Just laying in bed talking to mom
(Taken with Instagram)
These are vegan whoopie pies that a local baker in the area makes. The one on the right is oatmeal cookie with a chai cinnamon creme filling, the other is a classic chocolate cake and creme filling. I swear to god these babies haunted me for days after I had the pleasure of enjoying them
Vegan nutella & peanut butter on manners (Taken with Instagram)
Yield: about 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups)
2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place hazelnuts in a single layer on a shallow baking pan. Toast until the skins are almost black and the meat is dark brown, about 15 minutes. Stir the nuts halfway through baking to ensure an even color.
- To get rid of the bitter skins, wrap the cooled hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rub until most of the skins come off, but don’t worry if some remain.
- Process nuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until they have liquefied, about 5 minutes. First, you will get coarsely chopped nuts, then a fine meal. After a little while, the nuts will form a ball around the blade, and it will seem like you only have a solid mass. Keep processing. The heat and friction will extract the natural oils, and you will get hazelnut butter!
- When the nuts have liquified, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in enough oil to make a spreadable consistency. Since the mixture is warm, it will be more fluid now than at room temperature.
- Transfer the spread to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. For best results, stir the chocolate-hazelnut spread before using.
(Taken with Instagram)
Black bean and spinach pizza with Daiya cheddar and mozzarella and sprouts from The Rabbit Hole in Westlake Village. Delish! My non-vegan friend had some too and thoroughly enjoyed it, which was very good news!
Made this for Maricarmens birthday ! (Taken with Instagram)
Yes, I really did get a vegan angel food cake to work using Ener-G egg replacer. I am so confused why people have had such trouble with it. Egg replacer is SUPPOSED to mimic the texture of an egg (which is all eggs are really good for in baking, anyways.) All you have to do is simply beat Ener-G egg replacer for 15 minutes; you should come up with a stiff, thick, glossy mixture that is like egg whites! The only question remaining was whether or not this mixture would set enough into a cake batter, and it did. I added strawberries and lemon zest for texture, and used powdered sugar for lighter, fluffier consistency. My only fear is that ill never again be able to recreate this.
Vegan Strawberry Angel Food Cake
For the strawberry glaze:
-one box of fresh strawberries (or more if you like)
-3/4 cup of sugar
(OPTIONAL, IF STRAWBERRIES AREN’T GLAZEY ENOUGH)
-1 cup vegan POWDERED sugar, or more. (I’m actually not quite sure how much I used, sorry!)
- 1 tbs of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
1. Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half. Leave a little wet/damp
2. Add sugar; toss to mix well.
3. Leave overnight, or as long as possible
(optional) add the mix of lemon juice and powdered sugar for extra glaze
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup vegan sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 powdered sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- 12 Ener-G eggs
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups finely chopped and syrupy strawberries
- 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1. Sift together 1/2 cup of the sugar and 1 cup flour through a flour sifter or fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; set aside.
2. Make the Ener-G eggs in a large bowl (you’ll need 6 tablespoons of the powder whisked into 1 and 1/2 cups warm water). Beat with a hand mixer for 12 minutes, until the mixture is thick and stiff like egg whites. After the first minute, add the cream of tartar and salt. At about the 6 minute mark, begin adding the remaining 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time.
(Note: be sure to use your largest mixing bowl for this process - the mixture is going to have a lot of volume!)
3. Sift the cake flour mixture over the Ener-G mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, and gently fold in. Fold in the vanilla extract and blueberries. Although you could use either fresh or frozen blueberries for this recipe, I chose fresh. Next time, however, I might go with frozen since they are probably smaller and more uniform in size - I found that it was harder to fold in some of the larger, fresh blueberries, and they tended to clump together in batches.
4. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons cake flour over the lemon rind in a bowl, and toss to coat. Sprinkle the lemon rind mixture over the cake batter, and fold in.
5. Spoon the batter into a 10-inch angel food cake pan, spreading evenly. Run a knife through the batter to break up any air pockets. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes - I couldn’t believe (peaking through the window of the oven) how wonderfully puffed in volume my cake became as it baked, and the lovely golden tinge it took on towards the very end.
6.Let it cool in the oven. Pull it out slightly, and if you can, use a knife to skim the sides of the cake and release it from sticking to the pan. Leave it there
7. When the cake is completely cool, sitting in the oven for 30 min if thats how long it takes. CAREFULLY REMOVE IT AND EVEN MORE CAREFULLY PLACE IT IN THE FRIDGE. Leave there for a long time, until the cake seems very firm and very cold to the touch. You could leave it in longer, as long as you need before you want to serve it.
8.Then, take the cake from the fridge. It should fall out on its own. I cannot stress how careful you have to be, so that the cake keeps its form. Then, while the cake is still cool, place it on/ in whatever platter you’re going to serve it in. I put mine in a pretty pie dish because i knew i would be adding strawberries & glaze in and around the cake, kind of like a moat.
9. (optional) sprinkle in powdered sugar for a pretty look!
Semi Sweet Chocolate Covered Strawberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (they should be vegan, but if not buy vegan chips)
A pack medium sized strawberries, there should be about 12 in there.
Additional Options: Coconut or chopped nuts. I left mine plain because we had no coconut and mary carmen can’t have nuts.
-Wash strawberries, leave them whole and with the stem.
-Bring a pot of water to boil. Melt the chocolate chips separately in a metal bowl over the pot. And….done. (If you are finding your chocolate to be too thick when melted, I would suggest adding small amounts of canola oil until you’ve reached your desired consistency)
-Cover a platter with with parchment paper
-Dip strawberries in chocolate. If using an optional addition, roll the just coated strawberries in coconut, nuts, or other favorite topping before it hardens
-Place strawberry on parchment paper and allow to harden. Put them in the fridge and them completely cool. When you are ready, serve!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Taken with Instagram)
(Adapted from a recipe on Oh She Glows!)
Yield: 12-14 large cookies
- 7 tbsp Earth Balance + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or 1/2 cup Earth Balance- see note)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cane sugar (or use white)
- 1 flax egg: (1 tbsp ground flaxed mixed with 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix together the flax egg and set aside.
2. With an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and cane sugar and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Beat in the flax egg.
3. Beat in the remaining ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Shape balls of dough and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes (or up to 14 mins on a Silpat mat). Allow to cool for 5 mins. on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes.
Note 1) For a crispier cookie edge, use 7 tbsp Earth Balance and 1 tbsp olive oil. I preferred cooking them this way. They also spread out a bit more. Alternatively, for a softer cookie, use 1/2 cup Earth Balance and no oil.
Note 2) To retain the crispy factor of the cookies place them in the freezer after cooling in a container or baggie. It was the only method I tried that kept the crispiness of the cookies! Simply thaw on the countertop.
(Taken with Instagram)
Last week I had a total sweet tooth, but it was too late to go out and get something. I remembered a picture on instagram of this british girl who shallow fried a banana as a snack (its actually pretty low calorie) and it got my mouth watering. However, I was in the mood for something wayyyy sweeter; like caramelized candy, if you will. Thus, I used my cooking instinct to create this delectable pan fried & caramelized banana. I served it with pears for a refreshing zing. I add almonds to every meal because I’m obsessed with them and I love the texture they add. Hope you guys enjoy! It takes like 10 minutes or maybe 15, very quick, very easy, and very very very good. OH AND ITS VEGAN
Shallow Fried ( and slightly caramelized) Bananas
what you will need:
- 1 Banana per person.
- Canola oil (Coconut Oil is another option, but I only had olive)
- Cinnamon Sugar (mixed together if you don’t have a pre-mix)
- Powdered Sugar
- Sliced Almonds
- A half a pear
1. Take one banana, if you want a smaller portion cut it half lengthwise.
- 2. Pour the sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll the banana in the bowl until it is coated with sugar.
- 3. Pour the oil (whether it be coconut, olive, or canola) so that it is about a cm high. Pre-heat the pan to medium high. Carefully place the banana in the middle of the pan.
- 4. Saute the banana on one side for approximately 30 to 45 seconds or until the cooked sides are golden brown. The color is the result of caramelized sugar from the sugar coating, as well as the banana’s natural sugar.
- 5. Turn the banana with a spatula and continue cooking for an additional 30 to 45 seconds, again watching for the bananas to cook to a golden brown color.
- 6. While you are waiting for the banana to finish, cut 10 (slightly thin) slices of the pear and create an almost “table runner” on the plate. ( I suppose you could cover the whole plate if you wanted)
- 7. Carefully remove the banana from the skillet with the spatula. Place it on a the pears; let it cool.
- 8. While the pan is hot, but once the banana is cooled to crunchiness, pour the remaining sweet caramelized oil AROUND the banana. Drizzle it slightly on the banana if you’d like. ( you can mix with either maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, or brown sugar if you have an extra sweet tooth or want some texture)
- 9. (optional) Place the rest of the pear on the plate, right in that delicious oil. Sprinkle it with the roasted sliced almonds (walnuts could be great, too) and powdered sugar. I had an extra sweet tooth that day and wanted something on the level of a candy apple, but you do not have to add as much sugar at all.
- Enjoy! (And repeat if serving others)
Did your brain sort of go offline when you had a baby?
When I was pregnant with my eldest I was a lawyer. One of my colleagues informed me that a really bad case of “pregnant woman brain fog,” which she clearly thought I had, meant you were carrying a boy. In her analysis, having a boy made you stupid: “they steal your brain, since males are dumber than females generally, so they need to sap the mother.”
(Meanwhile my secretary was telling me that if “you” — she used a generic “you” but she clearly meant “me” — looked ugly during pregnancy, you were definitely having a girl because, “girls steal your beauty.” I was obviously having a hermaphrodite!)
My childbirth students and the new moms I work with often complain about “brain fog.” It doesn’t happen to everyone and it doesn’t happen the same way for everyone, but it’s common enough that I giggled, reading this piece by Elizabeth Beller, about brain fog, which, for her, continues through breastfeeding, so that for months her mind works like this:
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Breastpump. Full Boobs.
SIDS! SIDS! SIDS! SIDS!
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Air. Sleep. Sleep. Please, for the love of GOD, sleep.
Christ these poor people with small children caught in earthquakes, floods, tornados!! The world is terrifying!!! How can I protect my children?!?
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STARVING!! FRENCH FRIES! POUND CAKE! CHEESEBURGER! ANOTHER CHEESEBURGER! Pound cake. A beer.