Hey everyone! I'm in such a great mood today! I had so much fun bringing my friend Jen and her sister Regina to the Vegan Yacht
yesterday. They seemed to really enjoy it, too, which is far more important than my level of fun-ness. I got to meet Regina's new puppy, too. He's a sweetie. Jen also went with me to pick up my camera from UPS! Woo hoo! It's awesome, by the way.
Very different from the old SLR, though. It'll definitely take some getting used to. For instance, when I set up my studio space to take these pictures, I took my glasses off out of habit... The new camera has an LCD display instead of a viewfinder. Glasses friendly. Neat. It works really well in low light, too, which means I could probably bring it with me out to dinner and be able to take pictures with it instead of my phone! We'll see. But I've only had it since yesterday afternoon and I already feel like it was worth the $300 I spent on it
Now all I have to do is get better lighting equipment...
Anyway, I'm sure you're here for recipes and not photography talk! Today I decided to come up with a recipe for my next book
, Vegan Gifts In A Jar
. I like molasses a lot and wanted to have some sort of molasses cookie recipe in the book. I wanted it to have a twist, though, so in addition to having a lovely molasses flavor, these little gems also have chocolate
in them! And some spices. They're definitely a unique flavor that I've never had before and I love them dearly. I hope you do, too.
When I first popped some of the dough into my mouth for a taste test, visions of an old-fashioned general store came to mind. Or a grandmother's house- full of hospitality! Molasses just reminds me of Americana and bluegrass. I don't know why! Moving on...
As mentioned, this recipe will be in my book Vegan Gifts In A Jar.
Now, this is just the recipe. I'll be adding instructions on how to make it a "gift in a jar" later on. Enjoy eating them in the meantime!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup vegan butter
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons soymilk
Soften your butter, either by leaving it out or by cutting it into a few pieces and microwaving it at 70 percent powder for 45 seconds. Combine the softened butter with the molasses, vanilla, and milk until you reach a creamy, peanut buttery consistency.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well. You will have a very dense dough that keeps its shape when rolled but doesn't crumble when smooshed!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spoon dough, one tablespoon at a time, rolling it into a ball in your hands and flattening it with your palm on the cookie sheet. If desired, roll each dough ball in powdered sugar first, or use a fork to make criss-crosses on the tops of each once they're flattened.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly firmed to the touch. Let cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Makes approximately 16 cookies.
Check out these other recipes!
Chris and I went out for sundaes on Sunday again this weekend. I've been working nights after the store closes doing fun things involving merchandise and signs. I don't get a lot of time off on weekends (or in the evenings) and I try to make a point of spending whatever time I can with her when I am able. Sweet Ritual
's special flavor for the week was "green tea" and the sundae they concocted for it was called the "Mt. Fuji." It was a green tea ice cream base topped with toasted coconut, crumbled Oreo cookies and graham crackers, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Really good. The green tea flavor was really mild and enjoyable; I hadn't had such a flavor for ice cream before and wasn't sure what to expect. What should you expect from green tea ice cream? Awesomeness, I guess!
I didn't have any culinary adventures since our last posting. I came down with a cold Thursday night and have been suffering laboriously over it since then. I haven't needed to take any medicine for it since Sunday night and am feeling much better, but still find myself needing a tissue now and then. Yuck! I'm the only one I know that consistently gets a cold in the summer in Texas. Must be lucky.
Chris made a very tasty dessert last night inspired by Jaques Pepin after watching one of his shows on PBS. She sliced up a pineapple and marinated it in coconut rum and agave nectar. It was really pretty good! The coconut flavor wasn't overbearing (she said she couldn't taste it at all, though I could) and the extra sweet offset the sometimes tart reaction one can have toward fresh pineapple. Fruit soaked in booze is always good, though, which reminds me that I still haven't shared Aunt Vanna's recipe for berries in Grand Marnier...
I'll be picking up my new camera from the UPS customer care center today. It's a long story, but I'm glad to finally be able to get it in my snap happy little hands! I wonder if it takes the same battery as my old camera- I should check. I'll be having lunch with my friend Jen and her sister Regina, who just moved to Austin and is also a vegan. She visited last August and I spent an afternoon taking her senior portraits with Jen and her other sister Charlotte before having lunch at Canoli Joe's
(which has a surprisingly diverse vegan menu!). I'm not sure where we'll be going, but it'll be fun nonetheless.
And finally, I found a really cool website that I'm excited to tell you about! Velvet Aroma
is like Pinterest
but for food and food blogs. When you sign up, you have tabs for reading, cooking, and exploring. You can add feeds from food blogs you love and read them on your Read tab. Cool! The Cook tab is where you save recipes into cookbooks or collections for future use. And with the Explore tab, you can find new and exciting recipes to try or blogs to follow by searching different categories. If you'd like to sign up, you can add me and the lizz delicious blog to your Read tab by visiting our profile page here
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!
Now, how about a recipe?
I spent many, many hours in the kitchen yesterday. I started with dehydrating some apples. From there, I moved on to attempting to make three different things, none of which turned out very good. It was awful; never have I had so many failures in one day. I made spiced nuts and green chai tea mix, which are recipes I'm developing for my next book
, Vegan Gifts In A Jar.
The nuts were just about as flavorful as they were without anything on them at all and my green tea leaves ended up being infused with jasmine, which overpowered all of the other flavors in the chai. Ick! After that, I attempted to make a recipe for a gluten-free flatbread with which to eat burgers that evening. I didn't have all the right ingredients and, without genuine surprise, I ended up with crumbs instead of bread.
But after that, things improved a little. I made quinoa veggie burgers- nothing special, but definitely edible. Too time consuming to recommend you make them, though, and, like I said, they really weren't all that great. I think I'll be sticking with bean based burgers from here on out. Definitely easier to make, and tastier, too. And I have a couple of extra cans of chickpeas in the pantry already! Woo hoo!
The one and only fantastic
success of the day were the gluten-free biscuits I made to go with our burger patties. I found the recipe on Whole New Mom. Both Chris and I were pleased with the results- the biscuits were flavorful and they did not crumble like so many other types of gluten-free baked goods. We didn't try slicing them in half, but I imagine it just might work if I tried... We used them like
buns (see above) if you were to have an open-faced burger or sandwich. They were easy to make, too. So, without further ado, here's the recipe.Adapted from Whole New Mom's "Quick Drop Biscuits."INGREDIENTS
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 cup corn flour (I used masa harina)
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
6 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oilDIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil two cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Add the 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar to a glass measuring cup. On top of the vinegar, fill to the 2 cup line with soymilk. Let curdle, then add the 3 tablespoons oil. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl because you could have pockets of flours still hiding down there!
Separate the dough into 8 dollops onto the cookie sheets and shape into thick, round biscuits. Alternatively, you can make smaller biscuits. I like to call the ones I made "meal sized" (they'd be great with butter or jam for breakfast!).
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Check with a toothpick to ensure they've baked through.
Makes 8 large biscuits or up to 20 small ones.
There they are, in the distance.... Hahaha.
In other news, my new camera seems to be taking a tour of the midwest. Its estimated delivery date is the 24th. I don't know if you can see it from the pictures above, but I'm having more and more trouble with my current SLR. I've also been contemplating pushing my self-imposed publishing deadlines for Vegan Gifts In A Jar and Vegan Cake Truffles back 1 or 2 months considering all of the difficulty I've been having with recipe development. I don't want to, but I would rather present a great product than and okay one that suffered due to time constraints. I guess we'll see...
Thanks for reading!
Oh! How about dessert?
Happy Tuesday everyone!
This little post is made to announce the winner of the Bare Fruit Giveaway I've been hosting. First of all, I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who entered- this was, by far, my most popular giveaway. Bare Fruit
themselves were a huge help getting word out in addition to offering such an amazing price (a case of their wonderful products!).
Even if you aren't a winner, you should go grab a bag of these chips and enjoy. They're phenomenal.
But, without further ado, the winner of the case of chips is JAMIE P
!! Wow, Jamie. You are quite possibly the luckiest person I know. I've already sent you an email requesting your address. Your winnings will be sent to you directly from Bare Fruit!
For a recap of the contest, and to see the snazzy Rafflecopter widget displaying the winner's name, click here
Again, thank you everyone. I wish I had more prizes to give out! :( But another giveaway will be coming in August, so don't fret!
Be on the lookout tomorrow for a post about my burger making adventures I'll be having today...
Now, how about a recipe?
Rabbit Hole Sundae
There is definitely something to be said about Austin and its restaurants. Even vegans can choose from eats including barbecue, Mexican, Chinese, and Indian. There are even establishments devoted entirely to vegan baked goods and sweets!Sweet Ritual
is one such place. Located inside of the Daily Juice
, the vegan ice cream parlour serves soft serve in two flavors each week with an abundance of toppings and special themed sundaes.
I first learned about this wonderful little place online after their first Kickstarter funding project. I waited and waited and waited for them to open but didn't even make it down to their location prior to the Texas VegFest
in March this year. Little did I know what I was missing out on!
Sweet Ritual's vegan soft serve tastes like nothing else. It, quite simply, blows any packaged vegan ice cream out of the water. You want caramel sauce that tastes as good as the "real" thing? Sweet Ritual has it. Vegan donut holes and marshmallows on top. Yes, please!
My favorite sundae thus far has been the Rabbit Hole made with white coffee ice cream, vegan donut holes, and raspberry sauce. Amazing! Chris was more than pleased with her After School Special which has raspberry and peanut butter sauces with Spanish peanuts (pictured below).
The After School Special
She's So Sweet Mother's Day Sundae
The strawberry soft serve they offered during Mother's Day week was exquisite, too. And marshmallows as a topping really are the best thing ever.
In addition to soft serve cones and sundaes, Sweet Ritual also offers shakes, like the "Not-Tella" and "Faux Butterfinger."
If you're in the mood for a specialty coffee beverage, your options include, but are not limited to, a "Creamy Coconut Latte," "Lavender Mocha," or "Affogato."
Various toppings include gummy worms, Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, and Chick -o- Sticks. You can get chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry, and even lavender sauces and syrups as well!
Their menu changes mid-week, though they always have vanilla on tap. The best way to keep up with what they've got is to follow them on Facebook
Open Monday through Friday 12-10 and Saturday and Sunday from 10-10, Sweet Ritual is the perfect spot for a delicious vegan snack. Start off with a vibrantly healthy juice or smoothie from the Daily Juice counter before your treat and you've got yourself a complete meal.
If you're not from Austin but are planning a visit, you should definitely make a trip. You won't be disappointed!
Hello, and welcome to my culinary adventure of this weekend!
My dear-ole-dad gave me an Amazon gift card for my birthday in June. After much debate, I decided to spend it on supplies for my next cookbook
, Vegan Gifts In A Jar.
I purchased a few things, like a shortbread mold, as well as dried culinary lavender. The 8-ounce bag I purchased
only cost me a little over $6. I didn't realize how much 8 ounces actually was until I got the bag in the mail. For lavender, it's a lot! It's going to take me a long time to go through it, especially considering I'll probably only use a few teaspoons at a time, making whatever it is I'm making.
I knew one of the tasty edibles I was going to make with it would be lavender lemonade, but I asked my Facebook
followers for feedback and my long-time friend Abby recommended I make some ice cream with it. That sounded great to me! And then
I saw my favorite ice cream parlor, Sweet Ritual
, posting about a "Lavender Mocha" they sell at their shop and knew I had to combine the two.
If you aren't familiar with using lavender in food it could be an acquired taste for you. On the other hand, though, if you've ever used herbs de Provence you might be surprised to find that lavender is one of the herbs used in the mix. Lavender has the potential to be very flowery in flavor if used in abundance. When combined with other flavors, however, it can become subdued and subtle or accentuate the taste of another ingredient. Lavender in lemonade tastes completely different
than lavender in chocolate or in a sauce.
So I set about making my ice cream, taste testing it along the way. And I was genuinely surprised by the final outcome...
This creamy concoction has a rich, chocolate base. The coffee and lavender flavors are subtle; with one bite the lavender takes center stage while in the next the coffee brings the chocolate into the spotlight.
Paired with a nice, crisp cookie, the three distinct flavors combine for an old-fashioned, country table sort of experience.
I really am so genuinely pleased with the results. Perhaps you should have a go!INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons ground coffee
1 cup water
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
3/4 cups soymilk
1/4 cup soymilk
2 cups plain soy creamer
2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender (I purchased mine here
3 ounces (usually three squares) of semisweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/4 cup agave nectarDIRECTIONS
Bring the 1 cup water to a boil. Add the coffee grounds to a French press and pour the boiling water over them. Let steep for five minutes. Pour coffee from the French press into a medium sized saucepan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cups soymilk and 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder. Save for later.
Add the 1/4 cup soymilk and the 2 cups soy creamer to the medium sized saucepan. Place the lavender in a tea ball
and add to the saucepan. Heat the soy and coffee mixture over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Lower to medium heat, making sure it is still bubbling. Let the lavender steep in the mixture for five minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent your milk from burning.
Remove the tea ball and discard the lavender. Add the chocolate, agave and vanilla to the saucepan and stir for 3 minutes until the chocolate has melted and everything is thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and add your arrowroot and milk mixture, whisking one more time before adding it. Stir well.
Let the mixture cool completely before churning according to your ice cream maker's instructions. I usually let mine sit in the freezer on a potholder for 1 hour before whisking it well again and adding it to my Cuisinart
. You can also cool it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, though I've found it works best in the freezer.
After the ice cream has churned, transfer it to an airtight container and let freeze for another 2 hours before serving.
Makes approximately 1 quart.
Thanks for reading!
You might like these pages, too.
A couple weeks ago, my long-time friend Jennifer texted me allllll the way from New Hampshire where she was visiting. It was her little sister's high school graduation and she needed help making vegan cupcakes. Now, I've known Jen since... 1994? Eek, that's almost twenty years
... So, yes, of course, I was going to help her figure something out.
I emailed Jen two recipes, one for chocolate and the other for vanilla cupcakes. After some consideration, she decided she wanted to make her sister cherry vanilla cupcakes and I gave her some recommendations on how to do it using my "Best Ever Vanilla Cupcake"
When she had returned to Austin, Jen told me all about what she did. I love feedback! And I had to try them out for myself.
I wasn't going to do so so quickly, but when I went to HEB last week the impulse buy at the register just happened to be cherries; they were only $1.77 per pound! Had to do it.
So, here's what I did. It's a little different than what Jen did, but I think they turned out really awesome just the same. The cupcake is sweet with little pops of tart cherry goodness. They're even excellent without frosting- like a super sweet cherry muffin!INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (or brown sugar)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup soymilk
1/4 cup Cheribundi tart cherry juice
1 cup chopped cherries, pits and stems removed
1 teaspoon each
vanilla and almond extractDIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients well. Add your liquid ingredients and cherries and mix until thoroughly combined. Line your cupcake pan with your wrappers. Use your favorite method for transferring batter to the cupcake foils. I filled mine almost all the way; there was just about 3/8 inch or 1/4 inch of space left in the cup.
Bake on the center wrack for approximately 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes or 15-17 minutes for full sized ones. I did mine for 20 and they got a bit sticky on the outside. Test the batter by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out "clean" without any dough on it, the cupcakes are baked all the way through. If not, bake for 2-3 minutes more and check again.
Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. They'll still be a bit warm so be careful! Let them cool COMPLETELY before attempting to frost. Even slightly warm cupcakes will make frosting separate and/or run.
Use your favorite frosting recipe or a storebought variety. The recipe I used is from the delightfully famous cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
You can find the recipe on CHOW by clicking here
I'm going to continue experimenting with cherry cupcakes. I feel cherry cupcake perfection coming ever closer...NOTE:
Don't forget about my current giveaway where you can win a CASE of Bare Fruit apple chips!! Click here
to enter! The deadline is July 17th.
Want to see more recipes? Pick a category!
Hey everyone! I hope you're all doing well. I know I am! Last night I made cherry cupcakes and had dinner and a movie. Whee! Brave
was great; it made me want to explore my Celtic heritage. Seems like a nice hobby!
In the meantime, though, I wanted to tell you about this month's giveaway! Yep, I'm going to try to have a giveaway every month
. Neat, huh? What I had actually planned for this month is getting pushed back to next month, because the awesome folks at Bare Fruit
emailed me last week asking me if I wanted a bag of their Cinnamon Apple Chips to try.
I did some research about the company; they only source US grown fruit and have 100% organic products. That's pretty stellar just on its own. Their apple chips come in different "flavors" - Fuji Apple, Granny Smith, and Cinnamon Apple. They also sell packaged dried cherries, mangos, and pears. You can order everything online, too! And their website is really cute.
My package arrived on Thursday but I didn't open it until yesterday. I was surprised to find that the bag was nearly full of apple chips. It wasn't like potato chips where half of the bag is filled with air. The bag is also resealable! Check out how you open the bag. It's cool. And look, some of the chips even still have the peel on them!
The apple chips are flavorful, sweet with just a hint of cinnamon. Remember, there are no added sugars- the sweetness comes from the apples! And the texture is wonderful. The chips are crisp but not hard. It really is like eating the potato chip version of some apples.
So, when I told my contact at Bare Fruit about how much I liked their chips she told me they would love to give one of my readers a case of apple chips in celebration! She also told me that they would like to have more Facebook fans, so that's going to be one of the ways you'll have to enter.
Once again, the Rafflecopter machine! Please remember, follow the instructions. In order to enter, you must use the Rafflecopter widget below. Login or register with the widget, leave a comment on this blog post, and click each button on the widget that says "Enter". You must also participate in ALL of the first three tasks. The fourth is optional but will gain you +3 more entries! Finally, when you're finished completing each task, please check under the "Entries" tab for your name. Note, entering may not work on mobile devices! You have until 7/17/12 to enter. All you're required to do is comment on this blog post (that's how I'll get your email so I can contact you if you win), Like Bare Fruit on Facebook, and Like lizz delicious on Facebook. The final and optional task is to share my giveaway post on Facebook. But you MUST use the widget in order to enter. It is essentially how you put your tickets in the hat I'm pulling your name from! Thanks for reading everyone, and good luck!
EDIT: There is still some confusion on how to enter. Please read the revised final paragraph and ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED by using the Rafflecopter widget above. Thank you!
I have a confession to make; I never spend more than two hours on a homemade pasta sauce. Gasp! I've been regaled with stories from friends and family about how grandma used to spend all day making hers, simmering it down on the stove for hours, adding this or that every hour or so in order to make it perfect.
And while I'm sure grandma's sauce was tasty, I still can't bring myself to spend that much time on one dish. Maybe I'm not as old-fashioned as you might think! My mason jar collection and closet full of yarn could argue, but I digress.
Even though I have a pretty standard sauce recipe I rely on I do like mixing the ingredients up now and then. I made this "Summertime Sauce," with basil and green pepper, a few weeks ago. It was really, very tasty and I think you should try it. Excellent for summertime, especially if you have home grown peppers or basil you can use!
2 28-ounce cans plain tomato sauce
1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 shallots, peeled and diced
1-2 ounces (approximately 3 springs) fresh basil, chopped or minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of powdered cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Warm the olive oil in a large pot. Add the diced peppers and shallots and saute until they begin to soften. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 45-90 minutes or until you have reached your desired consistency. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Let me know if you like it!
Would you like to see more? Pick one!
Happy Fourth of July, fellow Americans! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. And I hope all of my non-American readers enjoyed their Wednesday. Yay!
Chris and I decided to visit Wheatsville Co-op to see what they had for gluten-free vegan breads and things. There wasn't a lack of gluten-free vegan quickbreads and cookies, but no yeast breads to speak of. Alas. We ordered a couple of sandwiches from their deli which were really enjoyable. I forgot my phone, though, and have no pictures to share with you.
I made Field Roast "Frankfurters" for dinner. This brand makes excellent meat substitutes. I am also fond of their "Apple" sausages. Fresh watermelon on the side! And I tried adding a bit of amaretto to my ginger ale and that was fun!
I watched PBS's 4th of July program with fireworks and other forms of patriotism. And I'll probably watch CBS's program next.
But in the meantime, my friend Amy
nominated me for the Ms. Sparkly's Ten Commandments
blog award. I don't know what the 10 commandments the award refer to, but it made me happy to be acknowledged for my efforts and wanted to respect that by answering the questions associated with being nominated. So, here goes.
*Describe yourself in 7 words:
Creative, culinary, instinctual, polite, strange, earthy, and ambitious.
*What keeps you up at night?
Thinking about the future, optimism, hoping for a better life and the excitement that things might work out.
*Whom would you like to be?
Me at my fullest potential!
*What am I wearing right now?
A magenta skirt, blue bandana, and this
Star Wars t-shirt.
*What scares you?
Being discriminated against, the thought of my doggie running away, car accidents, being robbed. This is a grim question! Lol.
*What are the best and worst things about blogging?
The best thing about blogging is being able to share what I love with others who I have things in common with. It gives me a creative outlet and is providing me with a chance to find another career path. I've struggled to find my way in life and I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep growing the lizz delicious blog as well as my ability to brand and market my efforts. I don't know that there's something "worst" about it, but it can definitely be time consuming. It is becoming a bit challenging, too, because my camera needs to be replaced...
*Slankets, yes or no?
We don't have Slankets in the US but we have Snuggies. I am officially CON. Fleece and I do not mix. Thank you, static electricity.
*Tell us something about the person who nominated you.
Amy is just lovely. She is from Ireland and I have known her for a long time. She has a beautiful voice and is a joy to spend time with. I have only been in her company once, but I have never stopped following her activities online. She inspires me to be more crafty!
*My next step in this award is to nominate 10 others.
Unfortunately, I don't have 10 other people to nominate! I don't have many blog-friends, but I do read a handful of them, so here are a couple of my favorites.
- Bittersweet - Author Hannah Kaminsky's delightful blog full of vegan sweetness.
- Lone Star Plate - An excellent resource for Texas vegans covering restaurant and events.
- Posie Gets Cozy - A blog by the very crafty Alicia Paulsen.
- Red Hot Vegans - Like Lone Star Plate but Austin-centric.
I read a lot of other blogs, but those are a few real good ones :-)