Tag Archives: peanut butter

Oatmeal Spheres

26 Oct

Have you ever heard that saying?  That the stuff you do while you should be doing other things is the stuff you should do for the rest of your life?

I like that saying.

Not because it gives me some sort of idea as to what the heck I should do with my life, but because it gives me an excuse to procrastinate.

You know, like, I’m just trying to find myself.  And not doing the stuff I should be doing is helping me find my purpose in life.

Yep.  I like that.

So, today while I should have been catching up on reading and cleaning my room, I made pumpkin bread.  I went grocery shopping so I could make these things.

Oatmeal…spheres.

Yeah.

Because calling them balls is a little too awkward.

OATMEAL SPHERES

  • 1 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
Mix it all up in a bowl, roll it into … balls.

Real Vegan Muffins

5 Sep

I have a story to tell you.  It’s about a school that claims to be accepting and accommodating of all dietary restrictions.  It’s about claims that don’t always reflect real life.

I went to a picnic today.  An all-campus, meatless Monday picnic.  This picnic was about promoting the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, even if you can only do it one day a week.

This picnic had two serious issues.  The first being that there was no advertisement whatsoever about meatless Mondays.  Not even a table with pamphlets that you could pick up, leaf through, maybe even take back to your dorm room to use as scratch paper.

Nothing.

Just an absence of meat.

The second serious issue was that there was hardly anything there that I could eat.

Me.  A real life flesh and blood vegan.

I went to the picnic thinking, this is awesome.  Finally, they’re doing something to promote vegetarianism across campus.  There’ll be tons of great vegetarian and vegan food there.

I was sadly mistaken.

The tables were filled with pound cake, whipped cream, mayonnaise-y potato salad, cheese tortellini pasta salad with more cheese on top, and bread salad topped with – oh yes – cheese.

The only thing there that I was able to eat was lettuce, bread, and watermelon.

To say the least, I’m disappointed.

So here, have some muffins.

APPLE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL MUFFINS

(very loosely based on a recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking)

  • 1 c. oats (not the instant junk)
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 12 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed whisked with 6 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 c. (plus more, if your batter is too thick) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 granny smith apples, chopped
Preheat your oven to 350°F.   Grease your muffin tins. In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, and flax mixture.  Whisk until creamy and smooth. Add to the flour mixture and stir until combined, but be sure your don’t overmix it.  Fold in the apples.
The batter is supposed to be thicker rather than thinner, but if it’s too stiff to work with, you can certainly add some applesauce.
Scoop into the muffin tins and bake (for jumbo muffins) for about 30 minutes.
Makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular sized muffins

Broccoli Pasta Salad

10 Jul

I have a thing for books.  A weird sort of relationship that I’m not sure anyone else has with books.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a love-hate relationship, but something along those lines.

I absolutely despise being told to read anything.  If I have a textbook, or any other book that I’m required to read for school I will usually, on principle, detest that book simply because you’re making me read it.

But I love books.  I love to read for fun.  If I like a book, usually you won’t see my face until I finish reading it – that’s how absorbed I get when I read.

But there’s another dimension to my relationship with books.  As much as I love books, I don’t like libraries, or Kindles.  I like to own the books I read – to be able to touch the cover, smell the pages, and break in the binding all on my own.  I also like to be able to write in my books and fold down the pages.  I’m not one of those nutters that thinks you shoud never write in books, and that dog-earing kills the book’s soul.  (If you’re one of those wack jobs, please excuse me if I’ve offended you).

I just recently finished rereading the Harry Potter series for the 14th or 15th time, in preparation for the last movie that’s coming out in five days.  (I’m a nerd – don’t judge).

Anyway, I took my nose out of the seventh book long enough to make this pasta salad, and then shoved it back in once I started eating.  This salad is wonderful and a lot simpler than it lets on.  Just try it – and eat it warm, as it tastes much better fresh.  Then get reading, and love on your books.

PASTA SALAD WITH BROCCOLI AND PEANUTS (from Food Day – if you’re cool enough to live in Oregon, you’ll know that that’s a section in our paper)

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta
  • 2 heads (or more, if you want) broccoli (2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Cook your pasta until al dente and then drain and rinse under cold water.  Set aside.
Okay, here the recipe leads you into this whole ordeal where basically all you’re doing is steaming the broccoli.   So here’s the easy way:  chop up your broccoli and steam it however you steam things until it’s tender.  Then, in a separate bowl, combine the 2 tbsp. oil, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes with a whisk.  Add the pasta, broccoli, peanuts, and onions, and toss to combine.  Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled (except you should really serve it right away, as far as I’m concerned).

Heels and other things we have in common

7 Jun

There are certain givens in life.  Constants.  Things that everyone has in common.

Singing in the shower.  Everyone does it.  Don’t deny it.  In fact, tonight I had my iHome set up and was all but busting out choreography around my bathroom.  I would have been singing into my hairbrush if I knew where I had left it this morning.  Oops.  Or, if you’re more of a bath person:  playing in the bath tub.  Maybe the extent of your playfulness is splashing the water around.  Or maybe you’re like me – you see that your arms have steam rising up off of them because the water is so hot, so you pretend to be Hades from Disney’s “Hercules” for the rest of your bath time.  (This may or may not have occurred a few days ago).

Shoes.  Shoes happen.  We have to wear them on our feet.  And heels.  Heels happen.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence that they’re only one letter away from being “hells,”  I don’t know.  I just bought a pair of heels – not sure why; maybe because they were cute, maybe because it’s summer, or maybe because I’m thinking that since I’ll be working in an office during the upcoming school year, I should sort of start acting like a grown up – and have just rediscovered that my feet don’t function more than two inches off ground level.

Whoops.

Maybe I spent twenty minutes walking around my house in them, trying not to walk like a robot.  Maybe I woke my mother up doing this.  I won’t admit to anything.

Writer’s block.  Writer’s block also happens to everyone.  Even if you’re not a writer.  It happens when you’re having a conversation with someone, and they say something to which you think you should have some witty comeback – only to think of one an hour later when the person’s gone and the moment’s been lost.

I’ve had writers block for the last week.  If not more.  But today, my heels and Hercules reenactments and Maroon 5 harmonizing have brought you this soup.  I know soup isn’t incredibly summery, but to be honest, this summer isn’t incredibly summery – at least not here in the Pacific Northwest.

Go make it now, or slip this recipe into your autumn foods cookbook.  Either way, it’s pretty darn great.

AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP

(makes a “soup”er duper double batch, halve the recipe if you don’t feel like eating it for the rest of your life)

  • 3 small or medium onions, diced (plus about as much celery diced as well)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 7 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 5 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. peanut butter (I like to use creamy)
  • 1 package of Butler’s Soy Curls, if you so desire
  • And, maybe some kale – yum.
In a large pot, saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the sesame oil for about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.  Add the curry powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and saute for another minute.
Add the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and peanut butter and stir until it’s all combined.  Add in the soy curls, and heat until it’s hot enough to eat.  Simple enough, right?

‘Tis the Season for Cookies

1 Dec

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Today sucked.

I woke up with a sore throat and an earache.  I had to force myself to eat something for breakfast because I had no appetite whatsoever.

Then I went to class with my nice warm cup of tea to try to soothe my throat, and ended up spilling it all over my arms, desk, and pants (I still have a burn mark on my arm).  I ran out of the room to grab some paper towels right as my prof walked in – I’m pretty sure she thought it was something she said.

After class, I went on our school website to order a ‘sick meal’ from the University Center, but none of their options are vegan.  Then I looked up the menu for the day to see what the soups were.  No vegan soups.  Monday, two out of the three soups they served were vegan and today, the one day I actually wanted a bowl of soup – nothing.

So I did everything I knew my mother would tell me to do (or do for me) if she were here:  drank warm fluids, took Tylenol, tried to rest.

I still felt like crap.

But then I remembered that today is December 1st.  The first day that I can make Christmas cookies and not get the stink-eye from society.  So I did.

Mom, these cookies are for you.

Every year, my mom and I make peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s  kisses in the middle.  Some people call them ‘peanut butter blossoms,’ but my mother, sophisticated, mature woman that she is (bless her heart), calls them ‘tit cookies’ – because, well, you know…

many thanks to my roommate for posing for this picture :0)

Anyway, every year we make these, and one of the big rituals is unwrapping all the Hershey’s kisses.  But, since I’m vegan now, and Hershey’s chocolate has milk in it, I decided to make a mini version of these cookies and use chocolate chips instead.

So I made myself the first batch of many Christmas cookies to come this season.  My throat doesn’t feel any better, and my ears still hurt, but at least my spirits are lifted, and so will yours when you make these cookies.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (a veganized Mrs. Fields recipe)

  • 2 c. AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1 c. non-dairy margarine
  • 3 eggs worth of Ener-G and water
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300°F.  In a large bowl, cream the sugars, margarine, and peanut butter.  Add the vanilla and egg replacer.  Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed until just combined.  Don’t overmix!

Drop onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and bake for about 7 – 10 minutes.

Once they come out of the oven, stick a chocolate chip in the middle before they cool completely, then enjoy!

Manly Cupcake Challenge!

21 Nov

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Let me begin with an explanation.  First of all, I realize I haven’t given you a recipe for a week and a half.  And I’m sorry.  I have been occupied with Harry Potter exhibits and premieres and being stuck at the Seattle Space Needle without a ride home, and trying to find the parking break for twenty minutes in the zipcar my friend rented to go see Harry Potter.

So let’s just say I’ve been busy.

Not to mention the fact that the oven on my floor has hated me for the past week and a half…

Until now.

Introducing the manliest cupcakes you will ever eat in your life, complete with mustache.

I’ve recently been surfing the blogosphere because many of the bloggers that I follow have decided to ditch.  But not this one.  The C&C Cakery-ers were a finalist the month I did Cupcake Hero, and just recently I went back to check on their blog and found this:  The Manly Cupcake Challenge.  It’s a cupcake contest to raise money about men’s health.  But that’s not the best part.  The best part is that I get to bake cupcakes and possibly win these prizes:

The Manly Cupcake Contest Prize Sponsor’s Include:

The other best part is that you can donate to the cause if you want!

Now for the post.  I got my inspiration for this cupcake from Friends. That’s right, I’m a Friends addict.  Don’t judge.

Anyway, there’s an episode where Ross and Rachel hire a male nanny to take care of their baby.  The nanny, named Sandy, make madeleines, and Ross complains that they aren’t “manly” enough.  He says that manly baked goods should at least have “nuts, and chunks.”  So here you go Ross, there are most definitely nuts and chunks in these peanut butter pretzel chocolate caramel MANCAKES.

PRETZEL CRUST

  • 2 c. peanut butter pretzels, crushed
  • 3/4 c. non-dairy margarine, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar

Combine all ingredients and press into your cupcake liners.  This should be enough to do 24 crusts, if you use about 1 tbsp. of mixture per crust.  Bake for about 8 minutes in a 350°F oven.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c. AP flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Keep your oven at 350°F, line your cupcake tin with liners.  Whisk the soy milk and vinegar together in a cup and set aside for a few minutes.  Mix the dry ingredients (except sugar) in a bowl.

In a larger bowl, cream the peanut butter and sugar until fluffy (don’t beat past two minutes).  Add in the vanilla.  Then, alternate beating in the flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Scoop on top of your pretzel crusts (I only needed one cookie-scoop-ful) and bake for about 22 minutes.

Right after they’ve come out of the oven, stuff about three chocolate chips down into the center.

CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/4 c. soy milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. non dairy margarine
  • 4 c. powdered sugar

Stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes. (I overcooked mine the first time, so just barely let it turn amber)

Remove from heat and slowly add in the milk and extract. Set aside until cool.

Beat butter until smooth, then add extract and powdered sugar a cup at a time.  Then pour in your caramel just until you have the right consistency.

Top off you cupcakes with the frosting and a chocolate  mustache and you are good to go.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

19 Oct

It’s October, right?  And October is the month of Halloween.  I’m not a huge fan of the holiday, honestly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love dressing up like a weirdo and the sugar-induced coma that comes the day after.  But I don’t like being scared.  Don’t like rollercoasters, scary movies, creepy costumes – nope, no way, nuh-uh.

What I do like about Halloween is the candy.  My family always had the best candy, too.  My mom would always buy these chocolate eyeballs, and every year I would steal as many of them as I could get my hands on.  They were fudge, caramel, and PEANUT BUTTER filled chocolate eyeballs.  YUM.  And then there’s the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  But, sadly, neither of these candies are vegan.  Solution?  Cupcakes!  Duh…

I have a confession.  I cheated on these cupcakes.  I used a recipe that I’ve already posted on my blog for the cakes.  Whoops.  But I think you’ll forgive me after you’ve tasted them.  Just trust me on this one, ok?

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 c. AP flour
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp/ vanilla extract
  • Almond extract – use your judgement
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 c. cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prep your cupcake tins.  Combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet.  Mix just until combined.  (the batter might be a little lumpy – don’t worry, they will turn out great!)   Bake for about 15 minutes on this one.  This made exactly twelve cupcakes for me.

 

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING

  • 1/2 c. plus some peanut butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Soy milk (don’t kill me, I didn’t measure!)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar

Cream peanut butter and vanilla, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time.  After each addition, I had to add a little soy milk.

 

Top off your cupcakes and enjoy!