Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Cornmeal Mini Muffins

Since my friend asked for lemon raspberry cake for her birthday I have been thinking about the flavour combo. I found a recipe for raspberry cornmeal muffins that I thought I would adapt. Plus who doesn't love mini muffins? I know I can't resist.

Lemon Raspberry Cornmeal Mini Muffins

1 And 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Cornmeal
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Lemon Zest From One lemon
1 Cup Almond Milk
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or line a 2 mini muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine together the dry ingredients including the lemon zest.

In another bowl whisk together the milk, oil and vanilla extract.
Gently fold in the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Then add lemon juice.
Do not over mix the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, about 2/3rds full. Top each mini muffin with a raspberry.

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Savoury Grape Relish & Pinapple Sidecar Cocktail

For this month's Secret Recipe Club I was assigned a lovely blog called Kate's Kitchen. Kate and her husband Connie (AKA her sous chef - cute) seem like they are on the road a lot travelling and visiting with family. Her blog not only has some great recipes but lots of lovely photo's of the places they have been and things they have eaten. The best part of this blog is that Kate gives a lot of recipes for yummy cocktails!

After a day of helping a friend paint and put furniture together I thought it was time for an appetiser and a drink. I found two perfect recipes on Kate's blog. First up was this Grape Relish that I served with toasted baguette. The ingredients in this recipe are suppose to be grilled on the BBQ however it is December and we don't have a BBQ so instead I just cooked everything in a pan.

The cocktail was a Pinapple Sidecar (I traditional sidecar is my favourite drink so I had to try this twist). Kate's recipe used fresh blackberries but instead I used frozen raspberries as the garnish rather than as part of the mix.

Both turned out really delicious. Please check out all the yumminess over on Kate's Kitchen. Cheers Kate!

Savoury Vegan Grape Relish
Adapted from Kate's Kitchen

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, cut into thin slices
4 t olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 large bunch seedless red or black grapes
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper

In a dry pan toast the walnuts. Put into medium bowl and set aside. Add 2 tsp of oil to the pan and caramelise onions. Once cooked let cool and add to the walnuts.

Add the remaining oil and grapes to the pan. Cook until grapes are soft about 10 minutes. While grapes are cooking begin to squish them with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Let cool then add to mixture.

Finish by chopping the rosemary and adding it along with the balsamic vinegar. Taste and season with salt & pepper.

Serve with toasted baguette.

Pineapple Sidecar
Adapted from Kate's Kitchen

5 Ice cubes
4 oz Cognac (we used Courvoisier VS)
1 oz Cointreau or other triple sec (we used Grand Marnier)
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
Fresh or frozen raspberries

Shake all of the ingredients (except raspberries) in a cocktail shaker.

Sugar the rim of the serving glass (optional) and add 6 or 7 raspberries to he glass.

Strain cocktail into the glass and serve.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lemon Potato Soup with Pistou

We have had some really beautiful fall weather and somehow still don't have snow. Since it had been cooling off we have been making more and more soups. This one was thrown together as we had a jar of pistou in the cupboard. If you happen to have some fresh basil though you can make your own pistou by blending basil, garlic and olive oil together. This soup is sharp, aromatic and lemony.

Lemon Potato Soup with Pistou
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
Juice from 1 whole lemon
2 broth cubes
1/4 cup pistou

In medium sized pot saute the leeks and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add carrots, potatoes and lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes.

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the vegetables with 2 or 3 inches of water. Add broth cubes and bring to a boil. Lower heat a simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender (25 minutes).

Take soup off of the heat and using a potato masher mash the soup so that carrots and potatoes break up a bit. (This soup is not quite blended and not chunky).

Add pistou and serve with a big hunk of bread.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

I think these black bean brownies have been popular for long enough that I do not need to justify putting beans into a dessert. But just in case you are sceptical all I will say is you can not taste the black beans at all. They just add to the gorgeous texture of these brownies.

Recipe from Happy Herbivore
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
2 whole bananas
⅓ cup agave nectar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
¼ cup instant oats

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8" pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes With Raspberry Jam Glaze

One of our best friends was in town for the weekend to celebrate her birthday. I asked her what kind of cake she would would most like and she said "I love lemon and raspberry anything".

Lemon and raspberry are flavours I often do not bake with so I went searching for a cupcake recipe. I like the way this one turned out but I wish it would have had a stronger lemon kick. P and I are also trying to get away from using refined sugar which always leaves me stumped for good non-chocolate icing ideas. This time I thought why not use raspberry jam as a glaze. I think the glaze was my favourite part about these cupcakes it was so yummy.

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes - Yields 18 cupcakes

½ cup vegan margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
⅔ cup soy milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 2 lemons
1¾ cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup diced raspberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease or line a cupcake tin.

Beat together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, then add vanilla, soy milk, lemon juice, and zest.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Combine flour mixtures with wet ingredients just until mixed. Do not overmix. Gently fold in diced raspberries.

Fill cupcakes about ⅔ full with batter and bake immediately for 16–18 minutes or until done.

Raspberry Glaze

1 cup raspberry jam (I used a no sugar added type)
2 Tbsp lemon juice

In a small pot heat jam and lemon juice until it is liquid. Set aside to cool slightly. When cupcakes are baked and cooled spread glaze over each cupcake. The glaze will cool and stiffen. Serve cupcakes with a little lemon zest as garnish.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegan Falafel

For my November Secret Recipe Club I was assigned the blog Pepper & Sherry. Juls' blog is full of these awesome Polaroid-like photo's of all her food. And each recipe is laid out so nicely making sure you know not only what ingredients you need but also what equipment you will use as well.

If you are a meat lover than Juls' blog is for you. Although there were lots of yummy vegetarian dishes to try as well. I decided on this falafel recipe because I had never made it before and it sounded really comforting. I followed the recipe pretty much to a t except that I made the mixture in a blender and not a food processor so I had to add some water to facilitate the blending process. My mixture was probably a bit softer than Juls so instead of shaping the fafafel into patties I just scooped it straight out of the bowl with an ice cream scoop then flattened them in the pan.

 If you have never made home made falafel I hight recommend it. Absolutely delicious. I served mine with some crisped up pita, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and a tomato & artichoke salad.

14 oz can of chickpeas, drained
3 smashed garlic cloves
1 roughly chopped red onion
3 tablespoons gram or plain flour (gram flour is a gluten free chickpea flour)
tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon hot chilli flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (If using a blender)
  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and process to your desired consistency.
  2. Heat up about 2 tablespoons of oil in your frying pan. 
  3. When the pan is hot, scoop out small patties using an ice cream scoop. Place into pan and using the back of a spoon flatten out slightly. 
  4. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes on either side.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes Stuffed with Cinnamon Cookies & Topped with Cinnamon Buttercream

I don't know why but I had a craving for cupcakes that contained a cookie. I didn't know how these would turn out. Would the cookie be crunchy or soft? Could you even tell it was there?

I broke the cookies up a bit before adding them to the batter but I think you could even live dangerously and keep them whole. When you bite into the cupcake the cookies are soft and almost melted into the cake. They leave these delicious sugary cinnamony streaks. Add the cinnamon buttercream and you you have a winner.

Vanilla Cupcakes Stuffed with Cinnamon Cookie

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 - 2 cups of cinnamon cookies, broken up slightly (I used 1 package of Lucy's Cinnamon Thins)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 muffin pans with 20 paper baking cups. 

Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Add the cookie pieces and spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly. 

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool then frost with cinnamon buttercream.

Vegan Cinnamon "Butter"cream Frosting

1 cup soft vegan margarine
1 lb powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Combined all ingredients and mix for 5 minutes. Keep covered in fridge until ready to use.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Pie

This pie was made and eaten in the span of about 2 hours. It was so tasty. The filling is quite thick and very creamy. If you like you can add more milk to the mixture for a lighter filling.

Graham Cracker Crust
10 graham crackers
1/3 cup Earth Balance, melted

In a food processor (or by hand with a ziploc bag and rolling pin) grind graham crackers until they are crumbs. In a mizing bowl combined graham crumbs with butter and mix. Press mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie plate and bake in a 375 oven for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Pie
200 grams dark chocolate
2 cups almond butter
1/2 soy sour cream (Or cream cheese)
3/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, blend the almond butter, sour cream, and soy milk together. Add melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Taste to see if you need to add the maple syrup. (I don't like my desserts to sweet). Pour mixture into prepared crust and top with almonds. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until filling is firm. Cool and serve.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Salmon Chowder

I love the fall. I can start wearing sweaters and scarfs and layering outfits. Plus it means yummy soups and stews. My dad was visiting us with his new lady friend and I decided I would make something with salmon. But the fish monger also had some really beautiful scallops and mussels. I couldn't choose between them so I made this chowder with all three!

Salmon Chowder

Olive oil
1 large leek, sliced into rounds
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 - 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels removed with knife
1 can of coconut milk
1 fillet of salmon, skin removed, cut into 1 inch cubes

8 medium scallops
10 mussels, cleaned
Fresh herbs (I used basil, thyme and oregano)

In large pot cook the onions and leeks in a little olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, cauliflower, and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add enough broth to cover the veggies by about an inch. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. You may want to add a bit more broth depending on how thick you want the chowder. Add corn kernels, coconut milk and salmon. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add scallops, mussels and fresh herbs and simmer for another 3 - 4 minutes or until all seafood is cooked. Serve piping hot with these potato biscuits.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vegan Potato Biscuits

These biscuits are a cinch to make when you have left over mashed potatoes and are really delicious.  The inspiration for these comes from a non-vegan recipe in The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book. I happened to have a little Daiya cheese in the fridge so I topped each biscuit with a little before cooking. Super tasty but I think they would be just as good if you skipped the "cheese".

Vegan Potato Biscuits
1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cold Earth Balance, cubed
3/4 cup mashed potatoes
Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used basil, rosemary and thyme)
1/2 cup Daiya shredded cheese (Optional)

Dust rimless baking sheet generously with all-purpose flour; set aside.

Mix together soy milk and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper. With pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly, with a few larger pieces.

In a separate bowl, whisk soy milk mixture with potatoes until smooth; pour over dry ingredients. With fork, toss together until soft ragged dough forms. Turn out onto floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times until dough holds together.

Pat out and with a round cookie cutter cut out biscuits. Arrange on prepared pan,sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake in centre of 400°F oven until golden, about 18 minutes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vegan Rice Pudding

Sorry for the long delay in blogging. It's been a busy month. But I am back with a  very yummy recipe.

This is my first month participating in the Secret Recipe Club and my assignement was to make something from Apron Strings Blog. There was a lot of yummy stuff and I was having trouble deciding what to make. But then I saw this rice pudding recipe and I was set. I didn't have pistachios to garnish so I used sesame seeds, acia berries and cashews. I found the recipe a bit on the sweet side so next time I would reduce the sugar.


2/3 cup basmati rice
3 cups water
2 cans (12 ounces each) coconut milk
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup sugar (I would reduce the sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Diced pistachios for garnish

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to a boil the rice, water (or milk), coconut milk and salt. Reduce heat to simmer the mixture very slowly. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of oatmeal.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature with garnish of your choice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peach and Cherry Tart

This tart is absolutely delicious and so simple to make. (Unless you attempt your own puff pastry!). Only four ingredients make up this tart so make sure your fruit is ripe and yummy.

Vegan Peach and Cherry Tart
1/2 package of puff pastry, thawed
3 peaches, sliced
3/4 cup cherries, pitted and halved
2 Tbsp of sugar

Mix sliced peaches and cherries in a bowl and set aside.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into 6 pieces. With a knife score the puff pasty to create a smaller rectangle about half an inch from the edge. (This will allow your edges to puff up and the centre where you place the filling to stay flat).

Place puff pastry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkle sugar on pasrty. Top with the peach and cherrie slices and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until edges are golden and fruit is soften.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homemade Fudgesicles

Tasty summertime treats.

Recipe adapted from

2 cups soy milk
1/3 cup honey
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Earth Balance

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat on stove until little bubbles appear and mixture thickens. Cool slightly and pour into molds. Freeze 2 to 4 hours or until firm. Store in freezer.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vegan Almond Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies

These cookies are reminiscent of a soft peanut butter cookie but the sesame seeds add a lovely crunch. I used almond butter because that is what I had but any nut butter would work.

Vegan Almond Butter and Sesame Seed Cookies
Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup chunky almond butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup of black and white sesame seeds

Preheat to 350F and lightly grease two cookie sheets.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon, and set aside.
In a large bowl use electric beaters to cream the Earth Balance until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, agave, sugar, soy milk, and extracts, and continue to beat until creamy, 4-5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture and stir until a firm dough forms.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. Roll each ball in sesame seeds, and place on a prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 1 1/2″ of space between each cookie. Flatten the balls just slightly and bake for 10-11 minutes for chewy cookies, up to 14 minutes for firmer, crunchier cookies. Remove from oven and allow cookies to remain on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vegan Peach, Black Pepper and Basil Cake

It sounds like a weird combo but I love desserts with herbs in them. I think peach and basil go together really well. Plus the addition of black pepper gives it just a hint of spice. Super moist cake that doesn't need icing (although a vegan cream cheese icing would go really well here.)

Peach, Black Pepper and Basil Cake

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of ripe peaches, chopped (about 3 small peaches)
1/2 cup of fresh basil, julienned  

Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Fold in the peaches and basil. Pour batter into a greased 9 inch cake pan and bake for 40 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Red Berry Pie Vegan Style

We have some crazy potlucks at work. The latest theme was "your favourite fairytale or fable". I choose Little Red Riding Hood and decided to make a pie (because that's what little red was bringing to her grandma) and it had to be red (do I need to explain?). I used this pie crust recipe and followed all the directions and it turned out not to bad  (pie crust is not my strong suit).

Red Berry Pie
1 vegan pie crust
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup raspberries (I used frozen)
1 cup pitted and halved cherries
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup sugar

Make pie crust and leave to chill. Mix berries with sugar and cornstarch. Roll out dough and fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim excess and re-roll to cut into heart shapes. Fill pie with berry mixture and top with cut out heart shapes. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. I put some tinfoil around the edges for the first 20 minutes and then took it off to let the crust brown.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Terrific Teacups

So many pretty teacups. I want them all! Plus it goes nicely with my round up of teapots.

1. Vintage French teacups via willow95988 2. Teacups as jewellery holders via Lavender & Lillies 3. Teacup bracelets (seriously - so freaking cool!) from staceygoldmaryrose 4. Teacup print from theblackoutline 5. Super cool mod teacups from MOD design 6. Amazing embroidered teacup via CRAFT: