Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quick Blueberry Pie

Okay, so this one is only semi-homemade, since I bought the crust, but I have yet to make a tastes-like-the-real-thing pie crust that is gluten free, so until I do, Whole Foods can have my money!

1 (Whole Foods) deep dish, gluten free pie shell (these are frozen)

For the filling:
2 lbs frozen blue berries
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 box gluten free graham crackers (about 8 crackers)
5tbsp butter

1. Heat the oven to 350.  Set the pie shell out at room temp while you assemble the pie.

2. Over high heat, bring the berries, water, and sugar to a boil, stirring often.  As the berries though and cook, they will get mushy. About 10 minutes into the boiling, use a potato masher and mash twice (you still want some whole berries).

3.  Add the corn starch and whisk to combine, then return to using a spoon as you move the filling from the heat.

4.  Pour the filling into the pie shell.

5.  In a food processor, pulse all the crumb ingredients on low until a crumbly texture is reached.  Spoon the crumbs all over the top of the pie.

6.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  Sit at room temperature until serving.  Refridgerate after 8 hours (or the first serving) whichever comes first, with whipped cream if you like!  Or, heat the pie up and top with a dollop of ice cream.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dairy Free, Gluten Free No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

For the crust:
With your fingers, mix together: 1 box (8oz) of GF/DF graham crackers, crushed; 1 cup ground hazelnuts (or hazelnut flour), and 4 tbsp dairy free butter/margarine.  One tablespoon at a time, add 2 tbsp hazelnut milk, working it into the dough.  Press into a pie pan and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from heat and let sit on counter while you prepare the filling

For the filling:
Over medium heat, whisk together 1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice, and 2 tbsp bourbon (alternatively, you could use 2 tbsp vanilla), whisking well and cooking for 10 minutes.  Add 2 tbsp arrowroot, continuing to whisk for one minute and cook.  Add an additional 2 tbsp arrowroot and whisk another minute.  Whisk in 1 can (15oz) pureed pumpkin and an additional 2 tbsp arrowroot.  Remove from heat and spoon into your crust, which has been sitting for at least 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes).

Place the completed pie in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled (preferably overnight).

Serve with dairy free whipped cream or dairy free ice cream for a fall smash! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Peppermint Mocha

While I was lamenting a $5 coffee habit, my husband suggested making my own peppermint mocha, which I did, and it's dairy free!  The only thing it is missing is the froth and froam, which is a casualty of the non-dairy milk, but the taste- it's spot on!

Peppermint Mocha
(makes 4 servings @ 85cal each)

Make 6 cups of coffee in your pot.  Once it has finished, break up 1 peppermint candy stick and toss it in to melt.

While the coffee is making, heat 2 cups non-dairy milk (I used vanilla flaxseed milk and it is AWESOME).  Whisk it as it is heating to keep it from scorching.  Pour in the coffee (once the peppermint has melted) and continue to whisk. 

Whisk is 2 tbsp hot cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate) and 4 sugar cubes (or 4tsp if you dont have cubes).

Pour the mixture back into your coffee pot to keep it warm as you nurse a mug on warm mornings.  You can also chill it and then heat it back up for up to a day (otherwise, it gets that day-old-coffee taste).

This might just be my new go-to on these cold mornings ahead!

My first of several cups...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (banana free)

Cream together: 1/2 cup vegan butter, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla  with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup sugar, and mix until smooth.

In another bowl, mix together 1/3 cup almond flour1/3 cup hazelnut flour, 1/3 cup coconut flour, and 1 1/3 cup white rice flour, and 1/3 cup arrowroot flour with 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.

Add flour mixture to your wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add a 12oz bag of vegan chocolate chips and continue to mix until well combined.

Drop by tbsp on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 9 minutes.

Remove from oven and flatten with a fork; cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack or wax paper to cool for 5-10 minutes.

These are a big thicker than the original recipe, but are still moist (and delicious!)

Vegan, Gluten Free Goldfish Crackers

A huge shout out of thanks to Chef Chloe, who originally crafted the vegan version of this recipe.  I make my own version of gluten free all purpose flour, but you could use one of the ready made versions.  Bob's Red Mill makes one that I've heard is good; I've also heard that the King Arthur's version works well.  Or, you can make your own!  (I have a lot of GF flours to work with, so mine is quite a 'whole grain' version, LOL)

The texture is not like a Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Cracker; it has more of a crumbly texture.  That being said, and even though the taste isn't perfect, Peter and I couldnt stop eating them.  (The kids?  They havent fallen in love with them like we have, but it's just one batch, so I'll keep working on it!).  From a shape standpoint, mine look more like spades, thanks to my little cookie cutters.

Vegan, Gluten Free "Goldfish" Crackers

In a food processor, mix together:
1 cup gluten free flour, tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (I use KAL), 4 shakes of minced onion (I'm guessing 1tbsp???), 1/4tsp garlic powder, 1/8tsp tumeric, 1tsp salt, 1/2tsp black pepper.

Pulse in, until crumbly:
5tbsp vegan butter (I use soy-free Earth Balance)

Add in:
3tbsp cold water

Pulse until dough forms.  Put the dough in the center of wax paper and use your hand to flatten it to an eighth of an inch or so. Cut out the shakes and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 9 minutes.  You dont want the crackers to brown; they will be a light orange and have a sweet, buttery, cheesy, nutty flavor.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto

Roast 1 small butternut squash (peel and cube, and toss it with 1tbsp olive oil) with 4 green cardamom pods at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Stir and toss, then roast another 15 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft.  In a large mixing bowl, add the squash (throw away the cardamom pods) and blend with 3/4 cup sunflower milk until it is a smooth puree.  Set aside.

Heat 4 cups veggie broth.  Remove 1 cup and toss in a pinch of saffron. Let this sit while you continue.

Over medium heat, heat 1.5tbsp olive oil. When hot, add 1/2 cup diced shallots.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add 1 cup sushi or arborrio rice, coating well and cooking for 3 minutes.  Pour in 1/2 cup white wine (vignoles works really well) and stir as it dissolves. Add in the removed cup of broth with saffron, stirring well.  Cook until the rice absorbs the liquid and add in a cup of broth, cooking until it absorbs and repeating.  Prior to adding the last cup of broth, stir in the squash puree and lower the heat to low. 

The Mini DG stirring and checking if it's time to add more broth

Once the liquid has absorbed, add your last bit of broth, stirring well and cooking over low heat until the liquid has been completely absorbed by the rice.  The rice should be soft and plump; if not, add in 1/4 cup of water or broth and cook until absorbed (checking for doneness).

The butternut squash gives you the richness of butter and cheese, as well as a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.  All in all it was a pretty delicious fall dish!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I haven't veganized these yet and, to be fair, I followed the directions from the King Arthur Flour mix, so to say these are only okay is to say that I haven't messed with them enough!  Our local Whole Foods seemed to be having a crazy sell on GF products so I picked up quite a few to try and tweak... We shall see...

Mix together on low:
1 egg, 2tbsp omega 3 oil (canola/sunflower/soybean blend), and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk.

Add in:
1 1/3 cup KA GF flour.

Mix until no lumps remain, then, on 'stir', add in:
1/3 cup vegan dark chocolate mini chunks.

Let the batter sit while you heat the griddle to 350 (medium).  (The box says 10 minutes; 5 minutes was more than sufficient).  Spray with cooking spray, if need be, and laddle on the pancakes, cooking on the first side for approximately 3 minutes before flipping.

Top these with real maple syrup and enjoy.


These pancakes look fluffy, so you think they are light, but in reality, they are dense.  My 3 year old son, who usually eats more than my husband when it comes to pancakes, only had three and a half mini ones. (For comparison, I usually make this much for my regular CCPs and the entire batch is eaten; we're lucky if I have one or two to send to work with Peter for a snack.  This batch has about 7 pancakes, 2" or so diameter, left over.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scottish Apple Bread Pudding

I am totally ripping off my own recipe for Irish Apple Bread Pudding with this sweeter version that I use Scotch in making.  So, try one, try both, love them all!

Scottish Apple Bread Pudding

In a large bowl, combine:
a full loaf of cinnamon raisin bread
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, pomegranate)
4 large (jonagold) apples (peeled/cored/diced)

Over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup butter. Switch to low heat and whisk in 3/4 cup apple cider and 1.5 cups half and half (or light cream). Cook over low heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, then one at a time, whisk in 4 eggs, making sure to whisk until completely combined after each addition. Whisk in 1/3 cup brown sugar. Slice open and scrape 1 vanilla bean, whisking to combine. Add 1 cinnamon stick and stir well. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Whisk. Up heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk. Cook for 3 more minutes on medium-low. Whisk. Up heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Add 1/3 cup Scotch and whisk well, removing from heat.

Pour your pudding mixture over the bread mixture and stir, mixing well. Pour the finished product into 2-3 8x8  baking dishes that you have greased with either cooking spray or some left over butter.

I froze 2 dishes and refidgerated one overnight, but I think you'd be fine baking right away, just as with the Irish version.  Bake for 50 minutes at 350.  Remove from the oven while you make the Scotch Caramel Sauce.

PER 8x8 PAN:
Prepare your ingredients in advance:
1/4 cup butter
1tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup Scotch
1 egg yolk

Straight to heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the vanilla until well combined then slowly pour in the sugar. Continue to whisk as you drizzle in the cider. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved; do NOT add the scotch prior to this step, as you will cook out all of the alcohol and some of the taste. Whisk in the scotch, then add the egg yolk, whisking vigorously for 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. (If you've made the Irish version, the Scottish sauce is a bit thinner).

Game Day Nachos

Normally, I dont specify brands, but I'm going to make an exception, since a lot of the deliciousness of this dish came from some specific ingredients.

What you will need:
Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks Blue Corn (entire bag)
Simply Sprouted Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili (entire bag)
2/3 container of Bobbie's Black Bean Hummus
8 small tomatoes, quartered
1 small-medium orange bell pepper, diced
1/3 large (or 1 small) red onion, diced
1/2 can spicy black beans (I used organic, 365 (Whole Foods) brand), drained
1 small can of sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup (or up to 1/2 cup) of mixed cheese (I used organic "Mexican" blend of colby, jack, and cheddar)
1/2 jar black bean and corn salsa (I used 365 (Whole Foods) brand)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix up the bags of chips and empty 3/4 of each bag into a 13x9 dish. Dollop out the hummus evenly. Sprinkle the onions, peppers, tomatoes, and olives.  Spoon over the beans, followed by the salsa, then sprinkle with cheese. (You can use vegan cheese to make this vegan friendly).

Bake for 15 minutes and serve with the remaining chips.


Go NY Giants!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Review: Bringing in Finn

Originally posted here on September 29, 2012 as "Book Review: Bringing in Finn"

Last week, I was asked to review Bringing in Finn which, according to the press release, centered around "one woman’s hard-fought and often painful journey to motherhood", including "the tragedy and heartbreak of losing pregnancies; the process of opening her heart and mind to the idea of her 61-year-old mother carrying her child for her; and the profound bond that blossomed between mother and daughter as a result of their unique experience together."

When I first read the premise of the book, I debated on whether or not to review it. Although infertility, pregnancy loss, and parenting after loss are extremely relevant to me, as a practicing Catholic, Peter and I had nixed IVF (and therefore things like gestational hosts and surrogates) from our fertility treatment possibilities a decade ago. Was I really the right person to read a book that's premise rests on that? Could I do it without bias and without projecting my personal beliefs about the process itself onto the book? After meditating about it for a bit, I ultimately decided that I could; after all, I work with clients all the time who have made choices that I wouldn't personally make. And I'm really glad that I agreed; while my personal views remain the same, I highly recommend this book for those battling through the trenches of infertility, suffering the devastation of loss, and those who have struggled with connecting with their parents- especially with a mother/daughter connection- on a deeper level, as well as anyone pursuing surrogacy. Mrs. Connell writes with a voice that is passionate and real; it is not surprising that she is a successful life coach and workshop speaker. As I read through the book (which I began on Thursday evening and finished Friday afternoon because it captured me that much), I felt that I was sitting next to this stunningly attractive mother on my sofa and she was unabashedly (and with language that mirrors my own at times!) opening up the heart and soul of the 6+ years of infertility and loss that ultimately led to her 'bringing in' her son Finnean.

Part of the connection was that with her Irish looks, she looks a lot like one of my dear friends. The honesty in her language was another. Like me, she had a history of sexual abuse, and our infertility and loss stories were so achingly similar that it hurt. Even though our paths diverged, our outcomes are so close: we are both mothers who are parenting after a difficult war with infertility and the heartbreak that comes with the loss of beloved children. We are mothers who, like those in the ALI community, choose to break the silence that has plagued our grandmothers and even our mothers and share with others the walk that we've taken.

Bringing in Finn begins with something many of us are familiar with: aching arms. After trying alternative options for getting her womanly health and fertility on track after she learned about the ill-effects of hormonal birth control and stopped using contraception altogether, Sara Connell and her husband, Bill, seek out the help of a reproductive endocrinologist and ultimately proceed with caution into the world of in-vitro fertilization. When they conceive fraternal twin boys, they are overjoyed. But when Sara begins bleeding and an emergency cerclage fails, she wakes from the fog of general anesthesia to learn that her sweet sons were delivered stillborn by Cesarean and that she almost died herself. With depth and honesty, she delves into the shards of her broken heart to walk the reader through her grief journey. There is no self-pity; neither is their shame in the fact that this happened to her. Instead, she openly expresses her anger, sorrow, and frustration; you are there with her- in the blinding lights of the hospital, on the floor as she sobs, bravely at her side as she hands over items to be cremated with her sons, sitting with her as she gazes at the shrine she and her husband prepare at their home for their sons. Her words are raw; her feelings are valid and, for the reader who knows this path (or is just beginning it), they are validating.

As the book continues, we see the emotional and financial turmoil of continuing IVF. She shares the sadness of a chemical pregnancy, of not getting pregnant at all, and the miscarriage of a singleton in the first trimester. In her honesty, Sara touches on the desperation, fear, and hope that are swelling inside of her in her quest to mother a living child, while at the same time openly discussing the strained relationship with her parents that she has struggled with since childhood.

But loss changes you. And it changes those who love you.

Vowing to open herself to her family, Sara talks to her parents about her struggles to conceive and, in her losses, she comes to find someone in her corner that she never imagined: her mother, Kristine. Having always viewed their daughter a bit flippantly in light of her alternative healing choices and career path, Sara is shocked when her mother shows up at a seminar she is teaching. But there is a greater shock yet to come: after meditating on what her life in retirement should embody, Kristine drops the bomb. She believes that she- even after menopause and on the cusp of 60 years old- should carry Sara and Bill's baby.

The book could read like an awful reality show or try to inspire heartwarming fuzzy feelings like those happy-ever-after baby shows, but it doesn't. Instead, Sara is brutal in her feelings- the joys, the happiness, the envy and jealousy.
"I felt brittle that morning...I wanted to be the one sitting in the...chair. I wanted to feel the baby moving in my body...I was not unconditionally at a point where I felt grateful for my body's inability to carry our children, but our path had already revealed undeniable gifts. I was experiencing a physical intimacy with my mother that I had likely not had since I was inside her womb. The love I felt seemed to burn away what had caused us pain... I'd heard clients speak of experiencing such relational transcendence when they were with a parent as the parent died. Yet we were being given this experience while bringing in a life." (pg.253)

As the book closes in on Finn's birth, she openly talks about the desire that somehow the medical staff could transport the ready-to-be-born Finnean into her womb so that she, herself, could deliver him, both having that experience while at the same time, sparing her mother the pain of labor and, ultimately, a C-section. Sara doesn't sugarcoat the sadness of being unable to breastfeed (she did prepare and was able to nurse for a short time) or her feelings of brokenness. But in the places where the book could fall into self-loathing or create its own pity party, she uses her honesty to keep on point. In no way is her story happy-go-lucky, but in a way that, no doubt, has helped numerous clients, she maintains balance and integrity and finds not only motherhood in her loss and in the successful delivery of Finnean, but also a daughterhood that she thought was lost forever. Bringing in Finn is more than a story of infertility, loss, and surrogacy; it is the story of mothers and daughters, of heartache and triumph, of suffering and healing. She sums up her story beautifully in the Epilogue:
"Before you name [situations] as broken and bad, consider that there may be something profound and important- not just for you, but for a greater good- that could not come any other way... I liked the idea of being open to chosen-ness, contemplating how even the broken-seeming parts of my story were and could be a portal for good. Perhaps I had been chosen. Perhaps we all had been." (pg.313)

Book Information:
Bringing in Finn by Sara Connell
(c) 2012 by Seal Press
Available at Amazon.com and your local bookseller or library

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for reviewing the title.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

2 bell peppers
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup crushed nuts
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth

Cut the papers in half and seed them. Place the peppers cut side down in a pan and pour 1/8 cup broth over them.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

While the peppers are roasting, bring the 2 cups of broth to a boil.  Add the quinoa, fruit, and nuts.  Cook for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and sit for 5 minutes.

Remove the peppers from the oven.  Turn them over and stuff them with the quinoa. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Cooked Delicious

Because freshly picked apples in fall never gets old... :)

You will need:
a dozen medium apples (6 red delicious, 6 golden delicious)*
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup apple cider*
2 cinnamon sticks

Wash the apples but do not peel them.  Split them into quarters and thinly slice them, tossing them at random into your crock pot.

Sprinkle over the sugar and combine well.  Pour over the apple cider, then tuck the cinnamon sticks into the apples.

The apples, prior to cooking

Slow cook for 8 hours on low heat, stirring every few hours.

These are delicious as a topping to pancakes or waffles, spooned hot over ice cream, mixed in with yogurt, or served as a sweet side dish.
You can freeze these; reheat by simply adding a splash of apple cider (or water) and bringing up to your desired heat.

*The apples and apple cinnamon are from our local orchard, Tabora Farms (Lansdale and Chalfont)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fried Corn

This is a southern treat that I grew up on and love to make it (unhealthy though it is!) for my family, especially with our delicious PA white corn in season.  Like my mom and grandmother and great-grandmother before me, I make this dish and then freeze it to have when fresh corn isnt available.

You will need a cast iron pan for this.  This recipe is for 1 dozen ears of corn, which requires either a huge pan or a large pan plus a medium pan.  If you are using 2 pans, you'll need to use 1/3 of the ingredients in the smaller pan and 2/3 in the large one.

Shuck 12 ears of white corn. Using a sharp knife, shear the corn kernals from the cob.  Melt 1 stick of butter. Scoop the kernals into the pan, over medium heat, and pour in one pint of heavy cream. When the corn begins to boil, lower the heat to low.  Stir in 1tsp salt and 1tbsp pepper. Stir frequently to avoid scorching or burning.  Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. 

When you bite into the corn, it should be al dente and should 'pop' in your mouth.

Irish Apple Bread Pudding

Fall is wonderful for so many reasons, but fall in Pennsylvania is especially wonderful because of the access to so much delicious, harvest produce.  From squash to (my favorite!) apples, it's a bountiful autumn.  Our local farmer's market is in full swing until November, and this recipe is dedicated to the farmers we have had the pleasure of meeting in our little part of paradise (i.e. southeastern PA).  Primarily, the food I made this with was sourced (very) locally (sometimes coming from right down the street!).

apples freshly picked from Tabora Farms in Chalfont this morning!
Note: this is not an overly sweet bread pudding.  It is a savory, fall treat that gets a hint of sweetness by adding the Whiskey Cider Glaze.

Irish Apple Bread Pudding

In a large bowl, combine:
325g cinnamon raisin bread (about 2/3 of a standard loaf)*
25g raisins
287g (red delicious) apples (about 3 medium, peeled/cored)*

Over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter~. Switch to low heat and whisk in 1/2 cup apple cider*, 1/2 cup buttermilk~, 1 cup half and half (or light cream)~. Cook over low heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Whisk in 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, then one at a time, whisk in 3 eggs+, making sure to whisk until completely combined after each addition.  Slice open and scrape 1 vanilla bean, whisking to combine.  Add 1 cinnamon stick and stir well.  Cook on low heat for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Up heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Cook for 3 more minutes on medium-low.  Whisk.  Up heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. 

Pour your pudding mixture over the bread mixture and stir, mixing well.  Pour the finished product into an 8x8 or 7x11 baking disk that you have greased with either cooking spray or some left over butter.  Allow it to sit while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook for 45 minutes (give or take 5 minutes depending on your oven). The pudding is done when the pan is completely set, a caramel brown, and bubbling.  Optional: sprinkle over a handful of white sugar and/or a handful of brown sugar if you want a sweeter bread pudding.

Remove the bread pudding and allow it to rest while you prepare the Whisky Cider Glaze.

Prepare your ingredients in advance:
1/4 cup butter~
1tbsp vanilla (I make my own with Bulleit Bourbon and whole vanilla beans)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple cider*
1/4 cup Irish whiskey (I use Redbreast for cooking and for drinking, although Midleton is my favorite for a drink! A shoutout to my kickass (step)Dad for encouraging my love of fine food and cooking, and teaching me what a good drink is all about!)
1 egg yolk+

Although you can cook this straight to heat, I highly recommend using a double-boiler to avoid scorching.

In the top of a double boiler (over boiling water), melt the butter.  Whisk in the vanilla until well combined then slowly pour in the sugars, which you can mix together prior to adding.  Continue to whisk as you drizzle in the cider.  Whisk until the sugars are completely dissolved; do NOT add the whiskey prior to this step, as you will cook out all of the alcohol and some of the taste.  Whisk in the whiskey then add the egg yolk, whisking vigorously for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

NOTE: This recipe is best served warm and the sauce will thicken as it cools.  If you are making this in advance, cover the pan with foil and heat for 15 minutes at 275 degrees (or 10 minutes at 300 degrees). Return the sauce to the top of a double boiler and heat, slowly adding 1/8 cup of cider and 1/8 cup whiskey (depending on how thick the sauce has gotten, you may need the full 1/4 cup of liquid; otherwise, just eyeball and add, a tablespoon at a time, the cider and whiskey until the sauce is the correct consistency).

Ingredients marked with "*" were sourced from Tabora Farms (Lansdale and Chalfont); the apples were actually picked from the tree TODAY in Chalfont by my family- doesn't get better than that!
Ingredients marked with "~" were sourced from Natural by Nature of West Grove.
Ingredients marked with "+" were sourced from Alderfer Farms in Telford.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crock Pot Roast

One of the easiest recipes in the world (and tastiest on a cool night) is my mom's pot roast in the crock pot.  It makes the house smell divine and warms you up no matter the temperature outside.

Toss the following into your crock pot, in this order:
2-3 pound roast, 1 bag of baby carrots, 1 white onion-diced, 4 red potatoes-diced.

Add your favorite spices.  I like to throw in 1tsp oregano, 1tsp rosemary, 1tsp basil, and 1tsp pepper.

Pour over 4 cups vegetable broth.  Cook on low for 6 hours. 

Remove 1 cup of the broth from the crockpot and whisk with 1/4 cup corn starch until there are no lumps.  Return to the pot and stir, shredding the beef as you go.

Serve with crusty bread or potato rolls.  This recipe freezes well; when you heat it up, add in 1/4 cup broth or water for every cup of stew.

Butternut Squash Soup

I've made this both vegan and non-vegan, with equally delicious results.  So, pick your dairy (or non-dairy) poison and dig in!

Butternut Squash Soup

Peel one medium-large butternut squash and dice it into 1 inch pieces.  Toss them with 2tbsp olive oil and roast them at 400 degrees for an hour.

Place the cooked squash in a crock pot on low with 2 cups vegetable stock.  Mash the squash well, then add 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg and 1 stick of cinnamon, and stir.  Cook for 2 hours over low heat, stirring every 30-45 minutes.

Puree the finished soup with 1 cup light cream (or 1 cup nut milk for a vegan alternative; I prefer unsweetened coconut milk for its thickness). 

Serve immediately or freeze.  If freezing, defrost overnight in the fridge, then mix with 1/2 cup light cream/milk/nutmilk before heating.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

If I could bake only one thing that sums of "autumn", it would be this cake.  Moist and delicious, it doesnt even need the glaze, but if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then drizzle some on!

Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

In a mixing bowl, combine 15oz canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar.  Mix until 'creamed'. 

While your pumpkin mixture is mixing, combine 1 and 1/2 cups A.P. flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/2tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1/2tsp salt, and 1tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning.  Stir to combine. 

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the pumpkin, followed by 1/4 cup apple cider.  Repeat twice more, at the end adding an additional 1/8 cup apple cider.  (All together, you need 3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup of cider).

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes in a bundt pan.  When done, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate.  Glaze the entire cake or individual slices, as desired.  Serve warm or room temperature.

(Vegan) Apple Cider Glaze
In a jar, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup apple cider.  Shake well to combine.  Store at room temp. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

End of Summer Waffles

As summer winds down and we welcome fall, treat your family to this warm breakfast with a hint of summer sweetness!

For the waffles... (makes 8)
Blend 2 cups of malted flour, 1/4 plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 1/4 cup applesauce until no lumps remain.  Pour into a pancake iron on "3" (medium) and cook until done.  You can keep these warm in a low heated oven.

For the peaches...
Peel one peach and slice it.  Preferably in cast iron, melt 1tbsp of butter and saute the peach.  Add 1/4 cup of sweet/dessert white wine (you could use apple or white grape juice) and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Top the waffles with the peaches and drizzle real maple syrup (grade B!) to your heart's content!

Vanilla Bean Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream and Figs

This embodies the warm flavors of fall with the final summer harvest of figs.  We picked up the dozen I used from the local farmers market yesterday and yummy oh yummy... My mother-in-law says this is her new favorite dessert.

For your convenience, you can have the homemade recipe and my thoughts on a cheat (for the dry cake ingredients!)

The homemade... (It's my basic butter cake with added vanilla)
Basic Butter Cake:
Mix & Set Aside: 2c A.P. flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt
Cream: 1/2c softened butter, 4oz. applesauce (a snack size cup)
Slowly beat in: 2/3c white sugar, 1/2c brown sugar
Add in, one at a time, and mix well: 6oz plain Greek yogurt, 1tbsp vanilla, 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1/6c
almond milk, and 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped.
Add in the flour mixture slowly then beat on medium-high for 2 minutes
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (however your oven works) until done. Makes three, 8" squares.

If you dont want to mix your own, take a box of Duncan Hines French Vanilla and add 1/4c oil, 1/4c Greek yogurt, 1 1/3c water, 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1tbsp vanilla, and 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped.
Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (however your oven works) until done. Makes three, 8" squares.

For the frosting...
Beat 1 cup of softened butter, 2tbsp raw honey, 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, and 1tbsp vanilla until light and fluffy.  A quarter cup at a time, add in 3 cups of powdered sugar, beating well between additions.  After you last addition, drizzle in up to 1/6 cup almond milk (add only as much as you need to make the consistency correct for frosting).

For the fig filling...
In a food processor, process on high: 12 small green and ripe peeled figs with 1tbsp raw honey.  Pour into a bowl and whisk in 1tbsp cornstarch.  Sit aside for half an hour while you cook and cool your cakes.

When the cake is compelely cooled, ice your first layer with the frosting then spoon over a thin layer of the fig filling.  Cover with a cake and repeat.  Cover with the top layer of cake.  Frost the outside of the cake.  When you serve each piece, drizzle over some of the fig mixture.

Enjoy this combo of summer and fall as the season changes!

Welcome to RDG!

I know what you're thinking... Why in the hell is there a welcome some 30+ entries in???  This blog is new, as of September 2012, even with the backdated entries (which match up with their original posting dates on my blog, My Life After Loss.  So, my apologies for the confusion, but welcome anyway!

The Rantings of a Domestic Goddess are my rants and raves, my recipes and reviews, and whatever other "R" words I can come up with!  As someone who loves to cook and really glorifies in my role as a homemaker, housewife, and stay-at-home mom, I try to pull out all the domestic goddess stops in my daily life and thought maybe, just maybe, you might be interested in having them in your life too.

So wave your magic wand, grab a cup of coffee, and pull up a chair.  Domestic goddesshood, anyone?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vegan Irish Oatmeal

Originally posted here on September 14, 2012 as "Vegan Irish Oatmeal"

My mom used to make oatmeal for us on cool fall and cold winter mornings, before we'd head off to school. While Bobby and Maya aren't sold on the idea of oatmeal yet (unless it's in a cookie and, even then...), Peter and I have often spent a chilly a.m. with a bowl of piping hot, Irish oatmeal. And there's no better way to have it than with a hot cup of tea!

Vegan Irish Oatmeal (serves 4 @ 425 calories per serving)

In a pot, heat 1 cup of almond milk until boiling. Add in 160 grams (4 cups) steel cut oats (also called Irish or Scottish oats) and reduce the heat to medium-low (around 4/10 on the range). Cook for 10 minutes, then add 56 grams (about 1/2 cup) chopped walnuts and 80 grams (about 1/2 cup) raisins. Stir well every few minutes and cook for another 15 minutes. Add 28 grams (about 2tbsp plus 1tsp) brown sugar and 2tbsp vegan (or dairy if you prefer, but then it isn't vegan!) butter and stir well to combine, cooking for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 2-5 minutes, then enjoy!

I find the oatmeal a tad sweet, so if I'm making a single serving, I usually only add 1tsp of brown sugar; Peter on the other hand, always tosses in an additional squeeze of maple syrup. You could also omit the butter and add a dollop of apple sauce or omit/lessen the brown sugar and use maple syrup to sweeten completely.

BainigĂ­ sult as an bia!
(ya'll dig on in!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vegan Orange Almond Chocolate Cake

Originally posted here on September 4, 2012 as "Vegan Orange Almond Chocolate Cake"

I love orange and chocolate... There's something about it that just really makes me happy. I've blogged before about my favorite chocolate cake recipe, so I modified it (it originally comes from the Veganomican) and came up with this winner!!! At 200 calories a slice (and only 150 calories a slice if you dont glaze it), it's pretty groovy).

Come on: you know you'd eat whatever this little guy made... ;)

Vegan Orange-Almond-Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray/grease a bundt pan. (Or, if you are me, spray it with the 'flour'/'baking' spray.)

Over medium heat, warm 1 3/4 cup orange juice. When it is hot, add 2/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa and whisk until well combined. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine: 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 cup coconut oil/butter, and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Mix on low (stir setting on the Kitchen Aid) until smooth and creamed.

In a measuring cup/bowl, stir together: 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.

Add the (cooled) chocolate mixture and 1 tbsp vanilla extract. Mix on low until well combined.

Pour into your prepared bundt pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and continue to cool at room temperature. Top with the glaze (below) if you wish, once the cake has cooled.

Nutrtional Info: Vegan Orange-Almond-Chocolate Cake

How we'll be eating cake tonight!

Orange-Almond-Chocolate Glaze

Over low heat, melt 1 tbsp butter with 75 grams of orange-almond chocolate.* Slowly pour it into 1 cup of confectioner's sugar as you mix on low/stir setting. Add up to 1/4 cup (or none, if you like a thicker glaze) of chocolate milk to make the glaze the consistency that you prefer.*+ Pour over the cake and, if you'd like, top with festive sprinkles to really put you in the autumn mood!!!

*this version is NOT vegan; to make it so, exchange the butter for a vegan spread and the chocolate milk for chocolate almond milk, in addition to using a vegan orange-almond chocolate)
+the nutritional information for this recipe includes 1/4 cup chocolate milk

Nutrtional Info: Orange-Almond Chocolate Glaze

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Originally posted here on August 29, 2012 as "Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies"

The kids and I really enjoy cooking together. Maya is my chef. She loves to do meals. Bobby is my baker. He gets excited when the oven flips on (but would rather eat what comes off the stove than make it!). Cooking is a great way to toss a bit of math into our day; since I dont normally measure things unless I'm doing GF or V cooking, these cookies are the best of both worlds (and they taste AMAZING!) So, in the vein of vegan banana bread and Peter's GF chocolate chip cookies, here are the most recent happy addition to Bobby and Maya's baking repertoire!

Bobby & Maya's Vegan, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together: 1/2 cup vegan butter (or 1/3 cup canola oil), 1/4 cup coconut oil, and 1/4 cup applesauce with 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup sugar.

Add 1 banana and 1 tsp vanilla and mix until smooth.

In another bowl, mix together 1/3 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup coconut flour, and 1 2/3 cup white rice flour with 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.

Add flour mixture to your wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add a 12oz bag of vegan chocolate chips and continue to mix until well combined.

Drop by tbsp on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and flatten with a fork; cool for 2 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack or wax paper to cool for 5-10 minutes.

These are moist and just perfect! Enjoy with a cup of milk (dairy free, if you prefer!) or just shove them in your mouth before the little Bobby and Maya monsters get your house!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Decadence Cake

Originally posted here on July 17, 2012 as "The Way...Part II"

Per Amelia's request!

I'll give you two versions of the cake. The 100% homemade and the cheat. :)

The cheat:
A box of Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake. Mix both packets with:
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
1/3c apple sauce
1/4c oil
1/4c Greek yogurt
1c water
1/3c chocolate milk
Bake in pans according to directions (350 for 25-30 minutes)

The homemade... (It's my basic butter cake with the chocolate addition.)
Basic Butter Cake:
Mix & Set Aside: 2c A.P. flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt
Cream: 1/2c softened butter, 4oz. applesauce (a snack size cup)
Slowly beat in: 2/3c white sugar, 1/2c brown sugar
Add in, one at a time, and mix well: 6oz plain Greek yogurt, 1tbsp vanilla, 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1/6c
almond milk (or chocolate milk for the chocolate cake version)
Add in the flour mixture slowly then beat on medium-high for 2 minutes
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (however your oven works) until done. Makes two 9” rounds.
Chocolate Cake: Melt 7oz dark chocolate with 2 tbsp (of the 8 you will use for the recipe) butter. Add to the creamed butter (before the sugar) and then follow the above recipe.

For the frosting (it's a take on my basic buttercream)
Basic Buttercream:
Beat 1c of softened butter until creamy. Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/6c almond milk (or regular milk). Slowly cream with 3c powdered sugar.
Chocolate: Melt 3.5oz chocolate with 1tbsp butter. Cream rest of the 1 cup of butter with tsp vanilla. Add the melted chocolate, then cream with 3c powdered sugar.
For the Decadent cake, double the chocolate/butter melting (7oz choc and 2tbsp butter).

Cool the cakes completely.

Ice the top of one layer then slather on raspberry preserves (I prefer French style or to make my own). Top with the second cake. Frost the sides and top. Put remaining frosting in a ziplock and cut off a tip. Pipe frosting around the edge,building a ledge around the cake. Within the ledge, lather on 1/4-1/2 cup of raspberry preserves. Chill.

Bring to room temp before serving and toss fresh raspberries on when you serve.

Keep chilled.

(And, like I said, I dont even want to GUESS at the calories!)

Lamb Biryani

Originally posted here on July 17, 2012 as "They Way..."
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
-Fanny Fern

Way back when, this was a piece of advice that a woman gave her daughter-in-law... What Peter's mom must have known when she said those words was that I not only love to cook but am happy to spend my days continuing to work myself into her son's heart. :) On today's dinner menu? Dark Chocolate Raspberry Decadence Cake (I'm not even going to guestimate the calories in a sliver of that bad boy... It's petty deadly. It's also Peter's favorite dessert, well, one of them!) To go with dinner is a dish he's mentioned he'd love for me to make: biryani. Lamb biryani to be exact. Using lamb from a local farm, I've modified everyone's favorite, potty mouthed chef, Gordon Ramsay's chicken biryani recipe (which is found in his cookbook Great Escape), and thought I'd share it... You know, just in case you have a heart (that loves Indian food) that you're trying to weasel into! ;) I'll be serving ours with samosas and garlic naan tonight...

Lamb Biryani

Mix the following together and marinate for several hours:
1lb lamb, diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1tsp chili powder
1tsp tumeric
1tsp garam masala
1.5tsp minced ginger
1tbsp minced garlic

Heat 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp butter over medium heat, and toss in 2 medium onions, chopped, cooking for 8-10 minutes or until soft and caramelized. Add 1tbsp butter, 1 cinnamon stick, 6 whole cloves, and 3 cardamom pods, sauteeing for 30 seconds and until aromatic. Add 1.5tsp minced ginger and 1tbsp minced garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the lamb mixture (with the marinade) and cook for 10-12 more minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat while you prepare the rice.

For the rice, heat 2tbsp butter, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise pod, and 4 cardamom pods in a large pan. Cook for 30 seconds, until the spices become aromatic. Add 300g basmati rice, rinsed and drained (approx 1.5 cups) and 85g raisins, stirring the rice and raisins in the butter for one minute. Add 375ml water (about 1.5 cups or 375 grams) and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer and cover, cooking for 10 minutes. Add the lamb and sauce, then recover and simmer for 5 more minutes. Leaving the lid in place, remove from heat and stand for 5 minutes. Prior to serving, thoroughly mix the rice and chicken, and garnsh with coriander leaves (optional).

(4 servings: 550 calories each)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Greek Pasta Salad

Originally posted here on April 17, 2012 as "When It All Works"

I had a taste and man... I didnt know how I'd get there, but this is what I had and what I made... And it was good!

1/2 box macaroni, cooked then washed in cold water
1 can italian herb diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup mixed greek olives, pitted and sliced
2 slices of fresh pineapple, cubed (after peeling of course!)
1/3 avocado, diced
1/4 large red onion, diced
1/3 bag (a little under 1 lb?) frozen, precooked shrimp, tails off and thawed
a handful of feta, crumbled

Mixed all together in a bowl and then mixed well with a mustard vine that I made. (measurements are all really off... I eyeballed it)

2tbsp mustard
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white wine
1tsp minced garlic
handful dried italian herbs (or you could even use maybe 1/4-1/3 packet of the italian dressing mix)

Chill and eat. Or, do like I'm doing, and eat it right from the bowl...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vegan Banana Bread

Originally posted here on March 11, 2012 as "Vegan Banana Bread"

I made this for the first time on Friday. During Lent, as I'd mentioned before, we are eating a vegan diet (instead of the simple "abstinence from meat" which we tend to practice regularly anyway). Part of that, in my book, is also a "no dessert" rule- even vegan ones! Peter was a bit bummed and in search of a sweet treat, so I popped out a loaf of this modification I made from the Veganomican's recipe (pg. 228). Here's mine! Enjoy (on a Friday of Lent or any other day of the week- like today)!

Vegan Banana Bread

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, toss together:
3 large bananas, mushed (the kids love this part!)
1/4 cup applesauce (made some today with local Kiku apples-DELICIOUS!)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses

Blend together on medium-low until well combined.

Stop and add:
1 1/4 cup A.P. flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Blend together on low until just combined. Use a spoon/spatula if more is needed, to avoid creating too much gluten, but I find just blending for 30-45 seconds does the trick!

Spoon (or use your hand to get) out into your greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or so until done.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Originally posted here on March 10, 2012 as "St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes"

These are actually called something else, which gives a negative connontation with car bombs. Due to the offense of that name, abbreviated ICB, I've updated this post to reflect a new title.While I dont personally like either the drink or the name of it, I couldn't resist taking a go at making these, after Sarah forwarded me a link to the recipe. So, I've made some chances and, the verdicts from neighbors, my MIL, Peter, and the kiddos is in... These are a new keeper. A big thanks to our neighbors, C and D, who gave us the Guinness substitute we used! Normally, I'm not an Irish gal who'd substitute her Guinness for anything, but in these delicious cupcakes, the chocolate stoudt is to die for! Dont even bother looking at the calories... I didnt because, really, I dont want to know.

The ganache makes extra (enough to layer a 9" cake) and the icing makes enough extra to ice said cake. On top of the 24 cupcakes.

For the cupcakes:
1 cup Brooklyn Brewing Co. Black Chocolate Stoudt
1 cup salted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 dark unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3 cup A.P. flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup Greek yogurt

For the ganache:
7.5oz 56% Icelandic chocolate (Sirus, bittersweet)
2/3 cup half and half
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1tbsp Red Breast 12 year Irish whiskey (Middleton's is my fave but my stepdad would have a FIT if he even thought that I cooked with that! Don't worry, Dad!!!)

For the frosting:
2 cups salted butter, room temp
5 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp (1/4 plus 1/8 cup) Bailey's Irish cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the stoudt and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk the flours, sugars, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Beat the eggs and yogurt on medium to combine; add in the chocolate mixture. Reduce to low and add the dry ingredients a tbsp at a time until incorporated. Divide the batter into the cupcakes. Bake for 17min or until done. Cool completely.

2. Finely chop the chocolate for the ganache and place it in a heatproof bowl. Heat the half and half until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. After 1min, begin to whisk. Add the butter and whiskey. Place in the fridge for an hour, until it becomes thick and cooled. Place on the counter for another hour. You'll be piping this into the cupcakes.

3. Using the whisk attachment, whisk the butter for the frosting until fluffy. A half cup at a time, beat in the sugar. Finally, beat in the Irish cream and continue until fully incorporated.

4. Piping in the ganache: use a cupcake filler and cut out the center of the cupcake, filling it with the ganache and then placing the cake back over the hole.

5. Frost the cupcake. I like to fill a ziplock with the frosting, cut off the tip, and pipe it around the top. Sprinkle some green sugar on top to complete the perfect St. Patrick's Day look!

6. EAT. EAT. EAT. And try to remember to share. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Originally posted here on February 26, 2012 as "Another Vegan Treat"

I love mousse... Wait, let me say that I LOVE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (that's better), so that was going to be a sad good-bye. Or not... This one is all the deliciousness (and none of the post-delicious-eating-throwing-up). Thanks to Whole Foods for the recipe (which I only modified slightly). I'd had the WF mousse made with tofu and wasnt all that impressed, but this one? OUT OF THIS WORLD. I made it tonight. YUM!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

3/4 cup raw cashews
20 pitted dates
15oz pureed butternut squash
3/4 - 1 cup chocolate coconut milk
1/4c unsweetened dark chocolate powder
1tsp vanilla extract

Soak the cashews and dates in hot water for 2 hours (with my run and needing to go to the market, mine soaked for almost 4 hours and this worked GREAT). Drain well. In a food processor (or high powdered blender), process the cashews, dates, butternut squash, and 3/4 cup of the coconut milk until smooth. Add the cocoa and the vanilla (and up to 1/4 cup of additional chocolate coconut milk if you need it), and process until the mixture becomes the proper chocolate mousse consistency.

8 servings/300 calories each

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Originally posted here on February 25, 2012 as My (Vegan) Happy Place)

I have to admit... the vegan baking? Yeah, I'm hooked. Even on the (no)baking goodies.

When I was pregnant with Bobby and Maya, Peter used to go by the Whole Foods near the hospital and bring me these DELICIOUS vegan chocolate peanut butter bars. Sadly, the WF near our house doesnt make these, but he'll periodically grab one if he's at the one near the hospital (which is about 15 minutes from his work). I searched for the WF recipe, but alas... No go.

So, instead I just searched for vegan chocolate peanut butter bar today... and oh, what I found! Thanks to Yummy Vegetarian Recipes for the recipe which I modified slightly. They are chilling now, but I ran my finger along the left over peanut butter on the mixing bowl and dipped it in some of the dredges of chocolate... OH HAPPY PLACE. How I have missed you PB-Choc Bars!!

This whole dairy free thing... I could get TOO used to it!

Vegan Peanut Butter- Chocolate Bars
(no bake)
serves between 16-25, depending on how you slice them

9oz smooth peanut butter
2oz Earth Balance (or other vegan butter alternative) (for PB) plus 1oz Earth Balance (for choc)
1.25 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1tbsp vanilla
7oz Icelandic chocolate (I use half 56% and half 70% dark)

In a mixing bowl, blend the peanut butter, 2oz of EB, sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Place a large sheet of wax paper in a 9x9 dish. Spread the peanut butter mixture in the 9x9 pan.

Melt the chocolate with 1oz EB. Spread the melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture.

Chill until the chocolate is cool to the touch. Cut into squares (and try not to gorge yourself on them!)

Servings and (approx) Calories:
16 bars- 250 calories
20 bars- 200 calories
25 bars- 150 calories

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vegan Black Bean Soup

Originally posted here on February 22, 2012 as "Giving Up Giving Up"

Lenten Vegan Black Bean Soup
(modified from "Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker")

1 medium sweet onion (diced)
1 medium carrot (diced)
1 medium red bell pepper (diced)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans (15.5oz) black beans (dont drain or rinse)
1 large can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes (dont drain or rinse)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp chili powder blend
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
rice and chopped onions for serving (optional)

Toss all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Puree half of the soup before adding it back in. Serve over rice and add raw chopped onions, if you'd like.

4 servings. calories per serving (without the rice and raw onions/svg suggestion): 400 calories

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze

Originally posted here on February 17, 2012 as "Sweets for Sophia"

While my sweet little one may have wanted cookies, I wanted to do a cake as well... So, I made a cake (chocolate and orange, of course) on Valentine's Day, which I then took to my in-laws on Wednesday to have with dinner as well, and Sophia got her cookies. Everything turned out so well, that I wanted to share the (vegan) recipes so that you could enjoy a bit of Sophia's sweetness in your life! :)

These recipes originated in the Veganomicon. The cookie recipe was initially modified by Polly, and further modified (as was the cake) by yours truly.

Chocolate-Orange Bundt Cake with Orange Glaze (vegan)

Melt 7.5oz (Icelandic) chocolate (45%) with 1.75 cups of freshly brewed coffee.

In a mixing bowl, mix together:
1.5 cups sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4cup cornstarch
1 tbsp orange extract.
1/2 cup orange marmalade (unsweetened)

Once cooled, add in the chocolate and mix together.

In a bowl, mix together:
1.5 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1tsp baking soda
1.5tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until well mixed.

Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 325 for 50-55 minutes.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Let completely cool. When the cake is cool to the touch, mix together:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

The glaze will be fairly thick. Add more sugar/juice to get the proper "glaze" consistency. Spoon over evenly.

16 slices, 220 calories each

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cookies

Originally posted here on February 17, 2012 as "Sweets for Sophia"

While my sweet little one may have wanted cookies, I wanted to do a cake as well... So, I made a cake (chocolate and orange, of course) on Valentine's Day, which I then took to my in-laws on Wednesday to have with dinner as well, and Sophia got her cookies. Everything turned out so well, that I wanted to share the (vegan) recipes so that you could enjoy a bit of Sophia's sweetness in your life! :)

These recipes originated in the Veganomicon. The cookie recipe was initially modified by Polly, and further modified (as was the cake) by yours truly.

Chocolate Orange Cookies (vegan)
In a mixing bowl, combine:
1/4c canola oil
1/4c applesauce
1/2c orange marmalade (natural and unsweetened is best)
1.5tsp orange extract

While this is mixing, melt:
7.5oz dark chocolate
(I use a mixture of 3.25oz each Icelandic 56% and 70%)

Add in the melted chocolate to the wet ingredients. Turn mixer off while you combine (in another bowl):
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup hazelnut flour
3/4tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt

Add the dry to the wet, mixing on 3 (low-med) speed, a third at a time. Then add in:
1/2 cup dried crandberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips ( I used 1/4 mini chips and 1/4 reg chips)

The mixture will be wet and sticky. Make 24 balls. Roll them in:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
(there will be a little sugar left over- keep it)

Press the balls into discs. Place on a cookie sheet. These wont spread out much, so you can easily do 10-12 per sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sift some of your leftover powdered sugar over the still-hot cookies. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

This recipe makes 30 cookies (2.5 dozen), 150 calories each.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Originally published here on February 12, 2012 as "Oh My...Cookies"

Made these this afternoon... Oh My Deliciousness! I modified the recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies from The Vegan Table (page 159, for those interested).

Vegan (Crunchy) Almond Butter and (Cherry) Preserves Cookies

75g coconut butter (about 1/3 cup)
1/2c light brown sugar
1/2c crunchy almond butter
2tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2tbsp cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Beat together coconut butter, brown sugar, almond butter, almond milk, and vanilla.

Mix flours and baking powder in a bowl. Slowly beat into the wet ingredients.

Make 20 balls with the dough. (I cook 2 rounds of 10 balls each). Using your thumb, make an indentation in the cookie balls as you are flattening them. Place them on the baking sheet and spoon in 1/4 tsp of cherry preserves into the thumb indentation.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375. Cool on the rack for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes before eating.

20 cookies at 115 calories each