Thursday, May 3, 2012

Raising little green babies

I'm starting a garden.

It's not time to plant them outside yet, but it will be soon. I don't have much of a green thumb, and the only saving grace I have is what I've learned from my dad.

These plants are like my babies. I'm afraid I'll neglect them, and I'm afraid I'll give them too much attention. My mom over-watered some of them and I nearly attacked her for it. Hah. She doesn't touch them anymore.

Note: Sorry for terrible cropping. I did this in a rush!

Is anyone else planting a garden this year?

I haven't been baking much, so I decided to whip up some cookies two days ago. They were gone by the next day. If that doesn't tell you anything, I don't know what will.

I used to love peanut butter cookies when I was a kid. They were probably my favourite type of cookie. I was—and still am—a peanut butter fanatic. Actually, I like almond butter better, but don't tell peanut butter I said that.

Yeah. I did this. And then I washed it down with a bunch of tea. Trust me, it is a very good idea.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from this recipe at

1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup coarsely ground rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
Generous pinch salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup organic peanut butter (I used crunchy)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Drop tablespoon-fuls of the dough onto prepared sheets, about 1/2-in. apart (they will spread). Dip a fork in some water or sugar and press down on each mound to flatten.

Bake 10-12 minutes (10 for chewy; 12 for crispy). Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the sheet before removing.

Yield: 18 cookies

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Getting some use out of my ramekins

It was one of those days.

I walked into the kitchen with good ideas and good intent and I walked out with a firm kick in my pride.

I hate that.

I'll be honest and say that sometimes I can be rather melodramatic. You know... the cake didn't turn out so it must mean I'm a terrible baker, and oh my gosh now I'm rethinking my career decisions, and my life is over now I might as well just quit while I'm ahead.

Um. Hello! Drama queen, please exit stage left. Thank you.

So today I got right back into the water. Let's just say that my pride is regained so I guess my life can continue. I'm satisfied.

I realized a few things today. Let me share them with you:

1) Raw desserts always turn out for me. I just can't seem to screw them up. I like this;
2) Baked goods are having less and less appeal to me. More often than not I am now turning to raw food for both meals and for snacks (read: I bought a big bag of cacao so lots of chocolate-y things). And probably most importantly;
3) It's ok for things not to go perfectly all the time. I will have bad days. I just have to make the best of them.

I might edit the post later and post the recipe.

That is, I will if I can remember it.


P.S. You can totally see where my finger slipped onto one of the cakes in that last picture. Oops! I'll just eat that one, too...

Friday, March 2, 2012

I definitely deserve a slice of cheesecake

I'm still on this raw kick, and I'm not sorry.

I don't have a good reason for making this cheesecake. I've been feeling down lately, so maybe that's why I did it. Last weekend went unfavourably at work and to be honest I'm still running the events through my mind.

But... it certainly won't help me lose weight and I don't think I really want to share it either. So it's just going to chill in my freezer. And when I'm a good girl—I mean a really, really good girl—then maybe I'll have a piece.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake
Adapted from The Purple Carrot's adaptation.

1 cup raw almonds (mine were soaked and dehydrated)
1 cup pitted dates
a generous pinch of sea salt

3 cups cashews, soaked
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil (this will give it a coconut-y taste; use refined if you don't want that), melted
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
1 generous cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry, plus more for garnish

For the crust: combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until everything is finely chopped and sticks together when pressed. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of a 9-in. springform pan bottom-lined with wax paper.

For the filling: Combine all ingredients, except for the berries, in the food processor and blend until smooth. Pour roughly two-thirds of the mixture over the crust.

Add the berries to the remaining mixture in the food processor and blend once again until smooth; pour over top to create three layers.

// Another idea I had is to pour all of the filling into the pan, blend the berries separately, and then swirl the pureed berries into the filling. Totally up to you. //

Place cheesecake into the freezer until firm, about an hour or two. Store in the freezer, and allow a couple minutes to thaw before slicing and serving. garnish with fresh blueberries, if desired.

Yield: one 9-in cheesecake

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just Experimenting

My original idea was to make raw 'butter' tarts.

I used to gobble those sweet, gooey pastries like no one's business when I was a kid which is probably why I was overweight. They were always at family picnics and get-together's, and I made a bee-line for them every time. My parents used to buy these big trays of them from the gorcery store and I always grabbed one or two after dinner. Saying I love them is a bit of an understatement, I hope you understand.

I actually haven't even touched one for years, probably because I made myself sick of them. Also, ya know, the whole butter and egg ordeal that kinda makes them not vegan. Shucks.

Now these are just something I made to try to indulge my mom (will report on that later), who is a lover of all things pecan. I personally don't even care for sandwich cookies. Anyway, I'm calling them Raw Maple-Cacao Pecan Sandwich Cookies (it's a mouthful, I know).

I realize maple syrup is not raw. I've seen it used in some raw food cookbooks, though, so I thought I'd be ok here. Besides, I only used a little bit—maybe a tablespoon in the entire recipe—because a little goes a long way with maple syrup, I find.

I wish I had a tea party or some event I could bring these to. I would love to host a vegan tea party! Bite-sized goodies are the best because they're just so cute and irresistible. Perfect with a cup of tea or almond milk—whatever you fancy.

Curiously, I end up eating more this way. Oops!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cookies for Anxiety

Growing up, I had a lot of trouble fitting in.

I've been thinking a lot about the past and although I'm sure this isn't an uncommon feeling, I was trying to figure out why I had such a hard time.

I felt really out of place when I was a kid, and I still do. And I'm wondering, how is it possible to feel this way within my own age group? Should there not be more commonalities between my peers and I? Ten years down the road and I realize only a handful of my friends are my age, I'm constantly surrounded by and associating with older people at work, and I'm developing tendencies strangely similar to my dad. The last one may or may not have anything to do with this.

What I'm getting at is I really seem to connect with people five to ten years older than myself, and so I feel older, too. I'm anxious and I can't help but feeling time is running out and I need get my act together and accomplish something before I'm too old to do the things I want to do. Whatever those things are.

I forget that I'm actually still quite young.

I have time. I need to breathe. And make some cookies.

While these were in the oven, and I was peeking through the oven door (see? anxious.) I was feeling particularly bitter. It's probably because Valentine's Day is tomorrow and I have no one to share these cookies with.

Shouldn't I have met someone by now?

It doesn't make sense to be having a quarter-life crisis seeing as how I haven't reached my quarter-life yet. I'm not even the type who yearns for a partner. I've always been ok with being single. Even on Valentines day, even at Christmas. These kinds of thoughts only cross my mind once in a blue moon.

If you have a special someone, I hope you will both enjoy tomorrow. If not, well, it's not the end of the world. Besides, you are probably like me and are younger than you feel, or your time just hasn't come yet. Either way you still have time to meet people. Right? Right.

And, in either case, making a batch of cookies is never a bad idea. I used this recipe with homemade strawberry jam and then drizzled some chocolate over top. I'm so festive. Cheers!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Carrot Juice on Impulse

(You may notice I forgot to defrost these muffins before I began photographing. Pretend you didn't. For me.)

Occasionally, I am an impulsive shopper. Especially when it comes to food.

Last week I bought some carrot juice. Prior to this, I have never tried it, and I don't think I ever would again.

I did get used to it after a few tries, but I wasn't sold. I ended up throwing the rest of it out this morning because I just couldn't bare it once more.

I do love carrots.

Just not juiced.

Fine. Now I know.

Before I dumped it, I used it in these muffins and was able to cut back on sugar because of it. What a good idea, self!

Carrot Spice Muffins
Adapted from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup whole spelt flour (or more whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg replacer (I used PaneRiso)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened, natural carrot juice, plus extra if you need to moisten the batter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin tin and set aside.

Mix together the first nine ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the next five ingredients; add to the dry ingredients, and mix just to moisten. If the dough seems a little dry, add a little more of the carrot juice. Batter will be thick (you aren't trying to thin it out, you just don't want it to be dry). Stir in the raisins.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until tested done. Cool in tin for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Cookies

I promised myself I would stay away from any sugars that weren't natural for this month, but I caved in. Truth is, I was really feeling a nice chocolate chip cookie today. I read something along the lines of if you are craving something than you shouldn't deny yourself whatever that is, to an extent, obviously.

I'm not sure if I was really craving one or if it was just an excuse for chocolate.

This recipe very closely resembles one from the Veganomicon, and that's because I was using it as a guide.

Gluten-, Soy- and Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Veganomicon.

2 scant cups certified gluten-free oat flour (or gluten-free oats ground into a flour to equal this amount)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Scant 1/2 cup organic, raw sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 GF egg replacer (like PaneRiso brand)
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3-3/4 cup allergy-friendly chocolate chips (such as EnjoyLife brand)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.

Combine oat flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl; set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together prepared egg replacer, sugars, oil, milk and vanilla until emulsified.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until mixed. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon-fuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets and bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on sheets 5-6 minutes before transferring onto wire rack to finish cooling. Or just eat them warm. Whatever.

Yield: 22 cookies

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unfortunately, I Haven't Been on Vacation

I've been neglecting this blog as I have been working a lot and haven't had much inspiration with food lately. Let me update you on what has been happening with me since my last post (in the form of bullet points, because I love bullet points):

  • Work, work, work = money, money, and very little time for play;
  • I have been incorporating a larger amount of raw food in my diet, mostly because I got a dehydrator for Christmas and I want to get lots of use out of it, and;
  • I realized I've gained a bit too much weight since the summer and I've decided to cut down on the sweets!
Well, I was trying to cut out the sweets. I have good intentions. For awhile, I just ate fruits to get my sweet fix, but let's just say that's now over. Hah! I'm so weak.

Now that I finally have some time off work I have time to muck about in the kitchen, snack a lot while I work, make a mess of my kitchen floor, and break my spice grinder. I'm a little confused on how that last one happened.

I'm calling this a Mini Raw Apple Cheesecake Pie. It started out as any ordinary raw apple pie but then I ended up with a cheesecake-like filling. Bye, traditional apple pie.

I just threw things into the food processor so there is no recipe. I remember what I put into it, just not the quantities, so here you go:

Crust: oats, apple, cinnamon, ginger, raisins
Filling: cashews, dates + some soaking water, apple, cinnamon, raisins