Monthly Archives: September 2010

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

Have you ever been here?

That is Cinnamon Works. It’s down near Pike’s Place Market in Seattle, literally just on the other side of the street from the market. They specialize in gluten free and vegan baked goods. Although I am neither vegan or gluten intolerant, Jon took me here to get a pumpkin cookie when we first started dating. I would say this cookie is less like a cookie and more like a muffin top. But, whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious. I’ve created something that is really close to what they make. It’s vegan, pumpkin, muffin-like, and scrumptious. The only differences were the frosting on my version was a little less creamy and the outer layer on mine was a little chewier than theirs. Nonetheless, these are delicious and you need to sprint to your kitchen now and make them. I do mean now.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C vegan margarine, softened (or just normal margarine…whatever)
2 C canned pumpkin
1 Tbs apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Start off by measuring out your two types of flour into a medium sized bowl. Add all of your spices aka the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove and also your baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together to combine.

Nicely done. Set that aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. (if you aren’t sure where to find vegan margarine, you can find it at almost any grocery store. Smart Balance is a pretty wide spread brand and you can find it by the butter and margarine.)

Whisk in the pumpkin, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk like a mad woman (man?) until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients until combined. I opted to use my hands for this last step.

Want a hug?

Place a piece of parchment paper on your cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray. This is the part where you can be creative; you can either A) make normal sized cookies that are conservative and acceptable to society or B) make them as big as your face just like Cinnamon Works does. I chose the latter of the two.


Makes six, face sized, cookie-muffin hybrids.

Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you insert one in the top.

While those are baking, make your glaze.
2 C powdered sugar
3 Tbs vegan friendly milk (ie. soymilk, almond milk….regular milk if you don’t care…whatever)
1 Tbs melted vegan margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients with a spoon or whisk until smooth.
When cookie-muffins are done, let them cool on a cooling rack. Then, add your glaze. Make sure your cookies have totally cooled before adding glaze because if you don’t it’ll just melt all over the place.

And there you have it! Vegan Pumpkin Cookies!
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make vegan friendly, thicker frosting?

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And then you do something like this…AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!

Remember this guy?

He is warty. He is dirty (literally, it had dirt on the bottom of it). He is ugly.

He is DELICOUS!
Squash has officially redeemed itself thanks to him. His name? Kabocha squash. Apparently it tastes an awful lot like pumpkin does. How did I do a total 180 degree from hating to loving squash? Squash curry. I used a recipe for Pumpkin Curry I found online and substituted this kabocha.

One of the problems I still have with squash is that it’s high maintenance. It’s usually hard to cut and you have to roast it for a long time. This squash was much easier to cut than say, an acorn or butternut. Although the peeling was still kind of a pain…

First, I peeled, gutted, and cubed my kabocha into bite sized pieces.

Toss onto a cookie sheet, coat in olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Put that into a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the squash has a little bit of “give” to it. Give it a good toss half way through to make sure it cooks evenly.
While that’s roasting, break out your food processor (or blender). I threw in 2 shallots, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbs red curry paste, and 2 Tbs of water. Pulse until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 can of coconut milk, 1 Tbs fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, and 2 tsp of firmly packed light brown sugar until sugar has dissolved.

Cut a pound of chicken breasts into cubes. Warm a skillet (or a wok, in my case) over medium heat with 2 Tbs of olive oil. Add diced chicken and cook for about 8 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Saute the curry paste mixture for about 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Now, add your chicken and squash and let that simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

This was super delicious and way filling. I only ate about half of the serving I put in my bowl.
kabocha totally changed my mind about squash. Thanks kombucha!!

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Butter of the Almond Persuasion

I really, really like almond butter. I mostly like it because I’m not really a huge peanut fan. I like peanut butter, like jiffy, but I don’t really like real peanut butter. I like the kind of peanut butter that has a ton of sugar in it. I could eat a whole bag of almonds, but I don’t think I would ever choose to eat more than 10 peanuts. I have oatmeal for breakfast just about every morning, and I put a dollop of almond butter in it every time. It really adds flavor and creaminess to it and I strongly suggest trying it. What’s that you say? Almond butter is too expensive? I totally agree. I hated paying $9 for a jar of pureed almonds. So, I went to the interweb to find a solution to my problem. The solution to this financial almond burden is an easy fix: make your own.

I read the ingredients on the back of my empty, purchased almond butter and the ingredients were just almonds and salt. A lot of the recipes I was reading online said to add oils. I knew there had to be a recipe out there that only required almonds, and I found it. All you need are almonds, a food processor and patients. I started out by getting out my almonds.

These almonds are kind of expensive, so I wouldn’t suggest using them. I just had them in my pantry already so it only made sense to turn them into butter. Last time I made almond butter I just got raw almonds from the bulk foods isle at my grocery store. Make sure they aren’t roasted almonds because you’re going to roast them yourself.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

While that’s warming up, put your almonds on a cookie sheet in one even layer. Roast them for about 10 minutes, but check on them periodically to make sure they aren’t burning. You’ll know they’re done when they become aromatic. Set them out on the counter to cool.

Now, dump the almonds into a food processor and pulse until they are chopped up. Then just turn it on and let it whirl away!
This is seriously going to take 12-15 minutes to turn into almond butter. At one point it’s going to turn into a large hard clump of almond but don’t let that discourage you. Just break it up with a spoon or a spatula and turn the processor back on. I suggest scraping down the sides with a spatula every now and then too. Patience is a virtue in this butter game, and I promise if you give it time you won’t need oil. It’ll turn itself into a creamy, yummy butter if you just let it do it’s thang! This is the process of butter in pictures. It’s truly amazing that it turns into butter after awhile. It’s kind of fun to watch.





Mmmm, almond butter….

I just put mine in an old jelly jar. After you make it you do need to stick it in the fridge or else it will spoil.

Um, and you’re welcome in advance for saving you like $4 on your almond butter.

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ROUND UP!

Sorry for the late post. I’ve been pretty busy/lazy lately. I had been anticipating this year’s Round Up for months and when it finally came it was everything I thought it would be. If any of you have ever been to the rodeo grounds in Pendleton, OR you would know that only the northern and southern bleachers are covered. And if you sit in the eastern and western bleachers you fry like an egg all day. They had no cover whatsoever over them and were pretty crappy. Well, sometime between this year and last year they made the western bleachers into something that resembled Safeco Field. In prior years you had to take a long trip in the hot sun to get the prized dance team nachos. And the dance team nacho spot was just in a little tent. Now they are indoors in a booth located near the new covered western bleachers! Look at these bad boys!

Thank you Lauren for the lovely picture of nachos for me to steal.
These nachos are awesome. These are the kind of nachos that require lots of napkins and a fork. YES, a fork! Don’t judge me for using a fork with finger food. I am not that girl who eats pizza with a fork, but these are so chalked full of goopey delicousness that a fork is necessary.

It was super fun to see all my girlfriends and family.

Remember all those jello shots I made? My mom said she counted them and there were 112. We ate them the first night. All of them. Next year I will come more prepared and make more.

While I was there I got accused of stealing some girls drink and putting it in my purse (she checked inside my purse….for her drink….retard) and showing some girl my underwear at the Rainbow Room (it wasn’t me, don’t worry). I got quite a few compliments on my scorpion bolo tie too. Best $6 I ever spent.

I miss it already and I can’t wait for next year!

Tonight I shall be giving squash ONE LAST CHANCE! I really feel like I should like it. So, I will be cooking this ugly warted guy tonight that I bought at the Yakima Farmer’s Market today.

Wish me luck! Any suggestions on what to do with this would be greatly appreciated…

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Pre-Rodeo Chili

I ventured home from the Pendleton Round Up yesterday and boy was it a doozy! I didn’t even try to take my lap top there because the car was WAY too full and cramped, and I’m glad I didn’t. There was barely any internet access anywhere to be found, and AT&T hates Pendleton and doesn’t let you make or receive phone calls or texts. But before I go on and on about how much fun this year’s rodeo was, I’m giving you a recipe for chili. Let the suspense build a bit on what an awesome time it was. The night before Round Up, Sarah came over and we were going to make picture collages for decorations for our lovely hotel room. I promised to make us dinner so I decided on a western themed dinner; red chili and corn bread. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 lb of ground beef
2 Poblano Peppers
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 large yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 cups of beef broth
1 28oz can of whole tomatoes
1/3 of a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 Tbs of tomato paste
2 Tbs vegetable oil
cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put your poblano peppers on a cookie sheet and roast for about 30-40 minutes. I just kept checking on them until they were a nice black/brown color on the outside.

While those were roasting, I chopped my yellow onion and minced my cloves of garlic. Your kitchen should start smelling pretty good at this point.

I also finely chopped my chipotle peppers (I probably used about 3 of them).

When your poblanos are done roasting, cut them open and scrape all of the seeds out with a spoon. Chop them up into little pieces too. Finely mince your jalapeno pepper. I scraped out the seeds from half of my jalapeno and threw them out to avoid making my chili too spicy. I also used my slap chop to chop up my jalapeno because EVERY time I touch the inside of a jalapeno my hands burn for like 3 days straight.

Take out a large pot (or in my case, a dutch oven) and put your vegetable oil into the pan. Heat and then add your ground beef. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir until browned and then add your onions and garlic. When the onions start turning translucent, deglaze your pan with the beef broth.

Pour your whole canned tomatoes into a bowl and crush with your hands like I did in my stuffed pepps recipe. Add every kind of pepper you have, plus the hand-crushed tomatoes, your tomato paste, and probably about a teaspoon of that adobo sauce your chipotles came in.

I let this simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. It got thick and delicious and it was pretty spicy. My cornbread was not anything fancy. Lets just say it came from a box and all I had to do was add an egg and some milk and pop it in the oven. We topped our chili with sour cream and cheese and our cornbread with honey, and it was awesome.


We also watched the season finale of True Blood and made collages.

Round Up pictures to come sometime in the near future! In the mean time, make chili.

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I had to do it…

This video is a combination of beautiful and disturbing. Music = beautiful. Video = Disturbing. Enjoy!

Also, Jon and I had a dance sesh to this the other night. Don’t judge. We get bored and we live in Yakima.

And one more thing! If you don’t like this, you’re crazy.

That guy can SING!

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J-E-L-L-O!

I am leaving for Round Up tomorrow and I am beyond excited! We’re packing up the car at 7:30 tomorrow morning in order to get there around 10:30, because if we even come close to missing that rodeo that starts at 1PM I am going to throw a tantrum! I know that we’ll be there 2 1/2 hours early, but I’m always that girl who shows up at the movie theaters about 45 minutes before it starts because I don’t want to miss the previews or look for seats in the dark.

If you’ve never been to Round Up I seriously recommend it. I had never been to a rodeo before I went to my first in Pendleton 4 years ago, and it is a total riot. We gamble with the people around us (we sit around the same people every year), we have nicknames for people like Round Up Rick and Dad (oh man, I can’t wait to see Dad), and on Saturday night there is a HUGE party at our hotel with a BBQ and beer and whiskey and dancing! You might make fun of a rodeo now, but when I come back and I post pictures of all the fun I had you’re going to be extremely jealous.

Look how much fun that looks!

So, in preparation for the festivities I promised the girls I would make jello shots. Last year I attempted to make jello shots while we were there and, while at the time I thought they turned out great, I actually failed miserably at these jiggly little guys. Here are the tools I used last year to make terrible jello shots:
1) Lime Jello
2) Tequila
3) A microwave
4) Styrofoam cup
5) my Nalgene water bottle
I poured the tequila in the styrofoam cup to the brim and microwaved it on high for like…probably 5 minutes until it was boiling. Then I put the boiling hot tequila (that smelled like ass) into my nalgene with a 6 oz package of lime flavored jello. I shook this until the jello was completely dissolved, poured the liquid into dixie cups, popped them in the fridge for 3 hours and then we ate them.

Not only did these taste like ass (and probably give all of us cancer from microwaving in styrofoam), but I’m fairly sure I cooked out most of the alcohol which I didn’t realize until I started doing research for a recipe for this year’s jello shots.

This year I did my research and I promise you they do not suck! Jon and I split one last night and it tasted just like I wanted it to taste. Want to know how to make delicious jello shots? Did you think I only cooked delicious, healthy, gourmet food? I used to be a bartender bitches, I’m allowed to make jello shots!

OKAY! I made 2 different kinds of jello shots. One of them is a twist on a classic drink; the sidecar. Sidecars usually consist of muddled lemon, sweet and sour, cointreau, and brandy shaken with ice and poured into a martini class with a sugared rim. So, my jello shot version of this was brandy, lemon jello, and (once firm) a topping of granulated sugar. The other jello shots I created were orange jello and Captain Morgan’s rum. Orange and captain really isn’t a drink, I just saw online that people thought this was a yummy combo. You will need the following:
1) 2 cups boiling water
2) 1 1/4 cup chilled alcohol (I popped mine in the freezer for 2 hours)
3) 3/4 cup cold water
4) 6 oz package of jello

To start I filled a big pot with water

While I was waiting for that to come to a boil, I covered my counter in newspaper. Because who wants sticky jello alcohol all over their counter? Not this girl.

Then I set my little plastic containers out in rows on the news paper. I bought these at the Cash and Carry for $6 and there are like 200 of them and lids. But dixie cups work just fine if you can’t find these. I just got these because I have to transport them and I wanted lids in case they melt. Then I lightly coated the little cups in some cooking spray so the jello would come out a little easier.

Next I poured my 6 oz jello packet into a pitcher. Six ounces is your standard size of jello packet. I then dipped my measuring cup into the boiling water, measured out two cups and poured that into my pitcher. Give it a good stir until all of the jello has dissolved. Then, add your cold alcohol and water. Stir it up. Pour into plastic ramekins.

Let them sit in the fridge for 4 hours, or until firm. Serve!!!

This is what your fridge will look like after making four batches of jello shots

I left the lids off of the yellow ones (sidecar jello shots) because I’m going to sprinkle a little bit of granulated sugar on top of them to really get the sidecar effect. The orange ones needed no further maintenance so they’re remaining as is. I can’t wait to see my girls! We leave tomorrow! Let ‘er Buck!!!

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