Monthly Archives: December 2012

Holiday Goodies Galore: Part 1

There has been a sugar explosion in my kitchen. So, this weekend I decided to make my holiday cookies to give to my family and friends. Let’s start with with the cake mix cookies. I made my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, and I also made Snickerdoodles.

Original Snickerdoodle Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 pkg Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix

2 Tbsp Egg Replacement + 6 Tbsp Water (mix)

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.  Set aside.

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Combine remaining ingredients untill blended.

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Shape dough into balls.

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Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Place on cookie sheets.  Slightly flaten with thumb.

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Bake 15-20 minutes. 

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Remove to cool completely on cooling rack.

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Makes 24 cookies.

More holiday goodie recipes will be posted later this week. 🙂

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Meet Coco the Christmas Reindeer.

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Filed under cookies, Desserts, Holiday, Recipes

Shopping for Chocolate and Converting to a Vegan Diet

For my previous recipes like the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie with Cake Mix and Peppermint Hot Chocolate, of course the main ingredient being chocolate.  Now, being vegan one would think it would be difficult to find chocolate not containing any milk.  This is highly untrue.  Actually, you can find chocolate that is suited to vegans just as long as you look at the ingredients.  Let me explain what you need to look for.

  • In the Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, the only ingredient is cocoa.  You are safe there because you add the kind of milk you want, for instance, I added almond milk.  Now, Nestlé cocoa powder it contains non fat milk, which is a no no to vegans.
  • When looking at chocolate bars or chocolate chips, you need to do the same think for when looking for the cocoa.  The most common type chocolate you will be able to use is dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate generally contains no or less milk; however, you will need to find ones that contain no milk.  You can use semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate when baking.  Just make sure to check the ingredients.  Now, when just eating plain chocolate bars, I found that Lindt makes a 70% dark chocolate bar that is actually vegan.

Did you know that Dark Chocolate is actually better for?  Well, it is good for you in moderation.  Dark Chocolate actually helps to decrease your appetitate.  You will be less eager to eat other sugars or salty foods.

Fun Vegan Fact: When watching Get Vegucated, I learned that Oreos are actually vegan.  The filling contains a soy letchin, instead of milk.  You will want to eat the regulars instead of the vanilla.  And again, in moderation.

If you are considering in going vegan, I recommend in watching Get Vegucated.  It is a short documentary about 3 people going from eating animal products to a vegan diet.  You will learn the different changes your body goes through, and also learn about the animal product based industry.

I have been on a vegan diet for about 4 months, and I can tell you I feel completely different compared to before.  I have more energy.  I am not as grumpy.  I have a positive attitude.  And I am a lot more creative.

Check out getvegucated.com, and please feel free to share how you feel or have concerns about converting to a vegan diet.  I know it is a huge lifestyle change, but it will be beneficial to everyone. 🙂

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate: 2nd Times a Charm

Well, I have been in a mood for the past couple days for a Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Starbucks is not exactly vegan, so I had to come up with my own…and that involved two experiments. The first ended up being too much peppermint that you couldn’t even taste the chocolate. I added too much peppermint oil, and by too much I mean by 1/8 of a teaspoon. So, for a second try I was able to come up with the following recipe.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Hersheys Unsweetened Cocoa
2 1/2 Tbsp water
2 cups unsweented vanilla non-dairy milk
1 to 2 drops peppermint oil*
Soy Whip (opitional)

Directions:
Mix sugar, cocoa, and water in a medium pot over medium heat.  Continue to stir until boil.
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Add milk. Stir. Continue for 2 minutes.  For an additional minute, add peppermint oil.

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Divide into two cups. Top with Soy Whip if desired.

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*I have read you can also add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.  That is not as strong as peppermint oil.

Make sure not add too much peppermint oil now.  Enjoy. 🙂

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Filed under Beverages, Recipes

Number 1 Comfort Food: Mac & Cheese

Comfort Food: Mac & Cheese

[Sign] Mac & Cheese. The perfect meal to eat when watching a movie or a marathon of one of your favorite t.v. shows. You are all cuddled up on the couch with a fleece blanket, and enjoying the cheesy goodies of the spiral or elbow noodles. [Sign]

Ok. Now I am going to take this recipe, and change it into a vegan, gluten free enjoyable dish.

Ingredients:
2 boxes of gluten free spiral, elbow, or shell noodles (like Quinoa)
¼ cup (½ stick) non-dairy butter, cubed

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4 cups non-dairy milk
2 Tbsp egg replacement + 6Tbsp water (mixed)
½ tsp black pepper
8 oz. vegan shredded cheddar cheese (like Rice cheese)
4 oz vegan cheddar cheese cubed (like Almond cheese)

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Directions:
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Pour milk into pot. Boil. Stir consistently until reduced by half. Cool.

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Cook pasta according to package directions.
Whisk together milk, egg replacement mixture, and black pepper. Add to pasta, stir. Add the shredded cheese and cubed cheese. Cook over medium low heat, until cheese melts.

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Pour into 2 quart casserole dish.
Bake in the oven no longer than 30 minutes.

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It is now time to sit back with a bowl, and bask in this warm filling dish.

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Filed under Comfort, Pasta, Recipes

Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Why Not Have Some Soup?

Ok, so that is not how Dean Martin originally sang it, but it is indeed getting cold out.  Of course, vegetable soup or stew came to my mind.  Here is a link to a recipe I used as a guide.

Ingredients:

6 carrots peeled, chopped

3-6 celery stalks chopped

1 onion chopped

2 potatoes peeled, chopped

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2 Tbsp olive oil

1 32 oz + 2 cups of vegetable broth

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes

Directions:

Use a Dutch oven.  Add olive oil and onions.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions softened.

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Add potatoes, celery, and carrots.  Stir. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, and salt.

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Turn heat to a boil.

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After it starts to boil, turn temperature to a simmer and cover.

Stir occasionally for an hour, or until vegetables are softened.

I was unsure how much it made, but each serving should be about 1 to 1 ½ cups.

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You can add more vegetable broth, or you can add water to have a thinner consistency.  Also, you can add other vegetables like green beans, peas, or corn, but add these at the last minute.

This will definitely warm you up.  I enjoyed eating this dish wrapped in a blanket, and watching Investigation Discovery.

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Filed under Comfort, Recipes, Soups

First Post, First Recipe, and First Cookie

Well, Christmas is just weeks away, and what a better to start my blog than with cookies.  When I was in high school, I took a cooking class.  In this cooking class, I decided to do an extra credit and found a recipe where I made cookies out of cake mix.  And that is what inspired me to make this vegan, gluten free cookie recipe.

If you do not want to make your cookies vegan and gluten free, then follow this recipe that I used as my guide.

Ingredients:

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3 cups or 1 bag of gluten free vanilla cake mix (like Bob’s Mills)*

2 Tbsp of egg replacement + 6 Tbsp of water; mix together with a fork or whisk

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1 cup of natural peanut butter

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1/3 cup of water

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1 tsp vanilla

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¼ cup non-dairy butter (like Earth Balance), softened

1 ½ cups -2 cups mini or regular dairy-free, soy-free, and nut free chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients, except chocolate chips.

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Fold in chocolate chips.

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Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Use an ice cream scoop or 1 tablespoon to place cookie dough on cookie sheet.

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Cook 18-20 minutes.  Stand on cookie sheet for 1 minute.

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Cool on cooking rack.

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Makes 27-30 cookies.

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They are chewy goodness.  Serve with a glass of milk.

*Also, you can use chocolate cake mix to make a Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie.

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Filed under Desserts, Holiday, Recipes

Welcome

Hello All,

I am so excited to be starting my own blog. 🙂 I will be contributing not only recipes, but also stuff I find inspiring.  I am looking forward to hearing what you all think.

Thank you for being a part of this exciting adventure.

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Filed under About