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Vegan Whoopie Pies w/ Peppermint Filling & Pedestal - How To


Today, I am sharing with you how to make moist Whoopie Pies with peppermint filling. Also, how to make a pedestal out of a plate and a vase so you can display your Whoppie masterpieces in style!

The whoopie pie is considered to be a cake, cookie, or a pie.  I see it being more like a cake than any cookie or pie I have ever had.  Which ever it is, I do enjoy eating them.  The flavors of "cake" are endless; pumpkin, vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet are all delicious.  The type of cream filling is also wide open.  How about strawberry, cinnamon spice, or double chocolate?

The sky is the limit when it comes to this dessert.  How about dipping the whoopie in melted chocolate?  I am trying that next!

*1 whoopie pie pan will be needed
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Batter ingredients:

2 cups organic unbleached flour
3/4 cups organic pure cane sugar
1/4 cup organic cocoa
4 teaspoons non-GMO, non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups organic almond milk
1/2 cup organic sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract
oil to grease pan

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Add to that the almond milk, sunflower oil and chocolate extract.

Oil whoopie pan, fill each well with 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter.  When each well is filled, lightly tap the pan on the counter to make sure batter is evenly distributed in each well.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the pan when cool, about 2 minutes.

Filling ingredients:

2 1/2 cups organic confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons non-dairy butter
2 tablespoons organic almond milk
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl add sugar and non-dairy butter, blend until smooth.  Add almond milk and extract, blend thoroughly.

When cakes are cool, assemble whoopie pies.  On the flat side, spread 2 tablespoons of filling, top with another cake with the domed side up.  Repeat with remaining cakes.




Now, how about that pedestal?  Aren't you excited?  This not only makes a lovely display stand for your baking creations, but also a great gift!  Do you have a friend's birthday coming up?  How about baking these whoopie pies and presenting them on a pedestal that you made.  You can use any plate, or saucer, vintage or new.  For the stand, you can use vases, tea cups, or even candle holders.

To put this together takes not even 1 minute.  It may take you longer though to pick which plate and stand you want to use; you may also have to make more than one!  I have about 8 in my home, I love vintage plates and I collect milk glass so I always have inspiration for making pedestals around me.

An option is also using a cloche to cover the plate when using it for desserts, or giving as a gift.

This pedestal can also be used for holding fruit, a vase of flowers, candles, or candy.  It's nice to have different heights available when you entertain.  A table set up with a few pedestals that vary in height is very attractive.

Once you have your plate and stand, you will need a glue that will bond glass together.

First, turn over your stand, and apply glue, then place the plate on top making sure it is centered over the stand.  Let sit for a few hours to dry.

I do hope you try this fun and easy project.  Remember it's a great gift for those upcoming wedding showers and birthdays!

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Vegan Corn Chowder


I love soup; give me a big bowl of soup and a delicious slice of bread and I am happy.  Everyone should have at least a few good recipes they can turn to in a pinch.  Soup can be served at both a casual meal and an elegant dinner.  It's so versatile; look around your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry right now and I bet you have the ingredients for making soup for dinner tonight.

Sometimes I double the recipe to ensure that leftovers can be enjoyed the next day, or be frozen for a later meal.

Today was a cool, spring day, perfect for soup.  I bet today is a good day for you to make soup also!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
32 ounces organic vegetable broth
3 cups fresh or frozen corn - I used Whole Foods non-GMO, organic frozen corn
1 cup organic almond milk
4 tablespoons non-dairy butter
1 small onion-diced
2 organic carrots-diced
1 tablespoon organic dill
2 teaspoons organic garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic pepper

In a large stockpot, over medium heat, add oil and saute onions and carrots until tender.  Add broth and corn, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until half of the corn is creamed.

Mix in almond milk, non-dairy butter, dill, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Laddle soup into bowl and sprinkle some chive salt on top. Enjoy!
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Brill Razorcut Premium 33 Review


There are many things that cause my neighbors to look at me strangely, but the thing that I am writing about today are the stares that I get when I cut the grass. Well, these stares began a couple of years ago when I switched from using a fossil-fuel-guzzling lawnmower to a push reel mower. Have you seen one of these human-powered contraptions from yesteryear? Before buying my first one, I had only seen them at antique fairs. However, if you are concerned about doing all you can to reduce your carbon footprint, “push power” is the only way to go.

I am completely hooked on push reel mowers for the exercise/health benefits and fuel cost savings. Plus, these green mowers offer the advantage of 5 clean-cutting blades on a reel (like the kind that golf courses use) instead of one rotary “butcher blade” (like gas mowers use). Believe me, your grass will notice and appreciate the difference. Although, there are types of grasses not particular well-suited for push reel cutting, including St Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda.

Push reels are unique, so I gave consideration to some things in particular before deciding to purchase the German-designed Brill Razorcut 33 (33cm cutting width or about 13”). Reel blades are difficult to DIY sharpen and expensive to have sharpened professionally. Pushing can be difficult and may also put extra strain on the handle. Here the Brill offers some great advantages over other mowers. First, it is super light weight at just a hair over 15 pounds. It is so light you can easily hang it on the wall of your garage or shed. The cutting mechanism doesn’t make contact with bedknife making it simple to push. So light and easy to push, that I found it easier to push than a shopping cart. So easy and quiet, in fact, I thought that it wasn’t working, until I looked down at the perfectly manicured lawn. This cutting design along with hardened steel blades report to only require sharpening about every 10 years instead of annually like most other mowers in this class. The Euro Brill also has the very simplest to follow, Ikea-esque, picture-only instructions which require no tools for assembly. It took less than 10 minutes to put together since you only have to attach the rugged aluminum handle (the blades are pre-set up at the factory). Another 30 seconds to set the blade height (also requires no tools) and you are ready to cut.

With all these fabulous features, plus a purchase price of just $129.99 (with free shipping and 60-day money back guarantee) currently offered by Clean Air Gardening. The Brill Razorcut Premium 33 may be the greatest gardening value ever!

*I discovered this product on my own and purchased it with my own money. This review was in no way endorsed by the aforementioned companies.*

This a guest post from Jeff.
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Andalou Naturals All-in-One Beauty Balm Review


When I search for a new face product, it's a project.  Gone are the days where I could go to any store that sells beauty products and buy a face cream within 10 seconds.  Since I am vegan, I have a list of requirements that I have to look for first in a new product.  Are you ready?  Okay, here it goes:

1. Is it vegan?

2. Does the company test on animals? (And  I mean every step of the way - not just the "finished product is not tested on animals" thing.  I laugh when I read this; testing is testing. I am not an idiot!)

3. Is the product certified with the Leaping Bunny logo?

4. Are the ingredients certified non-GMO?

5. Are they certified organic?

6. No palm oil please!

7. Who really owns the company? So many great companies get bought by huge conglomerates that I personally boycott, for example: P&G and Unilever. When a large company takes over a small company, I have found that they do not change the label. So you think you are buying from said small company, when you are actually buying from another.

8. Is it free from the dirty 30?  This is a list that MyChelle Dermaceuticals produced.  Check out their website for the list.

Gosh, I think that's it.  At least for today, that is..

Now for my product review! I just started using Andalou All-in-One Beauty Balm.  Wow! This is a great product!  I need a face cream that is rated SPF 30, as well as one that will hydrate my skin.  I have a dry patch on my cheek that I have to keep moisturized at all times.  This balm is rich and creamy, and creates the perfect base for my makeup.  My face powder goes on smoother and my dry patch is getting better.

Their package says they use fruit stem cells to renew dormant cells, repair damaged cells, and regenerate healthy cells.

I highly recommend this product, and I look forward to trying the rest of their line!


*I discovered this product during my own research and purchased it with my own money. This review was in no way endorsed by the aforementioned company.*
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Spirelli Spiral Cutter Review and Recipe!



This spiral cutter will be my "go to" gadget this summer when preparing meals.  My husband and I want to start eating more raw foods.  For me, it's hard to eat raw in the cooler months because I crave comfort foods when it's chilly outside.  This Spirelli cutter is easy to use and creates julienne strips out of raw veggies.  You can make carb free spaghetti! What a great way to make a fast and nutritious meal.

I made a side salad of cucumbers and carrots for dinner the other night.  Next, I added green olives, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a dressing made of olive oil and mustard.

I'll be posting more recipes as I create more meals in the coming weeks.

I purchased my Spirelli from Sir La Table for $29.95.  Go get yours today!


Ingredients:

One medium organic cucumber
Two organic carrots
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 tablespoon organic mustard
12 olives, sliced
Salt
Pepper

Spiral cut both cucumber and carrots into a large bowl, add olive oil, mustard, and olives.  Mix, add salt and pepper to taste.

*I discovered this product on my own and purchased it with my own money. This review was in no way endorsed by the aforementioned company.*
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Vegan Apple Beet Charoset


This recipe comes from Whole Foods Market.  It's a very easy condiment to put together. It is also open to varied ingredient additions.  My husband thought that raisins would be a great addition, and I mentioned red onions.  Try it for yourself and let me know what you added.

*The changes I made to the ingredients from the original recipe: using all-organic items and an alternate sweetener instead of honey that was originally suggested.

Ingredients:

1 organic apple, peeled and grated
2 medium organic beets, peeled and grated
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dried organic apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener
2 tablespoons organic orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow apples and beets to soften and the flavors to come together.


*Recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market

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Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Cola Frosting


This recipe may have a couple of ingredients that you have never used before; they are not exotic or hard to find, but new enough to make you want to try this cupcake and frosting recipe.  The first ingredient is one used in the cupcake batter, Organic Raw Strawberry Powder.  The powder I have comes in a bag. Open the bag and take a whiff; it's like smelling a fresh bowl of just-picked strawberries.  The second ingredient is chocolate extract for the frosting. I make my own, but most cooking stores will carry it.  I also use this exact in cookies and cakes; it has a very decadent aroma, a must have in your pantry.

This is the first time I have made cola frosting. I am trying it now because I opened a small bottle of Trader Joe's Vintage Cola last night and didn't finish the whole bottle. So, I thought, why not try it in frosting? I like cola and love chocolate frosting.

This cupcake tastes like a strawberry dipped in chocolate with a sip of cola!

Ingredients for cupcake batter:

1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons non-GMO, non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1/4 cup organic oil
1 cup organic almond milk
4 Tablespoons organic raw strawberry powder
1 teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for frosting:

1/2 cup of non-dairy butter, softened
1/3 cup vegan cola
1/4 cup organic raw cocoa powder
3 cups organic confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract
pinch of sea salt


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sea salt, sugar, and strawberry powder.  Add
the oil, almond milk, extract and vinegar, mix thoroughly.

Fill each cupcake liner half way; bake 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool before frosting.


For the frosting, using a medium sized mixing bowl add all ingredients, beat until smooth and creamy.
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Vintage Nut Chopper - New Uses for Vintage Kitchen Gadgets


A few years ago when I was at a flea market, I spotted a nut chopper that I remember my mom having when I was a child.  My mom would mostly use it when she made holiday cookies.  She would place walnuts in a shallow bowl and chop away with this tool.  I purchased this only because it reminded me of my mom and when I was young.  The plan was just to display it on my kitchen island with some other vintage kitchen items.  Gradually, I began to use the tool to chop my nuts instead of my electric chopper.  For such a small, simply-designed item it works wonderfully. It is very comfortable in my hand as I chop my nuts.

One day, I was making guacamole and I had to chop up the avocado in the bowl.  I started to reach for a fork when I glanced at my kitchen island and saw the hand chopper.  "Why not give this a try?", I thought.  I am so happy that I did; it works perfectly for mashing up avocados.  I think I will try using it the next time I make banana bread!


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Vegan Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies


My sister gave me a bag of Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels recently.  I believe this is a new item for the company.  I do use their chocolate chunk and mini-chips all the time in my cookies.  I try to stay away from soy, and this is a soy-free chocolate product!  So this is a great option for me, as other vegan chocolate chips have soy as an ingredient.  These dark chocolate morsels are also Non-GMO, which is another plus for me.

For the oatmeal, I use One Degree quick oats.  This is a company that is certified organic, non-GMO, and Veganic.  If you have never heard of or used their products you must!  Each product has a QR code that you scan with your smart phone and it allows you to meet the farmer who grew that product.  Veganic products are grown without chemicals or animal fertilizer.  I wish all vegan foods weere grown veganically!  Visit their website at OneDegreeOrganics.com



Ingredients:

2/3 cups organic hemp oil
1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract
1/2 cup organic almond milk
1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon organic baking soda
1/2 teaspoon non-GMO, no aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups organic oatmeal
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate morsels

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Line 2 baking sheets with non-bleached parchment paper

In a large bowl, stir together the oil, sugars, chocolate vanilla, and the almond milk.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in the oats and dark chocolate morsels.

Drop a tablespoon-sized portion of dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.
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Vegan Chickpea Spread

My husband and I are going bird-watching tomorrow. This is a new hobby for us.  We recently watched a documentary called Birders.  It takes place in New York, and it is about a very loyal group of people who bird-watch in Central Park.  What a treasure Central Park is; my family and I have had the pleasure of visiting it a couple of times.  A true haven in the middle of controlled chaos.

When my husband and I go hiking, we do enjoy looking at birds, but this time we will be purposely hiking to look at birds.  We have our binoculars and our North American bird book ready to go. 

Since tomorrow will be a warm spring day, we will also be enjoying a picnic after our bird-watching. I have decided to make my chickpea spread to go on my homemade bagels.  Chickpeas are delicious so many ways! You can fry, bake, and purée them.  This spread is also good in stuffed tomatoes or in a salad.  

Ingredients:

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup non-dairy mayonnaise 
1 tablespoon mustard
1/3 cup organic celery, chopped
1 tablespoon organic onion, diced 
1/2 t organic garlic powder
Salt
Pepper

In your food processor, add all the ingredients and pulse 5-6 times, or to a consistency you prefer.  The spread should not be totally smooth, you want small bits of chickpea, celery, and onions.


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Congratulations Vermont!

Vermont is the first state to pass mandatory GMO labeling!  This brings hope that more states will also win this fight to demand GMO labeling.
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Vegan Fried Bologna Sandwich


First: a big thank you to Tofurky who make a vegan bologna, because without them I would not be able to enjoy a childhood favorite. I am not sure if this is a popular sandwich with most people. I personally do not know anyone else who used to (or still) eats fried bologna.

My mom would use a cast-iron skillet to work her magic. She would turn butter, onions, bologna, and bread into a delicious sandwich.

I now make this for my family, on occasion. It's an unique twist on the traditional bologna sandwich.  Try it, you'll like it!

Ingredients:

1 pack of Torfuky bologna
1 T non-dairy butter
1 small organic onion, sliced

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, place the sliced onions in the skillet, layer the slices of bologna on top of the onions. Let cook for 5 minutes, then stir the onions and bologna around the skillet to make sure everything is evenly cooked. The onions and bologna should all be lightly browned.

If your weather is nice, make sandwiches and go on a picnic!
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Chive Salt


Chives are one of my favorite herbs. I have many a chive plant in my garden (also in many other locations on my property that I would not have chosen to plant chives).  But sometimes in spring, I find a new chive plant emerging from the warming soil. I love when plants re-seed themselves. They are like little gifts in the garden, which I welcome happily.

 Last summer I started to make chive salt; the process is simple, and the salt delicious.

In December I cut all the remaining chives that I had to make sure I had enough chive salt to get us through the winter. I love it in potato soup, sprinkled on my bread and butter, and on french fries; I even use it when I make bread. My supply lasted until a week ago. I now monitor my chive plants daily to see when I can harvest some to make more salt. Some of my chive plants that are getting more sun than others have produced enough for me to start a small batch. I only cut the green parts and discard any brown spots.

Even if you don't grow chives yourself, check your farmer's markets or food market for a bunch. Grab some salt and your food processor, and get ready for an amazing addition to your culinary spices.!

You will need 2 ounces of chives per 1/2 cup salt

Wash and dry chives. Using kitchen shears, snip into small pieces and place on an unbleached parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in a 100 degree oven for 1 hour or use a food dehydrator.

Using your processor or a mortar & pestle, combine the dried chives and salt. Grind until well-combined.

Place in a sealed container.

Make some pasta tonight and sprinkle with the chive salt. Yum!

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Vegan Noodle Kugel


There are certain foods that bring back memories for me - food my mom would make mostly on holidays and also sprinkled throughout the year.

Noodle Kugel was one of them.  My mom would bake a huge pan to ensure leftovers.  I love kugel; it's a meal in itself.

I thought I would never be able to make kugel for my family until I started using Vegg (vegan egg yolk) for traditional kugel uses eggs, butter, and egg noodles.

I am now happy to say I make this delicious noodle treat for my family on holidays and anytime in between.


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Line a 8x8 inch pan with unbleached parchment paper, set aside

Ingredients:

16 oz. organic Farfalle
1/2 cup melted non-dairy butter
2 1/4 cups water
12 teaspoons of Vegg
1/4 pepper
1/4 salt

Boil noodles, drain, add to a large mixing bowl. Melt non-dairy butter in a small pot, add to the noodles and mix. In a mixer add water and the Vegg powder, mix thoroughly, add to the noodles and butter.  Season with salt and pepper and mix. Transfer to the parchment lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to a hour.

You may also add raisins and cinnamon if you like.  Do this when you add the salt and pepper.
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Vegan Banana Cake


Hurray, I just found another vintage cookbook! I didn't find it at a used bookstore or a flea market, I found it in my kitchen!

Our kitchen cabinets do not go to the ceiling; I collect milk glass so this is the perfect place to display some of my pieces. As such, some of my pieces are small so they need a boost to be seen. This is the third time I have painted my kitchen and I knew I had put books under some milk glass, so I wasn't surprised to find cookbooks up there. This one cookbook caught my interest though because of the Japanese title.  My daughter took Japanese in college and loves Japanese food, so this was one book that I put into retirement from propping up milk glass.

There is no copyright date, but I do know this was my mother's cookbook.  It looks like a group of women pooled their recipes to make their own cookbook. All the recipes are not Japanese though, but most are easy to convert to vegan.

This banana cake reminds me of Sara Lee's banana cake, which I loved as a child; my husband also agrees. When we took our first bites of the cake we looked at each other and said, "Sara Lee."

The cookbook didn't offer a frosting recipe, so I made my own.

Enjoy!

Ingredients for cake batter:

1 1/2 cup organic pure cane sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy butter
2 tablespoons of organic flaxseed soaked in 6 tablespoons of warm water
2 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon non-gmo, non-aluminum baking powder
3/4 teaspoon organic baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lightly mashed organic bananas
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic almond milk
1/2 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar

Frosting:

2 cups organic confectioners sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy butter
1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

Line a 8x8 cake pan with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

First, soak the flaxseed in a small nowl with warm water and let sit until jelled.

Mix the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar, let sit 5 minutes to curdle.

Cream non-dairy butter, add sugar and gradually add the flax mixture, and beat thoroughly.  Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with bananas, vanilla, and curdled milk.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool in pan before removing.

While cake is baking, let's make the frosting.

Mix sugar, butter, and vanilla together until creamy. Set aside until cake is cool enough to frost.

This banana cake will become one of your favorite dessert recipes!

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Vegan Deep Dish Pizza

I love pizza. I could eat it everyday, and you could too because there are so many ways to make it. There's deep dish, thin crust, calzones (that's pizza to me, just not round), pizza bread, breakfast pizzas, even dessert pizzas!  See? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

Everybody loves pizza. Pizza is fun to make and fun to eat. It's a party food - when you have friends over, you have pizza. Having a sleepover? Pizza! Birthday party? Pizza!

Now let's make some pizza!

Ingredients for the dough:

5 cups organic unbleached flour
2 cups warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
2 teaspoons organic garlic power (optional)
2 teaspoons organic onion powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of your stand mixer add the water and yeast, let sit for 5 minutes to bloom.  Attatch dough hook and add 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt, and spices (if using).  Mix on medium speed until dough starts to firm, add remaining flour, mix until the dough comes clean from the sides if the bowl.

Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel, let rise for 1 hour.

While the pizza dough is rising you can start prepping your toppings.

Per-heat oven to 425 degrees

Grease a cast iron skillet with non-dairy butter.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place in skillet. Using both hands spread the dough to fill the entire bottom of the skillet, while also pressing the dough up the sides of the skillet.

Now add your sauce, cheese, and toppings, and any additional seasonings you like.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pizza party!!


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Vegan Fried Matzos

Fried Matzos was my favorite breakfast food growing up. This was my dad's one and only recipe that he would make for us. My dad usually did all the grilling; the kitchen was my mom's domain. I enjoyed watching my dad prepare this treat for us. It was always funny watching him navigate the kitchen, trying to find the bowls, pots, and ingredients. Usually my mom would say "just let me make it," and my dad would reply, "no, no, this is my specialty, go sit down."

Eventually he would get settled in and into the groove of preparing the fried matzos. I am not sure where this recipe came from, maybe he grew up eating it as a child. I never asked, wish I did though.

My dad, knowingly or not, seemed to put on a show as he mixed and flipped, always a look of content and happiness on his face. We would sit at the kitchen table and wait with stomachs growling.

Happy eating!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 whole matzo crackers, I used organic whole wheat
5 1/2 teaspoons of the Vegg (vegan egg yolk)
5/8 cup of water
1 Tablespoon organic oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

In a blender, process the Vegg powder with water until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pour mixture into a large flat-bottomed container, season with salt and pepper.

Taking one matzo cracker at a time, gently hold the cracker under running water for 10 seconds each side. Continue with remaining 4 crackers, place in the the vegg liquid, and let soak for 2 minutes. You may have to gently push them down into the liquid.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet.  Gently layer each cracker onto themselves. Using a ladle, scoop up some of the Vegg liquid and pour over the top of the layered matzos.  Fry each side for 5 minutes, or until each side is golden brown.

You can enjoy with organic jam or jelly spread on top.
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Vegan Power Bites


These little gems are lifesavers!  Has this ever happened  to you? You are busy working around the house, running errands, or it's just not time for dinner, but you want something small to eat? This happens to me a lot, and I always grab a snack that isn't the healthiest, or I eat something that is so filling that I can't eat my next meal.

Power Bites are perfect anytime you need an energy boost. Pack them in your child's lunch, and bring them along on your next bike ride or when you go hiking.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups organic cannelloni beans
1/3 c organic chunky peanut butter
1/4 c Bee Free Honee
1/4 cup organic applesauce
1/3 c organic cocoa
1 t organic pure chocolate extract or organic pure vanilla extract
1/2 t organic cinnamon
1 c organic quick oates
1/2 c organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c vegan mini chocolate chips

In a food processor, combine the beans, peanut butter, Bee Free Honee, applesauce, cocoa, extract, and cinnamon until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add oats, flour, and mini chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly.  

In a 8x8 pan lined with unbleached parchment paper, spread the batter so it's even throughout. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Let Power Bites cool, remove from pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces and store in an air-tight container.
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Vegan Lemonade/Strawberry Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! ... And when you have strawberries, make strawberry lemonade!

There's nothing like a tall glass of freshly-squeezed lemonade. A few ingredients is all that is needed to achieve this classic beverage.

Ingredients for lemonade:

1 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 cup water
8 small organic lemons or 5 large organic lemons
*If making strawberry lemonade you will also need 1 pint of organic strawberries

First, you want to make a simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small pot, stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer over a medium flame. Simmer for a few minutes, making sure all of the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

On a cutting board, cut lemons in half. Juice the lemons and pour the juice into a large pitcher. Add the simple syrup and 4 cups of cold water and stir.

If you want to make strawberry lemonade, hull the strawberries and place in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the strawberry puree into the pitcher of lemonade and stir.

Enjoy!



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Vegan Field Roast Breakfast Sausage Review


When my family and I first became vegetarians, figuring out what to make for breakfast was a walk in the park. However, when we became vegan, breakfast became the most challenging meal of the day for me. How do I replace my scrambled eggs? Will I be able to eat pancakes still? My toast? What do I eat with my toast?!

Sounds difficult, doesn't it? At first, it was quite hard to figure out. We aren't huge cereal-eaters, but a smoothie would float sometimes.

I suppose having a big hearty breakfast must stem from my childhood. My mother would make a large breakfast on weekends. It prepared us for the day, be it a day of working in the yard or a day of just bumming around having fun. Having a large breakfast carried you over until lunch, and maybe even a little beyond. Whatever the reason for my need for a large breakfast, I had to figure out what I was going to do.

Once I started exploring and doing research I was found that maybe breakfast wasn't as difficult as I thought. Tofu replaced my scrambled eggs, and homemade pancakes were a breeze. There are so many new companies out there catering to the vegan lifestyle, and the list seems to be growing everyday.

One company in particular that has been a part of all our holidays is Field Roast.  Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without their Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute!

I was recently at my Whole Foods Market and was excited to see that Field Roast now has breakfast sausage! I presume this is a new product for them, or it has taken my Whole Foods a while to get it. Either way, I hoped that this item might become a part of our breakfast every weekend. I had no doubt that this sausage would be yummy - to me all their products are.

As I was preparing the sausage my hopes and expectations were very high, to say the least. After a few minutes in the cast iron skillet, they were ready. I plated them up and served them to my family. Actually, the first one to taste one of these "Saviors of Breakfast," was our 4-legged family member. Of course they did not disappoint, Kipper loved them as much as we did and continued to beg the whole time while we enjoyed our breakfast.

Thanks Field Roast for another outstanding product!

*I discovered this product on my own and purchased it with my own money. This review was in no way endorsed by the aforementioned company.*

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Vegan Chunky Peanut Butter


If you read my prior post on making nut butters I'll spare you my spiel.  If you haven't read it yet, let me just say these 3 words: easy, inexpensive, and fun.

All you need to make peanut butter is peanuts! (And salt, if you want.) That's it, now let's get to it.

First, put a 1/2 cup of organic peanuts in the food processor and chop them into small pieces. Remove and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In your food processor, place 2 cups of organic peanuts. I first pulse 8-10 times to start. I do this to break up the peanuts before I go full force.  If you want to add salt I would do that now. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later if you'd like.

Now mix until you reach the consistency you like.  It takes me about 5 minutes to produce a creamy peanut butter in my mini-processor.  Remove the lid and mix in the chopped peanuts.  Spoon the peanut butter into an air-tight container and refrigerate.


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Vegan Pretzel Buns


Do you know why I make pretzel buns? Because I can't make a knotted pretzel! I have researched the process and still came up empty. When I try the knot it looks goofy, and I am even a crafty person.. How I can't do this, I have no idea. So, my solution is make a bun. I can form dough into a ball with my eyes closed.

This recipe is adapted from VegNews.  I substituted one of the cups of flour with organic whole wheat pastry flour.  Also, I used organic vanilla salt in place of regular salt used in the making of the dough and topped each bun with cyprus flake salt.

*Makes 6 medium sized buns

*Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons organic pure cane sugar
1 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon organic vanilla salt
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
6 cups water, for boiling the buns
1/4 cup organic baking soda
salt to sprinkle on top of buns

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add water, yeast, and sugar. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flours and wheat gluten, set aside.

When the yeast mixture has become foamy, add the salt and olive oil.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, using your dough hook attachment mix until the sides of the bowl come clean of dough. If the dough seems to dry, try adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Dough should be smooth and not to sticky. Knead the dough in the mixer for 5 minutes longer.  When finished, place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel; the dough will need to rest and rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, and roll into balls.  Place on the parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise again for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large pot, boil the water, and add the baking soda slowly. The baking soda will react with the hot water and foam up.  In batches of two, gently drop the dough balls into the water. Cook one side for 30 seconds before flipping and cooking the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking sheet.

When all buns are finished boiling, cut an X on top of each bun and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, let cool before enjoying.


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Vegan Chocolate-Covered Popcorn


Sweets, treats, or dessert, whatever you want to call them; I need something sweet around the house all the time. Today I wanted to make something quick, but different. In an earlier post, I wrote about a vintage cookbook I recently bought, titled "Antoinette Pope School Candy Book". So I picked up the book and started looking for a recipe. Flipping through the pages, one word caught my eye, and that word was "chocolate".

So today, my sweet will be Chocolate Covered Popcorn! I have made a few adjustments to the recipe by using organic ingredients when possible, and converting some ingredients to vegan.

Warning! This popcorn is very addictive, you might want to make a double batch!

Chocolate Covered Popcorn

*You will need a very large bowl to mix the chocolate mixture with the popped popcorn. Also 2 large spoons to mix with.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup organic pure cane cinnamon sugar ( Original recipe calls for plain sugar)
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons organic light corn syrup
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter
2 ounces non-dairy chocolate
1 teaspoon organic pure chocolate extract (Original recipe calls for vanilla extract)
8 cups organic popped corn (I air-popped mine)
salt - (I used organic cinnamon salt)

Pop the popcorn and place in a very large bowl, set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup.  Mix well and cook to 250F on a candy thermometer.  Add butter and finely chopped chocolate.  Cook over medium flame, stirring often, to 272F.

Remove from heat, add extract, and at once poor over the entire surface of the popped corn.

With the two spoons blend the chocolate and pop corn thoroughly.  Add your salt and stir again.

Store in an air-tight container.
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