Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Blondies a La Mode with Salted Caramel Sauce

The former newbie vegan that I once was, believed that vegan caramel was a myth, sort of like unicorns or gremlins. However, the seasoned vegan that I am presently, who has weathered out the storm of the first vegan foods - which let me tell you, were much different than the cruelty-free delicacies that we enjoy today - continues to be amazed by the fact that anything is vegan-possible. I continue to create recipes that not only shock my non-vegan friends and family, but also even surprise myself sometimes...pleasantly of course.

The other day I made a delicious pumpkin bread that was really screaming "I am more like a blondie!" So, a pumpkin blondie it is. It isn't super sweet, but the ice cream and salted caramel sauce takes care of that brilliantly. When this dessert is devoured as a whole, the warm pumpkin blondie, the scoop of creamy ice cream melting slightly on top, and the caramel sauce, feels like heaven in your mouth. You'll see.

Pumpkin Blondies a la mode with Salted Caramel Sauce

What you'll need:

Pumpkin Blondies:

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegan milk (I used vanilla soymilk)
1/3 cup vegan butter, softened
2 tsp Vegg egg replacer mixed with 1/2 cup water OR vegan equivalent of 2 eggs

Ice Cream:

Scoop of vanilla vegan ice cream of your choice. I used So Delicious creamy vanilla and it was perfection in this recipe.

Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp creamy almond butter
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Dash of fine sea salt (or more to taste)

What to do:

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, dump all of the blondies ingredients in and mix. Let's not make things difficult on ourselves. Pour the batter into a greased pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.

While blondies are baking, make your caramel sauce by heating all of the ingredients in a small saucepan on low, stirring constantly, then let cool.

When blondies are done baking, allow them to cool enough to handle, then turn pan over onto a plate, and cut into whatever shape you like. I cut them into circles, just slightly bigger than my ice cream scoop.

Scoop ice cream on top of blondie piece. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Eat and enjoy!

Enjoyed these with the kiddo...and she LOVED them just as much as I did!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Copycat Vegan Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins!

Just in time for fall! Haha, I know we have a couple of months until we start officially baking like this, however since I perfected the recipe for you, you no longer have to spend your summer trying to figure this one out.

Yes, those delectable Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins that you might have spotted during your coffee run, can now be enjoyed by your vegan self, in the comfort of your own home. Just follow this copycat recipe and enjoy making (and eating!) these delicious muffins all year long.

8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
Egg substitute for 2 eggs (I used 2 tsp Vegg with 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup milk
2 scant tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pepitas (optional)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners. In a small bowl, place your first 3 ingredients and let them sit to allow cream cheese to soften. Then in a large bowl, mix your wet ingredients. Then begin adding your dry ingredients (up to the flour) to the mixture, stirring slowly. Fill muffin cups evenly. Make a small well with the backside of a spoon, in the center of your muffins. Then mix your cream cheese filling, that should now be softer, and dollop some in the center wells of the muffin batters. Sprinkle some of your pepitas around the top of the muffin. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean when poked. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Let's Share Kids Stories Online!

So, I thought of a pretty neat idea. Let's make videos of us reading our favorite kiddo books with our wee ones, and post them on YouTube. That way, we have a community, and essentially a library, of children's books to watch with our kids when our very own selection seems to be getting stale. That way our children can have the luxury of hearing all types of stories, from all around the world.

My daughter has quite the collection of books, so I will start posting videos of us reading them. Please do the same!

I will try my best to tame my Italian accent. However, I will not hold back on the sillies! Silliness is simply the best.

If you aren't a parent, you can still participate. Just record yourself reading a favorite from when you were a child.

Can't wait to see these videos! Cheers!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Breakfast Banana Bites: Toddler Approved!

Any parent knows that getting a toddler to eat, especially around that molar-teething phase, is a full time job in itself. If you have a toddler like mine, who yells "cupcake!" in poo-poo protest of my delicious and nutritious full course meals that I serve, you have to get inventive. I am betting that you'll appreciate this recipe for banana bites.

These breakfast bites are not just for kids... and not just for breakfast either. You can make these anytime, for anyone. Dipped in warm maple syrup, they are a delightful addition to your day. Toddler and mama approved!

What you will need:

  • 2 large bananas 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I used Target's brand this time)
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan milk (I used Very Vanilla flavored soy)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To garnish and dipping:
  • vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • pure maple syrup

What you will need to do:

Slice your bananas in long horizontal slices, try to keep them thick enough to handle without breaking, but thin enough to warm nicely, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Then make your batter by mixing the rest of the ingredients.

Dip your banana slices into the batter and place on your preheated griddle. Grill each side for about 1 minute, or until you see tiny bubbles in the batter.

Keep doing that until all of your banana slices and batter are gone. Butter your bites when they come off the griddle and place them onto a plate while you're doing this. Once you are finished griddling, warm up some maple syrup for dipping.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Amazing 4 Ingredient Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

The concept of peanut butter cookies has always baffled me. You know, the true flourless peanut butter cookies that you probably made in home ec. class when you were a kid. Not only did the recipe perplex me then, but even more so as a vegan. Now I understand that eggs played an important role in that recipe from home economics.

When we were challenged to perfect the recipe for eggless, flourless, 4 ingredient, vegan peanut butter cookies, we jumped at the chance, as well as added chocolate chip cookies. Peanut butter is awesome... combined with chocolate, it is perfection.

You must try this vegan cookie recipe. It is life-changing. Plus, you won't believe that there isn't flour involved and that this took just 4 ingredients. We still can't believe it, as we are eating the entire batch right now!

What you'll need:

- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 vegan "egg" equivalent (we used Vegg)
- 3/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips

What you'll need to do:

Preheat oven 350°. Combine all ingredients. Form into balls using 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. Place dough balls on greased cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12- 15 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown, firm, and no longer doughy. Let cool then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

You are VERY welcome ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vegan Blueberry Brown Sugar Coconut Muffins Recipe

Blueberry Brown Sugar Coconut Muffins

What you will need:

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup shredded coconut

What you will need to do:

Preheat oven 400°. Line 12 spots in a muffin pan with liner cups. Combine first 3, dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine next three (wet) ingredients. Combine both dry and wet ingredients, then fold in blueberries and coconut. Divide batter evenly among 12 spots in muffin pan. Bake for 20- 30 minutes, or until toothpick can be inserted and come out cleanly. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

#CheersTo a Zevia Holiday Cocktail! Grown-up Root Beer Float!

Oh the relatives. The non-vegan, judgmental, close-minded, in yo' business, relatives. Yes, the personal question askin', intrusive, "are you married yet - why don't you have kids yet - are you pregnant right now (that explains your bloated face) - why aren't you having more kids yet - how many kids are you having in total - why are you still breastfeeding" inquiring relatives. Yep, its enough to make your let-it-snow, merrily merrily, holiday season want to come to a screeching ho-ho halt! Well, what if I were to tell you that it doesn't have to bother you? That's right, it doesn't have to bug you one bit! There is a super potion designed specifically for handling these pesky people that you have no choice but to deal with for eternity. It is called alcohol!

DASHING DISCLAIMER: Do not read this article if you are under 21 years of age! That's right kiddo! Get the heck off my website right now and go play with your Barbies before life takes a hold of you and makes you pay taxes, and bills, and makes you darn tired. Don't worry about alcohol just yet. You will have plenty of time for it when you actually will need it. You probably even still like your relatives at this point. Oh wait, life adds in in-laws too. Yeah, it gets worse.

With all this being said, you can't just drink yourself silly and drink plain alcohol all alone; that would make you an alcoholic. So, instead we cleverly disguise these wonderful elixirs with holly jolly names and themes. Without further ado, here is my first Zevia #CheersTo holiday drink for 2014! My theme will be #CheersTo tolerating our relatives this year and every year!

Grown-up Zevia Ginger Root Beer Float with Sugary Ginger Rim

Here's what you will need to create this masterpiece!

-2 tbsp colored sugar
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1 can of Zevia Ginger Root Beer
-1 ounce vanilla vodka
-1 heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream (I used So Delicious coconut milk ice cream in Vanilla Bean flavor)

Here's what you will need to do!

Choose your favorite cocktail glass. Mix together colored sugar (in the color of your choice - I used a sparkly green here) and ground ginger on a plate. Wet the top of the rim of your glass, then twirl the rim of it in the sugary ginger mixture. Set glass down. Fill glass with crushed ice. In a separate cocktail shaker, pour 1 can Zevia Ginger Root Beer, 1 ounce vanilla flavored vodka, then give it a gentle swirl. Carefully pour your cocktail into your sugared rim glass. Top with a heaping scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

*Please drink responsibly - don't ruin it*

Stay tuned for more #CheersTo Zevia drink recipes!

#CheersTo Zevia... the official way to make drinks and not feel like a fat ass feel guilt-free!