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Posts tagged ‘vegan’

Saturday mornings: cartoons, PJs, and a pancake for one.

Ahh, Saturday morning.

As a kid, it was all about Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and that show with the sharks? Does anyone know what show I’m talking about? It was that show about 4 guys who were transformed into sharks…and they like, fought crime, or were criminals, or something…?

Okay well that’s going to bother me all day, but for the sake of this blog (and your time) I’ll move on.

My point is, cartoons were the bees knees during childhood. They represented the glory of what is Saturday morning. You could sleep in, stay in your jammies til noon, and then jump on your bike and ride to your friend’s house to see if they could play. Or in my case, run next door where your best friend lives and basically just assume she’s available to play house, or go to the pool, or Rollerblade, or whatever the heck else we did as kids to keep ourselves occupied.

Jessica and I had so much fun. Aww, memories. ❤

But what I’m really leaving out (and what is one of the most important parts of Saturday morning) is breakfast! Duhhh.

Weekdays are about quick, on-the-go breakfasts: Pop-Tarts, a bowl of cereal, toast — things that don’t take a long time to eat. There isn’t an opportunity to really enjoy the meal.

Enter: Saturday morning breakfast! Homemade breakfast. Come on, that’s a highlight of life. You can’t deny that.

Now, please note that I do not like breakfast foods at breakfast time. I’m not sure why. I just don’t. I’d rather have a waffle for dinner than a bowl of pasta any day of the week. But every once in a while, there’s an exception. For example, this morning.

My Saturdays aren’t what they used to be. I have this thing now, where I provide labor in exchange for money. Also known as a job. And I usually work the PM shift on weekends. Therefore, Saturday mornings are incredibly precious to me. When I got home this morning, I had the house to myself. I love having the house to myself. The TV is mine. The couch is mine. And most importantly, the kitchen is mine.

Well I still have to share the house with Kitten, but she’s feel exceptionally lazy today.

So in the midst of this wonderful solitude, I decided today was a breakfast day. And I wanted a pancake.

One giant pancake. Singular. Uno.

So that’s what I made! It’s inspired by Joy the Baker’s “Single Lady Pancake,” but the recipe is all my own. (I love the title of her recipe! So cute.) I’m not considered a “single lady” anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a little selfish “me” time with a pancake and cup of coffee, while watching the episode of New Girl I missed last Tuesday. (Which, by the way…was not funny. I was very disappointed.)

I used to make variations of this for myself last year when I lived in the apartment. It’s a delicious, wonderful, simple way to start the day. I highly recommend it.

I don’t even have a lot of pictures to show you, because I wanted to eat it ASAP.

I dislike cold pancakes. Gnarly.

But on the realz, this hits the spot. It’s like, good for the soul or something. Your inner pancake soul.

It’s a thing. I swear.

Be selfish. Make a pancake.

Pancake for Me, Myself, and I
a Sugar Therapy original – yay!

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons apple cinnamon instant oatmeal, uncooked (or plain oats)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp orange juice
3 tsp vanilla extract

1. Whisk all dry ingredients together. That’s flour, oats, sugars, baking powder/soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, vanilla, and oil together.

3. Add orange juice and whisk until combined.

4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, whisking until just combined. The batter should be pretty thick.

5. Heat a griddle or pan on medium heat. (That’s a strange sentence…but just do it.)

6. Pour batter onto the pan and allow the pancake to cook until you see some bubbles form on the top. Flip the pancake. Hopefully it’s a beautiful golden brown. That’s the goal.

Note: I am the WORST pancake flipper in the history of pancake flippers. I get nervous. Sometimes I burn my pancakes because I’m too hesitant. Don’t be like me. Just flip it, you can do it!

7. Add syrup. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar. Spread some jelly on there. Or be like me, and keep it simple and spread a light layer of non-dairy butter on there. So. good.

The best part about this recipe is you can add and subtract. Not a fan of orange juice? I’d try some apple instead. Want banana pancakes? I like the way you think. Want some crunch? Add walnuts! And of course, you can never go wrong with a handful of blueberries.

Be innovative. Be selfish. Enjoy your Saturday morning.

And let me know if you can remember the name of that shark cartoon.

Bon appétit!

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I found the cure for tofuphobia!

I find tofu scary. It’s just weird. I’m sure you agree. It absorbs any flavor you put with it, which is…odd. I have a hard time trusting food that doesn’t have a flavor of its own. Even the name sounds sketchy…tofu. Yeesh.

As a vegetarian, you’d think that I would be more accepting of the flavor-mooching food, but alas, time and time again I have a hard time getting myself to suck it up and eat it. There are a few dishes I’ve had at restaurants containing tofu that were nothing short of excellent…but when it comes to baking I’m nothing short of skeptical.

BUT…fear not, fellow bakers with tofuphobia! I have a wonderful, delicious recipe for you. Sure, it contains tofu, but once you get past that, you notice that it also contains great things like peanut butter and chocolate!

I made these little vegan treats for the birthday of a very dear friend of mine. She’s a recent college graduate from the University of Alabama, relocated across the country to Seattle, got herself a job, and was then accepted to the University of Washington School of Law. This girl’s got it goin’ on! For several years she’s shared my interest in unconventional lifestyles and beliefs (vegetarianism and Buddhism, for example) so I knew she’d appreciate a delicious vegan cookie. 🙂

And they are delicious. Let me tell you. Right out of the oven?

Yes. Freakin’. Please.

Set your tofu fears aside. Make these. Don’t tell people there is tofu in them until after they eat it. Yes, it’s kind of a dirty trick, but sometimes it’s fun to play tricks on people. And how dirty of a trick can it be if it involves eating cookies, right?!

Vegan Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter and Cinnamon

from Joy the Baker

1 stick vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup soft tofu, drained
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the margarine, brown sugar, and tofu in a large bowl until completely smooth.

3. Add the peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.

I made the dough a day in advance, covered it, and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  You may bake them ASAP, though.  Regardless of when you bake them, this is how you do it:

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and plop heaping tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 – 2 inches apart.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, and either EAT right away (yum), or let them cool on a wire rack and send them to a very deserving birthday girl!

Have your cake and eat it too…with cookies…and peanut butter.

I did something fabulously sinful.

It was dirty.

It was wrong.

It was down-right filthy.

I want to tell you about it, but even the thought of it makes me blush.  Brace yourselves, and cover your children’s eyes…

What the h-e-double hockey sticks is this?!  Well for starters, it’s a cupcake…duh.  More questions?  No problem, I have answers.

Yes, that’s a chocolate cupcake.  Yes, it’s filled with peanut butter cookie dough, and yes, that’s cookies n’ cream cream cheese frosting.  Your questions are oddly specific – smarty pants!

I’m in love with the idea of filling cupcakes. As if cupcakes weren’t great enough on their own (which they totally are), some genius had to go along and just cut a hole in one and put more sugary goodness inside!  Man, I wish I was that innovative.

Boom.  It’s like magic.  Corer goes in, twist, the cupcake comes out.  Looking for a cupcake corer?  You can find one at Williams-Sonoma.  You can find one elsewhere, but if you get it there you also get to browse around at all of the nifty things they have!  Win.

This cupcake is simple – if you like Oreos, you’ll enjoy this.  If you like peanut butter cookies, you’ll enjoy this.  If you like chocolate cake, you’ll enjoy this.

I’m only keeping your marvelous taste buds in mind when I make these things, you know.

The chocolate cake recipe is easy as pie.  The cookie dough isn’t really cookie dough (for baking) at all, considering it doesn’t contain any of the stuff that will make you sick if you eat it raw.  So if you’re feeling hungry during baking (which, hellooo, always happens), you may nibble.  What am I saying?!  Was I just rationing your cookie dough intake?  I’m sorry.  Don’t nibble…you can munch. By the spoonful, if you feel so inclined. (Not by the handful though, let’s keep it classy, people!)  I won’t judge you.  I’ll just grab a spoon and help you polish the bowl off.  Then I’ll go halfsies with you at the grocery store when we’re buying new ingredients to remake the dough.

Do I sense a vicious cycle?  Nahhh.

Well okay yeah maybe a little bit…

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cookies n’ Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from Organic and Chic

2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup veggie oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp coffee
2 cups cold water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pans.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water in a separate bowl.

4. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry, being careful not to overmix. It is not a thick batter that most recipes produce. This is a-okay.

5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 20-24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Place them in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp peanut butter (to taste…if you really like peanut butter, like me, you’ll use 3ish going on 4.)
1 tbsp Oreo crumbs (finely ground)

1. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.

2. Beat in peanut butter, and stir in vanilla.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and Oreo crumbs until thoroughly combined.

4. Pour dry mixture into the wet mixture, stirring until completely combined. Feel free to add chocolate chips or larger cookie chunks if you’re feeling extra indulgent.

…ASSEMBLY…

1. Core the frozen cakes using a cupcake corer or small spoon.


–> Why frozen? Less crumbs and easier to handle. Plus really cold chocolate cake is heavenly. And what else are you going to do with those miniature cylinders of cake? Throw them out? I’ll disown you. Just kidding, I could never do that. But I will give you the silent treatment for a good 5 minutes. Oh yes, I’ll go there.

2. Transfer the cookie dough to a frosting bag or ziplock bag and cut a small bit off the corner of the bag, as if you were about to frost a small cupcake.  The hole should be about the size of a dime.

3. Squeeze dough in the center of the cupcakes until they’re full. You’ll know when that is, because it will start to overflow at the top. After a few you’ll get a feeling of when they are full and you’ll have less spillage (not that a little overflow of cookie dough is a bad thing).

Peanut Butter Cookies n’ Cream Cream Cheese Frosting
(this is enough to liberally frost 24 cupcakes)

16 oz cream cheese
5 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup crushed Oreos

1. Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla until combined.

2. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat just before you’ve reached desired consistency.

3. Add crushed Oreos and combine on high until thoroughly combined and frosting is a thick consistency.

4. Do yo thang and frost them cupcakes!

Bon appétit!

My Achilles’ heel of all things fattening

I honestly, fully, truly believe that peanut butter was invented to make my life better.  I love peanut butter.  Well, it’s more like I’m OBSESSED with peanut butter.  PB&J, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, peanut butter toast, peanut butter pretzels, apples and peanut butter, and so on.

But there’s one thing that rules my obsession of peanut butter.  Chocolate and peanut butter.

Peanut butter cups, to be exact.  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, to be exact-er.  It’s a shameful, cheap, fatty, magnificent love.  Why I love this candy so much, I’ll never know.  But there is just something about this combination that soothes my soul, and makes all of my troubles melt away.  So, so, so good.

I have suppressed the urge to make anything containing peanut butter for the sake of my waistline.  Not that I don’t look at recipes, though.  But that gets dangerous too.  That scenario goes something like this:
– “Ooh, that looks goooood.”
– “……………*peanut butter coma*…………
– *wipes drool*
– I do a  zombie-like stroll to the kitchen cabinet.
– I snap out of it and grab a celery stick before I start eating peanut butter by the  spoonful.
– I pick another recipe without peanut butter.

It’s like a daily war between my heart and my stomach.  My life is just too full of dilemma. 😉

March was a tough month for me.  So to celebrate the end of it, I decided to make myself a treat: peanut butter cups.  Ahhh I’m so excited!!!!

The recipe that I used is from Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet. I had yet to make something from it, although I’ve really wanted to.  And it just so happened that she had a recipe for peanut butter cups in there.  I decided that I had stared at the recipe long enough, and so I whipped some up in no time!  They’re super easy to make, and they’re vegan!  Even better!

Don’t be scared of the “V” word, please.  Remember that just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean that it’s full of quinoa and tofu.  I’m not a vegan, although I would like to be.  Unfortunately, my undying love for cookies and cake full of fattening butter and eggs makes that goal far out of reach.  There’s a ton of vegan food out there that is DELICIOUS, and far better than any dairy-containing food I’ve ever had.  Even my carnivorous boyfriend has eaten vegan food and liked it.  If he can like it, so can you.

These might be vegan, but they are not by any means good for you, which is why they taste so good.  I wish things like this had magical ab-defining powers.  One can only dream, right?

So forget about your long to-do list at work, the dishes in the sink, and the bills sitting on your coffee table.  It’s time to take a breath and enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Enjoy the peanut butter.  Enjoy the chocolate.  It’s as simple as that.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Filling:
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted) (I just used JIF because it’s awesome)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (I used powdered sugar)
(I also added 1 tsp of vanilla)

Chocolate coating:
1 cup nondairy chocolate or carob chips (You can find these at any grocery store)
1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk (I used soy because I already had some)
1/4 cup pecans, almonds, or peanuts (I used pecans because…well…because I wanted to)

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

3. Stir in peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla, and sugar and mix well.

4. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups. Set aside.

5. Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.

6. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture and sprinkle with nuts.

7. Place in the refrigerator to set for a few (at least 2) hours.

A few tips/advice:
I used powdered sugar and creamy peanut butter because I wanted a smoother texture. The graham cracker crumbs gave enough crumbly texture for my taste.

Make sure the chocolate is melted. When I put my chocolate mixture over the filling, it was a little too thick and I had some trouble spreading it. I had to make more. And honestly I think it worked out. I think if I had used the amount called for, the peanut butter to chocolate ratio would be all wrong. I like it pretty even!!

As you can see, I couldn’t even manage to get a picture without taking a bite.

I think I have a problem…but I am soooo okay with it.