I’m still on that baking bandwagon! Last week, I made 2 dozen muffins to eat and freeze for future breakfasts and snacks. They’re a tweaked version of the classic blueberry muffin–said muffin with a rich, dark undertone. Dark chocolate chips and the dark decadence of coconut palm sugar and whole wheat flour made these a slightly tangier version of the original.
Each muffin is topped off with a cinnamon/coconut palm sugar mixture that baked right into each muffin’s top. Paired with the ooey gooey blueberries and chocolate, it was a win-win-WIN situation.
Chocolate Chip Blueberry Muffins
For the muffins:
3 and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup coconut palm sugar (or sweetener of your choice. Agave would work, but you’d need to adjust the liquid ratios)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup melted vegan butter
1 and 3/4 cups vegan milk of your choice
1 heaping cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2-1 cup (depending on how much you like chocolate!) vegan chocolate chips
For the topping:
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a small bowl/measuring cup combine butter, vegan milk, and vanilla (and liquid sweetener if you’re using that instead of sugar). Make a crater in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in liquid ingredients. Combine, then fold in blueberries and chocolate chips. Some lumps are ok, be sure not to mix too much or your muffins will get tough! Pour into your muffin cups, then sprinkle some of the topping on each muffin, pressing it down slightly. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.
We ate our first batch of muffins hot, right out of the oven and nestled alongside some fresh strawberries. It was the perfect spring breakfast, and I’m so excited to have an entire bag of additional muffins to enjoy in coming days!
There are so many crafty things on the internet that make my heart sing. Maybe it’s just this time of year, but inspiration is around just about every corner. I made a little baby blanket for a family friend who is expecting. It’s out of recycled chenille yarns pulled from thrifted sweaters.
It’s soft, vegan, and snuggly. Perfect for a tiny babe to be all snuggled up in.
Have you created anything lately?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with the idea of a picnic, but my plans keep getting rained out. We’ve had nearly constant drizzles and rain for the past 1.5 weeks! (It seems longer, it might be longer!) Before the rains came, I even went so far as to buy some goodies to make some picnic delights.
I had big, bold plans to make the world’s hugest sandwiches along with sweet potato “fries” baked in the oven. We don’t seem to have any ketchup in this house, so I made a savory sauce for dipping the fries.
The sauce is simple and has a huge kick of umami–it was tangy and had a hint of spice to it that perfectly complimented the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
Savory Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 Tablespoon hot sauce (I used this one)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Whisk ingredients together, then dip away!
CAT FABRIC!!//cat playing with fabric//she’s always after my thread//crocheting in coffee shops//flowers for the Bear//muffins//my cactus collection//seeing if I can root some of the camelia from the bush outside
I’m obsessed with the cat fabric fat quarters I bought recently! I’ve been sewing up a storm these days–it serves as my release from work and the general day-to-day. I’ve had several projects that I’ve worked on and created over the past few weeks. (More on those to come!) I’m so inspired by beautiful flowers this time of year–we’ve been lucky to have a couple of bouquets spread about the house that I get to admire each day. They make me want beautiful flowered fabrics to sew with!
Whew! Are you full from the Virtual Vegan Potluck yesterday?!? If you haven’t checked it out yet, head on over to the VVP website or scroll down to yesterday’s post to see my entrée entry and continue the loop to the other 167 blogs that participated! On another sweet note–Poppy over at Poppy’s Patisserie (be sure to check out her raw chia jam and jame filled donuts post ohmygoodnessme this look INCREDIBLE!) was sweet enough to pass another blog award on to me! I love the logo for this award–it’s probably my favorite one so far! It’s the fairy, definitely the fairy but I’m also charmed by those cupcakes. They remind me of some lovely ones that Veggiewitch made for her wee ones for their birthday a while back. Which brings me to the rest of the award!
Again, it’s one of those question awards which is always so much fun! Here are Poppy’s questions:
Cookies or Cake? Cake! Definitely cake!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Depends on my mood! (Right now I’d go for vanilla)
Favourite Sweet Treat? Coconut milk ice cream of any flavor
When do you crave sweet things the most? At the strangest times!
If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Probably chip, as in chocolate, peanut butter, or caramel chips.
I’m also supposed to pass along the award to a baker’s dozen of recipients! I don’t think I’ll quite make the 13, but here a few blogs I can think of that are super sweet!
Well I made almost half of the baker’s dozen I suppose…
I like these awards for the same reason I love the Virtual Vegan Potluck. Like I mentioned for my last award’s post, there’s this magical community in the blogosphere that’s so very warming and inspiring. It’s also a great way to share a few of my frequently read blogs. This is kind of like a virtual after dinner mint for your post-VVP enjoyment. Happy reading!
It’s hard to believe that it’s already Virtual Vegan Potluck (VVP) time again! Just a year ago, my hard drive crashed and I created a huge gaping hole in the chain and lost the pictures of the most amazing vegan trifle ever created. Oops… This year, I’m back in full force with an entrée to contribute to the potluck chain!
Savory Arugula and Mushroom Tart with Scallions and “Cream” filling
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup water
For the filling:
1 block silken tofu
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch salt and pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup Daiya jack wedge, diced
handful fresh arugula
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
Assemble the crust: Combine flour, salt, and baking powder, then drizzle in oil. Slowly add the water, and mix until a ball of dough forms. Press into a greased pie dish, set aside.
Assemble the filling: In your trusty food processor, combine tofu, lemon, salt, and pepper. Remove blade and stir in Daiya chunks and scallions. Placed arugula in the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Pour tofu cream mixture on top and smooth down so that the arugula is hidden. Layer mushroom slices on top so that cream is hidden. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and the center of the tart has firmed up. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Serve on a bed of fresh arugula, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
While this lovely tart might look like a quiche, it certainly has a more tart-like quality. The inside is creamy and decadent, the jack wedge offers the perfect snap to the otherwise silky texture. The arugula offers a peppery goodness and the scallions give it a little kick. This is the perfect springy dish, wonderful for a lunch, brunch, or breakfast.
Happy VVP everyone!
What’s more fragrant and delightful in springtime than a freshly picked strawberry? Definitely not quinoa, but it makes the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the fruit. A touch of herbs also add an extra zing, and a hint of sesame oil gives the salad a rich undertone.
Strawberry Quinoa Salad
4 cups cooked quinoa
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2-3/4 cup chopped strawberries (depending on taste)
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together lime juice, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Allow cooked quinoa to cool completely, then use a fork to “fluff.” Stir in cilantro and strawberries, then drizzle the vinaigrette over top and toss to incorporate.
This salad makes the perfect light compliment to many other dishes–it’s perfect for a springy picnic outside or eaten atop a bed of greens as a light meal or flavorful snack. The next potluck I go to might see a large bowl of this on the table!
We’ve eaten so much delicious food lately! We ventured to one of our favorite restaurants nearby for some of the best vegan food around these parts, which is a tough contest for sure with all of the local delights. There we ate some of the best nachos I’ve ever had (Daiya, Tofutti, guac, black bean relish, fresh jalepenos, and vegan BBQ all on top of wonderful corn chips) and sandwiches as entrées (I had a vegan ruben). I drank the first soda I’ve had in forever–an extra spicy ginger ale.
On Fridays, we often go up to one of my favorite sections of town. There’s a music hall which flings its doors open and has several sets of corn hole out on its patio. Across the street is what’s probably my favorite local brewery, its doors flung open too. Outside, food trucks park and you can freely walk between the trucks you want, sipping local brews and eating at the tables each place has outside. That’s where those fantastic looking tacos are from–what’s got to be my favorite food truck. We also got a buffalo chikn slider–it was spicy and delicious! We had a half-pint each (a moon pie inspired dark ale, and a light basil summer ale) while we munched a played a few games outside. Then we slipped away to our local ice cream parlor for a few treats. This time I got the toasted coconut with coconut flakes and pralines on top. Evenings like this make me wish for the warmth of summer and for long extended hours spent outdoors in the evenings…
I just adore pho (a Vietnamese soup with broth, noodles, and other fixings, in my case veggies, that you add cilantro, chili sauce, and other goodies to table side.) –the spiciness, the freshness of delicious broth combined with bean sprouts, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. I love its versatility– how it can be transformed by what you place into your bowl and when you put it in. I found the most fantastic pho recipe. I had my eye on it for a couple of weeks before I actually made it. The broth is lemon grass based and fantastic. I’d recommend using vermicelli rice noodles–ours took too long to cook and soaked up a lot of the juice. This recipe is fantastic–quite simple and easy to tweak based on your personal tastes. I think I put too much red miso in, more like 2 rather than 1 tablespoon and mine was quite potent, so that made my broth a bit heavier than I would have liked. Something to tweak in the future, and something to add to the comfort of the indoors during drizzly spring weather. Aren’t these spring showers supposed to be in April to bring flowers in May? The weather here always breaks its own rules, but it is a great excuse to have some fabulous soups…
I’m obsessed with dandelions. I always pick them and blow the seeds off. The past week has been gray and dreary–not exactly rainy but not exactly clear either. More of a drizzle and mist. It makes me miss the brilliant weather we experienced last week. I was lucky enough to sneak around the yard with Stumpy Skellington at my heels and pick some wildflowers to press in my books. I’m amassing quite the collection. Sadly feeling a bit under the weather, (maybe due to this chilly drizzly mess outside) so warm comforting foods like soup (and chili) have been my main staples lately. Dreaming of a big bowl of noodles and wantons from the Vietnamese place up the street for lunch today. It’s packed with veggies cooked to perfection. I’ll eat a bowl and then continue my sewing project. I’m making bubble pants!