocolate chip

1/4 C soy milk

2 eggs worth of egg replacer (I just used corn starch since I was away from home and my kitchen full o’ goodies)

1/4 C bourbon

3/4 C maple syrup

1/2 t salt

Directions

  • Prepare your pie crust and let cool for several hours.
  • Preheat your oven for 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together soymilk and egg replacer.
  • Throw into the soymilk mixture the bourbon, syrup, and salt, and mix thoroughly.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts and pour into your pie crust.
  • Bake until pie sets. It should take 40-45 minutes.

I am used to traditional recipe for this pie, and damned if this wasn’t as good or better than that! I might be cruisin’ for a bruisin’ with that statement, but California is a long flight from Kentucky and I doubt anyone is going to hop on a plane to come ‘git’ me. I did learn some valuable information from making this pie:

  • I don’t need eggs
  • I don’t need butter
  • I don’t need sugar
  • I don’t need milk
  • … to put myself into a sweet pie induced coma.

Luckily I got to serve this thang to a bunch of vegans in Olympia at a wonderful potluck hosted by the generous Jayne. I had a really rough couple of weeks, work-wise, and was invited to spend some chill time at my parents home in Washington – so I flew up for a long weekend. I had the pleasure of forcing my way into a PPK Potluck while there! I have come to the broad generalization that vegans are great people. Period. Everyone brought food that was SO GOOD and I somehow managed to sample almost everything, as is made obvious by this red handed moment:

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Cake! Donuts! Twix! Peanut butter chocolate chip bars! Tofu scramble! Mac n cheeze! Shortly after this picture was taken, I developed a massive headache from indulgance – so worth it. Apparently, I missed out on a Scrabble game by leaving early which means the day was not AS awesome as it could have possibly been, but it was up there. Meeting everyone was great – it’s good to know other West Coast-y vegans are out there.

I’ve got a stockpile of photos and recipes I need to post so expect to be bombarded in the coming week.

Ladies Tea Party in the Park

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The other day, I recieved a package in the mail from my mom full of chocolate and pens topped with bunnies and plastic eggs. I scratched my head, wondering what game we were playing that involved mailing one another sweets and baby animals and went out to find a raccoon to FedEx back to her. After disguising myself under piles of garbage and hiding in a dumpster for an hour or five, I decided the lasting stench wasn’t worth it and carried myself home in the early morning light. Much to my surprise, when I arrived back at my apartment, there were hoards of small people rifling through my yard. I don’t like when neighbors trample our roses, so I ran screaming into the yard – flinging banana peels and cereal boxes along the way. How dare someone enter my private property to loot flowers – and on a Sunday morning! It was then, with the dozen or so sobbing tots dispersing in a mass flee and the hoard of angry looking adults encroaching on my personal space, that I remembered what holiday it was. And I thought Easter was in April?

What better way to recover from such a jarring realization than to hold a fancy ladies’ tea party in the park!? OK, the truth is I DID forget it was Easter and planned a tea party on Saturday without that knowledge – but it became an Easter-themed party anyway!

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The whole shabang complete with Green Jasmine and Peach teas.

I made currant scones from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This was my first time using this cookbook, and I was not disappointed! The scones I made are really small -roughly the size of a golf ball – and the tiny currants and cinnamon made them a perfect companion to afternoon tea.

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I also made my first pie from scratch! This is a Blueberry Lemon Pie based on Veganyumyum’s Cherry Lime Pie. The Sound of Music was on television, so I whipped out my apron and felt like a serious domestic goddess rolling out chilled pie dough and prancing around my kitchen table with Julie Andrews.

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The only thing I changed about the pie was, well … guess. I think next time I will half the sugar, only because after eating the pie I was able to run my PR time on a 5K distance. Guess we know what I’ll be eating next time a race comes around! Just call me shakey!

Finally, I made some *presh* chocolate birds nests with marzipan eggs. These were so cutesy I nearly shed a tear. I basically melted a chocolate bar and mixed in some crumbled Weetabix, formed them into nests in a mini-muffin pan and let them chill out. I made the marzipan eggs using food coloring and marzipan. Eeeeasy, bro.

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Ain’t no robins in here!

I put out some real food too, including carrots with hummus and crackers spread with Tofutti cream cheese and an olive tapenade – only to pretend that I’m an adult who doesn’t eat pie and chocolate for every meal (What, mom? I swear I don’t).

It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to document it. We have made plans to turn this into an official ladies’ club and do lovely feminine things all the time now. And some not so feminine – midnight bike rides anyone?

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Tree climbing commenced shortly after tea. I’m in the hat. Jay-Z told me hats are so necessary.

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More beautiful tea party ladies!