Happy Anniversary To My Husband

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Tomorrow is my 6th anniversary, which means my husband and I have been together about 10.5 years! In that time we have lived in 6 different states, countless houses, tents, and trailers, bought and sold one house, changed jobs about a million times, had two children, and are now preparing to move across the country again! It’s been fun, and I can’t wait to keep living the dream with my amazing, thoughtful, compassionate, hard working, incredible father of  a husband. I love you Aspen Gone Wild.

To celebrate I’m making a short list of my husband’s favorites, and maybe, if he’s lucky, I’ll make one for him in the next few weeks:) This year my husband and I will be spending our anniversary celebrating with my sister-in-law for some of her pre-wedding festivities. I wish her the same love, kindness, and respect that I find in my own marriage. Love you J-dazzle!

My Husband’s Favorites:

The best vegan chocolate chip cookies
The best vegan chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Cold Brew Whiskey Coffee

 

 

 

Vegan Chickpea Cutlets
Vegan Chickpea Cutlets

Chickpea Patties

Pot Pie

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Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions

As I’ve been exploring balancing flavors, and trying new food combinations I have truly come to love pickled red onions. Pickled everything really, but these are one of my favorites. It is not one of those ingredients that brings and item into focus when I see it on a menu. I feel it pairs particularly well with things that are sweet. Think sandwiches with roasted vegetables and their inherent sweetness that needs a bit of acidity for balance. Yummy. I made this particular batch to go with harissa roasted sweet potatoes. I also threw on some roasted salted pecans, and some candied pine nuts. It was yummy.  This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay, one if his 3000 recipes for pickled red onions.

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBL granulated sugar
  • 1 TBL kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat, stir, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the onion in a heat safe container with a lid, then poor the hot vinegar mixture over the onions.
  4. Cover and allow onions to sit for at least an hour, up to 4 days
  5. Remove from liquid and use to top everything from sandwiches to sweet potatoes.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Pumpkin Spiced French Toast
Pumpkin Spiced French Toast

It still feels like summer here on the East Coast, but fall is fast approaching. Fall is my favorite! I can’t wait for the cooler days and the leaves to change color, to be able to wear jeans without sweating to death, and sweatshirts. Who doesn’t love a cozy sweatshirt? There have been a few hints of fall this week with a couple of leaves falling and the nights becoming slightly cooler. It has gotten me in the mood. I make pumpkin muffins at the beginning of the week, and here we are making pumpkin spiced french toast. No, I do not drink Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, that’s yucky, too sweet, but I love the real stuff. Also, pumpkin is a vegetable, and, to be honest, I used butternut squash puree today so it’s another sneaky way for me to put veggies in everything. Toddler approved!

Top this fragrant french toast with maple syrup, coconut whipped cream, cinnamon roll topping, or anything else your heart desires.

 Ingredients

  • 2 happy eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • few dashes nutmeg
  • 6 slices whole grain bread (I used a flourless sprouted bread)
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs until uniformly yellow.
  2. Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg whisking to combine.
  3. Dip bread into batter one slice at a time, and allow to rest while your pan pre-heats. This lets the batter soak into the bread a bit which makes for a better texture.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Once the pan is hot add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add bread in a single layer leaving room between the slices. I have to cook this in 2 batches.
  7. Cook on the first side until golden brown, 2-3 minutes, flip and cook until the second side is also golden brown, a few more minutes.
  8. Serve hot with topping of choice.

Even Better Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies a long time ago; I have been using the same recipe for ages, and it is delicious! However, in the last year I learned a few things about chocolate chip cookies thanks to Food Lab and my BFF Kenji (yes this friendship is all in my head). The two things that I have incorporated into my recipe are the refrigerate the dough overnight, and to finish the cookies with salt. These two simple steps are a game changer. The texture of the cookies is a bit softer, and they develop a deeper flavor. Yummy. The salt, I feel is just the perfect addition to bring out the flavor of the cookie, and as a counter point to the sweetness.

If you are in a rush you can bake these right away, but I would only bake as many as you need and save the rest of the dough for the next day.

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (I use refined coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 TBL water
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chocolate chips
  • kosher salt, or other coarse salt for finishing

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl cream together oil, Earth Balance, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract, and water mixing until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt giving dry ingredients a stir before combining with the creamed mixture. Mix dry and creamed mixture just until combined.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
  4. Place covered mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for about 20 minutes so you can scoop into it.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets leaving 2″ between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle cookies with salt, just a few grains per cookie, then transfer from cookie sheet onto cooling rack immediately.
  10. Wait a few minutes before eating to prevent burning your mouth on hot chocolate chips.
  11. Enjoy responsibly.

Father’s Day Roundup

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

I took a poll for my husband’s and my father’s favorite recipes on the website. I’ll share in case you are in need of some inspiration for Father’s Day, and you don’t feel like making the chocolate cake from last week.

My Husband’s top picks are:

Chocolate Peanutbutter Cup/Swirl Vanilla Ice Cream

Mexican Food with These Refried Beans 

Pot Pie

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Dad said:

Lasagna

Quiche

and Chocolate Cake 

Happy Father’s Day Chocolate Cake

vegan blackout chocolate cake
vegan blackout chocolate cake

My dad loves chocolate, I mean really loves chocolate. He isn’t going to be with me this Father’s Day since we live a few states apart, but since he generously passed on his love of chocolate, I will generously eat this cake in his honor. Love you daddy!

I did think about making something for my husband and father of my children, but I make things for him all the time. I’ll make sure to make some of his favorites for him, and I’ll even share the cake.

This is a lovely combination of several recipes on my blog, and comes together into a delightful blackout chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse.

 Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut the top off one cake to make it flat. Frost it and stack the second cake on top. Frost top and sides of cake and pat chocolate chips into sides and top.
  2. Top the cake with chocolate mousse, serve, eat, and then take a nap. Happy Father’s Day!!

Vegan Date Caramel -Perfect for Mother’s Day

sweet potato pancake with date caramel and coconut whipped cream
sweet potato pancake with date caramel and coconut whipped cream

This perfect delightful, refined sugar free, vegan, paleo, and gluten free. This date caramel would be described as; rich, decadent, sweet, satisfying, and is made from very simple ingredients and comes together in a flash. I have been working on a few ways to use it, but highly recommend this as a start to your favorite dish featuring caramel. Pictured here it is served over sweet potato pancakes with coconut whipped cream. A dish to impress.

For my sweet potato pancakes I used this recipe, but substituted sweet potato puree for the pumpkin, and took out the spices. Your favorite pancakes would also be perfect here, or use this recipe for an guide to find your perfect pancake.

 Ingredients

  • 8oz (about 2 cups) dates pitted and halved
  • Boiling water to cover dates
  • 2 TBL coconut milk (full fat from a can)
  • 2-4 TBL hot water depending on how fresh and juicy your dates are
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pour boiling water over dates, just enough to cover them. Let them sit for 10 minutes or so until soft.
  2. Drain dates and reserve the water.
  3. Place drained dates, coconut milk, 2 TBL of the hot water, vanilla, and salt in a food processor or blender.
  4. Puree until smooth adding hot water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.
  5. Pour over just about anything for a delicious treat.

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake
Vegan Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

Today is my mother-in-laws birthday! Happy Birthday second mom! In fact,  all of my in-laws have birthdays in the next week. That’s right, mother, father, sister, brother in law, and even my husband! This recipe is in honor of my brother-in-law. He is a wonderful person who truly loves key lime pie. He is also always willing to eat what I’m making with little concern, judgement, or preconceived notion of what it might taste like based on the ingredients it contains.. Can’t ask for more in a person.  I also thought this was good timing with Cinco de Mayo coming up, which is, obviously, a perfect time to eat things that are flavored with lime.

Happy Birthday to all my chosen family!

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2- 2/3 cups key lime juice (from all but 5 limes in a 1lb bag)
  • 1/3 cup agave necter (more if you desire)
  • 1 TBL + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • For the crust
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of whole graham crackers) I used the blender to grind them into crumbs
  • 1 TBL brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 TBL vegan butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Prepare muffin pan with 12 liners.
  3. Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and vegan butter in a bowl until combined.
  4. Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.
  5. Press crumbs down into pan with the bottom of a cup or you fingers.
  6. Bake 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. While crust is cooling; place cashews in a small pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then drain.
  9. Place the cooked cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, lime zest, lime juice (start with 1/2 cup), agave, and vanilla in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Taste and adjust lime and sweetness ratio to your liking. Just add a little at a time, blend briefly, then taste. I like 2/3 cup lime juice to 1/3 cup agave.
  11. Pour into the muffin pan on top of the cooled graham cracker crust and refrigerate overnight.
  12. You can also freeze these with excellent results, just thaw them on the counter for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Happy Earth Day! Peanut Noodle Salad for Spring

Vegan Peanut Noodle Salad
Vegan Peanut Noodle Salad

It is really feeling like spring might stick around here on the East Coast. I’m pretty happy about it. My littles are loving the park and I am loving the sunshine! For Earth Day we are focusing on treating the Earth with respect. Also an everyday lesson, especially with a two year old! Wolfie is a sweet, emphatic kid, however, she is two. We are constantly working on how our actions affect others, and the world around us. Something we should all probably think about more often.

To celebrate Earth Day we are eating lots of lovely, easy to make, flavorful, and vegetable forward meals. This is one of my old favorites with a few extras to jazz it up. I hope you like to additions.

 Ingredients

  • 1 package Tempeh cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 2 TBL tamari
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 8.8 oz dried Udon noodles cooked according to package directions, drained, and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water reserved from cooking noodles
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBL lime juice
  • 3 TBL brown sugar
  • 2 TBL tamari
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2′ pice of ginger, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup julienned red pepper
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat a large case iron skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and add the tempeh.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown on all sides, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and drizzle the tamari over the tempeh, stir, and sprinkle the chili powder over the tempeh, stir and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl combine the reserved cooking liquid, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, tamari, and red pepper flakes whisking to combine.
  6. Add the cooked noodles and toss to coat with dressing.
  7. Add sugar snap peas, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro tossing to combine.
  8. Top with tempeh croutons and serve at room temperature or cold.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls for Easter With a Video

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Who wants fresh, fragrant cinnamon rolls? Ohh, I do, pretty much every day! For several reasons I try to save them for special occasions, such as Easter. I have tweaked my recipe a bit to make it a little easier and give more consistent results. I also did some experimentation with various sugar free options, but haven’t perfect them yet. I’m happy to give suggestions if you leave a comment with a question, but I need to make a few more batches before I share the results.

These are soft, pillowy, cinnamon filled, sweet nuggets of goodness. Perfect to make the day before and let rise in the refrigerator overnight and bake off in the morning just in time for breakfast.

Because there are a few steps here that are a bit hard to explain I have made a video.

Originally from The joy of vegan baking

 Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer powder (equivalent of 3 eggs)
  • 6 TBL water
  • 4 1/2-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery spread or sticks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Filling
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBL cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread or sticks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Icing
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TBL non-dairy milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer whisk the egg replacer and water until smooth- set aside
  2. In a small saucepan heat together the milk, Earth Balance, sugar and salt until the butter is almost melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir until butter is melted. Make sure this mixture is warm, not hot or it will kill the yeast.
  4. Add 3 cups of the flour and yeast to the egg replacer/water mixture.
  5. Add the warm milk mixture and mix with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can do this by hand.
  6. Switch to the dough hook and mix, adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  7. Remove the dough hook and drizzle olive oil over the ball of dough, cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1-2 hours.
  8. Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down then allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. While dough is resting combine the filling ingredients and set aside.
  10. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll dough into a rectangle about 18″ by 12″.
  11. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges.
  12. Roll dough into a log and slice into buns, as large as you like. I like mine to be about 1 1/2″ thick.
  13. Place buns on a rimmed baking sheet or pan close enough to almost touch each other. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (for easier cleanup).
  14. Let the the rolls rise until almost doubled in size, about and hour. Alternately at this point cover the rolls with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. They will slowly rise there. In the morning set the on the counter as your oven preheats and proceed as usual.
  15. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  16. Bake rolls for 20-30 minutes depending on their size, until golden brown.
  17. While the rolls are cooking combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk stirring until smooth.
  18. When rolls are cooked remove from oven and drizzle with icing.
  19. Serve warm.