Category Archives: food

Let’s Eat: Vanilla Coconut Scones!

This weekend I was craving something sweet and bready. I decided to make scones and began flipping through all my cookbooks for ideas. I’ve made LOTS of scones over the years. My dad loves them! I eventually decided to use the traditional plain scone recipe from my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook as a starting point. I’ve made this recipe many times (before I was vegan as well as making adaptations after).

I enjoyed my scone with hot coffee and berry juice!

Here is the recipe I came up with (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook 12th edition):

Vanilla Coconut Scones– makes 8 large scones- oven 400 degrees

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 heaping tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine, solid coconut oil might work too)

2 eggs worth of Ener-G Egg Replacer

3/4 cup coconut cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

non dairy milk

Now:

In a small bowl, mix up the egg replacer according to package directions to equal two eggs and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the Earth Balance with a pastry cutter or your fingers until course crumbs develop. Make a well in center and set aside.

In another bowl mix together the egg replacer, coconut cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of non dairy milk until it thins out a bit if needed- like the consistency of yogurt. Now pour this mixture into the well of the flour mixture and stir with a fork till just combined. Add a little more non dairy milk if needed to get the dough to stay together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead up to 10 strokes. Pat into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Martha Wrap (I love this stuff and need to dedicate an entire post to it!). Place the scones an inch or so apart. Brush with non dairy milk and sprinkle with course sugar if desired. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until just starting to get golden on top.

Slather with Earth Balance and eat ’em up! I also think these would be awesome with shredded coconut added to the dough. Mmmmm must make again with that variation! I also think they’d be super good with strawberry preserves or orange marmalade. Or agave. or, or, or… ;)

2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

Weekend Adventures: Pizza and Glasses!

This is my first installment of a new regular feature: Weekend Adventures! I try to always have at least one adventure each weekend. This doesn’t mean I’m always off on a road trip or exploring pirate ships or something… a weekend adventure could even mean staying home and baking. But to me, the ‘adventure’ part comes strictly from your attitude. If I look at two (and a half if you include Friday afternoon/night) days of potential with excitement and I’m open to what comes along, then it is an adventure! A few weeks ago was a jam-packed weekend full of fun- a concert Friday night; a road trip Saturday; brunch, shopping and then napping and baking on Sunday… so much adventure to be had! So I’m going to focus on Saturday.

David and I had this little day trip planned for over a month and it was pretty much centered on eating delicious pizza. The rest just fell into place.

After sleeping in and lazing around with kitties we headed down to Los Angeles (about an hour and 45 minutes drive) to hit up The Original Pizza Cookery for vegan pizza for me and non-vegan pizza for David. The Pizza Cookery has a full two page spread on their menu dedicated to vegan options! (they also have tons of gluten free options if you need that kind of thing) They automatically bring complimentary (and all you can eat!) garlic butter rolls to the table and you can request their vegan version if you like! And they’ll bring both versions if you ask.

I ordered a medium pizza just for me so I had tons of leftovers. I got the Southwestern pizza with Daiya mozzarella (they use Follow Your Heart vegan cheese unless you request the Daiya). The Southwestern comes with BBQ pizza sauce, vegan chicken, cilantro, and red onion. From past experience I had them leave the red onion off- just not my thing. So the pizza was as insane as I knew it would be. I ate a couple garlic rolls and a few slices of pizza and was set for the rest of the adventure-day!

delicious vegan pizza

Fully fed, David and I took the long way down to Venice Beach to wander, people watch, and oh, just maybe, get new glasses! We’re both a bit obsessed with glasses. David more so than me, probably because he needs glasses to see always! I only need them to see certain things… Earlier this year we discovered Good See Co., a wonderland of thousands and thousands of eyeglass and sunglass frames. And they can put your prescription in onsite in about 30 minutes. (and they are willing to negotiate on price- which is fun!)

We wandered the store and both found frames we were in love with. We negotiated a good deal and then left the good people at Good See Co. to work their magic while we wandered the boardwalk in Venice (that’s a lot of ‘goods’!). It was after dark by this time so we stuck close to the main drag, but it was so lovely out. After the sun went down the air got warmer than it had been that chilly afternoon. We saw tons of awesome doggies and interesting characters. After the allotted time, we headed back to pick up our glasses. They were perfect and we were so happy!

Happy! At the beach! With glasses!

Now we were ready for more pizza (since we had all those leftovers). We found a grocery store with a good selection of bottled sodas and then we feasted, once again, on pizza and garlic rolls. Only this time, we sat in the car and relaxed! It was so much fun to just kick back in the car with boxes of pizza on our laps. And awesome-er still, we had even MORE leftovers for Sunday!

Once we finished the car-feast, we look the long way (again) back to the freeway to head home to the kitties.

A nice daytrip with a good song playlist, a tank of gas, and pizza anticipation makes for an adventure to remember!

Let’s Eat: A Holiday PieLuck!

My coworkers and I really love to eat! We find any excuse for a potluck. Recently once of my coworkers had the brilliant idea to have a Holiday PieLuck! A potluck dedicated to pies. Oh yes, this was truly a genius idea.

Awesomely, I received my copy of Vegan Pie in the Sky  just in time. I decided on the Pearberry pie and I’m so glad I did. It is truly divine. The Pearberry is a suggested variation on the book’s Appleberry pie. I made the Appleberry for Thanksgiving and it was also good, but I’m a huge pear fan, so I recommend the pear variation if you feel the same about them as I do. Plus they are perfectly in season right now!

pearberry & snowflakes

I made the olive oil crust (from the book) for the Appleberry and I don’t think I added enough water. I had a hard time rolling it out. I will definitely try this crust again, maybe for a savory pie. For the Pearberry pie, I made the more traditional Buttery Double Crust also from the book. This crust turned out fabulous the first time. I like that is has a bit of sugar in it too. Vegan Pie in the Sky is a great little book for vegans and non-vegans alike. It has lots of traditional recipes but also lots of creative new fangled recipes.

I took some inspiration from the photos in the book and made some cutouts on the crust. I used the smallest snowflake cookie cutter I had. It turned out cute, but more importantly, it tasted so, so good!

There were lots of other delicious pies at the PieLuck, including an apple-persimmon pie! That was such a nice combination and so seasonal! We also had some savory pies like a traditional veggie pot pie and a Turkish eggplant pie with philo crust! In total, I think there were eight or nine pies!

PieLuck!

A PieLuck is a really fun and easy way to have a potluck- you should plan one!

Let’s Eat: Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Spiced Vanilla-Molasses Icing!

My husband and I have been taking a personal finance course that meets once a week. We’re learning all kinds of cool things about saving and retirement and investing… but this post isn’t really about any of that. It’s about the treats I made to share with the class!

At the first session of our class (back in September) everyone signed up for a date to bring treats to share. I chose the Monday before Thanksgiving because I knew I wanted to bring something pumpkin-y (of course!).

I decided to make some sort of pumpkin quick bread. So I turned to my trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for ideas. I love this book and I’ve been able to very easily modify lots of baked goods recipes to omit eggs and dairy. Sure enough, I found a recipe for pumpkin loaves and all I had to do to modify was use Ener-G egg replacer instead of eggs. Otherwise I followed the recipe, except I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract because I love the way vanilla mellows out spice cakes just a touch.

naked bundt!

So then it was time to spoon the batter in the pans… A Bundt pan makes the presentation so much more beautiful that a plain old loaf pan. The batter was very thick and it filled the Bundt pan up to the top! I was a little worried that it would overflow or that it wouldn’t cook evenly. But I monitored carefully (with thanks for the advice from the lovely Rosewater & Thyme) after the allotted 55 minutes recommended for two loaves, and ended up cooking the Bundt for 17 extra minutes. I covered the top loosely with foil after the initial 55 minutes because it was already perfectly browned by that point.The bread slid out of the pan easily and after it cooled I drizzled it generously with a simple vanilla spice icing. This icing would be awesome on cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving brunch or on top of pretty much any pumpkin or spice cake, cupcakes, breads, rolls, or ginger bread! Go crazy- ice it up!

drizzled bundt!

Spiced Vanilla-Molasses Icing:

  • 1 cup sift powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon soy, almond, or rice milk (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses

Stir the sifted sugar and spice together. Add the milk and mix until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla and molasses and stir until completely incorporated. It should be the perfect drizzling consistency but you can add more milk or water in drops until it reaches the thinness/thickness you desire.