vegan french toast.

veganfrenchtoastFrench toast without eggs? How is it so?? Oh, the magic wonders of chickpea flour!
This recipe comes from one of my cooking/baking bibles: Vegan with a Vengeance.

Loaf of italian or french bread, or slices of bread, preferably stale.
1 cup soymilk
2 T corn starch
1/4 cup chickpea flour
Dash of cinnamon

Slice bread into 1 inch rounds, if using loaf bread. Pour the soymilk into a large, shallow bowl. Mix in the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add the chickpea flour and dash of cinnamon until mostly absorbed.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray the pan with a little bit of oil.  Soak the bread slices in the mixture and transfer to the pan. Cook each side about two minutes, or until starting to brown. Serve immediately, topped with bananas, sugar, powdered, sugar, maple syrup, etc! Enjoy!

my 20’s summed up in a shadow box.

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Many many days of my 20’s were spent at the fireside bowl.  It was there that I saw many many bands and shows that will forever be some of my best memories. I don’t have many of the tshirts anymore I collected from these days, but I still have all these buttons that used to be plastered all over my backpack in college. Now, they just sit in a drawer, collecting dust. I picked up a shadow box at ikea for $9.99 this weekend and hot glued them to a piece of cardstock. Now I have a way to display them and remember the good times!

sunburst painting.

sunburst Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetsunburst2

Milo had been gifted with some new watercolors from santa this past christmas so I scoured pinterest to find some uses for them. I came across these DIY Sunburst paintings and I thought this could be a fun little project for him.  When I showed it to him, he frowned and said “oh, that’s hard.” But then I told him its kind of just like coloring in the lines, but with paint! He agreed to work on one and we went to town on it.

I took a look at the drawing on the blog, and tried to replicate something like that using a pencil. I outlined the edge with washi tape, so he didn’t paint onto the table. Our version is a bit bigger than the ones she made because I thought it would be easier for Milo to paint.  I showed him how to use the watercolors and how to paint within the lines. We had fun picking all the colors and seeing how the blend together. The blending part was VERY cool to him!

We let it dry, then I erased all the pencil lines and removed the washi tape.  I hung it up with milo’s other works of art – and every time I would pass it I would smile…After one day of staring at it, I knew it needed a frame. This was too pretty!  Now its hanging in our kitchen and I’m super proud of my little guy’s beautiful painting.  I definitely see some more of these in our future.

peanut butter banana yeast bread.

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You had me at peanut butter and banana. Baked into a bread?! Is there any better way to eat toast than with peanut butter and banana? This is going to be so great for breakfast. Or as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Oooh, or as french toast possibly?!
This also was great because it doesn’t call for too many ingredients, and for a raised bread recipe, the resting time was pretty short!  I found the recipe here.

  • 1 cup warm tap water
  • 2 1/4 t active dry yeast
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour (+ more as needed)
  • heaping 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk the water, yeast, and sugar together. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add  yeast mixture and knead with the dough hook until the bowl is clean. If the dough is sticky, (mine was) add more flour a tablespoon at a time ( I had to keep adding to mine quite a bit) until well-mixed, pliable, and lovely.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise for 45-60 minutes. Transfer to a greased bread pan and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until the loaf is just peaking over the sides.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325F. Bake bread for 35-45 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped and is nice and dark on top. Remove from pan and cool completely. Slice and serve toasted with more peanut butter and bananas or simply butter, honey, and sea salt.

hot pink juice.

juice
I wrapped up this valentines weekend with a hot pink juice. It was delicious!

1 grapefruit
2-3 carrots
2 apples
1 small beet

juice and enjoy!

*update! I made this juice AGAIN last night and subbed an orange for the grapefruit. YUUUUM. right amount of sweetness.
this time I did 1 apple, 1 orange, 1/2 a beet and 3 carrots. Perfect for one post-work out serving.

pop tarts.

poptarts
My child LOVES pop tarts. He’s never had an actual REAL pop tart, for the fear this would blow his mind and it would be ALL he wanted to eat (plus, I think they may have milk in them?). He has had the  organic kind we find at trader joes, and the unfrosted ones are vegan. These are his favorite breakfast ever. If he could have chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of mickey mouse with extra chocolate chips and tons of soy-whip, or pop tarts – the kid would DEFINITELY pick the pop tarts. He wants pop tarts as soon as he wakes up, he wants them for dinner, he wants them AFTER dinner. He’s pop tart crazy. Just because these are organic and from trader joes though, DOES NOT necessarily mean these are good for him. They are loaded with sugar.  I dont think they are the most terrible thing for him to eat, but after eating two pop tarts thats about 40 grams of sugar. EEEK.

One friday night i was feeling adventurous so I thought I’d take a stab at making some of my own pop tarts and see what he thinks of these.  I scoured the internet and found many recipes – but went with smitten kitchen since she’s a pretty reliable source of good recipes. I followed this recipe here. Im not sure these are any lower in sugar, BUT at least I had some control over what exactly went into them.

I made apricot and blackberry flavored pop tarts and I got alot of flack on instagram for not putting frosting on them! I did sprinkle the tops with sugar – two hours of making pop tarts left me tired – I had no energy for frosting this time around. Plus, I was trying to keep these on the healthier side.  There will be frosting next time.

Milo really really enjoyed these. I dont particularly think they tasted like pop tarts – more like pop-pastry or mini hand pies. However, he didn’t really know the difference and at least all that hard work got appreciated and enjoyed!

Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks earth balance
1 egg replacer ( I used the powdered kind)
2 T almond milk

additional almond milk to brush on pastry

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

for the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender until small lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk the egg replacer and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half,  shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″.Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Brush the dough with a little bit of almond milk. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the almond milk is to help the top piece adhere. Place a heaping tablespoon or so of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a toothpick; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

funfetti cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

funfetti
Its no secret that I love sprinkles on my cupcakes! So its an added bonus when there are sprinkles IN my cupcakes!

For these cupcakes, you can use your favorite vanilla cake recipe. Mine comes from Vegan cupcakes take over the world.
Right before you are done mixing, dump in a bunch of sprinkles to the batter. Bake as usual.

While the cupcakes are baking, and then cooling – you can make your frosting. This strawberry frosting is so good! The strawberries give it a hint of berry flavor, and a lovely light pink color. Of course when you are done, you want to top with MORE SPRINKLES!

I found the recipe here for the frosting.  It’s Sprinkle’s cupcakes recipe. Now only if I could learn to make my frosting look like theirs….

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) earth balance, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractPlace strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

valentines day paper crafts.

valentines
Taking some inspiration from pinterest, Milo and I made these valentines paper crafts during a case of cabin fever. I did the cutting, he did the gluing.

jedi valentines.

jedi

Valentines day is a week away! But we got a head start on making these valentines for Milo’s class.  I found a template online here; but being the design-nerd I used that as my starting point and created my own. I just cut out the jedi guy and pasted into my own template in Illustrator, then used this font to type out the message. I put four on a 8.x5x11 page, print and cut them out. We found the glowsticks at target in the dollar section. I cut a hole with my x-acto blade to accomodate for the glow stick and use a piece of washi tape on the backside to hold it down.  We put these in a little gift bag (also from the dollar section at target) with some fruit snacks and now Milo has a sweet little, homeade valentine to give to all his friends!

veggie udon noodle soup.

udon

The cold weather has me craving some hot veggie noodle soup! One of my favorite meals in the winter is the udon noodle soup at  at Tokyo Lunchbox; so I tried using what I had on hand to come up with something…My son LOVED this recipe and ate every last bite (as did my husband and I!)

here’s what you need:

2 bundles of dried udon noodles

Broth:
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 vegetarian bullion cube
2-3 T miso paste (i used yellow miso)
1 tspn minced ginger or ginger paste
1/4 cup soy sauce

vegetables such as
carrots
brocolli
spinach
zuchinni
green onions

tofu

First prepare your tofu. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice tofu into about 1 inch thick strips and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes and then flip, baking for about 10 minutes more. When cooled, cut into 1 inch squares. Set aside.

Clean and chop all of your veggies; set aside.

Prepare your udon noodles according to package directions; set aside.

Put all of your ingredients for the broth into a big stockpot and add the chopped carrots; Bring to a boil and then sort of simmer – after about 10 minutes add the zuchinni and green onions.  After about 5 minutes or so, add the tofu – and right before serving toss in the noodles, broccoli and spinach until the spinach is blanched (about 2 minutes or so – you dont want mushy brocolli)

Ladle into bowls and serve with Japanese seven spice to give it a little heat!