Category Archives: hummus

Drunk on Brownies

It’s a heat wave!

I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the deep-freeze of January and February. It reached 30* today, and isn’t supposed to be below 20* (during the day) all week.

I am a happy girl.

Who had a wonderful ride on a happy pony.

Life is good.

And so is BBQ spinach and tofu.

My white balance, however, is not so good. Just pretend otherwise for the time being, m’kay? Please?

So remember how I’ve been saying I was now only going to buy the Vermont Soy tofu that I’ve proclaimed my love for?

Well, I guess I lied. For the sake of convenience (as well as the fact that I’m cheap and had a $1 off coupon thanks to the heads-up from Matt) I picked up some Nasoya Plus on my shopping-trip-gone-wrong yesterday.

I’m not gonna lie. I think I’m a Vermont-Soy-only kinda gal. Nasoya just doesn’t hold a candle. I’m not sure if I’m just spoiled or what. But the Vermont Soy tofu is so much easier to work with. I’m not sure that the taste is a huge difference, but at least I don’t need to press it for about five hours with my body weight in paper towels. And it gets a better “crust” and has a better texture all around. I’ll step off my soapbox now. One last thing, though, since every story has a moral…

Moral of the story: Vermont Rawks.

But I made do with what I had.

I hate to make a big deal out of a sandwich, but this simple combination is stupid good. And with it having a combination of onions and enough garlic to kill a cow, it lets you see who really enjoys your company enough to still hang out with you after eating it.

For one sandwich:

  • 1/4 of a small yellow onion, sliced
  • olive oil, for sauteeing the onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 “serving” (a.k.a. however much you want) tofu
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hefty handful spinach
  • 1-3 t. barbecue sauce, to taste
  • 2 slices bread
  • earth balance/butter/whatever for grilling the bread

For maximum efficiency, you can do everything pretty much all at once: preheat a small pan over medium heat, adding enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and sautee, stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown/beginning to get carameliz-y. Or just a little burnt if you’re like me…anyways. Meanwhile, preheat another large pan or griddle over medium heat. Place the tofu on the pan and spread a little earth balance/butter on one side of each of your slices of bread. Add to the pan with the tofu. Cook the tofu until it gets a little bit of a crust on it, and the bread until golden.

When the onions are done, transfer to a dish and add the spinach and garlic to the same hot pan. Cover and allow to wilt, stirring in the BBQ sauce. Once good and sloppy (trust me, it will be) assemble your sandwich by layering the onions on top of the bread, followed by the spinach and then the tofu.

After eating this, you’ll be a greasy grimy mess, but you’ll still have the satisfaction of knowing it’s really not all too greasy and definitely not grimy.

And because I wanted to be really stinky when I start sweating tomorrow, I decided to polish off the day with onion rings in which I used garlic salt in the breadcrumbs instead of regular salt.

And thanks to L, I even had real breadcrumbs to complete this mission with! I was as happy as a kid in a candy shop.

Who’d-a thought this turned out to be way easier than crushing a bunch of pretzels.

Oh, and by the way – cutting that onion totally reduced me to tears. I have been so sensitive to cutting onions lately. I don’t remember always being this way but I guess I should just be happy that I’m getting pretty skilled at slicing onions with my eyes clenched shut. I even got them nice and evenly sliced!

I’m kidding.

I am now proclaiming myself an onion ring fiend.

It’s just a shame I can’t find them this good anywhere else.

Badoom-chh!

Luckily for you guys, this is a recipe that Isa chose to share on her website.

Second on the plate: no, I will never tire of sweet potatoes.

I’d call it a rut, but I prefer to call it a groove.

That gross looking yellow plop?

Curry hummus. Oh kale yes I went there.

I can’t take the credit for this genius, though – I saw it whilst flipping through Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. I did simplify it, though:

  • 1 can chickpeas (I used a 19 oz. can which I think is a little larger than most?)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 t. curry (the curry powder I have is a sweeter curry, I think. I’m not a curry connoisseur, though.)
  • pinch salt
  • hefty pinch dried chives
  • handful raisins

Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid in a cup or bowl. Add all ingredients except raisins to processor. Blend until smooth, adding in the reserved liquid as necessary. At the end, add the raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

The “reserved-chickpea” trick is from Appetite for Reduction. I am a cookbook fiend lately, obviously.

By the way, try to stop eating this by the spoonful after your tenth spoonful straight from the processor. It’s really good on sweet p’s or onion rings and does deserve to show you that.

And since I was on a pieces-parts theme for dinner, tofu also made an appearance. Kind of.

Most of it was eaten before it made it to the plate. Sorry. I was waiting for the onion rings to finish cooking and it was right there! I couldn’t resist.

I followed the concept of this recipe for the ‘fu, but basically just reduced it to a combination of cashew butter, lime juice, salt, pepper and dijon mustard. It needed a hint of honey, but was otherwise just as good.

Rounded out by a spot o’ wine.

Okay, so maybe not quite. This cabernet brownie was in the Foodzie box I received yesterday. As you know, I’m usually saying I’m not a brownie person, but lately I’ve come to appreciate chocolate rather than feel it’s overrated.

See guys, there’s still hope for me!

I was surprised to discover I actually really liked it! Probably because it uses a weird flour. I’m a sucker for any  kind of different flour.

Like most things like this, though, it was so sweet after a couple of bites! Mreh, well.

At least if you have it you can say your drunk on brownies, whether you are or not. It’s got a ring to it, don’t you think?

What’s a simple sandwich combination that you love?

*****

DON’T FORGET! You have until tomorrow to enter my giveaway!!

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Filed under baking, chickpeas, cooking, curry, dessert, dinner, food, foodzie, healthy living, hummus, indian, lunch, recipe, sandwich, sweet potato, tofu, vegan, vegetarian

Plagued

You can take one look at my breakfast and know something was up:

Strawberry-Banana So Delicious yogurt with protein powder, banana, chia seeds and a bran muffin.

What’s cool and soothing for a scratchy throat?

Yogurt.

Yep. My condition deteriorated rapidly last night, and I had to resort to crawling in bed, hardly able to breath, at hardly 8:00. This was difficult for me because the Bs were playing the Habs last night – always a good game.

My efforts to fall asleep early were a bit of a joke, however, as I intended to watch the game as I dozed. When you hear things like “Score!” every 30 seconds and then announcers excitedly narrating fights, going to bed early just isn’t a priority anymore.

I suppose combining a bran muffin with strawberry-banana yogurt is a bit odd...but luckily I couldn't taste much anyway.

I just knew I was going to wake up with a scratchy throat and a pounding head, and I did.

I kept telling myself I deserved to get sick for once, after dodging all the illnesses that float around my workplace. Missing out on swine flu is my proudest moment, you know.

Luckily (if you can call it that,) I think it’s more of a pesky sinus-y type thing that I’ve got. I slept just about all morning, and finally started to feel somewhat normal after lunch. I’ve got a little bit of a headache still, but I think I’ll make it 😉

Let us not forget the reds 8000 I chugged this morning.

Extra precautions.

So it seems a lot of people, when they are sick, lose their appetite.

I am the exact opposite.

In fact, all that is appealing to me is just eating more in efforts to make swallowing less painful.

Carrots, hummus and applesauce were all of equal importance today.

Not together, obviously. But I think I ate a whole bag of carrots and a good cup of hummus as well as many bowls of applesauce. What can I say?

And when I began to realize I wasn’t going to die from the plague like I initially thought I was, I realized I was a-okay to get some baking done. I took extra precautions to make sure the baking wasn’t infected, I promise.

Remember my Birdseed bars?

I baked some up for a certain someone, but tweaked the recipe again. This might be my favorite version yet! I love how the “bar pans” (mini loaf pans) allow each bar to get crispy edges, too.

I kept it simple for dinner though, as I was beginning to feel a little lethargic again. It’d been a while since I had a baked sweet potato though, and I decided one was imperative to my well-being.

Luckily, I had just read Mandiee’s mention of the magical numbers: 425* for 45 minutes. Remember that. Don’t ever forget it. It is the key to ooey, gooey sweet potatoes. There will be no more haphazardly throwing sweet potatoes in the oven at a temperature anywhere from 400* to 450* from me.

Paired with a hummus-quinoa casserole idea taken from Vive le Vegan. I just layered cooked quinoa, then a mixture of hummus and tomato sauce and then some roasted veg.

I bet you guys didn’t know that I love frozen peas. I don’t eat them frozen, obviously, but I think they’re the one vegetable I’d rather have from frozen than from fresh. Probably because the fresh ones are so much work and I can be kind of lazy…but whatever.

What’s your favorite “sick food”?

Is there any food you prefer packaged/frozen/what-have-you over fresh?

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Filed under baking, breakfast, carrots, casserole, chia seeds, cooking, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

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Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Being Thrifty

Before we get started: I added the super simple and thrifty recipe for the stuffed peppers at the end of yesterday’s post.

________________

Today, I practiced being cheap. Thrifty, if you will.

I learned a few things.

Like the fact that some of the best pancakes in the world do not actually require the use of milk.

In fact, I can get by just fine – better, maybe – with the use of orange juice and yogurt.

Yogurt-Spice Pancakes for One

  • 1/4 c. + 1 T. flour (I used graham flour)
  • 1 1/2 T. wheat germ
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 2 t. chia seeds mixed with 2 T. warm water, and allowed to gel
  • juice of one large orange
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 T. yogurt (I used SoDelicious vanilla. aka crack in a cup)
  • butter/earth balance/non-stick spray, for greasing pan

Mix dry ingredients together. Add in chia egg, orange juice, extract and yogurt. Whisk until a thick batter forms. Divide into two pancakes on a pre-heated, greased non-stick skillet. Cook until golden on both sides.

The xtra ground nutmeg gives them that extra oomph of spice that the otherwise plain pancake batter lacks. And the yogurt gives them fluffy texture yet still moist.

But it’s what’s on top that makes them complete: cashew cream, maple cream and cashews. For the “cashew cream,” just mix ~1 T. cashew butter with 1-2 T. yogurt.

For the maple cream, buy it here and prepare to become an addict. I wanted to swim in it this morning.

It prepared me for a day of being cheap while shopping.

See, I spend too much money at the grocery store. I used to be pretty diligent about printing coupons and buying stuff on sale, but recently I’ve slipped. In case you couldn’t tell, because it’s not like I use twenty different flours at a time. hardee-har-har.

I’m not going to be too cheap with myself, but I realized last night how couponing can be such an addiction.

But maybe I’m just belligerent, and chose to see it as a challenge. Yes, I think that’s what it was. So maybe I only saved $8 this time. I’ll try harder next time.

But can I just be a little bit proud of myself for a second? Can I tell you why?

Because I only paid 9 cents (yes, cents) for this bag of sticks and twigs. Now sure, I don’t even know if I like them, but I’ve heard wonderful things about this company, but have always been too cheap to try them for myself. I’ll just make crackers myself! But 9 cents? I can’t make pretzels for 9 cents, people.

Oh, and just to share with you my relatively ridiculous obsession with cashews at the moment, I purchased 2 pounds of cashews today. (At $10, that means it was only $5/lb! oh, no – I really am becoming a bargain freak, aren’t I?!)

And I even decided to make my own hummus instead of paying $4 for my favorite brand.

Recipe a la Appetite for Reduction. I love how it’s basically pure chickpeas. No call for tahini or even very much oil, just pure chickpea bliss. Which is pretty thrifty, too.

I’m sure glad I decided to be thrifty a while back when I had a bitt too much bread on hand, and needed breadcrumbs – but I definitely should have ground them finer.

…so that they would stick to my onion rings!! Okay, when I first saw the O.M.G. Oven Baked Onion Rings in appetite for reduction, I sort of said “oh yeah! onion rings!”

Truth be told, I think I sort of forgot they existed.

I mean, the last time I was introduced to one was when I still thought vegetables would give me cooties.

As such, the recipe seemed fun, but maybe not one I’d go through the hoops of making.

But then fate happened.

(website being my photo website, i don't refer to my blog as "my website" baha)

Every time I’d pick up the cookbook, it’d open to onion rings.

And then I saw sweet onions on sale at the grocery store.

And then I realized I was thinking about them so much, they worked their way into a conversation. I was debating between making onion rings and getting work done on my photo website.

I chose onion rings.

My method needs help. It will come with time. I blame the breadcrumbs.

And by breadcrumbs, I mean mix of course homemade breadcrumbs and pretzel crumbs.

Don’t ask. It worked. These were damn fine onion rings. I ate them and ate them until my belly could take them no more. And I think I need to go finish the leftovers now. And go back to the store and get more onions to make them all week.

I need a condiment plate/bowl. Do those exist? Like, a single person-sized condiment/dip tray? Because that’d be perfect for my needs.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this plate pretty much defines my life right now. Dates a la Gabriela (stuffed with almond butter and dark chocolate chips) and homemade pumpernickel with almond butter and/or maple cream.

Even if you, like myself, claim not to be a chocolate fan – you will love these dates. I promise.

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Filed under almond butter, baking, breakfast, cooking, dates, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, healthy living, hummus, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, review, shopping, snack, sweet potato, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Surprises

Today was full of fun surprises!

I was once again pleasantly surprised at how good my homemade almond butter was on pancakes this morning…

…and was also surprised to learn that Vermont has a maple law…which is giving McDonalds some flack about their new oatmeal!

“What we understand, is there is no actual maple in the [McDonald’s] product being advertised. Vermont maple law and regulations are very specific for how the term maple is used in advertisements,” Kelly Loftus, VAA spokesperson told Slashfood. “It is illegal to use the word maple on a product unless the sweetener is 100 percent pure maple. Artificial maple flavoring should be clearly and conspicuously labeled on the principal panel with the term ‘artificial flavor’.”

Read more: http://www.slashfood.com/2011/01/10/a-sticky-mess-for-mcdonalds/#ixzz1BcP2Afr7

Basically, Vermont is requiring them to give option of a tablespoon of real Vermont maple syrup, a teaspoon of Vermont maple sugar, or eliminating the “maple” advertisement since all it is is fake flavoring.

Can I get a hell-yeah for Vermont, please?

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Teddie doesn’t hate me after all…

…even if all I did today was dote on him.

When I got home, I was surprised that the mail hadn’t come yet…but was hungry and went ahead and made lunch anyway.

When it finally came, I’d be lying if I said I was completely surprised that I had two big “presents,” but I was surprised at what they contained!

Package numero uno – from the wonderful Blue Eyed Heart.

Blueberry Muffin Larabar?! I was pleasantly surprised when I heard of this new flavor. Yes, I was the girl eating a Dunkin’ Donuts blueberry muffin every. single. day. all through high school. I cannot. wait. to try this baby. How surprised was I to learn it’s more cashew-based than almond-based? Very – but that’s definitely a good surprised. Eye heart cashoos.

The most perfect-est pumpkin bran muffins ever. I broke into one STAT.

And the primary reason for the package: sprouted wheatberry bread.

My mom always said not to beg, and that it doesn’t get anybody anywhere. Well, I sort of begged for this bread and it got me a sprouted wheatberry bread addiction. That could be seen as a good or a bad thing. I choose to see it as a good thing.

The cutest lil’ mini loaf, too! I can’t wait to have mini PB&Js. If it lasts that long.

I think I’m convinced that I ought to try making my own sprouted bread now. That is, if I can’t convince her to get into business making and selling this bread 😉

I wasn’t just surprised with this month’s Foodzie Tasting Box

…I was just about awed!

Never, ever heard of Sun Dried Nectarines before. Cannot. Wait. to try them.

I expect at least half of the Foodzie boxes to be something I wouldn’t like, but that’s okay with me. I enjoy the surprise aspect, and don’t mind getting some things (like natural beef jerky) that I can pass on to someone else. That’s why I was so awed when I realized just about everything in this month’s box is a keeper!

While I usually like sweeter teas (Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and Gingerbread, anyone?) these Runa teas were fun to try!

It certainly surprised me at how fresh the leaves seemed compared to the usual teas I drink!

Enjoyed with a cracker flat that L sent me…

…I got a little hungry while waiting for my tea to heat 😉 I can’t say I’m surprised at how delicious these are, though – spelt and cinnamon raisin are two things that have always had my heart.

Well, maybe not always. I don’t think I was a four-year old running around demanding my mom to make cinnamon-raisin spelt bread…but maybe.

I was surprised to realize I hadn’t had any plans for dinner, but then realized I was craving pasta

…which didn’t surprise me at how wonderful this simple meal was. Sometimes, good ol’ pasta just hits the spot, don’t you think?! Just a serving of whole wheat pasta, cooked and then tossed with:

  • drizzle olive oil
  • fire-roasted tomatoes
  • roasted red peppers
  • garlic
  • tempeh
  • fresh parsley

served atop collard greens sauteed in a bit of olive oil with red onion and garlic, and all garnished with humnut cheese and more fresh parsley.

I actually really hate fresh parsley, I’ve just been eating it because for some reason I decided I needed fresh parsley for something. At this point, I don’t even remember what I wanted it for. I just know I have a lot more to eat…

What have you been surprised by lately?!

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, food, foodblog, foodzie, health, health food, healthy living, hummus, italian, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, pasta, recipe, spelt, teddie, tempeh, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, vermont, whole grains

Calzones and Cupcakes

And so continues the chronicles of the house-arrested Suzie Homemaker,

Doesn’t every Suzie Homemaker start their day with blueberry-orange pancakes and working out with shampoo bottles?

I really ought to get my butt to the store and buy some weights. Big Tresemme bottles don’t work as well as the big butternut squash I was using back when I was obsessed with them. In fact, when I was grocery shopping yesterday, I almost picked two up for the sole purpose of posing as light-weights.

Based on last night’s post, you probably had a hunch cupcakes would be seen today.

You were right. Good ESP!

While everyone’s go-to sources were all wonderful – I ended up with a request for “cinnamon cupcakes.” I immediately thought that this would be my chance to make the Chocolate “Sin”namon cupcakes in ED&BV, thus redeeming myself from making the mistake of leaving out the sugar, but then heard that there was a strict “no chocolate” rule from the individual putting in the cupcake request.

Well, yes sir. A quick tastespotting search yielded snickerdoodle cupcakes and I couldn’t have become more giddy.

Because who doesn’t like to say “snickerdoodle” ten times fast? I mean…I snicker just saying it, really.

I wound up finding tons of recipes that were all basically credited back to Martha Stewart.

Which was all fine and good, considering I didn’t care if they were necessarily “healthy” or not. I mean, they’re cupcakes. Who wants to eat an entirely healthy cupcake, anyways?

…but I just couldn’t bring myself to make cupcakes with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar. My hand just couldn’t dig in the sugar bowl that many times, I don’t think. Everytime I tried it started spasming a little and the cup would fall from my hand.

Okay, so that’s a lie. Really, I’m just so used to vegan baking that I know cups and cups of sugar are relatively unnecessary and baked goods are still fantastic whether it’s butter or oil. Using that much just seems a little bit facetious to me.

And so, I followed this Snickerdoodle Cupcake recipe, which is just causing me to snicker even more as they were deemed “out of this world.” I even cut it back to 1/2 c. sugar, intending to frost them with a very sweet frosting, but ended up running out of steam and thinking they were “pretty” enough as-is.

I did end up omitting both of the extracts called for and replacing it with 2 t. of coffee extract, though.

I suppose you’re probably thinking to yourself “I wonder why she didn’t just use real coffee,” and I suppose you have a point. In fact, I asked myself that.

I still have no answer.

I also want to point out that I did not pay $9 as the label looks like it says. I’m crazy, I’m not that crazy.

But smelling this coffee extract reminded me of how I wanted to make my own almond butter, and it was decided I would make coffee almond butter.

Potentially something that could go oh-so-wrong, but it worked. It smells like almondy-coffee heaven, but luckily, the flavor is not too overpowering. I guess I’d even consider it more of an essence than truly tasting coffee-y.

This was my first time making almond butter. For some reason, I was under the impression that almonds were way harder than peanuts, making it impossible for me to make my own almond butter.

Almond butter that was also drippy. Because that’s how almond butter should be.

It was drippy!!! Okay, maybe more like…kind of runny. But definitely almond-butter-esque. I was a proud mama. And hellooo, so much cheaper than buying it. Maybe I’ll go into the almond butter business, after making this for, oh $4 tops when I can’t buy it for less than $10.

I ended up with walnuts in the mix, too.

Just ’cause.

  • 1 1/2 c. roasted & salted almonds
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 2 t. coffee extract
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch maple sugar

It was so good I made an almond butter and banana calzone!

Topped with parsley! The usual, you know.

I didn’t fool you? Darn. Well, if I did make an almond butter and banana calzone I’d probably be too cool for school, so I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t.

I’ve been sort of dying to make pizza lately. Probably because I’m sort of going through a bread withdrawal.

The problem: I had no hummus. I like my pizzas with humnut cheese, thank you.

The other problem? Sixteenth-ing pizza dough recipes is too complicated for my mathaphobic mind.

I sucked it up and did it, though. I used the same spelt crust I’ve used in the past for calzones. I just love the nutty flavor the spelt gives, especially with my humnut cheese!

I saw this new hummus at the store yesterday and decided to give it a try. I’m pretty devoted to Cedar’s as you may know, but I liked trying new things, too! The Spinach and garlic flavor, as well as twice the protein, spoke to me too. Truth be told, had I known it was made with more soybeans than chickpeas I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but oh well. It’s really good! I’m all for a creamy texture, and this Nasoya hummus has that – just as good as Cedar’s, dare I say it.

And this is what was really in my ‘zone. Buffalo tempeh!!

…as well as tomato sauce, the humnut cheese, red pepper, parsley, cilanto and red onion. Strangely, the red pepper was what made this out of this world.

I ended up overbaking it because while I adjusted all of the measurements – I didn’t think to adjust the time!

As mentioned, I had to get mathematical with the recipe. While this is not an original recipe, I’m going to go ahead and post the measurements for you in case you want to make a calzone/pizza that’s not big enough to feed you for days on end! I made one large calzone, half for dinner and half for…some meal in the near future. With a side of sugar-snap peas it was just enough!

Whole Grain Spelt Pizza/Calzone Dough

from Bob’s Red Mill

  • 1/2 + 1/8 t. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 t. sugar
  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1/2 c. + 1 T. spelt flour
  • 3 T. white bean flour
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 t. olive oil

For directions, see here. I didn’t quarter the sugar amount because I wasn’t sure if it would affect the proofing of the yeast. I also didn’t quarter the olive oil because it seemed like a very minor amount to begin with! Next time I’d probably use a full teaspoon, actually.

This is definitely not a traditional pizza crust – but as I mentioned, I’m a little bit infatuated with it anyways!

And tht’s all! I’m finally going to get to see Teddie in the morning, after him being out of work for almost a week now! He’ll probably be a little monster for me…and while I felt really guilty almost all day today, I guess he could probably use a little “vacation time” anyways. Right? Right. (of course…with it being the arctic again this weekend – as in, 25 below at night and only getting to a high of 5 during the day -he’ll be getting another vacation here soon!)

So the question today is – when you bake for others, do you follow your own “food guidelines,” or just make whatever? For instance – if you’re vegan/gluten intolerant/dairy intolerant/health conscious – do you adhere to your guidelines when cooking for other people, or no? I said yesterday that I didn’t – but when I went to bake today, I realized I do! I’ve nothing against dairy or butter and what-not…I think it was just the fact that I know that copious amounts of sugar and butter aren’t necessary to produce a delicious dessert, I decided to make something I’d be more than willing to eat, too.

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Filed under almond butter, breakfast, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, tempeh, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, whole grains

The Irony

Hey again, pun’kins 🙂 I hope everyone had a beautiful day – we were graced with sunshine for most of the day, and warm temperatures for just about all of it, too! I definitely soaked it up considering the fact that snow may be in the forecast again for tomorrow night. Go figure, right?! Once I get the first taste of Spring!?

I had a mango just begging to be used today or tomorrow, and I figure – no time but the present, right?! Mango oats never disappoint, and since the weather was being predicted to match the tropics, why shouldn’t my breakfast, too?!

The Base for today consisted of

-equal parts oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, and rolled barley flakes

-wheat bran

-brewed coffee & almondmilk

trail power

a couple of thin slices of banana (I was freezing some for tonight’s dessert and figured – why not add a few slices?!) and approx. 1/4 of a diced mango

approx 1/2 Tbs. chia seeds

-chai spice blend, vanilla extract

The toppings:

-chia-acai icing & milled golden flax

-ginger preserves & coconut butter

-chopped macadamia nuts

and a fruit mixture of diced mango, sliced banana, shredded coconut, and dried papaya sauteed in some almondmilk and sprinkled with chai spice blend.

I’ve started adding in some chia seeds to the oat base lately, just for some added nutrition. Actually – I’ve really upped my chia seed intake lately, but a lot of it is in my evening snacks that you guys don’t really see much of.  It made a huge difference in the volume of this bowl. If you compare it to previous mornings with this bowl, I think you’d be able to tell just from the picture! I loved it. I still like the icing, though – it won’t be leaving 🙂

I savored this while pondering what to do with this glorious day – and since it was still pretty chilly out, wanted to wait until it warmed up to get outside. I had been thinking a run/walk was in order, but then started getting the itch to do some more photos at the junkyard down the road! I also wanted to squeeze in a quick ride, and godonlyknowswhatelse. So – I settled on a  walk to the junkyard, a ride, baking, and whatever else lends itself! I knew tomorrow is supposed to be yucky, so I definitely knew I would be leaving my cleaning and grocery trip into town for then. Not a chance was I spending today “working.”

Before my photo expedition, I knew some english muffin baking was in order. How perfect, right?! Make the dough while it’s still cold – let it rise while I do my photo thang.

I followed Nicole’s recipe with only minor changes based on what I had – I used almondmilk and olivio. We didn’t have any butter or  milk – but of course I had almondmilk! I hoped it would still work. I’m not a good yeast baker. I credit it to the fact that I always want to change things up and use whole wheat, spelt, buckwheat, etc. So I didn’t want to make any drastic changes, and hoped Nicole’s recipe would treat me well. I had faith! After placing the dough in the warm oven to do its thang, I put my face on, snacked on a plum & some almonds, and gathered my photo gear. I quickly decided that rather than walking all the way down to the junkyard – I’d drive to where I could park the Jeep safely and discreetly off the road, and walk the rest of the way. I didn’t want to bring just my camera and tripod, I wanted to bring my entire bag – which is quite heavy, even though that’s only half of all my equipment.

Uhm, let me just say – glad I did this. I’ve never been able to judge distances well, and even though I drive this road daily, I guess I kind of brushed off the fact that this junkyard “right down the road” is 2 miles down the road, and I still walked almost a mile from where I parked. I’m not sure if you’ve done it before, but when you’re carrying 20 pounds of awkward camera gear on one shoulder and a 5-pound tripod on the other shoulder, even a mile is long enough. Not to mention, it would have taken me all day long. Which – yes, it was gorgeous out, but that meant I did want to cram everything known to man inside of it! hehe.

I won’t bore you with the photos – I ended up being my own model. I had fun, though! The bummer about living in the boondocks is that no one wants to drive an hour to hang out. Oh well – sometimes it’s easier to be your own model. I knew what I was looking for!


Once I got back, I was thrilled
to see how much the dough had risen!! I’ve never had this fast and this big a rise from any bread I’ve baked before. Yes! I divvied it up into balls, placed on a baking sheet, and covered again. I ended up making twice as many muffins, too – it seemed like making 6 made 6 honkin’ big muffins, especially after they rose again.

My mom was outside raking leaves again, so I grabbed some quick fuel and went to help again.

mango, galaxy vanilla granola, greek yogurt, chai spice blend.

Loving this Galaxy Granola! I know it’s already been raved about on close to every health-food blog out there already, but thought I’d throw my two cents in, too 🙂 I started making my own since so many companies use oil and tons of sugar – well, Galaxy doesn’t! Perfect!

The downfall of a big lawn is raking. Holy heck, raking is tiring. I know, I know – I’m pathetic. But we have a big lawn! We finally finished, though – blistered, tired, and – dare I say it – hot! In Spring! In vermont!

By now it was almost 12:30 and I was about ready for lunch, but didn’t really want to eat that early. So I just nommed on some dried apricots, pitted dates, and almonds while finishing up the english muffins. I should note that I’ve been having a major dried fruit and almond grazing problem lately! I pretty much grab at least one every time I’m in the kitchen! So, of course it goes without saying that this also occured all during the baking process. Hey, at least it’s a little more normal than just grazing on carrots like I do when I make dinner. What can I say?! 😛 Shnoopsies.

Little Babies! Okay – so maybe I should have found a happy medium and made 10 or so rather than 15. They’re just babies! But, that’s okay – I mean, half the time I only have half of a normal sized english muffin anyway! I was just happy that these were easy, successful, and delicious! Even my mom liked them – and she’s the whole wheat hater. Although, it was comical that before anything else, both she and Henry – at seperate times – asked “Why are they so small?” Gee – thanks for the support guys. It’s because I’m a n00b. Hey – it doesn’t bother me any! I don’t mind not sharing 😛 Although – I think I will be. My mom said I had good nooks and crannies. Hear that, Thomas?! You may be the original nooks and crannies muffins but you’ve got some competition!

I, naturally, sampled the babiest of them all fresh out of the oven with some Olivio. Hey – everyone else makes a baby “tester” when they make stuff, right?! aha.

Delicious! Thank you SO much, Nicole! This was my first 100% successful yeast recipe. Cannot wait to try your Naan and other bread recipes, too 🙂 Cannot BELIEVE how easy this was. It was hardly any hands-on time, and requires only pantry staples.

But – after that – it was time for lunch! I uploaded my photos while pondering ideas, but decided on just an old faithful:

I had some creative ideas rolling around, but honestly – there were too many!! So I went for a yum-wrap supreme of tomato-basil hummus, red pepper, roma tomato, fresh basil, almond mozzarella, spinach, red onion, and a fried egg. Too good. Since these travel so well, I usually just have them once they’ve been heated, cooled, and reheated. So this was actually a treat, even if basic! I also polished off my popchips (and shed a tear – I was kind enough to share with my mom though, who is also a newly rabid fan) and an orange.

After this, it was the moment I’d been waiting all day for: I was gonna be crash dummy for my mom!! What?! Crash dummy?! You must be saying. Yep…I’m naive enough to volunteer my life to wrangle my mom’s wild beast of a youngster:

JIGGY! Short for "Jigalo". I'm not kidding. We didn't name him.

Yep – after the winter off, it’s time for the ol’ Jiggy to get back into work. Sometimes horses can be quite – uh, neurotic – after a workless winter, but I trust him 🙂 (The “wild beast” remark was mostly sarcasm. As my mom put it – “I trust him, I’m just getting old and don’t bounce well anymore.” Thanks, mom. Catch me if I fall?) I figured today was the day – it was mild and only slightly breezy. Though, strangely – by the time we got ready to ride (my mom was riding her old mare) it was getting quite overcast and very windy. Wahh!

Naturally, it went off without a hitch, and as you can see, I’m still alive to re-tell the tale. What you can’t see, however, is my broken wrist and black eye.

I kid, I kid. Really – he was fine and it was absolutely amazing to be sitting in a saddle on a live horse’s back again. This will be happening much more frequently 🙂

english muffin w/ honey-apple butter, greek yogs, kiwi

I honestly have no idea when I had time to eat the above snack considering I also had the below one, and we ate a late lunch…

Chia gel pudding, apple, and a PB & Honey-Apple butter with apple slices and tempeh churro-style flatbread sammie. Yes, Please.

But obviously, I fit it all in! Thank heavens, because – what you see above is the most miraculous snackage since…warm kashi. Oh yeah – I said it. Don’t worry, though – I’m stil all about my warm kashi bowls. But seriously loving this beaut. Pan-fried in some non-stick spray and sprinkled with some cinnamon and truvia – reminds me of a churro!! I think that’s what I mean…?

Naturally, after eating all these protein and fiber-packed snacks, I wasn’t too hungry for dinner at the early-normal time, but I decided last minute that I might as well go grocery shopping tonight. I could only see myself getting bored and antsy, since my mom & Henry were headed to an auction. Granted, I could have spent this time writing that paper, but…who do you think I am, here? Soooo – it was either dinner early, or dinner late. I opted for early. It’s more suitable for having night-time snacks, duhh!

So, I sauteed up 500 pounds of kale, plus or minus a few ounces.

Alright, so it doesn’t look like thaaat much here – but that’s a pretty deep bowl! I figured I might as well just polish off the last of my Kale, even though it was a bit, so that I wouldn’t have two bunches once I bought a new one.

Wellll, has anyone thought there wasn’t quite as much left of something as you initially suspected, and started using all of it, before realizing there’s way more than you thought – yet it’s too late to stop, because if you stopped – you’d be leaving hardly enough for a solid serving? [read that slowly.] That was a lot like what I did here. At least I love me some Kale, and it came in handy, because I was made to realize that those Gardein chik’n cutlets are godawful plain.

I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed something poorly – but I really don’t care for these. At all. They weren’t bad in the salad I made the other day, and since I still have two left – may just do that again so I don’t have to throw them out. But plain? They have the funkiest aftertaste and texture. No me gusta. Not a winner, in my book. Sorry, Gardein. I did want to try more of your products, but now I’m really not so sure.

This Kale, however, was absolutely amazing. Good thing, because after the second taste of that cutlet I abandoned ship on that one.

I started out by sauteeing red onion and red pepper in a drizzle of olive oil, and then added in a boatload of kale and fresh basil. Drizzled very lightly with some balsamic vinegar and seasoned with some salt and pepper and lemon pepper. Then added in some chopped apple and a couple spoonfuls of unsweetened applesauce and some raspberry-dijon mustard. Raided the cabinets some more and decided some raisins were in order, too! Oh, and, hey – only two carrots left, might as well polish those off to make room for the new bag! Cover and let wilt and voila. Delish! Garnish with some chopped nuts and some almond mozarella for supreme eats. Don’t garnish with a chik’n cutlet. Unless it’s a Quorn chik’n cutlet. ‘Cause they know what’s up. That’s what I get for cheating on them.

So – you’re probably wondering about the blog title by now. What’s so ironic? Uh, yeah – so, in my “might as well finish the Kale!” rendezvous – the thought never occured to me that P.Chop might not have any Kale. Yeah, just my luck – there was no Kale in sight. And in addition, they didn’t have the flax tempeh I wanted (so I just got Soy) and had really sub-par produce and selections all around. Ugh! I was so not-happy. It must have been stock night or whatever, because they were all over, shelves were bear, shelves were being re-stocked, worked were pushing big boxes everywhere, and there was an airplane load of 2-liter sodas in the front entryway. Lesson learned. Never think you’re being efficient by shopping on a Saturday night rather than Saturday or Sunday morning.

Guess I’ll have to go to Hannafords and the co-op this week after all.

The one good find? I totes got 2 big bunches of extra ripe bananas for $1.50. One person’s trash is the next person’s treasure – this was oat-lover’s heaven. And not just oat-lovers: banana soft-serve lovers! Which, I now am.

banana, mango, greek yog - processed. Topped w/ crystallized ginger & granola

Ohhhh, bananas…how do you do the things you do? You make oats perfect by sweetening and adding lovely volume, you blend into softserve like you’re magic, and to top it all off? You’re amazing plain, too! I should make an ode to bananas.

But, alas…I’ll leave you on that note, so you can dream about how amazing bananas are, too.

What’s YOUR favorite thing to do with bananas or english muffins?!

Oh, and cottage cheese. I’ve had this huge cottage-cheese…well, phobia…since I was little. It’s just totally grossed me out. But, I bought some today because I want to see if I like it now. I won’t lie. I’m a little afraid to try it, so I want to make sure I do it up right, and get the ultimate experience to see if it’s worth warming up to or not. Hey – I used to hate broccoli, and look at me now!

hehe, lame question, I know…but c’mon…what’s better?!

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