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first things. [almond butter cookies]

18 Sep

The very first first-thing: Thank you to EVERYONE who left very sweet comments on my last post. :) You guys are the greatest. Lots of cyber-hugs for all!

I’m a fan of firsts.

Whether it’s a sentimental attachment to the first book I read (“Are You My Mother?” by Dr. Seuss, in case you’re wondering) or a vivid memory of the first time I met my best friend in high school, they’ve always stuck out in my mind. Firsts are so full of the promise of something new and different, an adventure just over the horizon. They’re just exciting.

This week has been one for firsts as I’ve been moving into my new place for the school year.

We’re the first people to live in these apartments. The first laughs, the first fights, the first parties, the first all-nighters, the first breakdowns will all be on our watch. And it’s certainly comforting to know nobody has ever slept on my mattress. Or done anything else on my mattress. Ahem…

Here are a few of our house-firsts, christenings of the various appliances, etcetera. Along with what they may or may not tell you about my priorities ;)

First item in the refrigerator:

Not even mine, but I so appreciated how perfectly the Disney-themed apple-juice encapsulated my housemates’ general youthful spirit… and my Disney addiction. :)

First thing on my wall:

First thing I cooked on the stove… kind of.

First “gourmet meal” (ha!)

Um… so it turns out that like half of my boxes were filled with canned soup & these things, all of which I bought with my leftover meal points last year. I should probably open a soup kitchen. At any rate, I will be eating these for a few weeks… it happens.

First item on our couch:

My housemate embroidered it. It has polka-dots. I love it. 

And most importantly, the first use of my oven? You get three guesses… and the first two don’t count.

Cookies. Do I really need to interpret this for you?

I made these with a jar of almond butter I need to use relatively quickly before it expires… also found in the massive Hoarders-episode that is my pantry, along with some carob chips with a similar tale. I thought i may have added too much liquid, and while they definitely didn’t turn out as dense and chewy as I originally hoped, their pillowy softness and crisp edges made up for it. The entire (very small) batch was devoured by my mom and I within a day.

Almond Butter-Carob Chip Cookies
by me
Makes 8-12 depending on size

1/2 tablespoon ground flax
2-3 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
small pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
~3 tablespoons carob chips (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Stir together flaxseed and water in a small cup or bowl. Set aside and allow to thicken for a few minutes. In a medium bowl, stir together almond butter and sugar. Add in flax “egg”. Stir in other ingredients; if the dough is too thick, add a small amount of water or oil.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until edges have set.

 

Now that my kitchen has begun to be broken in, it’s time for some sleep in my nice, new bed. Tomorrow’s the first day of classes!

What are your favorite firsts?

updates & foodie guest post!

8 Jul

Hey guyyyys

I’m back! Well, actually, I landed on Monday evening so I’ve been a bit delinquent. But to be fair, I got home on Monday at 10, had two days to hang out with my best friend/sleep, and then yesterday came back to school for summer research & classes. 

Here is one of the fab guest posts I’d hoped to get up while I was gone… unfortunately I had no internet access except my mom’s phone so I was only able to bring it to you now! I’ve spent a lot of today working through the ~2000 pictures I took at Disney (um, seriously) soooo be prepared (ha, Lion King reference!) for some recaps in the near future. 

Let’s give it up for one of my favorite blends (blog-friends, get it?!), XC Foodie! She’s bringing us a little bit of Cookie and a little bit of Carrot (um I NEED to make that dip, stat!)… what a cutie :) And speedy to boot… check her blog out! ;)

—————————–

Hello Everyone! I’m Tara from XCFoodie.

I’m a track and cross country runner with a huge appetite for food. I love to bake and cook to offset the energy expenditure of running. I eat a mostly healthy, vegetarian diet, but I think balance is important. Today I want to do a tribute to two of Nicole’s favorite things. What are they? Cookies and Carrots of course! This is the perfect example of balance between nutritious and delicious (not that carrots aren’t delicious!).

COOKIES:

Well, technically these are blondies. But blondies are cookie bars. Therefore they count as cookies. I put together this delicious recipe for my track team. Since we’re runners we eat… we eat a lot. You should see our psyche parties. Dessert is a mad house. I made these for practice though, and we enjoyed them after a long, strenuous speed workout. Not a crumb was left, and people were attacking me for seconds and thirds!

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Toffee Blondies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons agave nectar

3 eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup toffee bits

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Cook the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it turns brown (see browning butter tips here if you are unfamiliar with the process), and then remove it from the heat. While it cools, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Combine the brown butter, agave, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, and stir with a wooden spoon until they are combined. Add the eggs to the bowl and attach the bowl to the mixer. Beat the mixture at a medium setting for 3 minutes using the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and continue beating it until the vanilla is incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer. Fold in the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toffee bits. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center. Take out the blondies and let them cool before cutting.

CARROTS:

I’m a dried-bean-phobic. I had a bag of red lentils in my pantry for about a year before I decided to use them. One night, I got this intense craving for hummus, but all I had was lentils. My fridge was also overflowing with carrots that I needed to use up. I decided to combine the lentils with carrots, and they complimented each other nicely in this spicy, satisfying dip. It may not have been hummus, but it was just as delicious!

Moroccan Carrot Lentil Dip

1/2 cup dry red lentils

1 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

9 oz. carrots

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 heaping teaspoon of each of the following: cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, and allspice

1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne

salt to taste

Add the lentils and water in a saucepan. Heat on high until the water boils. Reduce to a simmer and cover, leaving the top slightly ajar. Simmer for 30 minutes, checking every so often (I checked every 5 minutes) to stir and add additional water if necessary. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and cover completely. Allow it to absorb any leftover liquid for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in a small frying pan on medium heat, approximately 3 – 5 minutes or until translucent. Steam the carrots (I used the microwave method, 1/4 cup water and microwaved 2.5 minutes or until soft).

Combine the lentils, carrots, and onions in the food processor. Process until smooth. Add spices and salt. Process for about 30 seconds or until they are thoroughly distributed.

What is your favorite cookie?

What is your favorite way to use carrots?

Nicole’s Question: How much do you want to hear about Disney? Be honest, I kind of understand if you don’t want to hear me babbling about how much I love Disney Princesses because I’m about 4 years old. I have a zillion pictures and don’t want to bore anyone to tears. In fact I may do it in installations. I’m not sure if I should put it chronologically or by park… Any ideas/suggestions/etc welcomed :)

comatose ovens & crunchy crackers.

23 Jun

Those of you who follow me on twitter may have seen me whining about my oven being, well, defunct. It is true. And you can only imagine my devastation.

My best friend chalked it up to an overuse injury. But I told her that the prolonged periods of rest followed by short spurts of activity were meant to be interval training! And besides, it wasn’t anything I baked that caused the problem… You see, my oven took up smoking, and you know, smoking kills…

My mom baked a little tray of Trader Joe’s cinnamon bun-things for a get-together the other day and for one reason or another it left some residue at the bottom of the oven. I went to preheat it the next day to bake some cookies & I realized that my oven was smoking.

The logical next step was to try to make my oven come clean. But the clean cycle sadly left my oven nonresponsive, in a coma, if you will. It’s still displaying a little red “FO” (maybe for “eff off?”) and a sadly incorrect time, and NONE of the buttons work.

Fortunately there is another oven in my life… my toaster oven.

Hooray for the convection bake setting!

So when my dad scoured through the pantry and found nothing with which to eat his hummus (we’re clearing the pantry/fridge for a 10-day vacation), I was still able to oblige with some socca crackers courtesy of the lovely Ashley.

Actually, I first made these last week with my real oven, but had to make a batch today to use up the hummus… difficult life I lead.

Mine were a little different as I’m kind of stingy with my raw buckwheat groats… So I just used 1/2 cup of chickpea flour, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and mixed it all up and sprinkled it with sea salt, then baked for awhile. Head to the real recipe here for better directions & pictures. :)

The recipe is delightfully simple and while mine aren’t as pretty as Ashley’s (but really, that’s damn near impossible) they were crispy and delicious and psuedo-cheesy. And I may or may not have licked up the batter. I have a thing for nooch. It’s a problem.

I was kind of curious about the nutritionals on these babies and found that if you make a half-batch with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (extra nooch = love), it’s about 150 calories and 13.6 grams of protein and 6.4 grams of fiber. Not too shabby! I’ll definitely be stocking some garbanzo flour in my kitchen next year. :)

Oh, and the hummus?

Mission accomplished. :)

What do you do when you’re trying to clear out your pantry, etc? 

Ever dealt with a broken oven? 

cocoa for coconut [cookies & coupon code!]

20 Jun

Spoiler: My mom says these are the best cookies I’ve ever made.

And considering the sheer number of cookie recipes on my recipe page (which I haven’t updated in like two months, oops), that has to be saying a lot.

But let’s backtrack, shall we?

A few weeks ago I was approached by the very-sweet Jen from Kelapo Coconut, asking if I’d like to do a review of their virgin coconut oil. Having experimented with coconut oil once before, I was more than happy to oblige. However, I was in the thick of finals so I had them send it to my home address and upon arriving was ecstatic to find this waiting in my dining room for me:

Ideas for different cookies and desserts bounced around in my head for weeks. While there are certainly plenty of savory ways to use it, I was obviously inclined to use in baking for that slight coconutty taste I found it lent to baked goods.

There are a bunch of reasons to love coconut oil that I’m not particularly keen on getting into now; suffice it to say it’s a delicious and more wholesome source of fat! Not to mention that it’s delicious. The Kelapo coconut oil was a little harder than I expected but blended beautifully into these delightful morsels of goodness.

These are chocolatey, dense, and just slightly coconutty. Aka perfectly delicious in every way. I am SO happy to have had the chance to try this product and experiment with something I might not have picked up off the shelf myself!

But should YOU want to try your hand at these cookies or any of the many recipes on Kelapo’s recipe blog, I am happy to announce that I was given a coupon code just for my lovely readers to use on Kelapo products. Just type in Nicole20 (case sensitive) into the code box when ordering to get a whopping 20% off your order!! The code is valid for a month, through July 20th.

These cookies, however, did not last even a day.

Cocoa for Coconut Cookies
By me :)
Makes 12-16 cookies; easily doubled!

1/2 tablespoon flax + 3 tablespoons water, microwaved for about a minute & stirred until eggy
1/4 cup Kelapo coconut oil
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (depending how dark yours is)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cocoa nibs (completely optional, see below!)

The main offenders…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put flax & water in a small bowl or mug and let sit until thickened.

In a small bowl, beat together coconut oil and sugar until well mixed.  Beat in cocoa powder and flax egg until well combined. Add in dry ingredients up until coconut flakes; mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, and cocoa nibs (if using).
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.

ENJOY!

Notice the use of cocoa nibs?

Well, I got to visit a chocolate factory last week and my friends bought these as a thank-you gift for my mother for hosting them… And of course I couldn’t resist tossing them into cookies. And pretty much everything else. The deep dark 100% chocolate taste is just irresistible. They don’t particularly SHINE in these cookies (too much other stuff going on) but they do add a pleasant crunch here and there. Totally optional though!

Ever tried coconut oil? What’s your favorite thing to do with coconut oil/any coconut product??

arts, sciences, & banana muffins

15 Jun

I’ve never considered myself to be all that creative. Sure, hand me some kind of problem and I’ll probably come up with some “out-of-the-box” solution (remember my “oven mitt”?). But set a canvas and some paints in front of me and I’ll agonize for years and possibly come up with some deep philosophical justification about the blankness of my soul as portrayed on the blank canvas rather than paint anything. Or I’ll put smiley faces and hearts.

Even photography, which I do enjoy, can be a struggle when I have to fabricate some sort of scene or idea. Candids? Sure. Staged artistic pieces? Not so much. I tend to like working with something that already exists rather than “creating from nothing.”

Enter baking. Combining some semi-scientifically-precise amount of fat, flour, & leavening to yield hopefully-delicious results. Certainly not all of my flavor combinations are unconventional or unique, but there’s still something decidedly gratifying about making up a recipe on a whim and having it work perfectly. Obviously the actual writing of recipes is not exactly creative in and of itself; there are only so many ways to write “bake at 350 until lightly golden”.

So when I was feeling an itch to get a little creative, I found my way into the kitchen and started grabbing things. Banana. Almond extract. Sliced almonds. Whatever I could find in my pantry. The result? Not a particularly outstandingly unique concoction, but decidedly delicious nonetheless, and the perfect marriage of art, science, & sugar. Just my kind of mixture.

Banana-Almond Muffins
Created by moi :)
Makes 6 muffins 

1 over-ripe banana
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (more if desired)
3/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons sliced almond (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin (if using a 12-cup tin, put a little bit of water in the empty tins to prevent warping)

In a medium bowl, mash banana and combine with almond milk, oil, almond extract, and sugar. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients (except almonds). Make a well in the center and pour in wet ingredients; stir until just mixed. Gently stir in 2-3 tablespoons of sliced almonds. Divide batter between 6 muffin tins and top with remaining almonds.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite form of creativity? 

catch-up seven-up

13 Jun

Oh hi… I think I’m late to the party.

Let’s pretend I’m “fashionably late” instead of “two-weeks-gone-without-notice” and then I can make an awkward segue into a tag I just got for the “stylish blogger”. Along with a promise that I’ll, you know, pop in a bit more frequently (for some details on my prolonged absence, check the list-of-seven below!)

Thank you to the lovely Vivianne (isn’t that just the most beautiful name?!) for tagging me! :)

The rules of the Stylish Blogger award are as follows:
1. Share 7 things about yourself.
2. Tag some fellow bloggers.
3. Contact bloggers and let them know you tagged them.

In lieu of sharing 7 things about myself I’ll tell you 7 things about the last two weeks of my life that seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

1. Finals. I don’t have a picture to accompany this one because I was a little bit crazy trying to cram study in advance for all of them. I think I’ll just include a picture of one of my fuels-of-choice…

Not my fave flavor, but I mean, it’s still Kombucha!

2. Packing. I alluded to this earlier, but remember my desk? Eventually it became this…

And my bed? Became this…

And my name disappeared from the doorway as if I’d never been there.

I also enjoyed a last meal with my floormates in our dining hall… please excuse the quality!

This was a weird, overly sentimental transition for me. I’m not living in the dorms next year, though I will be living in campus housing of a different variety (more on that in number 3!). I definitely won’t miss having to make cookies in the dingy dorm kitchen though… here was my very last batch (made from a mix, because all my flour, etc., was packed away!)

While I’m excited about my living situation next year, I’m not going to have the same access to tons of different people at any time of day… it’s just a different chapter and I’m notoriously awful at letting things go (as much as I do long for variety!)

3. I visited my digs for next year! Here is my kitchen, most important thing, right?!

My school just built these new townhouses as an on-campus housing option. I’m not quite organized enough to figure out leases and houses and all that jazz, so this was perfect. I GET A KITCHEN. And…

a full sized bed! I have never had anything bigger than a twin! So that’ll be fun… lots of room to spread out. Or lots of space for pillows.

4. Finally came home last Wednesday after a whirlwind of a day… my last final, working for a storage company, checking out of my dorm room, and finding a ride to the airport. Then, of course, my flight was delayed 3 hours… which by the way is more than the amount of time I spent asleep the night prior to this excursion, and more than the plane ride actually takes!

It involved a lot of these crackers… they plied us with food, and I’m not capable of saying no to free food even if it’s processed junk. Sorry I’m not sorry ;)

5. The morning after I arrived (after sleeping a solid 11 hours… bliss!) the first thing I did was bake scones for my friends who were coming over later. I’m predictable, I know. I did try to branch out of the cookie-ness though… Does that count?

These were amazing. They were the pumpkin scones from Veganomicon… you can check parts of the book out here and get the recipe, but really you should just buy the entire book.

They were definitely softer than normal scones but they were so tender and pumpkin-y and the cranberries were PERFECT. Out of season? Perhaps. But that’s how I roll.

6. Gathering with my best friends!!! I didn’t take a picture of all of us, but we really mostly just chatted, ate entirely too many pita chips with hummus, and walked a few miles to Jamba Juice.

And made a delicious salad, featuring avocado & goat cheese & raspberries & balsamic vinegar.

7. Having some friends stay with me this weekend which involved the typical tourist-ing with a combination of home-friends and school-friends.

The school friends/guests

Pike Place is always where it’s at. Foodie post about Pike Place will be coming since I realized I took tons of pictures of the samples & crepes ;)

Also some gum-wall action…

Pretty Maya :)

And I got a blurry picture taken by my friend and felt the need to post it just so I don’t feel so bad about always posting pictures of everyone else. I’m clearly apprehensive about this photo-taking situation…

Cute.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to! I also made some muffins and, well, cookies, and cake, and yeah. My oven’s getting a workout ;) Oh, and I went on one run but as I’m entertaining guests exercise isn’t my highest priority. We’ll see how that changes!

Sorry for the wordy-pictury-newsy-recipe-less post but I figured I’d do a little catch-up then get back to the usual. ;)

Oh and you are ALL tagged because I’m a little too lazy to tag people after that monstrously long post ;)

I realize I’ve asked this as a question a million times, but how is your life? Tell me what’s new! :

If you’re out of college, how did you transition from dorm to non-dorm life? Did you like living in a dorm? I loved the constant people but am excited to have a single where I can sleep whenever I please, and of course to have a kitchen… I suppose it’s just bittersweet, as are most things. :) 

fearful cinnamon rolls

28 May

I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of a fraidy-cat... remember my story about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

Obviously I have other fears. Like zombies (my friend somehow talked me into watching The Crazies with him last night… not sure how I managed to sleep). Or my somewhat hypochondriacal fear of stress fractures in my shins (though it’s not a totally unfounded fear, nor did it prevent me from running 6.1 miles on the treadmill today… I’m a slowpoke but I was excited I could run for that long!).

My biggest kitchen fear? Yeast. It’s unpredictable. I usually have to go through two packets to get one to come out right. I’m always afraid it just won’t work.

Luckily Mama Pea is here to help… and thus I made cinnamon rolls.

Admittedly, these are from a few months ago. Admittedly, I wanted to post these either on my brother’s birthday or right after, because he is a cinnamon roll addict and I definitely made these for him. (I’m just kind of behind on… life).

Tell my teachers to stop assigning me papers and tests and then maybe I’ll do half the things I intend. (Aka… sorry for the prolonged silence, I’m alive, I promise! And summer is just around the corner and then you won’t be able to get rid of me).

In the meantime, let’s dream of comforting, carby cinnamon rolls sans fear and copious amounts of homework.

You can find the recipe here. Since my brother is a growing teenage boy I made them with half oil instead of the pumpkin (also because I wanted the pumpkin for myself, let’s be honest) but otherwise I made it by the brillliant recipe by Mama Pea. And they were good. I don’t even like cinnamon rolls and I liked them.

Tell me about your fears, culinary or otherwise. :) And your weekend plans for the long weekend! I’m sleeping. And trying to stay afloat in my last week and a half of school this year… IthinkIcanIthinkIcan!

WIAW: workload wednesday.

18 May

Oh how I love me some alliteration… Here’s a rather brief WIAW, because I want to procrastinate just a little longer.

Before we get started… everybody check out Kate’s raffle over here where you can bid on delicious desserts and support a fabulous cause (she’s fundraising for a hospice she’s running the Chicago Marathon for!)! My cookies are up for bids too. :)

Breakfast

Okay, so I made cooked overnight oats with peanut flour. I am newly obsessed with the stuff and may or may not have gone through a bag in about a week. These oats were SO creamy and peanutty and protein-filled and delicious!

Peanut-Flour Overnight/Voluminous Oats

1/3 cup oats
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut flour
sweetener to taste
a few dashes of cinnamon
~2/3 cup of water or almond milk (possibly more)

Nuke for about two and a half minutes and stir well; cover and leave in fridge overnight. Stir in more liquid in the morning if desired! :)

Lunch

I had me a salad. With some of this salsa on top…

I bought it at the little market my school has and it’s kind of awesome, definitely has a kick to it. But now I have to work on using it all up! So I’m putting it pretty much on everything… Though I’ve always loved salsa on salads. :)

Snack

I went for a run on this day (last Friday)… 3.1 miles! That would be my second run in 6 months. I’m not, however, sharing how fast it was because it was incredibly slow… And my shins are still a little tender which is making me freak out a little bit but we’ll see. I pulled a Matt and refueled with (my very first!) Kombucha and Fage 2%

Um, yeah, this was pre-shower… And the posters in the background are my roommate’s. Just sayin’.

Dinner

I had soup at the lunch room but was hungry again about an hour later (silly running!) so I made some savory oats. Just added some nutritional yeast into the oats and some salsa on top per Heather‘s suggestion.

Oh, and I bought these. They were ridiculously hot and kind of made me cry, so I washed them off a bit which helped… I did like the crunch they added!

**I had more snacks throughout the day that were not photographed!! Just a disclaimer! :) **

Hope you’re all having lovely days… I’m back to hitting the books & learning about the occipital and parietal lobes. Three tests in two days… Oh and a term paper in a week. Whoops.

Eat anything delicious recently? Tell me about it! :) Or go check out my post from yesterday with lots of random facts about me and tell me something about yourself ;)

what i ate (last) wednesday [pumpkin-chia pudding]

10 May

Procrastinating studying by getting a head start on WIAW… yay for being proactive? ;)

Breakfast:

I had some pumpkin in my fridge (side note: organic pumpkin is not as good as Libby’s, I’m sorry, it’s true) so I made some pumpkin-chia pudding. This was not my entire breakfast but it was the prettier part so it’s all I’m sharing. ;)

Pumpkin-Chia Pudding

1/4 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup almond milk (maybe a little less or more, I’ve rather forgotten)
1 scoop protein powder (I use Aria)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
dash cinnamon
sweetener to taste

Mix it all up and let it chill for a couple hours until it gets thick and delicious. Top with blueberries if you want to, or just stuff them all in your mouth.

Lunch

It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I opted for a salad. I’ve taken to eating my salads with chopsticks… not entirely sure why. Also, mushrooms are my new bffs. Though my bell peppers may still be turning me orange…

I also had some chocolate milk mostly because it was free, honestly. It was kind of too sweet though.

And I enjoyed this light lunch in the sun while looking at roses. Sorry to bore you to tears with more rose pictures but I just couldn’t resist…

My school is pretty. Come visit me. I’ll bake you cookies…


Snack

One of my snacks was a Fage yogurt with blueberries.

Okay, firstly… I’ve always had Fage 0%. But oh my gosh, 2% is the bomb. I don’t know how or why I deluded myself into thinking 0% was better just because it had fewer calories, because the 2% definitely satisfies me more. Also, the blueberries are awesome. It’s a little too sweet and I wish it didn’t have so much sugar, but it actually tastes like BERRIES. Still prefer plain old fresh berries, but hey.

Sat in the grass while eating it too! Yay sunshine. :)

My school was also having a book sale and this was $1. Somehow I only walked away with two books… Trust me, that’s impressive. I love books. My goal in life is to have a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

Anyone read this? I dunno, it looked possibly interesting…

Dinner

Not photographed, sowwy. I had soup & a sandwich at the cafeteria with my friends. :)

And what I wore… please excuse my hair. I have a hair-washing problem.

Oh, and a face-making problem, & a focus problem. Oh well. I got this dress for $5 at a rummage sale :) (Cheap college student much?)

Tell me about your day! :) Also, get pumped because I have a fab guest post coming up tomorrow… and now it’s back to the books for me! ;)

mother’s-day muffins [cappuccino muffins]

8 May

It seems that most mother’s day gifts I’ve given are things that only a mother could love.

Only a mother could love the paint-spattered excuses for “artwork” I proudly handed to her in the first grade.

Only a mother could love being ordered to return to bed for “breakfast in bed” consisting of lightly-burned toast, yogurt, & cereal.

Only a mother could love mug after painted mug of uncreative, polka-dotted ceramics.

Only a mother could love the “gift” of my high school’s dangerously delicious Cappuccino muffins, conveniently charged to her credit card account.

But anyone could love my at-home replication of those muffins. I searched far and wide, and it took a variety of different recipes, but when I finally stumbled upon this gem in Vegan Brunch by Isa Moskovitz, I knew I’d found my winner.

Perhaps not the greatest sacrifice on my part, but it did take some work… And a few less-than-perfect muffins. ;)

Vegan Cappuccino-Chip Muffins
adapted slightly from Vegan Brunch; also found here

1c almond milk (or your fave non-dairy milk)
1 heaping tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or more canola oil for a better “crust”)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a muffin tin.
In a small cup, mix coffee granules with half of nondairy milk; add in the rest of the milk and the vinegar, and set aside to thicken.
In a small bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add in oil, applesauce, vanilla, and thickened milk. Stir together until just combined, taking care not to overmix, then gently fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake for 22-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in tins for a few minutes before removing and letting cool on a plate.

While I’m not actually at home to make my mom a special breakfast, I’m hoping that sharing her favorite recipe and sending some cyber-carbs will help fill the void until I’m home in a month (!).  I wish I could do more, as this seems like even more of a cop-out than usual.

Only my mother could put up with my incessant chatter, constant whining, the perpetually dirty kitchen & ever-dwindling supply of flour and sugar. Only my mother would make me breakfast in bed almost every day, & make my bed when I “forget” to. Only my mother thinks I’m the coolest thing since sliced bread so I should write a book/open a cookie shop (ah, delusions). Only my mother magically receives telepathic messages when I’m not feeling okay, and knows how to put a smile back on my face.

And most of all, only my mother loves me, hugs me, & listens to me when I need it most.

Love you, mom!

What are you doing for mother’s day? What about you could only your mother love/understand? 
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