Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spicy Apricot and Sunflower Seed Hummus

I recently found a most delicious hummus, Spicy Yellow Lentil Hummus with Sunflower Seeds and Apricots, by Eat Well Enjoy Life…. However, I was disappointed to see several added preservatives. I spend so much time reading labels and eating healthy that I couldn’t make an exception with my hummus, especially since there are plenty of other brands that are preservative free! So I decided to try and make my own version of this unique hummus!!!

I began with a basic chickpea hummus and use apricot preserves to sweeten it…. I was surprisingly pleased with my results!! It was spicy and sweet just like the store bought version!


3 cans of chickpeas (I cooked mine from dried chickpeas ~ 2 hrs to cook)
4 tbs tahini
4 garlic cloves
3 tbs lemon juice
8 tbs WFs apricot fruit spread
2 tbs roasted red bell pepper olive oil
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbs crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
Water for desired consistency
Salt and pepper to taste

To do:

Place all ingredients in your food processor EXCEPT the sunflower seeds.
Blend until smooth (2-3 minutes)
Then add the sunflower seeds and stir – leaving a chunky consistency.
Next time I might add some chopped dried apricots too…..

Enjoy with your favorite veges or pita bread!

Adults: 2 thumbs up!!!
Kids: too spicy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tiramisu Cupcakes……..and Cake

You had me at Tiramisu…… I am a lover of anything Tiramisu! And I am so excited to have found another amazing version of Tiramisu! I was a little worried these cupcakes might turn out soggy, but of course not, another amazing recipe from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World! They took over my kitchen, my tummy, and my heart!!!! And they passed the test of my good friend (KC), who IS the expert on Tiramisu!!!

Hope you all enjoy them too!!!

Basic Vanilla Cupcake

          Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)
·        1 cup soymilk
·        1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
·        1 ¼ cups flour
·        2 tablespoons cornstarch
·        ¾ teaspoon baking powder
·        ½ teaspoon baking soda
·        ¼ teaspoon salt
·        1/3 cup canola oil
·        ¾ cup sugar
·        2 teaspoons vanilla
·        ¼ teaspoon almond extract or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract       

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk the soy milk and the vinegar together and let sit a few minutes until curdled.
Beat together the soy milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extracts, if using, in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until no large lumps remain.
Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 20 to 22 minutes till done. 
Transfer to a cooling rack.

Frosting (I made a variation to the recipe in the book)
·        1 cup vegan butter
·        ¼ cup vegan cream cheese
·        2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
·        2 tsp TJ’s bourbon-vanilla extract
·        1 tsp hazelnut extract
·        3 TBS TJ’s Sipping Chocolate Hot Chocolate powder

Assemble the Cupcakes:

1/3 cup Kahlua and 1/3 cup espresso (set aside)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tsp cinnamon (for dusting)
Chocolate chips to decorate

To do:
Use a small spoon to scoop out a small hole in the top of the cupcake (save this to decorate with later).
Pour 1-2 tablespoons of the Kahlua mixture  into the hole.
Fill your pastry bag with your frosting and then pipe it into the hole to fill it.
Place the cut-out cupcake part on top.
Decorate the rest of the cupcake with frosting however you desire and add a chocolate chip on top.
Dust with the cocoa/cinnamon mixture.


…… but wait there is more…..

Tiramisu Cake….

I had leftover frosting and Kahlua mixture so I thought – why don’t I make a cake!!!!
My kids love chocolate cake therefore I whipped up the basic chocolate cake from The Joy of Vegan Baking and poured it into my new heart-shaped bundt pan (350 degrees for 30 minutes).
  • 1-1/2 cups (188 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) cold water
Then while the cake was fresh and hot out of the oven, I flipped it onto a platter and poured the Kahlua mixture all over it…. then I thought if a little Kahlua is good – why not more?… I poured another ¼ cup of Kahlua over it. Let it cool then piped some frosting décor all over it, dusted with the cocoa/cinnamon mixture and then had to immediately try it!

And like usual it became my FAVORITE!!!

I know I say everything is my favorite but truly these cupcakes and cake are amazing (if you are a Tiramisu lover like me!!!)

Too drunk to vote….
The kids will sleep well tonight….

Sea Salt and Caramel Brownies

In the last few years I have discovered that I love salty and sweet and the best way to combine these flavors (in my opinion) is salt with caramel or salt with chocolate!

I made these sweet brownies yesterday for my close friend’s baby shower and they turned out to be quite a hit (with the bun in the oven too). J

Here is my very simple (and semi-homemade) creation:

Step 1

You need 1 box of Ghirardelli’s Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (yes, vegan ingredients)
Follow the directions but replace the eggs with Energy Egg Replacer or Ground flax seed (1 TBS with 3 TBS water)

Step 2

You can make your own vegan caramel (there are plenty of varieties on the internet) or if you are lazy like me then buy online from JJ’s Cocomels -- a Boulder, CO small business that makes their cocomels from coconut milk and sell many assorted varieties. YUM!

Place 5 cocomels in a dish and microwave for only 20-30 seconds (they melt fast). Drizzle this over the cooked brownies. I discovered that when it was time to cut the brownies the cocomels had returned to a semi-solid chewy state making it difficulty (messy) to cut the brownies. So in retrospect if you are going to drizzle over them do it in thin strands OR cut the brownies and then place a dollop of the melted cocomel on top!!!! I think that would work best!!
Step 3

Sea Salt! Any brand or variety you choose and as much or as little that your palette desires!!!

Then enjoy!
So simple, so yummy!!!

Ladies: all thumbs up
Bun in the oven: some kicks and flips.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In a Galaxy far far Away.....

There were these fun vegan Star Wars Cupcakes!!!!

Thank you to Chef JS for the ideas! Of course you are more talented than I and your Princess Leia more life-like!

These are very easy and fun to do. Here are the recipes:

Chocolate Cupcakes: (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

Ingredients: (makes 12)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
  3. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely

Butter Cream Frosting: (from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

Ingredients: (for 12 cupcakes)
  • 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
    1.  Beat until fluffy. (So easy!)


Darth Vader:
Bought these Darth Vader face rings and light sabers through Amazon
Separate the buttercream frosting and add lots of black food coloring!
Frost and place the rings and sabers on top

Storm Troopers:
Bought these Storm Trooper face rings through Amazon.
Frost and place on top.

Princess Leia:
For her brown hair you can make chocolate buttercream frosting or I just added several tablespoons of cocoa to make it more brown.
Frost her face first then add a heart sprinkle for her mouth and either brown frosting for her eyes or chocolate chips.
Then frost her hair along the top and frost one side of a Chocolate Jo-Jo cookie (Trader Joe’s or Oreo’s would work) and press against the side of the cupcake. Miraculously it sticks!

Then Enjoy!!!

Adults: 2 light sabers up!
Kids: 4 light sabers up!