aaannnnnndddd BREAK!!! Woah that was an intense month and a half. More 12-14 hour school days, show make up, curling irons, and AP tests than I ever want to encounter again. But its all over and I just have a nice, easy week and a half of school left. Then let summer begin!!! I promise I will be more present in the coming months, just you wait! You should see the amount of recipe ideas I have noted on my phone…
Don’t blame me. Blame Heather for raving about Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter. Then blame Sarah for being all amazing and creating delicious nut butter flavors that inspire me and make me want to be her nutty apprentice
Okay okay. Then you can blame me
I tried the Wild Squirrel almond butter and it was delicious, but I figured it would be really easy to re create:) I was right! I made a delicious replica, but didn’t really write down the ingredient amounts.
But the idea of coffee and almond butter was burned into my mind. “What next?” I wondered…
Then I looked into our extracts container
It came together pretty quickly, I only had to alter it once before it was perfect!
And it got two thumbs up from my mom and my (tentative, “what is this??” before trying anything) step dad!!
Caramel Macchiato Almond Butter -makes 1 jar
Sweet, caramelly, java almond butter reminiscent of that famous Starbucks drink:) This is addictive. You are welcome
- 1 pound raw almonds (like 1 trader joes bag)
- 2 T. ground coffee or espresso (NOT INSTANT)
- 1 tsp caramel extract
- 1 tsp coconut extract*
- 1 tsp uncut stevia or sweetener to taste
- dash salt
In a food processor, grind the almonds until they turn into butter. It may take a while, but it will butter-ify:) Add your flavors, pulse in, adjust flavors if nessecary, and store in a jar in the fridge
For further guidance on making almond butter check this out
notes on the recipe:
- raw almonds work best because they make a mild, sweet tasting butter. I have tried roasting my own almonds for coffee butter before and, while roasted almond butter is delicious, it didn’t really work with the flavor I was going for. The nuttiness was too strong (plus I over toasted the almonds, so that might’ve done something…)
- don’t use instant coffee or espresso, the flavor is diluted and oddly toasty, not coffee-ish
- I used coconut extract because I was out of vanilla, and the coconut gave a similar flavor. If you don’t have the coconut, defiantly use vanilla, and maybe start with 1/2 tsp then add more if it needs:)
- Don’t have caramel? Add more vanilla for vanilla-latte almond butter! Or chocolate! Or Vanilla-Chocolate-Caramel! (ooooh…or just wait and I’ll get back with that one!)
Its delicious in so many ways!!! Toast, oats, pancakes, baked goods, apples, pears, other fruit, mixed into yogurt with cocoa powder…
and spoons. Betcha can’t guess which is my favorite??
Whooo! April is over! That was insane. Way too busy. Now I only have one more week (next week) of busyness from a dance show and AP tests and its a free ride till summer. getherefasterplease
April was full of too many days like this:School followed by auditions followed by eating in the locker room while doing hair and makeup for my musical. AKA bringing more food, clothes, and makeup to school than school supplies. Thank you 14 hour school days, I am through with ye!!By the way, that was sweet potatoes, curried veggies and an indian spiced veggie burger Not every meal was this crazy though! How about some recent eats yeah?Blueberry and green apple oats topped with almond butterAnd more recently: Red pear oatmeal topped with what Im calling “final stretch” almond butter. AKA homemade Coffee- chocolate -Get through AP tests and Finals-almond butter. Not quite good enough to post yet though, unless you reeeeaallllyyy like intense coffee flavor This was actually a lunch! Mexican tofu breakfast burrito in an Udis GF spinach tortilla (<quickly becoming my favorites)First watermelon of the season from Trader Joes!! Was slightly dissapointingObviously I cared. I may have been the only one eating it and it may have been gone in 4 days…Ugly pic, one of the best pizzas of my life!! We made this crust and ‘cheese’ sauce with almond butter instead of pine nuts, and topped it with a polynesian/bbq tomato sauce, red and green onions, mushrooms, zucchini and pineapple. Ahhhhhhssoooogooodd!!!!!!Island bbq portabello burgers on toast with sweet potatoes and broccoliFresh coffee flavored kombucha on tap at Earth Day. This was awesome.Vegetarian Ethiopian Plate (also at earth day)And a vegan lemon lime ice cream popsicle from Dave Pops (also at Earth Day!)The new Luna Bar, because I found it at Target. Not bad, not my favorite but pretty good!Okay. Im addicted. Sorry! (this one tastes like Gingerale!)Ginger noodlesAnd quinoa brownies for dessert!!!FYI, if you make them with flax eggs and almond butter (instead of chicken eggs and oil), they come out more like baked pudding/custard, since flax doesn’t bake the way eggs do. But they are still delicious and fudgy and awesome!!Who’s ready for summer??
Hi!! Im coming to say hello and update you on the past two weeks or so before I go back into the depths of a busy busy month, gotta love weekends!!
Thus far this April…
First off we have my Junior Prom!
I think this was my favorite night ever. I *heart* dressing up!!
All the single ladies!! We didn’t have dates so we dressed up like princesses (Ariel, Anastasia, and Jasmine) and then proceeded to be Charlie’s Angels. Makes sense right? I love these girls…
Afterwards we went to Mel’s Diner, at like 11:00. When you are tired after prom, you are easily amused. Curly fries match my hair. (ps ps!! I actually ate some!!! Whooo!! regular are better but still, fear food win!)
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Its more fun that way
My dinner on prom night (well its a food blog, what did you expect?) We went to a fancy Mexican restaurant, and these were some kind of baked taco things that reminded me of fajitas in stew form. All I had to do was get the vegetarian and ask for no cheese, it was delicious!!! Not even spicy wooo!
I have actually done some cooking, believe it or not!! Not really my recipes though, but labor intensive yes!
Another night I made this Buffalo Pizza, which I only got one slice through before the spicy-ness defeated me. My mom was in heaven though! (granted she puts cayenne in her coffee)
Aaannnddd I made spaghetti with lemon pepper asparagus. Yummm
Tiny nut butter or strawberry on steroids?? Either way it was a delicious combination!! Sarah is a genius
I made my banana muffins again, but this time I used less banana and added a zucchini for banana-zucchini nut muffins. Delicious.
In non food news, My musical opened on Thursday!!! We are doing Bye Bye Birdie and having a blast!!
The photographer sat on the ground so that I would look tall (okay, normal) in a picture haha
CONRAD BIRDIE!!! AHHHHH!!!!
And Cookie. Because she doesn’t want us to do our work haha:)
And I shall leave you with that!! One more week and then I can rest! I have Dance Team Auditions (wish me luck!) and another weekend of shows! Bye for now!!
What have you been up to lately??
Happy Wednesday guys!!!!
This week i’m doing something a little different:) No, I didn’t eat 1000 cupcakes (though it sure felt like it ) I’m talking about Sacramento Vegan Challenge‘s event this past weekend, 1000 Vegan Cupcakes for Charity! (for Facebook/more fun and pictures click here )
I’ll still show you what I ate though, because after the event we had a fancy 4 course vegan meal at the hotel that hosted the event:) Prepare for (cupcake) photo bombardment!!
1000 Vegan Cupcakes is a charity event where 12 bakers generously donated 50-100 vegan cupcakes in fun flavors (We had categories like Fun and Fruity, Eat your Veggies, Nuts and Nuggets, and Classic and Creative, with healthy (gluten free, low sugar/sugar free and oil free as subcategories-for every diet!). The cupcakes are sold to the public and the proceeds go to charities. We have guest judges to pick the winning cupcakes, and musical entertainment:)
The theme this year was “Farm to Cupcake”, playing off the fact that Sacramento is the Farm to Table Capitol. Garden Tower generously donated a garden tower for our display, which was afterwards donated to the St John’s Women’s Shelter for their “Plates” program (a restaurant business that teaches homeless women the ins and outs of restaurant-ing to get them back on their feet).
Almond Butter Cup
Molten Chocolate Raspberry and Lemon Avocado
Chocolate with an avocado mint frosting (oil free)
Chocolate Beet cupcake with a vanilla fennel ganache (gf, of, no added sugar)
Carrot Walnut Cake (gf)
Citrus Olive Oil
Root Beer Float
24K Karrot Cake with Sweet potato frosting
Pancake Cupcake with Maple Frosting and Maple Tempeh Bacon
One of the Judging platters (groups of four judged each category to pick a winner)
The ones I came home with. The ones pictured that you didn’t see before are Pink Lemonade, Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter,Orange Carrot, Strawberry Rhubarb, Hummingbird, and Apple Cinnamon.
Do I have to pick a favorite??? These are all gone now, sad. In order to try them all, my family cuts them into 3 so we try 3 cupcakes at a time haha!!
The only problem with the event was that it was supposed to be 3 hours, but we sold out of cupcakes after only and hour and 15 minutes!! So we finished the judging, picked the winners, cleaned up and went downstairs for dinner!
It was all very delicious! My mom and I decided to get one of everything and share so we could try everything! I loved both appetizers and soups, but the Lentil-Tomato entree was by far my favorite, and I had the carrot cupcake because I love carrot cake, and my mom loves chocolate. The frosting was to die for!!!
Yum. Can you believe, after all of that, this was the first cupcake I ate??? It was a very long day! My mom organized the event, so I was helping out from 8 in the morning till almost 10 at night!! It was well worth it though, we made $2500 for charities!! Woop!!!
So, What did you do this weekend????
And so begins the busiest month of my life. Ill get back to you on that one!
As I mentioned earlier, the night before Easter was stormy! We were up many hours consoling our doggies through the lightning and thunder in the middle of the night! But we still somehow managed to get early for an eight o clock Easter Service (early for us, we usually go the the 11:30 church service
Easter Morning began with a delicious carrot-cake overnight oat parfait, topped with crumblies from a carrot cake muffin (which I will share with you soon I promise!!). It was put together relatively quickly too, since nothing had to be cooked!
After a glorious service, (Easter Sunday is my favorite!) my family and I walked over to the coffee shop by my church for some rainy day cappuccinos
Someday I will learn how to do this…
Since we had celebrated Easter with our family the day before, we went home for a relatively low-key Sunday afternoon. We walked the doggies under the now-sunny sky, had a quick and random lunch that I didn’t picture, and then I set about making these babies…
My craving for Easter candy was now satisfied:)
Even though we hadn’t planned anything special for dinner, my brother was over and since we hadn’t had a real “Easter Brunch” either, I decided that Brunch for Dinner it was!!
Pretty Easter table
Tofu scramble with fresh, local asparagus (Gosh I love living in the central valley!!), Yukon Gold potatoes roasted with garlic, salt and pepper, and an accidentally pink fruit salad with pineapple, mandarins, banana, raspberries, shredded coconut, and a bit of soy yogurt flavored with lemon and coconut extracts and stevia. It was soo good:)
And for dessert, the last of my Sunny Lemon Cheesecake!
Other eats this week have included:
The best OIAJ ever (wow that jar was gone fast! Oops ). Oats with vanilla, stevia, flax, instant espresso and maca powder plus an apple in a vanilla espresso almond butter jar…Heaven:)
Lots of cookie dough dip:)
A gigantic bowl of cookie dough dip topped with yogurt and cereal, of which my whole family followed suit and we called it dinner haha! Plus veggies later
Salad with lentils and sweet potato
Veggie sushi snack A “go green” roll with long beans, green apple, rice and avocado in a sweet mustardy sauce
And a snack of yogurt and frozen blueberries and a pear-agar agar experiment hehe:) Topped with cereal, but then you couldn’t see the fun part!!
How was your Easter?
PS! If you are in the Sacramento area, or want to come check out some fun and delicious cupcakes, come join us for 1000 Vegan Cupcakes for Charity on Saturday! It is the second year that my mom’s organization, Sacramento Vegan Challenge, is putting this event on and it is going to be amazing!!! Here is a link to details
I was never really a chocolate candy kid. Or marshmallows (Peeps are nasty, sorry). Or Jelly beans (except jelly bellys, sometimes). I liked the fruity stuff -skittles, starbursts, ya know. Only liked chocolate if it had nuts, but even then, a little went a long way. Heck, there was one Easter when I confidently started a Snickers chocolate egg, only to save 3/4 of it for later…Lets just say that almost a year later I still hadn’t touched it and now needed industrial cleaning equipment to get the melted chocolate/sticky caramel/bright foil mess off of my dresser
So it surprised me when, the night before Easter, I was hit with a MASSIVE craving for chocolate easter candy. Especially a Reese Egg (The only chocolate candy I really liked). But alas, we had none in the house. I ate a few chocolate almonds, but nope. I searched for something to quell that craving, finally resorting to the second half of an old, refrigerated Vega 1 candy bar. It got the chewy candy craving quieted for the meantime, but my brain had already been turning motors…
Easter afternoon, I set out to make some. But not just any normal vegan PB cup, I wanted these to be PB to the max. So I used peanut butter, peanut butter extract, peanut flour, and peanut butter cereal to create the ultimate filling. And I didn’t mess around with any ‘equal chocolate to PB’ ratios.
Nope. A nice thin chocolate coating surrounding a thick Peanut buyer filling. Just the way it should be.
FYI, Its a very messy process. I left much evidence
Super Peanut Butter Cups
- 3/4 C. dark chocolate chips, melted
- scant 3/4 C Better n PB or regular PB (I used BTPB because it has an already carmelly sweet and salty thing join on, and we only had bland regular PB )
- 2 T. almond butter
- 1/8 tsp butter extract
- 1/8 tsp Peanut butter extract
- 1 T. PB2 or Peanut flour
- 1/4 C. xylitol
- 3/4 C. crushed peanut butter cereal (PB Toast Crunch)
I used 3 mini cupcake trays with foil liners. Melt your chocolate in the microwave (Safe bowl, microwave for 2 minutes at 50%, stir, then at 50% in 20 second increments until all melty). Put a little chocolate in each liner and use your finger (its messy, but works best) to spread it all around the inside of the liners. Put the trays in the freezer to re-harden while you prepare PB mixture.
In a small pot on the stove over medium heat, melt the PB and AB together. Add your flavors, sweetener, and PB2. Mix and taste, in case you need to make any changes. stir in the crushed cereal and turn off the heat. Put a small spoonful of PB mixture in each chocolate cup until full and put back in freezer for a few minutes.
Re melt your chocolate, if needed, and then use your finger again to swirl a coating of chocolate onto of each PB cup. Garnish with a bit of cereal or nuts. keep in refrigerator
Note, these are really sweet when you first make them, but they totally mellow out and meld together the second day after being kept in the fridge. And no, it doesn’t taste like an unsweetened, nasty, ‘peanut butter cup’ candy thing. It tastes like it should. Got it? Good.
Craving = Satisfied
What was your favorite candy growing up?
Chocolate or fruity? Nuts or no nuts?
Happy Easter! Or, depending on when you read this, Happy Day-After-Easter!! ( I actually have another recipe, maybe 2, that are Eastery because I am a normal person who makes Easter themed things on Easter and not two weeks before. So think of it like an after-Easter sale. Some desserts never go out of style
Easter is probably one of my absolute favorite holidays, and it is most definitely my absolute favorite church service. The dresses, the flowers, the sun shining through the stained glass windows as the choir sings the Hallelujah Chorus. Its magical
Sadly, this was the stormiest Easter ever. As in, last night there was lightning and thunder for hours. And it was dumping rain. Guys, I live in CA and it never rains, much less storms, and especially not on Easter. I wore a dress anyway, whatever.
I wouldn’t let any old cloudy sky ruin my sunny disposition on Easter!!
Anyway, I made a cheesecake. A vegan cheesecake. So no cheese, or eggs. Without tofutti or cashews or any of that ‘normal vegan cheesecake’ stuff. What did I use? Do you really have to ask? I mean, come on guys, its me.
I used Sweet Potato.
As always. But would you look at the size of this monster!!! Next to a (expired-sorry I keep trying but I just don’t like coconut butter, sue me) jar of coconut manna. All 2.5 cups of potato I call for? Yeah, there was still a little leftover of this thing.
And its even a healthy cheesecake. On a healthy crust. Like, you could eat it for breakfast! (cough not that I know anything about that cough cough. Hey, the crust has cereal in it right?)
Almond Ginger Shortbread Crust
- 1/4 C. finely ground almonds
- 1/2 C. crushed cereal (you want a light flavor but hard cereal, I used Oatie bites)
- 3 dates, no pits
- 1 T. candied ginger (candied pieces, not crystallized chips!)
- 1/4 C. shredded coconut
- 2 T. xylitol or sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 T almond milk
This takes a couple steps:) Grind your almonds until they are small and pebbly but not a flour, I used a food processor and then sifted the almond dust out
Do the same with your cereal. I made extra of both and then measured the amounts out.
Now, separately from the dry, process the dates and ginger together until pebbly/just starting to stick together.
Add the dry ingredients (all) back in with the dates and pulse until they start to come together. If needed, add a Tbs of almond milk to get it moist and easily pressed together.
Press the crust into a well greased pie pan and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until it starts getting golden and delicious smelling:)
Meanwhile, blend up your cheesecake!
- 2 1/2 C cooked japanese sweet potato, no skin (Baked is best b/c it gets sweet)
- 1 package silken lite tofu
- 1/2 C. plain, unsweetened soy yogurt (could use any nondairy, or dairy if thats yo thang)
- 2 T agar flakes plus 4 T water
- 1 T xanthan gum
- 2 T. lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 T. lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 2 T. rice vinegar ( or 2 more T. lemon juice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 T. lemon extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 C. xylitol or sugar
In a high powered blender (i.e. vitamix) blend the potato, tofu, and yogurt. Separately, mix the agar and water on the stove over medium heat, whisking until the agar is dissolved and gelling. Now add agar and the rest of the ingredients to the blender with the potato mixture and blend very very well (super smooth equals creamy cheesecake).
Pour into your prepared crust, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 6-8 hours or until firm and set (I chilled overnight at least).
There was even just enough filling leftover for me to make 2 mini, heart shaped cheesecakes (i had to make a mini batch of crust though). Which worked out perfectly because I could taste and photograph it without cutting into the cake before Easter!
Then, just because I like things to be pretty and multi-flavored, I made a purple blueberry sauce for on top:)
- 1 C. Frozen blueberries
- 1 T. Lemon juice
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 T. blueberry jam
Defrost the blueberries and mash them with a fork, then add the lemon juice. Mix the cornstarch with a few spoonfuls of the blueberry/lemon juice and then add it back to the mixture. Add the jam, then give it all a quick blitz in the blender so that it is smooth (not too smooth, just not full of lumpy skins;) ). Thats it!
Serve cheesecake with blueberry sauce. It is firmest, and best, when straight out of the fridge, otherwise it softens a little to the point of pudding pie, but its still delicious regardless! Also would be really good frozen
Hold on one sec…
Creamy, lemony delight on a wonderfully gingery crust with a sweet and tart blueberry sauce…
Have I convinced you yet?
How about now? (Look at the chicken!! He is so cute!! He wants you to make this!). Like I said, just because Easter is over…