Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doubles (Trinidad and Tobago street food)

The joy of a new cookbook is one we know well in this house. I recently got "Caribbean Vegan" and the Trinidadian Doubles were my the first dish I decided to make out of the newest addition to my cookbook collection. This dish was very yummy and very filling, my husband and I both had leftovers for lunch today and we still have enough left for another lunch. 

The dish consists of Bara, a fried bread that isn't too difficult to make. I can say that because I actually didn't even burn myself once and the bread came out good on the first try, these are not normal things for me to have happen. The filling has chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and onions and garlic along with some spices to make a nice stew-like filling. 

I also made one of the Spanish Rice recipes in the cookbook as a side dish but that was not necessary as the doubles were so filling on their own. The spanish rice had spinach and onion in it and was also rather tasty. My husband said the doubles were definitely one to repeat, that is high praise in this house.

Below is a picture of the bara without the filling on top. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Scones

This morning I whipped up some fresh strawberry scones for breakfast. I can't resist a good sale on strawberries and I have been craving scones lately so I thought I would give scones a try this weekend. I am happy to report that they weren't too difficult to make and they were very delicious to eat.

Of course I did make a few adjustments to the recipe. I substituted my Earth Balance for butter and coconut milk for the light cream. Since I was substituting the coconut milk for light cream instead of heavy cream I didn't refrigerate it and separate it as one would do for heavy cream, I just grabbed the can from the cupboard and shook it up and poured the desired amount into a measuring cup.

The recipe made 8 scones so we are having leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.   

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's a Birthday! Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Cream Frosting

The other day was my birthday and well what else would someone who loves to bake do for their own birthday cake... I spotted a picture of a cake that I just knew I had to have and I made it for myself. I adore strawberries, they are one of my favorite things in the world so of course I love to have a lot of strawberries with my birthday cake and this year there was no exception. I made a four layer cake with strawberry preserves and strawberries between every layer (there was also frosting between the layers, but for me that isn't the important part). 

This vanilla cake was covered in a strawberry cream cheese frosting, it was supposed to be whipped but I had a little trouble with that. Yes, even those of us who have been baking for ages still have our mishaps in the kitchen. 

To make this cake dairy-free I substituted Toffuti cream cheese, Toffuti sour cream, Earth's Balance (for the butter), and coconut milk for the heavy whipping cream (I forgot and shook the can though, you are supposed to chill it and then take the top layer of the coconut milk... the heavy cream layer). Even though the frosting was drippy it was still really good and it made for a beautiful cake, and of course truly delicious (that is the most important part in our house).

We were very happy to have some good friends join us for cake and a bottle of wine, from Cupcake Vineyards of course because what else would a baker pick for her birthday wine. 

The cake recipe is available online at Perry's Plate and includes how to make it as the round like I did or a small sheet style cake (3 layers).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bacon-and-Egg Muffins (Dairy-Free)

This morning for breakfast I made these bacon-and-egg muffins that I saw in the new Better Homes and Gardens magazine (don't worry the recipe is also available online and I put in a link to it just above). These muffins are really tasty, especially with some maple syrup on the side. They do take a bit of effort to make, but given you make 12 muffins at once it's not bad. We have enough leftovers for two more breakfasts, helps to not have to do much more than warm something up in order to have a nice weekday breakfast. I do highly recommend making these and if you have the magazine check it out because there were three more yummy looking breakfasts in there too, of course I do plan to make the other three in the coming weeks so I will let you know how they turn out as well.

The only substitutions I made was using soy milk in place of milk and using a cheddar cheese substitute (I would probably add more next time or try using a different cheese substitute as the rice cheese really wasn't able to be tasted). 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lemon Streusel Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Today was an exciting day for me, and many others with restrictive diets in the area we live. Sprouts finally opened, well actually it opened yesterday but I made it to the store today... twice to be specific. I was impressed enough that I took the boys after dinner tonight so they could see it as well. We even ran into a friend of ours who also has a restrictive diet, he was equally excited to hear Sprouts had finally opened. I had been looking forward to this store for a really long time, it seems like it has been about 2 years since it was first announced but that could just be my anticipation clouding my judgement. Anyhow, let me stop going on and on about this and tell you it was worth the wait. They have lots of dairy-free products. 

I spotted these muffins among the many yummy looking dairy-free (yes they are also gluten-free) items and just had to try them, lets hope they are as good as my lemon almond bling muffins. I am really looking forward to breakfast tomorrow and I am also really looking forward to trying many more of the enticing items they had. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strawberry Cake (Dairy-Free)

I was traveling and then was very sick, but I did still manage to make this a few days ago. This strawberry cake was easy to make and delicious. My husband bought me a bunch of strawberries at our local farmer's market so they were nice and fresh and ripe and cull of flavor, yes to me this is the best way to buy strawberries and I have yet to have enough success with growing my own to have enough to make a cake out of them.

I found this recipe through Pintrest from another blog called Two Peas & Their Pod. Here is a link to Two Peas & Their Pod's blog post with the recipe for this yummy cake. For the record we had some for dessert and also for breakfast, a very tasty and versatile cake in my opinion.

To make this cake dairy-free I substituted Earth's Balance Buttery Spread for the butter. For the buttermilk I set out 1/2 a cup of soy milk with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar while I was mixing up everything else (at least 10 minutes) and then used that as my buttermilk (fresh lemon juice also works). 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls (Vegan)

Last weekend I made these cinnamon rolls for my 4 year old, he is currently obsessed with cinnamon rolls. This recipe is one I stumbled upon at The Gay Vegans and given my son's current obsession with cinnamon rolls I just knew I had to try this recipe. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed these cinnamon rolls but to be honest my son was a little indifferent to them as they aren't like the ones he gets at Panera (kids can really get stuck on the most random things).

I won't lie, these took me quite a while to make, but of course I also had a few difficulties with various things like getting the yeast mixed into the water to become creamy as mine looked creamy in color but was still very watery. Maybe another time I will get this recipe to work a little better for me, but regardless these were yummy and it was nice to get to enjoy a cinnamon roll again.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (Vegan)

Yesterday I made these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups as well as the fudge I posted earlier. This recipe was also fairly easy to make, a little more work and effort than the fudge but still not bad.

I was so excited when I stumbled across this recipe in Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet" because I have always loved Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and I get a little sad when I buy them for my husband and son and I can't eat any, but now I can have these and let me tell you I have a feeling these are going to kick Reece's butt.

This is one of the treats I made to take with me on my upcoming cruise. Hopefully one of these days the cruise line at least adds sorbet to their menu, thankfully I can always get some fresh fruit at dessert time but being surrounded by all those desserts all week I find it helpful to bring something along that I can enjoy to satisfy that sweet tooth that inevitably surfaces on a week long cruise. 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vegan Fudge with Walnuts

Today I whipped up a batch of fudge. I adapted a recipe I found at to use walnuts (which I had on hand) instead of coconut (my husband isn't a fan of coconut. This fudge was quite easy to make, the only cooking/baking necessary was to heat the coconut milk and margarine so you could probably even make this in a dorm room using a microwave if you wanted to.

This is one of the dairy-free treats I made to take with me on my upcoming cruise, sadly they didn't even have sorbet in the dining room when we went last year so all I could get for dessert was a fruit plate. Of course it isn't a huge deal to pack a few treats to enjoy for the week to make my trip that much more enjoyable, besides my treats are probably better than most of their desserts anyhow.  :-)

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let there be chocolate cake

My four year old was very insistent that we he had to have chocolate cake, he said it was International Chocolate Cake Day (Friday) so we had to have chocolate cake. How do you argue with that?

I whipped this cake up last minute using the chocolate cupcake and chocolate buttercream frosting recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I split the batter evenly between 2 round cake pans and since the layers were very thin it baked in the same times the cupcakes take to bake. This was a very decadent cake that everyone was happy to enjoy (yes we shared with neighbors and friends). 

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